New Jersey Summer Weddings in Review (Part One)

There is a very good reason why May and June are some of the most popular months to be married. The days are long, the sun is (we hope) shining, the nights are magical and love is in the air. Brides and grooms for decades have set the date during one of the sweetest times of the year when we are full of hope for the sweet, memorable days to come.

This year we were so lucky to work with six amazing couples during May and June. Each one was unique. Each one was beautiful and some even threw us some of the challenges of early summer. Here is a recap and our thoughts on the vendors we worked with as well as some “take aways” for brides and grooms to consider when starting their summer wedding planning.

We started this season on May 8th with Melissa and Mike. These two couldn’t be sweeter or more in love! It was so nice to see how well they worked together as a team to make this wedding come alive. We were lucky enough to work at Windows on the Water in Sea Bright and create all of the flower arrangements.  I think that a lot of brides who are getting married in a “traditional” venue think that they can not make it their own and that those “Pinterest details” are only for barns or backyards but we found it not to be true. They incorporated “beachy” but elegant details and created a warm atmosphere with floral arrangements of lavender, lilac and blush. Melissa and Mike had the pick of the litter  in early May with the most gorgeous assortment of peonies, garden roses, lilacs and ranunculus.  Here is a photo from of one of our centerpiece designs.

Screen Shot 2015-07-09 at 9.37.24 AM

Just one day later, we found ourselves at Sandy Hook for Melissa and Mike (what a coincidence!). We love Sandy Hook for so many reasons but mostly for the incredible view and for the clean slate that a tent provides. Melissa chose her details wisely and I loved that she decided to create lush centerpieces of green ferns by Petal Beach against their warm wood farm tables. Brides- take note- this can be just as impactful and easy on the budget.  Sandy Hook did throw us for a curve ball however as it was misting and pretty cold even for an early May evening. One recommendation I would make for any tented wedding is to be prepared for any type of weather. Most companies will let you reserve the items and make a decision just a few days before when the weather report is more reliable. Consider renting heaters, fans, and don’t forget the sides on the tent! They can be invaluable in a windy or chilly night.

May 16th brought us to LBI and the stately Mallard Island Yacht Club with Katie and John. Katie and John are just the absolute sweetest and I really enjoyed getting to know their family. They hired us for our full wedding package so we really got to know them and Katie’s mom during this process. They trusted us completely and together we created a day to remember complete with a Ukrainian ceremony, a boat entrance and garden-inspired decor. This team of vendors was amazing! We loved working with Danielle at Mallard Island, Rob Adams Films, Stephanie Somodi, Mary Kate MoonDovetail Vintage Rentals, Katie at Reynolds Floral Market and Jessica Morrisy Photography. Take a look at some of the dreamy photos from Jessica here:

mallard_island_wedding_planner3  mallard_island_wedding2

 

mallard_island_wedding_planner

June brought some memorable experiences for our team at Gilded Lily Events. We started the month off with a bang with an elegant and the MOST fun backyard wedding in Ridgewood, NJ with Jen and Anthony. I opened my eyes on June 6th to the sound of rain (heavy rain) and my heart sank. My prayers to the sun gods were answered when the sun shone its beautiful face at 10 am right as we began to work. It turned out to be one of the most stunning evenings under a grand sailcloth tent from Sperry Tents. These two and their guests danced HARD from the minute DJ M.O.S. began and they made sure their day was all about family and friends enjoying themselves. The food and service was impeccable. We absolutely loved working with Holly and the crew from Fig & Pig! I could not stop gushing over the florals of coral charm peonies and garden roses from Blade Floral & Design and gorgeous paper goods from Mia Maria Design with calligraphy touches by Mary Kate Moon. This was truly a night to remember. We can not wait to see the photos and video that Christian Oth Studio  and Sailor Abe Films captured respectively.  Look how happy Jen and Anthony look, captured by their photographer, Jack Jeffries. This is what it is all about for us!

Jennifer Burke & Anthony Baldino

Jennifer Burke & Anthony Baldino

Mid- June brought us to my now favorite place in New Jersey, Congress Hall in Cape May. This hotel for me is a throw-back and they do hospitality and relaxation like no other. I am so impressed with the attention to detail with the decor of this hotel plus it provides a wonderful atmosphere for a destination wedding right here in our home state of NJ. Shannon and Ken have become friends during this process and I couldn’t have ask for a better couple to work with for the better part of a year and a half as we planned their day! We met and collaborated with some new talented vendors including Xplosive Entertainment, More than a Memory, Kristen at Solari Creative and our standby faves, Wallflowers Florist. Krystina and Jenn were amazing to work with and we can NOT wait to go back! I think I need to have post-wedding season trip on the books. Oh! Tina Fey was there too…icing on the cake!

congress_hall_wedding_planner

We finished our June weddings with Micaela and Ryan in Clinton, NJ at the Red Mill Museum. Unfortunately no amount of praying to the sun gods would help us on this day. The rain started at 9 am and did.not.stop. Boy, we were lucky though! Micaela and Ryan kept their eye on the prize and that was getting married to each other surrounded by their favorite people rain or shine! They were so calm and collected and didn’t even notice the flooding happening inside the tent! We were so lucky to have Kathiya and Joanne from Della Terra by our side as we worked together to make the most of the situation. The bride and groom and their guests danced, sheltered under a Sperry Tent, to the mind-blowing sounds of Kinky Spigot and the Welders. We couldn’t help but dance ourselves as they broke out our favorite 90s hip hop hits like “No Diggity” by Blackstreet.

It is so fun for me to reflect! Each wedding is a gift to us and we enjoy each experience as well as learn from every one! We have squeezed in a few bridal showers and even a “beachlorette” party before July 4th and we are now “resting” and getting ready for the rest of our summer weddings. We hope the rain stays away but if it doesn’t we will be prepared!

I would also be remiss if I didn’t mention our team that has kept me sane during our busiest time of the year! Caitlin, Jen, Maria, Todd, Jordan and my hubby are all guts and no enough glory! Thank you so much! xo

Happy National Proposal Day!

In honor of National Proposal day today, I wanted to pay homage to the guys that got down on one knee. In the millions of photos of weddings seldom are the grooms celebrated, but today of all days I wanted to give them the spotlight.

I love to think about the day that they realized they were going to propose. How sweet is is that they kept a secret, asked your dad, and slyly shopped for a ring!  These men concocted a plan to ask you to marry them.  Whether it was in a fancy restaurant, while walking the dog, or in your apartment in your sweats, they knew that that day was going to be the start of your forever.

On the wedding day, I love to sneak a peek at the groom as their bride is walking down the aisle. The look of love and excitement for your future together is undeniable. Take a look at some of my favorite moments of grooms on their wedding day!

photo credit: Pat Furey Photo photo credit: Pat Furey Photo

photo credit: Kate Connolly Photography photo credit: Kate Connolly Photography

nj_wedding_planner photo credit: Christina Lilly Photography

nj_wedding_planning photo credit: Samm Blake Photography