Proposals & I Dos

Mrs. April: How This BOLI Incorporated Her Dogs Into Her Wedding

In Brides of Long Island’s Monthly “Mrs.” series, we profile some of our members’ unforgettable weddings. This month, we spoke with Christine O’Mara-Fagan about why she planned her wedding early, and how she incorporated her dogs into her wedding.

(Photo courtesy of Studio 27)

When Christine O’Mara-Fagan and her husband Patrick got engaged on Christmas Eve in 2020, it was just the two of them in their living room – and their two dogs. And it was just the way Christine wanted it!

Getting a Jump on Planning

After getting engaged, they knew they’d have to get moving on planning their 2022 wedding. Christine explains that with everyone postponing and rescheduling weddings in 2020, she wanted to make sure she was able to get a date for when they wanted. “We decided to start kind of early so we had our pick of different vendors,” she says. They booked a majority of their main vendors in the first few months of 2021 for their Sept. 23, 2022 wedding.
The venue was the most important vendor for Christine and Patrick. “We were looking for something that was either rustic or industrial,” says Christine. And when they walked into The Loft at Bridgeview, they fell in love. “It was the second venue we went to, and once we looked at it, we canceled all of our other appointments.” They loved the open feel of The Loft’s ballroom, and felt it really met the vibe they were looking for.

Christine says since they started looking pretty far in advance, they didn’t have any trouble booking their vendors. The hardest part about the planning, she says, was narrowing down who to book. Of course, she used the Brides of Long Island group to read tons of reviews and make her list. “That’s the way I operate. I like to have a lot of options.”

(Photo courtesy of Studio 27)

MORE: 5 Reasons to Have a Long Engagement

Incorporating Their Fur Babies

Christine and Patrick are very attached to their dogs. They were with them when they got engaged – so it’s no surprise they were there at the reception for photos! Christine says their pet sitter brought the pups to the venue, where they took a bunch of photos, which was super important to them. In fact, Christine says her guests didn’t see the dogs come in. “When everyone saw the photos after, they were so surprised!”

In addition to spending some time with their fur babies on their wedding day, they incorporated other important aspects of their lives subtly throughout the day. That included adding places they’ve traveled on each of the guests’ tables, as well as the food truck, Fire Engine Foods. Patrick is a firefighter, so Christine says the fire truck food truck was the perfect way to end their day.

It was important to Christine and Patrick to have a laid back and fun wedding. “We wanted to do stuff that makes us feel like us!” This is why, Christine says, all of the guys wore sneakers and the girls could choose whatever dress they wanted.

MORE: Offering the trifecta of terrific wedding day services, the team at Studio 27 is one any couple would love on their special day!

(Photo courtesy of Studio 27)

A Studio 27 Event To Remember

Christine says she has Studio 27, a BOLI preferred vendor, to thank for how smooth the day went. She used Studio 27 for photography, videography, as well as their DJ. “I think having Studio 27 do so much of the wedding, they all just worked together seamlessly,” she says. She adds that they were all just so great to work with too. In fact, she adds that as they were packing up for the night, she remembered she wanted to take some nighttime photos by themselves by the Loft’s Ferris wheel. She says they didn’t even hesitate and got everyone outside for the photos.

Studio 27 wasn’t the only vendor Christine says went above and beyond. Her hair stylist, Nikki Lee of Ink & Ivy, a BOLI preferred vendor, and makeup artist, Christina Kay, of Beauty by Christina Kay, were fantastic. Christine says she doesn’t normally get her hair and makeup done, so it was important to find artists that she could feel comfortable and look natural. She did a bunch of trials before choosing Nikki and Christina, and she was beyond pleased. Christine says both were easy to work with – in fact, she used Christina for her engagement shoot too!

MORE: 22 of the Best Hair and Makeup Artists on Long Island

(Photo courtesy of Studio 27)

Do What You Want

As with most BOLIs who have graduated, Christine encourages all brides and couples to do what they want to do. She says she felt some of her ideas were ‘unconventional,’ but she was happy that she went with her gut and did them because “that’s what made us happy at the end of the day.”

She also recommends taking some time for you and your new spouse at some point. Be it in the bridal suite or somewhere quiet. She says it’s important to get that alone time in the middle of a crazy, busy day.

And, of course, she says to use the BOLI page for advice and reviews! She used it a lot to plan her wedding, and she looks forward to helping other brides in the future.

(Photo courtesy of Studio 27)

Venue: The Loft at Bridgeview
Photographer/Videography: Studio 27, a BOLI Preferred Vendor
DJ: Studio 27 Entertainment, a BOLI Preferred Vendor
Florist: Verbena Designs
Hair: Nikki Lee – Ink & Ivy, a BOLI Preferred Vendor
Makeup: Beauty by Christina Kay
Officiant: Church of Ancient Ways, a BOLI Preferred Vendor
Dress: Sayville Bridal, a BOLI Preferred Vendor
Bridesmaid Dresses: Azazie
Cake: The Sweet Peace
Photobooth: Long Island Mirror Booth, a BOLI Preferred Vendor
Tuxedos: Rico’s
Exit Station: Fire Engine Foods