Rebecca & Natale: A Timeless Love at Chateau Grande - A Tale of Family Bonds and New York Charm
- Author: Natali Grace Levine
- Wedding date: 04/29/2023
- City: New Jersey
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Once upon a time in 1994, amidst the enchanting halls of a Pennsylvania college, Rebecca and Natale's love story began. Though their paths diverged when Rebecca moved to Florida, fate intervened years later. Through the magic of Facebook in 2020, they reconnected, reigniting the flame that had never truly faded. Their love, now stronger and wiser, continues to defy time and distance, writing a beautiful chapter in their intertwined destinies.
“We have always been the loves of each other’s lives – we were together – lived a lifetime apart - but found each other again!”
In the heart of New York City, Rebecca and Natale's love story reached its pinnacle. At Peak, a restaurant overlooking the city, Natale planned a proposal to illustrate their boundless love. Despite unforeseen weather, the clouds created a dreamlike ambiance. Among strangers, he dropped to one knee, presenting a ring. Cheers filled the air as Rebecca said yes. In that magical moment, they knew their love would soar above all limits, embracing an extraordinary future together.
“ In my mind, the idea was to illustrate that being with Rebecca is like being in heaven ( aka in the clouds) and that the sky is the limit with us.”, remembers Natale.
Rebecca and Natale's dream wedding was a symphony of elegance, infused with the distinct charm of New York, a city that held a special place in their hearts. Their aspiration was for a celebration that mirrored chic sophistication and timeless elegance, all under the vibrant, twinkling lights of the city they loved.
Their chosen attire, each stitch and seam reflecting their impeccable taste, along with the thoughtfully selected details, would blend tradition and contemporary style seamlessly. Their wedding day would be a celebration of love and family unity, a day of crafting enduring memories against the mesmerizing canvas of New York's enchanting skyline.
A central guiding light in their wedding journey was Peony Events and the gifted planner, Stacey Sinato. Their expertise and meticulous attention to detail gracefully brought together all elements of Rebecca and Natale's vision, turning their dream into a reality.
On the morning of their wedding, Rebecca and Natale revealed in carefully chosen details that added a personal touch to their special day. The elegant invitations were beautifully designed by Little Black Dress Paperie in Morristown, NJ, capturing the classic New York style with an antique paper look and delicate gold leafing.
Natale knew exactly what he wanted for his wedding ring—white gold with a brushed and satin finish—while Rebecca desired an eternity band, complemented by a smaller rose gold band as a sweet nod to their past. Adding sentimental value, Rebecca wore a cross pendant gifted by Natale, while Natale received a cross as his wedding gift.
As a final touch, she adorned a borrowed bracelet with a blue charm, symbolizing something old and something blue. These meaningful details imbued their morning with a sense of love and cherished connections.
The bride, Rebecca, found her dream wedding dress designed by Ines Di Santo at L'Elite Bridal in Boston, Massachusetts. It was a beautiful coincidence that her mother had also found her wedding dress at the same store over 50 years ago. Getting ready for the big day, Rebecca had a photoshoot in one of the hotel suites at the venue. She opted not to wear a veil but fell in love with her stunning Manolo Blahnik shoes. Her wedding bouquet, crafted by Kim Auriemma Designs, captured the essence of floral elegance. With each detail carefully curated, Rebecca transformed into a radiant bride, embodying grace and timeless beauty.
On his special day, Natale, the responsible and doting father, had an early start. His primary task was getting his four sons ready, which, despite causing him to run a bit behind schedule, led to tender and cherished moments, beautifully captured by the photographers.
Natale himself looked the epitome of elegance, adorned in a tuxedo from the Ralph Lauren Purple Label collection, a symbol of luxury and sophistication, acquired from New York's iconic luxury department store, Bergdorf Goodman.
The photoshoot locations were both tasteful and grand. In the lobby, the majestic piano served as an elegant backdrop, and the space near the reception area exuded anticipation and excitement, perfectly encapsulating the aura of the day.
“The first look was even better than I could have ever imagined. Rebecca was breathtaking. For months I had seen pictures of the dress (but on the models from brochures)and not on Rebecca. She looked exquisite, like a real-life Cinderella. My heart was overflowing with love and joy. I had been given the girl of my dreams. The one who I was made for and her for me. I was looking at my wife. Wow, stops your heart.”
The rain ended up dictating a lot of the photos but we were not worried. The venue was brand new and beautifully designed. The photographer was experienced and already had ideas for indoor photographs and how to work around the rain. Natale and I were good with the professionals' suggestions.
We were able to use the hotel lobby and bar, the entryway/hall to our reception area, the hotel room/suite, the overhang to the garden, and the photographer and planner brought adorable umbrellas that offered extra outdoor photographs.
Among the beautiful moments that graced their wedding day, one key moment shimmered brightly in their memories: the exchange of their personal vows. As Rebecca and Natale stood before their loved ones, their hearts overflowed with emotions, their words woven with love and sincerity. In that tender exchange, they shared promises that would bind them together, forever etching their love into the fabric of their souls.
"Our ceremony, although it didn't unfold as we originally planned due to weather, turned out to be incredibly special. Instead of the garden setting we'd initially envisioned, we relocated to a ballroom. Our skilled florist did an extraordinary job transforming the room into a breathtaking space that felt uniquely ours. My dad, always a cornerstone in my life, served as our officiant, lending even more emotional depth to the occasion. As the poignant melody of "Come to Me" by Goo Goo Dolls filled the room, I walked down the aisle, my heart full of joy. While we didn't have flower girls, our children, my son Cam and Natale's sons Max, Elliott, Simon, and Jack, served as our ring bearers, a role they fulfilled with adorable seriousness. One of the most memorable parts of the ceremony was the exchange of our vows. We had written them ourselves, and they included promises and commitments to our children. A special, heartfelt moment was when I recited part of my vow in Italian, a nod to Natale's rich heritage and his loving family."
The wedding of Rebecca and Natale was set in the elegant Chateau Grande Hotel, located in East Brunswick, NJ. This venue, rich with character and sophistication, beautifully encapsulated the couple's style and love story.
The decor was thoughtfully chosen, with a neutral color palette that perfectly complimented the refined ambiance of the venue. The aesthetic was a blend of understated elegance and timeless romance, each detail meticulously curated. A unique and touching aspect of the event was their decision to honor Rebecca's journey as a cancer survivor.
Instead of traditional gifts, they chose to make a donation to the American Cancer Society, turning their celebration into an act of giving back. Their venue choice was primarily influenced by its size and the enchanting outdoor ceremony area, which Rebecca was particularly fond of, even though the weather didn't permit them to use it. Regardless, the charm and convenience of the Chateau Grande Hotel made it the perfect choice for this momentous occasion in their lives.
The reception was a true embodiment of Rebecca and Natale's shared love and joy. The highlight of the evening was their first dance to Billy Joel's "You're My Home," a song that deeply resonated with their journey together. Their unique touch permeated the event, especially through the food served. Natale's family restaurant, Il Capriccio Ristorante, located in Whippany, NJ, contributed their signature meatballs, adding a personal and delectable touch. Further, the wedding venue housed a David Burke restaurant known for its inventive desserts.
Guests were delighted by the playful presentation of the cake pops and cotton candy tower, with the couple choosing the cheesecake lollipop tour. This not only satisfied everyone's sweet tooth but also served as a delightful surprise for the kids present.
The wedding cake was another avenue for personalization. It was beautifully crafted by Calandras Bakery, displaying traditional wedding design on one side while the other side was dedicated to their five boys. Each layer of the cake featured something different that the boys loved, encapsulating the essence of their unique, blended family. This design choice not only created a visual spectacle but also symbolized the merging of two families, with every detail from the ceremony to the reception designed to ensure that everyone felt included and cherished.