Meet Matt Galletta and Louie Wilson, a Jersey City couple who got engaged in Italy in 2019. You may recognize them from their Instagram account, @mattandlouie, where they highlight their life alongside their dog, Archie for their 20,000 followers. After having to cancel two Italian destination weddings in the wake of COVID, Matt and Louie have decided to keep it local and celebrate at Jersey City locale Porta. The night will feel like a slice of Italy here on the Hudson and filled with everything important to the grooms: their nearest and dearest friends and family, delicious Italian food, and of course, personal touches including their pup Archie. Read on to learn more about this adorable couple, their love story, and how a Pride event influenced the location decision.
Hoboken Girl: What do you both do for a living?
M+L: Matt works in finance and Louie is a recruiter.
HG: When did you move to Jersey City and why here?
M+L: We moved to Jersey City in April 2020, right at the start of the pandemic. Matt had worked in Jersey City and we would always hang out for date nights. Choosing to move here was easy. We were already in love with the culture and diversity, and even though it feels very much like an energetic city, it also feels like a small-town too. We are obsessed with the small businesses that make this city what it is.
HG: Where did you and your partner meet?
M+L: We met and started dating when we were 15 while attending a Catholic high school on Staten Island. We were friends at first and then started to fall for each other quickly. We were closeted the first five years of our relationship and actually came out on Instagram on the day marriage equality was legalized in 2015 (although everyone claims they already knew!)
HG: How long have you been together?
M+L: We will be together for 12 years on our wedding day, this April.
HG: Was there an instant connection/chemistry between you two?
M+L: Definitely. We both knew something special was there, even at a very early age. We would spend every chance we could together, even while closeted. We would sneak kisses in mall elevators so that we wouldn’t get caught.
HG: What are the qualities you love most about each other?
L: Matt can see the positives in every situation and radiates that positivity.
M: Louie is more of an action person – he will do absolutely anything to get me to smile.
HG: When was the moment you knew you were meant to marry each other?
M+L: We have been through so many different stages of life together – from high school to college to getting our first job to moving in. We could not imagine being with anyone else.
HG: Tell us about your proposal.
M+L: We got engaged in Positano, Italy on May 24, 2019. We are both Italian-American, so Louie wanted to trace our engagement back to honor our roots. The engagement happened on the balcony at the Le Sirenuse Hotel, overlooking the entire Positano hills. It was actually at the end of our trip, so Louie had to hide the ring throughout all the different cities we visited. That day felt like a dream, and even though it was our favorite day of the trip, we hardly remember Positano today. We’re looking forward to going back this fall.
HG: How surprised were you? Were you expecting it?
M+L: Matt was definitely surprised at how well Louie kept it a secret – but there were some inclinations the morning of. Louie didn’t say much that morning, insisted that we ate breakfast, and he is notorious for being the worst with directions, but somehow he knew exactly the route we had to take. It definitely seemed like he had something planned! We also totally forgot about the time difference and called our entire family back home at 5AM EST, but everyone woke up excited.
HG: How long have you been engaged and what has been the best part about it?
M+L: We have been engaged for over two years. We never expected to have a long engagement, but obviously, the universe had other plans. The best part about being engaged is the wedding planning process and having something to look forward to.
HG: Tell us about the two “failed destination wedding attempts” and what that was like.
M+L: After our Italian engagement, we planned to return with our closest friends and family to Sorrento, Italy. We were supposed to get married in August 2020 but had to cancel due to COVID. We were so close to the wedding and had to cancel exactly four months out. At that point, all the flights were booked, the wedding was planned and all we needed to do was show up at the airport. We moved the Sorrento wedding to 2021 but canceled again out of caution. We decided that we didn’t feel comfortable asking our families and friends to travel under such uncertain circumstances and decided to book a local wedding instead.
HG: Where are you planning to get married and why there?
M+L: We are getting married at Porta in Jersey City this April. In addition to the incredible ambiance of the space and the nod to Italy, it was actually the first place we ate after signing our apartment lease back in March 2020. Since then it has been a favorite for our date nights. We made the decision to book the venue after the Pride at Porta event last summer. A silver lining of the change to have something local is being able to include Archie in the festivities.
HG: What part of the wedding planning process was the most exciting?
M+L: The most exciting part of our wedding planning process has been seeing the vision come to life. We have an amazing team of vendors that we are working with and cannot wait to see the finished product.
HG: How many people do you plan to have at your wedding?
M+L: We are having around 80 people – which for us, is a micro wedding. We both come from big Italian families, but we made the difficult decision to keep it as small out of an abundance of caution.
HG: Which local vendors do you plan to use and why them?
M+L: We are working with Dawn Ferris from Skylar Arden (@skylararden) for wedding planning, Averie Cole from Towards the Moon (@towardsthemoon) for photography/videography, Christa Akers from A Petal to Peddle (@apetaltopeddle) for florals, and Carlo’s Bakery (@carlosbakery) for the cake.
We wanted to find local businesses that love and contribute to our city as much as we do. Each vendor that we are working with has taken the time to fully understand our vision and we leave each meeting feeling more excited than the last. It is safe to say we are obsessed with them.
HG: What are you looking forward to most as a married couple?
M+L: We are extremely excited for the next chapter in our lives. We’ve been planning multiple weddings over three years, so we’re looking forward to taking the time to travel, possibly looking for a slightly larger apartment in Jersey City, and continuing to spoil our French bulldog, Archie.
Keep up with Matt and Louie on Instagram @mattandlouie to follow their journey.