Kristina and Rafal first met in May of 2007 when they both were in a mutual friend’s bridal party. Following their initial meeting, they crossed paths again two years later at the same social gathering. “I wasn’t in the mood to flirt so I left,” commented Kristina. “A bit upset I had a few drinks and spilled my heart out to a friend of mine and a girl I met for the first time. About a half an hour later I was told the girl whom I tortured with my feelings of being rejected was Kristina’s sister,” added Rafal. After finding out what happened, Kristina finally agreed to join Rafal for dinner and the two began dating. When Rafal began planning the proposal, he wanted to ask Kristina to marry him when she least expected it. When she walked into their home on a Monday evening expecting to go grocery shopping, Kristina was surprised to see flowers and candles that spelled out “I Love You” with Rafal on one knee holding a ring. “I was completely shocked!” Kristina reminisced. The wedding date was set for September 10, 2011.
When Kristina and Rafal found the Berkeley Plaza, they loved everything it had to offer. From an outside gazebo and décor throughout the facility to the professional and accommodating staff, the couple knew this was the perfect location to host their ceremony and reception.
The bride walked down the aisle wearing an A-line gown with sweetheart neckline, corset-style back and asymmetrical ruching. She held a bouquet of purple calla lilies, asters, lisianthus, and roses. To honor her father, Kristina tied one of her father’s rings around the stems of the bouquet so he could be with her as she walked down the aisle. Rafal sported a classic black tuxedo with an off-white shirt and a purple boutonniere. During their ceremony performed by their best friend Alana, the couple exchanged heartfelt vows and also honored her parents by including them in Alana’s speech.
Following the ceremony, the newlyweds and their guests headed downstairs where they enjoyed an array of food from filet mignon tips, mashed potato station, carving station to cavatelli and broccoli, in addition to 12 passed hors d’oeuvres. For dinner guests had a choice between herb roasted chicken, sole oreganata, or Chateaubriand bordelaise. “The food was great and the staff was always quick to provide us with whatever we needed,” noted Kristina.
Paul Knox of DTM Entertainment played a variety of music including classic songs and dance hits that had guests on the dance floor all evening. Kristina and Rafal shared their first dance as newlyweds to “Marry Me” by Train.
Throughout the ceremony and reception JF Photography captured the special moments in still photography. Having worked at Berkeley Plaza previously, Bob was familiar with the facility and knew where the couple would get the best photographs. After the celebration, Kristina and Rafal escaped to St. Lucia for their honeymoon. They are currently enjoying married life and look forward to purchasing their new home together.
Kristina and Rafal
September 10, 2011
The Berkeley Plaza • Berkeley Heights, NJ
Ceremony & Reception Location: The Berkeley Plaza
Officiant: Alana Costantino
Photographer: JF Photography • Entertainment: DTM Productions
Florist: Flowers by Addalia’s
Limousine Service: All Star Limousine Service Ltd.
Cake Designer: Blue Sheep Bake Shop
Bridal Salon & Veil: Villa’s Bridal Gallery
Shoes: Touch Ups • Formal Attire: Dante Zeller Tuxedo & Menswear
Favors: Dontations to the American Heart & Lung Foundation
Hair Stylist: Karin Gomez • Makeup Studio: Heavenly Touch Cosmetics
Jeweler: Macy’s & Zales
The Landings St. Lucia and Calabash Cove Resort & Spa, St. Lucia