The Learning Channel (TLC) seems to have a thing for Weehawken brides. Weeks after resident Stella Aronis was featured on “Say Yes to the Dress,” Diana Abreu’s wedding was broadcast during an episode of “Four Weddings.”
“When I found out they had chosen me, I was mostly shocked,” Abreu said recently. “I put in the application because my husband and I are huge fans of the show. I never really thought they’d pick me because I thought I was too simple.”
But Abreu, all humility, was mistaken.
Last week, her February wedding at the Bethwood in Totowa to husband Jonathan Hernandez was aired alongside those of three other brides from New York and New Jersey.
The premise behind “Four Weddings” is that four brides with four completely different wedding styles attend each other’s weddings, rate them on different criteria, and the winner lands a free honeymoon. Abreu’s was a retro-style wedding with fuchsia and royal blue with silver accents, with only 90 attendants. She wanted an even smaller wedding, “But my husband’s family is too big,” she said.
“I never really thought they’d pick me because I thought I was too simple.” – Diana Abreu
When asked if she had been recognized since the episode’s airing, her answer was no.
“I hope that never happens,” Abreu laughed, “But it might. I mean, I got a call from my mother the other day asking me what channel the show was on. She was at the doctor’s office and wanted to tell the secretary.”
Leading up to the proposal
Abreu and Hernandez met during his freshman and her sophomore year at Memorial High School in West New York. They were close friends then, but when she went on to Montclair State University to study psychology, he went to West Nyack and they lost touch.
Five years later, after no communication, they reconnected on Facebook. Hernandez was working at a mall, and Abreu went to visit him.
“I passed by to say hi, and the connection was pretty instant,” she explained. “We went on our first date at the West Nyack mall. My husband is a bit of a shopaholic.”
After dating for a year, the two moved in together and indulged their mutual fondness for wedding shows. They’d talk about rings and plans constantly, so Abreu got to a point where she was “on guard’ for a proposal, so to speak.
The weekend before Valentine’s Day in 2011, the two went out to celebrate.
“I kind of had a feeling the proposal was coming, but I spent all night waiting for it and almost gave up,” she recalled.
They went to a comedy show at Caroline’s in the city and Abreu thought he’d propose then. No go. Then they went out to dinner, and again she thought he’d propose. Still no, but Hernandez was acting as if he had something up his sleeve, she said, and she held out hope.
They returned home, and still there was no proposal. All of a sudden in the middle of the bedroom, he got down on one knee, handed her a black box and said, “I have something you’ve been wanting for a while.”
She opened the box and found a pair of earrings.
“It actually was something I’d wanted,” Abreu recalled, “But on the other hand I was like, ‘What the hell?’ ”
Hernandez began to laugh, and took out a second box, which contained a ring.
“He knows I know when things are going to happen because I’m kind of nosy,” Abreu said. “So he wanted to throw me off. I wasn’t angry at all, because I thought, ‘Oh my God, he got me two things while most people only get a ring!’ ”
On with the show
The very day after the proposal, Abreu began plotting her wedding.
“I’m a big planner,” she laughed. “I’m not one of those girls who have their weddings done for them, and it was a bit of work because I researched every single thing.”
Abreu was working on a bit of a budget as well, which made it a more labor intensive process, but eventually the two decided on a February wedding.
“We both really wanted an autumn wedding, but we’d have had to save up longer for that,” Abreu explained. “We wanted to get married as soon as possible, and we were paying for everything ourselves, so we settled on the least expensive month.”
Shortly after she heard from “Four Weddings” and her planning process got a bit more complicated with the interviews and pre-wedding filmings, not also to mention the other three weddings Abreu had to attend.
But it was all well worth it, she said.
So how are the two doing now that all the hoopla has passed?
“I’m relieved now that the wedding is over honestly,” Abreu said. “Not that I didn’t enjoy it, but now my husband and I can just enjoy each other.”
For more information on “Four Weddings,” visit tlc.howstuffworks.com/tv/four-weddings.
Gennarose Pope may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org