From New York City

Our engagement story

We both quit our careers in finance at the same time and traveled to Southeast Asia for 3 weeks.  Daniel had watched a movie about magic tricks on the plane ride over and decided to propose using a card trick.  We were in an incredibly beautiful place called HaLong Bay on an overnight boat and the passengers were going on an excursion.  Daniel convinced me to stay behind, saying that he'd rather read (he "inceptioned" me by planting the seed that it would be awesome to relax and read and then I ultimately made the decision for us to stay behind).  As we were lounging on the deck, he pulled out a deck of cards.  He had me pick a card and then proceeded to spend 5 minutes shuffling the cards in different ways.  He then showed me a card that wasn't mine and said, "well, if that's not your card, then your card is under your chair".  Under my chair was the 7 of diamonds (my favorite number and my last name) with "will you marry me" written on it.

Why we chose The Black Stallion

We had a few ceremony locations in mind, but we fell in love with the spot on the golf course when we visited in 2015.  It was beautiful and so close to our reception site!  We didn't want a "traditional" wedding in a ballroom.  We wanted to have as much of the reception outside as possible.  The Black Stallion is the largest house in the Outer Banks and has a lot of outdoor space, which was amazing because we could have the entire reception outside!

Why we chose the outer banks

We wanted a destination that was exotic and fun, but not too far for the majority of our guests that are mostly from the Northeast.  Our wedding was only our second time in the Outer Banks! We are now planning to vacation there regularly.  

Some unique touches

We wrote our own vows for the ceremony and really made sure that the entire thing was about us.  Daniel's uncle officiated the wedding and one of my best friends did a reading.  We really optimized our reception for fun - we didn't have a sit-down dinner, had a bourbon bar during the cocktail hour, had the biggest dance floor that we could and played so much fun dance music.  

We decided early on that we were going to make everything in our ceremony and reception fit our personality and not include anything we didn't want. We didn't do a wedding cake or toss the bouquet, it didn't feel very "us".  Daniel did a dance with his three sisters, which was really special - and at the end they pulled his dad onto the dance floor. It was a very touching moment and definitely honored his mom's memory. 

Some stories from the wedding

On the morning of our wedding, Daniel went to breakfast with his dad.  It wasn't planned.  Daniel was kicked out of our room pretty early so that the girls could get ready and they made an impromptu decision to have a father-son moment.  The morning after our wedding, we woke up around 8am - so excited to be married!  So, the two of us went to breakfast together (at the same place).  Thinking back on it, Dan had breakfast with his closest living relative both mornings and it just happened to be two different people!

When we woke up the morning after the wedding.  We quickly realized that Zoe was not in the room with us.  Panicked, we ran outside screaming her name and then into the main house calling out to her.  We were on the verge of tears when my mom told us that she slept with her the night before!  

Advice for other engaged couples planning a wedding

Definitely hire Kerri!  She was truly amazing and a life saver!  At the very least hire a day-of-coordinator, you want to enjoy your day and soak in every moment!  

Don't sweat the small stuff - at the end of the day, it doesn't matter what the flowers look like, how your bridesmaids style their hair or where people sit - it is about surrounding yourselves with your closest friends and family to celebrate your love.

Buy a pair of wedge sneakers!  My feet were killing me by the end of the cocktail hour (even though I broke in my shoes).  I didn't have to worry about my dress dragging on the ground because I had a pair of Nike wedge sneakers.  No one even noticed and I was able to dance the night away!

I wish that we hired our photographers until the end of the night.  They did an AMAZING job, but there were some great moments at the end of the reception that weren't captured in our professional photos.

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