Luke and Melissa met by chance through mutual friends 11 years ago (on 11.11.07). “He had just come back from California,” says Dilger, who credits a friend from Monmouth University where she studied graphic design – for putting Ditella on her radar. “He came to visit me at school soon after that and he never left.” It was as simple as that.
After 7 years, Luke surprised Melissa with a fairytale proposal on her birthday on February 10th, 2013 in the midst of a New York City blizzard. In the penthouse of the Dream Downtown Hotel, Luke gathered an intimate group of friends and family and asked Melissa to be his wife. The ring was an antique emerald from France and the setting was personally designed by Luke.
“We didn’t want a conventional wedding,” says Melissa. “We set out to make the day and night about everyone. Not just the two of us. We wanted to curate an event where each person felt they were at the center of it all yet came away with a completely separate and unique experience. Think Gatsby meets Alexander McQueen and with a dash of Tim Burton”.
The concept is simple, it was to be a ‘Black Wedding’, meaning every attendant was to wear black, and only black while the only people to wear any white were the bride and groom. The idea “arose simply from a conversation regarding the final scene in The Shining where Jack Nicolson sees the image on the wall of himself at the front of a room with everyone behind him celebrating in their formal-wear and tuxedos. We thought what an iconic and amazing image it would be to see Melissa in all white in the forefront of the room and have everyone else behind her in all black – It would be this poignant, classic image, and an ode to how she brought us all here. On that very note, The Black Wedding was brought to life”.
“The formal/black tie is something that we both were unwavering on. The bygone era of opulent New York where men wore tuxedos and women wore their best gowns for a night out is something we love and wish we could have experienced. We wanted to bring that back with a modern, darker twist.”