Dana Aidekman, who manages brand partnerships for Arielle Charnas and her media platform, Something Navy, and David Putman, who oversees sales for Penn Color, first crossed paths at boarding school in Princeton, New Jersey. They met as teenagers and dated from their senior year of high school through college, even though they went to different universities. “After college we planned to finally begin our life being together in one place, but then fate stepped in, and David got called up by the Chicago White Sox. (We were literally on our way to the airport, when they called, and we turned the car around!) He moved away three days later to chase his baseball dream,” Dana says. Distance caused them to call it quits for a bit, but then two years after an unfortunate career-ending injury, David moved to New York and quickly reached out. Over a Labor Day weekend, he proposed on a boat cruise in the New York Harbor.
When planning their big day, they actually booked their rehearsal dinner venue first. They knew they wanted to have their boarding school be a part of the festivities. “We loved the idea of throwing a dinner party outside the school’s historic main building, overlooking the grassy mall, where we had spent so many days together as teenagers,” Dana says. For the ceremony and reception, they found Natirar, a property once owned by the King of Morocco. “I described our aesthetic for the wedding ceremony and reception as black-tie chic meets New Jersey farm meets flower bomb.” Dana’s mother, Susan, coordinated the entire event without a planner—“to say I am impressed is a massive understatement,” the bride says.
For the rehearsal dinner, Dana chose a white Alexis dress with plenty of lace and a pleated flare. “I then went on full pearl overload for accessories!” she says. She paired the white number with pearl and metallic Christian Louboutin sandals, an oversized, pearl top-handle bag from Rosantica, pearl-toned Lele Sadoughi earrings, and a pearl necklace designed by her grandmother.
On the day of, she wore a vintage Oscar de la Renta leopard-print robe, and her bridesmaids matched her look with jungle-print robes from Shopbop. “The whole idea was inspired by the jungle bedroom my sisters and I shared growing up,” the bride says. For her beauty, she trusted Stefani Syat from Pre-Dame, who has done her makeup for years.
Her wedding dress was the first one she tried on at Mark Ingram Atelier. “After describing my flower bomb vision, their helpful associate selected a Mira Zwillinger couture gown from the archives,” Dana says. She knew she had to have it, and the designer spent six months hand-sewing every flower. “Mira Zwillinger created a bust of my exact body measurements to ensure the dress fit perfectly. I was obsessed with it!”
For her wedding band, she worked with jeweler Jill Aal to create a custom copy of the pear eternity band that David’s late grandmother wore. “It’s so special to wear her design on my hand every day,” Dana says. She also wore her mother-in-law’s diamond tennis bracelet, down the aisle. And her mother gifted her an opal ring that she and her grandmother had worn on their wedding days. Her “something blue” was embellished Manolo Blahniks—a la Carrie Bradshaw.
David’s mother works for Ralph Lauren, so she helped him select a cream colored tuxedo jacket, paired with velvet Ralph Lauren smoking shoes. Bridesmaids wore their choice of rose gold, satin gowns.
On the summer solstice, David walked down the aisle with his parents to a slow version of John Mayer’s cover of “XO” by Beyoncé. Then the bride walked down with her parents to an acoustic version of “A Sky Full Of Stars” by Coldplay. “I’ve always loved the song and thought it so beautifully captured the way I feel about Dave,” Dana says. Under the chuppah, both of their parents stood by the couple, as their oldest siblings, Sage and Kevin, officiated. The ceremony revolved around family, as Dana’s sister, Alix, and David’s brother, Ryan, read the seven blessings. After heartfelt vows, David broke the glass, and the band erupted into “December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night),” as they had their first kiss as husband and wife. “I’ve quite literally dreamt of marrying Dave since I was 18 years old,” the bride says.
For the reception, everyone headed inside to start one big party. Two signature cocktails were served: a dirty martini with blue cheese olives and a skinny jalapeño margarita, while The Eleven kept everyone on the dance floor all night.
Dinner consisted of farm-to-table vegetables and local meat and fish. An amuse bouche of a mint and pea shooter was followed by tomatoes with aged balsamic and whipped ricotta. The entrées were miso marinated sea bass with Tokyo wavy noodles and bok choy and a duet of short ribs and ribeye with glazed carrots. For dessert, the cake was lemon with cream cheese—their favorite!
During the meal, Dana’s father shocked everyone in his speech by pulling out a baseball hat from one of David’s former teams. “We couldn’t stop laughing!!” she says. And Dana’s sister and David’s brother also gave heartwarming toasts.
For their first dance, they took to the floor as “Waitin’ on a Sunny Day” by Bruce Springsteen played. “There was one moment, towards the end of the evening, where I looked around the room and saw my parents , high school friends, and college friends dancing, and Dave with a huge smile on his face. I immediately started crying; I was so overwhelmed by the happiness in the room,” Dana says.
At the end of the night, the newlyweds hosted the after-party at their hotel. “I joked that it was the Bar Mitzvah Dave never had!” the bride says. To dance, she changed into a white LoveShackFancy dress with white bows, and they handed out custom hotel slippers with “DP” (their new initials) embroidered on top.
Right after the wedding, the newlyweds headed to Las Vegas for a night and then drove to Utah to visit the Amangiri resort for a romantic mini moon in the desert.