Danielle Mellusi was a nurse working the night shift when Benjamin Iorio made plans for the couple, who met at a party when they were 19, to go to dinner and a movie. “I was cranky and exhausted,” Danielle recalls. “When Ben suggested I put on a dress, I gave him a hard time.” He then asked her to put on a promise ring he had given her, which she didn’t normally wear to work. As she started to put the ring on her finger, she realized that Ben had swapped out her promise ring for an engagement ring.
The couple, who today lives in White Plains, started planning right away, and, after looking at venues, decided on Tappan Hill Mansion in Tarrytown.“It has a great view,” she says, “and I hadn’t been there for a wedding before. I also wanted to have part of the day be outside.”
When searching for her gown, Danielle went to Kleinfeld with her mother, who is a big fan of Say Yes to the Dress. She was able to find her Danielle Caprese gown within an hour. “My mom convinced me to get it,” she says. “It had a fitted corset top with glitz and was form-fitting on the bottom. I wasn’t sure at first, but in the end was glad I got it, because it was so different.”
Inside her dress, Danielle pinned a medallion that belonged to her grandmother, Rose. “This is a tradition for all of the women in the family,” she explains. At least 10 of her cousins had already worn the pin on their wedding days. Now, Danielle has the pin and is holding it until the next bride in the family comes along.
Danielle is Catholic and Ben is Jewish, so they wanted to incorporate both traditions into their ceremony. They lit a unity candle, in accordance with the Catholic tradition, and had a birch chuppah and performed the breaking of the glass, in keeping with Jewish custom. Instead of an interfaith minister, they decided to have both a priest and a rabbi.
For music, they went with a 10-piece band, which Danielle had remembered from a family friend’s wedding years prior. “There were a lot of older people attending the wedding and I wanted to make sure that everyone was dancing, no matter what age, and they were,” Danielle shares. Even her 94-year-old grandmother, Rose—the original owner of the family medallion—boogied the night away.
In the end, Danielle wasn’t the only one at the center of the wedding. “My mom was a huge part of the process,” she says. “I’m her only daughter and she loved every minute of it. I don’t know what I would have done without her.”
The Details: Photographer: H&H Photography, Irvington (914) 591-4200; www.handhphotographers.com. Ceremony Venue, Reception Venue, and Catering: Abigail Kirsch at Tappan Hill Mansion, Tarrytown (914) 631-3030; www.abigailkirsch.com. Florist: X-Quisite Flowers & Events, New Rochelle (914) 632-8700; www.xquisitevents.com. Music: New York Players, Albany, New York (518) 482-8252; www.newyorkplayers.com. Invitations: RSVP Designs, Inc., Mamaroneck (now closed). Bridal Attire: Kleinfeld, New York City (646) 633-4300; www.kleinfeldbridal.com. Bridal Hair: Lisa Marie Rinaldi (914) 299-2824. Bridal Makeup: Jeanine Leuci (954) 793-8124. Bridesmaids Dresses: Amelia’s Bridal, Yonkers (914) 779-5900; www.ameliasbridal.com. Engagement Ring/Wedding Band: Tom’s Jewelry NY, New York City (212) 398-9246.