“Alfie and I met at Sacred Heart High School in 2000; more specifically, we met in Ms. Cole’s freshman homeroom where we were sat alphabetically—LaTorre followed by Lera. For the remainder of our high school careers we were assigned seats and lockers alphabetically; pure serendipity. Our first date was renting a movie from Blockbuster (am I completely dating our relationship?) and watching it in Alfie’s parents basement—take your most awkward experience from high school and that was our first date; completely unromantic. I have a very embarrasing journal from my first day of high school that gushes about Alfie and how ‘I will marry him someday,’ I’ve learned not to be so horrified with the entry now that it’s become a reality. Alfie, on the other hand, needed some convincing, he claims to not have thought twice about me until Senior year of high school.
“I love that we’ve been dating for 10 years—we’ve grown up together and in turn have shared such big moments together: getting our licenses, going to prom, college graduations, beginning our careers. Alfie has been a part of my life for so long that he’s a huge part of many of my memories.
“Alfie popped the question, on a very cold, December night (December 16th to be exact) on the Navesink River, which is two blocks away from our apartment. He said he wanted to see the Christmas lights that lined the river, I didn’t have a clue. It was so romantic.
“We looked at multiple venues in the New Jersey/Pennslyvania area. We were never impressed. They either had awful banquet hall carpet (we all know what I’m talking about) or didn’t allow for the creative freedom we wanted. It all seemed very cookie cutter. And that was not something we wanted for our big day. “I’m not sure when we arrived on the idea of Key West but when we did there was no turning back. We spent our first vacation together in Key West but other than that first trip back in 2008 we planned our entire wedding site unseen. “We put an enormous amount of faith in our planner, Erica from Simply You, and internet reviews. I booked Old Town Manor from one image that always stuck with me; it’s a picture from their website that shows their courtyard and string lights that always hang above. It was instant love. “The majority of our family and friends are from New Jersey and we knew asking them to travel to Key West would be a huge request; however, our families and friends could not have been more incredible and made our dream wedding a success.
“All of our vendors were fantastic. They all worked so well together. But Lona Hall, from Blueye Images, and Quincy Perkins, from White Orchid Studio, we feel went far above and beyond to make us feel comfortable and added an element of fun to our wedding.
“It had been a particulary rainy September/October in Key West (and Florida in general) so we were bracing for a rainy wedding. However, we were in denial and didn’t have a rain plan, we figured if we woke up on October 12th and it was raining we’d formulate a plan—we were going to have a beach wedding with or without the sun.
“We couldn’t have been more pleased to have not only a picture perfect day but the whole weekend couldn’t have been more perfect weather.
“We were so excited that I don’t think our thoughts that day went farther than, ‘Oh my gosh, this is happening and it couldn’t be any more perfect!’
“Fort Zachary State Park offers incredible beach sites for wedding ceremonies. Our thoughts were sand, water and sunset—what decorations could ever live up to the perfection of those? We had a simple archway for exchanging our vows and that was it.
“Old Town Manor, were our reception was held, offers a lush courtyard complete with coy ponds, palm trees and those love-at-first-site string lights. Just like at Ft. Zach, we thought why tamper with what Old Town Manor already has to offer? It’s really that perfect.
“We added more string lights (are you seeing a theme?) to the walkway leading to courtyard and a couple of simple white flower arrangements paired with rustic candle lit lanterns to the tables. We tried to capture the best qualities of Key West and have them reflected in our reception. I hope we did Key West proud.
“Having our guests sacrifice their time, energy, and money to help us celebrate our wedding was extremely moving and the best gift we could have ever received.
“We had a great number of our guests stay at Old Town Manor and their sister property William Skelton House, this allowed for us to have breakfast with everyone every morning. At the time Alfie and I just thought that breakfast was a necessity for our guests (We thought, ‘Obviously everyone needs to eat, add on the breakfast option!’) but waking up every morning and having breakfast together became a perfect unplanned moment.”
Photographer: Blueye Images
Nicole and Alfie | October 12, 2013
Florist: Milan Events
Videographer: White Orchid Studio – Quincy Perkins
Ceremony Location: Fort Zachary Taylor State Park
Reception Location: Old Town Manor
Caterer: Great Events
Wedding Planner: Simply You – Erica Fuhrman
Ceremony Musicians: Brian Roberts (Acoustic Guitar)
Wedding Key Lime Pie: Cakes by Karol
Reception Music: Soundwave Productions
Hair and Makeup: Studio Marie Pierre
Officiant: Aaron Wechter
Transportation: Old Town Trolley