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Venue: Miller Beach Surf Club, Long Island, New York
Erica: Mike and I met in New York while doing musical theater, one week before Mike was leaving to move to Italy to perform and teach. We began talking and had a lot in common. I first thought that he was too young for me and that he would be a great friend. When Mike left for Italy we continued talking and became very close. Our relationship developed through email and phone conversations.
Mike: The first time that I met Erica I thought that she was incredibly beautiful and also way out of my league. I figured that she was already interested in someone else. But after we became friends and talked about what we wanted in life….my feelings for her just grew.
Erica: We didn’t actually start dating until he came back for a week in December. The night of our first date we were supposed to go see a movie, he was flying in from Italy. It was opening night of the movie and I was saving Mike a seat. People kept asking me for the seat and I had to say no he’s coming he’s going to show up. Mike showed up a half hour late and everyone around me in the theater clapped because he had finally made it. By the time the week was up and Mike had to go back to Italy we knew we wanted to be together, regardless of the distance. That summer I moved to Switzerland to work and we ended up working together and then moved back to New York after the summer.
Mike: We had just moved back to New York. The week we got back was absolute chaos because Erica had no apartment and neither of us had jobs. She found an apartment and a new job, so I said that we should have a dinner to celebrate. I had planned this all along….because little did she know that I had stolen her cell phone and written down all the numbers of her family members to have them come and surprise her with an engagement party, after I proposed to her. That night she came over for dinner and was feeling a little sick. In the meantime, I was all over the place because I was so nervous and wanted everything to be perfect. So after the dinner we were sitting on the couch and I was trying to come up with ways to get off the couch and get the ring. I asked her if she wanted her housewarming gift and she said yes. I brought out a tri-fold picture frame with a picture of us on Romeo and Juliet’s balcony in Verona, a picture from Nice, France and the center frame was blank (since we had no pictures of us in the States). Written on each picture was our favorite bible verse in Italian, English and French. I told her that she could have it on one condition: that she needed to be wearing this ring when we had a picture of us for the center picture
Erica: I was in absolute shock when Mike proposed. We had talked about marriage but I was not excepting it that night. The first thing that I did was cry, in fact we both cried and then I said: “Yes!”
Mike: I then told her that we were going to a restaurant/bar to meet my cousins who were in town to run the marathon. Little did she know that both of our families were there waiting to surprise her.
Erica: I couldn’t even make it through the door of the restaurant because I was in such shock from seeing my entire family there. On our way there I was trying to call them to tell them I got engaged and no one would answer their phones. Family is really important to both of us, and it was just amazing that he did so much to have my family there to celebrate the moment with us.
Erica: Mike and I took care of all the wedding details ourselves. We designed and printed every invitation ourselves. We wanted it to be meaningful to everyone who was there. It was a small ceremony, and everyone who was there meant a great deal to us and had some role in our relationship. Since we are both actors, we planned out every detail of the ceremony. We even chose original music for the string quartet to play. To have the wedding at the chapel that I went to growing up also meant a great deal to the both of us. The day of the wedding was going smoothly until I realized that I had left my vows back at the house! I quickly rewrote them before I went down the aisle: It was easy, and when it came time to say the vows, I just spoke from the heart.
Mike: When the doors of the church opened and I saw Erica for the first time. it felt like I got the wind knocked out of me. I had always wondered at other weddings what the groom must be feeling as the love of his life is walking towards him – and now I knew, and it was incredible. She was so incredibly beautiful and we couldn’t take our eyes off of each other. It was the best moment of my life.
Erica: As soon as a walked in the door all I saw was Mike, and that was it, I don’t remember seeing anyone else but him.
Erica: My favorite part of the wedding was our first dance. It was to “We are in Love” by Harry Connick Jr. We had a friend of ours choreograph our first dance., and we had been practicing for weeks. I thought I would never get it right and then the moment came and it was so much fun to just let loose and have a great time and everyone loved it.
Mike: My favorite part of wedding was the wedding night….no just kidding. It was having all of our loved ones there to celebrate our commitment to each other. At the reception my parents led everyone in the Tarantella - an Italian square dance. Mark. Our Bella Photographer, was absolutely incredible. He knew every one of our family members by name and their relationship to us and was incredibly patient. The match was absolutely perfect. As the night ended, Erica and I looked forward to our honeymoon – in Tahiti!
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