When April Fools’ Day rolled around in 2011, Donnie found his perfect opportunity to propose to then-girlfriend Erin. “Donnie is known as a practical joker and he spared no expense on that day,” remembers Erin. “Erin and I were already living together, and the night before I had set up a bunch of little gags to get her while she was getting ready for work,” he says. “Then, after she got home, I was like, ‘Why don’t you go to the extra bedroom and get out the tennis rackets and let’s go play.’ She immediately knew something was up and wouldn’t do it.” Though convinced something would jump out of the closet to surprise her, she gingerly opened the door after some prodding. “To my great surprise, when I opened the closet (at a distance and across the bed and using a fishing pole) a table was set up with roses, Champagne and candles, and Donnie was down on one knee with the most beautiful ring…” When she called her family and friends no one would believe her, given the holiday—something Donnie, of course, found hilarious.
The couple pulled it together and got serious about planning their big day. They chose the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament to exchange their Catholic vows in a stunning location. “I’m sure some people didn’t pay attention to the actual wedding and were too busy looking around,” Donnie laughs.
The couple took a generous two years to plan the wedding, giving them ample time to enjoy the process. “My favorite time would have to be getting my wedding dress,” says the new bride. “I was surrounded by all the women in my family…my grandmother, mom, sister, sister-in-law and two nieces.” Donnie was just relieved he didn’t have to it through TLC wedding programs like Say Yes to the Dress and Four Weddings anymore. What a trooper.
The day arrived and Donnie recalls his “gorgeous” bride walking down the aisle. “It made me so very happy to be up there and say that we were going to be together the rest of our lives,” he says. Erin remembers the “very emotional” walk down the aisle with her dad. “We both cried all the way down,” she says. “I had my grandmother’s antique handkerchief with yellow flowers on it wrapped around my bouquet for my something old.”
The reception was held at the Croatian American Cultural Center, complete with a full open bar, buffet style food with carving stations, a live band, a photo booth, sparklers, cigars and a taco truck to finish off everyone’s late-night cravings.”
“We did a lot of the small details ourselves, including designing our invitations and a personal logo that went on koozies, matchbooks, stir sticks and candles,” shares the bride.
“The weather the day of our wedding was perfect (low 80s) and our venue site allowed people to freely move from inside to outside, which was really nice.”
“The band, The Rolling Heads, was great,” says Donnie. “They really got everyone out dancing—well, except for me, as I don’t really dance. During their break, my dad gave them a CD of polka music. I did get on the dance floor for that one. The CD was the same band that played at my parents’ wedding. We’re pretty Polish.”