For a couple that grew up in the Capital Region, attended the same college and now have teaching jobs in the same field, Jennifer and Eric Lewicki are the newlyweds who almost weren’t.
After growing up and graduating from high school in Burnt Hills, Eric headed off to SUNY Oswego to study technology education. Two years later, Jennifer graduated from South Colonie High School and also moved onto the SUNY Oswego campus for the same studies. The first time they met was in a design class required for their shared major.
“She was one of about four girls in the class, so I noticed her,” Eric says. “We had group projects together, and since we were from the same hometown area, we had things to talk about. But we were at two different stages. I’d already done two years of college and I was focused on getting my degree.”
“And I loved frat parties,” Jennifer says.
Although friendly, Eric and Jennifer’s path separated when he graduated and she did her last two years of college. In 2006, however, Jennifer was in Rochester doing a teacher’s training, and on a whim, texted Eric to see how he was doing.
Another few months passed as they both busily started teaching and coaching; Eric coaches football, Jennifer coaches cheerleading. Still casual and not officially dating, they talked on the phone occasionally and finally met for lunch, where they realized they had a connection and began dating more seriously.
“We tested the water so many times it was ridiculous,” Jennifer says. “But I think it was fate that we eventually got together. We just had graduation and careers on our minds in our 20s.”
The two bought a house, and although they talked of marriage, Eric made his own plan for a surprise proposal, and once again, the timing was off.
“We’d put lights up on our house for Christmas, then walked to a friend’s house for dinner,” Eric says. “I had the ring in my pocket that I picked out with zero input from her, and I planned on asking her right outside our house, admiring our lights so everything was perfect.”
But Jennifer, who’s very petite, was freezing and made a beeline for the front door when they returned, cutting right across the lawn. Eric had to scrap his plan and improvise. “I fumbled with the house keys at the front door, and had enough time to take the ring out,” Eric says.
“There was a huge element of surprise,” Jennifer admits.
After the delays in their courtship, the couple set a wedding date just eight months after they became engaged. Since they both teach, a summer wedding was a necessity. They chose a reception hall first, the church second, and everything else pretty much fell into place.
“I’m organized, but with the time constraint, I got a wedding planner,” Jennifer says. “She was only hired to coordinate the actual wedding. I’m an only child; I haven’t been to many weddings so I knew we’d need help towards the end.”
In the meantime, Jennifer and Eric chose a black and white theme, dressing their six groomsmen in black tuxedos and bridal party in black gowns for their afternoon ceremony. Jennifer’s dress was a mermaid-style gown, unadorned with beading or lace. “We wanted clean, simple and elegant,” Jennifer says.
One of the only trouble spots in their planning was something most couples enjoy: sampling and choosing a wedding cake. “I don’t like cake,” Eric says. “I just don’t have a sweet tooth.”
“And I love to bake,” Jennifer says. They settled on a half-banana/vanilla cake, with the other half all chocolate.
The wedding planner came in handy during the last days, coordinating all the vendors and keeping everyone on time. The planner also quickly remedied a major catastrophe:
“I got red wine spilled on the front of my wedding dress right where everyone could see it,” Jennifer says. “She was right there with club soda and baby powder, I think it was, to get the stain off before anyone noticed it. It wasn’t even my wine; I don’t even know where it came from.”
Jennifer and Eric headed off to Bar Harbor, Maine, where they kept busy enjoying their first days of married life. “We whale watched, biked through Acadia National Park, went on a light house tour,” Eric says.
“And we ate lobster every single day,” adds Jennifer.
Who, What, When:
BRIDE: Jennifer Lewicki, 30, technology education teacher, South Colonie Central Schools.
GROOM: Eric Lewicki, 32, technology education teacher, Shenendehowa Schools.
THE WEDDING DAY: July 23, 2011 at Our Lady of the Annunciation Roman Catholic Church.
THE HONEYMOON: Six days in Bar Harbor, Maine.
ONE DETAIL: Jennifer adhered to the “something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue,” tradition. Her shoes were new, her mother lent her a lucky wishbone tied with a blue ribbon that she wore in her own wedding, and Eric’s family loaned her their grandmother’s ring, which she safety-pinned into the folds of her wedding dress.
CEREMONY: Our Lady of the Annunciation Roman Catholic Church, 448 Aviation Road, Queensbury, 518-793-9677, olaqueensbury.parishesonline.com
RECEPTION: Hiland Park Country Club, 195 Haviland Road, Queensbury, 518-761-4653, hilandparkcc.com
PHOTOGRAPHER: Jessica Painter Photography, 36 Third Avenue, Canajoharie, 518-542-3346, jessicapainter.com
WEDDING PLANNER: Shannon Whitney, Wedding Planning Plus, 518-269-1243, weddingplanningplus.net
WEDDING ATTIRE: Angela’s Bridal, 1811 Western Avenue, Albany, 518-869-1848, angelasbridal.net
Waldorf Tuxedo, 204 Lancaster Street, Albany, 518-396-5456, waldorftuxedo.com
HAIR & MAKE-UP: Make Me Fabulous, 102 Milton Avenue, Ballston Spa, 518-885-2929, makemefabulous.com
JEWELER: Mayfair Jeweler, 7 Glenridge Road, Glenville, 518-399-3701, mayfairjewelers.com
Northeastern Fine Jewelry, 1607 Union Street, Schenectady, 518-372-3604, nefj.com
FLOWERS: Price Chopper, 677 Upper Glen Street, Queensbury, 518-792-7456, pricechopper.com
MUSIC: Russ Gentner from Piano Man DJ Productions, 683 New Loudon Road, Latham, 518-489-4000, pianomandj.com
CAKE: Dolce and Biscotti, 1758 Route 9, Clifton Park, 518-371-0216, dolceandbiscotti.com
INVITATIONS: The American Wedding, theamericanwedding.com
TRANSPORTATION: Advantage Transportation Group, 677 Upper Glen Street, Queensbury, 518-792-7456, albanycarservice.com
HOTEL ACCOMMODATIONS: Wingate Hotel by Wyndham, 4054 State Route 9l, Lake George, 518-668-4884, wingatehotels.com
REHEARSAL DINNER: The Black Watch Steakhouse, 21 Ridge Street, Glens Falls, 518-792-5225, blackwatchsteakhouse.com