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To Destiny // Stefanie + Mark

We could hardly wait for the wedding of this super sweet couple to arrive! Stefanie and Mark met during the pandemic as many other couples do, via a dating app. They were both living in Maryland, however on their first date, they found out that they both grew up only 20 minutes from each other in New Jersey! They also discovered that they had many similar interests and over time, their relationship continued to grow.

Mark decided to propose to Stefanie while they were on a vacation with her family in the beautiful Caribbean island of Aruba. He was in cahoots with Stefanie's sister for weeks before the proposal, and they scoped out the perfect spot to pop the question while on the trip. As Mark proposed, Stefanie's sister hid behind a bush and filmed and took photos of the happy moment! Stefanie said 'yes!', then her family met them and they all enjoyed a wonderful celebratory dinner.

groom in military dress
bridal party in floral pjs

Both Stefanie and Mark got ready for their big day at the venue where their reception would later take place, Crystal Plaza in Livingston, New Jersey. Mark, a Marine veteran, dressed into his formal dress blues for the ceremony. His groomsmen wore classic black tuxedos for the wedding and the beautiful bridal party dressed in varying shades of blue.

maids of honor help bride with gown
bride having makeup applied on wedding day
bride and her mother on wedding morning

And Stefanie wore a such gorgeous wedding gown! It was an incredible lace covered dress with a deep-V neckline and a lovely ball gown silhouette. She wore her hair in a chic updo and accessorized with a long veil for the ceremony. What a beautiful bride!

st philomena catholic church wedding
bride walking down aisle with her father

The couple's traditional ceremony took place just around the corner at Saint Philomena Roman Catholic Church. Their ceremony also included traditional Filipino sponsors in keeping with Mark's family heritage. The two recited traditional vows, exchanged rings, were given blessings and pronounced as 'husband and wife'.

bride and groom in military sword ceremony
bride and groom holding hands

Stefanie and Mark had a special Marine sword ceremony outside the church following the marriage ceremony. We love all the 'pomp and circumstance' involved with the time-honored, formal military tradition. Photos of the sword ceremony and of the full day's events were taken by our friend Drew Noel and team. You can get a sneak peak of one of the dramatic shots on his instagram site!

reception decor at crystal plaza

Mark then changed into a classic tuxedo for the reception back at Crystal Plaza. The reception space itself was beautifully decorated with long tables featuring tall floral centerpieces with white blooms and luscious greenery from Dalsimer Spitz & Peck. And they don't call it the Crystal Plaza without a reason... the amazing chandeliers hanging from the dome ceiling are simply spectacular!

bride dancing with her father at reception

Stefanie and Mark shared a romantic first dance, and later, those sweet dances with their parents took center stage at their reception.

bride and groom kiss outside under veil

The most perfect toasts were given next! After a beautiful blessing was given, Stefanie's father and mother gave lovely speech about Stefanie's grandparents and wished all the best to the couple. Stefanie had two matrons of honor, her sister and her oldest friend, who gave toasts amid happy tears, while Mark's brother and his good friend from the Marines served as his best men and toasted Stefanie and Mark. We loved all their very poetic speeches, complete with sentimental stories, funny imitations, good advice and love.

Then everyone got out on the dance floor and danced the evening away. Stefanie and Mark's guests definitely know how to have fun! And DJ Yoshi is the expert in keeping the party going strong all night!

bride and groom's hands in embrace

Everything was simply perfect for this wonderful wedding day. We thank Stefanie and Mark, and congratulate and wish them a lifetime of love and happiness!

bride and groom photo shoot at reception

Photographer: Drew Noel Photography - Ewing, NJ

Floral Design: Dalsimer Spitz & Peck - Livingston, NJ

Hair Stylist: Save the Date Beauty & Artistry - Alexis Medina Petty - New Jersey

Makeup Artist: Save the Date Beauty & Artistry - Jessica Korkowski - New Jersey

Wedding Dress: Seng Couture - North Plainfield, NJ

Bridal Shoes: Betsey Johnson (reception sneakers)

Entertainment: DJ Yoshi - New York, NY

Cake: Palermo's Bakery - Little Ferry, NJ

Event Decor & Stationery: Melissa Switzer Graphic Design - New Jersey

Officiant: Rev. Msgr. Robert Fuhrman - Livingston, NJ

Church: Saint Philomena Roman Catholic Church - Livingston, NJ

Venue: Crystal Plaza - Livingston, NJ


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