Elegant & Edgy at New Rochelle’s VIP Country Club

Eleven years ago, Rita was in charge of payroll at Pepe Auto Group in White Plains. Evan was a tow-truck driver at the time and would come to Pepe quite often to drop off paperwork for his company. He rarely spoke to Rita—he was warned by his boss not to mess things up with that account—which she just took as him being shy and disinterested.

But, as fate would have it, their paths crossed one night at a local bar when Rita’s sister dragged her to watch a darts game—and the two have been inseparable ever since.

- Advertisement -

After three years of dating, Evan and Rita went for their yearly Christmas visit to the tree in Rockefeller Center. This time, Evan had something extra-special up his sleeve—a proposal. “I absolutely lost it when he got down on his knee and asked me to marry him,” Rita recalls. “In fact, Evan swears I didn’t even say ‘yes’ because I was sobbing so hysterically—but I know I did.” 

That night, they went to Serendipity for dinner to celebrate. As they were leaving, Rita noticed, in the display case by the register, a bride-and-groom cake topper featuring skeletons with their tongues sticking out and the words “love never dies.” A week later, she went back to buy it, and the wedding planning began.

“We both have tons of tattoos and are very into art and alternative music, so we were looking to get married somewhere that was a little different and would cater to our edgier guests,” she says. After looking at a few places, they decided upon the newly renovated VIP Country Club in New Rochelle. Neither had been to a wedding there, and they loved the look and feel of the place.

“I was originally thinking of having black dresses for the bridesmaids and red roses as kind of a goth theme,” she says, “but as the planning went along, my girly side came out, and I chose pink peonies for my bouquet and all-white flowers for the girls.”

To find the perfect dress, Rita went with her mother, sister, and aunt to the renowned Kleinfeld Bridal in Manhattan. “I always wanted a big ball gown,” she says. “But after trying on a few dresses, my aunt and sister handed me this gorgeous mermaid-style dress by Rivini. I tried it on and knew it was the one.”

- Partner Content -

The ceremony took place at the Immaculate Conception Church in Tuckahoe, with Evan’s childhood priest officiating. Afterwards, they went to an abandoned building in Ossining to take their wedding photographs. It had graffiti on all the walls, which really captured that avant-garde feel they were going for. “We always knew who we wanted for our photographer, as we had loved what he did for a friend’s wedding, so we told him to do whatever he wanted and it was totally our style. We were having so much fun that we missed our cocktail hour because of it, but was well worth it.”

In lieu of favors, Rita and Evan donated to the American Cancer Society, as they collectively had so many family and friends who have been affected by some form of cancer. There were white boxes with colored bracelets inside for various types of cancer. Each was inscribed with with the Society’s “Celebrate Hope” tagline and a note that read: “For those who have fought and lost, fought and won, and those that are still fighting.”

That skeleton cake topper sat atop a traditional chocolate cake with raspberry purée and mousse inside. “The top layer was a rainbow cake just for us, which we actually ate on our one-year anniversary,” Rita says.

“Overall, we tried to do things a bit differently and it turned out amazing,” she notes. “It was everything that I thought it would be and more. To this day, every single time I watch the video, I cry.”   

The Details: Photographer: Park Place Photographers, Inc., Ricky Restiano, Bronxville (914) 961-1650; rickyrestiano.com. Videography: Strictly Video Productions, Inc., Larchmont (914) 633-3003; strictlyvideo.com. Reception Location: VIP Country Club, New Rochelle (914) 235-1500; vipcountryclub.com. Florist: Westchester Floral Decorators, Pelham (914) 633-1900; westchesterfloral.com. Music: Jimmy Dee Music Productions, White Plains (914) 428-9231; jimmydee.com. Invitations: Papyrus, Scarsdale (914) 725-6055; papyrusonline.com. Bridal Attire: Kleinfeld Bridal, New York, NY (646) 633-4300; kleinfeldbridal.com. Bridesmaid Dresses: Amelia’s Bridal, Mount Vernon (914) 699-4128; ameliasbridal.com. Hair: Wendy Moran and Ali Shallo, now at Salon Flair, 193 E. Post Rd, Whie Plains (914) 946-1811; salonflairhairsalon.com. Groomsmen Attire: Ridge Squire Tuxedo, Rye Brook (914) 939-4613; ridgesquiretuxedo.com. Makeup: Jacqueline Marie (914) 216-5326; jacquirisotto.com.

Our Healthcare Heroes Awards event takes place on May 9!

Our Westchester Home Builders Awards take place on April 4!

Our Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Forum is March 14!

Unveiled: A Boutique Bridal Brunch is February 25!

Our Best of Westchester Elimination Ballot is open through March 6!

Holiday flash sale ... subscribe and save 50%

Limited time offer. New subscribers only.