Laura and Ralph's Wedding, Sunday, April 27, 2003, Ocean Grove, New Jersey

Welcome to the web site for our wedding. We’re sure a lot of you thought this day would never come. Is six-and-a-half years a long time to be engaged?

Well, the wedding went off better than we could have ever dreamed. The day itself was absolutely perfect: 70°F and mostly sunny, with just enough clouds to make photography possible. The bride was absolutely stunning, and the groom wore Birkenstocks for the ceremony (he changed into big boy shoes for the reception). Hey, we got married at the beach!

The little pavillion right on the boardwalk was a wonderful setting for the ceremony. Many of our friends and much of our family were there, and the Dancing Queens showed up, causing quite a sensation with their tiaras.

The response card that came with the invitations included a picture of the pavillion where we were married. That picture was from a linen postcard of the 1950s that we found in one of the many antique shops in Ocean Grove.

Postcard of Ocean Pathway in Ocean Grove, NJ, ca. 1950

The Manchester Inn was a great place for the reception. Many of our friends who had been hearing about each other for years finally got to meet, and conversation drowned out much of the carefully planned music (which was carefully planned to encourage conversation, so that worked as designed). The innkeeper at the inn let people drive his vintage Cooper Mini with the automatic transmission, one of probably only two in the country. The kids who were there were a ton of fun, keeping everyone smiling with their antics. We skipped the stuff we didn’t want to do, like throwing garters. We assembled all the guests on the porch of the inn at one point to take a group photo; the passing skateboarders from the punk rock festival in next-door Asbury Park that day got a kick out of seeing us there, and us of seeing them. Everyone said it was the most relaxing and enjoyable wedding they’d ever been to, which was exactly what we were shooting for. And, as expected, the afternoon went by way too fast, and the dazzled bride and groom can barely remember anything of it now.

Incidentally, if you were at the wedding, please, please, please, write down any interesting stories you have to tell and send them to us. We would like to include a section on this site with people’s stories from the wedding. So if you witnessed something cute the kids did, or saw the groom do something embarrassing, or whatever, please let us know so we can tell the world and maybe remember some of what happened that day.

We put a lot of effort into the invitations. They were, in Laura’s words, lovingly hand-crafted. In Ralph’s words, some of them are kind of unreadable. Damn. (That’s Ralph’s fault, by the way.)

Lovingly hand-crafted invitations in the process of being made.

The directions to the wedding included a photograph from the wedding of Laura’s grandparents Adelina Saracco and John Pantano in Paterson, New Jersey, on 26 December 1931:

Wedding party of Adelina Saracco and John Pantano, 26 December 1931

It’s a lovely picture, yes?

Oh, and incidentally, you can see this page as it existed before the wedding, if you’re so inclined.