Pretty pastels, an old home for guests to explore, dinner on the porch; that is how I picture a summer evening well spent. Add in these two lovebirds and I’d happily volunteer to be a guest at this sweet celebration. Vanessa Joy was lucky enough to witness their vows, capturing every minute and Experience Events made that dinner on the porch a well styled scene. See more right here!
From Vanessa Joy Photography… A beautiful chapel wedding with simple, neutral colors. A handsome groom and a stunning bride. Their reception was filled with unique details from hanging candle lanterns, old fashioned chairs, long table seating with lanterns and small flower arrangements. Of course, you cannot forget about the kids table seating complete with old wooden door tables and personalized table settings. The DJ played actual records of songs like old swing and jazz.
From the Bride… Planning a wedding is a daunting task. And like many brides, I started off feeling more than a little overwhelmed by the process and by the universe of possibilities for planning such an important day. Finding the reception venue was what started to bring the whole day into focus.
We stumbled across the Water Witch Club in Monmouth Hills, NJ, close to where my fiancé grew up and where his parents still live. The Water Witch was built in 1905 and walking through the clubhouse is like stepping back in time. We used one of the original 1920′s Water Witch Club invitations (which we found hanging on the wall of the casino) for our wedding invitation, and had our DJ (Neal Becton of DJ D-Mac) play vinyl records of Prohibition-era jazz music that might have filled the house nearly a hundred years earlier. Having the entire place to ourselves allowed our guests to wander and explore throughout the evening, while the huge outdoor yard kept the kids happily entertained.
Thanks to Pinterest, Style Me Pretty, Etsy, etc. there is no shortage of inspiration for ways to customize every little detail of the day. But you can’t do everything, especially if you’re planning on marrying within a year, are on a budget, and have to balance wedding planning with the obligations of work and real life. So my advice is to pick a few things that you care about – things that encapsulate who you and your fiancé are and that will make you smile for years to come – and spend your time and money there.
One of those important details for us was the custom welcome map and booklet we gave to each guest in a linen drawstring bag, beautifully designed by Julie DeWalt of Gather and Co., with artwork by Maria Jourdan Rolfsen of Tupelo Honey Design. Nearly all of our guests traveled from out of town to attend our wedding, and it was important to us to share with them all of our favorite things to do and see in the town where we fell in love. The booklet included our favorite local spots, the names of our wedding party, a schedule of the wedding events, and the history of our reception venue.
Another important feature was the family-style dinner on the porch with long farmhouse tables and mismatched chairs. Stefanie at Bits & Pieces Vintage Rentals was incredible to work with, providing the chairs and even creating the tables for us. With outstanding food and service from D’Jeet? Catering (they were truly phenomenal to work with and literally put out fires at the reception), the meal brought all of our family and friends together in one delicious and memorable celebration.
We also hired a day-of wedding coordinator, and you should too. You might think you don’t need one, or that you can draft friends or family to take care of day-of details, but hiring a coordinator is essential if you truly want to enjoy your wedding day. I don’t know what I would have done without Allegra and Carolina Hewell of Hewell Events Group. From bringing us breakfast the day of the wedding to finishing decorations that hadn’t been completed to tracking down lost trolleys, Allegra and Carolina did it all and averted innumerable near-disasters.
Lastly, for all the time you spend planning everything, the reality is that the entire day will likely be a happy blur. I can’t emphasize enough how crucial it is to get a great photographer. Not just a good one, but one who really knows what he or she is doing and can capture everything quickly, beautifully, and without you even realizing they are there. It is worth the money you will spend to ensure that you will love looking at your wedding photos forever (and expect to spend at least 10% of your budget on photography). If you can possibly get NJ Wedding Photographer Vanessa Joy, do. Watching her work is amazing, and being part of her work is even better.
We’re so grateful to the many people we worked with who made our wedding such a beautiful and happy experience.
Photography: Vanessa Joy Photography | Coordination: Hewell Events Group | Event Planning: Allegra Hewell | Floral Design: Jessica Herberger, Experience Events | Wedding Dress: Miosa Couture | Invitations: Minted | Ceremony Venue: Tower Hill Church | Reception Venue: Monmouth Hills Water Witch Club | Catering: D’Jeet? | DJ: DJ D-Mac And Associates | Groomsmen’s Attire: Banana Republic | Event Design & Styling: Jessica Herberger, Experience Events | Rentals: Jessica Herberger, Experience Events | Rentals: Bits And Pieces Vintage Rental