Real Wedding of the Week: Alessandra and William
Bride: Alessandra Gaun born in Brasil, grew up on a farm, moved to the U.S. in 1999.
Groom: William Gaun born in Woodbridge, Virginia, grew up in Munich, Germany, and Sierra Vista, Arizona. Moved to Connecticut in 2010.
How we met
Alessandra says: William and I met on August 31, 2010 in Newtown, Conn., at Starbucks. As I was standing in line he started speaking to me in Portuguese. I thought his accent was cute and funny, but I really didn't want to give him any attention. Needless to say, William captivated me with his warm heart and charming personality. We ended up talking for hours, and when the barista announced they were closing, we briefly exchanged phone numbers, but I really didn't think much of it. When William and I were leaving Starbucks, he gave me a big hug and said, "Vai com Deus!" which means "God be with you!" in Portuguese. That phrase caught me by surprise, and meant a lot to me, because that's something my Mom and I always say to each other. Somehow, I knew at that very moment that William was a good man. Two days later we met for dinner, and since then we've been inseparable!
Will says: On September 3, 2011, I took Alessandra to Central Park in New York City. As far as she knew, the purpose of going there was to celebrate our 1-year anniversary. However, I had other plans in store for us, as this was the day I had decided to propose to her. In preparation for this special day, I researched Central Park's "Top 10 Most Romantic Spots" and bought an engagement ring, which I hid discreetly in the side pocket of my backpack. Before we left home for the park, I packed a bottle of wine and a blanket, put my backpack in the car and rehearsed, in my head, "the plan of events" for the day. I was both nervous and excited, and was worried about things not going according to plan. We arrived at Central Park at noon and went to a bakery to get sandwiches. Then, starting at Columbus Circle, we entered the park and strolled down the wooded paths, stopping briefly at Bow Bridge, Belvedere Castle, Shakespeare Garden, Cherry Hill, etc. It was a hot, humid day, and we were both thirsty and hungry. After two hours of walking through the park we finally came to our final destination, "The Pool." It was here that we found an intimate, tranquil spot to have a picnic. By this time, I was very nervous and wasn't sure about how I was going to propose, even though I had been planning it for weeks! In any case, we lay the blanket down on the ground, turned on the stereo, and opened the bottle of wine that I had been carrying around in my backpack all afternoon. After we ate, we sipped the wine from plastic cups and sat quielty, enjoying the music and pleasant view of the pond.
Alessandra: After we ate and finished off the bottle of wine, we began talking about our relationship, our goals and how happy we were together. It was around that time I noticed William seemed a little nervous. He kept saying "So ..." and I kept asking "Do you wanna leave?" I had no idea what was on his mind or what was about to happen next. Then, out of the blue, he asked me to stand up to take his picture. I said, "Sure!" As I was standing up, I noticed William reaching into his backpack. At first, I thought he was reaching for the camera, only to realize seconds later that he was reaching for the engagement ring! As he got down on one knee, he reached for my hand, holding it gently next to his right cheek. I started crying, my mind was racing, and I remember thinking to myself, "This is it! He's gonna ask me!" I was crying, shaking and laughing, all at the same time. I honestly can't remember everything he said but it was beautiful. I finally said YES!!! Just then, we heard people clapping and cheering. As we turned our heads in the direction of the applause, we noticed from acrossed the pond groups of picnickers who, unbeknownst to us, had observed the entire proposal. What else can I say? It was such a magical, unforgettable afternoon ... undoubtedly, the happiest moment of my life!
Alessandra: When we started talking about the wedding planning, I knew immediately that the reception would be at The Candlewood Inn in Brookfield—the view of the lake is breathtaking. As we were planning the wedding, everything was very traditional, a real Connecticut wedding. I had to "spice it up" and bring my Brazilian culture into it. I wanted a happy day, a celebration of love. I chose bright colors—my bridesmaids dresses were "deep coral," the flowers were orange with hints of purple. The tabletop covers were sparkly silver. We had a band and we decided to also hire a DJ to play Brazilian music—lots of samba, and let me tell you, the party was great! Our cake topper was a total surprise, not even my groom knew about it. I had it custom made in Brasil and my niece brought it with her. I had sent pictures of my dress, my groom's tux, flowers, etc … it was created to perfection, and we even added my Maltese! What really represented us and our love was the heart with both flags (American and Brazilian). It really was beautiful.
Adding a bit of Brazil to the wedding
Alessandra: In Brasil, we don't have "bridesmaids" and groomsmen," we have couples who are called "padrinhos." which means godparents. They are usually family members of the bride and groom. So, we had the traditional bridal party and I also had "padrinhos." At the reception, the men took part in the traditional groom's tie cutting. All men present at the wedding collaborate with any amount of money in exchange for a piece of the groom's tie. This piece of the tie should be stored in your wallet as it brings luck. My nieces and nephews went crazy, they forgot they were in the U.S. and went bananas, just like in Brasil (there is a pic of us holding the money that says it all!).
wedding date: September 30, 2012
ceremony: Saint Marguerite, Brookfield, CT
reception: Candlewood Inn, Brookfield CT
photographer: Picture this of Danbury-Michael Tomassi, Danbury CT
dress designer: Robin Jillian
bridal salon: Occasions Bridal, Bethel, CT
hair: Hair Art by Cidia, Newtown CT
makeup: Blush Couture, Watertown, CT
flowers: Floral Designs by Nancy, Danbury CT
cake: Candlewood Inn, Brookfield CT
caterer: Candlewood Inn, Brookfield CT
music: Locomotion, Hartford CT
To submit your Connecticut wedding for "Real Wedding of the Week" consideration, please visit theconnecticutbride.com/realweddingssubmission.Wedding of the Week: Alessandra and William