Kristina & Tom – October 10, 2015
Venue: West Hills Country Club
Photographer: EID Photography
“You’ll be my glass of wine, I’ll be your shot of whisky”
I met Kristina in 1989 – yes, you heard me, 1989. I was 3 months old, Kristina was 16 months old. Her mom Lynne, was my babysitter. Kristina was and is the big sister I never had, and her brother Frankie, the big brother my younger sister and I never had. We rode our bikes, went to the park, played hop-scotch in the driveway, went trick-or-treating, and my most vivid memory, eating shaped macaroni and cheese, cheese doodles and Dunkaroos while watching Rugrats (My mom never let my sister and I eat shaped macaroni and cheese. She always just bought the boring regular noodles). Oh and did I mention my sister had the BIGGEST crush on Frankie?! She said one day he would be her husband – hah, kids!…Lynne and her husband Frank cared for my sister and I, other children and her nieces and nephews as if we were siblings to Frankie and Kristina. Time out’s when bad behavior was present, and a shoulder to cry on when we scraped our knee. I can’t even begin to tell you the relationship that our two families have – one where no matter the distance, or length of time, we will always be together.
Lynne and Frank watched over Caitlin (my sister) and I while our parents worked full-time. When I was 7 years old, my mom decided it was time to do what she had always wanted – be a stay at home mom. Though my mom no longer needed Lynne to look after us while she was at work, we always had play dates, and sleepovers as we got older. There was even one time in Middle School that Kristina and I tried convincing her friends that I was her real sister – too funny. Her friends would quiz me on things only her sister would know. I passed with flying colors.
As we got older, going through High School and College, we lost touch. Though time had passed and we didn’t talk or see each other often, when we reconnected, it was like no time had passed at all. She followed in her brothers footsteps and went to The University of Scranton, and I went to study at SUNY Oneonta. Good thing she followed Frankie. Scranton is where she met Tom :)
After 7 years of dating, Tom proposed to Kristina in December 2013 in front of the Christmas Tree at Rockefeller Plaza. A short 2 months later, they were booked here at West Hills Country Club. I’d be lying if I wasn’t overly excited to help them plan their most special day!! I know I say that about everyone, but this one was different.
Planning was smooth sailing. The vendors were booked, the details were coming together and the final kinks were getting worked out, and then suddenly, tragedy struck. On May 3, 2015, Frankie, Kristina’s big brother suddenly and tragically passed away. He was 31 years old.
Later that afternoon, my mom, my sister and I went to comfort our second family at the place where it all began – Frankie and Kristina’s childhood home. The moment I turned down the street, all these memories of Dunkaroos and cheese doodles came flooding back. I chuckle about it now, thinking how ridiculous it sounds, but it’s those memories that will always keep Frankie alive. Death alone is difficult, but knowing in just 6 short months, you’ll be marrying your best friend without your big bro by your side is even harder.
It’s October 10, 2015. The sun is shining, the temperature is perfect. It’s the perfect Fall day. When Kristina and Tom arrived to West Hills from the church, I of course came running down with tears in my eyes to congratulate them. They looked STUNNING! I mean look at them. Blonde hair and blue eyes – Gorgeous! After many hugs and kisses were exchanged, Kristina turns to me and says, “I wouldn’t say this to many people, but I know this beautiful weather is Frankie’s wedding gift.” And just as you would expect…waterworks.
Kristina and Tom’s wedding day was perfect! The 200 guests in attendance were there that day to celebrate Kristina and Tom. Everyone was dancing, singing, eating, drinking and celebrating the newlyweds. We all knew that someone was missing, yet we knew in our hearts that he was there.
Kristina and Tom – Congratulations! Marriage is a beautiful time when two souls start to share one heart. Let your love for each other grow with every passing day. I’m so happy that you two have found each other. I hope your wedding day was everything you dreamed of and more….Tom, take care of her. After all, she is the big sister I never had. Love you both!
Hugs and Kisses,