It is often said our futures are written in the stars…composed by the divine powers of fate, our destinies lie before us predetermined. That for each of us a soulmate exists, wandering the paths of their individual journey in life until that path crosses our own.
Considering the amount of people in the world, the chances of this meeting seems almost as vast as the endless expanses of space. Though stories like Monique and Larry’s, of relationships coming together so comfortably and completely as pieces in a puzzle, certainly keeps me a believer.
Having met online in 2011, one would think it too good to be true that your dating website would discover such a perfect match, but for Monique and Larry this is completely the case. One by one their commonalities continued to reveal that in each other they have found “the one.” Enjoying so much of the same entertainment, comforts, and conveniences, they also not only share the same astrological sign, but have birthdays within a day of each other. The relationship of a Cancer & Cancer astrological sign is said to be of the deepest devotion and endlessly loyal. It did not take long after initial email conversations and those first dates for them to realize all of this, and during a “cozy winter night” on Christmas Eve of 2012, unable to wait till his originally planned New Years Eve proposal – Larry asked Monique to be his wife.
Continue reading all about this match made in heaven and their beautiful lavender and sage rustic wedding!
Bride & Groom: Monique & Larry Freeman
Occupations: Bride – Public Relations Manager, Groom – TV & Film Production.
Wedding date: July 19, 2015
Wedding location: Auletto Caterers in Woodbury, NJ
Tell us how you met and all about the proposal: Larry and Monique met in the winter of 2011 when they crossed paths on a popular online dating website. It was Larry who made the first move when he noticed that Monique had listed one of his favorite authors, Tananarive Due, as her favorite author on her profile. That wasn’t the only thing the two had in common. They also discovered they both shared the same astrological sign, Cancer. And if that wasn’t enough, they also learned their birthdays were only a day apart. Emails exchanges led to long conversations over the phone and both realized that they had a strong connection. The couple soon met up in person and fell for each other and began dating soon after. On Christmas Eve of 2012, Larry and Monique were enjoying a cozy winter night watching an episode of LOST, one of her favorite TV series that she had recently starting re-watching to introduce Larry to the show. The episode they had been watching coincidentall y involved a character proposing to his girlfriend. After the episode was over, Larry who had been planning to propose to Monique a week later on New Year’s Eve at a party with all of her friends and family to witness it, realized that he couldn’t wait any longer and realized he wanted the proposal to be intimate—just the two of them. And so on that night, he popped the question.
Wedding Style: I wore a 2014 Provonias St. Patrick wedding gown. Wedding shopping for me was a little frustrating in the beginning because I wasn’t sure what type of fit I was looking for. I just knew I wanted something elegant and romantic that wouldn’t be too fussy. I wanted to be able to breathe and actually dance in my dress. And honestly, I wasn’t willing to sacrifice comfort for style. After visiting about four different stores, I found my dress at a small local bridal boutique. It was a lace fit-and-flare that hugged my curves and I fell in love with it as soon as I tried it on. On my wedding day when I looked in the mirror and saw my reflection staring back at me in that dress, I never felt more beautiful. And I knew I had made the right choice.
Did you incorporate any culture into your wedding? We didn’t really incorporate any culture into the wedding. But there were a couple of things that we did to make the wedding special and memorable. The first was the wedding date itself. We decided to have the wedding on July 19 to coincide with our birthday weekend. Monique’s birthday is July 17 and Larry’s is July 18. July 19 was also significant because it was the day that Monique’s grandfather passed away. Larry also had a grandmother who had recently passed away. To honor both of them, we had both of our parents come up to the altar and light candles before Larry and I lighted our unity candles. Another special part of the ceremony that was special to us was at the end of the ceremony when we released butterflies. We decided to do this because when we were dating we’d often have picnics in the park and every time we did we’d always have butterflies fly around us. When we released the butterflies it created a funny moment for everyone because it didn’t go as planned. The butterflies were supposed to fly to create a nice photo opp. Instead the butterflies fell on the ground and some of them landed on Larry and I! We couldn’t help but laugh and smile and so did all of our guests. In terms of the wedding theme, both Larry and I are old souls (Larry probably more so than me) so we decided to have a wedding with vintage and rustic elements. Our colors were lavender (my favorite color), sage and cream. We also played up winery elements because our venue had a vintage wine cellar, which was where our cocktail hour was held. We also incorporated a lot of DIY elements in many of our wedding details.
What is your best memory from your wedding? Larry: Our first dance, going off script during my vows (lol), and our exit (we used sparklers!)
Monique: Exchanging our vows, my sister’s maid-of-honor speech, and having all of our family and friends waving the sparklers as we made our way out the wedding venue.
What is the best wedding advice you can give to engaged couples? Be in the moment and enjoy being engaged. Don’t feel like you have to immediately start wedding planning right away. We actually were engaged for a little over two years because we wanted to make sure we could plan it carefully and save for it, as we also ended up purchasing a home together before the wedding. Saving for a wedding and a house at the same time required some sacrifices. Once you start planning, don’t take yourselves or others too seriously. If you do, you will STRESS yourself out. And be true to yourself and don’t compromise on your special day. From the very beginning, Larry and I knew we wanted our wedding to be small and intimate, which meant we only wanted family and close friends there. We stuck to this and kept our guest count under 100. Most importantly, remember the most important thing is actually not the wedding day, but the marriage itself. Another important thing to remember is to take your time finding your vendors and selecting a venue. You want to go with people who you can trust and be yourself around. We were very lucky to work with amazingly talented vendors across the board, some of which became friends! Also make sure you eat breakfast the morning of the wedding because you will be so busy you will probably not have time to eat (lol).
Bridesmaids/Groomsmen gifts: Bridesmaids gifts: Bath robes with each of the bridesmaids’ names engraved, amethyst stud earrings w/ diamond accents, designer travel perfume tubes and handwritten cards. My maid of honor got everything the bridesmaids did plus a diamond necklace and a bottle of her favorite perfume (Chanel). Groomsmen gifts: Handcrafted cigar cases with their names engraved.
Favorite item on the menu: Artisanal Ice cream from Zsa’s bicycle cart
First dance song: “You And I” by John Legend
Wedding dress designer: St. Patrick by Provonias
Wedding Dress Salon: Dolores Bridal Boutique
Bridesmaid Dresses: Bill Lenkoff
Hair: Blush Salon (stylist Rachelle)
Makeup: Celebrity makeup artist Kim Baker
Shoes: Badgley Mischka
Ceremony & Reception Venue: Auletto Caterers
Photography: Meghan Burke Photography
Videography: Pierre Coleman
Florist: Cook’s Florist
Cake: Termini Brothers Bakery
Wedding Party Accommodations: The Westin, Mount Laurel
Ice Cream: Zsa’s Ice Cream
Wedding Favors: For Your Party
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