Pay close attention brides-to-be because this wedding is filled with so many wonderful touches, touches that you’re guaranteed to want to infuse into your day like a rock collection guest book, personalized rubber stamps that addressed all the envelopes and then doubled as a wedding favor, and lots of black and white photos of the couple’s parents and grandparents on their wedding days to honor the tradition of marriage. I’m in love with the entire sentiment of this wedding and the images by Studio Foto are beyond gorgeous. See it all right here!

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From the Bride… It all started on the playground of Coleytown Elementary School in 1982. My first memories are of Nathan in third grade running in the school halls and my mom (a teacher) yelling at him to slow down! We were always around each other but never had talked long enough to really gotten to know each other … insert a pause of 20 something years… Our romance began at Compo Beach (the rocky side) in the summer of 2010 when a trip to the beach turned into eight hours of sharing. Almost immediately, we realized the connection we had and how much we had in common. Our friends were all shaking their heads seeing two friends that they had never pictured together but realizing how much sense it all made. Then 11 months later on Memorial Day 2011, Nathan proposed on the playground of Coleytown Middle School under the window that had once been my mom’s classroom.

I had always knew I wanted to have us do our photos before the ceremony, but that’s really more because of wanting to get them “out of the way” and feel less rushed during the party. I didn’t know it was going to feel as intimate and special to have just the two of us have a moment together instead of seeing each other for the first time at the ceremony. I loved having that time alone together before the wedding. It eased my nerves, and it also carved out a special time together that we would never had shared together if we hadn’t done first look photos. My surprise for Nathan was that I had taken his suit jacket and had a monogram of our initials and the date set in a heart sewn into the inside lapel. When we saw each other dressed, he was able to show me his excitement over the monogram surprise.

In having a wedding of with 62 guests, it was very important to me that all of our guests feel the intimacy of the moment. There were many traditional “obstacles:” we were raised in different religions, my parents are divorced and my mom is deceased, etc. We had selected a very small wedding party of two bridesmaids and two groomsmen. However, we were able to take these obstacles and embrace them wholeheartedly. The connection started with the fact that our shared best friend, Kate, was not only a bridesmaid, but her father was our officiant. We have both known Jim since we were 15 years old. Jim’s business, Ceremonies without Boundaries, is just that. Jim was able to combine my Jewish faith, Nathan’s Christian faith and our shared interest in Native American spirituality and customize a ceremony highlighting beautiful traditions from all. When faced with how I would walk down the aisle (a big consideration when you are a child of divorce, have a close step-parent and have lost your mom), I had my dad walk me down the aisle and had my step-father wait at the first row. When we reached him, I hooked my arm into his and when Jim asked, “Who gives this bride?” I had both my dads say, “We do.” We used a piece of my mother’s wedding veil to wrap our hands in the “blessing of the hands.”

We had a custom rubber stamp made for each couple invited to the wedding with their name and address. That stamp was then used for the Save the Date, the wedding invite, the place card for your table and the guest gift. It was a personal touch that wound up not only being unique but cost-effective! We had black and white photos from all the generations before us on their wedding days set up in Lucite frames around the place card table to honor our families and the tradition of marriage. Parents, grandparents and great-grandparents. It was very meaningful to have them displayed and was very cool to see the styles based on the generations. Instead of a traditional guest book, we had a box of rocks and asked our guests to write us inspiration, advice, etc. on the rocks. They are now displayed in a bowl on our coffee table and it’s fun to be able to go through them anytime. It is a sculptural way to enjoy your guestbook!

Wedding Photography: Paul + Krystal of  Studio Foto / Wedding Venue: Blue Hill at Stone Barns in Pocantico Hills, New York / Floral + Event Design: Hatch Creative Studio / Officiant: Rev. Jim Francek of Ceremonies Without Boundaries / Wedding Cinematography: Jeremy White of T.Fairfax Films / Catering + Wedding Cake: Blue Hill at Stone Barns / Wedding Invitations: Marcella Kovac of The Bananaland / Music: Karlus Trapp Trio of John Ragusa Music / Wedding Dress: Monique Lhuillier “Calista” via The Plumed Serpent Bridal / Bride’s Veil: Sara Gabriel “Mackenzie” + Custom Lace via The Plumed Serpent Bridal / Bride’s Shoes: Nina via Zappos / Bride’s Shoe Clips: Sofisticata / Bride’s Jewelry: Family Heirlooms / Hair: Meskerem West of Niko Niko Salon / Makeup: Joanne Salerno of Elixir Spa / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Amsale via The Plumed Serpent Bridal / Groom’s Attire: Gucci via Jeffrey / Groomsmen’s Attire: J.Crew / Rings: Lily Hackman of Liso Jewelry

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