Real Wedding: Emma Gray & John Cannellos
Personal touches and green, pink, and gold details make for a cheerful celebration at Lakeview Pavilion.
June 9, 2018
Emma Gray and John Cannellos have the human resources department at Ernst and Young to thank for kicking off their romance. After Emma joined the firm in July 2012, the company assigned John, who was working at EY as a tax accountant, to be her peer adviser. They met at a welcome breakfast, and “instantly hit it off,” Emma says. The pair eventually started dating but were determined to keep their relationship under wraps—until a few months later on Valentine’s Day, that is, when John sent a bouquet of roses to Emma at work, prompting her coworkers to inquire about her relationship status. “I was like, ‘Oh yeah, it’s from John Cannellos. He sits on the floor below us,’” Emma says, with a laugh.
By October 2016, Emma and John had talked about getting engaged, but Emma says she had “no idea he was planning to propose.” One Friday, they both took off of work to spend the day together. At sunset John brought her up to the roof deck of their apartment building in South Boston, where he’d set up flowers, lights, and a table set for two with a bottle of champagne. With the city skyline as their backdrop, John got down on one knee. Emma’s reaction? “Um, I died,” she says, “I was like, ‘Wait are you serious? Is this really happening?’ I was so happy I actually said ‘yes’ before he even showed me the ring.”
Both Emma and John come from tight-knit families, so relatives and close friends were their first priority when they began planning their big day. “We wanted to do a good job of making sure everyone’s traditions and wishes were incorporated while still making the day ours,” the bride says. That also meant having all of their loved ones present when they tied the knot—a list of more than 300 invitees. Unsurprisingly, a large venue was a must. Yet, “there weren’t that many venues that could accommodate that many people comfortably,” Emma says. The couple eventually found what they were searching for at Foxborough’s Lakeview Pavilion, an airy, modern space with 32-foot cathedral ceilings and floor-to-ceiling windows. They adorned the venue with simple, rustic-inspired décor and pink, green, and white florals. “I’d always thought I’d have a barn wedding,” Emma says, “So I wanted to subtly incorporate some of those elements, but Lakeview is such a beautiful venue that we didn’t have to do much to make the day exactly what we wanted it to be.”
Emma’s maid of honor, her best friend and cousin Alex, gifted her a heart-shaped patch bearing each of Emma’s grandparents’ initials, which the bride had sewn into the lining of her wedding dress.
At her bachelorette party, Emma’s bridesmaids gave her a Polaroid camera, which she brought back out as she, her mom, mother-in-law, and all nine bridesmaids got ready for the wedding at the couple’s apartment in South Boston.
The bride knew she wanted a dress with a low back and straps. When she visited Vows, in Watertown, she instantly fell in love with a Martina Liana gown that checked both boxes. What truly sealed the deal, though, was her mom’s reaction. “My mom isn’t a super emotional person,” Emma says, “but we took photos of me in each dress, and in the [background of] the picture of me with that dress on, [you can see] she was crying.”
“I knew I wanted the dresses to be a mint-green color because it’s so pretty for the summertime,” Emma says. The chiffon Bill Levkoff dress she selected comes in nearly 100 different styles, so her bridesmaids were able to choose a design they each felt comfortable in.
The couple’s nephews, John and Nate, served as ring bearers at their ceremony. “I knew one of them would carry the pillow, but I wanted the other one to have something to carry also,” Emma says. “When I saw this sign on Amazon, I thought it would make John smile and everyone else smile, too.”
Emma and John’s ceremony took place at Gate of Heaven Church, which is in the couple’s neighborhood. “It’s the most gorgeous church. To have that in our backyard and not take advantage of it would have been crazy,” Emma says.
To create their escort cards, Emma and John asked a calligrapher friend to write each guest’s name and table number on individual hexagonal tiles, which they bought at Home Depot.
The couple decorated their sweetheart table with gold votives, wooden signs, and greenery that tied in the venue’s lush landscape, visible behind their seats.
Emma’s friend Lizzy Cotton designed menus that coordinated with the pink, white, and green flower arrangements at the reception.
The bride loves red velvet, she says, so opting for a red-velvet-and-chocolate wedding cake was a “no brainer.” Montilio’s Baking Company festooned their all-white cake with playful, piped patterns.
The newlyweds had their first dance to “Into the Mystic” by Van Morrison. “It’s one of our favorite songs and it was the first song we ever slow-danced to, so it’s special to us,” John says.
Bride’s Gown Martina Liana, Vows
Bridesmaids’ Gowns Bill Levkoff, Vows
Cake Montilio’s Baking Company
DJ Marx Entertainment
Flowers Stapleton Floral Design
Hair Paige Talbot, Nurture Salon and Spa
Makeup Torrie Arquette, Dollface Boston
Photographer Ashley Largesse Photography
Videographer Films for Breakfast
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