Love is elusive – so when we find it, we like to take notes. This month, we sat down with Joaimee and Danny in New York to hear their love story. From their helicopter ride engagement, to their yacht reception, to a surprise run-in with John Legend – every moment was filled with excitement, joy, and so much love.
How did the two of you meet?
Danny: We were both in Jersey, so we met at the beach. It was eleven years ago, at this point. We’ve been together ever since then, all through college—multiple colleges for Joaimee—and work for myself. We got engaged in a helicopter over New York City.
Joaimee, did you know he was going to propose?
He kept telling me about a dinner that we were having and he had all these things planned. He kept making it out to be something extravagant. The week before, I said “Well, I hope it’s what I think it is.” He played that off. He said “No, it’s not, so don’t think about that.”
So I didn’t really think about it! It was a surprise, because I didn’t even know where we were going! I was away that whole week with my friends in Upstate New York. On Friday he had picked out this whole outfit for me and it was in our room. A car came to pick me up. I thought “Okay…where exactly are we going?” We drove to pick him up and then we drove to the helicopter pad.
Did you immediately start wedding planning?
Danny: We waited a little bit. I knew I wanted to have the reception on a boat. I wanted to do something different. I come from a big Italian family. Everyone does the typical country club or banquet hall type thing. I didn’t want to do what everyone else has done so we were looking at boats.
When I saw the boat, the Infinity, that was the one. As soon as we got off the boat, I said “this is definitely it.”
How did you balance the decision-making?
Danny: I had the reception piece of the puzzle envisioned. I told Joaimee “I’ll take care of this big piece of the puzzle and you take care of all the special details. This is what I want, and everything else can be yours. As long as I get the boat, I’m happy.”
Joaimee: He took care of the venue and transportation. Everything else was me.
What was it like working with Kathleen, your wedding coordinator from Hornblower?
Danny: She went through the menu with us, she went over all the tablecloths and all that fun stuff. She put everything in front of us and asked what we wanted to do. She gave us her opinions on certain items but she let us make our own decisions. We knew what we wanted and it was plain and simple. She didn’t have to hold our hand too much.
What was the song for your first dance?
Joaimee: It was “Like I’m Gonna Lose You” by Meghan Trainor and John Legend.
Danny: I was trying to get them on the boat! As we were walking out of the church and getting onto the bus to the reception, John and Chrissy (Tiegen) walked right down the block with their baby.
Joaimee: The girls were already on the bus. I said “you missed it!” When we pulled away, we could see them walking in the distance…We thought we would pass them and see them walking on the sidewalk but the bus turned before we could.
Were there any particular moments that stick out from your wedding or your reception?
Danny: The whole night stood out! The view was just amazing. The only way you could get backdrops like that is if you went to a studio and had the backdrop changed every few minutes. Being able to be near where we live and being able to be in front of the Freedom Tower…it was all about the backdrops and the family. It was really the setting that made it.
Joaimee: We have tons of pictures from the reception. Everything that was captured shows everyone’s enjoyment throughout the whole night. When we talked about where our reception was going to be, everyone was saying “wow, that’s pretty crazy. On a boat?” Everyone knew this was going to be pretty awesome.
Danny: I think they were all in awe, to be honest. It was definitely a wedding that none of them had ever experienced before. Everyone was so caught up in all the views. Everyone had their cameras out. “I’ve never seen this part of Brooklyn!” “I’ve never seen that!”
You are always looking from inside the city or from Brooklyn. You aren’t looking at it on the water, so going under the Brooklyn Bridge or the Manhattan Bridge…being able to see everything, it’s like “oh my god, this is amazing. The views are amazing.”
You also had your own maitre d’ for the day, right?
Danny: Gabriel was fantastic. He was kind of like your shadow, and always knew when to be there. At one point I yelled “Stop the boat!” in front of the Statue of Liberty. He said, “You want me to stop the boat?” I asked, “Can you?” And he said, “Sure, I’ll call the captain.” He literally just stopped the boat for us.
Joaimee: He told us “when you are ready to have dinner, just let me know and I will bring it out from the kitchen.” If you want something else, just let me know.” It was all about us. It was great.
Danny: When we got up to our home-Long Island City—he had us circle a little bit so we could get some good pictures. That was really nice. If we wanted anything else or if the guests needed anything…even the bartenders didn’t hesitate. The level of service was fantastic.
Were you able to get everyone dancing?
Joaimee: Everyone was on the dance floor the whole night. DJ Kevin G was playing.
Danny: He was fantastic to deal with before, after and during the event. Joaimee gave him a massive playlist ahead of time. He was easy to talk to and request anything from. It was really good dealing with him.
Joaimee: One of the last songs that he played was “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life”, the song from Dirty Dancing. Danny and I danced together and we did the lift. It was unplanned. The D.J. started playing it and I said ‘are we going to do the lift?’ and Danny said “yeah, sure. Why not? While we were dancing, Gabriel went up to the balcony on the second floor and threw flower petals onto us. I thought “This is really funny. This is really cute.”
Stay tuned for our upcoming posts where we will be featuring real weddings on Hornblower yachts across all of our ports!
A Hornblower wedding is truly a departure from the ordinary. We would love to chat with you about your unique wedding, browse our wedding packages at any of our ports: San Francisco, Berkeley, San Diego, New York, Marina del Rey, Long Beach or Newport Beach. Or fill out the form below and a Hornblower wedding coordinator will help you get started.
Photography by: Idalia Photography http://idaliaphotography.com/