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Family-Oriented Romantic New Jersey Inn + Garden Wedding

We’re only eight days into 2016, but I guarantee you this Bride’s Watters wedding gown will be making our best dressed list at the end of the year. Sexy, feminine and gorgeous, the deep-V lace dress is the crowning jewel to this beautiful garden wedding. From the fashion to the details, there’s so much pretty from Julia Elizabeth Photography waiting for you in THE VAULT!

Colors
Seasons
Summer
Settings
InnOutdoor
Styles
Romantic

From Julia Elizabeth PhotographyVal and Carly were a pleasure to work with from day one. Incorporating their families into all aspects of the day, it was obvious from the start how important family is to these two. The whole day was full of little details both thoughtful and beautiful. Carly gifted each of her bridesmaids with earrings which she displayed on a delicate stand. They wore matching robes and laughed all morning together as they got ready at the Crossed Keys Inn. Carly looked incredible in her long-sleeved Watters gown and she wore her grandmother’s engagement ring as part of her look. The bridesmaids wore mix-matched dresses which came together perfectly. Close by Val was with his family and groomsmen made up of brothers and friends from high school. Val wore the same watch his father wore on his wedding day and gifted his groomsmen with socks from their hometown of Summit, NJ (also my hometown)!

Once Carly and Val saw each other for the first time the day really took off (with a few tears here and there). We took beautiful portraits walking around the venue which was full of greenery and gorgeous flowers – the ideal setting for a Summer wedding. The rest of the day flew by as they were surrounded by their close family and friends as they shared their own vows. The reception set up in the tent was gorgeous with dahlias and greenery running down each farm table. The party started right after the ceremony and carried through the rest of the evening ending with a gorgeous sparker exit.

From The Bride…Val was raised in Switzerland as a native French speaker, but he moved to my hometown in New Jersey when he was 10. He was three grades older than me, so we didn’t cross paths until I was a freshman in high school (and he was a senior!). We quickly became friends but both went our separate ways for college. Our mutual hometown kept us coming back together during college breaks, but it was never the right time for either of us to pursue anything more than a friendship. Then on Thanksgiving Eve six years ago, as I was prepping to leave for a spring semester abroad in Barcelona, we had a goodbye meal in Little Italy that changed everything. This neighborhood will always hold a special place in our hearts and is why we chose it for our engagement photos. NYC is where we fell in love, shared our first home together, and where Val eventually proposed in Washington Square Park.

Val and I had always envisioned a big outdoor wedding, surrounded by our families and friends. We found the Crossed Keys Inn during an online search and knew this was where we’d get married from the minute we stepped onto the property with our moms by our sides. Romantic, vintage, ivory, blush, and gold, with a few French touches here and there – the venue went perfectly with my inspiration.

We enlisted the help of Val’s uncle to marry us (he got ordained!) and he did the ceremony in both English and French. Val and I wrote our own vows and reciting them was probably my favorite part of the day. We kept our vows a secret from each other and were so excited to find out that we both mentioned our love for Taco Bell! Val’s grandparents were unfortunately not able to make the trip from Switzerland, so we had FaceTime going so that they wouldn’t miss a beat. Incorporating our families was so important to us, and the first thing we did after finding our venue was ask our nephews to act as ring bearers (or ring bears as they understood it). The boys pulled our six-month-old niece down the aisle in a decorated wagon and introduced me to the 200 guests who shared our special day with us.

I wore a long-sleeve ivory lace Watters dress that I’m honestly still more obsessed with by the day. Before I even got engaged, there was no question that I wanted a dress with sleeves. I never thought I’d actually find a dress that made me look and feel like the bride I always dreamed of being. I’m so fortunate to have the support in my life to make that dream come true. My seven bridesmaids each picked their own dress and we didn’t actually see them all together until the night before the wedding! The girls looked so perfect in their mismatched long dresses. Val chose a shawl-collared navy J.Crew tuxedo, which was complemented by an array of navy suits worn by his groomsmen. Val wore the same watch his father wore on his wedding day while I had a ring passed down from my great-grandmother.

After the ceremony, the band had the dance floor packed the rest of the evening. They learned a number of songs for us, starting with our first dance, and also the song I surprised my dad with for our father-daughter dance (it was my parent’s first dance from their wedding over 30 years ago!). We wrapped up the night with sparklers and s’mores, and then transported our guests in party buses to the after party.

People say their wedding was the best day of their lives, and now we can’t believe how lucky we are to honestly say that about our own!

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Photography: Julia Elizabeth Photography | Cinematography: Saltwater Studios | Floral Design: Event Designs by Katherine | Wedding Dress: Jacinda Gown By Watters | Invitations: Sweet Invitations | Engagement Ring: Optimal Innovative Solutions | Rings: Doyle And Doyle | Hair + Makeup: Marilou of Melissa D’Aloia & Company | Band: The Story Tellers Of New York City | Groom's Attire: J.Crew | Venue: Crossed Keys Estate | Bridal Boutique: The Wedding Store At Liz Clinton

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Elegant Crossed Keys Inn Wedding

In all honesty, this feature took me far too long to put together. Why? Because it’s impossible not to be completely captivated by this gallery from CLY BY MATTHEW, it’s just soooo pretty. And can we talk about the Bride’s insanely gorgeous Sarah Seven dress from Lovely Bride? I need this dress in my life. Toss on a little seafoam, a little teal, one super adorable vintage red truck and it’s wedding perfection.

Colors
Seasons
Spring
Settings
Inn
Styles
Elegant

From the beautiful Bride…I have never been one to believe in romantic movies and ideas that are prevalent in them like…FATE. I slept through Love Actually to the horror of my now husband who has watched Love Actually more times than he can count and knows lines by heart. As corny as it sounds and even though it goes against every practical, non-romantic bone in my body, I have to say that marrying Ray was fate. We have never lived in the same area and yet kept crossing paths throughout our lives (starting from elementary school). Eventually, when we crossed paths as young adults, sparks flew on one side but not reciprocated by the other. We barely got to know each other before we went our separate ways again and I never expected us to ever cross paths again. But 2 years later, January 2010 somehow brought us to be in the same place at the same time and this time, sparks flew on BOTH sides. Or it could be that I just opened my eyes finally to what was meant to be. And so began a love story 21 years in the making.

3 years later, we were engaged and started to plan what we referred to as “the greatest party of our lives.” We wanted a wedding that would be have a comfortable and relaxing vibe that would allow our guests to mingle and just have a good time without being restricted to a stuffy ballroom. I had seen Crossed Keys Inn in a magazine a few years ago and fell in love with the big white tent and basically everything else it offered. So naturally, I convinced Ray to drive an hour in the middle of January, a few weeks after our engagement, to see the venue in person. We both fell in love and could see ourselves having the perfect wedding here, even when it was freezing and covered in snow everywhere. Without even seeing any other venues, we immediately signed with Crossed Keys and began our long 18 month journey of wedding planning. In search for inspiration for the perfect romantic, vintage wedding that I envisioned, I spent countless hours poring over SMP and Pinterest. It’s not an exaggeration to say that I spent almost every single free minute I had looking through these 2 amazing resources. Obviously, I ended up getting overwhelmed with the endless choices and if it weren’t for my sane, reasonable fiancé and friends bringing me back to reality, I would have ended up planning way more than I can handle. In the end, our wedding day was the perfect amount of detail which I owe to our awesome, talented vendors, bridesmaids who made an amazing team, and the most thoughtful and caring fiancé in the world. Ray and I made nearly every decision together no matter how small of a detail without a single fight. The fact that I could look back at the pictures and videos and see both of our special touches everywhere (like the candle he brought so the girls can get ready in a beautifully scented room) made the day that much more special. Throughout wedding planning, Ray would say he wanted me to be able to look back 10, 20 years down the road and say I had the wedding of my dreams. This alone made our wedding day the wedding of my dreams already and everything else was just icing on the cake.

Photography: CLY BY MATTHEW | Videography: Kiss the Bride Films | Floral Design: Event Designs by Katherine | Wedding Dress: Lovely Bridal Shop | Wedding Bands: Love Rocks | Bridesmaid's Dresses: Duchess Ivy And Aster | Catering: Crossed Keys Estate | Hair And Make Up: vickyC5 | DJ: Gemini Productions | Groom's Attire: Bonobos | Wedding Venue: Crossed Keys Estate | Photo Booth: Big Cheese Booth

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here
These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
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A Fall Speakeasy Wedding in New Jersey

If you’re anything like me, you are counting down the days to falling leaves and Pumpkin Spice Lattes. This wedding captured by Pat Furey embodies all the best parts of my favorite season. The moody palette, the foliage and added to that, a speakeasy theme that is one for the books with super romantic blooms by Event Designs By Katherine and film to wrap it all up by NewYorkFilmworks. Click here for more.

Colors
Seasons
Fall
Settings
Inn
Styles
Vintage

From The Bride…Our relationship over the past 7 years has felt nothing short of a fairy tale. We wanted to transport our guests into the magical, whimsical, utterly-romantic world that we feel everyday together. The inspiration was simple. I’ve always found the early 1900’s era absolutely charming and combining the asethictc of one of our favorite lounges, The Edison in downtown L.A., would create that secret world for our guests. If you haven’t been before, you enter through an alleyway and make your way down these grand stairs with Edison bulbs twinkling above and you discover the most enchanting experience. Old black and white movies are projected on old brick walls, a copper top bar serves crafted cocktails, and you get lost through all of the many secret rooms. With that in mind we wanted our reception to feel like a speakeasy, so it felt like a secret space you weren’t suppose to be in but had all of the crafted cocktails and craft beers you could want.

With that concept, we knew it had to be outside during the fall at The Crossed Keys Inn, where we would be enveloped by ivy, falling leaves and a spectacular rose garden. The color palate became a romantic array of coral, mint and gold. The bridesmaids wore coral, the letterpresses invitations had mint accents, and the gold came from the 100 vintage brass spittoons for the table centerpieces that my mom tirelessly bought day after day from Ebay. The table numbers, all of the signage and drink menus were a custom design I created and drew inspiration from the typography of the era and used the iconic Edison bulb as a accent. I also created the backdrop for the gift table and guestbook by collecting 1900s graphics and prohibition posters and creating a wallpaper. We wanted to create that same magic as The Edison with the projected old movies so my husband put together a collection and projected them over the dance floor onto the white tent while we danced the night away. Every detail drew inspiration from our magical speakeasy world.

The ceremony was my favorite moment of the wedding. We had a guitar and cello play as we walked down the isle, after first playing 1920s songs while guests shuffled in. After we read our vows, which still make me cry till this day, I was able to surprise my husband with a secret performance by my dad, my aunt, and my grandma as they sang and played guitar and the irish drum to “Home” by Phillip Phillips, complimented by the bridesmaids singing the chorus! A moment we’ll both treasure forever.

The dress was an ivory chiffon Romona Keveza accented by an ivory sash and a crystal necklace. The suit was dark gray with suspenders, gray striped tie and a antique brass tie clip.

Tips for future and current brides – Pick everything you love. Seems simple but was ultimately what made decisions easy. The hardest decision for us became what to give as gifts for our guests, so many choices it was hard to even begin narrowing it down. But it ultimately came down to what we love – chocolate and tattoos. So we did exactly that, the most mouth-watering chocolate covered bride and groom oreos and rad temporary tattoos. It was priceless seeing my aunts and uncles adorned with tattoos, we’ve never been happier with our choice.

Photography: Pat Furey | Videography: NewYorkFilmworks Jon Armendariz | Florist: Event Designs by Katherine | Invitations: Bella Figura | Hair And Make Up: Laboratory Hair Studio | DJ: Music by Max | Venue: Crossed Keys Estate | Ceremony Musicians: Penguin Music | Temporary Tattoos: Tattly | Wedding App: Appy Couple

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here