Cara and Michael met while traveling to visit mutual friends. The connection was immediate and a long-distance relationship quickly ensued and a proposal soon after. The couple celebrated their love with friends an family traveling cross-country for their scenic wedding day at Peconic Bay Yacht Club. Blue letterpress designs by Ipanema Press introduced the day, romantic florals by Ava Flora dressed the event and Cappy Hotchkiss was behind the lens to capture all the details on the bright and sunny day.
What feelings would you like to evoke with this ceremony-both to your family, friends, and, of course, each other?
We would like to embrace that we are outside on the water overlooking Shelter Island, the Peconic Bay and the gorgeous area of the North Fork surrounded by our nearest and dearest who traveled near and far to share in our wedding celebrations, from Seattle, Washington DC, Michigan, Illinois, Texas, Maryland, Boston, Eastern/Western Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Florida, Buffalo – and even locally Long Island to the North Fork for a fun and joyous occasion as we start our new beginning as husband and wife.
Please tell us in your own words how you met one another and fell in love?
How They Met: Cara and Michael met in the summer of 2015 in Long Beach, New York while Cara was visiting for a Delta Gamma girls weekend. While Cara, Marissa (Matron of Honor), Brooke (Bridesmaid) and Kelly (Bridesmaid) were hanging out by the pool, Marissa’s then-boyfriend, now-husband, Joey (Best Man) and his friend “Goots” aka Michael visited, whose job it was to bring the mozzarella (mozz-balls). Michael helped Joey grill the steaks by the pool before the girls headed into the city. At that time, Cara was living in Chicago and Michael mentioned that he was heading to Chicago for a guy’s weekend the following month and they struck up a conversation about the famed “Windy City.”
The next month when Michael and crew arrived to their hotel they were greeted by a dozen of Chicago’s best donuts that were hand delivered earlier that morning by Cara. After the weekend was over, Michael extended his stay in Chicago and he and Cara had their first official date at RPM Steak (it was a hard decision as she had made 3 other reservations in anticipation) where they enjoyed an amazing meal filled with lots of laughs. After dinner Michael insisted on bringing a “doggy-bag” home filled with filet for Maddie. Michael instantly won Maddie’s heart, and Cara’s, too and as they say, the rest is history. The following months were spent with each of them flying between (a total of 18 flights between the two) New York and Chicago, where they fell in love with each other, sharing their favorite parts of their hometowns. From ballgames, the beach, boat tours, museums, amazing dinners and fun cocktails at wonderful restaurants, they enjoyed the best of both worlds discovering they make the perfect match.
The Proposal: Cara didn’t think she liked surprises, but little did she know this one would be the best one yet with the one she loved! When Cara’s birthday weekend arrived last year she thought the weekend would be nothing more than a fun Friday night dinner at Green River with her dear friend Sharon (Maid of Honor). Michael and Cara had just seen each other the weekend prior and had a trip planned the following weekend so Cara insisted on Michael to stay in New York for her birthday weekend. Little did Cara know that Michael, with Sharon’s help, had the best surprise in store for her birthday evening! Early that week, Michael sent Cara thirty-three tulips, one of her favorite flowers, for her thirty-third birthday. During the birthday dinner, a plate with a tulip on it was delivered tableside to Cara – and when Cara turned around to her surprise Michael was standing there and ready to celebrate the big birthday weekend! The next morning, Michael surprised Cara and Maddie with a gorgeous suite at her favorite hotel, The Langham Chicago, for a relaxing birthday staycation. Michael arranged for the suite, upon entrance, to be filled with roses, champagne, chocolate covered strawberries and the ring! To Cara’s surprise, Michael proposed right then and there in the suite, which was located above the Wabash Bridge where the two had shared their first kiss – and Cara said YES! The newly engaged couple spent the rest of the weekend celebrating and sharing the news with their friends and family! Shortly after in March 2016, Cara and Maddie bid farewell to the “Windy City” and joined Michael in the City of Long Beach, New York and the newly engaged couple began their next adventure together in the “City By The Sea.”
What was that defining moment when you realized each other was “The One?”
Michael realized Cara was the one when she and Maddie came to New York for Labor Day weekend 2015 and he was dropping her off at the airport and Cara begin tearing as they were saying goodbye before the next visit and, trying to console Cara, Mike told her “Don’t cry babe, you know I love you!” and then quickly tried to cover it up and act like he didn’t say it and Cara didn’t hear it.
Cara realized Michael was the one when we had the most perfect afternoon walking around Chicago and we were at an outside wine bar. The sun was shining, weather was perfect and enjoying a great glass of wine, she knew she didn’t want this day or for Michael to leave but most of that Cara had met the most perfect, caring and loving guy that I wanted to spend forever with and have another 100 more perfect days together.
What do you feel makes you and your love special and the love you have for each other special? In other words, what do you like about each other AND what do each of you bring to the table that makes your relationship work?
We both have waited to find each other and we would never have found each other without our amazing friends and because of this we both completely committed to being together from the start. We fell in love while living in separate cities and states and early on we realized we loved each other and would do whatever it would take to be together from long weekends traveling back and forth from New York and Chicago, career and city move for Cara and during all of this making more memories, falling more in love and cherishing every moment together until our next time together.
During this entire time, up to this moment and in years to go Michael has been my strength, support, patience, guiding light in both the good and the bad but most of all my home and forever love.
Cara is Michael’s true love and inspiration in life, his drive, his number 1 supporter and encouragement to excel, so thoughtful loving and caring, she completes him, she is his home.
What are your hopes and dreams for your future together?
That we’ll never forget how special our wedding day was surrounded by our friends and family and through all our adventures, the good and the bad and everything in-between that we’ll never forget how in love we are at this moment and that we’ll carry this love in our hearts from now until forever.
Photographer: Cappy Hotchkiss // Invites, paper stuff, signage, favor tags: Ipanema Press // Florals and Tableware: Ava Flora // Venue: Peconic Bay Yacht Club // Wedding Gown: Marchesa, Georgina Chapman // Bride’s shoes: Christian Louboutin // Groom’s Attire Shirt: Thomas Pink // Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Jenny Yoo // Groom’s cufflinks: Tiffany and Co. // Bride’s Earrings and Bridesmaids’ gift earrings and bracelets: Marchesa Jewelry // Veil and Hair Accessory: Wedding Salon of Manhasset // Hair: Metro Mode Salon // Make up: Cha Cha at Industry Makeup Studio
// Officiant: Denise Drapkin of I Wed All // Cake and homemade jam favors: Leanne’s Cakes // Caterer: Robbins Wolfe Eventeurs // Signs: Swell Anchor Studio // Guys’ Trolley: North Fork Trolley Co. // Bridesmaids’ Robes: Honeydew Intimates // Bride’s Robe and Cami: Nordstrom // Ring seashell holder and monogrammed card holder: BHLDN // DJ and musicians: Bravura Weddings // Party Rentals (chargers and table runners): Party Rental, Ltd