Our story was always unconventional. From all-Adidas outfits to warehouse parties to adventures around the globe, our worlds were spinning so quickly that sometimes it was hard for us to catch up. But without realizing it, our lives collided, and it was as if everything stopped. We met on the dance floor and never could have predicted that five years later we’d be holding one another during our first dance as husband and wife.
Bill was a Jersey boy who spent the back half of his adolescence in Virginia, while I fast-tracked to New York City from St. James, Long Island after high school. As we started dating, our relationship was surrounded by the sights and sounds of NYC and, eventually, Jersey City. In 2019, Bill proposed at my favorite restaurant. He hid the ring in a cherished book from my childhood, highlighting a chapter called “The Unbreakable Vow.”
Once the planning started, we both knew that we wanted a wedding destination that inspired wanderlust. With flying out of the question because of Bill's parents, Saratoga felt like the best place to give our guests an escape without being too far from home. And I summered there as a child—perfect!
Then came COVID, no further explanation needed. No one could have predicted how unconventional 2020 would be. The chaos of planning, changing, canceling, rescheduling, and re-imagining. But despite it all, everything culminated in one perfect moment, and our greatest adventure yet ...marriage! In July of 2020, there was a glimmer of hope with the new 50-person mandate. Bill and I realized that some things only come around once in a lifetime, and our wedding was one of those things. Our day could happen, and it would on 10/10/20.
It’s safe to say our wedding day was a little different than what we envisioned. We were forced to reevaluate our event more than a couple of times. But with the help of the community around us—led by my mother and the amazing event planner at The Adelphi Hotel, Connie Slocum—we were able to plan something special that let our personalities and love shine through.
Bill and I turned what was originally planned to be our rehearsal dinner into an intimate, romantic, and minimal celebration focused on sharing the milestone with people who have been a part of our journey. Connie did an incredible job following COVID regulations while effortlessly curating a unique experience for us and our guests. Chef Kyle created a five-course tasting menu featuring hamachi crudo and cavatelli. Pastry Chef Jennifer crafted a tiered espresso cake covered in black fondant as the perfect end to our meal. The Adelphi was a beautiful backdrop and we loved it from the start. But we didn’t think we’d be able to celebrate there, due to our original wedding size—funny how things work out!
For my wedding day wardrobe, I wanted to lean towards an elegant and classic style inspired by Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy. I had a memorable experience at Something Bleu Bridal where I found a silk Flora bridal gown. It exuded the power and beauty I felt by getting married in 2020 against all odds. They even contacted the tailor, Will Fit U In, that day to ensure it would be ready in time for my big day. My accessories were paired perfectly with a hairpiece from Lelet NY and black satin Manolo Blahnik heels. Bill opted for a black Indochino suit and Christian Louboutin shoes.
No look would be complete without hair and makeup. Alayne and her team at Make Me Fabulous were very flexible and adapted to event changes until the day of. Alayne created a sweet but natural look for my makeup and a modern-day twist on a classic bun for my hair. Her team also flawlessly covered a dog bite mark on Bill's face and a bruise on Bill's mom, Joyce—both incidents that happened the day before the wedding. They are true masters of their craft.
The devil was in the details when it came to creating an effortlessly elegant wedding vibe, and Carrie from Blooms For Rooms made countless mood boards to bring our vision to life. They used white roses and orchids with black accents, plus dozens of candles including black taper candles surrounded by mini Saratoga Olive Oil bottles to light up the room. The candles also stood as representations of all the friends and family that could not attend.
To help us memorialize our once-in-a-lifetime event, we tapped photographer Zaza Weissgerber to do the wedding and engagement photos. Using natural light and architectural elements to evoke emotion and bring memories to life, I can see why she has been featured in Forbes, as well as the Wall Street Journal. As soon as we started re-planning, we knew that her energy and talent were a must for our gathering. We flew her in from Denver, along with her protege Ava Andranikian, to capture the day. They did not disappoint. We capped off our troupe of female visual artists with Leann from Fyvie Films. She specializes in intimate storytelling, making her the perfect addition to our team. The three worked seamlessly together, capturing getting ready photos, my walk down the aisle, and one of our most treasured wedding moments: the misty-eyed mother and son dance. This was, unknowingly, one of the last times Bill would embrace Joyce before her untimely passing a month later.
Finally, we descended the elevator of the Pavilion Grand Hotel, masks in hand. That’s when it hit us that we were doing it! On our grand tour of Saratoga Springs, chauffeured by Premier Transportation, we made a pit stop for an espresso at Uncommon Grounds. The coffee helped calm the nerves. We entered The Adelphi Hotel, not looking back, as Robert Zampino sound-checked his piano for my aisle song “Fix You” by Coldplay. My younger brothers prepped to take their places at the top of the altar—one of whom was marrying us. Taking my final breaths before walking down the aisle—with both mom and dad by my side—I realized that the greatest luxury of all was being able to celebrate our marriage. With so few opportunities to create memories together in 2020, our wedding was an event that re-instilled our belief in against-all-odds love, and that is worth celebrating.
In loving memory of Joyce Subjack.
Wedding Date October 9, 2020
Paper Signing Party October 10, 2020
Location Adelphi Hotel
Getting Ready The Pavilion Grand Hotel
Videographer Fyvie Films
Stationery Suite Paperless Post
Wedding Gown Something Bleu by Flora Bridal
Paper Signing Party Gown A.L.C
Bride's Shoes Manolo Blahnik (wedding day), Jimmy Choo (Paper Signing Party)
Bridesmaids' Dresses Amsale and Jenny Yoo
Groomsmen Attire Indochino
Groom's Shoes Christian Louboutin
Hair & Makeup Make Me Fabulous Salon
Hair Piece Lelet NY (wedding day), Cosmic Creations (Paper Signing Party)
Rings Stephanie Gottleib and Tiffany & Co.
Jewelry Ring Concierge (earrings), The One I Love NYC (necklace), Catbird Brooklyn (bracelets)
Flowers Blooms for Rooms
Caterer Kyle Hendrickson (wedding day), Mama Mias Saratoga (Paper Signing Party)
Cake Jennifer McNeil (wedding day), Saratoga Cake Mom (Paper Signing Party)
Paper Signing Party Dessert Miki A Baker
Cake Topper Polymer Clay Portraits
Transportation Premiere Transportation
DJ or Band Robert 'Bobby' Zampino
First Dance "At Last" by Etta James
Paper Signing Party Rentals All Occasion Chiaviar Rentals
Special Touches... Multi-course tasting menu and signature drinks. Bills Mom passed away suddenly less than a month after the event making their mother/son dance extra special. Decorations were primarily candles to 'represent' all of the loved ones that could only attend from afar.
Advice to Pass Along... The beauty of wedding planning, even during 2020 was hard to see in the moment. It provided unique challenges and unusual events. Ultimately, it helped me re-align my priorities, understand the true meaning of love and never forget what was truly important in the end (marrying the love of my life one way or another). My advice would be to hold onto all of those things because its the only true way to stay grounded.