It’s one thing to meet that special someone on a dating app. It’s quite another to meet through a hashtag linked to more than 4.8 million photos.
Love knows no bounds, they say.
On a fateful day in December 2013, Emily Russoniello posted one of her drawings on Instagram using the hashtag #drawingoftheday. Little did she know that Daniel, her now-husband, was scrolling though photos of the tag that very moment. After clicking on her picture, he messaged her and found out they were living only a state away (Daniel was in New Jersey while Emily was in New York).
A Skype call later to confirm they were both very real and not catfishing, the pair made plans to go on a date. And another. And another.
On the day Daniel proposed, he and Emily were at a family photo shoot.
“While pictures were being taken, his niece brought over a box to me that had a frame of pictures with me and his niece and nephew with a note attached that said, ‘We love you as our Emmy ([his] niece’s and nephew’s nickname for me), now will you be our aunt?’” Emily recalls. Having watched the children grow up over the course of her relationship with Daniel, she happily accepted the heartfelt proposal.
For their wedding, the pair knew that a typical ceremony was not the right fit for them. To make the day their own, they chose FEAST at Round Hill as their venue both for its fairytale setting and considerate staff.
“As soon as we walked through the doors of the venue, we were immediately taken such good care of and we knew that this was where we were going to get married,” Emily explains. She and Daniel worked with FEAST to customize every component they could, including swapping out cake for cupcakes and crafting custom cocktails for the day.
Emily and Daniel exchanged their vows on a glowing September afternoon in the Hudson Valley. Making the most of that sweet spot between the end of summer and the beginning of fall, they held their ceremony outdoors under the Washingtonville venue’s magnificent tree. Although the forecast initially called for rain, the sun shone down upon the couple with nary a drizzle in sight.
Before taking their places along the aisle, the duo exchanged first looks on the grand stairs inside the venue. With light from the chandelier reflected on Emily’s magnificent lace ballgown, the bride-to-be glowed as she met her fiancé at the bottom of the staircase.
Speaking of that ballgown, it wasn’t exactly what the bride first envisioned.
“When I went dress shopping, I was strict about not wanting a ballgown,” she admits. “I ended up in one of the biggest ballgowns you have ever seen, and I couldn’t have been happier with my decision.” Found at Azaria Bridal, the soft pink gown charmed with lace overlay and pearl and flower appliques. To top it off, Emily donned pearl accessories, matching slip-on shoes, and — for the photo ops — a custom denim jacket.
Alongside her, her bridal party wore oxblood-hued gowns that perfectly complemented the moody hues of the floral arrangements. Daniel and his groomsmen followed suit with dark, romantic floral ties and boutonnieres.
After the “I dos,” the couple led their guests into FEAST’s gilded interior for the afterparty. In every corner, custom touches added charm to the day. From the hashtag #TilDeathDoRussPart to signature drinks like The Penny, with iced tea and lemonade, and The Caesar, a blackberry mojito, the duo infused the space with their respective personalities. Instead of a wedding cake, they made the most of the venue’s top-tier catering with a gourmet cupcake tower complete with flavors like raspberry funfetti, espresso chocolate, and cream cheese carrot. They sipped champagne from their favorite mugs — with graphics of the grim reaper and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, respectively — and skipped the standard photo booth for a setup by Hudson Trailer Company.
As the minutes ticked away into the evening, the Russoniellos hit the dance floor with family and friends. Cocktails flowed, music sounded, and laughter lingered until the last guest said farewell.
Looking back on their wedding, Emily and Daniel are thankful they chose to remain true to themselves instead of caving to outside trends and opinions.
“Make your wedding your own,” Emily enthuses. “We did cupcakes instead of a cake, we used our favorite mugs as our champagne flutes, I kept my piercings in, and those were some of our favorite parts about the day. Do whatever you want to do and don’t worry about anyone else!”