For ALL Couples Getting Married

How about an adorable wedding story from Photo DH before we head into Memorial Day weekend? Amanda and Markin met on Cinco de Mayo in 2013. The two were at D’Jais down the Jersey shore when they locked eyes from across the bar. “I saw him step out with a friend to the patio area. I pleaded with my best friend (and future maid of honor) for us to go talk to Markin and his friend,” Amanda shared. They briefly chatted, exchanged numbers, and not long after, had their first date in Brooklyn at a Knicks game. The early stages of dating were filled with concerts, trips down the shore, and getting to know each other’s circles, but Amanda knew Markin was the one just a couple of months into dating. For their anniversary, the couple (who were together for six years at this point) traveled to the Dominican Republic. This particular trip might have been special for Markin (who hadn’t visited the country where he was born for 20 years), but he pulled all the stops to surprise Amanda. He worked alongside their resort butler, Alejandro, to set up a romantic dinner on the beach the Friday night of their vacation. It was after the first course that Markin got down on one knee and proposed with a 2.2-carat elongated radiant ring. They celebrated with an impromptu sunset engagement shoot in paradise. We particularly love all the ways they incorporated their fur baby into their wedding at The Estate at Florentine Gardens, but you’ll have to continue reading below to see the big surprise and heartfelt moments.

From the bride…Our wedding day was perfect.  Everyone says something WILL go wrong, I was so nervous the Weekend leading up to the Wedding but when the day actually came – everything went so smoothly and all my vendors were an absolute dream to work with. My favorite memory of the day was definitely the Ceremony.  There’s so much anticipation and we simply could not wait to see each other in front of our families confessing our love.


Guests were invited to the late August celebration with custom invitations designed by Lace and Belle. The suite featured the couple’s monogram and names in gold foil, ecru linen, and a chic navy back pocket to hold the accommodation, details, and response cards. They even had a custom wax seal of a French bulldog to represent their dog, Tank. “I loved our invitations. They were so timeless!” Amanda raved.


Amanda knew she would wear a gown designed by Berta Bridal. She visited the Saks Fifth Avenue store while they were having a trunk show and tried on four gowns, but wasn’t getting that bridal moment. The consultant showed Amanda one last dress, and she immediately fell in love with the fitted silhouette, pearl straps, deep plunge neckline, and pearl and floral appliqué embellishments. Amanda’s favorite part, though, was the overlay skirt that she would be able to remove for the reception. On the wedding day, Amanda accessorized with a pearl and crystal headpiece from Bridal Styles Boutique, linear pearl earrings, a diamond tennis bracelet (a wedding gift from her husband), and glitter Jimmy Choo shoes.


A beautiful outdoor ceremony space was one of the must-haves on Amanda and Markin’s venue checklist. The couple decided to marry on the grounds of The Estate at Florentine Gardens underneath a floral arch made by the bride’s father. Prior to the garden ceremony, the couple had their first look, and Photo DH captured formal portraits, which eased any pre-wedding jitters. “We really wanted to enjoy the day together and we felt by doing the first look, we would have more time to do so.”


Even the couple’s pup made an appearance during the ceremony! “Tank was a surprise set up by my husband the day of the wedding. I had no idea how he was going to be incorporated into our special day. Right before the ring exchanges, the best man (who is a bit of a jokester) said he didn’t have the rings. I just thought it was a joke. But then when I started to see the concern on the rest of the bridal party’s faces, I knew he truly did NOT have the rings. Finally my dad said that my mom had them, and my mom ran to the back of the ceremony, and when she came back, she had our beloved Tank wearing the most adorable tuxedo, and the rings were tied to his back,” the bride recalled.


Following the outdoor ceremony, guests enjoyed cocktail hour, and then headed inside the Florentine Garden’s grand ballroom for dinner and dancing. The couple carried the romantic aesthetic through the décor with white floral centerpieces, floating candles, candelabras, and tables draped in ivory-hued linens.


See more from this real wedding in the latest Spring/Summer 2020 edition of Contemporary Weddings Magazine on newsstands now!

Ceremony & Reception Location: The Estate at Florentine Gardens / Officiant: Father John Michael O’Sullivan / Photographer: Photo DH / Cinematographer & Entertainment: Sal Travis Entertainment / Floral Designer: Santos Florist / Cake Designer: Palermo’s Bakery / Wedding Gown Designer: Berta Bridal / Veil: Vera Wang / Headpiece: Bridal Styles Boutique / Shoes: Jimmy Choo / Formal Attire: Ralph Lauren / Bridesmaid Dresses: Alfred Sung / Invitations and Day-of Stationery: Lace and Belle / Favors: Donations / Hair Stylist: Bridals by Marina / Makeup Artist: Makeup by Jay Saunz / Jeweler: Raineri Jewelers / Honeymoon Location: Aruba

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