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The Newlyweds’ Three Children Were Included in Their Intimate Ceremony at Valley Rock Inn

By Cathleen Freedman | Photography by 

Felix Feygin of Fred Marcus Studio

|Planning by 

Doris Dwek Events

Makeup artist Sara Talias and Head of Ralph Lauren’s Retail Marketing in North America Frank Bellina Jr. were disillusioned by the dating scene as working professionals and parents. But a fateful swipe on The League dating app brought them together, and after one date, they knew they had found the one.

After nine months together, Frank asked Sara to marry him with a magical and meaningful proposal. He hired a driver to escort Sara to the church where her grandparents married 69 years earlier and where Frank was presently waiting with a custom Temple St. Clair ring. The 11-carat emerald and gold dazzler featured three pink sapphires, each one symbolizing their three children. After she said, “Yes!” he whisked his bride-to-be away and took Sara to the same restaurant where her grandparents had their first date.

As the couple both value the significance of numbers, they quickly chose the auspicious date of November 11, 2022, or rather, 11-11-22, to print on their Margaux Paperie invitations. The only caveat, however, is that the date was less than three months away. Miraculously, the elegantly rustic Valley Rock Inn & Mountain Club in Sloatsburg, New York, was available that day.

With a date and venue secured, Sara reached out to event planner Doris Dwek to coordinate the rest of their fastly-approaching nuptials. She enlisted Privet Florist to arrange jewel-tone florals that complemented the intimacy of the inn. They turned to Felix Feygin of Fred Marcus Studio to capture the event.

Sara worked with Venice–based designer Nadin Aleksandrova to quickly make a classic—but unique—gown. Lace was of utmost priority to the bride. She told Nadin exactly what she liked, and Nadin would send Sara photos of different lace swatches from Italy until they found the perfect pattern. Instead of a traditional veil, Sara drew out a sketch of a cape, and Nadin brought her dream to life. Sara further accessorized with blue suede Gianavito Rossi pumps and her grandparents’ wedding rings and late father’s American flag pin pinned to her white peony bouquet. Pearl Mizrahi styled her hair in clean waves, and Sara finished off her beauty look with her own signature makeup of matte nude eyeshadow with a black cat eye and dreamy Charlotte Tilbury lipstick.

The groom looked impeccable in his personally styled and thoughtful outfit. He donned a velvet green tuxedo to complement the emerald engagement ring he gave Sara and paired it with a black bow tie and elegant cummerbund. Instead of a traditional boutonnière, Frank wore a lapel pin.

Their wedding party consisted of their three children. Frank’s son, his best man, matched his father in a tuxedo with green Chuck Taylor converses. Sara’s daughter and Frank’s daughter, the flower girls, walked together down the aisle in custom dresses with trains and hoop baskets while a string quartet strummed the Rolling Stones’s “She’s a Rainbow.” Sara’s nephew served as the ringbearer, and he was so ready for the couple to say “I do,” that he literally sprinted down the aisle.

Originally, the ceremony was supposed to be in the outdoor garden, but pouring rain—”which we view as good luck,” Sara notes—led them to exchange vows in the Lodge. The bride walked down the aisle to the tune of “How Great Thou Art” and met Frank at the altar, where her mother presided. Debbie officiated the ceremony and included truly personal touches like having the children say a few vows. Once pronounced husband and wife, the couple recessed to Ed Sheeran’s “Shivers.”

The newlyweds joined their family and closest friends for bespoke drinks and passed appetizers. A fireside dinner of local stout braised short ribs, Mediterranean roasted halibut, wood fire rainbow carrots, and potato gratin followed at long candlelit tables. “We wanted to emphasize the feeling of family, so having everyone gather together to enjoy this special meal while talking and laughing was so special to us,” Sara recalls. In fact, it was her favorite part of the entire reception. The meal was finished off with chocolate pot de crème and a Limoncello cake by L’Arte della Pasticceria.