I’ve always been enthralled by weddings.

There’s something so magical and so pure about witnessing the holy matrimony and celebration between two people who began as strangers and eventually crossed paths on this vast planet; only to discover that they cannot live without the other. Who have made a conscious and life-altering decision by saying, “I choose you.”

They fell into the emotion and state of being that is love and all that comes with it. Two people who have made the choice to stand before God, family and friends to profess their loyalty and commitment to another person for the rest of their lives. Come hell or high water. To me, this is something so sacred, beautiful and rare. Something I can only hope for in my own life.

Every time I witness a wedding celebration, whether as a guest, on television or driving down the street, I can’t help but smile or get emotional. I wonder where their story began and how they got to where they are. How did they know they met “the one”?

Weddings are special. But they’re even more special when they involve someone you love. Your flesh and blood. Your sibling.

My Brother

Growing up, my older brother Frank was just like any other. He lived to pick on his little sister. From Nerf gun fights in our basement to him sneaking a squirt of soap into my glass of water when I wasn’t looking, I always had to be on my toes around him. At four years apart, I looked up to him, yet feared him. Loved him, yet at times, hated him. (especially when he broke my skip-it or traded his bad beanie babies for my good ones) My brother was the first to do it all, the guinea pig so to speak. He marched to the beat of his own drum but essentially set the tone for my younger brother and I.

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As kids, we’d argue. I’d annoy him, he’d make me cry, I’d tattle on him. And the cycle continued for a few years.

But something happens when you exit your childhood and teenage years and transition into young adulthood.

You start to realize that maybe this older sibling of yours is…kind of cool. The age gap seems to close and you begin to relate to this sibling of yours as more of a friend. A friend that shares your upbringing, gets all of the inside jokes you tell and understands just how good your grandma’s cooking is.

As we grew older, Frank became this to me.

An accomplished athlete, brainiac and typical boy that at times gave my mom a run for her money, he was the cool older sibling that I got to tag along with as an 18 year old. Always out and about, always having fun..I couldn’t wait to follow in his footsteps.

But there’s another side of him also. If you know my brother personally, you understand when we say he’s a man of few words and of little emotion. He’s very private and will rarely volunteer how he’s feeling (especially the mushy stuff..blek!). He’s the manly man that fishes and hunts. That loves sports and building things with his hands. The man that swore he’d never find his perfect match or a girl that shared the same interests he does.

That all changed in the summer of 2015.

My brother, who I thought would never settle down, had a change of heart one summer night. I vividly remember going out with some of our friends and my brother being so eager to tell us about what a great time he had had the night before. “I met my wife last night…”, he said with such certainty and a sparkle in his eye that I’d never seen before. Did my brother just, show emotion…??

Another thing..my brother never seemed to find a girl he deemed good enough for him and is very hard to impress. This clearly had to be a special one…

This manly man was exuding mushiness and dare I say, giddiness. It was like the shiny key to that dusty lock in his heart had been found and it wasn’t long before it was opened.

June 22, 2018

Flash forward 3 years and my brother’s assertion has come true.

That overtired, under-dressed nurse that showed up to the same Babylon bar my brother was at one summer night three years ago (in an attempt to help her friend get over a heartbreak), was the same girl that would be meeting my brother at the alter 3 years later, looking as beautiful as ever. Two lives intertwining to become one.

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My new sister, Mrs. Lindsay Nicole Palmeri is the sweetest, kindest soul you’ll ever know. She brings sensitivity to my brother’s otherwise rough and edginess and her bubbly personality to my brother’s no-nonsense, old man demeanor. She’s a passionate nurse, constantly expanding and achieving in her workplace. Her and my brother uprooted to North Carolina last year and she was able to take all of her medical experience in New York and apply it to a great hospital where they live.

Lindsay is an extreme animal lover and pet owner and loves the outdoors as much as my brother does. So much so, they’re currently honeymoon cruising through Alaska! (you do your thing guys, I’m more of a Caribbean type of girl) She’s the calm and patient to my brother’s not-so-calm and not-so-patient and I’m near positive I couldn’t find a more perfect match for my brother than her.

The first time I’ve ever seen my brother cry was the moment he saw Lindsay at the foot of the isle ready to walk toward him. Growing alongside Frank my whole life, this was a moment I’ll never forget. To see my brother’s lips quiver like that in front of an audience can only mean one thing…that shiny key must’ve worked.

Although they’re not exactly the same, Lindsay and Frank fit together like puzzle pieces and I know this was God’s intention for each of them. They’re two go-getters that know what they want out of life and I can’t wait to see their story unfold.

(P.S.– a niece or nephew as soon as possible would be great, just saying)

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The Reception

These two threw one hell of a wedding at The Fox Hollow in Westbury, NY. From start to finish, the celebration was a beautiful testament to their love and as elegant as ever. From the staff, to the venue, to the food, Fox Hollow left no stone unturned. Shout out to the Maitre D’, Samir, and the bridal assistant, Meghan for being super attentive and engaging the entire day. There was never a moment where we weren’t taken care of or made to feel like Lindsay and Frank’s day was the most important of them all.

To anyone wedding venue searching on Long Island, seriously check this place out! My brother got married at their new Somerley addition and we couldn’t be more pleased with everything.

The evening began with champagne and mingling alongside the lull of a baby grand piano. Following the ceremony, we entered the cocktail hour where food was running rampant. From lobster-filled raviolis to a carving station and everything in between..there was no way you could even try everything that was offered. The actual dinner menu itself had 10 options!

The reception room at the Somerley was elegantly decorated, open and airy. It definitely fit the mood and tone my brother and Linds were going for.

As I’ve mentioned, my brother is so not into the girly details of wedding planning or sentimentality but the one thing he was certain he wanted at his wedding was a band. Lindsay let him run with it! We’ve grown up and were raised on Italian classics and Frank Sinatra so it’s no wonder why he didn’t want the traditional DJ. Honestly, having a band was so much more engaging and personal and it really brought all of the classics to life and got everyone dancing. Big Ray and The Kool Kats exceeded even my personal expectations..I could’ve danced with them for hours, even after the wedding was over! From grandparents to teenagers, everyone sang and danced along at some point.

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Wedding Glam

My beautiful coworker and friend, Victoria, is an extremely talented makeup artist and beauty connoisseur that spent her entire afternoon beautifying the bridal party. Victoria has grown her art from the ground up and has had experience with all sorts of clientele, even doing makeup for the cast of Bravo’s ‘Summer House’! It was a blessing to have her there with us, especially seeing the looks on everyone’s faces once they looked in the mirror. The compliments were endless. Plus, the makeup withstood my emotional teary bursts throughout the night. In my next post, I’ll be delving a little deeper into Victoria’s work, who she is as a makeup artist and why the ladies should totally check her out. She’s amazing!

Another massive shout out to Rae Watson for bringing my ultimate vintage hair dreams to life. This was my first time meeting Rae and I now know who I’ll be using for all my hair needs! This was by no means how I thought I wanted my hair for the wedding but it came to my mind that morning. I’m still obsessing over it and felt like a 1940’s movie star the entire day!

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FromΒ the food to the ceremony to the glam action, I wish I could go back to a week ago and do it all over again.

Watching my brother marry the love of his life was one of the happiest days of my own life. It was wonderful to be surrounded by friends and family, celebrating the ‘forever’ between two people I love dearly.

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The next time you’re at a wedding, no matter whose it is, really take in why you’re there. Take a look at the two people you’re celebrating and what makes their story unique. To be part of someone’s special day is such an honor because it means they value you enough to include you in the script of their story. I hope to someday begin my own script…and maybe even blog about it πŸ˜‰

Stay tuned for more pics to follow!!!

With love,

Amanda