Not only do I have a beautiful and classic wedding to share with you today – But I also get to introduce you to an amazing blog, HarpOnLife. Written by three best friends, HarpOnLife is an everyday blog brought to you by the unique perspective of each woman at a different stage of life at the same age. You have to check it out!
OK, now back to the wedding. I’m pleased to introduce Caroline (one of the three #HarpOn ladies) — who, wait for it, was married pre-Pinterest! I’ll let her interview and gorgeous photos take care of the rest!
When/where was your wedding?
June 12, 2010 was the date we decided on. We got engaged in April 2009, and felt like a little over a year for planning was more than enough, plus we wanted warm weather.
Michael got ready at home with his groomsman and family, I got ready at the Bungalow in Pier Village in Long Branch with the girls and my mom. (I would highly recommend the Bungalow to anyone). We got married at Our Lady Star of the Sea in Long Branch and the reception was across the street at the Ocean Place Resort & Spa.
Tell me a little about your wedding style.
While planning our wedding, I didn’t think I had a particular style, I just knew what I did and didn’t like. In hindsight, I would say it was pretty traditional, and classic. All I knew was that I wanted our guests to walk away feeling like everything was very US.
It sounds like your wedding was pre-Pinterest (I can’t even imagine). Where did you get your inspiration?
Yes, I think Pinterest had just come out, and was still invite-only and not nearly as popular as it is now. I can’t even say with confidence that I had it at the time. In a way, I’m grateful. Pinterest is wonderful and I do my fair share of pinning, but I feel like it might have made me a little crazy.
My inspiration was Michael and I. Like I mentioned before, I just wanted the day to be an extension of ourselves. Nothing crazy, nothing over the top, because that wasn’t us. At the time, I had a serious aversion to lots of color (I still do, but I’m working very hard to incorporate it more into my life). I knew the flowers would be white, the groom and groomsmen in black and white (I don’t think I will ever be on board with ties/vests/cummerbunds that match the bridesmaids dresses, a little too Prom-ish for me). And since my favorite color is gray, it was a no-brainer that would be what the girls would wear. The only color I wanted at the church was the yellow roses that our moms carried. For every special occasion my dad always gave my mom yellow roses, so that was a nod to him. As for the reception, I wanted it [color] in the centerpieces and that would be blue since my favorite flower is a blue (& white) hydrangea. Everything else, I just decided along the way.
What made your wedding dress you?
If there was one thing that definitely screamed ME at my wedding, it was my dress. I felt like it was what any person would have described, had they been asked what they thought I’d choose. I am a no-frills kind of girl (I admire it on others, but I have never liked it for myself). I have always been drawn to simple, classic lines. I am a big believer in the phrase, “You wear the dress, don’t let the dress wear you” and I feel like I stayed true to that.
When that dress was handed to me (my mother-in-law actually scouted it out) there was just something about it. I put it on and I can’t say I had that moment where I knew I had on THE dress, and the tears started flowing and everyone breathed a sigh of relief, but it was my favorite out of all that I had previously tried on. It remained in the back of my head while I continued my search and really just saw how much I didn’t like what else was out there. When I went back and tried it on, that’s when I knew; there was no other dress for me. The best part about it, was that it went perfectly with my mom’s mantilla-style lace trimmed veil that I really wanted to wear as my something old.
Looking back, what’s one of your favorite memories from your wedding?
The entire day was perfect. Picking one particular part is beyond difficult. I must say there really is nothing quite like the feeling of looking around at all of your loved ones and knowing how happy they are to be celebrating you. Your love for one another, it really is a beautiful thing and it made us both feel so unbelievably special. Another pretty surreal moment was saying my vows to Michael. We had dated since I was a sophomore in high school, so being together for about 10 years before getting married, and then standing up on that altar with him; my favorite person in the world, that was a HUGE moment.
Photography – Kate Connolly; Dress – Tara Keely from Mustillo’s in Red Bank, NJ; Bridesmaid dresses – Vera Wang; Bridal accommodations – Bungalow Hotel; Church – Our Lady Star of the Sea; Reception Venue – Ocean Place Resort & Spa; Flowers – Craig Kiely and Darryn Murphy Designs