Photography by
Brian Dorsey Studios

Darian Solimine & Zachary Ablon

September 27, 2014 in New Jersey

Some couples fall in love at first sight, and then there are those, like Darian Solimine and Zachary Ablon, who nurture a warm friendship until it becomes something more. They met through friends in a bar on a football Sunday and found that they worked two floors apart at the same New York City financial firm. "I was out of my element and Zach was so sweet explaining football and making me feel comfortable," says Darian.

Afterwards, a group headed for Chinese food, and Zach invited Darian to ride there on his Vespa. "I mentioned that my dream Vespa would be mint green with a cashmere seat," explains Darian. Somehow, Zach found a picture of one matching that description, emailed it to her, and the friendship began.

By Christmas, the relationship had reached a new level. Then, after dating for over two years, Zach took Darian to Paris for her first time. "My friends said he would propose there, but when it didn't happen the first few days, I stopped thinking about it," says Darian.

Before they left, he asked her on a stroll to his favorite park. As they crossed a picturesque bridge, he got down on one knee and said, "You make every decision in my life easier, and this is the easiest decision I've ever made." Zach presented her with his late mother's ring, and Darian was touched that his sisters had given him permission to do so.

The couple considered a wedding in Italy, but realizing that Zach's grandparents would have difficulty traveling, decided to marry in the backyard where she grew up. Family inclusiveness was so essential to them that Zach's dad became ordained to officiate their ceremony.

Zach was escorted to the altar by his 5-year-old niece, while Darian walked down the aisle on her dad's arm. The couple recited vows they had written. "Zach had his memorized and they were beautiful," says Darian, "but I was so nervous that I needed note cards for mine."

In an ode to the bride's Italian heritage, the cocktail hour featured a groaning board of traditional foods served in a wood-planked setting accompanied by a male crooner.

The reception upheld the rustic, outdoorsy theme with farm tables, the greenery of trees, and warm candlelight. "I wanted it to echo the amazing memories of family picnics," says Darian.

A bounty of food reflected "what Italian life is like," and the band kept guests on their feet all evening. Darian's parents presented the couple with a surprise fireworks display, followed by an after party around a large fire pit featuring a band, s'mores, and a pizza truck to keep revelers fueled.

Because of Darian's "obsession" with elephants, the couple began their honeymoon at the Four Season's Golden Triangle Tent Camp in Thailand, where they could interact with the massive creatures, and ended with relaxing beach time in the Maldives.

"The details gave our wedding its soul," says Darian. "We wanted it to speak of us, where we came from, the kind of people we are, and our love for each other. Even with all the people there, it still felt like an intimate family affair, and that's exactly what we wanted."

>Written by: Francine Kaplan

Location: Private Estate New Jersey; Cake: Nine Cakes Brooklyn, NY; Planner: JZ Events New York, NY; Floral and Event Design, Linen and Rentals: Lewis Miller Design New York, NY;
Tent: Stamford Tent & Event Services Stamford, CT; Lighting: Levy Lighting New York, NY; Fireworks: Fireworks by Grucci Bellport, NY; Ceremony Dress and Veil: Monique Lhuillier; Reception Dress: Marcia Goncalves; Groom’s Attire: Ralph Lauren;

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Darian Solimine & Zachary Ablon

September 27, 2014 in New Jersey

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