Jenna + Michael | Italian Family-Style Wedding

Jenna had just finished her waitressing shift when she went to a bar in Providence, Rhode Island for a Catholic young adult event. There was one spot left at the table, next to a handsome newcomer to the group. They chatted and exchanged numbers at the end of the night.

Jenna and Michael’s friendship blossomed soon after, as Michael began a new journey of discernment after departing from religious life and as Jenna began the annulment process from her previous marriage. Though both sensed the Father’s hand at work in a special way, they agreed to postpone dating until the annulment decision was finalized, one way or another.

On December 8, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, Jenna received word that her annulment had been granted. Two months later, Michael asked her to be his girlfriend, and on another Marian feast, the Feast of the Annunciation, he proposed at the Shrine of Our Lady of LaSalette in Attleboro, Massachusetts.

From the Bride: We knew from the beginning that the Nuptial Mass was the most important part of our wedding. Both of us have sentimental hearts and love for details that we tried to incorporate into the day. Our Mass, for instance, was held at the same parish where my parents were married. This was particularly special to me, as my father passed away at a young age. Choosing to be married in the same location he was made me feel connected to him in a special way. The Maid of Honor was my best friend, and the Best Man Michael’s cousin.

We are in our early 30s and wanted to keep things simple, yet joyful and beautiful, for the Mass and reception--a true representation of our relationship. For the Gospel reading, we chose the Parable of the pearl of great price, a nod to my pearl engagement ring. Pearls are my favorite gem and have particular significance in Michael’s Portuguese culture. I also carried and decorated with my favorite flowers, sunflowers.

Our mothers did the readings, and my close friend sang during our dedication to Our Lady, for which we made a special consecration to her. The bright July afternoon felt so visually fitting for who we are as a couple.

Our reception was held at a family-style Italian restaurant, where we served a casual, delicious chicken dinner. Our friends Ryan and Elizabeth sang our first dance selection, “Oceans” by Hillsong United. By the time our guests joined us on the dance floor, we stayed there all evening, and it’s a time we’ll always remember.

As a new bride, I can honestly say that surrendering to God's will through dating and engagement has shaped a truly beautiful foundation for our marriage.

Pray together always, and seek his will above all. Continue to pray together once you’re married, and don't forget to laugh and forgive one another often!

Photography: Andrea Van Orsouw Photography | Church: St. Agatha Parish- Woonsocket, RI | Wedding Reception Venue : Savini's Pomodoro Italian Kitchen & Bar | Engagement Ring: Piette Jewelers- Woonsocket, RI, Wedding bands: Kay Jewelers | Bridal Hair: Hair Stage 5- North Smithfield, RI | Music Mass: Sarah Moore (friend of the bride), Vocalists Reception: Ryan & Elizabeth Tremblay (friends of the bride and groom) | Videography- Steven Jordao (cousin of the bride) of Gue Productions | Flowers: Whole Foods | Cake: Kelly St. Gelais (friend of the bride), Bridal Gown and Maid of Honor's Dress: David's Bridal, Centerpieces and other décor- DIY by the bride and family/friends.