Real Weddings

Amanda to Matt at The Castle at Skylands Manor

New Jersey Bride Amanda and Matt Real Wedding

Details of the day: I think I was a lot less nervous on my wedding day than most brides. Knowing I had done everything in my power to make it an amazing day, I went into it with a “que sera, sera” attitude. Matt and I had been together for 8 years, so I was just eager to see him and finally be married.  For me, one of the most important details of the day was my dress. I had dreamt of wearing Jim Hjelm for years, always excited to see what new gowns came out each season. The dress I ended up in was everything I had imagined. I loved the texture of the skirt and just felt like I was floating on air in it. I didn’t want to overwhelm the design with too much jewelry, so I opted for a crystal belt to define my waist and a simply floral drop earring to mimic the skirt.

New Jersey Bride Amanda and Matt Real Wedding

New Jersey Bride Amanda and Matt Real Wedding

New Jersey Bride Amanda and Matt Real Wedding
I got ready at my childhood home and the groom got ready in the house we had just bought together. The actual ceremony was really special to us. The groom was raised Jewish and I was raised Catholic. Having always wanted to be married in my childhood church, St. Anne in Fair Lawn, it was important to bring aspects of his religion into the ceremony. Our florist, Decore Galore, was so wonderful in helping us achieve this goal. They constructed the most stunning Chuppah for the front of the alter, where we said our vows under a crystal chandelier. We worked with my childhood priest and a local Rabbi to create a beautiful ceremony that incorporated traditions from both our religions.  When I walked down the aisle and saw my groom for the first time, under the Chuppah adorned with Hydrangeas, it was such a special moment.

New Jersey Bride Amanda and Matt Real WEdding

3-161-DSC_6574

3-300-DSC_7223_revisedbyab

4-14-DSC_7347
I’m so glad we left a break in between our ceremony and reception. We were able to take advantage of the beautiful grounds at the NJ Botanical Gardens, where the castle is located. It also gave us time to relax and just enjoy being with each other and our bridal parties. The rain held out to about 2 minutes after we stepped inside from our last photos. While I was upset our guests couldn’t enjoy the gardens, the castle had such a romantic feel with the storm outside. All the little rooms were perfectly lit added such a unique feel to the cocktail hour. The food was abundant. Each room featured a new surprise, such as a raw bar, fresh mozzarella station, carving station and a mashed potato bar. My favorite had to be our passed hor d’serves which included herbed lamb chops and tomato soup with grilled cheese bites.

New Jersey Bride Amanda and Matt Real Wedding

New Jersey Bride Amanda and Matt Real Wedding

New Jersey Bride Amanda and Matt Real Wedding

The reception was the most fun party I have ever attended, in large part to our amazing band, The Renegades. Our first dance, which we decided on fairly last minute, was Eric Clapton “Wonderful Tonight”. When the band played Sweet Home Alabama, my fellow Delta Gamma sisters and I were excited to hit the dance floor.

New Jersey Bride Amanda and Matt Real Wedding

New Jersey Bride Amanda and Matt Real Wedding

New Jersey Bride Amanda and Matt Real Wedding

I wanted the whole wedding to have a romantic feel and that carried over to the table arrangements. Hydrangeas are my favorite flower so we incorporated them into a 3 piece centerpiece that also included pink and cream roses and peonies flown in from Alaska. My mom was super helpful in helping create the perfect tablescape. When I couldn’t find the perfect gold candles, she DIY’d some clear candle holders to perfectly coordinate with the flower arrangements.

New Jersey Bride Amanda and Matt Real Wedding

New Jersey Bride Amanda and Matt Real Wedding

One of the highlights of my evening was seeing our wedding cake for the first time. I had met with Mariana of Dulce de Leche bakery and shown her a few images I liked, but what they came up with was truly spectacular. It incorporated the pink, ivory and gold color palette for our day, and picked up on the texture in my dress’s skirt. It took my breath away and tasted as good as it looked. We chose two flavors, one was a vanilla cake with Nutella and hazelnut and the other a chocolate cake with dulce de leche filling. I’ve never been a fan of Viennese tables for dessert, so instead we opted for fun s’mores bar where guests could roast their own marshmallows. After the party was over, we continued with an after party in the castle library. It was such a special day that lived up to everything I had ever dreamed of.

New Jersey Bride Amanda and Matt Real Wedding

New Jersey Bride Amanda and Matt Real Wedding
Your favorite part: My favorite part of the day was that the groom and I, along with our families and bridal party got to stay in the castle. Not only was it convenient to all be staying on location, but it was so fun having everyone we love there with us. We got to extend the celebration into the late hours of night and everyone was with us for breakfast the next morning. The rooms at the castle are so unique and special, each with a different theme. It just added to romance of the whole wedding.

New Jersey Bride Amanda and Matt Real Wedding

New Jersey Bride Amanda and Matt Real Wedding
New Jersey Bride Amanda and Matt Real Wedding

Advice for other brides: Before you enter the reception, take a moment alone for you and your groom. Having that time for just the two of you before you are pulled in so many directions is really important.

wedding details

Hometowns

Midland Park

Ceremony Location

St. Anne Church

Reception Location

The Castle at Skylands Manor

Photographer

Ting Yi Photography

+ more