One year ago today, Chris and I were married on a beautiful, surprisingly warm evening in New Jersey. It was a truly perfect day. I figured I would take a moment to point out some of the highlights…and some of the wonderful vendors…we used that day.
Our photographers from Gabelli Studio took some amazing shots, including all of the photos in this post. The photo album we received six months later was one of the most amazing wedding album designs I’ve ever seen. I could be biased, though.
My bridesmaids and I started getting ready at The Westin Governor Morris, with hair and make up being handled by I Do Hair and Make Up. I can’t say enough about Michelle Lo Conte and her team — they did an amazing job on all of us.
My dress was a Judd Waddell gown in champagne with a beautiful lace bodice and stunning train, purchased at Bijou Bridal. His collection is so beautiful and elegant in its simplicity. When I tried on this dress, I knew it was the perfect one for me. Although it was full, it felt light as air on. I love it so much, I may have even tried it on again today, one year later…details, details.
I accessorized with a bracelet purchased at Bloomingdales a few days before the wedding, a mid-length champagne veil purchased at Bijou, my own earrings (a gift from my husband a few years ago), Badgley Mischka shoes and a borrowed hairpiece from my maid of honor.
My maid of honor and bridesmaids wore Jasmine B2 strapless knee-length dresses in platinum. My husband, his best man, his groomsmen, our fathers and my grandfather wore suits from Men’s Wearhouse.
We started with photos of the “first look,” our families and the wedding party at 4 pm at an area known as Strawberry Fields next to the Westin. The scenery was beautiful, but it took an army of bridesmaids to get my dress in and out without getting too filthy.
We took a few more photos in front of the hotel before hopping on a shuttle we hired to take us and our guests at the Westin to and from our wedding and reception. Our venue was the The Park Savoy in Florham Park, NJ. It had the old country club feel we were looking for, with incredible food and an amazing staff. We took some more photos around the grounds before heading back up to the bridal suite to meet with our fantastic officiant, Father Paul Mayer.
After our witnesses signed the marriage license, we watched our guests start to pour in. By 7 pm, it was showtime!
My father walked me down the aisle to this beautiful scene.
We had a violinist and harpist for the ceremony playing “In My Life” by The Beatles for the bridal party processional, “I Can’t Help (Falling In Love)” by Elvis Presley for my entrance and “Here Comes the Sun” by The Beatles as the recessional. They were amazing — I wish I had been able to meet and thank them for the wonderful job they did.
The altar was lit by candles, soft lighting and the moon. My cousin read the “Apache Blessing” and Chris’s uncle read “I Carry Your Heart,” before the exchange of rings, announcement of marriage and kissing the bride.
Our cocktail hour starting at 7:30 pm was incredible, with several stations (including sushi, raw bar, vodka luge and more!) and at least twenty passed hot and cold hors d’oeuvres. The amount of food could have fed a small village. We were entertained by a jazz duo (saxophone and piano) from our reception band, Starlight Orchestras featuring Rebecca Blake. Confession — I was originally pro-DJ, but was eventually talked into a band by Chris. Though the expense was much greater than that of a DJ, it was worth every penny. A year later, people are still talking about their performance at the wedding. They even had their own rapper — I’m not even kidding. A-ma-zing! For the reception, we had the parents and grandparents walk in to “Happy Together” by The Turtles, while the rest of the wedding party, including Chris and I, walked in to “It Takes Two” by Rob Bass. The mother-son dance was “The Man You’ve Become” by Molly Pasutti and my father-daughter dance was a mash up that started out slow to “I Hope You Dance” by Lee Ann Womack and switched to The Ramone’s “I Wanted to Be Sedated” after the first chorus. Our first dance was “Everything” by Michael Buble. We would have had nicer pictures had Chris and I been able to stop laughing for two seconds.
Equally amazing was the florist we used, Crest Florist. They handled all the flowers and the lighting throughout the reception room. They even had the idea to move our candle/flower displays from the ceremony inside for the reception, to add to the candlelit glow.
We enjoyed some hysterical speeches by my father, my best friend and Chris’s brother while the guests sat at tables named for our favorite vineyards and ate a three course seated meal of their choice. Like I said, the food at this venue is ridiculous.
We did an anniversary dance in lieu of the traditional bouquet toss. As a single girl for 31 years, I HATED that tradition and was not going to suffer my single gal pals to it. The oldest standing couple won the prize of my second bouquet.
The cake was made by a bakery (not sure which), but part of The Park Savoy package — all we had to do was pick the design, cake and filling, plus provide the ribbon we wanted around it. The florist decorated the cake. I was a little worried about Chris getting red velvet cake on my dress, but he behaved…for once!
We also had a separate Viennese dessert room with chocolate fountain, “adult” milk and cookies, a fresh waffle and ice cream bar…plus so much more! Chris stepped on my train on the way out to the room and broke my bustle, so I spent a good portion of the time getting pinned up by my bridal attendant and sister-in-law and never got the full tour. It smelled incredible, though.
The most important thing that stands out in my head is the amazing people we had the privilege to work with at our venue. I can’t say enough about Bill Chriswell and the amazing staff at The Park Savoy. They went above and beyond all expectations and were a huge part in making this the most wonderful day of our lives.
One year later, I’m off to eat some stale wedding cake. Onwards to Year Two!