REAL WEDDINGS

Inspirational Stories From Real Long Island Weddings

Brianna and Danny

09.01.2019

By Ivette Manners
Photography By Janelle Brooke Photography

There were instant fireworks when Brianna met Donato (Danny) at a Fourth of July party their mutual friend, Annie, invited her to. When Brianna pulled up to the party at Danny’s house, Annie and Danny went outside to greet her. “She stepped out of her Jeep and I was immediately hooked by her baby blue eyes and the way she blushed at meeting me for the first time,” says Danny. “We smiled at each other and walked into the party. It turned out to be one of the most memorable days of our lives.”

The Fourth of July was special to Brianna. In addition to it being the anniversary of the day she and Danny met, she loves the holiday more than Christmas, so it was a no-brainer for Danny to choose the celebratory summer day to pop the big question. About a month prior to the proposal, Danny asked Brianna’s mom for Brianna’s hand in marriage since her dad had passed away when she was 17. Her mom was over the moon and she and Danny planned a Fourth of July barbecue at the house Brianna grew up in. Brianna’s two sisters who lived in other states would come for the event and her entire extended family attended as well. Her mother was bursting at the seams to keep the secret.

“I thought nothing of the day,” says Brianna. “Actually, I was a little mean to Danny that morning because it was our 5-year anniversary and it seemed that he didn’t have a gift for me. Little did I know that a diamond ring was coming that afternoon.” In the middle of the barbecue, Danny stopped the festivities and asked for Brianna’s attention. “He called me over and he had something for me, says Brianna. “He handed me a red card and I thought he was gifting me a vacation because we had been talking about going on one for the past year.” But inside of the card read ‘Brianna, will you marry me?... P. S. Please say yes!’ When Brianna looked up he was down on one knee holding a diamond ring and Brianna said yes between happy tears.

Brianna and Danny had a traditional Catholic ceremony where a few of their family members did readings. Brianna walked down the aisle wearing a Paloma Blanca A-line gown and a cathedral-length veil. “I walked down the aisle by myself because I felt that no one could fill my father’s shoes on my special day,” says Brianna. “I carried a bouquet of flowers with a photo of my dad and a blue jay feather in it because I am convinced that he visits me via a blue jay.” After the ceremony, the newlywed couple dashed in a Rolls Royce to their reception at The Vineyards at Aquebogue on Long Island’s North Fork. The celebration started off with a wine tasting of local wines, followed by the cocktail hour with a farm-to-table station, raw bar, antipasto table, cigar table, and outdoor games. The reception began with the couple’s first dance and went right into everyone dancing to “Brick House” by The Commodores, Brianna’s father’s favorite song. “We asked that everyone dance to it and it was the perfect way to kick off the party,” says Brianna. After the first and second courses, the maid of honor, one of Brianna’s sisters, made a speech and toasted with Budweiser beer in honor of the way their dad always made his toasts. Then it was dancing all night long to the DJ and a saxophone player.

“The entire day was so memorable. It’s hard to pick just one of my favorite memories,” says Brianna. “But if I were to pinpoint my best part of the day it would be the hour we had together taking pictures alone at the farm. It gave us five minutes to enjoy being married, enjoying the moment, and enjoying each other. 

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There were instant fireworks when Brianna met Donato (Danny) at a Fourth of July party their mutual friend, Annie, invited her to. When Brianna pulled up to the party at Danny’s house, Annie and Danny went outside to greet her. “She stepped out of her Jeep and I was immediately hooked by her baby blue eyes and the way she blushed at meeting me for the first time,” says Danny. “We smiled at each other and walked into the party. It turned out to be one of the most memorable days of our lives.”

The Fourth of July was special to Brianna. In addition to it being the anniversary of the day she and Danny met, she loves the holiday more than Christmas, so it was a no-brainer for Danny to choose the celebratory summer day to pop the big question. About a month prior to the proposal, Danny asked Brianna’s mom for Brianna’s hand in marriage since her dad had passed away when she was 17. Her mom was over the moon and she and Danny planned a Fourth of July barbecue at the house Brianna grew up in. Brianna’s two sisters who lived in other states would come for the event and her entire extended family attended as well. Her mother was bursting at the seams to keep the secret.

“I thought nothing of the day,” says Brianna. “Actually, I was a little mean to Danny that morning because it was our 5-year anniversary and it seemed that he didn’t have a gift for me. Little did I know that a diamond ring was coming that afternoon.” In the middle of the barbecue, Danny stopped the festivities and asked for Brianna’s attention. “He called me over and said he had something for me, says Brianna. “He handed me a red card and I thought he was gifting me a vacation because we had been talking about going on one for the past year.” But inside of the card read ‘Brianna, will you marry me?... P. S. Please say yes!’ When Brianna looked up he was down on one knee holding a diamond ring and Brianna said yes between happy tears.

Brianna and Danny had a traditional Catholic ceremony where a few of their family members did readings. Brianna walked down the aisle wearing a Paloma Blanca A-line gown and a cathedral-length veil. “I walked down the aisle by myself because I felt that no one could fill my father’s shoes on my special day,” says Brianna. “I carried a bouquet of flowers with a photo of my dad and a blue jay feather in it because I am convinced that he visits me via a blue jay.” After the ceremony, the newlywed couple dashed in a Rolls Royce to their reception at The Vineyards at Aquebogue on Long Island’s North Fork. The celebration started off with a wine tasting of local wines, followed by the cocktail hour with a farm-to-table station, raw bar, antipasto table, cigar table, and outdoor games. The reception began with the couple’s first dance and went right into everyone dancing to “Brick House” by The Commodores, Brianna’s father’s favorite song. “We asked that everyone dance to it and it was the perfect way to kick off the party,” says Brianna. After the first and second courses, the maid of honor, one of Brianna’s sisters, made a speech and toasted with Budweiser beer in honor of the way their dad always made his toasts. Then it was dancing all night long to the DJ and a saxophone player.

“The entire day was so memorable. It’s hard to pick just one of my favorite memories,” says Brianna. “But if I were to pinpoint my best part of the day it would be the hour we had together taking pictures alone at the farm. It gave us five minutes to enjoy being married, enjoying the moment, and enjoying each other. 

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