Certified Coordinated Bride
Journal Entry # 1
Meeting Mr. Right
Bride: Stephanie Bermeo
Groom: Adrian Sardina
Wedding Date: June 23, 2018
Wedding Location: Stirling, New Jersey
How We Met
Hey all! My name is Stephanie and my fiancé’s name is Adrian. I was 25, and on my summer break as a teacher, when I decided to book a trip to Egypt. I chose Egypt because it called to me. I had other places on my list that were more at the top, but in my furious hunger to go somewhere far and to do something big I went with the wildest option (for me) that @Contiki had to offer. I was going to go by myself (as many others do) and I was going to meet new people and feel alive. That was the plan. I didn’t know that I’d be meeting my future husband. The trip was all set for December of 2015. It was in fact December 26th, my 26th birthday when I first laid eyes on Adrian. I had just landed in Cairo maybe one-hour prior, and the group was checking in and meeting at this long table for dinner at the hotel.
He looked so good, with his scruffy gorgeous beard, kind brown eyes, sweet smile, and the sexiest accent your ears have ever heard. I immediately said to myself, “Nope. He looks like a snack don’t even think about it, girl. You’re here to find yourself, so absolutely not!” So I did just that, I made friends and kept everything platonic. But, as fate would have it, he became part of my smaller group that always hung out together. He was from Miami, but he was born and raised in Cuba. And just like me, he had traveled there solo. We got to know one another and I realized just how smart and deep this man was. We were both getting our Master’s Degree and he was also a teacher! We had so much in common, and after the trip was over, we maintained in contact as friends.
Getting to Know Each Other
He had visited New York 2 months after the trip, and we met up along with our other East Coast friends that met in Egypt. It was nice to see him again. It was nice to know that these people, my new friends, were solid, good people. It felt like home. When that weekend was over I told him that for my spring break I couldn’t afford to go very far or ritzy, so I would take a cheap domestic flight to Miami. I don’t even think I asked him! I just flat-out said, “I’m going to Miami for my spring break. Do you have a place I can crash?” He told me later how excited he was to be having me over, and that he wanted to do a lot for me because he had feelings for me. He had made his brother leave his own apartment so he could host me there. Adrian has a heart of gold, anybody who knows him knows that, and so he went above and beyond to treat me like royalty that weekend.
Falling in Love
I realized that I, too, had feelings for this man. I had been telling myself to keep this platonic, but after all this time…I felt different. It wasn’t a crush, it wasn’t your typical feeling of, “I like him.” I felt like I had known him in another life. Like meeting him in Egypt was no coincidence. My inexplicable desire to go there was not an accident. And being around him every time after only confirmed what I was actually fearful to admit…I think you’re the one. I just knew. I’ve always hated hearing that, by the way. The saying, “sometimes you just know” never satisfied me as a young girl in my teens and early adulthood. That was because I never had anything like it. And now I know. I understand fully, because he is my one. And with Adrian, I just knew. I left NJ a single woman, and came back with a serious boyfriend!
We did long-distance for about 9 months. We’d Face-Time each other every night religiously, and take turns flying to one another every 2 weeks. Some days were tougher than others. Like the first night back after seeing one another for the weekend…THAT was lonely. I had never been in a long-distance relationship before, so this was new terrain. When you love somebody, truly LOVE someone…you make it happen no matter the odds.
By January of 2017, Adrian relocated to where I am in Central New Jersey. I jokingly tell him that I would melt if I had to live in Miami because I am just not built for heat! Give me wind chills, winter, snow blizzards, polar vortexes or what-have-you…but not the heat! He left his job and his family all to be with me, and I am forever grateful that he made such a sacrifice! It took a while but I’m happy to report that upon his arrival to NJ he started working in the same school district as me. We take the same car to school most days and everything! [Cue: Aww!]
We decided to go to the mall one day in April, at his insistence, and when we came back I wasn’t expecting what I walked into. He had been planning a secret surprise engagement where my family and friends would all be there, in our home, to capture the moment. I screamed (I mean who wouldn’t if they walked into their home and saw 20 people staring back at them yelling in unison SURPRISE!) and immediately started crying. I couldn’t catch my breath, I couldn’t see straight because of the tears. My hearing was shot because of the commotion and I couldn’t even hear Adrian ask me. In SECONDS my mind is processing so much all at once. I nodded yes, and he got up and hugged me. His family in Miami was on Face-Time with my mother. They were “there”, too. It was beautiful, and it was something like I had imagined, minus the PTSD I have every time I open my door now. Thinking back, I really wish I had worn something different or had gotten the fill-in on my nails like I had been telling myself to do, but nonetheless it was perfect!
We originally thought a 2-year engagement would be the plan, but with a little nudging from both of our parents it quickly became a 1-year engagement when in May 2017, we picked our venue for the following year. After having decided our venue I wanted to book other vendors, with one vendor/company specifically in mind. I was SO bummed when they told me they were already booked on my Wedding day. That prompted me to really get things in motion and book ALL my vendors within 2 weeks! I am currently on a hunt for a makeup artist and hair stylist. I’ve already had one trial for both, and am still experimenting. So, I’m ferociously emailing and reaching out to stylists in the tri-state area trying to find the one! I am so looking forward to sharing more details of our wedding with you! I’ve been keeping notes and taking pics of my journey along the way, so that future brides might take something away from it. One girl who I’ll call my “muse” for wedding inspiration is actually a Certified Coordinated Bride herself! Much love, and happy planning!
Check out some snap shots from our journey into love below, along with a preview of our engagement shoot!
Hair | @hairbyazra
Makeup | @makeupbyjenielle
Dress | @Pronovias @Kleinfeld
DJ | @poshdjs
Photography/Videography | Brian Delia of Brian Delia Photography @bdeliaphoto