Meadow Wood Manor Wedding: Jen & Bobby

You may remember Jen & Bobby from their adorable engagement session back in ’16 at Stockton University. Well their wedding day finally arrived and here is their story!  The ceremony was held at the beautiful St. Theresa of the Child Jesus in Linden, N, followed by their dance party reception at Meadow Wood Manor.  It rained cats and dogs that day, but honestly I think it made their wedding that much memorable.

Here is their story, as told by Jen:

How did you meet? Bobby and I met in 2008 in our sophomore year at Stockton College, he lived in the apartment under mine. The first night I met him, I told a friend I would one day date him. Little did I know at that moment I met my future husband. Through mutual friends we began hanging out and after a month we decided to start dating. After graduation we took turns to visit each other on the weekends as our families lived over an hour apart. We always found a way to make it work and see each other.

The proposal: The proposal happened while on vacation in Disney World. We were visiting with friends the whole week, but that particular day I had planned a dinner for just the two of us at California Grill. Because we had been together for 7 years at that point I felt like if he was going to propose it would have been that night, so the whole day I was nervous (I even went looking through the room trying to find a ring box, I know I know, but I didn’t find it). At dinner I could barely eat. Still thinking it was going to happen that night and even more nervous that he would do it at dinner, knowing I didn’t want a public proposal. Dinner ended and we decided to finish the night by watching the fireworks at our favorite resort, the Polynesian. It was freezing so when we got there Bobby went back to the car to grab our sweatshirts. When he walked back in I could see it, the outline of a ring box in his front pocket. My heart started going crazy. It truly was going to happen tonight. We huddled together on a lawn chair to stay warm and after the fireworks were over he asked if we could walk along the resort path. He found us a quiet secluded bench area, a perfect spot. We sat there shivering quietly for what seemed like forever and finally I asked if we could go back to the room, it was just so cold. As we got up he dropped to one knee and asked me to marry him. I cried uncontrollably, and after we called our parents and a few friends, it was so late. We spent the rest of the night walking along the resort, not minding the cold anymore.

What were some of your favorite moments from your wedding day? Oh, gosh there are so many! All of the milestone moments of the day (having my parents seeing me in my dress, walking down the aisle, saying our vows, first dance/ parent dances, speeches). Our reception was one big party, I loved seeing everyone having a great time and doing crazy things on the dance floor. But a moment that will always stick out for us was when Bobby and I were at at our sweetheart table during dinner. It was the first time that day we were able to finally take it all in (and be alone). We turned to each other and talked about how amazing the day was and how we will probably never have all the important people in our lives in one room ever again. It was such a surreal moment.

What’s next on your calendar as a couple? We spent our honeymoon in Maui, it was our dream honeymoon and the best 10 days! We spent the whole time on the one island, but because we didn’t island hop, we were able to spend a few days relaxing and then the rest of the time exploring the whole island which was the best of both worlds for us. We highly recommend Maui for a honeymoon destination and tell everyone it should be on your bucket list of places to visit! A few months before our wedding we bought our first house. Now that the wedding is over we have been spending our time making this house our home and entertaining all our friends and family.

Any advice for future couples planning their weddings? Although it may seem stressful, take it all in and enjoy the process. Things I spent so much time worrying over while planning were insignificant that day. Do what makes you two happy. For brides, the day of the wedding assign one or two people to take care of things for you so you can enjoy it stress free! For me, it was my maid and matron of honor, all communication with vendors the day of the wedding went through them. They handled everything for me so I didn’t have to worry about a thing!

Last thoughts? Photography was one of the most important vendors for us during wedding planning. The day of your wedding there is so much going on you are not able to see everything or be everywhere. What I love most about our wedding photos by Danette is that although they showcase Bobby and I during the most important day of our lives, they also showcase the most important people to us. It was amazing to see so many candid shots of us and our family, parents, grandparents, and friends that we can cherish forever.

Some of Jen & Bobby’s other fabulous vendors include:

Hair Stylist: Lacey Alagia

Makeup Artist: Rachel Totani

Wedding Dress: David Tutera for Mon Cheri

Bridesmaids Dresses: Bill Levkoff

Tuxedos: Mens Warehouse

Florist: Conroys Florist

Officiant: Father Zach Swantek

Cake Artist: Gourmet Touch Bakery

Band/DJ/MC: Ultimate Party Central

Videographer: New Jersey Videography

 

Preakness Hills Golf Club Wedding: Annette & Ryan

Annette & Ryan’s wedding kicked ass. Seriously! The dancing and partying from their amazing group of friends was so much fun to photograph, I wished I was guest!  (I may have dance for a few seconds… see below!) The Preakness Hill Golf Club in Wayne, NJ was the backdrop for their day.  I will let the photos speak for themselves. And here’s their story, in Annette’s words…. Enjoy!!

How did you meet? We met through doing a share house in the Hamptons. My friend invited me and I almost chickened out! I didn’t know anyone but her so I was nervous. When we got there as I was walking in Ryan was leaving the house to go to dinner with three other house guests. When he saw me, he decided to stay at the house and the rest is history. He became my best friend that weekend.

The Proposal: The proposal story is really funny. It was the day before Ryan’s birthday so the plan was to be celebrating all weekend. On Friday night, we went out and I got a bit toastie. I blame our friend Ike for the tequila shots haha. The next day I had rented out a bar for a bit of day drinking. Ryan wanted to do a brunch at the bar so we booked Zengo in mid-town. My sister and her boyfriend got to my apartment before brunch and so we could head there together, aka so she could give him the ring that he had shipped to my parent’s house. I felt like complete crap. The pain of the tequila shots had kicked in and I was trying to keep it together for his birthday. As we left for brunch we said goodbye to Kingston (our dog) who was feeling a bit anxious because we had just moved into the apartment about a month earlier. We headed downstairs to meet our uber. The traffic was unbearable. One of the main avenues had been closed for a parade and we were running late. Ryan was quiet in the front seat and I was moaning in the back seat for fear of throwing up tequila in this guy’s Uber who was already annoyed that he had to drive us across town. All of the sudden Ryan answers his phone and he says “oh really? He must have gotten out. Okay, I will head back right now.” Kingston had opened our apartment door, taken the elevator or stairs, and was sitting in our lobby looking for us. A good neighbor found him and called Ryan right away. Ryan had to jump out of the Uber and catch a cab to head back to the apartment to get Kingston. Given that it was Ryan’s birthday, I really should have done this but my hangover couldn’t handle another car ride. So, he handled it on his own. My sister, her boyfriend and I all went to the restaurant and greeted Ryan’s friends. I had my sister tell them what happened as I chugged water in my effort to fight the tequila poison. We then were seated as I realized I may have won the battle but I lost the war and I had to sprint to the bathroom and … lol. After that, I started to feel better and let a bit of hair of the rabbit kick in. Ryan arrived about 45 minutes after that. Now we are in the groove of brunch. We had drinks flowing, music playing and good times all around. I was in conversation with Ryan, my sister and her boyfriend about when he was going to propose. Yes, I was nagging. He said what he always says and told me in 2018. I said “If it is 2018 then that is fine but I want to know”. He must have wanted to kill me. He looked at my sister and her boyfriend, who were the only two that knew, and I immediately thought he was mad at me. Just then he gets up walks around his chair, pulls out the box and gets on one knee. All I know after that is that I said yes, and there was crying, hugging and kissing. It was amazing! It started out as such a crazy day and ended up with an engagement and then a party at the bar we rented out for Ryan’s birthday. It ended up being more of an engagement party, but it was one of the best days of my life.

What’s next on your calendar as a couple? Well right after the wedding we got a second dog, Brooklyn. So we had something big planned for right after the wedding. Our Honeymoon is in January so we are both really excited to head down to Grenada. Our big next step though is buying an apartment together outside the city. We are both ready to move out of the hectic city but not too far so we are looking at Jersey City and Hoboken. It’s a very new and exciting time for the both of us because we will be first-time homeowners!!

How/why did you choose your venue? We had a list of venues we were going to see one Saturday a year before we got married. I had seen Preakness Hills on the Knot and I called them to book an appointment. We went to a country club before Preakness and I remember my mom saying when you find the place you will just know it. The next stop was Preakness and we both fell in love with it. The grounds are beautiful and the service was amazing. I looked at Ryan and he just goes “I am getting married here.” We canceled the next two venues we were set up to see!

What were some of your favorite moments from your wedding day? Well, besides for marrying Ryan, one of my favorite moments was our first dance. We wanted a song that embodied us but wasn’t a typical first dance. We went with Michael Jackson “Rock With You” but found a slow version. I think out entire wedding party was singing along and it really was so much fun for me to see them enjoying themselves while I danced with my Husband.

Any advice for future couples planning their weddings?First, one is hiring Dannette!!! I know I know but seriously she is amazing and makes you feel so comfortable and gives you the best pictures. My big advice though is to not sweat the little things. Yes, at times it can be stressful but to be honest, the brides that say, “This is so hard, it’s like another job, etc.” they are doing that to themselves. If you have your vendors booked then you should just relax and not stress so much if everything isn’t perfect. You need to focus on taking the day in and enjoying every moment because it really does fly by.

Some of Annette & Ryan’s other fabulous vendors include:

  • Wedding Coordinator: James Messina – at Preakness Hills
  • Wedding Dress: Pronovias
  • Bridesmaids Dresses: Two Birds
  • Florist: Metropolitan Flower Exchange
  • Officiant: Pastor Kevin
  • Cake Artist: Annette’s sister Christina
  • Band/DJ/MC: Live Music Pros
  • Hair Stylist: Beauty on Location
  • Makeup Artist: Beauty on Location (Annette did her own make-up)
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JG Domestic Wedding: Meghan & Dave

It’s been months, but I’m so happy to blog a full wedding from earlier this year! This is another good one too. 🙂  Meghan and Dave were married in Philadelphia at JG Domestic, the super yummy restaurant on the first floor of the Cira Center. (Can you say fresh guacamole at cocktail hour!? Oh yeah, I sure can.)  There’s something about Philly weddings… it’s like they take it to 11!  This wedding rocked. The guests partied hard. And at the end of the day, this sweet couple started their life together.

Arielle and her team from Arielle Fera Events were amazing to work with, and the entire day was perfect. Congrats to Meghan and Dave! Here is their story, as told by Meghan:

  • How did you meet? We met through mutual friends at the end of college. Dave was visiting his best friends from growing up – Dan and Corey – and they happened to be Meg’s best friends at Pitt! He came back for another visit a few months later, and inquired about seeing Meg. Corey texted Meg to ask if she was interested, she replied “probably not,” and Corey said to Dave, “it’s a go.” We now always joke that Corey gave him the false confidence he needed to seal the deal, but in reality Meg already thought he was all that. 😉 The first night we spent any time together, we talked so long that we didn’t realize it was already the next morning. Needless to say – we clicked instantly, and the rest was history.
  • The Proposal: Dave actually proposed twice! He first proposed in Portland, Maine when they went up for a weekend trip with Meg’s cousin Kristin and her boyfriend Ty. Backstory: we had taken art classes together years ago, and Dave drew a picture of a lighthouse that our art teacher gave us, and his drawing is now hanging on our wall. When first planning our trip to Portland, we noticed the lighthouse he drew on the Portland visitor’s website! We planned to visit the lighthouse while there, and take a picture in the same location the photo he drew was taken. Well, he had more than that photo in mind, and he proposed at the lighthouse! Meg was so shocked she accidentally said “thank you” instead of “yes.” And Dave still makes fun of her for it. 🙂 A post-proposal beer fest made for the most perfect weekend! Unfortunately, Meg’s engagement ring was stolen/lost a few months later… 5 months later, we had a family trip planned to Portland, Maine to go on a brewery tour (can you tell we like beer?). It was Meg’s parents and brother, Meg’s cousins, aunt and uncle and Dave. We all stopped by the Portland Headlight in the morning so that our family could see it, and Dave surprised us all and re-proposed in the rain. It was the sweetest moment ever, and we all cried (we still cry about it). Meg’s parents and Dave colluded and had the exact setting from the old ring re-made, but put Meg’s mom’s engagement stone in it. It makes the ring and the place so much more special!
  • What’s next on your calendar as a couple? We recently got back from Thailand for our honeymoon, which was such a great experience, and a fun trip! And we just added a sweet rescue pup, Sami to our family!! We’re also looking forward to attending three more weddings this year!
  • How/why did you choose your venue? We chose JG Domestic because we thought it was the perfect representation of our personalities! We loved the mixture of the city skyline with the laid back and rustic decor (and atmosphere/staff).
  • What were some of your favorite moments from your wedding day? How do we choose?! We both loved the first moment we saw each other, and how it gave us all of the emotions. So much led up to that moment. One of Meg’s favorite moments was waiting to go down the aisle with her Mom and Dad. But we have to say- the entire ceremony, and all the love we felt during it. It was so great that people were cheering as the bridal party started going down the aisle. Our great friend Rashida did such an amazing job officiating. After the ceremony- the bridal party all came behind the curtain and everyone was just hugging each other and so joyful! The bridal party entrances were also a favorite moment – we couldn’t believe how quickly they pulled together the hilarious stunts. It was so much fun to follow that with our first dance- we took dance lessons and were really nervous, so the laughter took some of the nerves away. Meg’s Dad playing the spoons was definitely a highlight.. people were chanting his name all night! We also loved all the speeches, and how much thought was put into them. The whole day just made us feel so lucky to be able to surround ourselves with such incredible friends and family. We couldn’t have asked for a better day.
  • Any advice for future couples planning their weddings? Once the day comes, just relax and enjoy every little moment! Afterwards, you will be so happy you did!

Some of Meghan & Dave’s other fabulous wedding vendors include:

  • Wedding Coordinator: Arielle Fera http://www.arielleferaevents.com/
  • Wedding Dress: Watters (Jarred Skirt, Dianthus Top),  https://www.watters.com/watters/products/jarred-skirt
  • Bridesmaids Dresses: Show Me Your MuMu, http://www.showmeyourmumu.com/shop/mumu-wedding/bridesmaids
  • Tuxedos: Men’s Wearhouse (Light Gray Tuxedos), http://www.menswearhouse.com/
  • Florist: Al’s Finishing Touch, http://www.alsfinishingtouch.com/index.html
  • Cake Artist: Federal Donuts, http://www.federaldonuts.com/
  • DJ/MC: Center Stage Entertainment (Justin Moreno), http://www.centerstageent.com
  • Hair Stylist: Gina Fox  http://www.bluelotussalon.com/

The latest…

Late fall weddings are ah-mazing. Glorious light, chilly temps, and all around snuggie feelings, all while ramping up for the holidays. I’m happy to share some more teasers with y’all from the last couple weddings. Even though wedding season is winding down, I feel like the energy is ramping up. Full blogs will continue soon! I super promise ya. 🙂

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Autumn Engagement Session: Lindsey & Cassidy

This past weekend I had the pleasure of spending a few hours with the most adorable couple, Lindsey & Cassidy.  They are high school sweethearts and have been together for over 7 years now! We met up at the gorgeous Teetertown Preserve in Hunterdon County, New Jersey, for their engagement session and all around good time. The fall colors were starting to pop, and Lindsey and Cassidy were just perfect together.  We then headed to their alma mater of Warren Hills HS, where it all began. They had their first date at the football field, so what better way to commemorate this by being silly together there with me photographing them. 🙂  I had a great time with these two, and I look forward to their wedding next September. Enjoy these favorites!

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Farmhouse at the Grand Colonial Wedding: Jeanette & Ryan

It seems like every time I photograph a wedding I feel “wow this is my favorite one this year!”. And it happened again! I had the immense pleasure of documenting the super fun and emotional wedding of Jeanette and Ryan just a couple of weeks ago. One pretty awesome thing about this wedding was that it took place really close to where I live in Hunterdon County, New Jersey, so I was able to photograph both of them getting ready, which doesn’t usually happen if I don’t have a second photographer with me. I started with Ryan and his groomsmen and family, and also with Donovan, his and Jeanette’s adorable 1 year old son. It was really sweet watching little baby Donovan getting all gussied up in his tiny tux! From there I met up with Jeanette and the girls before heading to the ceremony at St. Ann’s Church in Hampton, NJ.

Speaking of the ceremony… because of Donovan getting sick on the bus and throwing up everywhere  a wardrobe malfunction, the ceremony started over 30 minutes late.  Needless to say when Jeanette finally arrived after having to do laundry (I’m serious!), she quickly got off the bus and started walking down the aisle right after her bridesmaids did.  Sounds normal and expected, right? The problem is that no one thought to get Ryan, who was patiently waiting in the sacristy. So when Jeanette and her dad Ron walked down the aisle, no one was there waiting for her! It was pretty hysterical and I never heard so much laughter in a church before. There was a do over of course!  You’ll see below.

The Farmhouse at the Grand Colonial in the other Hampton, NJ right down the road was where Jeanette and Ryan’s wedding reception took place. I’m not sure who ordered up the glorious full rainbow for them, but all I can say is thank you. It was my first time seeing a full rainbow in person, and I’m so happy I was there to capture it with them. What a gift it was for us all!

I really enjoyed spending the day with this sweet and fun couple, so thank you to Jeanette and Ryan for trusting me to photograph this very special day!

Perona Farms Wedding: Ashley & Curt

Meet Ashley and Curt. They are awesome. I should stop typing now and let the photos show you how much fun they are! 😉 This past June they married at the rustic and photogenic venue Perona Farms in Andover, New Jersey.  I first met Ashley and Jill & Bowie’s wedding a couple years ago; she was the maid of honor and the photo of Ashley giving her tearful toast turned out to be one of my favorite photos from that wedding!  Fast forward to now. It was great seeing Jill and Bowie back in town to celebrate with Ashley and Curt, who have so much fun and chemistry together that I found myself laughing along with them all day long.

Here’s their story, as told by Ashley:

How did you meet? Our story began during our sophomore year in high school. Our mutual friend introduced us during lunch one day. Curt’s contagious laugh and incredible sense of humor is what caught my attention first. Being shy, I watched him get swooped up by another girl. The summer before our senior year, I heard he was single and I just happened to “need” firewood. While there I invited him over to hang out with us and that is when the sparks began to fly.

The proposal: Curt and I took a trip to one of our favorite places, St. Johns, U.S.V.I. Curt had plans to propose to me on top of Rams Head Trail for a few years, but about a month before our trip I hurt me knee. This led him to think about a plan B option while we were away!!! While he was planning another location, everyone on the trip kept insisting that we go on this hike which was unusual for Curt because he hates hiking in the heat! This is when I figured out what he was about to plan! Knowing what was waiting for me at the top of Rams Head Trail made the hike very exciting for me, but very nerve wracking for Curt! We all enjoyed watching the sunrise and I especially enjoyed the view of my future husband sweating bullets as he planned the perfect spot!! When the sun was up, he got down on one knee and asked me to be his forever!! It was the most surreal, special moment we shared together until our wedding day!

What’s next on your calendar as a couple?  We are excited to have the time to create our house into a home!!! We plan on adopting a puppy when we get back from our Honeymoon in Ireland. The next year or so, we plan on traveling around the United States. We have plans to trek through the National Parks, off road in a few ATV Parks, shred the slopes this winter and eat and drink our way through California. After that, we will settle down and start a family of our own!

 How/why did you choose your venue? We both wanted to get married in a barn, but after doing some research, most barns required you to bring in every vendor. This to me seemed like too much stress on the actual wedding day! So when we came across Perona Farms, I got really excited that they did everything. Perona Farms was the only venue we saw and we signed on the dotted line before leaving!! We were so incredibly happy with our choice, everything was spectacular!

What were some of your favorite moments from your wedding day? Getting pampered and ready with my girls, it was so relaxing! Watching my husband tear up as he turned around to see me for the first time. Passing around and drinking out of the champagne bottle with my parents and nanny before we said I DO! Getting cake shoved in my face and dancing the night away!!!! The entire day was absolutely incredible, it was truly the best day ever!!

 Any advice for future couples planning their wedding? Give yourself enough time and just enjoy every minute of the planning process! We had so much fun throughout the entire year and half of planning, that I missed it when it was all over! Tip: Keep your planning circle very small because what I observed from friends getting married, is too many opinions is what causes all the stress!

 

Holly Hedge Wedding – a fun teaser!

Meet Kari & Gerry!! They are the couple on the left. 😉  They were married last week at the most perfect venue, Holly Hedge Estate in New Hope, PA. When I met with them we were talking about old vintage photos, and that’s when Gerry showed me his parents’ wedding photo.  His parents are from Sicily, and from the looks of it wedding photography  was completely different back then compared to now! This photo kicks all kind of ass, so we thought it would be fun and funny and awesome and pretty much amazeballs if we recreated their wedding photo.  I used two off camera flashes, one gridded on a stand, the other held on a monopod by my lovely assistant, Pamela. How did we do?