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Black Tie New Jersey Estate Wedding

A few months back I had a chance to meet the fabulous Kristin behind Reverie Events and let me tell you she’s just as sparkling and sweet as the wedding magic she creates. But when Kristin teams up with the equally lovely Kay English…well, they’re basically unstoppable. *Enter* this spring black tie affair that’s “classic elegance” to a pretty little T. The gallery is what wedding dreams are made of and the film by Right Side Up Productions is just a scroll away!


From Kay English… On the first warm day of the year, March 22, 2014, Nicole & Christopher said their I dos at The Ashford Estate in Allentown, New Jersey. Where many brides had previously played upon the French Chateau nature of the magical mansion, Nicole and Christopher worked with the talented Reverie Events to bring out the luxurious texture and depth, with a resulting fox-and-hound-inspired gala to rally the horses and cheers for a simple, elegant and truly memorable affair.

With a warm color palette of neutrals and gold with navy notes, texture was king. From the suede that held the scrolled programs to the thick, navy velvet ribbon that tied the napkins and five flower girls’ nosegays. From the dark-stained standalone wooden table numbers and suede-wrapped julep cups that held lush arrangements of muted blooms and greenery scattered among the romantic candlelight of the five-pronged bronze candelabras on each table, to the luxurious and intricate lace of the bride’s graceful, deep keyholed gown that glimmered with delicate baby sea pearls and crystals.

Gold-plated plaid marked the custom-designed invitation suite as well as the three best men’s Burberry ties. The matron of honor wore a Pippa Middleton-inspired midnight navy gown, complete with black lace cap sleeves and a stunning black lace back with a mile-long row of nearly 40 covered buttons.

The bride walked into the candlelit barn chapel to a unique composition, “Pachelbel Meets U2,” marrying the classic “Canon in D” to “With or Without You.” A Scottish bagpiper paraded guests into the estate where the signature cocktail — an Old Fashioned — began a cocktail hour in the conservatory where tables were detailed with brass trophy cup vases pouring with opulent greens.

Golden horseshoes — displayed on dark wooden boards with brass pegs, complete with laurel greenery adorning the top inspired by thoroughbred’s winning wreaths — guided guests to the spectacular ballroom as the sun began to set. A decadent black & white chocolate buttercream cake stood tall at four tiers and was dotted with the bride’s elegant blooms of white jeanne moreau d.a. roses, ranunculus and white anemones.

The 10-piece band had the entire 200+ room on its feet as the new Mr. & Mrs. were announced into their first dance, Ray LaMontagne’s “You Are the Best Thing” . . . and well into the night before guests were swept off the dance floor with warm chocolate chip cookies as they made their way to the estate library for post-dancing cocktails.

Photography: Kay English | Videography: Right Side Up Productions | Wedding Dress: Paloma Blanca | Wedding Cake: The Bake Works | Bride's Shoes: Stuart Weitzman | Catering: Merri Makers | Hair & Makeup: Gillian Moritz, Beauty Artist Group | Band: The Charles St. Paul Dance Band | Bride's Engagement Ring: Custom, Gabriel & Co. | Flowers & Event Design: Reverie Events | Invitations & Day Of Paper Goods: Reverie Events | Liquor: Neptune Liquors | Matron Of Honor's Dress: Jim Hjelm Occassions | Veil: Custom | Venue: Ashford Estate

Hayley Paige and Jim Hjelm Occasions are members of our Look Book. For more information on how members are chosen, click here. NJ Wedding Photographer Kay English, JLM Couture, Inc and Reverie Events are members of our Little Black Book. Find out how members are chosen by visiting our FAQ page.
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Reverie Events

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Our Favorite Summer Locales for Saying “I Do”

We’re knee-deep in summer sunshine, which means that we here at SMP can’t stop daydreaming of the perfect places to tie the knot now that the temps have warmed up for some outdoor-style partying.  Think laid-back beach nuptials, crazy cool backyard shindigs and awesome rooftop parties, all with a side of that June, July and August weather we adore soooo much.  Happy browsing.

Our Favorite Summer Locales for Saying "I Do"
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Classic Affair in San Francisco with a Modern Twist

A day filled with a Jose Villa wedding is kind of like Christmas in July. Now take away the snow and the ugly sweaters and swap them for a stunning gown and modern gilded details and you have this San Francisco gem. It’s simple, edited, laced with gold and captured in a way that only Jose Villa can do. We’re calling it wildly chic with a side of pure gilded magic. See even more right here along with a film of the day captured by Imaginale below.


From The Bride…Darren and I got married on a cloudy day in the beautiful city of San Francisco, Ca. From the beginning we knew that our wedding had to have several key elements: classy, yet modern, meaningful, and topped with touches of gold (of course!). First things first, we prioritized several things, photographer, venue, and city. The rest just seemed to fall into place. We chose the fabulous Jose Villa to document our special day, James Leary Flood Mansion for our venue, and the beautiful city of San Francisco as our background. Since we chose such a stunning venue, we wanted our decorations to be simple so it would highlight the beautiful architecture of the mansion. Some of our decorations included mirrors with beautiful calligraphy, vintage frames containing photos from our years together and vintage cameras from local flea markets. Both Darren and I are photographers so we thought this would be a nice personal touch. We are also fans of crafts and design so we DIY’ed several things. We worked together to design a logo for our wedding. This would serve as a piece that we could include in other things to make our wedding cohesive. We designed and printed our own invitations, and added gold foil touches (which took several days to do, but totally worth it!) topped with a gold monogram wax seal. We also added gold foil to our table numbers along with some of our favorite quotes on the back side. Instead of a sign-in book for the guests, we had them sign a gold-painted globe which now nicely fits in our home as decor. Our venue wouldn’t allow us to have sparklers for our “get away” and had many other restrictions so we had to get creative and made gold frills so our guests could wave as we left, worked nicely! Since Darren and I have our own photo equipment, we decided to save some money and put up our own photo booth. Our backdrop was a continuous scroll with the words from the song I walked down the aisle during the ceremony in beautiful calligraphy by Jen Halverson. I had our flowers girls (who walked with balloons instead of flowers), bible boy, and ring bearer all dolled up with accessories! I had to! The boys had colorful poms as boutonnieres and the girls had sparkly headbands! Lastly, we’re big IG fans so our wedding wouldn’t have been complete with our very own instagram hashtag, #YGDbestdayever!

Some over my favorite parts of our wedding included all the music during the ceremony. We had some of our dear friends perform songs that are meaningful in our relationship. I walked down to “Most Uncommon Thing” by Five Times August (sung by Kevin Straine on the wedding day), Darren learned this song on the guitar and sang it to me on our first dating anniversary 6 years ago. “Ribbon in the Sky” by Stevie Wonder (sung by Fidi Mwero on the wedding day) was sung while Darren and I tied ribbons for our unity symbol. Towards the end of the ceremony, our pastor asked our family to form a circle around Darren and I while he prayed a blessing prayer. I can’t even describe the amount of support and love we felt while being surrounded by our most loved ones. Kevin Straine returned to sing “What A Difference A Day Makes” as we were announced and walked down the aisle. Truly a difference and beyond the happiest day of my life.

I especially feel thankful and couldn’t have asked for better vendors to work with! Jin Wang personally helped me chose my gown and altered it to fit like a glove! Mar from Team Hair & Make-up is seriously one of my favorite persons…ever! If you ever get the chance to work with her she is amazing and will make you laugh tons! Kristi Herrmann coordinated the wedding, she is so easy to work with and chop full of amazing ideas! Lastly, I can’t image what I would do without Jose Villa (photography) and Alejandra of Imaginale (videographer) on our wedding day! They made us feel completely natural and allowed us to be ourselves throughout the day. There were times when I didn’t even know they were there. And the final products they produced are exquisite! I’m so thankful I have these images and video to relive my wedding with!

Photography: Jose Villa Photography | Videography: Imaginale | Wedding Coordinator: Kristi Herrmann | Floral Design: Cambria Wheeler | Wedding Dress: Olivia Couture | Catering: Melons Catering | Calligraphy: Jennifer Halverson | Favors: Lette Macarons | Grooms Attire: J Crew | Groomsmen's Attire: Zara | Hair And Makeup : TEAM Hair And Makeup | Kids Accessories: Ban Do | Mother Of Brides Dress: Ann Taylor Loft | Pianist: Jed De La Paz | Reception Jazz Vocalist: Ellie Gunn | Wedding Alterations: Jin Wang | Wedding Venue: James Leary Flood Mansion

J.Crew is a member of our Look Book. For more information on how members are chosen, click here. Jose Villa Photography, TEAM Hair and Makeup and jinwang are members of our Little Black Book. Find out how members are chosen by visiting our FAQ page.
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TEAM Hair and Makeup


Mix and Match Your Maids with Donna Morgan

We all know that Donna Morgan bridesmaid gowns are the epitome of seriously stylish + seriously chic. But did you also know that when you mix and match these fabulous frocks it takes it to an entirely new level of awesome?  One that sees your maids practically glowing in everything from coordinating hues to vibrant prints to pretty pastel tones… see the tips and tricks to make your besties stand out below!

1. Your Maid of Honor is your best friend for a reason, so having her stand out amongst your lovely lineup is a serious no-brainer.  Make her feel extra special by dressing your maids in one amazing hue, then kicking the style up a notch with your MOH in a corresponding color.  And by choosing a hue from your sure-to-be fabulous florals, you’ll be keeping it cohesive AND seriously gorgeous.

2. Want to add a pop of style and still stay in the same color family?  Go for it!  By choosing hues like grape, lavender and eggplant, your maids will stun in a lineup that bursts with variety, all while upping the ante on the pretty.

3. Tip three?  Don’t be afraid of different colors, lovelies!  By dressing each of your maids in an individual + oh-so-stylish hue, you can put your inner chicness (and favorite colors) on display.  And don’t forget to select hues from the same palette… think gorgeous pastels or rich jewel tones.

4. We’re never ones to shy away from a stunning print, especially when it comes to styling your besties. Add a pop of pattern to your lineup of solids to really make a statement.

There you have it, lovelies.  Some inspiration from the amazing Donna Morgan to get your bridesmaid party started.  Choose from any of the fabulous colors and styles that Donna Morgan has to offer to really take your bridal party to the next level.  And, remember – don’t be afraid to mix and match your maids! You’ll thank us later.

Photography: Trent Bailey Photography + Marianne Wilson Photography + Mademoiselle Fiona Wedding Photography + Josh Elliot Photography + Dove Photography + True Weddings Photography