“One of my favorite things to do as the younger sister is snoop. In Marissa’s journal, she wrote that the best day ever was the day I was born. I’m so happy to be here celebrating her new best day.” Marissa’s sister, Linnea, exclaimed in her Maid of Honor toast. Alex and Marissa are officially married and it really was the best day at the State Room in Albany, New York.
Marissa and Alex met when they worked together in customer service at a tech start up in Schenectady, New York. They both share a love for board games and checking out new restaurants and breweries. They push the other to try something new or put something in perspective when the other is stressed. Marissa and Alex had been great friends from the moment they met, but you never know how dating a friend can turn out. Thankfully, it was amazing for these two!
Marissa and Alex had a pretty crazy summer last year, so they missed their usual anniversary date night. On September 21st, they decided to celebrate. As luck would have it Marissa would get a bad cold that week and was a bit feverish that night. Alex made a dinner of mac and cheese (both of our favorites as we found out over breakfast), and gave a couple belated anniversary gifts. The last was a 5 year daily question journal where he changed the daily question to “Will You Marry Me?” Of course Marissa said yes! Marissa did have an idea it was coming when her dad accidentally mentioned getting dinner with Alex which she didn’t know was happening. As a daddy’s girl, she could tell he was getting his blessing.
We first met Marissa and Alex at our Virginia wedding last year, where Marissa was a bridesmaid. Nicole urged her to reach out to us and we couldn’t be more thankful! We formed a bond over brunch in April when the pair travelled down to Florida for their engagement session. Finally, the time arrived for us to head to New York for their Labor Day weekend wedding. Jack and I couldn’t have been more excited. With our new friend, Hurricane Dorian, lurking over our shoulders, we hopped on a plane to Albany.
We were greeted with open arms on Marissa and Alex’s wedding day. Literally. Marissa’s mom, Mary, hugged me immediately and welcomed us to the new city. We felt so much like family within the first 20 seconds of walking through the getting ready room door! Everyone at the wedding was so sweet and made us outsiders feel at home.
The State Room Wedding Day
Our favorite part of this wedding day had to be the first look. Alex was driven to the New York State Capitol building in a 1940 Cadillac Limousine, provided by the venue. He sat down outside of the Capitol to read his card from Marissa and open his gift. Arriving in the Cadillac as he was reading his card, Marissa watched Alex trying hard to hold back his tears. Marissa was a little anxious stepping out of the vehicle, but so ready to be with her groom.
Jack brought Alex to the front of the building to meet his bride-to-be. Walking down the sidewalk to her groom, Marissa tapped Alex on his shoulder. His face when he turned around was priceless. With his hand over his mouth, the tears started flowing as he looked in awe of his future bride. We can’t blame him, Marissa looked STUNNING. You could see the genuine love in their eyes and we were tearing up behind our cameras. Such a beautiful moment that we will never forget.
There was no shortage of tears on this wedding day, and honestly, it’s our favorite part. Seeing the couple, family, and friends so emotional on the wedding day shows just how much they care. From the bridesmaids when they first saw Marissa in her gorgeous Willowby wedding dress, all the way to the toasts at the reception, the emotions on this wedding day ran high. It truly is amazing to experience.
Tell us about your wedding! What was the inspiration behind your day? Did you have a specific theme, style or color palette?
We were looking for a classically themed venue that still allowed for a bit of fun and less traditional elements as well. The color palette was jewel tones and metallic colors, with ivory accent. We did not have any cultural or religious traditions; a close friend helped write and performed our ceremony. He provided an outline for us but added sentimental surprises that added to the moment.
Let’s talk wedding decor. How did you decorate your space for the ceremony and the reception?
Our ceremony was performed in the same location as the reception. The venue did a great job of make each moment feel unique, using curtains to hide dinner tables during the ceremony, and quickly changing the entire look and feel for the reception during cocktail hour. Much of the decor was provided by the venue; the marble building, chandelier, painted ceiling, and other decorations had a great classic look to them that we did not want to compete with what the venue provided. All of the signs were designed by the Maiden of Honor, the bride’s sister. The ring box was wood burned by a good friend.
What were the florals like in your wedding? Did you use flowers in any of your design elements like the bridal bouquets, centerpieces or ceremony backdrop? Did they play an important part in the overall style of your wedding?
We wanted to pull in the ivory and maroon from the venue and bridesmaid’s dresses respectively. Additionally, a bit of greenery was added, where appropriate, to provide a bit of contrast. Our favorite addition was the floral spray over the raised altar, which eventually became the sweetheart table. We focused on roses and a few other flowers for texture.
Did you personalize the day in any way (food trucks, guest entertainment etc.)? What were some of your favorite parts of your wedding?
A few things: one of our close friends officiated our wedding, one of the beers on tap was brewed specifically for us by another close friend, and we included late-night snacks and sundaes for fun! Favorite parts of the wedding (beyond getting married): While there were many, the DJ did a great job of engaging with the crowd and keeping everyone dancing the entire night. Additionally, we did an anniversary dance where the groom’s godparents (aunt and uncle) ended up as the final couple; the reaction from their kids was priceless. Finally, the food was great!
Let’s talk fashion. How did you both choose your wedding day look? Describe the looks in detail.
Bride: I went shopping with my sister, mom and now mother in law. All I decided was something A-line and probably more classic. After a day of shopping at the last boutique this dress (in blush) was on a mannequin, At first I was hesitant to try it on, however, my family suggested I gave it a try. The large lace appliques added such a modern twist on a classic concept. It was prefect fro the venue and day. The earrings were a gift from Alex and the bracelet I wore was narrowed from his mother. Groom: I wanted something that helped capture the importance of the event without feeling too formal. Navy is a classic color that works well with the wine/ maroon of the bridesmaid’s dresses, as well as against the ivory of the wedding dress.
How did you meet? Tell us about the proposal.
We first met working together in customer service at a tech start up in Schenectady, New York. We both share a love for board games and checking out new restaurants and breweries. We push the other to try something new or put something in perspective when the other is stressed. After being friends for about a year, we decided to start dating. Last summer was pretty crazy with travel around the world (for other weddings) so we missed our usual anniversary date night. On September 21st, we decided to celebrate. As luck would have it Marissa got a bad cold that week and was a bit feverish that night. Alex made a dinner of mac and cheese (her favorite), and gave a couple belated anniversary gifts. The last was a 5 year daily question journal where he changed the daily question to “Will You Marry Me?” with Alex getting down on one knee as she read it. Of course Marissa said yes! Marissa did have an idea it was coming when her dad accidentally mentioned getting dinner with Alex which she didn’t know was happening. As a daddy’s girl, she could tell he was getting his blessing.
What was the most anticipated or special moment of your wedding day?
We exchanged notes/letters right before the first look. It was nice to sit down and take a moment to try and verbalize the emotions of the day, privately. Immediately seeing each other after just added to the excitement and took away some of the pressure that usually comes with the day.
Do you have any wedding planning or marriage advice that you’d like to share with other couples planning their day?
Someone gave is some great advice that we wanted to pass along: Everyone says that your wedding day is blur, they’re right, but they never tell you why. Your wedding is the only time where everyone you love is in one location just to celebrate you, and wants to savor that moment with you. Don’t forget to take a step back through all of the hugs, handshakes, and conversations, to just enjoy the moment and appreciate that those people traveled from near and far to celebrate you.