Real Weddings

Shannon and Jonathan at The Ashford Estate

I noticed Jonathan, and his striking good looks, while attending the University of Scranton. After about a week, I grew the courage to introduce myself to him, or as others would say, I was pushed into Jonathan at the hands of my friend- but that is up for debate. When I gushed to my mother about Jonathan she told me she knew Jonathan’s father! My mother is a University of Scranton alumna, and knew Jonathan’s father and his aunt from University of Scranton as well. The three were friends during college and were thrilled they could now reconnect because of Jonathan and I’s relationship. Little did they know, that they would soon become family.

Jonathan and I got engaged on Christmas Eve 2017, before departing for a family party. While gathering family presents and trying to rush out the door, Jonathan stopped me in the kitchen of our new home and got down on one knee. The tears began and we spent the holiday celebrating the start of a new adventure with our friends and family.

I am a former world champion Irish dancer, and come from a family who prides themselves on their Irish Heritage. It only made sense we embraced every opportunity to include hints of shamrocks and Irish elegance throughout the wedding. On each piece of stationary there was a hidden shamrock, a special touch that I wanted to honor my Irish heritage. The day was filled with white and green florals, an ode to Ireland, with touches of navy blue. The bridesmaids wore navy Hayley Paige Occasions gowns in different styles and the groomsmen wore classic black tuxedos. The simple ad classic color palette was the perfect accent to the architecture and design of The Ashford Estate, as well as to the month of March!

My uncle owns Weddings of Distinction, a collection of wedding venues in New Jersey, so we started touring Weddings of Distinction venues in LBI. We were certain that we would get married down the shore since we have shared so many memories there. But all that changed when driving down the evergreen-lined driveway of the Ashford Estate in Allentown, New Jersey. Surrounded by sprawling fields of green and a magnificent array of florals, we knew this was it! Each room in The Ashford Estate is unique and designed to make guests feel as though they are attending the party of the century. Any couple that tours The Ashford Estate would fall immediately in love with the feeling of warmth and elegance that it is.

The cocktail hour was filled with a variety of delicious cuisine. Guest favorites included the live guacamole station and the “Irish Eyes are Sliding” (corned beef sliders), which accompanied the Irish theme of our wedding. Our wedding menu featured delectable NY strip steak, butter poached shrimp, and chicken. Our cake, made by The Bakerworks, was vanilla, but we had a surprise second cake for the groom. Jonathan owns a BBQ restaurant in Nutley called Jim Dandy’s. Bakerworks created an awesome grill cake for him, that was not only delicious, but made every guest smile.

I chose the Andi gown by Hayley Paige. The gown is a mix between modern elegance and a classic ball gown. I had been to six bridal salons, all of which had the Andi gown, but the final bridal showroom I went to Kleinfeld bridal had to the actual designer, Hayley Paige there and I knew this was a sign to say yes.

We enjoyed every moment of our wedding and loved seeing the faces of our family and friends. The most intimate moment we shared was when I walked down the aisle. Jonathan, convinced that he wouldn’t cry on the day, was filled with tears as the doors of the church opened to me. It was the greatest feeling to know that the moment was finally here!

Our wedding day would not have been complete without the awesome afterparty! My father developed a hobby a few years ago- playing the drums. With his neighborhood pals, my dad created the band Phase 3, or as I call it, the “dad band.” They played for hours following our wedding reception. It was the perfect way to end our night, sharing the mic with family and friends, and dancing until the last guest left. In addition, there was a special performance by my cousins during the reception. As previously mentioned, I was an Irish dancer, and so are my younger cousins. They excited guests with their fabulous moves and I was smiling from ear to ear as I watched the girls preform.

Not a thing.

“Parallel Line” by Keith Urban.

Take a minute to yourself during the reception and simply look around at the crowd of loved ones. You will see that all of the anticipation leading up to your big day was worth it and you will want to relive this special time over and over again.

St. Lucia

wedding details


Nutley, NJ

Reception Location

The Ashford Estate


The Studio Photographers


Father Mike Wallack

Bride’s Gown

Hayley Paige

+ more