Real Weddings

Missy and Justin at The Ryland Inn


Details of the day: From my husband’s surprise engagement evening, all the way down to the wedding reception, we incorporated so many little details that were special to our relationship into our big day. Our engagement evening celebrated all our firsts (date, dinner, etc). Our wedding celebrated our journey to the alter, paired with our love for travel and history.



Before I get to all of the planning of our perfect wedding (everything from the venue to the flowers to the live band to the photographer and videographer, it was perfection), I’ll share my dress experience. For my first visit to a dress shop I went with just my mom to a small boutique. I had in mind a specific look I wanted and I was focused in on that. After coming up empty handed, my mom asked me to humor her and try on a dress she liked. It was a strapless tulle ballgown. I begrudgingly obliged but stared in surprise for a few extra minutes at the dress. We ultimately still left the shop with no dress in hand. Fast forward a few months later and after a long day of trying on dresses and not finding “the one”, I finally walked out in the Lazaro ballgown again. I knew immediately this would be my wedding dress. My friends and family had tears in their eyes and I was feeling like a princess. I’m so happy I kept an open mind because I look back at my dress and it’s one of my very favorite parts of the wedding (next to sealing the deal with my hubby of course!!!). With my Peter Langner 2 tier cathedral veil and ballgown, I truly felt like royalty for a day and I loved every second of it.


missy-and-justin-real-wedding-35Once the dress was handled it was on to day of planning! We wanted a venue with some history attached but also fit our high food standards and the “look” we wanted. The Ryland Inn of Whitehouse Station, NJ easily checked off each of our boxes. The restored 19th century farm house that now operates as a fine dining restaurant and event space is renowned for their farm to table approach. The floor to ceiling windows and silver and gold touches to the reception room made it the rustic elegant ballroom of my dreams.  I wanted to keep the old world charm of our venue in mind for décor but I also wanted to showcase a thread of travel inspiration. I spent countless hours brainstorming, shopping, crafting with my mom and I was so excited for the end results. It also allowed me to keep the details extra personal and special to my husband’s and my relationship.


missy-and-justin-real-wedding-44Here are a few examples of the wedding personalization. We took a trolley to and from the event rather than a limo because it is our tradition to take a trolley tour in every major American city we visit. He wore a gift given to his grandfather on his wedding day by his great grandfather, cuff links; while I had the lace sleeve of my mother’s wedding dress, which touches four generations in my family, on my bouquet. I used my grandfather’s old maps as backgrounds for our table numbers. We used vintage postcards, from everyplace our guests hailed from at the wedding along with our bucket list locations, as our guestbook. My whole family helped to construct a DIY Polaroid photo booth for wedding fun along with the props. We mix-and-matched mercury glass vases that our flowers sat in on all the tables. I had collected these vases for over a year from locations all over the eastern seaboard! We had touches of Italy and France throughout the reception and even in our welcome bags at the hotel (stuffed with macarons and Prosecco) because it was our honeymoon destinations. We had our favorite local empanada shop provide a late night snack for guests. These are just a few of many special touches throughout our big day!



I’ll dream about our wedding for the rest of my life. It was the perfect representation of “us” and having all of our friends and family get to share in that was unforgettable.


Your favorite part: Both of our favorite part was the wedding ceremony. Seeing each other for the first time as I walked down the aisle was so special. We also had one of our cousins, who recently became a deacon, work with our parish and was a big part of the marriage ceremony which made it even more personal and intimate.



If you could change one thing about your wedding what would it be? Not truly soaking up every second of the engagement. You get so excited for the wedding it’s easy to get caught up in those preparations and forget that the engagement period is just as exciting. You only get to be engaged for a short period of time. Enjoy it while it lasts with your fiance!

Advice for other brides: Things will go wrong, no matter what. That day forget about all the little things and focus on the amazing celebration of love with your new spouse. That’s what you will remember, not the little things that weren’t perfect!

wedding details



Ceremony Location

The Ryland Inn and Assumption Parish

Reception Location

The Ryland Inn


Jeff Tisman Photography

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