Real Weddings
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Jenna & Chris at Shadowbrook at Shrewsbury

Posted on July 21, 2023 by New Jersey Bride

The couple played up the black, gold and white decor for their Shadowbrook at Shrewsbury wedding. “The Shadowbrook has a very regal feel,” says Jenna. “Almost ‘Great Gatsby’ like.” Fun fact: the couple spontaneously visited their high school on their big day and took photos in the drivers ed class where they met.

Their Story

The bride and groom make a pitstop at their high school, where they met, on their wedding day.
Photo by Dearly Beloved Weddings

“We met in high school in drivers ed class. The teacher sat us in alphabetical order; my last name was Bores, his last name is Bartoli. We sat side by side and became fast friends,” says Jenna. “We then became a part of the same friend group that stayed close throughout college and afterward. Our bridal party was that friend group on the big day! After college, we decided to try to give our flirty friendship a try at a real relationship. Turns out our match was right under our nose!”

[RELATED: On Their Wedding Day, These NJ High School Sweethearts Took Photos at Their Alma Mater]

The Proposal

The bride and groom kiss at their sweetheart table at their Shadowbrook at Shrewsbury wedding.
Photo by Dearly Beloved Weddings

“We got engaged on August 30, 2020 in Cape Cod. Chris, his parents, and I took a weekend trip to the area,” says Jenna. “I grew up going to the Cape and Martha’s Vineyard and wanted to show them around. One beautiful morning, we drove to a lighthouse. Chris was ‘taking pictures of me’ on the cliff while I was looking out at the water. When I turned around to see the pictures, he was down on one knee. Behind him was my entire family (who sneakily drove up to the Cape the same weekend). It was the most shocking yet best moment I have ever had.”

Their Shadowbrook at Shrewsbury Wedding

The bride and groom pose in the elaborate entryway at their Shadowbrook at Shrewsbury wedding.
Photo by Dearly Beloved Weddings

“The Shadowbrook has a very regal feel,” says Jenna. “Almost ‘Great Gatsby’ like and we wanted our bridal party and vibe of the day to be cohesive. The venue’s main colors are black, gold and white.” The bridesmaids wore all black, strapless Amsale dresses. The groomsmen wore classic black tuxedos. Chris wore a navy tux with black lapels. Jenna wore two Justin Alexander gowns the day of and a Lazaro cathedral veil. The flower bouquets were classic white with ranunculus, roses and hydrangea. Their Palermo’s wedding cake was a white three-tier cake with white roses up the side with vanilla cake and alternating layers of buttercream and chocolate fudge filling. Their first dance song was Tom Walker’s “Better Half of Me (acoustic version).” They also had indoor snowfall during their first dance which was a magical moment. “We wanted everything to have a timeless feel. It all came together beautifully,” says Jenna.

Why Shadowbrook at Shrewsbury?

The bride and groom on the dance floor at their Shadowbrook at Shrewsbury wedding.
Photo by Dearly Beloved Weddings

“The Shadowbrook is so stunning inside and out,” says Jenna. “The service, professionalism and quality of everything is unbeatable. It was the first venue we looked at and nothing else compared to it. We feel incredibly blessed to have been able to be married there. We knew that no matter the weather of the day, the inside decor of the Shadowbrook would be the main focus. Which came in handy, because a major snowstorm happened that evening!”

Bridal Style

The bride raises her hand holing the bouquet as she kisses the groom outside of their ceremony with a brick wall and columns behind them and the wedding party gathered on the steps cheering.
Photo by Dearly Beloved Weddings

Jenna wore a Justin Alexander strapless satin gown. It had tuxedo folds, pockets and buttons all down the back of the dress. “I never felt more like a timeless bride in my life than when I wore this gown. It will forever be my favorite,” she says. Two weeks before the wedding, Jenna decided to get a second dress for a dress change at the reception. It was another Justin Alexander. A strapless fit and flare, lace appliqué, some sparkle on the bottom, and buttons on the back. “I felt like I had a mix of romantic and sexy for my whole day,” says Jenna. “I’m not one to go for two dresses but I’m so glad I did!”

Favorite Moment

The bride and groom make a pitstop at their high school, where they met, on their wedding day.
Photo by Dearly Beloved Weddings

The couple had time to kill in between the church ceremony and driving to the venue. It had begun to lightly snow and one of Jenna’s bridesmaids suggested going 1-mile up the road to their high school to take pictures outside. “We all went and the school ended up letting us in,” says Jenna. “It slipped our minds it was a Friday (the school had after-school programs running) but the faculty was so sweet and let us go to the exact classroom we met. We sat in the exact same seats we first met and were able to take pictures/videos with our photographer. Previous teachers stopped in to say hi. It was so spontaneous and beautiful. We even got to go to our old lockers! It’s funny because we were never a ‘high school sweetheart’ couple, but we got to feel like we were in those moments.”

Favorite Detail

A black napkin with gold lettering features fun facts about the couple.
Photo by Dearly Beloved Weddings

Jenna had pins for both of her grandmothers on her bridal bouquet. “I felt like they were there with me the whole day,” says Jenna. “They would have loved everything that day.”

Advice

The back of the bride's white sneakers features her new last name and their wedding date.
Photo by Dearly Beloved Weddings

“Carry Dawn dish soap and bring an extra pair of heels that are the same height as your others,” says Jenna. “When taking getting ready photos with my photographer, I started to carry my gown upstairs to get changed in the morning. When lifting my dress, I got lipstick on the front of my dress. My heart dropped. My bridesmaids, mom, and maid of honor were incredible. They all came to the rescue; we tried makeup remover wipes but they didn’t help. I tell this story because it may be super helpful to someone else. Dawn dish soap is a lifesaver. One bridesmaid read that warm water, Dawn dish soap, and pressing into the dress will work. And it did! No one would ever know it was marked up 15 minutes before I had to walk down the aisle! Also, my heels snapped before I entered our reception and I had brought a backup pair. My bridal attendant, Stephanie, was incredible and helped me change into those quickly.”

Honeymoon

Photo by Dearly Beloved Weddings

The couple chose Hawaii as their honeymoon destination. “I’m a teacher so we wanted to wait for a nice long break to really take a longer honeymoon and relax after our January winter wedding,” says Jenna.

the details

Reception Location

Shadowbrook at Shrewsbury

Photographer

Dearly Beloved Weddings

Officiant

Deacon Michael St. John the Baptist Catholic Church

Bride’s Gown

Justin Alexander

+ more