Real Weddings

Jilian and Dan in Beachwood

Posted on July 30, 2020 by Ariana Baio

Dan and I met at work, we are both attorneys. We were working at the same law firm when we met. We were just friends at friend, but slowly blossomed into a romance. We kept our workplace romance a secret for quite some time!Jilian and Dan in Beachwood

Dan and I live in Asbury Park, New Jersey. When we moved here three years ago, I told him I wanted to go on the Peddle Boats on Wesley Lake in the center of town. We just never got around to it, until July 14, 2018 he suggested we go on the Peddle Boats in the late afternoon. He proposed while we were on the boat! He surprised me with dinner at Moonstruck Restaurant afterwards, and we sat on the balcony eating dinner and drinking champagne overlooking the sunset on Wesley Lake. It was perfect.Jilian and Dan in Beachwood

Dan and I had our perfect “big wedding” day planned on June 12 at Brant Beach Yacht Club on Long Beach Island. We pulled out all the stops: we had a 20 person bridal party; I was going to wear a gorgeous Pronovias gown; we invited 200 guests, booked an 11-piece band, a catered dinner and a weekend filled with wedding events including a rehearsal dinner at the Arlington Restaurant, an after-party the night of the wedding, and a day-after brunch; and we had a honeymoon in Bermuda planned the following week. All of that changed when Covid-19 hit. We were devastated, as we watched all of our meticulous plans crumble around us. In May of 2020, we made up our minds that we would still get married on our original date. We planned our private civil ceremony at a municipal park in Beachwood, New Jersey right on the Toms River in a quaint gazebo.Jilian and Dan in Beachwood
My mom did my hair the morning of the ceremony. And our wedding was absolutely perfect, albeit very different from our original vision: 15 of our closest family members attended, and the judge I clerked for after law school married us in the gazebo. Our guests blew bubbles as we walked away from the “altar”. Our bridal party couldn’t be at the ceremony due to restrictions but they organized a surprise “drive-by” parade for us right after the ceremony! Our family members ended the ceremony by throwing pennies in the fountain near the gazebo to wish us good luck in our marriage. We went back to my parents’ house in Toms River afterwards and had fancy take-out food and wedding cake. It wasn’t what we had originally planned, but it was beautiful, intimate and certainly memorable!Jilian and Dan in Beachwood

We chose our venue for it’s classic, quaint riverside vibe.Jilian and Dan in Beachwood

Our cake was vanilla crème by in Toms River.Jilian and Dan in Beachwood

My dress was a Calvin Klein I ordered online a week before the wedding.  It fit me perfectly, and was spot-on: classic, romantic and the perfect length for a civil ceremony.Jilian and Dan in Beachwood

When I kissed my husband for the first time. At the end of the day, that’s what matters most: I married the love of my life with my nearest and dearest by my side.Jilian and Dan in Beachwood

My bouquet by Reynolds Garden Shop. It was absolutely perfect: classic, clean, and romantic.
Jilian and Dan in Beachwood

For any other corona brides, I would say this: it’s difficult being a bride or a groom during this pandemic. It’s extremely heart-wrenching to see your plans fall apart, especially when you have spent countless hours, and quite a bit of money, on them. In hindsight, I’m grateful that we got married on our original date as it was extremely intimate and special being married in front of our closest family members. That being said, there’s definitely something to be said about waiting it out until you can have the big wedding of your dreams. It all depends on the couple. At the end of the day, you’re marrying your person so love wins.Jilian and Dan in Beachwood

We cancelled our honeymoon to Bermuda and instead we’re heading to Cape May, NJ for a week in September.

the details


Toms River, New Jersey

Ceremony Location

Beachwood Gazebo

Reception Location

Parent's House


Nikki and Chip Photography


Judge Craig Wellerson P.J.Cv.

Bride’s Gown

Calvin Klein

+ more