Ashley Waxman and Salvatore Di Santo were married at the...

Ashley Waxman and Salvatore Di Santo were married at the Garden City Hotel on Jan. 17, 2010. Here they celebrate with friends. Credit: Photos by Kornfeld Studios, Rockville Centre

When Ashley Waxman and Salvatore Di Santo announced they'd be tying the knot, no one was surprised.

The two have been good friends since 11th grade.

While it was clear to many that they made the perfect couple, Waxman was slow to figure it out.

"I was clueless," says Waxman, who first met Di Santo, now both 29, at Lawrence High School in Cedarhurst. "I thought we were just best buds."

But Di Santo, who works for Michael C. Fina, an employee-recognition company in Long Island City, had fallen in love with her by the time he was 26 and was set to win her heart. He wined her and dined her; but his ultimatum - date me or lose my friendship - got her off the fence.

"I couldn't go 24 hours without him," she says. "Deep down, I always knew he was for me."

The relationship progressed quickly. A year and six months in, as they were flying to Isla Mujeres, Mexico, for vacation, he proposed over the plane's speaker system. Waxman, who works for a pharmaceutical advertising agency, said yes.

Their interfaith wedding (she's Jewish; he's Catholic) attracted 220 guests at the Garden City Hotel on Jan. 17. The ceremony, with a priest and rabbi, featured a chuppah and a unity candle.

Waxman dazzled in an ivory Amsale dress with a lace top, ruched waist and full skirt from The Wedding Salon of Manhasset. Di Santo wore a Calvin Klein tuxedo and black and white Converse sneakers - his favorite footwear. The women in the wedding party of 25 wore gold; the guys, tuxes and Converses with their initials stitched on the side.

At the reception, the band Original Faze 4 of Great Neck made music while guests dined on filet mignon, Cornish game hen with apple-glazed peach stuffing and more. The red velvet wedding cake had four tiers.

"It was so amazing, celebrating with friends and family in one place," says Waxman. "People are still talking about it."

The couple resides in North Bellmore.