Love isn’t always a walk in the park and neither is pulling off the perfect proposal. But this groom, Sanjay, was determined to get an “I do” from his love, Stacy-Ann, during a romantic stroll near the Brooklyn Bridge. Little did he know he’d have to face some challenges that same night just to get that blue Tiffany’s box opened. We love how Sanjay can retell every detail of that night and the day he met his bride. You have to keep reading to hear more about Sanjay’s perfectly imperfect proposal!
Their beautiful wedding day was photographed by Kesha Lambert of Lash to Lens Photography.Bride: Stacy-Ann Edwards, Digital Media Manager Groom: Sanjay Effs, Architect Wedding Date: July 7, 2013
How They Met
We met when Stacy-Ann was visiting my church one Sabbath. I tried to get her attention while the pastor was preaching, but she wouldn’t budge her head in any other direction—she was just fixed on the preacher. After the service was dismissed, I approached her outside and asked for her number and she gave it to me, only to learn years later that she only gave it to me because she was at church and didn’t want to lie. The truth is that I liked that she was that focused, and I really found it a challenge because she wouldn’t look in my direction so I made sure to approach her after the service.
I proposed to her by the Brooklyn Bridge. I was trying to take her out to a restaurant by the Brooklyn Bridge to have dinner, then take a nice romantic walk and pop the question when the moment felt right, but she was being so miserable and uncooperative that night that we got there late so the restaurant was closed. I then tried to walk around a bit contemplating if I should still do it and she then started complaining about it being cold and that she wanted to go back to the car. I begged her for 5 more minutes and as we stood there I hugged her tight while looking at Manhattan with all the beautiful city lights and then I started telling her how much she meant to me. I let her know that I wanted to take the relationship to the next level. She then looked up at me and asked what do I mean so I then got down on my left knee, without the ring in hand and asked her to marry me. She exclaimed, “Really Jay, where is the ring?! Really Jay?!” She thought it was a prank so I then r emoved from my pocket a little Tiffany’s box and opened it. She then exclaimed, “Ew, is that a ring!” and walked away from me laughing. Mind you, I was still on my knee with the ring in hand. I had to interrupt her laughter to ask if that was a yes, and she said yes! She came back to me and allowed me to put the ring on her finger while still laughing then walked away again still overwhelmed with laughter. I joined in her laughter and we hugged and kissed.
All this happened while I was snapping away with my camera documenting all that took place including her laughing uncontrollably. Truth is, I preferred her laughing than crying. If she had cried it would move me and I’m still getting in-touch with that softer side.
Description of the Event
We planned, negotiated and executed everything ourselves! Overall, we felt like we nailed our vision, which was inspired by our Jamaican origin, embracing the beauty of nature. The planning process was smooth—we knew what we wanted and how we wanted it. We are both artistically inclined so it made it easy for us to embrace each others ideas. In all honesty, the décor was primarily my choice but I would ask him for his opinion especially on the final details, which he would sometimes add or simply leave as is. Sanjay was very involved in the entire process. Most brides complain about their partners not being involved—I had the opposite problem.
The primary challenges we faced was people cancelling at last minute after having RSVPed and trying to accommodate as many family and friends as possible. In retrospect, that was a mistake. My advice to any bride and groom is do it YOUR way.
We kept the theme very simple and classy. We considered the theme to be “outdoor chic”. The event was outdoor with the ceremony being held on the pavilion lawn at Boscobel and the reception under a tent a few feet away. It had a wonderful view of the marsh and Hudson River as the backdrop. It was breathtaking and magical. (On that note, I would advise any bride planning an outdoor wedding to ensure she is prepared for any climate situation. Our day was beautiful, but it was unusually hot. We had visited the venue several times and it was 80 and breezy. On the day of the wedding it was hot and humid. We had hand fans and regular fans, but I would have preferred air conditioning if I had the foresight. Be prepared for anything!)
In terms of photos, we wanted it to be as organic as possible (the entire event, really), but of course, there were posed photos. Even then, we tried to be a little creative but not over the top. Kesha was the perfect photographer for us. She really understood and captured our editorial style.
One thing we did not invest in was an event planner. In retrospect, I would have at least had a “day of” event planner to be the main pint of contact (or ask a family member) because everyone was coming to me for answers. My bridesmaids did step in to help, but I wanted them to be clam and pampered the day of the wedding. I would recommend investing in a third party for the day of the wedding.
The overall wedding style was classy summer fun, but the bridal party was fun and chic. I really wanted everyone to be comfortable in what they wore.
Now for the dress! Sanjay would say I can be really picky and fussy if I don’t get what I want. However, I would say that I just have a particular style and standard. Let’s just say the dress hunt frustrated me and I became a little fussy until my friend suggested a designer. He was able to take elements of various dresses that I liked, but didn’t love, to create my couture (love using that word because I so not a couture gal) gown.
Paul Campbell, a local designer, listened to what I wanted while adding his own interpretation to make the dress elegant and simple. He even addressed my concerns about my “fat arms” by creating sleeves that were flattering and not reminiscent of a 1980s puffy sleeved wedding dress. I honestly felt gorgeous the day of the wedding because of the care and time he put into my dress. (I was so happy with and excited about the dress that I kept dropping hints to Sanjay about what it would look like.) When the day finally came he said “the dress looked more amazing than the hints I gave him” and he thought “I looked even more amazing in it.” Needless to say, he was a proud groom, which made me a radiant bride!
The groom’s style was also styled (somewhat) by me. We knew that we wanted our pictures to be classic and transcend generations, so no crazy colors or funky sneakers as footwear. The touches I added to his dark blue suit were his tie and cufflinks from Pink. They have beautiful floral details that tie back to our nature/outdoor theme. He added suspenders for effect, and I loved them! I hate to admit this, but I think he might have stolen the show the day of the wedding–he certainly had my attention 100%!
I would suggest seeking out a local designer if you are unable to find exactly what you want. My designer was reasonably priced (although I did go over my wedding dress budget, but I may have been a little unrealistic with pricing), creative and an excellent listener.
Incorporation of Culture
Yes, culture, but more so nature, was the key element behind all our choices. The lawn, the rose garden, the natural curvature of the Hudson River carving through the valley and the food all reflected elements of our Jamaican heritage but with an American, modern and refined twist.
I think the food and music were where culture was most evident. We are modern and creative Jamaicans so we borrowed from the traditional foods to create our own menu, which was truly reflective of our background and personalities. The coconut-crusted salmon took us on a journey back home to the white sandy coconut tree laden beaches. The jerked turkey breast with the mango chutney also had obvious Jamaican influences. We did embraced some American staples like the vegetarian lasagna, heart shaped bite size Danish and parfaits to ensure the brunch theme could be seen and to create a more informal environment for sampling of different foods, dancing and conversation. The food was spot on! Susan (owner of Holberts Catering) did an AMAZING job with capturing our culture and my whimsical “brunch” theme request. I will absolutely be utilizing her services again in the near future.
Most Memorable Part of the Day
We cannot comfortably say there was one particular aspect more memorable than another. We loved how everything came together. The venue was beautiful, everyone was in good spirits, the food was just great, the music by the band Royal Khaoz was awesome, and Sanjay’s uncle Melbourne (Junior) was the DJ –it ALL worked together and made the day wonderful!
You Make Loving You So Easy
From him… I love her smile and how well she speaks.
From her… Outside of his physical features (I love his beautiful dark complexion and big eyes/long lashes), I love that I can be myself around him and that he always makes me laugh.
- Wedding Dress Designer- Paul Campbell firstname.lastname@example.org
- Bridesmaids Dresses- Ann Taylor
- Hair- Rahjean at Guydlinez Studio
- Makeup- Wadiya A. Penzellna email@example.com
- Shoes- Macy’s
- Ceremony & Reception location- Boscobel House and Gardens http://www.boscobel.org/
- Photography- Kesha Lambert http://www.lashtolens.com
- Videography- Stephen Ceneus firstname.lastname@example.org
- Florist- Carl Bed of Roses http://www.bedofrosesflorist.com/
- Caterer/Cake- Susan Holbert Crocker http://www.holbertscatering.com/
- Tent, Tables, Chairs, etc. – Durants Party Rental http://www.durantsparty.com/