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How we met:
When people ask me where I’m from, it’s a bit of a complicated answer. Born in Detroit, Chicago 2 different times, Connecticut for high school, Pennsylvania for college (and this is without mentioning South Dakota for a year!). But my favorite slice of upbringing by far and away is Melbourne, Australia, where I lived with my family for 6 years as I was growing up. My very best friend in Australia, Ellen and I have kept our friendship alive through cross continent visits, face-timing and texts. I was even honored to stand by her side as she got married in 2013. In the summer of 2012 Ellen texted me saying that she had a friend, Chris, who was moving from Melbourne, Australia to NYC (where I had been based post-college since 2011) and that he didn’t really know anyone and it would be great if I wouldn’t mind meeting up with him for drinks.
I immediately answered yes (who doesn’t love an Aussie accent?!) and she said he would be friending me on Facebook. Chris and I chatted back and forth on Facebook messenger, exchanged numbers and agreed to meet when he arrived in NYC a few weeks later. The night I met Chris I had butterflies as I left my apartment, scouring the street corner we agreed to meet on for anyone who looked similar to his Facebook profile picture. Chris put me at ease the moment I met him and we caught up for a few hours over nachos and Coronas at Blockheads in Murray Hill. Chris and I had instant chemistry and we continued to see each other every moment we could. What started off as friendship quickly escalated into dating and the rest is history! (Chris spoke at our wedding & revealed that he didn’t believe in love at first site until it happened with me J ).
5 years after meeting, Chris took me to the Great Barrier Reef in Australia where we landed on Whitehaven Beach via helicopter for a champagne lunch. We were walking along the beach and I turned around to find him on one knee – my answer was YES, a million times over.
We decided to ‘split the difference’ between NYC and Australia and get married in Napa Valley. Good food, great wine & surrounded by our friends and family made our fairytale wedding the absolute best day of our lives. Chris is hands down, the best person I have ever met in my life. He is my best friend and the absolute love of my life – being his wife is truly my greatest honor.
I am not kidding when I say I probably tried on 60-70 dresses over the course of 4 months before I visited Amsale. Although there were a few top contenders, I went to sleep each night unsatisfied with my options. My mom and grandmother flew into NYC for a weekend as my grandmother’s gift to me was buying my wedding gown (side note: she has bought all of my prom, formal and big event dresses my whole life J ). I had an appointment booked at Amsale and as soon as we got there, we were so impressed by the gorgeous salon (& the champagne didn’t hurt either!!). I tried on a few dresses and when I came out in Alina, my grandmother and mom had tears in their eyes and my smile said it all – I had found THE ONE. I stopped my search then and there and we came back the next morning to buy it. The experience at Amsale, start to finish, was so wonderful and I recommend it to everyone! My dress was fitted to perfection and I was so comfortable all day. Honestly – if my dress wasn’t stored at my mom’s house, I think I would be wearing it around my apartment – I MISS IT!!
Photographs by: Lori Paladino Photography
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