Operation: Tie The Knot Engagement Ring & Dream Wedding Giveaway For Military Couples

November 29, 2012

SOMERSET NJ (November 27, 2012) — Venus Jewelers announced today its partnership with local businesses and the charitable organization Operation Jersey Cares to give away a beautiful designer diamond engagement ring and ultimate dream-wedding package, to one lucky military couple.

“We’ve put together the premiere engagement ring and wedding package to ensure that the winning couple is treated to nothing but the best as they begin their new life together,” said Peter Stavrianidis, owner of Venus Jewelers.

No detail has been overlooked while planning this exciting wedding giveaway, which will include an elaborate wedding reception for 125 guests courtesy of Nanina’s In The Park / The Park Savoy, photography, cinematography, flowers, music and of course a designer diamond engagement ring.

“Our vendors are the very best,” said Stavrianidis. “Their generosity, positivity and eagerness to participate are truly unparalleled.”

To enter, those actively enlisted in the United States Armed Forces, or their significant others, are asked to visit and submit their entry form on www.facebook.com/venusjewelers where they will share their ‘Love Story,’ before December 3, 2012. The ten finalists, who possess the most extraordinary stories, will be chosen as featured couples.

Venus Jewelers’ facebook fans will then determine the winner of the wedding giveaway by ‘liking’ their favorite couple. The couple with the most “likes” at the end of the voting period will be officially crowned the winner on December 17, 2012. Please visit www.venusjewelers.com and “like us” on www.facebook.com/venusjewelers for more information.

The contest’s charitable partner is Operation Jersey Cares, a volunteer organization whose mission is to help U.S. troops overseas and the returning soldiers and marines who have been wounded in combat, Venus Jewelers will be accepting sundry donations at their store on behalf of the charity. Please visit www.operationjerseycares.org for more information and a list of needed items. “It’s a way for us to honor our men and women in uniform,” added Stavrianidis.

The winning couple will enjoy a wedding to remember valued at over $80,000. The reception will be held at the elegant Nanina’s in the Park, Belleville / The Park Savoy, Florham Park. Extensive cinematography services will be provided by Nino Gallego Studios, Eatontown. Vali Entertainment, Norwood, will provide first class musical entertainment. Flower Station, Somerset, will provide a beautiful floral package complete with center pieces and flowers for the wedding party. Generous photography services will be rendered by Erin H. Photography, Asbury Park. Lieberfarb Wedding Bands, is gifting the engagement ring setting and wedding bands. The bride and groom will receive his and hers watches courtesy of Movado. The bride will receive a wedding dress courtesy of L’Fay Bridal, Chatham. Guests will enjoy a wedding cake from Chamber’s Walk Café and Catering, Lawrenceville. The happy couple will enjoy dance lessons from Fred Astaire Dance Studio, Princeton.

Venus Jewelers, New Jersey 101.5, Operation Jersey Cares and a host of NJ wedding businesses are looking for a great military love story to give one lucky couple the wedding of their dreams

Venus Jewelers, New Jersey 101.5, Operation Jersey Cares and a host of NJ wedding businesses are looking for a great military love story to give one lucky couple the wedding of their dreams!

About Venus Jewelers
Venus Jewelers is a fourth generation family owned business that has been in operation for thirty-three years at its present location in Somerset, New Jersey. Venus is known for its custom-design work, repair services and as direct diamond importers. Voted 2012 Central New Jersey’s “Best of the Best” by the Readers Choice Contest hosted by the Home News Tribune.


Hurricane Sandy and the aftermath on the New Jersey weddings community

November 6, 2012
Gloria Dimartini and U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Michael McParland at their November 4th wedding at Clarks Landing Yacht Club, Delran, hosted by NJ Nonprofit "Weddings For Heroes"

Gloria Dimartini and U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Michael McParland at their November 4th wedding at Clarks Landing Yacht Club, Delran, hosted by NJ Nonprofit “Weddings For Heroes”

What effect did the storm have on NJ brides, grooms, their families, wedding locations and other businesses? From weddings that had to be relocated at the last minute with the help of experienced planners, to a marriage ceremony and wedding celebration hosted by NJ nonprofit “Weddings For Heroes” and more, we’ve compiled some stories below, along a list of the media coverage of Hurricane Sandy weddings:

For better or worse: Hurricane Sandy can’t stop these brides (Star Ledger)

Whirlwind romance waits for calm day (Courier Post)

For Richer, for Poorer, in Hurricanes and in Calm (New York Times) – In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, couples improve the big day

Love finds a way, despite the storm (Philadelphia Inquirier)

Helping Brides In The Wake Of Hurricane Sandy (The Knot / Facebook)

Planning A Wedding In The Wake Of Hurricane Sandy? What You Need To Know (The Knot)

Post-Sandy wedding day: Defrosting chicken, playing video games (NBC News / TODAY Weddings)

Wedding follows a labor of love for Bronx couple (PhillyBurbs.com) – this article expands on our previous blog post, NJ Nonprofit “Weddings For Heroes” hosts Military wedding at Clarks Landing Yacht Club, Delran on 11/4, to profile the couple married with the help and efforts of many in the NJ wedding community, supporting the charity Weddings For Heroes

Couple vows to say “I do” despite Sandy (CBS News)

Love prevails after Sandy ruins NJ wedding venue (ABC / 6 Action News)

Wedding Planning Post Hurricane Sandy! (Ocean City Patch)

Surprising Ways Hurricane Sandy Can Still Affect Your Wedding (Merital Bliss)

Stuff Newlyweds Say and Do – Post Hurricane Sandy (Cake It Up Blog)

Natural Disasters & Wedding Contracts: What You Need To Know (With This Kiss I Thee Wed Blog)

The Importance of Backup…What If??? (SCE Event Group Blog)

Project Rebuild and Recover is a grassroots movement in Red Bank, NJ set up to relieve Hurricane Sandy victims and coastal towns in need. Visit http://RebuildRecover.org for updates and to see how you can help!

Project Rebuild and Recover is a grassroots movement in Red Bank, NJ set up to relieve Hurricane Sandy victims and coastal towns in need. Visit http://RebuildRecover.org for updates and to see how you can help!

Grassroots efforts by members of the wedding community to help residents in need:

Project Rebuild and Recover: Assist In Hurricane Sandy Relief by Sounds To Go DJs, Red Bank, NJ

Hurricane Sandy Relief Benefit, (Wed., Nov. 7th, 7pm) at Amici III Ristorante, Linden, NJ

FemCity Hoboken’s Donation Drive after Hurricane Sandy – drop off through Saturday, November 10th in Ridgefield, Ridgefield Park, Lyndhurst and Hoboken, NJ

AART Event Planning Donation Drive (Sat., Nov. 10th) at The Elan, Lodi, NJ

Disaster Relief Donation Drive by DulhanExpo (Sun., Nov. 11th), Iselin, NJ

Hurricane Sandy Assistance (through Sunday, November 11th) at Atlantic Club Casino, Atlantic City, NJ

Jersey Bands UNITE 2 REVIVE (Sun., Nov. 18th, 12pm), Jersey’s, Neptune City

Branches Caterers Donation Drop-Off Site, West Long Branch, NJ

Matawan bridal shop helps Sandy victims with their ‘I Do’s’ (News 12 New Jersey TV report on available wedding dress donations)

Wilshire Grand Hotel A Respite For Local Families (West Orange Patch)

Donations for Project Sandy at the Sassy Shop Girl , Caldwell, NJ

Aftermath of Hurricane Sandy – How We Can Help (Royal PhotoBooth blog)

Post-Sandy…Who Needs Help With Their Wedding? (Molly Tully’s Blog | New Jersey Bride magazine)

Planners Gather To Discuss Industry Response To Hurricane Sandy (Biz Bash News)

Hurricane Sandy – Restore our Shore / Asbury Aid (Essential Sounds Entertainment Blog)

Screen Shot of Google+ Hangout with Julie Albaugh of Wedding Market News

Screen Shot of Google+ Hangout with Julie Albaugh of Wedding Market News

A special LIVE Google+ Hangout on Hurricane Sandy and the Wedding Industry took place on Wednesday, November 7th from 2:00-2:30pm with myself (Erik Kent, Co-Publisher of NJWedding.com), Anja Winikka, Site Director, TheKnot.com, Mauro Castano from Carlo’s Bakery in Hoboken, NJ and Penny Port Glazier, Director of Communications & Partner, The Glazier Group to discuss the ramifications of the storm, response from wedding professionals, and helping brides and grooms that were affected.

Important web sites for those directly impacted by Hurricane Sandy:

State of New Jersey: Hurricane Sandy Information Center

Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund

American Red Cross

Need Help? Want to Help? These NJ resources make a difference

Hurricane Sandy Help Center for NJ Workers & Businesses

Hurricane Sandy Relief Effort – Family – To – Family

Wish Upon A Hero Foundation – Hurricane Hero

Save Our Shore

NJ Sandy Recovery Resources (from News 12 New Jersey)

Restore Our Shore

Asbury Aid

Hurricane Sandy resources: How you can volunteer and donate (NJ.com)

If you are planning a wedding and your reception site has been directly impacted by the Hurricane (and needs time to rebuild and recover), there are many banquet facilities around New Jersey available to discuss options for wedding dates in November and December. Some have reported openings through posts on facebook, so please view their pages for up-to-date information. For a list of banquet facilities/reception sites on NJWedding.com that you can consider, click here.

As we continue to receive more reports of power being restored in various areas of New Jersey and New York continue, wedding locations and businesses will recover from the affects of the storm.  For engaged couples in the midst of the planning process, please contact your vendors to find out how they are doing, and if you need assistance in finding additional or other services, the wedding community is here to help you!  For wedding businesses that have been affected by the storm and its aftermath, specifically those along the Jersey shore, it will be a process to rebuild and recover. Stay Jersey Strong!

We have also updated our NJ Wedding Industry Events Calendar and NJ Bridal Shows & Events Calendar to keep you informed on what’s going on within the NJ weddings community!


NJ Nonprofit “Weddings For Heroes” hosts Military wedding at Clarks Landing Yacht Club in Delran on Nov. 4th

November 3, 2012

Local wedding business and nonprofit collaboration offers charitable dream wedding to U.S Combat Veteran, and Active Duty military facing hardship, at no cost to them

Weddings For Heroes - http://www.weddingsforheroes.org

Weddings For Heroes – http://www.weddingsforheroes.org

Delran, NJ – A very shocked couple, Gloria Dimartini and U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Michael McParland, were given a grand surprise when they were called to the stage during a recent bridal show at Clarks Landing Yacht Club, Delran and presented with the news that they will be wed in grand style on November 4, 2012, just in time for veterans day!

Due to the Soldier`s medical circumstances and financial hardships, the couple was unable to even think of a beautiful wedding, but thanks to the donations of Clarks Landing Yacht Club, Delran and Deirdre Luster, wedding planner, they will be given a day they can both cherish forever.

“Military families and couples in our community suffer periods of separation, hardships, trauma and sometimes loss, which other couples don’t usually encounter. While all of us are susceptible to hard times, it is wonderful to be given the resources to make a dream come true,” said Shannon Clapp, Executive Vendor Director of “Weddings For Heroes.” The dream wedding grant applications are processed by “Weddings For Heroes”, a New Jersey nonprofit corporation aimed at supporting military families and couples with sponsored dream come true weddings.

Under the directorship of Mrs. Clapp and the assistance of wedding planner Deirdre Luster, many New Jersey vendors have stepped forward to help.

The Organization was founded on May 5, 2011 by Jewel Georgieff and Sandi Silva, both wedding planners who have close family who have served in the U.S Military. Along with Executive Vendor Director Shannon Clapp of Thebusybrideshelper.com and Dara Castiglione, Weddings For Heroes consists of a multi person all volunteer Board of Directors.


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