Visiting New York is special for any couple, but for US-based HELLO! Online readers Justin and Jesse Walsh, the Big Apple set the scene for their road to marriage.
Small towners Justin and Jesse decided to take a few days off work for a city break in New York City. On their second night, they set off to climb the iconic Empire State Building but the three-hour queue soon put them off.
Not one for waiting, Jesse suggested they stroll around the city, but Justin was eager to find a view, which Jesse thought nothing of. The couple walked away and came to the beautifully lit up steps of the New York Public Library, which they climbed to the top of and took in the city lights.
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"It was such a perfect night," said Jesse. "When I turned around, Justin was on one knee and when he opened the ring box I realised then that he was actually proposing to me. I was so shocked and happy."
The newly-engaged couple celebrated by having champagne in Bryant Park and called their parents. Little did Jesse know, Justin had already asked her father for permission so her parents were delighted when they finally got the call.
The wedding theme was "Romantic Vintage Garden Party" and this allowed Jesse, who is a fan of DIY projects, to do a lot of the decor herself and allow her vision to "come to life."
The beautiful bride wore a vintage style dress by Pronovias which she found at a boutique in London called Nicholas & Elizabeth.
"I knew it was 'the one' the moment I tried it on," said Jesse. "It fit perfectly with my romantic vintage theme — beautiful lace, ivory and off the shoulder cap sleeves which I felt kept it just casual enough for my garden party vibe."
The mermaid-style dress featured delicate lace and tulle in an off white colour, matching the long lacy train which Jesse said was surprisingly heavy.
The bride wore most of her hair down so that her jewellery could stand out amongst her luscious curls. Jesse's jewellery, "What a Night" by Fifth Avenue Collection, stood out as a bold statement and a great contrast to the "sweetness" of her dress. The drop necklace was detailed with different shaped stones and matched the three tiered drop earrings which were a present for Jesse's mum.
In her second ear holes, Jesse wore diamond solitaire studs which her father gave the morning of the wedding. "I was so surprised when he brought them out," said Jesse.
Jesse knew she wanted a "sophisticated bohemian" look which she incorporated with the loose curls in her hair, pulling a few pieces up so she could wear both the cathedral veil and the wreath of baby's breath for the reception.
"The wreath for my hair was definitely my favorite part of my look on my wedding day — it completely captured my theme," she said. The bride's make-up was simple and extremely elegant, with Jesse opting for light red lipstick and winged eyeliner to complete her vintage look.
The ceremony was held at St. Michael’s Church in Walsh which Jesse attended as a young girl, and where her parents were married 31 years ago.
"It was an easy choice because it was a very sentimental location for me," said Jesse. "Plus it is located in the small town of Walsh which is my husband's last name."
As the bride walked down the aisle towards her future husband, Here Comes the Sun by The Beatles played beautifully on a harp. With her younger sister as her maid of honour and five of her best friends as bridesmaids, they graced the church with their floor-length pastel coloured gowns.
The groom wore a charcoal grey Calvin Klein suit with a white tie and had his brother and five good friends as the groomsmen.
After the vows were exchanged, the newlyweds posed for pictures in a beautiful forested garden and even had a classic vintage car to fit in with their theme.
Carrying on with the vintage garden theme, Justin and Jesse chose the Woodside Greens Golf Course for their reception which had a lovely forest as a back drop.
The couple had signature cocktails made — Blushing Bride Sangria and Golden Groom Cocktail which were served with an assortment of hors d'oeuvres and a candy bar following dessert.
The reception was decorated in true vintage style. The tables were adorned with lavender, periwinkle and dusty pink painted bud vases with coordinating single stemmed flowers. Large mason jar lanterns filled with flowers were hung on the surrounding trees, and strings of white lights and paper lanterns formed the ceiling of their outdoor dance floor.
"A few other decorations we had to keep with our theme were a photo table of antique white frames holding photos of our parents and grandparents at their wedding," said Jesse. "An antique window frame was painted on to serve as the schedule for the night and was hung from a tree branch outside."
Completing their vintage ideas, Jesse's mum painted an antique chandelier that had belonged to Jesse's late grandmother, and filled it with lit candles and hung it from a tree over the dance floor.
Justin custom made "Justin & Jesse" signs to guide the guests down the path to the pavilion. All these little touches made a truly wonderful reception for their dream wedding.
As the guests enjoyed the dinner and the homemade wine, the happy couple had their first dance to I'll Be by Edwin McCain.
"One of my bridesmaids caught my bouquet and funnily enough she will be married one year minus a day from my wedding, so a great way to celebrate our first anniversary," said Jesse.
"Looking back on the day is overwhelming, to think of all the love from our family and friends that went into giving us that one perfect, fairy tale day," said the bride.
"I loved the entire day. It was just the right mix of romantic and fun — the perfect beginning to our marriage which I know will be the same."