Bride: Daryl Zweben
Groom: Jesse Hom
Wedding Gown Style: Leda in Ivory
Wedding Date: August 10th 2013
Boutique Purchased: Vera Wang Bride, Manhattan
Location: Shadowbrook; Shrewsbury, NJ
Photographer: Brian Dorsey Studios
First things first, where did you meet your husband? How did you know he was the one?
I first met Jesse through a mutual friend while we were both traveling through Europe in the Summer of 2001, and our trips overlapped in Venice. We had a fun group lunch, but headed off to different cities afterward. Fast forward to 2003, the first week of my freshman year at Cornell University, where I walked into a restaurant and saw Jesse at a table with a group of friends. We instantly reconnected, and we dated for 2 years until he graduated and moved to Manhattan. I followed suit two years later, and we remained close friends, coincidentally never living more than 8 blocks away from one another in downtown Manhattan. It wasn’t until the summer of 2010 that Jesse and I came to our senses and realized that our relationship was so much deeper than a friendship, and started dating again. I guess you can say Jesse and I were meant to be!
How did he propose? Tell us the story!
For my birthday in January of 2013, Jesse told me he was taking me to Paris over Valentine’s Day weekend. All of my friends and family were convinced that we’d get engaged in Paris, but I knew him better – Paris was a decoy, but I wasn’t sure how! The morning after a blizzard hit Manhattan (also the weekend before we were leaving for Paris), Jesse asked if I wanted to get brunch with my sister and her boyfriend. I got in the shower to get ready, and he must have worked quickly, because by the time I got out, our apartment was covered in rose petals and blown up photos of Paris. He got down on one knee while I was still in my towel, completely shocked, where he said he wanted to do it in Paris, but just couldn’t wait any longer. When we got to brunch, both of our families were there waiting for us to celebrate!
Once the wedding plans started, what made you decide on a Vera Wang gown?
Although I tried to go into the gown search with an open mind, in the back of my mind I always knew that I would end up in Vera. My personal style is feminine-classic-chic, and there’s no other designer whose gowns epitomize romance, sexiness, timelessness, and fun like Vera Wang. Living in Manhattan, I can’t tell you how many times I passed the Madison Avenue flagship and snapped a photo of the gowns featured in the store’s window – I have photos of Vera Wang dresses on 3 old phones of mine!
After visiting a few other boutiques, I finally arrived at Vera Wang on Madison – the same boutique I passed by and drooled at the windows my whole life. I put on various styles of dresses and then Ana, my sales specialist, handed me Leda – a dress from the Fall 2014 collection – and told me that it was my lucky day, because they weren’t expecting this dress in the boutique for another few months. And it definitely was my lucky day! I put Leda on, and instantly fell in love. It was everything I dreamed of, and exactly how I envisioned I would look on my wedding day. Nobody does lace like Vera, and the layers of detailed lace on this dress were so light and dimensional, and therefore perfect for my summer wedding. I did visit one more boutique the next day, but I went straight back to Vera to lock down my Leda!
How did you accessorize to make your wedding day unique?
With a gown this gorgeous and detailed, I wanted to keep my accessories simple. I wore ivory pearl drop earrings, vintage diamond and sapphire bracelets from my mother, and jeweled Prada heels to complete the look.
What was the inspiration or theme for your wedding?
My family has owned Shadowbrook, a private estate on 20-acres in New Jersey, for 43 years, so I always knew I’d be getting married there. Now that it was finally time to plan my wedding, I wanted it to exude the romance and timeless elegance that Shadowbrook naturally bestows. The wedding was in early August, when the gardens were in full bloom, so the outdoor décor accentuated the lush florae already in place for the ceremony and cocktails, and then we brought the gardens inside for the reception. A floral theme prevailed in all aspects of the wedding – from the detailed rose and tulip lace of my dress, to the laser-cut wrap that enveloped my invitations, to my gorgeous rose wedding cake, and even my laser-cut ketubah – everything tied together with a similar floral pattern – it was perfect! My color palette was ivory, blush, and gold, and therefore we infused this romantic color scheme into all features as well. It was truly a dream, and I have to say it was all inspired by the venue and the dress!
Did you incorporate any other Vera Wang products into your wedding? (I.e. fragrance, fine papers etc.) If so how?
Before I even knew I’d be a Vera Wang bride, I chose Vera Wang Fine Papers for my Save-the-Dates. I guess it was a sign! I also wore a simple, ivory fingertip veil from Vera Wang, and spritzed the Lovestruck fragrance I was given when I purchased my dress before walking down the aisle.
Did you stay true to the Old English wedding rhyme: Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue. If so, what were yours?
Absolutely! My something old and borrowed was my grandmother’s wedding ring that I was married in; my something new was my gown; and my something blue (and borrowed) were my mom’s vintage sapphire bracelets
What tips do you have for new brides picking out their wedding dress
Try on all different styles, and be decisive about what you do and don’t like. While I ended up in a style that I envisioned myself in, I was surprised at how much I loved other styles that I would have never expected. Also, be vocal with your sales associate, as they know the entire line, and can bring you dresses you might have missed while looking through the racks.
Lastly, be true to yourself, and don’t drive yourself insane – it’s the most special day of your life, the whole process should be nothing but fun!
What was your favorite part of the day? And, are there any other anecdotes you would like to share?
The day flew by so quickly, what WASN’T my favorite part?! I basically grew up at Shadowbrook, and most of the staff there has known me for 10-20 years. It was surreal to not only have my entire family and all of our friends celebrating with us, but my Shadowbrook family as well. The windows of the ballroom look out onto the main garden where I was married, and although I didn’t see at the time, the entire staff was lined up inside along the windows to watch me walk down the aisle. It’s captured in a photograph, and still brings tears to my eyes!
Also, since my husband and I are both from New Jersey, we had a well-known Bruce Springsteen cover band, Tramps Like Us, come in and play for our after-party. We kept it a surprise to our guests, and served traditional Jersey Shore Boardwalk food while the party continued into the early hours of the morning. It was the perfect end to the most magical day!