It’s not every day you meet the love of your life while waiting out a hurricane, but for cuties Caitlin and Thomas, that’s exactly what happened. It was a movie-like beginning that all lead to a stunning hometown affair that can only be described as classic with a big ol’ side of romance. Think lush florals from Quatre Coeur, pretty paper goods from Wedding Paper Divas and a VAULT of gorgeous moments all captured by the amazing Kelsey Combe. See you there.
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From the Bride… TJ and I met at a bar on the Upper East Side of Manhattan during Hurricane Sandy and after two and a half years of dating, he proposed to me on the street corner where we first kissed. Almost immediately after the proposal I began envisioning what I wanted our wedding to be like. As a couple, the thing we value most is the people in our lives and I knew our main priority was to have all of our family and friends there with us, and to throw an awesome, memorable party to celebrate. We also sought to have sentimental touches weaved in throughout the day which captured us as a couple.
I grew up in a small square mile town in Westchester and knew that I wanted our wedding to be in the place where I grew up. Right away we knew we wanted the ceremony to be a Catholic mass and I quickly landed on the perfect place for our ceremony – at the Catholic Church in my hometown. My parents also still live in the home where I grew up and early on I decided that I wanted to get dressed there. I also knew that I wanted my dad to see me for the first time in our front yard that I spent countless hours playing as a child.
In terms of the reception, the one place I could not get out of my head was Shenorock Shore Club, the beach club I grew up going to. The Club has absolutely beautiful views, delicious food, and amazing facilities and staff. More importantly, it meant a lot to me to be able to share a place where some of my fondest memories were made with all our family and friends. So it was a no brainer, and within two weeks of the proposal we booked it.
Once the venue was squared away, photography was my next biggest priority. I wanted photographs that we could look back on and would truly feel transported back to our wedding day. I ended up only talking with one photographer, Kelsey Combe, and immediately knew she was the person for me. From her website I knew that her photos were beautiful and seemed to capture natural, organic wedding moments, but once we met I knew right away that she was such a genuinely nice person that I enjoyed talking to. She told me she never forgot any of her couples and could recall names and wedding dates for everyone she shot and I knew that this was the type of person I wanted with me on the day of my wedding. She truly captured what being at our wedding was like and made us look our best; her eye for natural lighting is absolutely unbelievable and she made me feel confident and beautiful the entire day!
In terms of flowers, I knew that I wanted something that had a soft, romantic vibe that would make the space feel intimate despite the fact we had almost 200 guests. The reception room was essentially a blank canvas so we knew we wanted something that would totally transform it. My floral designer Ruth was beyond patient with working with an unartistic person like myself and helped me refine my vision over many in person meetings and emails. Did I mention I basically knew nothing about flowers before this process, except that peonies were my favorite? I quickly learned those would not be in season for my September wedding and would need to be open minded to the hundreds of other beautiful florals that would be in season. Early on we decided to do a mix of round and long tables to make the room feel not overly uniform which would require different types of arrangements.
I loved the overall aesthetic of the flower arrangements we chose but my favorite aspect by far was the escort card table installation. In lieu of place cards we had each person’s table assignment written on a collection of antique mirrors. Then Ruth constructed a “flower frame” above the table with beautiful greens and an array of flowers including dahlias, ranunculus, hydrangeas, and garden roses in ivory, blush and lavender hues. Bubble candles, like the ones in the round table centerpieces, hung from the top of the installation which made the table seem to glow off the reflection of the mirrors.
Cocktail hour was on the deck of the club house which is right on the beach and looks over the Long Island Sound. As guests walked in they were greeted by steel drum music and signature cocktails (the groom’s drink was a Dark and Stormy and the bride’s drink was called Cool as a Cucumber; a vodka lemonade with muddled cucumber) with custom stirring straws. We also decided to an array of passed hor d’oeuvres, including a bite sized grilled cheese with a shot of tomato bisque and lobster mac and cheese served on a spoon. We also had a raw bar, which fit in perfectly with being right on the water.
My favorite memory of the day was getting to see TJ before the ceremony. It was amazing to get a few moments alone before the craziness of the day started. The photos from that part of the day are probably my favorite to look at, as it was the first moments when we really felt like the wedding was actually real.
Photography: Kelsey Combe Photography | Event Planning: Blush Events | Floral Design: Quatre Coeur | Wedding Dress: Hayley Paige | Cake: Magnolia Bakery | Invitations: Cheree Berry Paper | Ceremony Venue: Church of St. Joseph | Reception Venue: Shenorock Shore Club | Bride's Shoes: Salvatore Ferragamo | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Watters | Makeup: Maison Rouge | Hair: Continental 109 in Bronxville, NY | Lighting: Fabrico Events | Band: Cafe Wha Band | Favors: MarieBelle Chocolates | Groom's Attire: Brooks Brothers | Transportation: Silver Star Limousine | Bride's Reception Dress: Anne Barge | Earrings: Erica Koesler | Getting Ready Robes: Love Ophelia | Menus: Wedding Paper Divas | Photo Booth: The Bosco | Programs: Wedding Paper Divas | Signage + Escort Table: Quatre Coeur | Table Cloths: Nuage Designs | Top Of Dress: BHLDN | Veil: Erica Koesler