Despite meeting in high school through a mutual friend, Margaret Anunziata and Patrick O’Connor’s love affair didn’t truly begin for many years later when fate brought them together. Margaret had become the principal of St. Peter – St. Paul Elementary School in Staten Island, N.Y. and, in doing so, became a colleague of Patrick’s sister. Immediately Margaret and Patrick clicked and realized that they had been looking for each other for their entire lives.
Some time later, Patrick gave Margaret the surprise of a lifetime on New Year’s Eve 2015. While Margaret was away on a family vacation in Hawaii, Patrick had flowers and a present waiting at her dinner table that evening. Patrick had also arranged for the maître de to play their song, “Thinking Out Loud” by Ed Sheeran.
“As I looked through the present, I found a plane ticket to Hawaii dated Dec. 31, 2015 with Patrick’s name on it. People in the restaurant began buzzing and yelling, ‘Turn around,’” said Margaret. “As I turned around, I saw Patrick standing there looking handsome in a blue three-piece suit. I was speechless and ran to hug Patrick.”
Patrick planned the next three days in Hawaii to be as special as the rest of their life together will be. On Jan. 1, 2016 at 4 a.m., they were chauffeured to Mount Haleakala and watched their first sunrise together in the clouds.
For Margaret, the incredible Hawaii surprise was just a preview of her life with Patrick.
“Time and time again, he’s knocked me off my feet with one amazing surprise after another,” said Margaret.
Yet again, she was knocked off her feet on Jan. 6 when she became Mrs. O’Connor while that mutual friend who originally introduced the two in high school stood beside them as Best Man.
(As told by Margaret)
When Margaret returned home from work on May 31, 2017 at 5 p.m., Patrick was waiting to take her to dinner at the restaurant where they shared their first date. As they walked to the car, Patrick gave Margaret a present to open.
“I opened the box and found a blindfold inside,” said Margaret. “When we arrived at the restaurant, Patrick asked me to wear the blindfold. At that point, I became very suspicious.”
Patrick drove for a few minutes and then walked Margaret to a secret location. As they walked, Margaret heard a violin playing. Patrick continued guiding her and then asked her to take off the blindfold.
“When my eyes regained focus, I saw a violinist and cellist playing our song and saw Patrick on one knee before me,” said Margaret. “Patrick, wearing his blue suit, proposed to me in front of all our family and friends gathered under a tree in Fort Wadsworth Scenic Overlook Park. I felt as though I was taking part in a scene of the most romantic love story ever. I knew from that moment on, our life together would never be ordinary.”
The celebration continued when their family and friends joined them at their special restaurant for an engagement party, which Patrick had planned in advance.
Ceremony Location: Zion Lutheran Church
Reception Location: The Venetian, Garfield
Wedding Planner: Tina Villegas, the bride’s sister
Photography: Magic Moments, Paramus
Cinematography: Magic Moments, Paramus
Entertainment: Magic Moments, Paramus
Floral Designer: Eltingville Florist, Staten Island, N.Y.
Cake Designer: Palermo’s Custom Cakes & Bakery, Ridgefield Park
Gown Designer: Danielle Caprese via Kleinfeld’s Bridal, New York, N.Y.
Suit Designer: Michael Kors
Invitation Designer: Gallery of Favors & Gifts, Staten Island, N.Y.
Favors: Image Makers
Limousine Rental: Action Limousine, Garwood
Hair Stylist & Salon: Michael Mortensen of Visage Hair Studio, Staten Island, N.Y.
Makeup Artist & Studio: Patti Frizalone of Visage Hair Studio, Staten Isalnd, N.Y.
Honeymoon Location: Hard Rock Hotel, Riviera Maya, Mexico