For Christina Frate and Andrew Cribbs, romance sparked where it does for so many couples: in college. Theirs was Loyola University in Chicago, where they met as freshmen in 2008. The pair dated for five years, a milestone that Andrew marked in a most romantic—and for Christina, surprising—way during a visit to New York City.
“We were living in Philadelphia at the time, and we took a trip to New York City to celebrate and watch my brother’s college football game with my parents, who were in town for the game,” Christina says. “The day was normal, and I had no idea what was about to happen.”
The group had post-game dinner reservations at a restaurant on the opposite side of Central Park from where they’d been, so Andrew suggested walking to the restaurant, presumably to enjoy the pretty views. “About halfway through our scenic walk and on a bridge with a beautiful view of the city, Andrew said that we should find someone to take our picture,” Christina says. “Instead, he got down on one knee and proposed!”
With their engagement set, Christina and Andrew, who now live in New York City and work in fashion and finance, respectively, chose to marry at The Ritz-Carlton, Naples on June 20, 2015, in a wedding that Christina describes as “ethereal and romantic.”
Of choosing the resort for their wedding, Christina says, “I always wanted to get married at the Waldorf Astoria in NYC, and I thought The Ritz-Carlton in Naples, where my parents and grandparents live, was the perfect Florida version.” From there, they set about creating a wedding that Christina wanted “to be glam bohemian but classic at the same time.”
Christina and Andrew worked with Naples wedding planner Kelly McWilliams and the Ritz-Carlton’s events team to create a sophisticated but soft esthetic for their celebration, which Christina says “was achieved through the light color palette, the bridesmaids’ breezy dresses and sparkly belts, the touch of sparkle in my own dress, and, at our reception, the head table’s [sequined] linens.”
For the florals, McWilliams and the resort’s events team worked with blush, white, and ivory blooms. They created a bridal bouquet for Christina of pink peonies and blush garden roses; large, lush centerpieces and ceremony columns of white hydrangea, blush lisianthus, quick sand roses, ivory spray roses, blush garden roses, and blush peonies with hanging amaranthus and lemon leaf accents; and small centerpieces containing white lilac, blush roses and peonies, and lisianthus. “The small centerpieces were definitely my favorite,” says Christina, who made a last-minute decision to swap out the more modern, architectural arrangements that she’d originally chosen in favor of the softer, more romantic blooms.
Following their ceremony, Christina, Andrew, and their guests celebrated with a reception at the resort. Guests found their names and table numbers at a colorful macaron display, and another sweet treat was the couple’s white dotted lemon sponge cake with raspberry filling and vanilla bean icing, created by The Ritz-Carlton’s catering team.
To kick things off, the newlyweds surprised their guests with a choreographed dance to Ed Sheeran’s “Thinking Out Loud,” performed by the evening’s entertainers, Clint Wiley’s None Other Band. Of her favorite part of the day, Christina says, “Dancing! Our band was amazing, and we’ve always loved to dance.”
Venue: The Ritz-Carlton, Naples / Photographer: Hunter Ryan Photo / Videography: iHEART Films / Wedding Planner: Kelly McWilliams / Bride’s Dress: Lazaro / Bride’s Shoes: Christian Louboutin / Groom’s Suit: Enzo Custom / Groom’s Shoes: Salvatore Ferragamo / Hair: Emmé Studio / Makeup: Danielle Lewis / Invitations and Menus: Katie Fischer Design / Entertainment: Clint Wiley’s None Other Band