Home PeopleBridal This Couple Met at Birch + Had a Wedding Slice at Basile’s Pizza

This Couple Met at Birch + Had a Wedding Slice at Basile’s Pizza

by Samantha Impaglia
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We love a good Hoboken love story, and this one is extra heartwarming with its family ties. Samantha and Anthony met at the local spot Birch, where they had an instant connection. It was all up from there: when Anthony met Samantha’s children, the couple knew this was a forever bond. From the memorable holiday proposal and all the details of the wedding to an exciting 2022 update, we have all the details from Samantha. Read on to learn more about this couple and their story.

Samantha Anthony hoboken wedding

(Photo credit: Devin McGurgan of Mile Square Photography)

The Hoboken Girl: How long have you been together?

Samantha Monzo: Anthony and I met in 2018, on  February 10th at Birch in Hoboken. I had just come home from a work trip to California and was extremely tired. I was looking for what anyone looks for at a bar – coffee. Well, to be fair I was hoping for an Espresso Martini, but they didn’t have that so I found myself at the gelato bar when some guy came over and asked me what I was doing. Fast forward, he got me my coffee, and himself my favorite gelato. We got separated through the night but as fate would have it, I realized he forgot his card. When he came back – I said I know you! I told him I had kids and should really be home. He laughed, asked me to dance, and we have been together ever since.

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

SM: Early into dating, Anthony took me on a date to Dave and Busters. I was playing a shooting game and apparently thought that required ducking and hiding from being shot at. It was a scene. When I finally finished the game,  I looked over and he was hysterical. I think we both realized on that date we were falling in love. Shortly after that, we went to the Dominican Republic together on our first trip. On that trip we both knew for sure – this was it. We looked at rings, made “pretend” wedding plans, and came home and introduced Anthony to the kids. 

Samantha Anthony hoboken wedding

(Photo credit: Devin McGurgan of Mile Square Photography)

HG: Tell us about your proposal.

SM: Anthony and I got serious fast. Once he met my two kids we both knew this was forever. We fell into the place of an “instant” family. We had family dinners with the four of us, we took trips to the city and down the shore, and we purchased a home.

Traditionally we have an NYC Christmas date where we do winter things – ice skating in the park, window shopping, lots of food. In December 2020 we were in the city together, it had begun to snow, we were walking to Central Park (my favorite place in the world) and I thought, OMG this is it! As we were crossing the street Anthony looks at me and says “Want to hear something funny – my mom thought we were going to get engaged today.”

Read More: This 15 Fox Place Wedding in Jersey City Is One for the Books

Needless to say, I did not find this funny. Anthony ended up telling me that he did have a plan and that we would be engaged prior to my birthday in April. Every big or small moment I was like a child waiting for candy. That was until Christmas Eve 2020 came around.

Anthony was being so weird. I remember saying to myself – there is no way he is asking today. He is being so weird. We went about our usual Christmas Eve activities. It is my favorite day of the year because for one night everyone believes in magic. We made Christmas cookies with the kids, drank lots of wine, and listened to tons of Christmas music. We have a few traditions so we went about that like usual. As we are finishing up our traditional Christmas Eve activities, Audrey, our youngest, tells us she is tired so it was time to get ready for bed.  

Samantha Anthony hoboken wedding

(Photo credit: Devin McGurgan of Mile Square Photography)

Anthony was insistent that she stayed up. I was still thinking he’s being weird. That is until he gathers the kids and says let’s talk about Mommy and Daddy’s love story.  This is one of their favorite stories – they think we met at a dance, not a bar with dancing. At that point, I knew what was happening.

He had both kids sit on the sofa in front of the tree. He gave John (our oldest) his phone and directions. He told me to stand in front of the tree and asked Audrey to grab something out of the stocking. Audrey thought it was a box of chocolate (but it was in fact the ring), and John and I realized pretty quickly what was happening. I don’t know who was more excited that night – there were a lot of tears, screaming, and jumping up and down. Our family would be whole. We would all be Monzos! It was the absolute perfect engagement and I couldn’t imagine it happening any other way. 

HG: How long was your engagement?

SM: Nine months – we had a date and venue within two days of getting engaged.

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

SM: We knew we wanted Hoboken. It was where we met, it looks over NYC where we spent most of our early days since Anthony was living in the city, and where we really fell in love. We also knew we wanted something small, and unique to us. We ended up doing our ceremony at Antique Loft looking over the city and our reception at Kolo Klub. We felt like both locations spoke to us and allowed us to highlight all of the things that were important to us. We thought about every detail. We felt like it was so important to enjoy the day with our guests and show them how much they meant to us and how we feel about each other. Both venues were well-suited for that. Plus, 2000s R&B and lots of cocktails, and really good food. It was a good night. We got married on September 18th, 2021. 

Samantha Anthony hoboken wedding

(Photo credit: Devin McGurgan of Mile Square Photography)

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

SM: Fifty adults and ten kids.

HG: What was your favorite moment of the day?

SM: Many, but definitely the ceremony. There was so much emotion. One of our closest friends married us and he was so intentional about including our kids. Audrey was the flower girl and John walked me down the aisle with my Dad. The kids also stood up there with us and our officiant had them as his “helpers.” We did a hand wrapping ceremony where the kids tied our hands together to bond us as a family. Not only did I get to marry my best friend but I think my kids finally took a breath that day. They fell in love with Anthony as quickly as I did. He went from Bunny, a nickname Audrey gave him, to Daddy in such a short time. It was as if that day, in those moments, we all finally took a breath, and were able to recognize that this life we have is pretty special.

Samantha Anthony hoboken wedding

(Photo credit: Devin McGurgan of Mile Square Photography)

HG: Did you work with a wedding planner? 

It is important to note I plan events for a living. I am an Education Experience Manager for L’Oréal and a lot of what I do is planning and executing events. Prior to that, I did hair and makeup both behind the chair and for a bridal company Verve on Location. I thought I could handle [planning it all]  but I was wrong. About four months out, I started to panic and called Kristi Unus, who has now expanded her business at Verve from hair and makeup to include wedding planning. I cannot shout loud enough that she saved me. I had all of the main elements booked and she took over from there. 

See More: A Proposal Story that Hits Hoboken’s High Notes

Kristi put together a timeline, communicated with my vendors, hired somebody to be with me and help things run smoothly for the morning-of, and hired somebody to help set up my reception. There were so many moving parts, I have no idea why I thought I had things handled. Kristi was my wedding day fairy godmother. The Verve team also did my makeup.

Where Kristi left off, her Verve colleagues Nicole Makarow and Erica Martinez picked up. As I mentioned I have kids, we also decided to have a ceremony on one side of town and reception on the other with a four-hour gap and a trolley to cart everyone around. Nicole made it happen – she had flip-flops for my daughter and me, she managed the trolley and its schedule and took care of the kids by feeding them snacks and pizza. It was truly above the call of duty – wow. 

HG: Did you use any local vendors?

SM: I had a dream team and they were all local, strong, badass women!

Samantha Anthony hoboken wedding

^ Wedding pizza slices at Basile’s (Photo credit: Devin McGurgan of Mile Square Photography)

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

SM: Trust your vision and honor your love story! It made our day special was that we engrained so much of who we are as a couple and family into it. Having a small wedding also allowed us to spend meaningful time with each and every person there. We were so intentional about keeping our invite list really small. 

Hire the right people. Devin McGurgan and Alane Gianetti stepped in and recommended things whenever I got stuck. Kristi (already a friend) listened to me have a moment and offered solutions. And Nicole (my day-of coordinator) became a true friend that day.  They all gave me a sense of calm leading up to my big day and kept me laughing and smiling so I could just soak up all the magic of the day. A hard lesson from a self-proclaimed control freak – ask for help! But truly, hire people you actually like.

HG: What are you looking forward to most as a married couple?

SM: Well – we like to keep things interesting so our newest adventure will be a newborn baby boy in June. We cannot wait for him to be here. We also get the added bonus of watching John and Audrey with our new addition, and they are equally as excited! It will be our biggest adventure yet.

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