New Jersey Wedding by Courtney Dudley Photography
November 29, 2011
Tri State

I love, love, LOVE a brunch wedding.  And, really, can you blame me?  Fabulous food combined with your big day is never a bad idea.  Especially pancakes!  Plus, when you add in a plethora of lovely DIY details, one very gorgeous museum setting, two sweet as can be lovebirds and an entire gallery of brilliant images by Courtney Dudley Photography, it's a downright perfect soiree.  And just wait until you check out those insanely awesome paper bouquets.  Ah.mazing.  Click here for even more!









Click here to see the entire gallery of images!

From the Bride... My now husband Mark and I knew from the very moment that we were engaged that we wanted a fun and different wedding. We are actors and so we knew we wanted to incorporate "Theatre" as a theme in our wedding. It was dumb luck that we found an awesome museum that had a theater inside of it! Once we found that, the first of our wedding dreams came true. Mark is also a HUGE dinosaur buff and we saw they were having a dinosaur exhibit during our wedding. I have seen my husband happy about a lot of things but this takes the cake. Mark was set!

Then we thought, "What type of meal does EVERYONE love to eat?" And almost immediately, we looked at each other and decided that our wedding, was going to be a BRUNCH wedding! Who doesn't love mimosas and pancakes, french toast and waffles? We knew how much we loved it and so we thought, WHY NOT? It ended up saving us SO much money and was a unique, laid back awesome part of the wedding. Our overall goal was to make sure that guests left knowing who we were as a couple. And now, nearly 3 months after our wedding, I really feel we did that.

Wedding planning can be so daunting and I, like many other brides, did not have a huge budget. My parents had both been out of work and so I wanted to keep the wedding small and very personal. DIY projects became my best friends. With the help of friends and family, we created our invitations, programs (Playbill style), centerpieces, boutonnieres, bouquets, guest book, wedding cake...just about EVERYTHING. I was most proud of the bouquets. A mixture of paper flowers with script pages (Mark proposed at a curtain call of a Midsummer Night's Dream, so we used pages from that script), ribbon roses, both sheer and satin and some fake flowers from Michaels. We worked so hard on those and I felt they looked amazing. It was a lot of work, including a year of collecting milk glass vases and vintage books, making tons and tons of paper flowers for the bouts and bouquets, working tirelessly on a template to design our Playbill programs and at the end of the day, just crossing my fingers that what I was seeing in my head was what I would see on the day.

And then the day came...and it was WONDERFUL. We didn't tell the guests we were getting married in the theater, so when they came into the museum, they were ushered there so it was a total surprise. We then gave them time after the ceremony to roam the museum and see the various exhibits going on there. We wanted them to enjoy the whole place, not just the event of our wedding. We added a few personal touches. We had choreographed our own first dance and performed that, we wrote our vows, we put Shakespearean quotes that we loved on each of the tables instead of table numbers, my father made our Ketubah (marriage contract in Jewish weddings) and the top of our cake was my grandparent's cake topper from their wedding. They have both passed, so it was a great way to honor their memory. We wanted the day to be casual, fun and personal. I think weddings are the most wonderful days for the couple in the whole wide world, but make sure you have the wedding YOU want to have. It's hard during planning to remember that, but if you stay true to yourself, you will feel so fulfilled and your wedding day will be everything you dreamed it would be.

Wedding Photography: Courtney Dudley Photography / Centerpieces: AW Flowers / Hair: In Style Down the Aisle / Make-up: Gina Brozon Makeup Artist / Day-of Coordination: Cindy Marotta of All About You Events / Wedding Ceremony + Reception Location: Morris Museum / Wedding Invitations: DIY from Michaels / Bride's Shoes: Dana Davis Collection via Ideeli / Wedding Dress: J.Crew / Bridesmaid Dresses: Amsale + Watters / Groom's Attire: J.Crew / Groomsmen Attire: Express / Paper Bouquets: Jinni Pike of Caged Bird Things