A Larchmont Yacht Club Wedding | Robert Norman Photography
I asked JP and Dani to give me a little background on their Larchmont yacht club wedding, as it’s always more honest to hear it directly from a couple rather than MY yammering on and on….
“My friend, Suzy, and I decided to take a spontaneous trip to Chicago in April 2012. We had a mutual friend that lived there and figured it would be a fun weekend trip. We asked a few of our other friends if they wanted to join and none of them were able so it was just the two of us. As it turns out I’m not sure JP & I would have ever connected had the whole group gone so maybe it was meant to be.
Suzy and I stayed downtown and after meeting up with our friend, Mike (not brother Mike), we randomly walked into a bar (Howl at the Moon). We didn’t know anything about this place but later found out it was a dueling piano bar. JP was working at the door at the time and checked our IDs. We made the connection that we were all from NY so had a brief exchange before Suzy & I walked into the bar. We quickly noticed the bar was rather empty so decided to leave. I remember thinking JP was cute so I’m guessing in an attempt to find an excuse to talk to him again we went up to him and asked if there was anywhere fun in the area he recommended we try. Looking back, it was incredibly rude to ask someone who is currently working at a bar if there were any fun places to go. He was really nice about it and pointed us in the direction of a few places and we went on our way.”
“The following night Suzy & I went out again to a different part of the city. When heading back, we decided we weren’t ready to return to the hotel so asked the cab driver to take us to any bar near the hotel that was still open. We landed at Mother Hubbard’s which I later learned is a place where “industry people” often go after their shifts end. Suzy & I went in, had a drink and then went to leave. As we were walking out, JP was walking in and recognized us from the previous night. He invited us in to have a drink so we did and ended up hanging out with him that night.”
“JP suggested we come to Howl at the Moon again the next night and told us he’d put us on the list. At the time I did not understand why there was any need for us to be on a list – judging by how empty it was the last time we were there, I thought this guy thinks his place is way cooler than it is. I was very wrong – there was a line down the block and wrapped around the corner. So being on a list turned out to be a very good thing. The place was so much fun, but since JP was working he was busy so we’d just talk here and there. Our hotel was within walking distance from the bar so he stopped by when he finished work. At some point, Suzy went into the bathroom and I believe JP’s exact, oh so romantic, words were “do you want to make out?” We had a brief kiss before Suzy came out of the bathroom and then he eventually headed home.”
“Suzy was actually the one who had his number so he texted her that night or the next day asking for my number. (His exact text was “Can you give hot lips my number?” Lol) I remember her asking me if she thought we’d talk again and without hesitation my response was something along the lines of “nope, he lives in Chicago, what’s the point?” Then he texted and that turned into many long phone calls and eventually a visit to NY. That turned into trips back and forth to NY and Chicago, dating long distance, a break up somewhere in the mix and ultimately him moving back to NY a few years ago. I sort of feel like that’s when our relationship really started. We were able to be in each other’s lives in a more normal way, spend time with each other’s friends and families and just date each other like couples do.”
“Then on November 21, 2020 JP and I went to brunch, took a walk through Central Park where he proposed on Bow Bridge. From meeting until the wedding was about 9.5 years, quite a journey. Through our ups and downs, I always felt there was something special between us and the more I got to be with JP, the more I felt I had to have him in my life. It just felt like it was meant to be and it was the challenges we faced that made us a stronger couple.
Someone said to me our story sort of defies the odds – apparently you can meet your significant other in a bar. 🙂 Also, I think at times signs pointed to us not working out b/c of the distance, it took some time to commit and move things along, but I think we always both just felt this pull to each other and here we are! 🙂 I got to marry the person who makes me the happiest and really is my best friend. We have a lot that we share but I think it’s our differences that really make us so strong as a couple – we are able to provide balance in each other’s lives.
We just returned from our honeymoon and really just cherish the time we get to be together (though we were happy to come home to our dog, Oscar).”
“Though planning our Larchmont Yacht Club Wedding in the midst of COVID was definitely stressful at times and created many tears on my part, I think we sort of got lucky with all of it. We got engaged in November 2020 and married in October 2021. We never had to move our wedding date and were able to safely have our wedding. With that said, COVID was always a part of the process and drove some of the decision making.
After getting engaged, we intentionally gave ourselves some time to just enjoy being engaged. Immediately after the engagement people start asking you about your wedding planning, if you’ve picked a date, place, etc. and we just wanted time to enjoy this time in our lives. We also were totally clueless how to go about planning a wedding mid pandemic.”
“We started looking at places a few weeks after the engagement and that process was very challenging. This was in this window of time where COVID was very much on people’s minds but the situation was beginning to improve so a lot was still unknown. All the people that had postponed their 2020 weddings were rescheduling for 2021. We reached out to tons of venues and many were booked through 2021 and several were also booked through much of 2022. We knew we did not want to wait until 2022 but also had very few realistic options. In reaching out to different venues, there was also so much that was up in the air. Places weren’t sure what capacities would be and what other restrictions would be in place. At one point there was a rule that you could only dance with people at your table and that’s just not what we wanted. We wanted a wedding where everyone could safely be together and dance with whomever they damn well pleased!”
“We had looked at the Larchmont Yacht Club and kind of always kept it in the back of our mind. JP’s sisters and some other family had gotten married there so initially we were thinking we’d try for something different. After struggling to find a place we went back to the Yacht Club and realized that all along it really was the perfect venue for us. It had meaning and also happens to be a beautiful setting. October 23, 2021 was the only available date and we booked it mid June. We had 4 months to plan and to be honest it was the best thing for us! I am known to be indecisive about things and we just had to make decisions quickly.”
“Leading up to the Larchmont yacht club wedding, COVID was always part of the discussion. We had to keep our guest list very small which was incredibly challenging and one of the hardest parts of the whole process. With that said, there was something very special about it being so small – we were closely connected to every person there and really got to spend time with each person. The venue required that non vaccinated people wore masks but we decided to also ask for proof of vaccination from our guests. Every person was fully vaccinated and I think that contributed to everyone feeling much safer attending.
For most guests it was their first time celebrating something in a while and everybody just needed it! While I have to give us some credit for planning a great wedding, I think everyone was just coming in so excited to be out and celebrating and it almost didn’t matter what they were celebrating. Every person there just seemed so happy to be there which of course made us so happy.”
“We were so happy with our ceremony and feel like it set the tone for the whole wedding. JP is Catholic and I am Jewish so we wanted to figure out how to blend both religions while also making it personal. We wanted people who knew us officiating our wedding. We decided to have my cousin, Dana, officiate along with Father Blazczak, who had been connected to us through a long time family friend. Both were incredible and worked so well together.
One of the most special parts of planning our wedding was our meetings with each of them. We had individual meetings and also talked with both of them together. During this time we talked about marriage, reflected on our history, what brought us together, what we love about each other and what makes us strong as a couple. This was really what this wedding was all about so these conversations were so very meaningful.
Dana and Father Blazczak were incredible and the ceremony fit so much with who we were. We brought in traditions from both religions and they both captured us as a couple so well. We had decided to write our own vows so sharing those with each other in front of our family and friends was a very special part of the ceremony.
Throughout the ceremony, we also had our brothers, Ted and Mike, alongside us. We chose not to have a bridal party – it was a small wedding and we didn’t feel a need to have 20 people standing up there with us. Our friends were so supportive to us and by our side regardless of if they stood up there during the ceremony or not.”
“The wedding wouldn’t have been the wedding without our incredible vendors and I am not just saying that. My dad has a top 10 list of what made the wedding so great and Robert, you’re on there! (xoxoxox) The pictures were incredible and just what we wanted – a combination of posed shots, but mostly candids. For a strikingly tall man, it was shockingly difficult to ever spot you because you just blended in in the best way, like you were one of the guests. You somehow were there to capture each special moment without ever taking over. I remember speaking to you on the phone and immediately knowing I didn’t need to call any more photographers – one because I just instantly loved you as a person and you were so easy to talk with – then the line that really sold me was this: “If I see a great shot but need to knock over 3 people to get it, I’m not getting the shot.” It’s like you know what we wanted more than we even realized ourselves.
I loved that each vendor had some type of connection to us and was not just random. Robert, you’re now officially part of our family and will be at my brother’s wedding in May. You recommended our DJ, Jason Dawson, who we loved. He was so easy to work with and did an incredible job at the wedding – the dance floor was packed the entire time! He was on the mic when he needed to be to ensure the night flowed smoothly, but did not take over. There’s some DJs out there who seem to have big egos and Jason just isn’t one of them – he’s incredible!
John Wall, our coordinator, is a gem of a human being. He was very connected to JP’s family and helped with JP’s two sister’s weddings. He paid attention to every little detail, even bringing me water and a cool towel to ensure I stayed cool on the dance floor. He was looking out for JP and my every need throughout the night, making sure we ate our dinner, holding onto my lip gloss when I needed to reapply, prepping us throughout the day, he just went above and beyond in every way.
I felt like each person that was part of our wedding was so committed to making it so special for us. Each person really seemed to understand us as a couple and just fit with who we were and what we wanted. The wedding truly would have not been what it was without each of them.”
Thanks again for your inmsight and having mat at your Larchmont Yacht Club wedding – yours words mean the world to me!