Shanna & Matthew | il Tulipano | Cedar Grove, NJ

Shanna & Matthew’s Wedding at il Tulipano (Photography: James Joseph LeBlanc)

The Wedding of ...
Shanna Rodgers & Matthew Powell

Their Vendors
Ceremony & Reception: il Tulipano,
Bridal Gown & Bridesmaids: David’s Bridal,
Tux: Men’s Warehouse
Photographer: James Joseph LeBlanc
Makeup: Denise Del Russo
Hair: Jorge Musa
Florist: Purple Iris Events,
Cake: il Tulipano
DJ: ESP DJ Entertainment

Rustic Chic

In high school, I was on the swim team with Matthew’s cousin Daniella and I met Matthew at her graduation party. Later that summer, before I left to volunteer in South Africa with my mother,Matthew made a two-hour drive at 4am to say goodbye to me at sunrise. From then on, we were inseparable.

Matthew is in the Coast Guard and was stationed in Boston while I was attending Columbia University. He had to work on Christmas day so he asked me, my brother, and sister to spend a few days with him before the holiday. We all explored the city, ate dinner, and then went to see the Christmas tree in Faneuil Hall. Matt suggested we take a photo in front of the tree and as my sister went to take the photo, he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him!

My parents, who are going on 30 years of marriage, met at il Tulipano’s restaurant and my aunt and uncle were married there. My mom suggested I look at the venue and I was blown away as soon as we arrived. I loved that the entire venue could be ours for the day, from the ceremony to the reception. It was a few weeks before Matthew could visit il Tulipano, but once he saw the menu, he was sold. Gregorio Polimeni Jr., the owner, made us feel like family and was with us every step of the way. He worked hard to meet our every request, including ordering a special champagne that my mom and I always had with my great-grandmother, who had passed. It was a simple touch that made a world of difference to my family.

Shanna & Matthew’s Wedding at il Tulipano (Photography: James Joseph LeBlanc)

Shanna & Matthew’s Wedding at il Tulipano (Photography: James Joseph LeBlanc)

For our outdoor ceremony, we wrote our own vows and included a special Love Lock with engraved padlocks to symbolize the start of our new family. One of our friends played piano during cocktail hour, which our guests enjoyed. A slideshow with photos of me and Matthew growing up, our parents’ weddings, and relatives who are no longer with us, was shown on the TV above the fireplace. We had many hors d’eouvres, such as crab cakes with chipotle sauce, skewered shrimp and chorizo, and sea scallops wrapped in pancetta. There were many live-action stations, including the sauté station with shrimp scampi, La Creperie with freshly prepared crêpes and all types of fillings, a steakhouse station with Tomahawk steak and lobster mac and cheese, and a pasta station with cavatelli and rigatoni Amatriciana.

We decorated the ballroom with candles and roses for a romantic elegant ambiance. Our centerpieces were low and full of blush flowers, which matched the blush linens on the tables. We added a rustic look with a handmade photograph card box and wooden letters of our initials.

Dinner started with the il Tulipano signature salad made with warm goat cheese and homemade wine vinegar dressing, followed by lemon sorbet. For the entrée, we offered guests salmon in buerre blanc sauce, grilled prime filet mignon, chicken forestiera, or penne with fresh tomato and basil. Frankie Malak, the pastry chef, created an amazing Godiva chocolate cake with raspberry sauce and iced with chocolate whipped cream. We spent the rest of the night dancing and taking pictures in the photo booth. We left the venue under an arch of sparklers!  

Thank you Gregorio and all the staff at il Tulipano for making our wedding day stress-free and more perfect than we could ever imagine. Most importantly, thank you to our family and friends for helping us celebrate the best day of our lives.

il Tulipano
1131 Pompton Avenue, Cedar Grove, NJ 07009