Proposals & I Dos

Mrs. April: How an Event Planner Brought a Touch of Harry Potter to This BOLI’s Wedding

In Brides of Long Island’s Monthly “Mrs.” series, we profile some of our members’ unforgettable weddings. This month, we spoke with Diana about how she incorporated her love of Harry Potter, and Ralph’s Italian Ices, into her wedding day.

(Photo courtesy of Heartfelt Studio)

After a long engagement, Diana and Rob had their perfect wedding in September 2023. And Diana has BOLI Preferred Vendor Sand and Tee Events to thank for making her wedding dreams come true.

A Five-Year Engagement

Diana and Rob met through mutual friends during a fundraiser for her best friend’s sister, who passed away from cancer. Five years later, Rob proposed in 2017 in Astoria Park. “He had an arch set up with flowers and candles,” says Diana. “And our friends were waiting behind trees to take pictures of us.”

Since they were in the process of buying a house, Diana and Rob waited a few years to start wedding planning. And in that time, COVID hit. Once things settled down, they started to look at venues and fell in love with Larkfield for their Sept. 23, 2023 wedding. “We loved all the vibes that Larkfield had – from their fantastic cocktail hour to the rustic Italian feel, it was a no brainer for us,” Diana says.

(Photo courtesy of Heartfelt Studio)

MORE: 5 Reasons to Have a Long Engagement

A Classy Harry Potter Affair

Once Larkfield was booked, Diana says all of the other vendors fell into place, including their photographer and videographer Heartfelt Studio, a BOLI preferred vendor. She says they didn’t have any issues booking the vendors they loved, and that using Tina from Sand and Tee Events was the best thing they did for their wedding. “I love to read, and I love Harry Potter, so I had a vision, but I wasn’t sure how to accomplish it,” explains Diana. “But Tina took my vision and ran with it. She added subtle touches throughout the night that really captured myself and Rob, and it was perfect.” Some of those personal touches? A dais backdrop with hanging Harry Potter candles in the background, Harry Potter page table numbers and flowers around an arch with book pages entwined with the flowers. “And for our mirror welcome sign, Tina added suitcases around it because Rob and I love to travel.”

(Photo courtesy of Heartfelt Studio)

A Little DIY

An idea on TikTok turned into one of the standout moments of Diana’s wedding night – she saw a video about using wooden bookshelves for seating charts, with books that feature guests’ names and table numbers. “Rob is very handy and I have a Cricut, so I put us up to the challenge!” Rob built the three-shelf wooden bookshelf, while she made the books from Styrofoam and cardstock. “I used my Cricut to make everyone’s name to put on the books’ bindings. I think I made about 150 books for the shelves, but everyone loved them, so it was worth all of the blood, sweat and tears,” she says.

(Photo courtesy of Heartfelt Studio)

MORE: 9 Wedding DIY Ideas That Any BOLI Can Tackle

Ralph’s For the Win

Despite the rainy weather, Diana and Rob had the perfect wedding day. She says that Tina and her husband knocked it out of the park with the décor, and went above and beyond to help set up the bookshelf seating chart. She adds that Caroline from Heartfelt made them feel at ease and made the photos fun. “Sometimes it can be overwhelming with all of the picture taking, but Caroline made everything fun and upbeat,” says Diana. “And it was great because she is a Harry Potter fan too!”

The best pictures, though? “The ones we took at Ralph’s Italian Ices in Dix Hills!” says Diana. “Rob and I love Ralph’s, it’s always been a thing for us. So each time we drove to Larkfield for wedding planning, we wondered if we could stop there on our wedding day for photos.” And that’s exactly what they did. She says that Ralph’s staff was more than accommodating – especially in the rain. “We were able to take the photos outside and inside. They even gave us some ices and let us go behind the counter. It was such a great moment for Rob and I. We had so much fun – and the photos came out great!”

(Photo courtesy of Heartfelt Studio)

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Staying True To Yourselves

All of the personal touches were so important to Diana and Rob, and she encourages other brides to stay true to themselves and their future spouses. “If you think something would be cool to do at your wedding, do it. Don’t worry about what everybody else says,” Diana mentions. “When I told people about taking photos at Ralph’s, they thought it was weird. But I’m so glad we went with our gut, because it was so meaningful for us.” And that’s what’s most important. Doing something you know is important to you as a couple – because in the end that’s who your wedding day is all about.

(Photo courtesy of Heartfelt Studio)

Venue: Larkfield
Photographer/Videography: Heartfelt Studio, a BOLI preferred vendor 
DJ: Larkfield Music Group
Singer: Sal Manzo
Florist: Flowers by Burton
Hair: Crystals Hair Creations
Makeup: Makeup by Mariel
Invitations: Zazzle
Dress: Max Bridal, a BOLI preferred vendor
Tuxedos: S&S Tuxedos
Decorator: Sand and Tee Events, a BOLI preferred vendor
Transportation: Sir Oliver