The Aha! Moment
Maleah & Vinnie
 
When Vinnie decided to leave his job, friends, and family to move to be with Maleah, he knew it was forever.
 
By Cindy Giovagnoli
Photography by Kate Crabtree Photography
 
Maleah Piazza and Vinnie Stancato’s relationship had an unconventional beginning. While they had mutual friends and had taken classes together, they didn’t begin to get to know each other until playing on the same intramural soccer team in college. One of Maleah’s very first moves in the relationship was to conspire to set Vinnie up with her best friend. A fortuitous failure, the attempt was just the icebreaker the couple needed to begin a friendship that would turn into so much more.

“We began getting lunch together and Vinnie started spending time with me in the library,” Maleah says. “A few weeks later, we both left campus for a long weekend and I missed him! It became clear to me that I felt more than friendship.” That weekend apart was Vinnie’s “aha!” moment as well. “I missed seeing and talking to her and I knew that when we got back to school, I would try to pursue a deeper relationship with her,” Vinnie says. And so their love story began.

After college, Vinnie’s job took him to Delaware while Maleah moved to Boston, but it soon became apparent that the long-distance was something that they both wanted to remedy. “I think I officially knew that I was going to eventually ask her to marry me when I decided to leave my friends and family in Delaware and move to Boston be with her,“ Vinnie says. “I was very comfortable with my life—good job, great friends, family close by—but the only thing missing was Maleah and it was hard to be away from her.” So Vinnie made the move to Boston and it wasn’t long before they both knew that they wanted their relationship to be a permanent part of their lives.

While they had discussed marriage and spoke openly about their future together, Vinnie’s proposal came as a complete surprise to Maleah. She grew up in Blue Hill, Maine, where her family still resides, and she and Vinnie were there for a visit when he proposed. After speaking with her father about it months before, Vinnie’s original plan was to pop the question to Maleah after they paddle boarded to a nearby island. “We went sailing with some family friends and that took a bit longer than expected, plus I was terribly scared that I would somehow fall off the paddle board and lose the ring,” Vinnie explained. “So, instead, once we returned home from a beautiful afternoon on our friend’s boat, I decided we would just take the dogs for a walk down by the golf course.”

Maleah had no idea. “We stopped where the fourth hole is on a point surrounded by water because the sun was setting,” she says. “I turned around and Vinnie was on one knee. It’s hard to remember the details because I was so in the moment, but Vinnie says that I said ‘Yes’ before he even asked!” When they returned to the house, Maleah and Vinnie celebrated their engagement with Maleah’s parents and sisters, toasting champagne with the Irish crystal glasses that her parents had received as an engagement gift from her grandparents.

It was only natural, then, to celebrate their wedding in Blue Hill. “The John Peters Estate is across the bay from my family home and we wanted to share our favorite little nook of Maine with everyone we love,” Maleah says.

Their day was filled with special touches that brought extra meaning to the festivities. Maleah grew up playing the steel drums, so choosing the Atlantic Clarion Steel Drum Band as the musicians for the ceremony 
and cocktail hour was an easy decision. Her mom collected rocks from along Maine’s coast for escort cards and a friend wrote on them in beautiful calligraphy. “My mom and a family friend made hundreds of jars of blueberry jam as wedding favors,” Maleah says. “This was special to us since the town of Blue Hill is named after a mountain covered in blueberry fields.”

Their cocktail hour included calypso music and local fishermen shucking oysters at a raw bar as well as classic mini lobster rolls. Dinner was served family style at wooden farm tables to convey the feeling of dinner with friends instead of a formal event. Over dinner, Maleah’s dad gave a touching speech that left the room in tears, followed by toasts by Maleah’s sisters and Vinnie’s brother. The day rounded out with dancing late into the evening, a sure sign that the couple’s goal of hosting a great party was fulfilled.

“On our wedding day, I felt completely calm and happy,” Maleah recalls. “I had a remarkable feeling of being right where I was supposed to be in the universe. It was very special to have everyone we love come to my tiny town in northeast Maine for the sole purpose of celebrating me and Vinnie. That was very touching.”   


In Maleah's Words
We asked the bride more about the big day. Here's what Maleah says . . .

I’m so glad that…I got to marry my best friend in one of my favorite places in the world.

One of my favorite moments was...when my cousin sang a personalized song at the ceremony.

I didn't realize...how moved I would be by all of our family and friends traveling to northeast Maine just to celebrate us.

I wish…we could have been guests at our own wedding. It flew by!

My advice to other couples is…don’t worry about having a traditional wedding. Choose all of the things you love and make the day a reflection of who you are. Incorporate things that are special or unique to you as a couple and make your day different. Keep wedding planning fun.


Maine Vendors
Photography: Kate Crabtree Photography
Ceremony & Reception: 
John Peters Estate, Blue Hill
Caterer: Trillium Caterers, Belfast
Florist: Sweet Pea Gardens, Surry
Reception Rentals: Wallace Events, Ellsworth
Baker: Let Them Eat Cake, Kennebunk
Ceremony Music: 
Atlantic Clarion Steel Band, Brooksville
Reception Entertainment: Retrospecticus, Portland