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Real Wedding | Kristen & Michael

Bride: Kristin Fiorillo Maher
Groom: Michael Maher
Wedding gown style: Farrah dress
Wedding date: July 28, 2012
Boutique purchased: Vera Wang
Location: Manhasset, New York
Photographer:  Julian Mackler- Mackler Studios

First things first, where did you meet your husband?  How did you know he was the one?

My best friend Liz went to Ithaca College and met Mike. Sophomore year he lived next door to her and would always be in her room. He would point to pictures of me hanging in her dorm room and would ask about me and comment that he thought I was cute!! I would talk to Liz several times a week and Mike would always get on the phone with me (we had a phone relationship, before we ever met, we just connected immediately and had a lot in common, I think we both knew given the right timing we had something truly special!!). That summer we both went home to Long Island and discovered we lived only a few towns away from each other. We went on our first date (July 8, 2003) to a Met game with Liz and her boyfriend of the time and the rest is kind of history. We tried to maintain a relationship through college which proved to be quite difficult. When we graduated in 2005 we started dating seriously and here we are now!

He loves me unconditionally, brings out the best in me always, and most of all he makes me laugh, EVERY SINGLE DAY!!!

It’s become a mature relationship based on friendship and sincerity. We don’t put on a show and don’t feel like we have to prove ourselves to anyone. It’s always been about the two of us and those closest to each of us because we both understand that what makes each of us happy ultimately makes us happy in our relationship. 

How did he propose? Tell us the story!

The ACTUAL proposal was very sweet and simple, just like our relationship! We had just gotten home from dinner at our favorite Italian restaurant on a random Friday night.  We were getting ready for bed in our apartment we have lived in together for 2 years at that time; I was washing my face in the bathroom, when I opened the door he was down on one knee with the ring. We had talked about getting engaged for a while, and I knew it would be soon, so he totally got me! I burst into tears and so did he. It was very intimate, and true to our relationship.

Once the wedding plans started, what made you decide on a Vera Wang gown?

What girl doesn’t want to wear Vera on their wedding day? I was immediately drawn to the Farrah’s soft, feminine, elegant, and romantic silhouette. It felt paper thin on my body and was airy and light perfect for a hot summer wedding. The unique one shoulder bodice was exquisite and exceptionally girly and different. I work in fashion so I appreciate the design, craftsmanship and articulate beauty of every detail that went into the design and execution of this dress.

How did you accessorize to make your wedding day unique?

Yet the gown—perfect as it was—needed one small addition. I had a piece of my late grandfather’s flannel shirt sewn into the bottom of my dress. One of my fondest memories as a child is cuddling against the signature plaid shirts he always wore when he would hold me. I was extremely close to him, and wanted to make sure he was a part of our day and close to me throughout the day.  Also, I opted for classic yet more modern touch by adding rose gold accents ( my vintage rose gold earrings and Miu Miu stingray sandals).

What was the inspiration or theme for your wedding?

The feel of the reception was a mix of rustic elegance with beautiful surroundings.  Each table was a complete installation of color, texture and candlelight. The tables had natural flax linen runners that were topped with a variety of elements including; antique terra cotta pots holding candles, reclaimed glass bottles and vintage jelly jars holding all one type of white, creme or green flower in abundance, mason jars holding candles and silver mercury glass votives placed in clusters.  All of this was worked in and around sheets of birch to bring the outside, in.

We used natural elements infused with rustic, romantic touches. Since the venue already screamed Nautical we opted to not incorporate that theme as the beauty and originality of the club shined through on its own. Seawanhaka transcends time and space.  Beneath a Sperry tent (fitting because this tent is made of old sails), dozens of hanging lanterns illuminated rustic decor. Mason jars medicine bottles, vintage vases and aged birch wood filled table tops covered in flax linen runners. Escort cards sat in miniature Adirondack chairs, and burlap bunting hung from our bride and groom’s chairs.

We opted for simple, low flower arrangements made the vast tent more intimate and allowed for more personal conversation between our guests. Each table had a mix of high-and-low arrangements of white and green blooms. Each container held just a single kind of flower.  My escort setting was my favorite touch. My florist( Jen Stone of Stone Kelly) built these enormous walls made of birch wood and I had vintage frames hung with past wedding portraits of both our families ( parents, grandparents, great parents, etc)- i thought it was a very personal touch that played homage to our family roots, being that family is very important to us.

Did you incorporate any other Vera Wang products into your wedding? (I.e. fragrance, fine papers etc.) If so how?

At our rehearsal dinner the night before we were gifted a Vera Wang cake cutting set from Mike’s grandmother. She purposely gave it to us so we could use it the next day at our wedding when we cut our cake.

 

Did you stay true to the Old English wedding rhyme: Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue. If so, what were yours?

Something Old: I had the cameo my father gave my mother almost 35 years ago when they began dating at age 14 sewn onto my bouquet.

Something New: my diamond wedding band

Something Borrowed: 18K Rose Gold and Rose quartz with diamonds (Working in fashion, I was lucky enough to have a stylist friend of mine to let me borrow them for my big day.

Something Blue: When we went to go pick out our wedding bands with our jeweler I was torn between choosing an all diamond band and a sapphire/diamond band. Mike surprised me when went we went to go pick them up and had an all sapphire band made to match my diamond wedding band. Sapphire also happens to be my birthstone!

 

What tips do you have for new brides picking out their wedding dress?

Stay true to yourself and your style. In my eyes your wedding day is not the day to experiment. Keep it simple, keep it natural, and be you, and most importantly be comfortable- its a long day and I know for me I feel most beautiful when I am comfortable in what I am wearing!

What was your favorite part of the day? And, are there any other anecdotes you would like to share?

From locking eyes with Mike the minute stepped into the church and the feeling of completeness that settled over my nervous heart, to seeing my vision for my reception I had obsessed over for nearly a year and half become a reality, and finally to see the joy and feel the contagious amount of love and happiness shared by not only Mike and I but equally by our closest friends and family as we exchanged our “I do’s.” I could go on and on, but my sister said it best it wasn’t just about the day, but the person I was marrying.

 

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