He Sold an Xbox and a Printer to Afford Their First Date. It Paid Off.
When Caroline Vazzana and David Lopes met on a double date, which they only agreed to as favors to friends, they couldn’t have imagined they would one day get married.
The two met on Oct. 25, 2013, when Ms. Vazzana was a senior at Albright College in Reading, Pa. A friend of Ms. Vazzana’s had matched with a man on Tinder. “Meeting online was like this new, weird thing,” Ms. Vazzana said. “So I encouraged her to meet in person.”
Ms. Vazzana also offered to come along. “I wasn’t trying to meet anyone,” she said. “But I was happy to be the wing woman for my friend.” Ms. Vazzana’s friend’s date brought Mr. Lopes to the dinner at a restaurant in Reading. Both couples hit it off.
Afterward, they picked up Ms. Vazzana’s sister, Kathleen, who happened to be in town, and headed for a local bar.
Later that night, the two guys ended up crashing at Ms. Vazzana and her roommate’s place, and the next morning, Mr. Lopes attended a basketball game with Ms. Vazzana that her younger brother, Thomas, was playing in.
Mr. Lopes and his friend decided to drive the 30 minutes back to Kutztown University of Pennsylvania, where both were juniors, grab their Halloween costumes and a few friends, and come back that evening to do some pre-Halloween partying.
“After that weekend, I realized I wanted to be with someone I can have fun with. Dave is so fun,” Ms. Vazzana said. “I thought, if I could have this kind of relationship forever, that’s what I want.”
Ms. Vazzana got her wish. “When he was leaving, he asked if he could take me out on a proper first date the next week,” she said. “Dave and I have been together ever since.”
That first official date was Oct. 31, at the Ugly Oyster in Reading for dinner. “It felt like we had known each other for a long time,” Mr. Lopes said. After dinner, they rented and watched “The Great Gatsby” at Mr. Lopes’s apartment.
Mr. Lopes had taken a gamble to pay for the dinner. “I had an Xbox and a printer. I sold them to go out on that date. For the rest of the semester, I had to walk to the library to print anything out,” said Mr. Lopes said, something he didn’t tell Ms. Vazzana until months later.
After Ms. Vazzana graduated from college in May 2014, she got a job as the assistant to the fashion director at Teen Vogue. So, Ms. Vazzana and Mr. Lopes got a place together in New York City in July 2014 and Mr. Lopes finished his final year of college at Kutztown via their online classes.
“I think we both had big goals right out of school,” Ms. Vazzana said, “so being able to chase those goals together can sometimes be hard for couples, but Dave and I really stayed on the same page with it all.”
A Staten Island native, Ms. Vazzana, 30, is a fashion influencer, stylist and the author and founder of “Making it in Manhattan,” a book and website. She earned a bachelor’s degree in fashion design and merchandising.
Mr. Lopes, 32, from Hunterdon County, N.J., holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and works remotely as an account executive for property and casualty insurance at Ally Financial, which is based in Detroit.
Ms. Vazzana said that “a lot of small, little moments made me realize he is my person.”
The same was true for Mr. Lopes: “I am always a high-stress person and for me Caroline can calm me down and bring me back down to earth any time I feel overwhelmed,” he said.
On June 27, 2020, Ms. Vazzana thought she and Mr. Lopes were heading to a wine tasting. But when they arrived, there was no wine tasting. Instead, Mr. Lopes had rented out Mad Lavender Farm in Milford, N.J. because of Ms. Vazzana’s love of the plant, which reminds her of her late paternal grandmother, Marie Vazzana. It was there that he proposed.
Nearly two and a half years later, on Nov. 12, the couple were married before about 100 guests at the Parish of Saint Patrick, a Roman Catholic church in Bay Shore, N.Y., by the associate pastor, the Rev. Cyril Obi Bayim.
Ms. Vazzana wore a custom Christian Siriano gown with a thin strapped, ballet bodice and a sheer top overlay with puff sleeves and a high neck. The voluminous tulle skirt had a dramatic train.
“I loved creating for Caroline,” Mr. Siriano said in an email. “She was a dream client. We had so much fun designing the ultimate fairy tale dress moment with soft hints of pink and beautiful petal appliqués.”
A reception followed at the Bourne Mansion, a turn-of-the-century mansion in Oakdale, N.Y. with 172 guests in attendance, including Mr. Lopes’s father David Lopes; and his wife, Colleen Lopes; his mother Michelle Kletter; and her husband, Howard Kletter.
“We both loved the idea of a big mansion party similar to ‘The Great Gatsby,’ the movie we watched on our first date, and we found that with Bourne Mansion,”Ms. Vazzana said.
The reception included festive touches befitting of a style influencer: The four-tier Funfetti cake by the Rolling Pin Bakery. The featured cocktails were named after the couple’s cats, Mia and Fitz. The guest book was a rotary phone on which guests could leave messages. Live saxophonists performed along with the songs the D.J. was playing. Boris Rain, the owner of Drawn Together NYC, live painted the couple’s first dance to “Have I Told You Lately That I Love You.” And the getaway car was a convertible vintage white Cadillac Allanté with a red interior that the couple bought for this very day (and intend to keep as their beach car going forward).
After dinner, Ms. Vazzana changed into a second look for the evening, exchanging the long-trained skirt for a shorter version, also designed by Mr. Siriano.
Virginia Rahming and Kathleen Vazzana, Ms. Vazzana’s two older sisters, gave a tribute to Ms. Vazanna’s obsession with “Sex and the City” and “Project Runway.”
“We know that little Caroline would be amazed if you looked back and told her that you would find your Mr. Big and that you would be sitting at your wedding wearing a custom-designed, one-of-a-kind Christian Siriano dress today,” Ms. Rahming said.
Ms. Vazzana’s wedding day looks were only two of the weekend’s fashion highlights. At the rehearsal dinner, the bride wore an off-the-shoulder floor-length dress with a small keyhole from the archive of the designer Nicole Miller along with Gucci heels.
“I had saved several of my favorite wedding dresses for my archives,” said Ms. Miller, who attended the reception. “I pulled a few that I thought would suit her, but the first one she put on was magical. The dress fit her to a T.”
And at the Sunday post-wedding brunch, Ms. Vazzana wore a crisp, A-line, white dress by Amsale that boasted a low back with a thin strap across and a tiny bow detail which Ms. Vazzana paired with platform heels by Kat Maconie.
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At the reception, Ms. Vazzana’s father, Thomas Vazzana, gave a teasing toast: “Most children come home from college with a diploma and a job, Caroline came home with a cat and Dave.” He also ribbed Mr. Lopes: “Dave, I have one question. What took so long? It’s been nine years.”
“I don’t think either one of us was in a rush to get married,” Mr. Lopes said. “But we did want to get married eventually. I got my first big-boy job and felt comfortable enough to propose. We don’t do things until we have the time and money to do it.”
On This Day
When Nov. 12, 2022
Where The Parish of Saint Patrick in Bay Shore, N.Y.
Something Old Ms. Vazzana has a penchant for wearing rings. Lots of them. That was no different on her wedding day. “My ‘something old’ was all old rings. Dave’s mom’s and grandmother’s rings and my grandma’s rings,” Ms. Vazzana said. “All stacked.” Mr. Lopes was in on the ring thing too. “Dave wore his dad’s old wedding band on his right hand.”
Other Fashion Moments The bride’s mother, Kathleen Marie Vazzana, wore a fitted, gold sequined, floor-length gown by Mac Duggal. The bridesmaids wore red Amsale dresses in a variety of styles. “We wanted everyone to feel their best,” Ms. Vazzana said.
Lovely Day The morning of the couple’s engagement, it was pouring rain. But just before the couple arrived at the farm, the sun filled the sky. Ms. Vazzana credits her grandmother’s spirit for clearing up the weather that day. And the same rang true on her wedding day. “The fact that it was raining the day before,” said Ms. Vazzana said, who added that she and her mother had been praying to her grandmother all week. “It wasn’t a coincidence. It was gray in the morning and then all of the sudden it was sunny. It happened twice. You can’t make that up.”
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