We met when we both worked at Upstate Cerebral Palsy and Cardone was picking up hours at one of the residences that I was a manager at.
Cardone planned a trip for us to Lake Placid and told me it was for my birthday and for finishing my first semester of nursing school. I wanted to hike a trail of frozen waterfalls and Sam intended to propose on the hike the day after we arrived but the expected temp was -10 and her nerves wouldn’t let her wait. We were heading to dinner and leaving our hotel that was all decorated for Christmas and had a big stone fireplace in the lobby. Sam had talked to the hostess and planned for her to record us and proposed as I thought we were just getting a cute picture. It was absolutely perfect!
We decided on a fall rustic wedding because fall is our favorite season. I actually found Wolf Oak Acres on a Facebook ad not terribly long after Sam and I had started dating. I instantly fell in love with the pictures of it and told Sam that if we ever got married that’s where I wanted our wedding to be, and she made my dreams come true.
I bought a wedding planning binder from Barnes & Nobles and used The Knot app on my phone to generally keep myself on track.
We knew that our day would be so hectic and crazy that there would be a lot of points that we would miss or fly through. We thought having a videographer would be the best way for us to re-live our day and to show it to our kids and grandkids years from now.
Our gifts to each other were surprises (obviously) and we both managed to get each other really heartfelt gifts of people that were most important to us that have passed. Cardone surprised me by dancing with her brother Dante at our reception and I thought it was the sweetest thing ever!!
My top tip would be to make lists, set deadlines for yourself and get a calendar to write them on to keep yourself on track. Most importantly, ask for help when you need it!!
I think my favorite part was seeing Sam for the first time as I walked down the aisle and getting 5 minutes together after the ceremony to really take it all in. Our reception was very memorable as well and was a total blast.
Revolve your day around you and your fiancé. Don’t try to please anyone else on your big day!