Caryn Dudas and Justin Bain met when they were 12 years old.
"We kind of remained friends. We went to different schools but we’d always bump into each other,” Dudas says.
Staying in touch through the years was made easier as social media websites gained popularity. In 2012, Bain contacted Dudas on Facebook.
"We had a three-hour convo on Facebook,” Dudas says. "He asked me out to dinner. I declined at first but quickly changed my mind.”
The couple have been together ever since.
On Saturday, Dudas and Bain, both 32, exchanged vows in Cedar Grove.
Photo: formal dresses Canberra
Dudas and Bain said “I do” at the Grove, a lavish venue which the pair say they “absolutely love.”
In fact, one of their favorite parts of their wedding was the Mexican food station at the cocktail hour, which included a Tequila luge and a wide-range of craft and import beers, which Bain requested.
The pair, who still live in their hometown of Woodbridge, were joined at their reception by 130 guests. They incorporated their 1-year-old daughter Charlotte into their celebration.
"We held off on the wedding plans for a while when we found out she was coming,” Dudas says.
Charlotte was escorted down the aisle at the ceremony and at the reception in a pumpkin-shaped Cinderella carriage. She also shared a first dance — or twirl — with her father at the reception.
"They danced … well, actually he spun her around, to Davey Jones' ‘Girl,’ “ Dudas recalled through laughs on Monday.
Their ceremony included musical accompaniment by a string orchestra, which the bridesmaids walked out to, and an a capella group that performed as Dudas walked down the aisle with her father. To satisfy their wintry fairy-tale theme, the bride and groom had a machine blow fake snow on Dudas and her father as they walked down the aisle.
“My father had no idea we were going to do that. He was as surprised as everyone else,” Dudas says.
Their wedding date
The couple had originally chosen Jan. 31 as their wedding date but the wife of one of their groomsmen was expecting a baby on that day, so Bain and Dudas opted for Jan. 24 instead. (Best laid plans — that groomsmen actually welcomed his baby on Jan. 21).
What they splurged on
Aside from their wedding venue, which is well-known for its lavish offerings, the newlyweds also splurged on Dudas’ $9,000 Pnina Tornai satin mermaid wedding gown. The custom design had a crystal encrusted sweetheart neckline and waistline Dudas had extra crystals sewn on for added bling. Tornai is a regular on TLC’s hit series “Say Yes to the Dress,” which is filmed at Kleinfeld Bridal Salon in New York. Dudas, an account executive, completed her look with a pair of Christian Louboutin Daffodile glitter sirene pumps in navy and gold — the couple's wedding colors.
Bain, an analyst at an energy company, was equal parts high fashion in a black custom Vera Wang tuxedo and bow tie.
Where they saved
Dudas made more than half of the centerpieces for the reception and purchased her own table runners.
"I found them online and they were $29,” she says of the candelabra centerpieces.
The cost-cutting was not limited to the bride and groom. Dudas’ bridesmaids also saved. The women wore gold sequined Badgley Mischka gowns with cap sleeves from Rent the Runway. The dresses cost $125 to rent compared to the $620 selling price at Sak’s Fifth Avenue stores.
Most memorable moments
Dudas and Bain say their fairy tale came to life on Saturday night with help from a cast of characters including Mitch the Minister and Tony Tee Neto from SCE Entertainment.
The couple let loose, especially in their first dance, for which they spent six months preparing. It incorporated a formal cha cha and hip hop routine.
“Our first dance which was choreographed to 'Love Never Felt So Good' by Michael Jackson surprised everyone and they loved it,” Dudas says. "Our fathers had a dance-off that was impromptu and hysterical as well and our same-day edit that was played prior to the cocktail hour was a hit.”