Their Story: Jessica Rodriguez, 29, a wedding planner and floral designer who grew up in Denville, and Kyle Hanselman, also 29, a financial adviser from Caldwell, met through mutual friends during high school. They started dating five years ago, and on July 19, 2015, Kyle surprised Jessica with a proposal as they strolled along the waterfront in Jersey City.
The Location: The choice was easy. Crossed Keys Estate, a picturesque, historic property in Andover, is owned by Jessica’s parents. They originally purchased the estate as a bed-and-breakfast in 1999 and later transformed it into a special wedding venue. “Crossed Keys is a really magical place and it is very much our home,” says Jessica, who works there with her parents and brother. Adds Jessica’s mom, Katherine, “It was so emotional to see my only daughter getting married in a place that our family created.”
The Ceremony: Wearing a Lazaro gown, Jessica entered the ceremony on her father’s arm to the theme song from Jurassic Park, Kyle’s favorite movie. With Kyle’s brother officiating, the couple exchanged their own vows beneath a custom arbor in front of a rustic split-rail fence adorned with flowers and vines.
Details of the Day: As guests made their way up the estate’s stone driveway to the sound of steel drums, they were greeted with mojitos, iced tea and lemonade. Baskets of parasols, straw hats and woven fans offered shade from the summer sun. The rustic-meets- tropical vibe continued with a bright color palette of magenta and turquoise. Under a white tent, farmhouse tables were decorated with floral garlands and four-foot long wooden centerpiece boxes handmade by Jessica’s dad. Slices of agate, personalized with guests’ names, served as escort cards. During the newlyweds’ first dance, an artist painted the scene. Guests got their photos snapped in a vintage VW bus.
The Menu: Jessica’s dad and brother, the chefs at Crossed Keys, prepared a sit-down dinner of pecan-crusted chicken with orange- ginger sauce, spinach-stuffed salmon and maple-bacon sweet potatoes. For dessert, guests enjoyed carrot cake, doughnuts and a root-beer float station.
Dinosaur Sightings: Besides the theme song from Jurassic Park, dinosaurs appeared on the cake, the bar and the dance floor!
Favors: A trio of takeaways included limoncello made by a family friend, Jessica’s brother’s homemade spice rub and doughnuts from Jessica’s favorite bakery, Montclair Bread Co.
Favorite Moment: “Taking photos in a swing across from the tent,” says Jessica. “We were able to take a step back and see everyone we love having fun.”