Featured weddings and sessions, resources, travel guides, and my own personal musings.
If an estate wedding in New Jersey is what you’re looking for, look no further than Bonnet Island Estate by Weddings of Distinction. It’s the perfect boho wedding venue that you can totally make your own! It’s always an honor to work here and at BIE’s sister venues, Mallard Island Yacht Club and Ashford Estate! Carly & Sean, thank you so much for having us capture your wedding!
Carly & Sean were family friends for most of their lives, but it wasn’t until they re-met as adults that there was a love interest. A summer job together led to a first date, and the rest is history! After Sean faced some health issues and Carly stuck by his side the entire time, the two knew they were meant to be. Sean let it slip that he had bought a ring for Carly, so she thought there was no way he could surprise her with the proposal. But, when Sean popped the question at home with their families and pet husky there, Carly was completely surprised! They describe the moment as “completely genuine and so us! We were both so excited to get married because when life happens, we know that we are each other’s people.” Check out their dreamy Cape May Winery engagement session here!
Carly & Sean chose Bonnet Island Estate in Long Beach Island, New Jersey because of how much they valued the ceremony as much as the reception. The boatyard chapel at BIE is so dreamy and provides the ceremony feel of a wedding without being in a religious setting. The ceremony space is a vision itself! The white washed pews, gorgeous fireplace, and barn doors were just what Carly was dreaming of! The color palette consisted of neutral, muted shades of taupe, mauve and sage, with pops of green, like the deep hunter green bridesmaid dresses. House of Catherine and Petal and Poppy Co. took Carly’s ideas and turned them into magic! The couple’s goal for the ceremony was to make it authentic. The bridesmaids walked down the aisle while XO by Beyonce was played on the strings by Ceremonious Strings. Carly walked down to Halo by Beyonce with both of her parents at her side. The ring bearer was none other than C&S’s dog, dressed in a tux to match Sean! The officiant was a close friend, which made the ceremony personal for the couple. C&S wrote their own vows, which made the moment even more special for them. Before their wedding, they promised to each other that they would put into words how much they love and care about each other, and they wanted to share that special moment with their friends and family. As a typically fun-loving couple, C&S wanted to be vulnerable with their guests and share the more serious part of their relationship on this special day. This made the ceremony even more unforgettable for the couple. In Carly’s words, “A wedding day is a bit of a whirlwind- but in this moment, time seemed to stand still.” How special is that?!
“GO FOR IT! If you have the ability, hire an event stylist. I highly recommend House of Catherine and my florist Katie Kelly- they truly made the dreams that I didn’t even know that I had a reality. I had zero stress in what anything was going to look like because I knew that they would make it magical. So, hire the vendors that you want (even if they are a little bit out of your budget) and let the creative people be creative!! Be sure to make your wedding exactly what you both want- don’t try to please other people, it is solely about YOU and your soon to be husband, so make sure it stays that way throughout the process. Don’t be afraid to have fun- stay true to who you are as a couple and incorporate those fun moments to represent you as a couple. If you can muster up the courage, write your own vows and get a special vow book created for them!! I highly suggest this. What an awesome keepsake to remind you of what your love exactly was in that moment. Take time after your wedding to relax, talk about the wedding with your husband, and use the time to process and take it all in.”
Venue: Bonnet Island Estate
Videographer: His & Hers Productions
Wedding Planner/Stylist: House of Catherine
Rentals: Allaire Rentals
Flowers: Petal and Poppy Co.
Cake: The Bake Works
Paper Goods: House of Catherine @house_of_catherine
Transportation: Mike’s Affordable Shuttles
Ceremony & Cocktail Hour Music: Ceremonious Strings
Reception Music: Dynamic Crew
Dress: Berta from Our Story Bridal NYC
Veil: Loulette Bride
Bride Shoes: Stuart Weitzman
Hair Accessories: Ulyana Aster
Rings: DeSimone Jewelers
Makeup: Dev Esthetics
Hair: Beauty by Pashka
Groom Suit: Bespoke by Boushra
Bridesmaid Dresses: Amsale Bridesmaids
Whether you’re working with a wedding planner on a multi-day event or you’re planning an intimate affair, you’re still dealing with many moving pieces right up until your big day. Having photographed more than 200 weddings, we’ve come up with the answers to our most frequently asked questions and turned them into this guide, from day-of timelines to inclement weather, from engagement sessions to first looks.