Home Food + Drink This Couple Got Engaged at Pier C With the Help of Hoboken’s Mayor

This Couple Got Engaged at Pier C With the Help of Hoboken’s Mayor

by Samantha Impaglia
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When Covid-related closures put a damper on Matt Moran’s original plan to propose to his wife, Deirdre, he went straight to the top for an assist: Hoboken Mayor Ravi S. Bhalla. Matt and Deirdre’s story has Hoboken written all over it. From the stealthy Pier C Park proposal, engagement pizza from Napoli’s, to a Hoboken-themed engagement photoshoot, it’s easy to see that Hoboken has played a supporting role in this couple’s love story.

Both Matt and Deirdre grew up about an hour from Hoboken, but moved to Hudson County shortly after attending college and have stayed since. The Hoboken Girl had the chance to speak with the pair about their engagement, wedding, and all the details. Read on to learn more about Deirdre and Matt and their Hoboken love story.

Deirdre matt engagement wedding

(Photo credit: Jason Rhee Photography)

Hoboken Girl: What do you both do for a living?

Deirdre Moran: People Operations at the Action Network.

Matt Moran: Senior Paralegal/Analyst at Spotify.

HG: Tell us why you chose to move to Hoboken.

DM: Matt and I each grew up about an hour from Hoboken in Upstate NY and started dating while both living at home with our parents. Both of our older siblings had moved to Hoboken after college and we realized we both had plans to eventually move there as well. A few months down the road, we both moved to Hoboken and each lived with friends for two years before moving in together. We both love the accessibility to everything in Hoboken. We love to walk around the town and grab food/drinks at all of the restaurants and bars. Hoboken is a great location for us in regards to work but also being close to our families. You can’t beat the view of NYC!

Deirdre matt engagement wedding

(Photo credit: Jason Rhee Photography)

HG: When/where did you and your partner meet?

DM: We have known each other since middle school. We both grew up near one another but reconnected after college when we both moved back to our respective hometowns.

HG: Was there an instant connection/chemistry between you two?

DM: After we both graduated college we moved home. We ran into each other again and there was an instant connection, from there we started talking and eventually dating.

Read More: Jersey City’s Newest Restaurant + Wedding Venue: Meet Terra E Mare

HG: How long have you been together?

DM: 6.5 years.

HG: When was the moment you knew you were meant to marry each other?

DM: I don’t think there was an exact moment, it was just something that we always knew!

Deirdre matt engagement wedding

(Photo credit: Jason Rhee Photography)

The Engagement

HG: Tell us about your proposal.

DM: Matt’s original plan in April 2020 was to go out to dinner at O’Nieal’s (my maiden name is O’Neill), and then head over to Moran’s for a drink after dinner (his last name is Moran). He was going to propose in the park and have our families and friends surprise us in Moran’s. This would have been clever as I would have been “going from an O’Neill to a Moran”, but unfortunately, COVID-19 was very high risk at the time and both restaurants were closed.

This led Matt to Plan B.  Matt messaged Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla on Instagram and explained the situation that he was in. He asked Mayor Bhalla if he would be willing to open Pier C Park for him to propose in, which was also closed at the time. Mayor Bhalla was amazing and agreed to open the park for a few minutes for our special moment. Fast forward to June 13th, 2020, Matt and I walk over to Empire Coffee in the morning to get iced coffees and walk up to the water. Little did I know, an employee from the city of Hoboken was there to open the gates for us and let us have the most amazing moment.

Matt’s brother was hiding in the trees inside and was able to capture the moment for us. Matt then surprised me with both of our families back at our apartment to celebrate the big news. We even celebrated with a heart-shaped pizza from Napoli’s. We then had our engagement pictures done in Hoboken at all of our favorite spots. 

Deirdre matt engagement wedding

(Photo credit: Jason Rhee Photography)

HG: How surprised were you? Were you expecting it?

DM: I was 100% surprised. I was not expecting it because it was during COVID and Matt knew that when we got engaged I wanted to celebrate with our families. We were being really careful about who we were seeing, so I did not think that everyone would be getting together.

HG: How long was your engagement?

DM: 1.5 years.

The Wedding

HG: Where did you get married and why that venue?

DM: We got married at Crystal Springs in Hamburg, NJ. We loved the rustic atmosphere of the venue and are big golfers. We were able to host a golf outing the day before our wedding and it was a great way to kick off the weekend.

See More: 3rd Time’s the Charm for This Adorable Jersey City Couple

HG: How many people did you have at your wedding?

DM: We had 210 people at our wedding.

Deirdre matt engagement wedding

(Photo credit: Jason Rhee Photography)

HG: What was your favorite moment of the day?

DM: There are so many favorite memories from our day, but if we had to choose one it would be our wedding ceremony at St. Francis de Sales down the road from Crystal Springs. We were able to have Deirdre’s first cousin, Father Paul Houlis, marry us and it was so special to be surrounded by all of our family and friends in that moment. The entire church was filled with so much love. As we were walking out of the church at the end of the ceremony, the place sounded like Madison Square Garden – our friends and family were cheering so loud.

HG: Did you use any local vendors?

DM: We booked Pizza Vita to come and be a guest favor after our reception after we ate the pizza at Pier 13. The team was absolutely amazing! They showed up with a full food truck and cooked the pizzas in front of everyone. All of our guests loved it. 

HG: Any advice for couples planning a wedding locally or in general?

There is a lot that goes into planning a wedding and the number of decisions you have to make can be overwhelming. At the end of the day, don’t lose sight that the most important part of all of it is that you get to marry your best friend and that is what it is all about!

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