Details of the Day: With bridesmaids in gold sequin and deep pinks and purple florals, we elevated the feel of Spring time into our day. Candlelit gold jars and the bridesmaid bouquets lined the windowsill behind the sweetheart table to give a romantic vibe as the sun set on the Manasquan River during the first dance. In lieu of favors, a donation was a made to charities close to our hearts to honor those that could not be present. The groom wore gold Burberry cuff links, also a nod to the gold bridesmaids. The Venue: Clarks Landing is the first and only venue we looked at. As transplants from Monmouth County, we loved the idea of being on the water and still getting the black tie, ballroom feel. It was exactly what we were looking for. The Menu: Our cocktail hour had over 40 passed hors d’oeuvres and several stations, an ice sculpture with our monogram, and a martini luge coupled with the drink of the night: the Rino-tini, an ode to our precious Bichon Frise, Rino! The wedding menu had sliced melon and prosciutto to start, followed by a crisp Caesar salad and lemon sorbet intermezzo toward dinner time. Dinner was a choice of four: strip steak cooked to perfection, a seafood platter of teriyaki salmon and shrimp, vegetarian lasagna, and our personal favorite: Lady Di chicken. On our menus we pointed out our favorite to encourage our guests to try the chicken wrapped in phyllo dough and served with a mango sauce. Venetian hour included Nutella crepes and an ice cream bar. The best was saved for last: coffee and water saw the guests out, and an Al Forno station serving pizza – the bride’s favorite – was a special treat. The Cake: Our cake was a beautiful vanilla and cream cheese flavored “naked” cake from Bovella’s Pastry Shoppe in Westfield. Berries cascaded down the three tiers, and florals matching the bridal party were accented on the cake along with sugar topping. The Gown: I wore an ivory A-line Eve of Milady gown with several layers of lace and beading, with emphasis on the beaded cascading shoulder to match the breathtaking cascading bouquet of peony and phalaenopsis I carried. Rose sequined Christian Louboutin peep toe pumps accented my dress as a nod to the bridesmaids in their gold alternating style Sorella Vita gowns, paired with peonies in deep hues. It was important to me to find something my groom would love. When I tried on the dress for the first time, my Mother-in-Law was adamant that it was “the one.” Several dresses later, it was the only dress I couldn’t stop looking at. On our wedding day, my husband would not stop commenting on my gown. Mom was right after all! I incorporated a piece of my late Grandmother’s shirt in my dress as my Something Borrowed & Something Old. Having a piece of her with me was something I could not live without. There are photos of me showing my family, and they are stunned. The groom wore a navy tuxedo accented with ivory, while the handsome groomsmen wore black tuxedos and suspenders in a slim fit. Favorite Moment: It unfortunately was inclement weather on our wedding day. We had plans to take pictures in Deep Cut Gardens in Middletown, NJ to compliment our Spring theme, but nature had other plans. Instead of being disappointed, our entire bridal party stopped the bus en route to Middletown to get beers and food, and instructed the driver to take the long way to the venue instead. We plugged in some music, and had over an hour of partying, laughing, and dancing on the bus. Though we may not have taken the photos we intended to take, the memories of our crew making the best of it will stay with us forever – and so will the videos! Detail You Couldn’t Live Without: Our live wedding painter was a must have. At first, Maurice didn’t want to splurge, but I convinced him that I could find one in our budget and he accepted the challenge. Eva Marie, the painter, included our family in the watercolor painting without us ever asking, and was early to the venue to begin her craft. She was situated near the bar and it was one of the most talked about features of the night. We love looking at the painting every day as a reminder of a day all our family and friends were able to share with us. Something That Went Wrong: Our group photos were a little hurried because we decided to party longer on the bus due to the weather, and then again in the bridal suite prior to cocktail hour. Our bridal party really knew how to have fun! In the moment, Maurice and I just wanted to be with our loved ones. In the end, it all fell into place despite the rush. First Dance Song: Until the End of Time – Justin Timberlake. Chosen by the groom! Advice for other Brides: Though your wedding day is one of the biggest days of your life, what’s more important is cultivating a life you want to “come back” to once the fun is over. All the time, stress, and details are worth pouring over, but in the end, things go awry or may not come to fruition. It’s important to remember the magical life you already have together instead of ruminating over the details. All that matters is the family and friends that are there smiling and having fun with you. Looking back, it’s all you’ll remember.