Jolie and Guillermo’s New Orleans Wedding with Puerto Rican Flair in New Jersey

Jolie and Guillermo are a dating app success story. They began talking and both immediately felt a connection. After dating for about three years they knew they were ready to start the next chapter of their lives as husband and wife. Their wedding day was the perfect blend of Jolie's New Orleans roots and Guillermo's Puerto Rican culture.

Read all about Jolie and Guillermo's first time meeting, their Valentine's Day proposal, and their their family fun wedding in New Jersey.


Bride & Groom: Jolie & Guillermo
Occupations: Psychiatrist & Behavioral Health Associate
Wedding date: June 3, 2017
Wedding location: The Manor, West Orange, NJ

Tell us how you met and all about the proposal. Almost 3 years ago, Guillermo (the groom) and I (the bride) logged onto a random dating app on our phones. We have not stopped chatting with each other since that day. After completing medical school, I was in residency training to be a psychiatrist, and Guillermo had been working on the front lines of psychiatry for over a decade. I finally met Guillermo while I was visiting NYC for an annual psychiatry conference with a bunch of my residency buddies. As soon as we walked up to each other on Columbus Avenue, there was an instant connection. It sounds cliche to say, but from the very first time we met, we could both tell that there was something special between us. We continued to visit each other every other week (at times every weekend). During this time we became close friends. It was inevitable; we could not stay friends for very long. We started dating almost 3 years ago and have been having a blast together ever since. We bring out each others best parts and inspire each other spiritually and intellectually.

The proposal was on Valentine's Day. I awoke to a huge Valentine's Day balloon, a beautiful bouquet of flowers, a heartfelt card, and life size teddy bear, basically a huge version of Spencer, our puppy. I cannot even tell you how unexpected these gifts were. Then, we drove to City Island and ate lunch at a seafood restaurant. Guillermo knows seafood is one of my favorite cuisines. While driving home, his mother called him, and he accidentally placed her on speakerphone mid-conversation. I overheard her ask him when he was going to propose. Guillermo started a long speech about how he would never propose on a holiday because the holiday would not be special anymore. He ultimately told her that he would propose when the time was right. I was convinced that it would be years from now at that point. When we arrived home, Guillermo seemed obsessed with setting up a video camera to film the rest of the surprises he had in store for Valentine's Day. I thought my last surprise was a chocolate cake with chocolate-covered strawberries on top that I found in the refrigerator. Still, Guillermo insisted that I remain dressed up in the outfit I wore to lunch. I couldn't figure out why I had to be dressed up, so I immediately changed into a robe and a pair of comfortable slippers. I sat on the sofa, tied a scarf on my head, looked up, and Guillermo was down on one knee proposing. I was in complete shock and speechless. For a couple of seconds, I thought he was playing a joke on me. It was really a surreal moment for me. After the shock wore off, I was so overjoyed that I yelled out in excitement.

What was wedding dress shopping like for you? I have been a fan of "Say Yes to the Dress" for years, and I love extravagant, dramatic gowns. After watching hundreds of episodes, I always dreamed of Pnina Tornai designing my dress. My maid of honor suggested that I make an appointment at Kleinfeld Bridal. 10 months before the wedding, she took a train up to NYC to help me shop for wedding dresses. I immediately told my bridal consultant that I needed something over-the-top and unforgettable. After trying on a few gowns, my bridal consultant pulled out a beautiful crystal-embellished dress from the LOVE collection by Pnina Tornai. It was a dazzling ball gown with a crystal-embellished illusion corset and natural waist. The dress is a breathtaking handkerchief ball gown with a sweetheart neckline. As soon as I tried the dress on, my maid of honor and I fell in love with the gown. Everyone in the store loved the gown. Even family members of other brides were enamored with the gown. I was in complete shock when Pnina Tornai herself approached me and told me that the dress was perfect for me. I really felt like a beautiful, sexy princess. I immediately said yes to the dress!

Did you incorporate any culture into your wedding? Yes. I bride am from New Orleans, and the groom is half Puerto Rican. Our wedding was a blend of New Orleans, Puerto Rican, and African American cultures, and our band and DJ brought all of these cultures together. Latin music was infused throughout the reception music over the course of the evening. Being influenced by immersion in the Latin culture myself, I was so excited to hear Marc Anthony's, "Vivir Mi Vida." Even though our cocktail hour contained an expansive array of food, we had to incorporate our New Orleans and Latin fusion. We added paella and a seafood bar including gulf coast shrimp and oysters on a half shell. New Orleans is also the home of one my favorite dessert dishes, bananas foster. Every time I visit home, I have to order a bananas foster. Accordingly, we incorporated a bananas foster flambé station next to our Viennese table during dessert. My mother demanded a second-line parade at our wedding. A second-line parade is a New Orleans brass band processional tradition. The dance was brought by slaves to New Orleans, where it became incorporated into processions, such as weddings and funerals. Being born and raised in New Orleans myself, I knew that no wedding with a bride or groom from New Orleans would ever be complete without a second-line parade. I really wanted to include some New Orleans character in my wedding, but I did not know how I would be able to living in New York City. After weeks of research, I found a great local brass band called High & Mighty Brass Band. For our receiving line, they played traditional New Orleans music as we did a second-line dance into the reception hall. As I twirled my parasol, I was surprised to see Guillermo, my now husband and native New Yorker, really getting into the Second Line. I later found out that he had been watching YouTube videos for months in an effort to prepare for this day. The band really impressed our wedding guests and kickstarted our reception causing our dance floor to be filled with guests from beginning to end.

Bridesmaids/Groomsmen gifts: The bridesmaids received full makeup on the day of the wedding, 18k rose gold drop earring and necklace set from Project Dahlia, robes embroidered with their names from Wedding Prep Gals, Betsey Johnson Bridesmaid flip flops, and Team Bride canvas tote bags. The maid of honor also received a gift card to Sephora, her favorite store. The groomsmen received personalized Heritage Supply duffel bags from The Man Registry.

Favorite item on the menu: The bananas foster flambé station

First dance song: "Adore" by Prince

What is your best memory from your wedding? My best memory from our wedding was the surprise tribute to my aunt, Sondra Davis. My aunt passed away from complications of metastatic breast cancer a week before the wedding. She had already told me months ago that she would not be able to attend the wedding as she was becoming sicker. My wedding planner had placed a memory table with a message in her honor at the reception. At the end of the wedding, my friend's mother led a prayer with my family in her honor. Her tribute and the prayer made me feel like she was there after all.

What is the best wedding advice you can give to engaged couples? Having attended 3 weddings my entire life, I felt like I knew nothing about weddings. Therefore, I hired a wedding planner, and she was amazing. I knew that my big day would involve big decisions that would be difficult for me to make on my own. She really helped guide me in the right direction and made my wedding day an enjoyable, stress-free experience. There is a wedding planner for every budget, so I recommend that every bride seek the help of a full service wedding planner.

Vendors:
Wedding and Reception Location: The Manor, West Orange, New Jersey 
Event Planner & Creative Director: Jenny Orsini Events, Inc. 
Photography: Jeff Tisman Photography
Wedding Dress Designer: Pnina Tornai, Kleinfeld Bridal
Bride's Shoes: Badgley Mischka 
Bridesmaids' Dresses: Belsoie Bridesmaids by  Jasmine Bridal, RK Bridal
Ceremony Music: Dolce DaVita Strings
Reception DJ: Soulful Sounds
Band: High & Mighty Brass Band
Floral Design: A Touch of Elegance
Bride's Makeup: Adhari Fullman, adharifullman@gmail.com, Gloss and Shadow
Bridesmaids' Makeup: Gloss and Shadow
Bride's Hair: Roberta Asante
Jewelry: Ti Adoro                                                                                                             Groom's and Groomsmen's Attire: Dante Zeller Tuxedo & Menswear By Sarno        Stationery: Jar of Ideas                                                                                                 Wedding Cake: The Manor with flowers from A Touch of Elegance                     Groom's Cake: Palermo's Custom Cakes and Bakery                                                 Mirror Booth: Sounds To Go DJs                                                                       Videography: PF Films 

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