Carolyn and Ben Chechik’s love story began at Zena’s Spa in Baltimore, back in September 2017. Ben’s sister, Daniela, worked as an esthetician and Carolyn’s dad was a frequent visitor, since his best friend owned the salon.
“Long story short,” Carolyn shares, “one day my dad brought in Charly, his Dachshund, and met Daniela. They began to converse about their love for dogs which somehow got redirected to their love for us. They decided they wanted to set us up on a blind date. Daniela helped Ben come up with the perfect text which ended with a line that scored him a first date: ‘I was told if I don't text you, I'd regret it for the rest of my life.’
“I’LL ALWAYS REMEMBER HOW I FELT WHEN HE TURNED AROUND AND SMILED AT ME FOR THE FIRST TIME.”
It wasn't until a month or two in that I found out he made that up – although I do believe there was some truth to that text all along.”
The next night, Carolyn and Ben met at Baltimore City’s famous restaurant, Tagliata, for their first date. This quickly led to their second date, which snowballed into a full-on relationship. “I’ll always remember how I felt when he turned around and smiled at me for the first time,” adds Carolyn.
Over the past year and a half, the couple has traveled all over the world together – Italy being their favorite destination. It was there that Ben decided to propose, popping the question on a hotel terrace overlooking Florence.
“The wedding planning process was smooth with the help of our amazing wedding planner, Amber with Oh My Occasions, and my cousin Barry who helped me every step of the way,” Carolyn says. “It was hard to plan a wedding this big from another state, but with Amber and Barry's help, it was a weekend we will always remember and could never possibly forget.”
When the wedding day arrived, the bride remembers feeling nervous and excited to read her vows, while also being overwhelmed by the love around her. “Looking around at all the amazing friends and family that flew from all over the United States to be there with us was unbelievable,” she recalls.
The wedding ceremony was nothing short of a fairy tale, with a string quartet playing as the sun set over The Biltmore’s courtyard. Cocktail hour was held outdoors beneath the stars, and guests enjoyed hors d’oeuvres and a poke bowl station – the bride’s favorite. After cocktail hour, Amber had the newlyweds close their eyes for the big reception space reveal, leading them out onto the dance floor.
“She counted to three and had us open our eyes to the most beautiful reception hall we've ever seen,” describes Carolyn. “It was amazing to see everything Amber and I had discussed over the last seven months come to life, and I couldn't have dreamt of something more beautiful and magical. Shortly thereafter, we took a two-week cruise around the Caribbean for our honeymoon.
The most memorable part was the people we met and the relationships we built. We met a couple that has been married for over 60 years, Paul and Joyce, who had a tremendous positive influence on us, and we will be visiting them in Vail, Colorado next month for Passover.”
Location: The Biltmore Hotel, Miami; Planning & Design: Oh My Occasions; Floral & Décor: Petal Productions; Cinematography: Suzanne Delawar Studios; Slow Motion Photo Booth: Fidelis Films