Tina Ciapciak and Tommy Epstein had known each other since grade school, but it wasn’t until they were reunited over the holidays during college that they made a love connection. “The night after Christmas, I remember seeing her from a distance and thinking how beautiful she looked!” Tommy recalls. “A friend pulled me away, and I thought I had missed my chance.” But as fate would have it, later that night, the two ended up at a mutual friend’s house. “I knew right away he was Mr. Right!” Tina says. “Seriously, I came home and told my mother that Tommy was ‘the one.’”

    According to Tina, Tommy was big on surprises and the proposal was no exception. One fall evening, he purposely locked her out of their condo so she would have to use her key and alert him that she was home. This allowed him to greet her at the door on one knee and pop the question. “I gasped and said, Are you serious?”

    The couple was joined by family and friends on June 11, at the bride’s family parish, Church of the Annunziata. The ceremony and reception incorporated Tina’s love of all things monogrammed. A custom-made runner with a silver joint monogram lined the church aisle. At the reception, in addition to monogrammed menus, place cards and match books, guests were given white baseball caps embossed with the couple’s monogram as they hit the dance floor at Old Warson Country Club. “It set the mood for the dance floor, as well as being a keepsake that our friends and family still wear all the time!” says Tina. At one point, the couple took a moment to truly be ‘on the outside looking in’ when they stowed away and enjoyed a dance around the fountain. “It was something I will never forget,” says Tommy.

     The newlyweds began their honeymoon in Paris and continued on to Cannes, France, where they lodged on the French Riviera and enjoyed sunshine, mai tais and shopping.

    For couples soon to be wed, the Epsteins offer simple advice: “Enjoy the day and all the preparations—it goes by way too fast,” says Tina. Her husband adds, “Choose the right girl and the rest doesn’t really matter!”

The Date – June 11, 2011

The Bride – Christina Niemann Ciapciak

The Groom – Thomas Andrew Epstein

The Bride’s parents – Mr. & Mrs. Robert Ciapciak

The Groom’s parents –Mr. & Mrs. Thomas Epstein

The Ceremony – Church of the Annunziata

The Reception – Old Warson Country Club

The Dress – Amsale, Town and Country Bridal Boutique

The Rings – Simons Jewelers

The Florist – Ken Miesner’s Flowers

The Cake – Encore Baking Company

The Band – The Ralph Butler Band

The Photographer – Stephen Seebeck Photography

The Bridesmaids Dresses – Lilly Pulitzer, Pink Magnolia

The Invitations – Crane, The Service Bureau

The Wedding Planner – Barbara Hoover