In Brides of Long Island’s Monthly “Mrs.” series, we profile some of our members’ unforgettable weddings. This month, we spoke with Marianne and Jessica Sheehan-Bell about how taking moments to soak in the day was a top priority to them.
Most graduated BOLIs will tell you that taking some quiet time – just you and your new spouse – is important. And Marianne and Jessica Sheehan-Bell made sure to do just that. In fact, Marianne says Jessica would pull her aside every 45 minutes to make sure they took some time for just the two of them to really appreciate the day and the love in the room.
From Co-Workers to Soulmates
Marianne says she and Jessica actually worked together for about two or three years before they officially met. “We went out for a mutual co-worker’s birthday and hit it off,” she says. About three years later, Jessica proposed on Aug. 15, 2020. “It was very intimate and also very silly,” says Marianne. She explains that Jessica got their puppy in on the proposal, with a bandana that said ‘Will you marry my human?’ It was the perfect proposal, as Marianne says it was important that they keep their proposal private. “I’m not big on being the center of attention,” she says.
When Jessica and Marianne started planning in September 2020, things were starting to open up, but she says that there were still restrictions like mask requirements and dancing in squares. They wanted a 2022 wedding, but kept an open mind if they had to push it out to 2023. But luck was on their side. “We were really fortunate, the date we picked in 2022 was just before official wedding season, so every vendor that we wanted was available,” says Marianne.
As they started their planning, there were a few venues that fell within their budget. Sea Cliff Manor was on that list – so it was the second venue they looked at. “It was so unique and so quaint, and offered one wedding at a time,” says Marianne. As they went down their list, they quickly realized that Sea Cliff Manor checked all of the boxes. Soon after that venue tour, they booked their wedding for April 29, 2022.
After the venue was booked, they started tackling the rest of their vendor list. Marianne says she got used to that search bar on the BOLI page pretty quickly to get reviews and ideas for their wedding. “I don’t know what brides would do if this wasn’t a thing,” she says.
For Marianne and Jessica, having their wedding memories documented in photos and video were most important. “It’s about taking the memories with us, so for me, the most important vendor was the photographer,” says Marianne. Jessica seconds that and says, “I really just wanted us to have the ability to relive our day over and over.” And this is why a videographer was most important for her.
Incorporating Color (and Their Pups)
It was important for Marianne and Jessica to incorporate themselves throughout the day. And to do that, they made sure to have bold and bright colors – in their flowers, in their decorations – everything was colorful. “The more color, the better,” she says. “We really just wanted to make sure our personalities were coming through and that when everyone walked in, they would say ‘OK, yes, they definitely planned this.’”
Besides having lots of color and sparkles, they wanted their beloved puppies by their side. Marianne says Raisin and Toomey came for the photos – and stole the show! “Raisin is a little high-strung,” she explains. “And when she got there, she saw us and bolted into the venue!” Luckily, Jessica was there and they were able to get Raisin to calm down so they could take photos. Even though Raisin and Toomey couldn’t stay the whole time, they were there in spirit on the cocktail napkins and their cake.
Taking in the Moments
It was extremely important to Marianne and Jessica to really soak in the day. “The whole day was more than I could have imagined,” says Marianne. She says Jessica really made sure that they took time out throughout the night to either get some air or take a picture, just something that was just for the two of them. “That is something I don’t think I realized how important it would be,” she says. “But looking back, I’m so grateful that she did that.” Jessica echoes that sentiment. “It was so special when my wife and I made sure we had time to ourselves,” she says. “We’d take a step back and look around and really take in the moment.”
Another wow moment for Marianne? Jessica surprised her with uplighting in front of the DJ booth. “Jessica is very bad with surprises,” she says. “I couldn’t believe she kept this a secret from me. And it looked amazing!”
Making sure those memories were recorded? Studio 27, a BOLI preferred vendor. “From our engagement shoot to the end of the wedding, Boy Wonder was just phenomenal,” says Marianne. “He was always conscious of making suggestions or making us laugh. I never felt uncomfortable. I would recommend Studio 27 to anyone!” And the bonus, Marianne and Jessica had Studio 27 for photos, videos and their DJ. “They were just wonderful.”
For Jessica, the maître de Ian at Sea Cliff Manor went above and beyond making sure their day was special. “He made sure we had everything we needed the day before and the day of,” she says. “He was incredible.”
Clean Your Hotel Room
Most graduated BOLIs will tell you to make sure you eat on your wedding day, to enjoy the moments or to take time for the two of you. And Marianne says those are great pieces of advice. However, she says, “Ask your bridal party to tidy up the hotel room for your wedding night!” She explains that she used the same hotel room to get ready. “We popped so much confetti in there! And it never dawned on me that I would be sleeping in the same room later that night!”
Jessica recommends not overthinking anything you want for your special day. “It’s your and your partner’s day!” she says. She adds not to worry because in the end everything comes together. And of course, she says “During the wedding, take a step back and look around. Take in your surroundings with your partner, because it is amazing.”
Venue: Sea Cliff Manor
Photographer: Studio 27, a BOLI preferred vendor
Videography: Studio 27, a BOLI preferred vendor
DJ: Studio 27, a BOLI preferred vendor
Florist: Lauren Taylor Floral Elegance, a BOLI preferred vendor
Hair & Makeup: Jess’s Side – Kate Ford Beauty Inc, a BOLI preferred vendor; Marianne’s Side – Gemini Salon & Garden
Invitations: Penelope’s Paper Pantry (an Etsy Store)
Dress: Kleinfeld’s – Disney by Allure
Bridesmaid Dresses: Jess’s Side – Azazie; Marianne’s Side – Revelry
Cake: Beautifauxl Cakes, a BOLI Preferred Vendor
Tuxedos: Jess’s tux was custom made by Giorgenti Custom Suits; Bridesmen’s suits were rented from Men’s Warehouse