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Kara & Rob Had a ‘Beauty and the Beast’-Inspired Seating Chart for Their Ashford Estate Wedding

Posted on December 18, 2023 by New Jersey Bride

For their Ashford Estate wedding, Kara and Rob had incredible florals in shades of pink, burgundy, white and green and a seating chart inspired by Beauty and the Beast.

Their Story

An Ashford Estate wedding.
Photo: Susan Elizabeth Photography

“Rob and I met in May 2020, just as the world was opening back up following the Covid-19pandemic, on the app Hinge,” says Kara. “Our first date was six feet apart on two separate beach blankets alongside the Hudson River in Hoboken. We got to know each other over a bottle of wine, but I wouldn’t let our glasses touch for our ‘Cheers!’ as the pandemic was still so new.”

“In fact, our first four dates we were six feet apart, and we did not even hug until date four! Although we met on an app, we had a lot of unique connections—we lived only one block apart in Hoboken, we grew up only 20 minutes apart in Bergen County, and when my grandparents were dating over 65 years ago, they would end up every night at the diner owned by Rob’s grandparents in Elmwood Park. So, I like to think our union was ‘Meant to Be’!”

The Proposal

An Ashford Estate wedding.
Photo: Susan Elizabeth Photography

“We got engaged in St. Lucia on a sunset cruise on the Caribbean Sea,” says Kara. “Rob had not traveled much before me, and is anxious when it comes to flying, so I was very surprised that he was able to travel with the engagement ring and I had no idea! It was a huge surprise and a very incredible one. He proposed on the sunset cruise and it was followed by a romantic dinner for two alongside the water. It was amazing to enjoy the proposal bliss for the rest of our vacation!”

Their Ashford Estate Wedding

An Ashford Estate wedding.
Photo: Susan Elizabeth Photography

The seating chart for the wedding was 14 glass cloches filled with individual floral arrangements. Each cloche corresponded with a table at the wedding. They were placed along wooden crates, in front of a fireplace in the cocktail hour. A sign went along with this display noting “Be Our Guest!”

“We had incredible florals throughout the entire day—most notably the ballroom was beautifully draped with shades of pink, burgundy, white and green,” says Kara. The ballroom for their April 28, 2023, wedding had an incredible long head table including flowers floating down from above and floating candles. For the guest tables, there were a combination of grand trees and candelabras with florals. “For the ceremony, we stayed with traditional whites and greens,” says Kara. “There was a beautiful arch, rose petals lining the aisle, two grand pedestals upon entry, as well as greenery on the beams of the barn. We had a handfasting ceremony using a custom-made rope with our wedding colors.”

“Our card box was a Jameson’s whiskey crate, for my husband’s last name, Jameson. We shipped this in from Europe. Upon entry of the ballroom was a sign ‘Let’s Jam with the Jameson’s!’ along with maracas and tambourines for all guests to enjoy and play with. We loved that they played with these for our grand entrance, and all night long!”

“Our favor was a lottery ticket with a sticker that read, ‘We hope you get lucky tonight!’ Fun fact: the favor at my parent’s wedding was also a lottery ticket. In our welcome bag was a custom ‘Wedding Day Post’ newspaper. Our cake had a Penn State Nittany Lion figurine as my husband went there and still very much loves Penn State. Our guest book was a tree sketch awaiting fingerprints from our guests. We had amazing music all night long. We had a three-piece string trio for the ceremony, a three-piece jazz trio for the cocktail hour, a 10-piece band for the reception, and a DJ for the after party.”

Why Ashford Estate?

An Ashford Estate wedding.
Photo: Susan Elizabeth Photography

“We absolutely loved the Ashford Estate,” says Kara. “I cannot say enough amazing things about this venue and their team. We attended another wedding here of two close friends and we immediately fell in love. We attended 15 weddings within the past two years, so when it came to our own, we only officially toured the Ashford Estate!”

“Not only is the Ashford an incredible wedding venue, but it features 12 beautiful suites for you and your closest friends and family to enjoy overnight! Having a Friday wedding, I was able to use the beautiful salon and get ready there all day as well. It felt like I had my own castle for the day! The grounds, barn, gazebo, conservatory, estate and ballroom are all breathtaking. The ballroom is set back, separate from the estate, with an incredible high ceiling that are gorgeous. You can also have an on-site after party!”

“The whole venue has a European garden feel. The team is even better than the venue itself. They are beyond full-service, and on the day of the wedding, they take care of absolutely everything for you so you do not have to worry about the details and just enjoy your big day!”

The Menu

An Ashford Estate wedding.
Photo: Susan Elizabeth Photography

First Course: sun-kissed salad bitter and sweet field greens with local blueberries & strawberries topped with shaved white chocolate and served with a vanilla bean vinaigrette

Main Entrées: Filet Mignon Montreal-Seasoned and Slow-Roasted Pinot Noir Demi-Glace, Pan Seared Halibut Beurre Blanc & Capers, Pan Roasted Chicken Fresco California Sauterne and Meyer Lemon Veloute Grilled Vegetable Napoleon Presented over roasted spaghetti squash Finished with Aged Balsamic Reduction and House Made Chive oil. Accompanied By Dauphinoise Potato & Haricort Vert Dessert.

Dessert: Wedding Cake & Assorted Strolling Desserts Espresso Bar featuring Espresso Martinis The wedding cake was Red Velvet with a Buttercream frosting.

Bridal Style

An Ashford Estate wedding.
Photo: Susan Elizabeth Photography

“As I work in luxury fashion, my gown was incredibly important to me,” says Kara. “My gown was a two-in-one look. The gown had a fitted body with a slight flare at the bottom. The dress had many 3D floral appliques, and an under layer of glitter that came through the layers of fabric that made up the dress. I absolutely loved all of the floral appliques. I really wanted my princess moment, but being petite, many ballgown dresses overwhelmed me.”

“I found the most incredible Rivini by Rita Vinieris dress at Kleinfeld’s during one of their trunk shows. I was then able to work with the design team to create a custom overskirt. The overskirt was created using the gorgeous, floral appliques from the original train of the dress, and were hand applied to the overskirt. The final product was beyond my dreams come true. The skirt was worn for the ceremony and cocktail hour, and removed prior to our grand entrance to the reception. Removing the skirt was a fun surprise for guests, and allowed me to dance with ease throughout the reception!”

“My veil was cathedral length with the same beautiful floral details, also from Rivini by Rita Vinieris. My shoes were custom made Lanvin Paris heels, with an all over pearl detail. My getting ready robe was custom made from my mother’s wedding dress, by a local seamstress.”

Favorite Moment

An Ashford Estate wedding.
Photo: Susan Elizabeth Photography

“My favorite moment was looking into Rob’s eyes during the ceremony.” says Kara. “He got very choked up during the ceremony which took me by surprise, as he is not the most emotional guy. This made everything so much more special to me, seeing how much the ceremony meant to him. It also brought everything back to what the wedding really was about—Rob and me—and us beginning this next chapter of our lives together.”

Special Detail

An Ashford Estate wedding.
Photo: Susan Elizabeth Photography

“I had two incredible details I loved a lot,” says Kara. “First was my cloche seating chart. I had this idea early in my planning process, and it was incredible seeing them come to life. I partnered with The Jess Press and MDS Florals to execute this idea and they both did such an amazing job. Second would be the jam instruments. This was a really fun add, and I was so happy to see all guests playing with them all night long!”


An Ashford Estate wedding.
Photo: Susan Elizabeth Photography

“My best piece of advice would be to research your vendors well, book them in advance, and then trust them,” says Kara. “They have all been in the industry a long time, and this is why you booked them! Even when it ended up raining on my day, all vendors worked together seamlessly to make everything still run perfectly.”


An Ashford Estate wedding.
Photo: Susan Elizabeth Photography

The couple honeymooned in Bora Bora. “We did a mini moon directly following the wedding in New Hope, Pennsylvania, which is near our venue,” says Kara. “This was the perfect relaxation moment following the big day!”

the details

Reception Location

Ashford Estate


Susan Elizabeth Photography


Karin Otto

Bride’s Gown

Rivini by Rita Vinieris, Kleinfeld Bridal

+ more