Proposals & I Dos

Mrs. August: Why This BOLI Switched Venues Halfway Through Planning

In Brides of Long Island’s Monthly “Mrs.” series, we profile some of our members’ unforgettable weddings. This month, we spoke with Danielle Brown about how switching her venue was the best decision.

(Photo courtesy of Duet Photography & Video)

Almost a year after booking their wedding venue, Danielle and Devin Brown decided to not only change their venue, but also their wedding date – leaving them a little over a year to finish planning. But the couple, who had been dating for about five years, took it all in stride to plan their dream wedding.

A Vacation Proposal

When Danielle started talking to Devin on Bumble, she looked him up on Facebook and saw they had mutual friends. As most ladies do, she of course asked those friends about Devin and got the green light to go on their first date to see The Incredibles 2. She says they’ve been inseparable ever since.

In May of 2021, they were vacationing in Sanibel, Florida when Devin proposed. She says that he got the ring – and a photographer – without her knowing. “On our way to dinner, we stopped at a beach with a lighthouse, and he proposed,” Danielle says. “It was amazing that he had a photographer to capture our special moment.”

Changing Venues

The couple started planning pretty soon after they got back from vacation, and booked a venue for a Thursday night in November 2023. “We were nervous people wouldn’t come on a Thursday night, so we actually changed to a Friday,” she explains. “And then in April 2022, we scrapped the venue altogether and booked at the restaurant Cowfish for May 19, 2023.”

Danielle says they changed their mind when they were actually out to dinner at Cowfish. “We found out they host weddings. And we love it there,” she says. “He and I are a little more laid back and chill, and changing to the restaurant for our wedding just felt like the right thing to do. It felt a little more meaningful.”

They were able to cancel and get all of their money back with no issues. And Danielle says that they hadn’t booked any other vendors yet, so they didn’t have to worry about asking to change dates and venues. They were essentially able to start planning fresh after the switch.

(Photo courtesy of Duet Photography & Video)

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More Customization

The wedding venue was probably the most important vendor to Danielle and Devin, which is really why they made that switch. She knew that the food and drinks would be outstanding, and the venue is unique and on the water. “There are so many places that our guests were able to explore if they didn’t want to stay inside or on the dance floor,” she says.

Danielle says she loved that at Cowfish she had the freedom to really customize the menu – from the cocktail hour to dinner. The event planner at Cowfish was extremely helpful in explaining exactly how much food to order based on the number of guests.

As far as the other vendors, Danielle says the Brides of Long Island Facebook group was her lifeline. “I didn’t even meet with a ton of vendors. I’d look for reviews, make a few calls, and if I felt a good vibe, I’d just book with them,” she explains. “I spent countless hours on the BOLI page!”

When it came to flowers, she did speak with a few florists, but in the end she found someone on Etsy to make all of the bouquets and centerpieces with a mix of silk and dried flowers. “I sent her a photo of what I was looking for, and she was able to match it.” She loved that she could customize exactly how the flowers would turn out – and the fact that she was able to save the flowers after was a bonus.

MORE: 7 Ways to Save For Your Wedding

(Photo courtesy of Duet Photography & Video)

Never Empty Handed

When it came to personalization, Danielle says Cowfish was the most important to them as a couple. But they couldn’t forget their pup Jetty! Their signature drinks were the Jetty punch and a Sanibel sangria, based off of where they got engaged. But the drinks weren’t the only place Jetty popped up! His face was on the socks that the groomsmen wore.

Chad from LI Nights Entertainment, a BOLI preferred vendor, really made Danielle and Devin’s night. “He was the best DJ, hands down. He told me as we were finishing up planning to let him know if I needed anything the day of my wedding. And that day, he delivered.” She says that he was constantly checking in, always making sure she had a drink or water. “He really went above and beyond to make sure we were treated like royalty. And the music was outstanding! We let him pick the last song – Mr. Brightside – and the crowd just loved it.”

Those Special Moments

There were two moments that really stood out to Danielle during her wedding day. She danced with her father to a song by Zac Brown Band. “We’ve gone to see them in concert every year. And every time they play this song, my dad and I slow dance to it,” she says. “It was a really special moment for us.”

The other moment? Sitting with Devin during dinner just the two of them and taking it all in. “I remember it so distinctly. It was the first time we were alone the whole day, and we just sat back and looked around at everyone we love and care about. It really was the best part of the day.”

Go With the Flow

Danielle wants to let other BOLIs know that there is a difference in planning a wedding at a restaurant versus a catering hall-style venue. “Cowfish was great in helping me plan, but you have to remember it is a restaurant, so they don’t have a bridal attendant or maitre’d the day-of. You have to be able to go with the flow.”

MORE: Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

But going with the flow is important no matter where your wedding is, she says. She adds that it’s important to try not to micromanage. “You’ll have a better time if you’re not expecting so much. If something does go wrong, just go with it, enjoy the moments and your big day.”

(Photo courtesy of Duet Photography & Video)

Venue: Cowfish
Photographer/Videographer: Duet Photography & Video
DJ: LI Nights Entertainment, a BOLI Preferred Vendor
Florist: Etsy
Hair: Crystal Romano
Makeup: Victoria/Makeup by Vic
Transportation: Sir Oliver
Dress: Allure Bridal at Blu Rayne Bridal Boutique, a BOLI Preferred Vendor
Bridesmaid Dresses: Azazie
Spray Tan: Water 2 Moon Spray Tan
Tuxedos: Men’s Wearhouse