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real weddings

inspirational stories from real long island weddings

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Arisleidy and Jonathan - 09.27.2015

By Sandra Mardenfeld
Photography By EXO Photography

ARISLEIDY AND JONATHAN'S romance goes back to their playpen days. The two 27-year-olds met at the Nuestros Ninos daycare when they were four. "Our mothers would usually bump into each other and make comments about us getting married when we grew up," said Arisleidy.

Then a February 2012 party at Jonathan's mother's house changed everything. Arisleidy was reading a book by the steps when Jonathan, started to tease her: 'What are you doing reading a book and not interacting with me." For the first time, the two really talked to each other. "His cousins at one point starting chanting my nickname, 'Ari, Ari, Ari Ari ...' it was so embarrassing for me and I just remember my cheeks blushing and everyone noticing." 

 Photo: EXO Photography

The proposal happened on a busy day. Arisleidy wanted to go to a friend's birthday party but Jonathan's family was holding a farewell dinner for his grandfather, who was returning to the Dominican Republic. Arisleidy felt ill so Jonathan suggested she get a mani/pedi to relax. "As we approached his house I noticed there were so many vehicles parked outside, but I didn't think much of it since he has a large family," she said. "Once I entered, I said hello to everyone and noticed that they were a bit more dressed up than usual, but again, ignored it."

Jonathan's mother then told her there was a delivery for Arisleidy, giving her 51 balloons: 50 white and one red. In the red balloon there was a note so Jonathan's sister popped it. Jonathan got down on one knee and asked her, "Will you marry me?" Arisleidy cried and said yes. As he takes me downstairs I noticed that he decorated everything with red and white balloons, a beautiful cake, treats and lots of food." The proposal turned into engagement party.

Their traditional ceremony took place in the church where they both grew up - Transfiguration Roman Catholic Church in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The officiant was Rev. Father Jason N. Espinal, who is the bride's cousin. The church was decorated with many blush pink and white flowers as well as ribbons and tulle. During the ceremony, the bride surprised the groom with a song by Nuria Fergo, "Quiereme."

The bride wore a vanilla mermaid gown with straps and Swarovski crystals and a veil by lnes di Santo. Her shoes were Christian Louboutins. She had a cascading bouquet of orchids and roses with crystals. The bridesmaids had beautiful blush A-line dresses full of appliques and sparkles, made by Jovani. They carried small bouquets of b lush pink and white roses. Flower girls had a ball of flowers on their wrists.

 Photo: EXO Photography

The groom wore a custom made suit, Dolce & Gabbana shoes, Hugo Boss cuff links and a Movado watch. The groomsmen had tuxes from Bloomingdales. After the ceremony, the guests released butterflies for the couple. "My favorite moment was walking down the aisle and seeing so many faces and focusing on reaching him at the altar," said Arisleidy.

The modern-themed reception was at Chateau Briand. The color palette featured blush pink and white with accents of brown and rose gold. Lighting was pink and purple and tables contained candle votives and sparkling crystal nuggets. There were two centerpieces: one of them was a tree with cascading flowers and hanging crystal ball votives; the other was a long vase with three balls of flowers inside and a big flower arrangement on top with branches. Guests also enjoyed a photo booth. 'We loved saying hello to all of our guests and being able to dance with them," said the bride.

The cocktail hour offered tempting items such as bread, cheese and carved fruit displays, mozzarella and tomato, roasted peppers, Italian potato salad, shrimp cocktail, Thai spring roll s, fried ravioli, bruschetta, stuffed mushrooms, rice balls, and seafood scampi. The following meal included Chateau Briand, shrimp oreganata, chicken piccata, duck l'orange, homemade manicotti, his and hers brownie sundaes and, of course, cake. And, what a cake: six tiers full of red velvet and yellow cake with strawberry custard or raspberry and decorated with crystals and fondant.

The couple honeymooned in Playa Mujeres, Mexico for eight days, staying at the Finest Resort. Arisleidy advises brides to not stress with all their wedding plans. "Make sure to have other people help you so that it won't be overwhelming and to write down all the details needed so it can be completed a month prior to the wedding. After all the minor details are done it's all smooth sailing." 


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ARISLEIDY AND JONATHAN'S romance goes back to their playpen days. The two 27-year-olds met at the Nuestros Ninos daycare when they were four. "Our mothers would usually bump into each other and make comments about us getting married when we grew up," said Arisleidy.

Then a February 2012 party at Jonathan's mother's house changed everything. Arisleidy was reading a book by the steps when Jonathan, started to tease her: 'What are you doing reading a book and not interacting with me." For the first time, the two really talked to each other. "His cousins at one point starting chanting my nickname, 'Ari, Ari, Ari Ari ...' it was so embarrassing for me and I just remember my cheeks blushing and everyone noticing." 

 Photo: EXO Photography

The proposal happened on a busy day. Arisleidy wanted to go to a friend's birthday party but Jonathan's family was holding a farewell dinner for his grandfather, who was returning to the Dominican Republic. Arisleidy felt ill so Jonathan suggested she get a mani/pedi to relax. "As we approached his house I noticed there were so many vehicles parked outside, but I didn't think much of it since he has a large family," she said. "Once I entered, I said hello to everyone and noticed that they were a bit more dressed up than usual, but again, ignored it."

Jonathan's mother then told her there was a delivery for Arisleidy, giving her 51 balloons: 50 white and one red. In the red balloon there was a note so Jonathan's sister popped it. Jonathan got down on one knee and asked her, "Will you marry me?" Arisleidy cried and said yes. As he takes me downstairs I noticed that he decorated everything with red and white balloons, a beautiful cake, treats and lots of food." The proposal turned into an engagement party.

Their traditional ceremony took place in the church where they both grew up - Transfiguration Roman Catholic Church in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The officiant was Rev. Father Jason N. Espinal, who is the bride's cousin. The church was decorated with many blush pink and white flowers as well as ribbons and tulle. During the ceremony, the bride surprised the groom with a song by Nuria Fergo, "Quiereme."

The bride wore a vanilla mermaid gown with straps and Swarovski crystals and a veil by lnes di Santo. Her shoes were Christian Louboutins. She had a cascading bouquet of orchids and roses with crystals. The bridesmaids had beautiful blush A-line dresses full of appliques and sparkles, made by Jovani. They carried small bouquets of b lush pink and white roses. Flower girls had a ball of flowers on their wrists.

 Photo: EXO Photography

The groom wore a custom made suit, Dolce & Gabbana shoes, Hugo Boss cuff links and a Movado watch. The groomsmen had tuxes from Bloomingdales. After the ceremony, the guests released butterflies for the couple. "My favorite moment was walking down the aisle and seeing so many faces and focusing on reaching him at the altar," said Arisleidy.

The modern-themed reception was at Chateau Briand. The color palette featured blush pink and white with accents of brown and rose gold. Lighting was pink and purple and tables contained candle votives and sparkling crystal nuggets. There were two centerpieces: one of them was a tree with cascading flowers and hanging crystal ball votives; the other was a long vase with three balls of flowers inside and a big flower arrangement on top with branches. Guests also enjoyed a photo booth. 'We loved saying hello to all of our guests and being able to dance with them," said the bride.

The cocktail hour offered tempting items such as bread, cheese and carved fruit displays, mozzarella and tomato, roasted peppers, Italian potato salad, shrimp cocktail, Thai spring roll s, fried ravioli, bruschetta, stuffed mushrooms, rice balls, and seafood scampi. The following meal included Chateau Briand, shrimp oreganata, chicken piccata, duck l'orange, homemade manicotti, his and hers brownie sundaes and, of course, cake. And, what a cake: six tiers full of red velvet and yellow cake with strawberry custard or raspberry and decorated with crystals and fondant.

The couple honeymooned in Playa Mujeres, Mexico for eight days, staying at the Finest Resort. Arisleidy advises brides to not stress with all their wedding plans. "Make sure to have other people help you so that it won't be overwhelming and to write down all the details needed so it can be completed a month prior to the wedding. After all the minor details are done it's all smooth sailing." 


Wedding Professionals:
Reception Site: Chateau Briand Caterers
Photography & Videography: EXO Photography
Wedding Gown/Veil: Bridal Reflections
Transportation: Lancelot Limousine Services, Inc.
Flowers: Stylish Events
Guest Accommodations: Holiday Inn Westbury
Chair Covers/Linens/Tablecloths: The Finishing Touch
Wedding Cake: Francesco's Bakery
Bridal Registry: Macy's Wedding & Gift Registry