This morning felt like the perfect morning to escape to the New Jersey Shoreline, and lucky for you, I had this Therese Marie Wagner Photography soiree waiting in the wings for a day just like this. The mix of the calm shore and the chic + classic, is absolutely amazing. A little vaca we’ve been dreaming about for months. And the best part – no packing required to visit the gallery!

Peter and I met at Siena College outside of Albany New York. We had the same group of friends and were often in classes together for most of our four years there. During our senior year, we began dating, and have been together since. One night, Pete suggested a nice date night at a local restaurant on the Hoboken waterfront (Zylo at the W Hotel), I went happily and as we were walking to dinner he pointed out the gorgeus full moon over the hudson river & NYC skyline, he suggested a walk along the water during which he stopped and got down on one knee and asked me to be his wife. After some tears and shock I obviously said yes, we proceeded on to a beautiful dinner where Pete had arranged to suprise me with both of our families being there, it was a wonderful night that we will always remember!

When we started planning, our minds immediately went to one of our favorite places to escape. We thought what could be better than getting all of the people we love together for a weekend at the one place we love the most! My family has a home in Long Beach Island NJ and I grew up spending summers there. Luckily Pete fell in love with the island the first time he came to visit, we spend as much of our free time there as possible and both see it as a little piece of paradise. When Bonnet Island Estate was first built I remember thinking how beautiful it was and what a fairy tale a wedding there would be. It is very rustic and beachy, but also has a magical fairytale feel to the whole estate. Probably within a week of being engaged we decided that we should definitely have our wedding in LBI. We both obviously love everything about the area and wanted all of our friends and family to be able be experience something so special to us. After some quick decision making, we had a date of 10-15-11 booked at our dream location!

Pete called me one day in the spring prior to the wedding and said he had seen a grey tuxedo that he thought would be great for our fall beachy wedding, we went to try it on, loved it , decided it went perfect with the rustic/formal feel of bonnet and then ran with that as our inspiration for a color pallate! Our invitations were accented in grey, the blue of the girls dresses was chosen because of how great it looked with the guys tuxes, grey berries were added to the flowers, and I think it all came together beautifully. I had always loved peonies, but since October is not peonie season, our amazing florist suggested ranunculus and cabbage roses mixed in with other more seasonal flowers mixed in to get the look we wanted. It all came together the day of and we could not have been happier with the look and feel of the day.

Our wedding mass was one of the highlights of the day for us. While we stood at the alter looking out at everyone we were both so overwhelmed and happy to see all the people we love looking up at us. The mass was said in memory of Petes later father and his presence was with us from the of the begging of the weekend to the end. A memory that stands out for me was during our pig roast rehearsal dinner, when at just the right moment the cloudly drizzly sky cleared up and there was a vibrant full rainbow, it seemed like Pete’s dad was right there with us giving a big smile. After the mass we walked directly out of church and right to the beach, kicked off our shoes and it was just the two of us for a few minutes, we looked at each other and just smiled, we couldn’t believe we were married!

Our band rocked and had everyone on their feet the whole night, but especially for our first dance. We used a song that we had loved from our local college bar Dapps, “You’re so beautiful” by Pat Macguire Band and although it was not a traditional “wedding song” it meant a lot to us, and we will always remember that dance and how it felt like we were the only people in the room.

From there on it was an all out party. We were thrilled everyone we loved had made the trip and we just spent the whole night celebrating with our amazing friends and family until about 2am! There is a candid shot of Peter and I looking and smiling at each other at our sweetheart table, and when I see it it brings me immediately back to how happy, in love, and amazing we felt right at that moment. I don’t remember the amazing Therese Marie Wagner snapping it, but it is definitely one of our favorites, and perfectly captured the mood and our memory of the day. All of our vendors were unbelievably amazing and to us the day was just perfect and exactly what we had hoped for.

Photography: Therese Marie Wagner Photography / Venue: The Bonnet Island Estate / Church: St. Thomas of Aquinas Church / Gown: Mikaella / Shoes: Badgley Miscka / Tuxes: Jean Yves  / Flowers: Avenue Flowers / Invitations: Smith Letterpress / Band: The Christopher Michaels Band

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