From the second I locked eyes with this Jersey shore labor of love, I knew we were in for something pretty special. Just take a peek at the gallery from Maggie Harkov for yourself. It’s a goldmine of wedding goodies where bright color and gorgeous details are everywhere in sight. Oh, and be sure to watch the whole day unfold thanks to Kiss The Bride Films’ lovely capture below.
From the Bride… For me, growing up has been defined by laid back, fun-filled summers on the Jersey shore. For Jason, leaving Brooklyn during the summer months to spend time in “nature” has helped him stay centered and balanced. Given our busy day-to-day routine in the city, it seemed only appropriate to part ways with the hustle and bustle of the Big Apple to spend our wedding weekend in favor of the calm and serenity of Barnegat Bay.
Bonnet Island Estate was the perfect backdrop for our big day. The venue embodies the easy elegance we had imagined. The forecast had been calling for rain, but low and behold the rain held out, and just in time for our ceremony the clouds parted and the sun came out (perhaps a gift from our angels on the other side who were undoubtedly with us that day). As we looked into each other’s eyes and read the vows we had written for each other in the lovely, sun-drenched boathouse chapel, it truly felt like we were inside of a dream.
It was important to us that all through the day, people knew they were at OUR wedding. Guests later pointed out the little touches throughout which reminded them of where they were, such as our ceremony musicians playing “Across the Universe”, the poem “Captain Corelli’s Mandolin”, which served as our first reading, the reference to “the great contemporary poet Method Man” in Jason’s vows, the extensive ice cream sundae & dessert bar (because who doesn’t love ice cream?!), the blueberry jam favors my grandmothers, mother, aunt, & I made, the 15 pizzas we had delivered to the venue AFTER the wedding… because the party just couldn’t (& didn’t) end when the reception ended! Perhaps most obviously “us”, was our hilarious surprise choreographed first dance that we must have practiced a hundred times (it was so difficult to keep it a secret!)… we really hammed it up & succeeded in having our guests in stitches.
My advice to any bride is simply this: enjoy this experience. It is easy to get caught up in color combinations, menu tastings, and cake fillings… but at the end of the day, this is about your love, and sharing that love with all of your favorite people. Things are bound to go wrong here & there, but guess what? That’s okay! It’s your journey. On your wedding day, make sure you pause and take it in…all of these people are here for you, to celebrate with you! Your heart will be exploding with love, just as mine was the day I got to marry the love of my life, my best friend, my partner in crime… the most amazing man in the entire world, my husband. Remember, the best is yet to come.
DIY items or family heirlooms: handcrafted lace handkerchief gifted to the bride on her wedding day, after it was purchased by her parents in Burano, Italy, in anticipation of her big day, during a trip they took as a family seven years earlier. Wooden rosary wrapped around the bride’s bouquet, which belonged to her father, a reminder of his presence on her special day. Favors of blueberry jam, homemade by the bride, her mother, both of her grandmothers, & aunt, a labor of love and tribute to the town where the bride is originally from—famed for its’ delicious blueberries.
Photographer: Maggie Harkov | Videographer: Kiss The Bride Films | Flowers: Betina's At Parkview | Wedding Dress: Reem Acra | Wedding Cake: The BakeWorks | Stationery: Rifle Paper Co. | Bridesmaids Dresses: Ivy and Aster | Catering: MerriMakers | Make-up: Melissa D’Aloia & Company | Hair: The Genie Salon | Venue: Bonnet Island Estate | Bracelet & Sash: Untamed Petals by Amanda Judge | Bridal Styling: Jacqueline Weppner of Merci New York | Bride's Headpiece: Jannie Baltzer | Bride's Shoes For Ceremony: Badgley Mischka | Bride's Shoes For Reception: Toms | Bridesmaids Robes: Singing Slowly On Etsy | Bridesmaids headpieces: Exquisite Creations on Etsy | Bridesmaids’ & Bride’s Parasols: Bella Umbrella | Earrings: Thomas Laine | Groom's Pocketsquare: Narrative Atlas On Etsy | Groom's Shoes: Ralph Lauren | Groom's/Groomsmen Ties: JCrew | Groomsmen Shoes: Vans | Groom’s/Groomsmen Suits: Men’s Wearhouse | Instagram Tags: Hayley Elizabeth Designs | Linens: Fro-Me-A-Party