Once Justine Stone matched with Mike Shagi on Bumble, she sent him a Jimmy Fallon GIF, and they started chatting and figured out that he went to high school with Justine’s best friend. After her friend only said good things, Justine and Mike went on their first date at Grand Banks in New York City.
Once COVID-19 spread to the States, the two spent eight weeks with Justine’s parents in Maryland, and during that time, Mike asked for her father’s permission to ask Justine to marry him. As soon as the ring was ready back in New York, Mike planned the proposal. On the Sunday during Memorial Day Weekend, he got down on one knee where they had their first date on the pier.
The two planned for a wedding on June 26, 2021 and adjusted the guest list as the COVID-19 rules in Connecticut changed. Luckily in May, the restrictions were lifted, and they opened their celebration back up to their original head count.
“I always knew I wanted to get married at our house on the water in Old Black Point, since we started going there in the ’90s, so the venue was a given,” Justine says. Since True Event had done two other weddings in the area in the last five years—including Justine’s family’s neighbors—the couple trusted them to plan their special day. Ipanema Press beautifully set the tone of the day with stationery, and to capture everything, the couple hired photographer Liz Banfield. “I had also done my share of wedding Pinterest boards and followed all the Instagram inspiration accounts, and I knew I wanted a clear-top tent, heavy florals, and a coastal garden vibe that fit with our house and the surrounding gardens.”
To find her wedding gown, Justine and her sister went shopping in the city, and their second stop was at Monique Lhuillier on the Upper East Side. The bride-to-be was excited about a dress from the spring 2021 collection, but she fell in love with the Magnificent dress, as soon as she tried it on. Her “something old” was actually her grandmother’s prayer book, which she carried at her own wedding in 1940. And her “something blue” ended up being blue Manolo Blahnik sling-backs—she was on the waitlist for months.
Bridesmaids complemented Justine well in Amsale dresses, while the maid of honor wore a gown from Costarellos. On the day-of, the bride got ready with Face Time Beauty, and all of Justine’s bridal ensembles were styled effortlessly by Beth Chapman. They went with a Brock Collection dress for the rehearsal dinner, and her second look for dancing after dinner was an ivory Galvan London dress, which matched a pair of Justine’s mother’s Irene Neuwirth emerald and pearl earrings.
Mike wanted to wear a lightweight, summer tuxedo in navy to differentiate from his groomsmen in black. He found a linen tuxedo at Brooks Brothers and completed the look with patent leather shoes, a bow tie, a sea holly boutonniere, and suspenders.
To start the ceremony, the bridal party walked out to an instrumental version of Justin Bieber’s song “Holy,” since the bride is a big JB fan. “I think it was a hit,” Justine says. Her uncle, Tom, was the officiant of the ceremony—it was the first wedding he’d ever done but he nailed it. And Justine’s cousin, Kate, read an Irish wedding poem, as the two both have Irish families.
Once the two were announced as husband and wife, they took a quick walk to a quiet part of the lawn to soak in the moment. “We were both so excited to finally be married and for the night ahead of us,” Justine explains. “We were hurried back to the cocktail hour, where the champagne tower was calling our name. That was one of the highlights of the entire day.”
The reception took place under a clear-top tent from The Greenwich Tent Company, and the newlyweds had their first dance to “Adore You” by Harry Styles. They nailed the dip! After dinner by Marcia Selden Catering and cutting the cake by Zest Fresh Pastry, the cigar roller arrived, which was maybe one of Mike’s favorite details of the day. And guests were on the dance floor with Element Music until the night ended.
The new Mr. and Mrs. decided to delay their Ireland honeymoon, and a few days after the wedding, they took a mini-moon to Santa Barbara and stayed at El Encanto. Looking back on everything now, the couple “wouldn’t change a thing!”