From our first conversation over the phone with Larissa, we knew we were going to be in for a treat on their wedding day and as the months passed by, were almost just as excited for the day to finally arrive as they were! Their wedding day was full of special and secret performances, personalized touches, unique traditions and amazing talent! Plus, they’re such a down to earth, easy-going couple (which was very much evident from the moment we first spoke). Larissa and Bill are just so much fun to be around and their wedding really proved that!
Larissa and Bill met about seventeen years ago in an acting class in New York City. At the time, Bill was just beginning his acting career while Larissa was in the process of leaving this art, so it was such a fantastic, fateful decision they each made to join this class. They began dating in July of 2001 after they realized they “had more than just stage chemistry”! On April 21, 2017 on the 50th anniversary of the day Larissa’s parents met, Bill took Larissa to dinner to celebrate her birthday which was just one day earlier. Well, earlier that week, she had already discovered signs that a proposal might be coming, like the faces Bill made with her family when he thought she wasn’t looking and the suit he made unusual work-related excuses to be wearing that evening. We love how Larissa described that night’s events (ranging from “bizarre” to “adorable”!) that started with visiting key relationship sites and having “weirdo” conversations. The extraordinary evening culminated with a visit to a quiet lounge in her old neighborhood where at 2:30am, Bill managed to bribe the bartender to hijack the bar’s sound system with a playlist he had made of “their songs”. He popped the question officially and the rest, as Larissa says, is “surreal history”!
This amazing wedding event was all held at one of our favorite venues, The Ashford Estate, in Allentown, NJ. Larissa and her bridal party enjoyed spending time together and getting all dolled up with help from Hot Mess Studio while Bill and his groomsmen got ready in a nearby suite. They also made sure to take time out of their preparations to read beautiful love notes that they had written earlier for each other.
Then, Larissa dressed into her elegant wedding gown… and she was such a breathtaking bride! Her dress had a gorgeous off the shoulder short sleeve design, delicate buttons down the back and an amazing full skirt. Under her long, auburn hair, she wore dazzling dangle earrings and her necklace held her grandmother’s engagement diamond, a diamond that belonged to her great grandmother before that. And for her reception, Larissa wore a delicate floral crown that couldn’t have been more romantic.
Before the ceremony began there at the Ashford Estate, Larissa and Bill met each other outside for their first look. It was such a precious moment as Larissa couldn’t hold back her tears and Bill was completely overwhelmed. Once again, we were so thrilled to be filming a wedding with Drew Noel as the event photographer! His talent is beyond words and it’s always so terrific to work with him and his assistant.
Larissa and Bill’s ceremony was filled with such thoughtful personalization. There in the chapel at Ashford, Larissa’s grandparent’s chandelier hung above their heads and illuminated the room. Larissa and Bill’s good friends, Christine and Jason, officiated their ceremony, which also included a traditional Irish bell ceremony to honor Bill’s heritage. After a beautiful reading by their friend, Andrea, Larissa and Bill recited vows they wrote for each other, vows that were so natural and so honest, and were pronounced ‘husband and wife’!
It was then time for the big celebration to begin! The Ashford Estate’s beauty was enhanced with striking décor in the same bright florals found in the bridal and bridesmaids’ bouquets by Katydid Signature Floral & Event Design. Bake Works created a delectable multi-tiered white wedding cake that featured pops of red in lush blooms. Larissa and Bill also made sure to have a pierogies station at the reception in honor of Larissa’s Polish heritage.
There were lots of surprises and tons of fun during their reception! Did we mention that Larissa is a wonderful singer and songwriter? She’s in an a cappella group and for her wedding, organized a surprise performance in honor of her parents after the toasts. Later, Larissa surprised Bill with a beautiful song she wrote just for him. It was so special and emotions were definitely running high! In between the touching surprises, the Franklin and Alison Dance Band got everyone on that dance floor and kept them dancing all evening!
What a fantastic wedding day this was! We were so happy to be there as it really was such a delight just to be a part of it all! Congratulations and best wishes for a lifetime of love to Larissa and Bill!
Photographer: Drew Noel Photography – Ewing, NJ
Floral Design: Katydid Signature Floral & Event Design – Spring Lake, NJ
Hair Stylist: Hot Mess Studio – Asbury Park, NJ
Makeup Artist: Hot Mess Studio – Asbury Park, NJ
Entertainment: The Franklin and Alison Dance Band – Princeton, NJ
Cake: Bake Works
Officiants: Christine and Jason Woodcock
Venue: The Ashford Estate – Allentown, NJ
April 12th, 2018
by Kristi Chapman
in New Jersey Wedding Film