Wedding Wednesday is the loveliest day of the week here at SMP. Not only do we get to share the usual pinch-me-perfect weddings that grace our pages daily, but today we’re multiplying the love with nine beautiful features from morning til night. And kicking off all the real wedding fun is a beachy beautiful event photographed by Christian Oth Studio’s own Michael Falco. With such easy elegance and understated glam, this wedding’s gorgeous full gallery is not to be missed.
From the bride…I was 34 and my husband was 31 years old, so I was sure that I wanted to have a more mature wedding, which for me meant forgoing bridesmaids, groomsmen and a large event and instead opting for a matron of honor and best man in a more intimate setting. My husband and I love Latin music and dancing and after spending time in South America, have always dreamed of having a home in Miami, so we originally wanted to plan a destination wedding. We were unable to find a suitable venue in Miami and, at my Mother’s urging, eventually toured a property in Long Beach Island, N.J., where my family has been summering since the 1940’s. We brought the Latin feel into our wedding by hiring a 13-piece Latin crossover band including a dedicated percussionist, choosing deep persimmon and champagne as our wedding colors and opting for a two-piece wedding dress with a beaded bustier top and high-waisted satin skirt and a deep persimmon tiered silk strapless dress in a very avant-garde below the knee length for my sister, Lindsay, the matron of honor. My parents also hosted a Spanish brunch at the Estate on Sunday morning. I highlighted my husband’s handsome Greek skin with an ivory bowtie and suspenders over a very fitted covered-placket tuxedo shirt. I have never been fond of boxy pleated tux shirts, cummerbunds or tuxedo studs and was happy that we were able to avoid all of this! My adorable nephew and ring bearer, Eli, wore ivory silk shorts and suspenders with a matching vest.
I envisioned a formal, black tie event and worked with the caterer to eliminate food tables, food stations and the usual open bar during our gracious 90-minute cocktail hour. Instead, we tripled our serving staff, brought out white wine and “dark and stormy” cocktails, chose eight different hors d’oeuvres, increased the number of hors d’oeuvres per tray and outfitted all of the indoor and outdoor high top tables with cheese wrapped olive puffs and yucca duck fat fries served in paper cones with Old Bay ketchup at the bottom of the cones. I didn’t want anyone to be waiting in line for a drink or shoveling food onto little plates when they could be mingling! After all, one of the purposes of a wedding is for the friends and family of the bride and groom to get acquainted.
I enjoyed the music at Saint Barbara Greek Orthodox Church, including “Ave Maria” sung by one of my best friends, the Righteous Brothers’ “Unchained Melody” played by one of my husband’s best friends, a special violin rendition of Enya’s “Only Time,” and of course walking down the aisle with my amazing Dad to a classic organ and violin rendition of Pachelbel’s “Canon in D.” I also enjoyed driving with my new husband in our classic car- a 1964 Rolls Royce- up to the gorgeous reception site- and seeing all of our guests gathered in the boathouse (an old Vermont barn which the builder moved to Bonnet Island) with mini champagne bottles in hand, sipping from gold straws in the spring sunshine, and meandering through the gardens behind the estate to the cocktail hour- perfect! Finally, I loved sitting at the long tables with my husband and listening to my father, sister and husband speak.
Michael Falco, our photographer from Christian Oth in NYC, was professional, warm, genuinely interested in the project, accommodating, appropriately emotionally involved and always a gentleman. We knew that Michael was the man for the job when we learned that he had spent time in Long Beach Island as a child! Michael and his assistant, Glen, arrived in Long Beach Island the night before our event. He did everything in his power to achieve beautiful photos, cramming into the backseat of our special car with us, standing on benches in the chapel, even using an old boat as a prop. Before the ceremony, he was conscientious of keeping my dress as clean as possible and even carried my lip-gloss in his pocket for touch ups. Michael was respectful to everyone he encountered and made everyone feel comfortable in his presence- which made for more natural smiles.
Wedding Photography: Michael Falco of Christian Oth Studio | Wedding Planning: Mother of the Bride | Florist: The Rhoads Garden | Church: St. Barbara Greek Orthodox Church | Officiant: Fr. Paul Pappas | Reception Location: Bonnet Island Estate | Entertainment: The Groove Shop | Invitations: Carolyn Brandhurst, The Papery of Philadelphia | Calligraphy: Michael Weinstein, MJW Calligraphy | Menus, Programs: Peter Groben, WonderStorm Design | Luxury Buses: Classic Tours | Sunday Spanish Brunch: Chris Sanchez, Small Potatoes Catering | Caterer: Merri-Makers | Wine and Liquor: Pio Imports | Wedding Cake: The Bake Works | Rentals: Ocean County Tent Rentals and Party Rentals Ltd. | Dress: Monique Lhullier | Shoes: Yves Saint Laurent | Jewelry: Golden Nugget Jewelers | Hair Color: Laurentius Purnama, Laurentius Salon | Hairstyle: Alison Sileo, Mack Stylist LLC | Makeup: Amanda, Aqua Bleu Salon | Groom’s Tuxedo: Battistoni | Groom’s Shirt: From Boyds Philadelphia | Groom’s Ivory Silk Satin Bowtie and Suspenders: Molly Rodgers | Patent Tuxedo Shoes: Salvatore Ferragamo | Cufflinks: Bride’s grandfather’s | Gold Rolex Watch: gift from groom’s father