Our Story: Laurie Mascia and Kemal Ajan
How We Met (First Date was March 29, 2011):
Kemal and I met at our previous job. We worked at a marketing agency, and I was the proofreader, while he was the IT guy. A coworker told me that “someone liked me” in the company. It was pretty funny; it felt like high school. I found out this someone was Kemal. I debated on adding him on Facebook, and a friend convinced me I should. He accepted and asked me out for coffee. I told him that all I could promise him was coffee; I wasn’t looking to date anyone or be in a relationship. We went out for coffee. Then for lunch. Then dinner…and well, the rest is history!
How We Got Engaged (March 23, 2013):
Anyone that knows me well knows that Sadie (my dog) is very important to me. I rescued Sadie several years ago, when I was living alone in Boston. Kemal learned early on that Sadie had to be a part of the family, no matter what! And Kemal loves Sadie now, too.
While we had a mild winter, it was still rather chilly on March 23, 2013, but Kemal really wanted to take Sadie to the dog park with me. Even though the sun was out, Kemal and I were freezing as they stood in the dog park and watched Sadie play. After enduring the cold as much as we could, we decided to see if another area of the park was a bit warmer.
We drove to another section of the park, and discovered a nice area with a dock surrounded by beautiful trees (my favorite). They got out of the car, and I immediately began taking pictures of the trees and the other scenery (something I always do ha). There was no one else in this part of the park. We all made our way to the dock and looked out at the beautiful, glistening lake.
Then, all of a sudden, Kemal fumbled around in his jacket and said he and Sadie had a present for me (our two-year anniversary was coming up on March 29). He took out a small box that was wrapped up in a doggie poop bag (haha — don’t worry, it was unused!).
I asked, “What is this???”
“Just open it!” Kemal said.
I ripped open the bag (which was tied with ribbon, by the way) and saw a small jewelry box. I looked at Kemal nervously as he got down on one knee and asked if I would marry both of them (Kemal and Sadie, of course!).
I opened the jewelry box and was stunned by the gorgeous ring inside and immediately began freaking out. In all the excitement, I hadn’t even answered his question! But I said yes, of course!
And at that very moment, on the lake that was previously empty, with no human or animal in sight, a white swan appeared right next to us at the dock. We didn’t realize at the time how significant this was, as swans are a symbol of love, and a reminder of the blessings found in our relationships. Not to mention, swans mate for life…Ever since the proposal, swans have been following us around, too!
Our Wedding (June 1, 2014):
We had a rather long engagement, I suppose. But we wanted to have an early summer wedding, since I am in graduate school and very busy during the school year! My goal for the wedding was to keep it simple and sophisticated. I also wanted to add a personal touch to everything I could. The two weeks leading up to the wedding, I slightly regretted this (haha), but once I saw how much everyone loved everything, I realized it was all worth it.
Luckily, when our wedding day arrived, the weather was perfect. We had a very long day. We had two ceremonies, and several Bosnian traditions to uphold (Kemal is originally from Bosnia). I started getting ready around 8am, and our night wasn’t over until 1am the next day! It was all a blur, really. But at the same time, I was able to savor a lot of the special moments. The day really does fly by though.
My Aunt helped to create our wedding invitations. She also helped me create all of the “Day Of” printables, including programs, menus, table numbers, and thank you notes. Everyone loved these!
For our guestbook, we decided to do a quilt. The actual quilt is still in progress (thanks to my Stepmom!), but at the wedding, we had everyone sign pieces of fabric. I can’t wait to have this keepsake in our home!
I painted and glittered a lot of items that were on display at the wedding, including signs for our card box, guestbook, our initials, and a Mr & Mrs sign at our table. I also created the display for our escort cards, and my other aunt wrote the names on them.
I had a special “In Memory” table with pictures of my grandfather, and Kemal’s grandfather and grandmother who have passed away and couldn’t be there. It meant a lot to my grandmother and his parents to see these pictures there. In addition, I had a picture of my grandfather on my bouquet, so he could “walk down the aisle” with me, even though he wasn’t there.
I crafted my own card box, and painted my own “Happily Ever After Starts Here” and “Pick a seat, not a side” signs for the reception.
For the most part, if I saw something online, I tried to make it myself instead of just simply buying it. I saved some money this way, and it made everything more personal. I did buy some things like the 100 fabric flowers we wanted to pin on each of our guests. The Bride Box gave me so many great ideas as well – I had my photographer take some fun shots of the I Do shoe stickers and me wearing the “I Do” Promovizion Sunglasses featured in The Bride Box! It expanded my original ideas, and really helped tie everything together. I loved receiving packages every month with wedding related goodies! I love trying out new things, and I really didn’t know some of these things even existed!
I’m very happy with how everything turned out, and I am super grateful to have worked with such an incredible photographer. I now have these gorgeous pictures to stare at, since the actual day goes by so quickly!!
LONG ISLAND, NY
Photographer: Lindsey Light Photography lindseylightphoto.com/index2.php
Flowers: Sayville Flowers www.sayvilleflowers.com
Venue: Mansion at Timber Point lessings.com/corporate/venue_home.aspx?ref=10
Wedding Dress: Designer, Mori Lee; Purchased at Bridal Suite of Bay Shore www.bridalsuiteofbayshore.com
Tuxedos: Rented from Black Tie Tuxedos www.blacktieofny.com
Bridesmaids Dresses: Designer, Bari Jay (girls could pick their own style in chiffon), from www.bridesmaids.com
DJ: Tommy’s Tunes tommytunes.com/main.html
Hair and Makeup: Sadaf Mahmood (sister in law of one of my bridesmaids)
Limo: All Star Limo www.allstarlimo.com
Invitations and Printables: Anne Marie Mascia Design and Illustration www.behance.net/annemariemascia
Laurie Mascia is one of The Bride Box’s featured brides! If you would like your wedding featured, please fill out the online application here: www.thebridebox.com/submit-your-wedding