Details of the Day: I would describe our wedding as “Elegant Beach”, with a hint of rustic. Our ceremony and wedding reception were both in Spring Lake, therefore including some beach details was a must! Our invitations, ceremony programs, and menu cards had a small silver foil starfish. Our favors were burlap sacks that had a real starfish on top, with a starfish cookie and beach scene cookie inside. Our centerpieces were branches that hung shells and starfish from them, and our place cards were sand dollars calligraphed with each guests name and table. The table names were all Jersey Shore beach towns, and my mom and I put together a Jersey Shore candy bar during our viennese hour, which included classic candies like salt water taffy, rock candy, chocolate fudge, and kettle corn popcorn. The Location: Nick and I grew up about 20 minutes from Spring Lake (adjacent towns, but never met!), and I spent my childhood there whether it was spending time with family at the beach, in town, or attending performing arts camp. My parents moved to Spring Lake Heights a year and a half before we were engaged, and spending so much time there, it was inevitable. My parents and I were already members of St. Catharine’s by the lake, so all we needed was to choose a venue. We had looked at so many nearby venues, but nothing was sparking our attention. My mom had passed by the Spring Lake Golf Club many times, and saw it’s beauty and eclectic style. Nick is a golf lover, so that alone was a huge plus, and the grounds are simply beautiful and pristine. The inside of the club is stunning, and fit our style perfectly. I love bright rooms, with many windows for light, and simple elegance. The golf club’s ballroom is just that, and then opens up into the bar room which added more light and classic beauty. What sold us even more, was the fact that our cocktail hour would be outside on the terrace, overlooking the golf grounds. It was absolutely perfect, and a view that could never be beat. We were fortunate enough to know a member of the club through mutual friends, who was generous enough to sponsor our wedding. The Menu: Our menu really tied into the overall theme of our wedding. Cocktail hour included an abundance of food, including pork roll and cheese sliders, significant of the shore vibe. For our entree, we had a duet of filet mignon and mahi mahi with mango salsa. Since our honeymoon was in Maui, we felt it was a perfect fit. Our cake was 3 tiers, with the bottom tier being covered in fondant rose petals, dusted in pink, with a few gum paste flowers, and a gold starfish in the middle. The top and bottom tier were white cake with raspberry chambourd filling, and the middle tier was chocolate cake with chocolate mousse. The Dress: I had seen my gown online when we had initially gotten engaged, and I fell in love. I saw that a local bridal shop in Red Bank had it available, and after trying on five dresses beforehand, I knew when I put it on that it was the one. I loved everything about it-the bottom half reminded me of ocean waves. The ONLY downside was that it was very heavy! Which I probably should have taken into consideration with all of the nights dancing! Favorite Moment: Wow! That is definitely tough. This may sound cliche, but I would have to say the moment when the church doors opened and I saw Nick for the first time while standing with my dad. We did not do a first look, and I’m even more glad we didn’t. It was so special and emotional, and there’s really no other way to describe the moment when you see each other for the first time, as you’re about to be married. Favorite Detail: I would have to say our sand dollar place cards. I LOVED them so much and they were everything I hoped they would turn out to be! My mom and I found the sand dollars at Christmas Tree Shoppe, and I was connected with a local calligrapher through a college friend, who was amazing. Her calligraphy style was exactly what I was looking for and they came out absolutely perfect. I picked up raffia ribbon and made a small bow through the holes of the sand dollar. My parents went to the Spring Lake beach several times picking up sand to put into the box, which my brother-in-law built for us. They were perfect. Something That Went Wrong: Nothing ever goes smoothly, even as hard as you try. We had hired our trolley company to shuttle guests to and from the hotel to the golf club. The trolley never showed up to the hotel, with about 40 guests stranded there. They all drove over or hired cabs to transport them. And luckily, the golf club extended our cocktail hour to make up for the time these guests missed. It was terrible! But it worked out and, unfortunately, I would not recommend this company 🙁 First Dance: “Bless the Broken Road” by Rascal Flatts. The lyrics are everything we felt, and still feel, and there’s really no other song that would have justified our feelings for each other. Advice for Other Brides: Don’t sweat the small stuff. Things will go wrong. Your hair will start to fall out; your dress will malfunction. I chose to continue dancing, having the best time ever, instead of going to fix the front curl in my hair that fell out. Enjoy the day as much as possible, because it goes way too fast! Honeymoon: We flew to San Francisco for two days before heading to Maui for eight days. Maui was the most special place we’ve ever been. The Aloha spirit, the beaches, the sunsets. It was so magical.