Erin Brady and Antonio Capasso were supposed to be married on Nov. 9, 2013 — but there was one slight conflict: the bride-to-be, who was crowned Miss USA in June 2013, found out that she would need to be in Moscow, Russia, on Nov. 9 in order to compete for the title of Miss Universe. (And that, oh yes, Miss USA is not allowed to tie the knot during her year-long reign anyway.) Not a problem.

“Tony and I may be complete opposites — I’m very chatty and he can be quiet and shy — but we take one another out of our comfort zones,” says Erin. “We push each other to succeed.” Success in this case meant that the wedding was postponed until Dec. 13, 2014, when the steadfast pair stood at the altar of St. Augustine Church in Hartford to joyfully and at long last say “I do.” (12/13/14 is a way-cooler anniversary date to have anyway!)

“I wanted the day to be about elegance, romance and glamour,” says Erin. “The essence of sophistication.” The stunning trumpet-style Danielle Caprese gown with cream lace and intricate beading that Erin said “yes” to at Kleinfeld in New York (on an episode that aired in season 12 of the popular TLC show) set the tone. As did her elaborate bouquets: One, a heady flow of red roses and cream calla lilies with diamond accents, designed by Flowers by Danielle in Trumbull; the other, a bejeweled and bedazzled number made from brooches by Jeweled Bouquets in Preston. “I love that I get to keep it forever,” says Erin.

As for their reception at Aria in Prospect, it was quite the par-tay — as Erin and Tony’s 470 (!) guests can most certainly attest. DJ That’s Entertainment of Harrison, N.Y., had the dance floor in the grand ballroom packed — and even managed to talk the bride and groom into spinning some tunes of their own and launching themselves off a set of speakers to do a little crowd surfing. “When I watch the video, it looks like we’re in the middle of a night club,” laughs Erin. A lavish night club bursting with red roses that also happens to have a sushi bar, a lamb-chop bar, a four-course dinner spread, a crêpe bar, a gelato bar and a candy buffet by Treat Me Sweet of Tuckahoe, N.Y., “with more sweets than I could ever dream of,” says Erin.

And at the end of the night, Miss USA 2013 even had a new title: Mrs. Capasso — and a new “pageant” sash, designed by the best man, to prove it.

“This is the best title of them all,” admits Erin. “Being Miss USA was a year-long fairytale — but at the end the pumpkin goes back to normal. This is reality. This is the beginning of my true life. Our life.”

venue Aria, Prospect
photographer Studio 1923
videographer Inspiration in Motion
floral design Flowers by Danielle
broche bouquet Jeweled Bouquets (Danielle Aspinwall)
candy bar Treat me Sweet
dj That’s Entertainment
moving statues TEN31 Productions
cigar bar Connecticut Cigar Company
hair/makeup Naomi’s Studio & Salon, Newington (makeup: Naomi Martinez; hair: Tonya)