Letting your friends play matchmaker is always a risky proposition. That’s why Lori Turek, née Salerno, was more than apprehensive when one of her college pals from SUNY New Paltz attempted to introduce her to someone new.
On the night she met Michael, “I remember I was wearing my red cowboy boots and he was a bit shy,” she reveals. “Our first meal together was 2 a.m. pizza.”
As the budding couple soon discovered, they shared more than just late-night pizza together. Not only did they have the same mutual friend, but they are also originally from Long Island.
Mike proposed to Lori on September 27, 2018 at Disney World. At the time, Lori thought they were just there on vacation. She had always wanted to visit, so she never considered the possibility that her beau had something more planned.
“He proposed at Epcot by this little pier that was private and had tons of ducks,” she recalls, adding that her love for ducks added to the special moment. “It was perfect and was one of the best days of my life.”
By the time they returned to New York, they were already envisioning a ceremony at The Grandview in Poughkeepsie. Yet they feared that their dream venue wouldn’t fit their budget.
“When we realized that [The Grandview] had off-season deals, we immediately booked an appointment,” she says. After falling in love with the riverside destination, the couple committed to a two-part wedding on December 14-15, with the second part of their ceremony held at The Grandview. They settled upon a color scheme of gray and yellow, which perfectly complemented the moody views of the Hudson River that appear in the backdrop of many of their photos.
Inside the venue, one-of-a-kind touches were key.
“I loved the details of the holiday tree and lights, and I also loved how our wedding cake had our dog at the bottom of the cake,” she enthuses. To top the cake, the duo went the whimsical route with Mario and Peach cake toppers, since Mike is a fan of all things Mario.
From start to finish, the pair appreciated the commitment The Grandview made to ensure that their special day was truly unforgettable. In addition to treating them to cocktails during the tour, the venue also prioritized the couple’s comfort above all else.
“During the cocktail hour,” Lori recalls, “we actually got the food and drinks brought to us at the bridal suite and we were really able to absorb the day and the fact that we were married.”
As for what she wore, Lori donned a very light blush dress by Maggie Sottero with lacy flowers and a subtle sparkle. Keeping in theme with her winter wedding, she also kept a little white winter cloak over her shoulders. The cloak was largely for show, however, since she and Mike got lucky with 50-degree weather during the day.
Once the party commenced, she and Mike celebrated their union and danced the night away with family and friends. Although the day passed quickly, the pair made a point to savor every minute of it.
For soon-to-be brides and grooms, Lori recommends, “enjoy the process and the day because it really does fly by! Also, when people offer to help, don’t feel bad taking it.”