Christine and Tim

Peapack-Gladstone, New Jersey



Photography | Clane Gessel Photography | @clanegessel

Venue | Natirar Mansion | @natirar1912

Event Designer | Leslie Mastin Events @lesliemastinevents

Floral Designer | Jerry Rose Floral + Event Design @jerryroseevents

Gown Salon | Mark Ingram Atelier @markingramatelier

Lighting | Frost Productions | @frostproductionsnyc

How and when did you two meet?

We met through a high school friend of mine. She had met Tim in Philadelphia and thought he’d be the perfect match for me, so she introduced us via Facebook. After chatting back and forth for several weeks, we decided to go out on a date in September 2011. Tim knew I was a foodie, and he knew the chef at Le Cirque, so he made a plan to meet there for dinner. I will never forget the smile that lit up his face and eyes when I first set eyes on him. We talked like we had know each other our whole lives, and the evening passed by so quickly that we hardly noticed that we were the last couple in the restaurant. Being a gentleman, he called a car to see me home, and we made plans to meet for brunch the next day.


The next morning, Tim called me at 7am because he couldn’t wait to see me again. We met up at Bubby’s, a popular restaurant in Tribeca, and had brunch followed by a walk along the Hudson river. There, he held my hand for the first time, and it just felt so right. He is embarrassed whenever I say this, but on that second date, he told me that he “wanted to have a long-term monogamous relationship with me, the kind that leads towards marriage”. Little did I know that long-term meant nearly 7 years, but it was well worth the wait! We have been committed to each other from the start, and marriage for us felt natural. I walked down the aisle already knowing that he was always going to be there for me, and I for him.


How did the proposal take place?

Tim proposed to me on my birthday at the very same place we had taken a walk on our second date: on the pier in Tribeca overlooking the Hudson River. We had just had a romantic dinner to celebrate my birthday on a vintage schooner that had been turned into a floating oyster bar. As we were walking home along the river, he said that the sunset was beautiful and that I should take a photo, so I took out my phone and turned to take a picture. When I turned back around to face him, he was down on one knee with the ring in his hand asking me to marry him. There were so many people walking around us, but in that moment, it was as if they didn’t exist and it was just him and me.


What was your fondest wedding moment?

I have two moments that were my favorite during the wedding day. The first was, of course, the first look. Clane, our photographer, had asked Tim to stand on the edge of the hill overlooking the 500 acre park where our wedding venue was situated, and told Tim not to look behind him until he gave the word. I walked out of the mansion onto the lawn towards Tim with our beagle, Copper (the ring bearer). I hate to sound cliché, but when Tim felt me walking towards him, and Clane said to turn to look at me, my heart skipped a beat and all the happiest memories of our relationship together raced through my mind. Everything that we had done and strived for as a couple culminated in this one moment. Our photographer, Clane Gessel, captured this exact instant perfectly.


The second fondest wedding moment was the best man speech. Tim’s two sons, Matt and Sam, gave an impromptu speech that was so heartfelt and moving it brought me to tears. They said that they had heard all the horror stories and tales of evil step-monsters, but that after they met me, they knew they were all untrue. The funny thing is that they said they feel lucky to have me, but I really think I am the lucky one of have such kind, loving, and sweet stepsons. Their speech was completely unexpected, and so very touching.

Where do you reside and what are your occupations?

We reside in both Tribeca in NYC and Summit, NJ. Tim runs his own cyber security firm, and I am a freelance art conservator / restorer. Tim was a worldwide top ten middle distance runner (800 and 1500 meters). I was a conservator at the Smithsonian and the Metropolitan Museum of Art before going freelance. When his youngest son, Sam, met me for the first time, he asked what I did. I told him I restore old things. He said, “dad, she’s perfect for you!!”.


We’ve also just discovered our latent talents at house restoration. We recently moved into a 1903 Victorian home in Summit, NJ and have greatly enjoyed spending our weekends fixing it up.


What advice do you have for future brides?

Don’t stress. Assemble a good team around you to help you do all the work. Hire a wedding planner and event designer whose expertise and style match your budget and vision, then let them take all the stress of planning a wedding away. Leslie, our wedding planner, found and organized all the vendors, kept us on budget and on schedule. Jerry Rose, our event designer, organized all the floral arrangements and designs, lighting, and rentals. All we had to do was show up!!


Our wedding ceremony was supposed to be outdoors, but at the last minute, the weather turned quite nasty with torrential rainfall (2 inches per hour!) and flooding. Not for a moment did we worry about whether or not we could pull off the indoor ceremony in time with 200 guests arriving all at once by chartered bus. We knew we were in good hands, and everything turned out beautifully. Jerry Rose’s designs for our wedding were above and beyond our highest expectations. He made the impromptu indoor ceremony space feel as if we were outdoors with a ceiling filled with trailing greenery and orchids.