Lexi & Kim

How did Lexi propose? We had both been shopping for rings and I always knew I wanted to propose, and I had a big plan for May 2012—but she figured me out.  We had a girls’ weekend planned in May to travel to Antigua with our moms and spend a weekend together. My mom and I had it all planned out—she was going to help me with the candles and the rose petals in our suite, etc.  Well, in February, Kim says, ‘I know you’re going to propose in Antigua.’ So I needed a new plan and I needed it right away, because it was the only way I could surprise her! I put a rush on the ring (it was being specifically designed) and was ready to propose over the weekend in the Hamptons. I had quite a few proposal scenarios running through my head. But then I got a call from Kim, saying, ‘I’ve got a surprise for you!’ She had arranged for my best friend Cara to join us in the Hamptons! So I spent the weekend carrying the ring around in my bag and I proposed on Monday because I simply couldn’t wait any longer. I took her to dinner, forced her to order the lobster, her favorite, and ordered champagne – she pulled me close and said, ‘Is there someone else? Is that why you’re being so nice?’  We laughed and I fumbled to find the ring in my jacket that I’d refused to check at a 5-star restaurant and demanded that she marry me. Literally, I said, ‘Marry me!’ and the rest was history. A dozen Instagram photos and a few phone calls to our parents later, and we were engaged. I did have to ask her to actually say the word ‘yes’ about 15 minutes after she had the ring on her finger!

Standout Memory of the night: Of course, the stand out memory I have is our first look, to see my beautiful bride for the first time.  She was absolutly stunning.  Also the joy on the dance floor, the room was filled with such love and so much joy – everyone danced for hours it was so magical.

Honeymoon Location: We traveled to Bali and stayed at the Amankila and Amannusa – it was our first time staying at aman resorts and it was so perfect! We then traveled to the Philipines where we stayed at the Amanpulo, a private island, it was unbelievable!  We finished our 2 week trip in Hong Kong – we had the most wonderful time!

One piece of advice that you could give to other couples:  
Personalize your wedding!  Companies like Prop n Spoon make it so easy to add in little elements of surprise that can make your wedding stand out!  Go for it – it is so magical to have a personal touch on a day all about you and your spouse!  Enjoy the wedding – it flys by!!  Also – we barely ate and we were so sad the following day – make sure to have your wedding planner pack a little to go food from the reception and place it in your hotel room!

What part did your dog play in your wedding? Our dog Izzy was our ring bearer.  He is such a huge part of our life we wanted to make sure he didnt feel left out.  Ok… we couldnt imagine the day without him!  He made a surprise appearance at the end of the night, as well!

Why did you choose your destination location? Kim always dreamed of marrying at her parents home in Bridgehampton.  For me, we met out there so it made so much sense – plus the property is gorgeous and it felt so right to have that memory be at the home of my in-laws – it was perfect and we are so grateful that the Stolz’s were such a huge support – having a wedding at your home can be stressful to say the least!

Tips for a destination wedding: When doing a destination wedding you want to make sure you have a good support team, a day of wedding planner, a rental company that cares and that will go above and beyond!  Create your support team and learn to trust them!  We had our rehearsal dinner at the Bridgehampton Inn a little bed and breakfast in town – it was a perfect night.  My brother Chris Ritsch played guitar and sang some of our favorite songs.

Chris & Kate

How did Chris propose? My family has a beach house in Longport, NJ. We spend every weekend there in the summer. The weekend of August 12th was like any other beach weekend or so I thought… On Sunday I was tired and a little grumpy and Chris asked to go for a walk to the Point (the end of the island). Normally I would have had no problem going but I had no desire when he asked me and put up a fight. Chris finally convinced me to go but I insisted my parents or my sister go with us. Of course things weren’t going as planned but my dad started to walk with us and luckily was able to escape by saying he was going to stop by his friend’s house. I dragged my feet most of the long walk there. We got to the end and there on the rocks was a bike (my family loves to take bike rides and I had been asking for a new bike) with a beautiful bouquet of flowers in the basket (and my ring!). Chris got down on one knee and asked me to marry him! My sister Hannah and Chris’s brother Danny popped out from behind a house where they had been taking pictures, along with my Dad who ran from the “fake friend meeting” to see the proposal. After some more pictures they told us to walk back and meet them at the house. When we got there we were surprised by my mom, Chris’s family, and all our closest friends. My mom planned a beautiful party and we had the best time celebrating all night.

Standout Memory of the night: There were so many amazing memories it is hard to pick just one. Dancing with all our friends and family was a favorite. Looking around at everyone smiling, laughing, and dancing the night away was the best feeling in the world. Our band was incredible!!! One of our last songs was “We Are Young” by Fun. Everyone circled around with their arms around each other as Chris and I danced together and then our families joined in. It was a special way to bring everyone together to end the night.

Honeymoon Location: We went to Maui and stayed the Four Seasons Maui at Wailea.

One piece of advice that you could give to other couples:   Relax and enjoy your day! You have a prepared, planned and stressed plenty leading up to the wedding but the day of there is nothing more you can do. Leave it to the professionals. We had amazing coordinators (Brian Kappra from Evantine Design and the amazing staff from the Four Seasons) and trusted them to handle all the details. Enjoy all the special moments leading up to the ceremony and reception: getting ready with the bridal party, the reveal, taking pictures. I had such a good time during the day, lots of laughs, some tears and was completely in the moment. My bridesmaids kept asking if I was okay because I was so calm. My response, ” What is there to be nervous about? This is going to be the best day of my life”.

Wedding Dress: Vera Wang, purchased at Bergdorf Goodman

Groom’s Tux: Ermenegildo Zegna purchased at Bergdorf Goodman

Bridesmaids’ Gift and Groomsmen’ Gift: Robes by Pretty Plum Sugar and earrings from J Crew in a Love Philly Tote and for the groomsmen Monogram dopp kits

Something borrowed and something blue: My something borrowed and something blue was the same thing. It was my grandmother’s (passed away when I was in 6th grade) handkerchief that was mom’s but she gave to me to have sewn into my wedding dress. It had a blue A on it for her name Arlene. Whenever my sister gets married we will take it off my dress and she will have it sewn into her dress. It was a special moment when I had my final fitting at Bergdorfs and the seamstress lifted up the dress to show where she had sewn it. My mom, the bridal consultant, seamstress, and I all started to cry. Side story: The seamstress was from Odessa, Russia which is where my grandmother’s family was from. It was nice having this connection and made the dress experience even more special.

Testimonial: We loved working with Hermin and Carlos. From the second they walked into the bridal suite until the last photo taken they were amazing. They immediately made us feel comfortable, knew everyone’s names, provided great direction ,and were fast and efficient during the family portraits and bridal party shots. During the ceremony and reception they were quietly in the background and not in your face.  They were also conscious of getting all the shots I requested. We had such a great time with them that we invited them to our after party. They were an absolute pleasure to work with! We LOVE LOVE our photos!