Jhonny was Manuela’s childhood crush at church but they wound up being just friends. They stayed close throughout their high school and college years and when she relocated back to the area for work in 2011, they finally got their chance at love.
You Take My Breath Away
When Manuela and Jhonny were dating long distance, he came to visit her on the weekends. When it was time for him to go, the thought of how much she’d miss him made it hard for her to breathe. That’s when she knew she’d met the one. Let’s relive their wedding day!
“I saw my dress in a magazine and immediately knew it was my dress,” Manuela admits. “I tried on over two-dozen dresses within a month, leaving that dress for last, and I loved it. After I got the confirmation from my matron of honor and my parents, who were with me dress shopping, it sealed the deal.”
“My veil was my something borrowed from one of my bridesmaid’s,” says Manuela. “The jewelry I wore on our wedding day was given to me right before our wedding from Jhonny as our two-year dating anniversary gift.”
“He is kind, tender, gentle, has vision for his life and very humble,” says Manuela. “He challenges me and encourages me in my walk with Christ. He has a great sense of humor, believes in me, makes me want to be a better woman, and lets me take a lot of pictures! Most importantly, he loves God more than anything, even me.”
“Jhonny picked his own attire and went with a grey Vera Wang tuxedo from Men’s Warehouse over a white shirt, vest and tie,” Manuela explains. "His groomsmen wore black tuxedos which made him standout. He looked so handsome and wore the heck out of that suit.”
“She is God fearing, assertive, intelligent and absolutely a go-getter,” says the happy groom. “She is a wonderful woman, daughter, sister and an amazing friend to many, including myself, as she is my best friend.”
“We wrote our own vows, straight from the heart,” says Manuela. “It was a perfect opportunity to publicly declare our love for each other. I can see God’s love for me through his eyes, and wanted our guests to get a taste of that love. Jhonny had said for months that it was all in his head and never wrote them down. He ended up scrapping what he thought to write and wrote from the heart when he woke up the morning of the wedding and it was so beautiful.”
“First and foremost, she makes me want to be a better Christian and as a result a better man,” says Jhonny. “She shares my values and my family loves her as much as I do. Her cooking doesn’t hurt either, and in fact, it may have sealed the deal! (Smiles!)”
“We selected a venue a few miles down the same street from the church,” says Manuela. “The reception included a cocktail hour and band in a foyer outside the reception hall. The venue had a large round glass table in the foyer with a beautiful floral centerpiece surrounded by our pictures and DIY photo books that we put together over time while we were dating. It was followed by a formal seated dinner and lots of dancing. We didn’t leave much time between the ceremony and reception because we had out of town guests.”
“We started off with a slow dance to ‘Avew’ by Daan Junior - one of our favorite kompa artists,” says Manuela. “It is in French (Avew translation ‘With You’) and it was absolutely beautiful. We then transitioned to ‘Crazy In Love’ by Beyoncé and dominated the dance floor!”
“After a cake tasting at Di’Mare’s bakery in Stamford, CT with my father and youngest sister it was unanimous that the Bailey’s liquor cake was the way to go,” says Manuela. “We looked at several pictures, then went with a five layered cake with a simple heart décor accented by champagne and red roses and beaded edges. We ordered vanilla and chocolate cupcakes through Di’Mare’s for the children.”
“Being a bride was amazing though full of anxiety,” Manuela admits. “I was overwhelmed with happiness to share this moment with friends and family. Needless to say I was more than ready to start my life with the love of my life.”