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nina & john
preppy + romantic
Veil Magazine vendors
AFTER DINNER COFFEE Roast Coffee Catering
CALLIGRAPHY The Blooming Quill
CATERER/BARTENDER SERVICE Shully's Cuisine & Events
CEREMONY & RECEPTION LOCATION Schully's Watermark
RENTALS Canopies Events with Distinction
INVITATIONS Paper Envy
WEDDING PLANNING & DESIGN Shully's Watermark
WEDDING GOWN GIGI of Mequon
FLORAL DECOR Impressions by Esther • HAIR & MAKEUP Tres Jolie Salon • ICE SCULPTURE Art Below Zero • LIGHTING Majic Productions, Frost Lighting, & The Flower Firm • MEN'S FORMALWEAR Custom-made suit • PHOTOGRAPHY Boutique Photographer, Linda Guminey • VIDEOGRAPHY 29eleven Productions
A Night to Remember
by Michelle Drewek
“We joke that we have been dating on and off since Mrs. Nelson’s kindergarten class,” John and Nina jest. While they were in that same class in 1989 and connected through the same group of friends through high school (even going to Homestead’s homecoming as dates), it wasn’t until after college that John made a point to get Nina’s phone number over a Thanksgiving holiday weekend.
John waited far less time to make a move when it came time to “pop the question.” Like a scene out of a movie, Nina returned from lunch to the classroom she taught in. There, she was greeted by John and 25 of her second graders holding a sign that said “John loves Nina.” He got down on one knee and she happily accepted his proposal. Nina’s principal let John and Nina have a few moment to collect their thoughts after he proposed, and when she returned to the room her students were so excited to see her because they thought she ran off to get married.
“A few of my students were crying from all the excitement,” Nina recollects. “I had to explain how the whole engagement works and then the process of getting married. A few students asked if they were invited, which was an absolute ‘Yes!’”
Because Nina’s students were such a big part of their proposal, her entire class was invited to the wedding. They had a special “kids tent” set up for her class with crowns and pirate hates for them to color, cupcakes with juice, and special goodie bags with a coloring book that Nina drew herself.
Much like her second grade class, John and Nina couldn’t imagine leaving any loved ones out of their celebration. They had almost 400 guests in attendance on their August wedding day. Wanting to make the entire evening special for each of those individuals in attendance, the couple describes their mentality in planning the entire day.
“Our wedding was preppy with a romantic twist. We wanted a lot of quirky and personal touches. Our intention was the whole evening to tell a story with lots of twists and turns and great surprises for our guests.”
The adventure began with their outdoor ceremony on the Mill Pond of the East Lawn of Shully’s. Nina carried her grandmother’s handkerchief down the aisle, escorted by both of her parents. And in addition to their beautiful wedding party, the couple had Nina’s parents’ dog Tucker as a ring bearer and their dog Toulouse as a flower girl.
“We also broke tradition by having the bridesmaids choose their own white dresses and the groomsmen choose their own blue blazers and khaki pants,” the couple says.
Following their vows, everyone proceeded to a breezy cocktail hour outside on the terrace before the exquisite, four-course sit-down meal began inside of the Watermark. The couple raves about the phenomenal cuisine, saying, “We are complete and total foodies, and wanted the evening to be a great showcase of the incredible work that Shully’s does.”
Guests were escorted back outside after dinner for dancing with the band Streetlife. A coffee bar and desserts were set up to feed the energy and sweet teeth of all the guests for the next few hours, until they conga lined their way back inside of the Watermark.
The room was transformed into a dance club dubbed the “NJ’s Love Club,” and featured a real, table-turning DJ complete with a light-up dance floor and glow sticks galore. John and Nina elate, “We danced until the wee hours of the morning!”
The night was truly one to remember. Nina’s family hosted a “hangover eggs” brunch at their house the day after the wedding so everyone could decompress and laugh about all the great memories from the wonderful evening. Making the most of their celebration was bar-none a detail John and Nina couldn’t do without.
“Don’t pack it in early; extend the night as far as it goes,” the couple advises. “It was so nice to be able to spend more time with friends and family on a day where the happy couple is spread so thin. We realize that this wedding was a very special occasion and wouldn’t’ have changed one detail. We are both so very lucky to have such supportive families who love our love.”