When looking through these gorgeous images from Freehold, NJ wedding photographer Vanessa Joy Photography, I often felt like I was looking at a destination affair in some far off European location. Maybe it’s the castle-like building below or the traditional elegance of the bride and groom. Either way, this New Jersey wedding at the Water Witch Club wedding venue at Monmouth Hills is a beauty and one to be savored stateside and beyond!
Can you give us an overview of the event? We had our wedding on St. Patrick’s day 2012. We got married at my (Jennifer) childhood church, St. Mary’s in Colts Neck. The reception was at The Monmouth Hills Club in Highlands NJ. we had 170 of our close friends and family there to celebrate with us including my relatives from Ireland!
Was there a specific theme or style? We did have a theme or two to our wedding. We got married on St. Patrick’s Day and I am first generation. My dad immigrated from Ireland in his mid twenties and so the my Irish heritage has played a big influence in my life and is part of who I am. Our theme was part Irish and part nature, green was our predominant color. Brian works outdoors and has done so his whole life. He loves the outdoors as do I. Nature was a big influence on our theme. Now everything was not so Irish that it looked like a leprechaun was getting married but nice touches here and there. Brian and I both like a more “outdoorsy” natural feel so the colors we chose reflected that of nature. So instead of a kelly green we chose emerald, earthy greens and browns. The Celtic theme was hinted at throughout the day as was the nature theme by using more earthy rustic materials, and Celtic knot work on some things. My family from Ireland also flew in and they helped to keep the Irish theme alive by bringing their own flags and the such. We hired a bag piper for the church ceremony as well.
Did you DIY any of the details? We put together all the menu cards, donation cars, drink cards, some bouquets and table names ourselves. We went to the venue the day before and did some of our own decorating. We made all the favors for the hotel guests ourselves.
What was the most memorable moment? I think our first dance was the most memorable moment. We worked so hard to get it all right and when it was said and done it turned out perfectly. For 16 weeks we took dance lessons and we practiced at home everyday leading up to the wedding. There is one video of us dancing and in the background I can hear my dad say “that’s my daughter out there!” It was great and it meant so much to us to have all our family and friends there to watch us.
Tell us about the food and desserts: In my family we all like to share food and try each other’s plates. Brian is the same way so we felt instead of having a restrictive site down dinner we would do hors devours the whole time. This way one could try lots of stuff, just like we love to do when we go out. There were 14 passed hors devours for four hours, and a meat and cheese display, no sit down. We had baby lamb chops, mini corned beef sandwiches, coconut shrimp, rare ahi tuna on cucumber, portabella mushroom skewers, onion soup to go, and pasta in a box to name a few. The desserts were insane. We had warm chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin and sugar cookies, mini root beer floats, cheese cake lollipops along with our wedding cupcakes. We had MINI cupcakes for our wedding cake in four flavors: green velvet, Irish carbomb which was a Guinness cake with bailey’s frosting, s’mores and cookies and cream. We felt having mini cupcakes instead of large ones would fit with the finger food theme of our wedding. Also we had a “grooms cake” that was not actually a cake but a tower of mini pancakes. These cupcakes were mini bacon pancake cupcakes with crispy bacon on top of a maple syrup icing and a pancake flavored cake. Our cake topper was a jumbo s’more cupcake. We got our cupcakes from the Cupcake Magician located in Red Bank NJ
How did He propose? We had been dating for a little over three years when Brian proposed. We were on a snowboarding trip to Beaver Creak Colorado. It was in February and on Valentines Day. Brian arranged for us to go to this restaurant but he wouldn’t tell me its name or exact location. We drove up a mountain into a private gaited neighborhood. We drove to a huge cabin with tons of windows over looking a snow covered valley. We walked in and there was a huge stone fireplace in the center of the restaurant, it was amazing. I ride horses and Brian knew I have always wanted to go on a horse drawn sleigh ride!!! It was just dusk and the sun was setting, the sky was pink. Brian ordered an Irish coffee which was a little odd for him because he doesn’t drink too much. After that they called us for our private sleigh ride. We set out for the most romantic, beautiful sleigh ride in history. Part of the way through the man driving the sleigh said that there was an equipment malfunction or something like that and stopped the sleigh. Brian was nervous I would jump out of the sleigh and try to help so he started talking right away. He said “Jen you are the person I want to spend the rest of my life with, will you marry me?”, he said this all on one knee in the sleigh. I said yes of course and started to cry
(continued..) I was shocked by the ring I must add. It was amazing and he picked it out all on his own. I had shown him a few pictures of art deco style rings months ago. Little did I know he had taken screen shots of the rings I showed him on his computer and later used those pics to help him find the ring. He met with our friend’s mom who works at Earth Treasures and she helped him order the custom ring. Amazing!!! Also Brian had made a calendar full of photos that he gave me after he proposed. He said he was going to give it to me first and have me flip through it until I reached the month of February. On that month of the calendar he had typed in as the caption under the photo “will you marry me”. But he didn’t give it to me before he said because he thought I was going to jump out and help with the man with the horse pulling the sleigh. There was another sleigh ride in the same area going on at the same time, but it was a group ride and they all knew what was happening. They were all cheering and taking pictures, it was great. After that we went back to the cabin we started at and called all of our family members. My mom said that Brian had spoke to dad before we left for vacation and asked permission to marry me, so she had known all along. She even said they already went to look at a venue. After that we had the best dinner ever over looking the valley that Brian had just asked me to marry him on. It was the best trip ever!!
What were the honeymoon plans? Hawaii!!! We spent 12 days in Hawaii. We went to Waikiki in Oahu, Kauai, and Maui. Brian’s parents let us use their time share on all the islands as a wedding present. We had so much fun we did not want to come back. We went hiking, biking, snorkeling, kayaking, zip lining, ATV touring and so much more. I am ready to go back already.
What was the best wedding day advice you received? “Its your day do what will make you happy”
Ceremony: St. Mary’s Church | Reception: Monmouth Hills Club | Photography & Guest Book: Vanessa Joy Photography | Gown & Veil: True Love Bridal | Hairpiece & Bridesmaids Jewelry: Foolish Ginger | Hair: Andrea Carbonaro | Makeup: Divva Bhawnai | Bridesmaids Dresses: Belle Bridal | Menswear: Love Lane Tuxedos | Invitations: Laura White of Studio White Designs | Flowers: Colonial Flowers | Catering: Ultimate Caterers | Music: SCE Event Group | Cake: Cupcake Magician | Transportation: Cat Limousine