How they met:
A shared love for music brought this pair together. Kaitlyn Walker, 30, of Old Bridge, is a classically trained oboist who frequently gives lectures to public-school band teachers around the country. It was during one of those lectures that Kaitlyn first noticed Tom Rafter, 32, of Philadelphia, sitting in the audience. “Throughout my entire lecture, I found myself glancing at his hand to see if he had a ring on,” she says. Later, Kaitlyn lamented to close girlfriends that all the good ones are taken; she was almost certain she had seen a wedding band on Tom’s finger. Luckily, though, she was mistaken. A few days later, an email appeared in her inbox, in which Tom thanked her and mentioned how much he enjoyed the presentation. The couple has been together ever since.
How they got engaged:
After a long day working at New York University, Kaitlyn arrived home at the couple’s newly purchased farmhouse to find a scallop dinner and Moet Champagne set outside on their garden patio. Pictures from the couple’s many trips hung above from string lights, and Henry Mancini’s “Moon River” lyrics could be heard: “Two drifters / Off to see the world / There’s such a lot of world to see.” Before he popped the question, Tom told Kaitlyn he couldn’t wait to go on more adventures with her.
About their venue:
Stemming from their shared love of days spent by the ocean, Kaitlyn and Tom decided on Brigantine Cove as the location for their pre-wedding ceremony. Joined by only their closest friends, they enjoyed an intimate celebration by the sea. The couple then invited a larger group of friends and family to celebrate at their official wedding on July 13, 2019, at The Ashford Estate in Allentown.
Details of the day:
Kaitlyn and Tom’s vision for their Brigantine Cove nuptials combined natural elegance and beachy comfort. Adjoined tables were placed in the sand and complemented with soft natural tones and organic materials—seashells, coral, succulents and driftwood—laid atop a textured table runner. A small group of 25 loved ones watched as the bride and groom arrived in their Jeep and took photos in the cozy decorated trunk space. The open area of the beach welcomed guests to handmade cocktails and family-style dining, enveloped by the misty ocean air.
All about the dress:
Kaitlyn wanted her dress to reflect the overall carefree and laid-back style of their ceremony. Her “Mariposa” gown by Wear Your Love featured body-hugging design and a lace-up open back. Keeping to the style, the bride paired it with an oversized jean jacket, natural warm-toned makeup and loosely braided hair.
What was on the menu:
Marsini’s Kitchen from Somers Point provided arugula salad with roasted beets, fried shallots and goat cheese with a balsamic glaze, Italiano chicken empanadas, and linguini with white clam sauce. For dessert, it was vanilla pound cake with buttercream icing.
Details they couldn’t live without:
For Kaitlyn and Tom, authenticity ruled the day. “My biggest hope is that all of our guests felt that our wedding was a genuine representation of both Tom and me, and the life we have created cooperatively,” says Kaitlyn.
First dance song:
“Moon River,” by Henry Mancini.
What went wrong:
“The weather was a misty, windy mess but we embraced it,” Kaitlyn says. The upside of the stormy weather? The couple’s photographs came out enchantingly beautiful with the moody sky in full display.
Self-proclaimed travel addicts, Kaitlyn and Tom devoted themselves to booking a whirlwind honeymoon around the world. The couple took 15 flights, two trains, one boat ride and stayed in 10 different hotels during their 27-day trip to South Africa, Singapore, Bali, New Zealand and Australia. Now, the couple is enjoying married life at home in Millstone.