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CONTEMPORARY WEDDINGS

! IN

WIN! WI

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For All Couples Getting Married

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Honeymoon Sweepstakes

www.CWeddingsMag.com

REAL WEDDINGS

Local Newlyweds share their wedding stories The finest local

WEDDING VENDORS in the NJ/NY area Over 90

HONEYMOON HOT SPOTS in the USA & Caribbean

SPRING/SUMMER 2020

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Spring/Summer 2020

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Let’s get married! YOUR COMPLETE GUIDE TO PLANNING A NEW JERSEY WEDDING

Cover couple, Jamie & David photographed by Nicole Klym Photography. See more from their wedding on page 10


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Nicole Klym Photography

contents FEATURES & ARTICLES 18 BE OUR GUEST Six tips for choosing your dream wedding location

24 RECENTLY ENGAGED Six couples share how their fiancé popped the question

46 WEDDING PLANNING TIMELINE Our easy-to-follow guide to help you through the planning process

55 NEW JERSEY & NEW YORK RECEPTION SITE GUIDE The best wedding facilities in the tri-state and metro areas

70 STYLE WITH THE WORKS Retro meets modern in this wedding inspiration

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103 GROOM’S GUIDE Wedding tasks to get your guy involved

124 HONEYMOON HEAVEN A romantic honeymoon awaits you on this ABC island

145 HONEYMOON SWEEPSTAKES Enter to win a romantic honeymoon at the luxurious Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Punta Cana

147 A PERFECT PARADISE A dream all-inclusive honeymoon in the Dominican Republic


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Contemporary Weddings Magazine

in this issue

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38

77

REAL WEDDINGS

IN EVERY ISSUE

10

Jamie & David at Private Residence in Barnegat

38

Natalia & Anthony at Park Château Estate and Gardens

132 HONEYMOON HOTSPOTS Romantic destinations for your honeymoon getaway

48

Mary & Luke at Crystal Point Yacht Club

62

Ashley & Joseph at Seasons Catering

66

Amanda & Markin at The Estate at Florentine Gardens

76

Amy & Erik at The Park Savoy Estate

82

Faryal & Sadiq at Sheraton Eatontown

88

Michele & Anthony at Pleasantdale Château

94

Haris & Dave at Pines Manor

98

Barbara & Robert at Bernardsville Inn

157

104

INDEX OF ADVERTISERS Wedding merchants & reception sites

follow us! 118 @contempweddings

@contemporaryweddingsmagazine

@contempweddings

116 Natalie & Jenelle at The Park Savoy Estate @contemporaryweddingsmagazine

120 Katelynn & Patrick at Normandy Farms

ENTER TO WIN!

128 Angela & Julian at Primavera Regency 142 Oksana & Sergey at Grand Plaza St. Petes Beach

PUBLISHER Gary Paris PRODUCTION DIRECTOR Valerie Nani TRAVEL EDITOR Guy Preston EDITOR Meghan L. Chalfant CONTRIBUTING WRITER Meghan L. Chalfant ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT Diane Benko SINGLE SALES NEWSSTAND CONSULTANT Michael Gerardo Corporate Offices: Contemporary Weddings LLC. • 1600 Perrineville Road • Suite 2-307 • Monroe, NJ 08831 • Phone: (609) 642-8864, Fax: (609) 642-8741 • www.CWeddingsMag.com Contemporary Weddings LLC. is not responsible for photographs provided/ or used by participating advertisers in this magazine. No part of this book may be reproduced or utilized in any form, including photography or cover design, without the permission in writing from an authorized agent of Contemporary Weddings LLC. PRINTED IN U.S.A. All rights reserved • Copyright 2020

The fall issue is a reprint of spring issue.

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REAL WEDDING - Jamie & David

J

Jamie and David had known each other since they were teenagers and even had the same circle of friends for years. They always knew of each other, but rarely talked. As they got older, they would find themselves at the same places and got to know each other. “I thought she was fun to be around, and I loved her bubbly personality,” David shared. “When we were together for five years and it was still fun and exciting, I didn’t want to not have Jamie by my side.” For Jamie’s 30th birthday, the two took a trip to the Florida Keys. They woke up on Thursday, February 8, 2018, and decided to spend the day swimming and soaking up the sun at Bahia Honda Park, near the SevenMile Bridge. Following an early dinner and drinks at Sunset Grille & Raw Bar with friends, Jamie and David headed to the walkable bridge that connects Bahia Honda Key with Spanish Harbor Key to watch the sunset. As Jamie was taking photos of the views, David declared that he wanted to marry her, and when she turned around, he was on one knee proposing. “It was perfect and I couldn’t have even imagined the proposal better than the way it all happened. He definitely surprised me, for sure, and it was so awesome that our friends were there to celebrate with after,” Jamie reminisced.

Jamie & David June 15, 2019

SPring/Summer

Cover Couple Congratulations 10

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Picture Perfect:

When it came time to choose a photographer, there were no doubts the couple would call upon their friend Nicole Hoffman of Nicole Klym Photography to capture the special moments and details on camera. Jamie and David particularly loved how Nicole made it easy to communicate throughout the planning process.

A Dream Come True:

Since Jamie was a little girl, she dreamed of having her wedding day on the property she grew up in. In the summer of 2018, Jamie and David spent almost every weekend, day off, and weeknights transforming her parents’ house, and when they thought they weren’t going to finish in time, their friends pitched in to help make sure they had the most amazing day ever. “I will forever be thankful for those who spent hours making our wedding possible,” Jamie mentioned. For the unplugged ceremony, Jamie and David

exchanged vows overlooking the lake, and with sweeping water views, they decided to keep the décor simple. Lining the aisle were shepherd’s hooks with suspended floral-filled mason jars and white folding chairs.

A Tented Soiree: Post ceremony, the couple hosted 150 guests under a white tent for an extended cocktail hour offering guests endless finger food options. Lawn games were set up next to the tennis courts for guests to enjoy throughout the evening when they needed to give their feet a break from dancing to a mix of old-time rock and roll, country, and ‘80s, and ‘90s hits.

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REAL WEDDING - Jamie & David

Pineapple Party:

Jamie loves tropical destinations and quickly decided to bring a resort ambiance throughout the wedding décor by using bright hues, tropical plants, and pineapple accents. Set on champagne-colored linens were tropical palm patterned table runners made by the bride’s mom, with white pillar candles, purple orchids, a pineapple, and seafoam green and gold table number displayed at the center. Jamie and David sat at a sweetheart table adorned with palm leaves, orchids, lanterns, a Mr. and Mrs. sign, and chairs embellished with tropical foliage.

Creative Cake: The couple loves surprises, so they gave Dawn of Sweet & Flour Bakery free creative reign for their wedding cake. “It was so exciting to see it on the wedding day,” exclaimed the bride. The two-tiered cake featured edible gold detailing and was adorned with tropical florals to flawlessly complement their wedding aesthetic. The top layer was hummingbird, while the bottom layer was red velvet (David’s favorite). Light up the Night: At the end of the reception, a friend of Jamie and David’s surprised the couple and guests with a fireworks show. “It was really sweet he did it, but also terrifying when the fireworks starting shooting in every direction. The fireworks was definitely something to remember, and our guests are still talking about it,” the bride reminisced.

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THE PROFESSIONALS Ceremony and Reception Location: Private Residence • Officiant: Judge Damian Murray • Caterer: Touch of Elegance Photographer: Nicole Klym Photography • Entertainment: Flawless Entertainment • Floral Designer: June Scherer Cake Designer: Sweet & Flour Bakery • Wedding Gown Designer: Madison James • Shoes: Fergie • Bridesmaid Dresses: Azazie Invitations: Zazzle • Favors: Pizza Station • Hair Stylist: Lindsey Herring • Makeup Artist: Gina Ritacco Jeweler: Smithville Jeweler • Mini-Moon Location: Atlantic City, New Jersey

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WEDDING PLANNING - Reception

Be Our Guest 6 Tips for Choosing a Banquet Facility By Meghan Chalfant

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Congratulations on Your Engagement! You’re ready to get started on planning the wedding of your dreams. But you might be asking, where do I start? Of course the small details are fun to plan, but where the ceremony and reception will take place ultimately influences everything else. So, start here first. With the wedding venue; aka the most important decision you’ll make during your wedding planning journey.

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Consider Your Budget Determining your total budget is the first step to choosing a banquet facility. Sit down with your fiancé and parents and find out who will be contributing and how much. It’s an awkward conversation, but one that absolutely needs to be had. Traditionally, the bride’s family would pay for the entire wedding, but it’s much more common these days for the groom’s family to

wedding, such as the catering, photographer, video, florals, etc. Your total budget is the final number from the combination of the dollar amount that each set of families and you, the couple, will be contributing. Jacquelyn Mavrookas, owner and founder of EVJ Wedding Co., recommends allocating no more than 40% of your overall budget for venue, food, and beverage.

contribute, as well as the couple. You can either ask each set of parents for a specific dollar amount or you can suggest they finance a particular part of the

Keep Your Guest List in Mind Once you establish your budget, it’s time to create a preliminary guest list. How many people do you plan on inviting? Be sure to list your immediate and extended family members, as well as their significant others, friends, and if you’ll be giving them a plus one. It’s likely you’ll be surprised by how quickly this adds up, especially if your parents want to invite their friends or coworkers. When researching banquet facilities, take note of the capacity limits and be sure the venue can hold your total guest count. Trust us...the last thing you want is to fall in love with a wedding location that can only hold 150 people when you realistically have a guest count closer to 300. “We’ve seen brides who plan on a wedding of 75, but when their dream venue can seat 125, the list just keeps growing. Each head means more added to your catering budget,” Jacquelyn shared.

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WEDDING PLANNING - Reception

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Keep Your Options Open

Style

Sorry to break the news, but it’s true. Popular banquet

The venue you choose for your wedding will play a

facilities can book years in advance, and prime dates

role in the overall ambiance for your event. Think about

will get snagged first. If you have a specific date you want

your wedding vision. What does your dream venue look

to get married on or if you plan on having a short

like? Does a grand ballroom for a timeless celebration

engagement, the venue search will be much tougher.

make your heart flutter or do you envision dining and

When calling venues to check on availability, ask what

dancing outside under a tent? Or perhaps you dreamed

dates they do have available within your preferred time

of tying the knot amid a rustic barn. “We always recom-

frame or season. Being flexible will give you more options

mend considering photography style and reception

and a higher possibility to secure the venue of your dreams.

preferences when selecting your venue. For photos, think about whether the style lends itself more to

Location and Accessibility

20

displaying very formal posed images, grand shots of the

The location is an important detail from a guest’s

two of you in nature, or simple details throughout the

point of view. Is the venue easily accessible from a major

day. This really helps when it comes to eliminating and

highway? Is it close to home for the majority of your

eventually picking your perfect facility,” Jacquelyn stated.

guests? Having a long travel distance can be stressful for

Reflect on the features your ideal facility would have, such

guests, especially when the ceremony is at a different

as an outdoor ceremony space, panoramic water views,

location than the reception. Consider the time of day and

grounds for photos, an on-site bridal suite, and even a

what the traffic will be like. You want to make sure all of

separate area for cocktail hour. Prioritize your must-have

your family and friends make it to your location on time to

list early on to help narrow down the endless list of

celebrate with you.

possibilities.

Contemporary Weddings Magazine | cweddingsmag.com


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WHETHER YOU'RE PLANNING A GRAND BALLROOM WEDDING OR AN INTIMATE DINNER UNDER THE STARS, CONSIDER THESE DETAILS DURING YOUR VENUE VISITS. • Plan B: Are you planning for an outside ceremony? Make sure the facility of your dreams offers a backup plan for inclement weather. Crystal Ballroom - Kaleidoscope Imagery

• Payment: What forms of payment does the facility

Schedule a Tour

accept and do they offer a payment plan? Keep an

Once you’ve narrowed down your potential banquet facility list, it’s time to schedule a time to visit and tour the

eye out for any hidden fees.

venues. Of course you’ll have first impressions from the photos you see online or in a magazine, but there’s nothing like seeing it in person. What types of emotions do you feel when you step inside the property? Does it make you even

• Exclusivity: Will your wedding be the only event hosted at the venue that day?

more excited than seeing it in photos? Can you see your family and friends gathered here celebrating you and your fiancé’s love? How does the staff treat you? Visiting your

• Are there any vendor restrictions? Be sure to note if

favorite locations will give you the opportunity to meet with

you can hire your own vendors or if you need to stick

the venue coordinator and ask all your questions in person. Chances are, you’ll know right away if it’s a good fit for the

to the facility’s preferred vendor list.

wedding you’ve been dreaming of. Finding the perfect venue isn’t easy, but with these tips, along with Contemporary Weddings reception site guide, you’ll soon be on your way to saying “I Do” to your

• Parking: Ensure that there is parking on site, and if not, find out if they provide a valet service to park guests’ cars for efficiency.

ceremony and reception location.

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ENGAGEMENT - Abby & Julian

SAVE THE DATE

Abby & Julian 6-19-20

Abby & Julian ENGAGED March 29, 2019 FRIENDS FIRST Abby and Julian met through their group of friends. They were friends first, had a lot of fun together, and for several months after they met, they found themselves spending more and more time together. They eventually started dating and have been together ever since. NEW BEGINNINGS Abby and Julian were really excited to show off their first home, so Julian mentioned he had invited their parents over to see their new digs after work. As they were approaching the front of the house, Julian got down on one knee and proposed. And when they opened the front door, both of their families were already there waiting to celebrate. “They had been hiding inside and even managed to capture some of the proposal from the top-floor balcony and through one of the windows. I loved having our families together in the same place where we will begin our lives together as husband and wife,� Abby shared. WEDDING DATE June 19, 2020 WEDDING LOCATION The Sea Shell Resort & Beach Club WEDDING COLOR Green PHOTOGRAPHER Nicole Klym Photography

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Contemporary Weddings Magazine | cweddingsmag.com


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ENGAGEMENT - Kiamarie & David

Kiamarie & David ENGAGED December 25, 2018 HOW THEY MET Kiamarie and David were childhood friends, but it wasn’t until they reconnected on Facebook that the two got together. One night after chatting, they realized they were hanging out with their own group of friends in the same location and decided to meet up. SHE SAID YES On Christmas Day everyone opened up their gifts and

SAVE THE DATE

David even had Kiamarie believing he didn't get her anything. The family put

Kiamarie & David

down, David presented Kiamarie with a ring box and proposed in the comfort

5-15-21

WEDDING DATE 5-15-21 WEDDING LOCATION WoodsEdge Farm COLOR

their pajamas back on and got in bed. After not even five minutes of laying of their home, making Christmas 2018 truly magical and one to remember. PALETTE Blush, gold, cream, and sage PHOTOGRAPHER Jenna Elizabeth Studios

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ENGAGEMENT - Sandra & Scott

Sandra & Scott

ENGAGED June 17, 2019 HOW THEY MET At a restaurant where they both

SAVE THE DATE

worked. MADE FOR ROMANCE Sandra and Scott were on vacation in Aruba.

Sandra & Scott

the hotel. Just as the sun was setting, Scott reached out for her hand, got

9-18-20

On their second day before dinner, they walked down to the waterfront near down on one knee, and asked Sandra to marry him. WEDDING DATE September 18, 2020 WEDDING LOCATION Olde Mill Inn PRETTY PALETTE Navy, blush, champagne FIRST DANCE SONG “Heaven” by Kane Brown PHOTOGRAPHER Linda and Peter Photography

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ENGAGEMENT - Monika & Konrad

Monika & Konrad

ENGAGED July 3, 2018 HOW THEY MET Monika and Konrad met during a Polish walking pilgrimage when they were 17. THE PROPOSAL Last summer the couple road-tripped from Poland through Croatia, Italy, and Switzerland. On the first leg of the trip, they visited the Croatia waterfalls of Kryka. During their first stop at an overlook, Konrad was about to ask the question of a life-

SAVE THE DATE

time, but after taking one photo, Monika (who loves being in nature) walked

Monika & Konrad

end of the trail overlooking the waterfalls, Konrad got down on one knee and

away excited to see some fig trees, leaving Konrad to adjust his plans. At the proposed. WEDDING DATE June 27, 2020 WEDDING LOCATION The Grand

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FIRST DANCE SONG “I Don’t Dance” by Lee Brice PHOTOGRAPHER Charming Images

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ENGAGEMENT - Danielle & Eric

SAVE THE DATE

Danielle & Eric 4/25/20

Danielle & Eric ENGAGED April 9, 2017 THE BEGINNING Danielle and Eric initially met at PJ’s (the restaurant where she waitressed), but it wasn’t until their best friends started dating that Eric finally asked Danielle out. MASTER PLAN It was a typical Sunday morning for Danielle, who was getting ready for work. As she was about to leave the house, she noticed their dog had a bandanna on that read, “Will you marry me?” Eric was down on one knee proposing. “He had it all planned. I didn’t have to go to work, so we went to the bar where I worked at the time, and he had all of our friends and family waiting for an awesome engagement party!” WEDDING DATE April 25, 2020 WEDDING LOCATION Treno Pizza Bar FIRST DANCE SONG “You Make It Easy” by Jason Aldean PHOTOGRAPHER Elizabeth Gibbs Photography

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ENGAGEMENT - Alisha & Donovan

Alisha & Donovan ENGAGED February 7, 2019 FRIENDS FIRST Alisha and Donovan met back in the day as summer camp counselors at the YMCA. The two were friends for a few years until they made a date to watch fireworks. The rest was history. A LONG TIME COMING The couple talked about getting engaged since the first year they started dating back in 2016 and even looked at rings at Hamilton Jewelers. On February 8, 2019, Alisha and Donovan traveled to Lake Tahoe for a winter vacation, but to Alisha’s surprise, Donovan had been planning the surprise of a lifetime for weeks. It was there in their hotel room

SAVE THE DATE

Alisha & Donovan

with mountain views that Donovan got down on one knee and proposed. WEDDING DATE May 27, 2021 WEDDING LOCATION The Stone House at Stirling Ridge WEDDING AESTHETIC Modern with rustic undertones PHOTOGRAPHER Jaye Kogut Photography

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REAL WEDDING - Natalia & Anthony

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Natalia and Anthony have their parents to thank for bringing them together. Growing up, Anthony became best friends with Natalia’s cousins and was even considered to be another “Maurillo brother.” The two spent time together in the same group of friends, while celebrating birthdays and special holidays. As time went on, Natalia and Anthony developed a secret crush on each other, but were too afraid to admit it until the stars aligned. They went on their first date to Del Posto, and from that moment on, they knew they would one day get married. “We just knew we were meant to be together. It was a match made in heaven,” Natalia shared. On May 13, 2018, Natalia walked into The Rainbow Room (on the 65th floor of Rockefeller Center), shocked to see white rose petals and flowers leading up to Anthony, where he was on one knee proposing.

So Nice, They Did It Twice: Natalia and Anthony broke all the rules and decided to have not one, but two wedding celebrations. They first had a traditional church ceremony on September 25, 2019 (in memory of Anthony’s beloved parents) at The Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart, followed by a club lounge cocktail reception at Nanina’s In The Park. Three days later, the couple said “I do” again during a formal black tie soiree at the bride’s father’s facility, Park Château Estate & Gardens.

Natalia & Anthony September 25, 2019 and September 28, 2019

Fa l l / W i n t e r

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Florals Galore: The couple opted for a neutral and timeless color palette of white, gold, and a touch of black, which perfectly complemented the signature style of the venue. Florals played a major role in the luxurious wedding décor. No detail was spared from the cascading florals down the venue’s staircase upon entering the Park Château, down the ceremony aisle within the outside gardens, and the lush floral arch, which Natalia and Anthony stood in front of as they exchanged vows. Heirloom Keepsake: “We have always known we wanted Milton Gil to be the photographer at our wedding. Their team has photographed special events for myself and my family throughout the years, and every time I see the pictures, I realize why they have such an amazing reputation. Their team truly does an outstanding job capturing these special moments of your special day. Milton, Nelson, and their team of photographers have become like family to us. Their creative ability along with their awesome team made the day perfect and seamless,” the couple raved.

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REAL WEDDING - Natalia & Anthony

Pnina Bride: “I like to say I did my homework with wedding gown shopping, although in my heart I knew I always wanted to be a Pnina Tornai bride,” recalled Natalia on her wedding gown search. She started looking in the summer of 2019 at different designer trunk shows to get style ideas, but ultimately said yes without hesitation to two gowns of her dreams that fall. Natalia accessorized her intricately detailed gown with 18k gold custom drop earrings, Jimmy Choo shoes, a Pnina Tornai headpiece, and a gifted garter made of her mother’s garter and wedding dress, which served as her something old.

Dressed to the Nines: Tables were set with one of four lush centerpieces made up of roses, orchids, hydrangea, and lisianthus, along with romantic candlelight, suspended tea lights, and gold accents. The grand ballroom was also customized with a white carpet, white acrylic dance floor, and a white stage for the band with boxwood wall backdrop adorned with flowers. Post-Reception Party: As a nod to Anthony’s father’s gym, the couple had a smoothie station featuring the original “Luberto Gym” sign during their two-hour nightclub party in the veranda. During the after-party, guests continued to dance the night away and were treated to boardwalk and diner-themed snacks.

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THE PROFESSIONALS Ceremony & Reception Location: Park Château Estate & Gardens • Officiant: Most Reverend Bishop Arthur J. Serratelli Wedding Planner: Pat Glenn Productions • Photographer: Milton Gil Photographers • Cinematographer: Breathe Artistic • Entertainment: Hank Lane Music Dinner Singer: Sal “The Voice” Valentinetti • Photo Booth: MirMir • Floral Designer: Pat Glenn Productions • Cake Designer: Janet Ben-Ami Limousine Service: Broadway Elite and Town Limousine • Wedding Gown Designer, Headpiece, & Veil: Pnina Tornai • Shoes: Jimmy Choo Groom’s Attire: Vero Uomo and Salvatore Ferragamo • Bridesmaid Dresses: Jenny Yoo • Groomsmen Attire: Ike Behar • Invitations: Little Black Dress Paperie Favors: My Daughter’s Cakes, Customized Newspaper, T-shirts, Blankets, and Pashminas • Hair Stylist: Bridal by Missy and BeYOUtiful Bride Makeup Artist: George Miguel • Jeweler: B&B Jewelry • Live Event Painter: Captured on Canvas • Honeymoon Locations: Dubai, Singapore, and Maldives

Contemporary Weddings Magazine | cweddingsmag.com

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Reverend Diane Cuesta Say “I Do� with Style!

Reverend Diane offers an initial consultation to ensure that you are on a steady path to a joyous and stress-free wedding day. She passionately guides you through the unique planning of your customized ceremony and presents you with a free keepsake of your wedding ceremony.

Performing all types of wedding ceremonies Serving All of NJ 732-262-3037 www.BestWeddingNJ.com/officiants

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Matthew Victoria 908-296-8904 mattsyourmortgageguy@gmail.com


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WEDDING PLANNING - Timeline

wedding timeline Counting down to your wedding day

All photos courtesy of Nicole Klym Photography

TWELVE MONTHS

EIGHT-TEN MONTHS

u Announce your engagement & have an engagement party u Compile your preliminary guest list & organize addresses u Set a wedding budget

u Create

u Discuss & decide wedding budget financials u Consider hiring a wedding planner u Start a wedding binder to keep ideas, contracts, & info together u Choose a wedding date u Search & book your ceremony & reception site & secure date

with deposit(s) u Begin to discuss wedding style u Enter the Honeymoon Sweepstakes

& start your search for local

vendors on CWeddingsMag.com

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Contemporary Weddings Magazine | cweddingsmag.com

a wedding website your officiant u Ask family & friends to be in your wedding party u Begin to schedule meetings with potential professionals & select vendors (this includes caterer, photographer, cinematographer, floral designer, & entertainment) u Research, shop, & order your wedding gown, shoes, & accessories u Block hotel accommodations for out-of-town guests u Create a wedding registry u Choose


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SIX-EIGHT MONTHS u Book your engagement session with your photographer u Order & send out your save the dates u Shop & order bridesmaid dresses u Book ceremony musicians u Research & book wedding transportation u Start planning & book your honeymoon (this includes hotel accommodations & airfare) u Start researching invitations, hire an invitation designer, & begin the selection process

ONE DAY Give marriage license to officiant Relax during your last minute prepping (i.e. manicure, pedicure, &/or massage) u Attend your ceremony rehearsal (don’t forget to bring your unity candle, aisle runner, or any ceremony accessories) & rehearsal dinner u Get a good night’s sleep! u u

ONE MONTH Apply for your marriage license Schedule your final gown fitting (make sure your MOH, mother, or wedding planner learns how to bustle your gown) u Break in your wedding shoes u Attend your bachelor or bachelorette party u Put together hotel welcome bags u u

TWO WEEKS Review RSVP’s & contact anyone who hasn’t responded u Begin preparing your seating chart & provide your caterer or coordinator with a final version u Give DJ or band leader final song list u Provide photographer with any must-have shot lists (if any) u

FOUR-SIX MONTHS Hire a calligrapher should you want a professional to address your wedding invitations u Obtain or renew your passports u Shop for formalwear u Begin taking lessons at a dance studio for a polished first dance u Arrange for any rental needs (linens, chairs, tables, etc.) if your chosen banquet facility does not already provide them u

TWO-FOUR MONTHS u Discuss & finalize your wedding menu u Order & select your wedding cake u Send out your wedding invitations u Rent the groom’s formalwear u Shop & purchase your wedding rings u Book your hair stylist & makeup artist & schedule your trials u Write your vows u Choose wedding favors or consider making a charitable donation u Order any additional wedding day-of stationery (i.e. ceremony programs, menu cards, favor tags, custom signage, table number cards) u Purchase gifts for your parents, bridesmaids, groomsmen, & each other u Attend your wedding shower

DAY-OF Give wedding bands to best man Present gifts to parents, bridesmaids, groomsmen, & each other u Get married & enjoy the day! u u

POST WEDDING Attend your post-wedding brunch Relax on your honeymoon Send out thank you cards Preserve your bouquet & get your wedding dress cleaned u Change your name u Select wedding photos & order album u Live happily ever after u u u u

ONE WEEK u Provide final head count to caterer u Finalize seating chart & print escort cards u Call & confirm with ALL hired vendors u Create & send all vendors detailed wedding day timeline (your planner will take care of this if you have one) u Deliver welcome bags to hotel for overnight guests u Drop all DIY or décor items to your reception facility

TWO DAYS Put vendor tips in envelopes for day-of distribution u Organize items you would like your photographer & videographer to capture during your wedding day prep (i.e. jewelry, wedding bands, garter, invitation, shoes, & anything that might be of sentimental value) u Pack a wedding emergency kit for the day-of (your planner will have one on hand if hired) u Organize your day-of essentials in clutch u Pack a bag for your wedding night (Don’t forget to include clothes, a pair of shoes, & toiletries for the next morning) u

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REAL WEDDING - Mary & Luke

M

Mary and Luke were good friends in high school for about two years before they started dating. They had been dating for approximately seven months when they went to Mary’s senior prom together, and that’s when she knew Luke was “the one.” Fast-forward to December 2, 2017. The couple were heading to New York City to see the Rockettes Christmas Spectacular. As they were getting ready, “Perfect” by Ed Sheeran came on, and Mary turned around to find Luke on one knee asking her to marry him. “The rest of our day in the city was simply amazing and a day that neither of us will forget!”

In The Moment: The couple decided to have a first look before their ceremony, which ended up being one of their favorite parts of the day. “It was so amazing to see one another for the first time, just the two of us,” they shared.

Mary & Luke May 26, 2019

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A Waterside Wedding:

Crystal Point Yacht Club was the first banquet facility Mary and Luke visited, and they immediately fell in love the moment they walked in. Not only did the panoramic views of the Manasquan River and the renovated ballroom captivate their hearts, but the staff, too, was incredibly friendly and helpful throughout the whole process.

Behind The Lens:

Jackie Marino of Limelight Entertainment captured the wedding day events flawlessly. The couple raved that Jackie was organized and personable, making the planning process a breeze.

Gown Decisions:

Mary tried on many beautiful dresses, but didn’t get the “this is the one” feeling until she went to Seng Couture. The bride decided on a lace Martina Liana gown with plunging v-neckline, sheer side cutouts, illusion tulle, and lace back, complete with buttons and sequins for the perfect amount of sophisticated sparkle.

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REAL WEDDING - Mary & Luke

Groom’s Attire: Luke sported a navy blue Calvin Klein suit with a white dress shirt. He tied in a subtle nautical theme by wearing a navy Vineyard Vines tie with whales. Down The Aisle: Mary and Luke really wanted the gorgeous water views as the back drop to be their wow-factor, so they decided to only decorate their ceremony space with white folding chairs accented with baby’s breath aisle markers.

Make It Edible: In lieu of traditional favors, the newlyweds sent guests home with fun memories and various late-night snacks to enjoy on the ride home. The exit station included pork roll sandwiches, sliders, pretzels, and French fries.

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THE PROFESSIONALS Ceremony and Reception Location: Crystal Point Yacht Club Photographer, Entertainment, and Photo Booth: Limelight Entertainment • Cinematographer: Creative Vision Media Floral Designer: The Flower Bar • Cake Designer: Tinton Falls Pastry Chef • Wedding Gown Designer: Martina Liana • Headpiece: Mariell Shoes: Badgley Mischka • Formal Attire: Calvin Klein • Bridesmaid Dresses: Bill Levkoff • Invitations: Paper Princess by Melissa • Favors: Exit Station Hair Stylist: Artemis Salon • Makeup Artist: Smash Brush • Jeweler: Moti Diamonds Honeymoon Location: Sandals La Toc, St. Lucia

Contemporary Weddings Magazine | cweddingsmag.com

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The Finest Local Wedding Venues in the NJ/NY Area

BERGEN COUNTY The Estate at Florentine Gardens 97 Rivervale Road • River Vale, NJ (201) 666-0444 • www.florentinegardens.com Warmth, comfort, and historic charm combine to set a magnificent and memorable backdrop. Our Georgian-style mansion features expansive gardens, spacious rooms, elegant décor, and world-class cuisine, all served up with an attentive staff who caters to every whim.

Seasons Catering & Special Events 644 Pascack Road • Washington Township, NJ (201) 664-6141 • www.seasonscatering.com Our talented team of award-winning chefs, sushi chef 's, professional ice carvers and outstanding pastry chefs will combine their culinary expertise to provide a wedding worthy of "Lifestyle of the Rich and Famous" at a reasonable price.

The Venetian 546 River Drive • Garfield, NJ (973) 546-2250 • www.venetiannj.com Upon entering the cultivated beauty and grandeur of the palatial lobby you are greeted with Italian marble, majestic columns and 35 ft. cathedral ceilings. Every detail of your exceptional day is addressed in our quest to maintain a legacy of extraordinary service.

Maximum Capacity Ceremony Site Outside Area Bridal Suite Lighting Available Approx. Price Per Person View Ad on Pages

350 Y Y Y Y varies 2-3

Maximum Capacity Ceremony Site Outside Area Bridal Suite Lighting Available Approx. Price Per Person View Ad on Pages

350 Y Y Y Y $100+ 4-5

Maximum Capacity Ceremony Site Outside Area Bridal Suite Lighting Available Approx. Price Per Person View Ad on Pages

1000 Y Y Y Y varies 4-5

Maximum Capacity Ceremony Site Outside Area Bridal Suite Lighting Available Approx. Price Per Person View Ad on Page

450 Y Y Y Y $99+ 27

ESSEX COUNTY Highlawn Pavillion Eagle Rock Reservation • West Orange, NJ (973) 731-3100 • www.highlawn.com Sweeping views of NYC, sophisticated elegance, and award-winning cuisine make the Highlawn Pavilion one of northern NJ's most magical and romantic wedding venues. Whether a lavish affair for hundreds or an intimate event, we offer everything for your celebration.

The Manor 111 Prospect Avenue • West Orange, NJ (973) 325-2060 • www.themanorrestaurant.com For more than 50 years, The Manor, flagship of the acclaimed Knowles' restaurant and event properties, is known throughout the region for our fine dining and our absolute commitment to making each wedding memorable and unique.

Nanina’s in the Park 540 Mill Street • Belleville, NJ (973) 751-1230 • www.naninasinthepark.com Providing a backdrop that will transport you to a timeless villa in Tuscany, you will be immersed in a combination of lush outdoor gardens, grand interior ballrooms, marble staircases, sophisticated amenities and meticulously detailed ceilings and chandeliers.

Maximum Capacity 200 Ceremony Site Y Outside Area Y Bridal Suite Y Lighting Available N Approx. Price Per Person varies View Ad on Page Outside Back Cover Maximum Capacity 400 Ceremony Site Y Outside Area Y Bridal Suite Y Lighting Available Y Approx. Price Per Person varies View Ad on Inside Front Cover

This reference guide provides you with information of the finest New Jersey and New York wedding venues. All information is subject to change without notice. Please contact the facilities for more details. Contemporary Weddings Magazine | cweddingsmag.com

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reception SITE GUIDE


reception sites • venues • banquet facilities • halls • reception sites • venues • banquet facilities • halls • reception sites

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receptionSITE GUIDE The Finest Local Wedding Venues in the NJ/NY Area

ESSEX COUNTY (cont’) Pleasantdale Château 757 Eagle Rock Avenue • West Orange, NJ (973) 731-5600 • www.pleasantdale.com With a stunning setting, an unparalleled kitchen, and an absolute commitment to our clients, it’s easy to see why so many couples in northern NJ make the Pleasantdale Chateau, one of the renowned Knowles Restaurants’ properties, their wedding venue of choice.

Maximum Capacity Ceremony Site Outside Area Bridal Suite Lighting Available Approx. Price Per Person View Ad on Page

350 Y Y Y N $169+ 31

Maximum Capacity Ceremony Site Outside Area Bridal Suite Lighting Available Approx. Price Per Person View Ad on Pages

220 Y Y Y Y $84+ 14-15

Maximum Capacity Ceremony Site Outside Area Bridal Suite Lighting Available Approx. Price Per Person View Ad on Page

240 Y N Y N $110 52

Maximum Capacity Ceremony Site Outside Area Bridal Suite Lighting Available Approx. Price Per Person View Ad on Pages

350 Y Y Y Y varies 16-17

MERCER COUNTY Windsor Ballroom at the Holiday Inn East Windsor 399 Monmouth Street • East Windsor, NJ (609) 443-8000 • www.windsorballroom.com We pride ourselves in being one of the most highly rated Mercer County wedding venues. Our entire staff knows how important this day is to you and your family and friends, so we do our absolute best to make sure everyone’s experience exceeds their expectations.

MIDDLESEX COUNTY The Cranbury Inn 21 South Main Street • Cranbury, NJ (609) 655-5595 • www.thecranburyinn.com It is our purpose to provide service to you and give you a true commitment to fulfill all of your needs for this important day. We ensure you are happy on your special day while creating the wedding reception you have always wanted.

The Estate at Farrington Lake 16 Patrick Street • East Brunswick, NJ 732-297-1500 • www.theestatenj.com A hidden jewel in the heart of Middlesex County, nestled on a 22-acre property overlooking Farrington Lake. Our years of experience, local expertise and celebrated cuisine ensures every detail of your private gathering is flawless.

Grand Marquis 1550 U.S. Route 9 South • Old Bridge, NJ (732) 679-5700 • www.grandmarquiscaterers.com Your fairy-tale wedding will be addressed in our quest to maintain a legacy of extraordinary service and impeccable cuisine. Our unparalleled attention to detail, impeccable ballrooms and award-winning culinary team will make your affair, the affair to remember.

Maximum Capacity 550 Ceremony Site Y Outside Area N Bridal Suite Y Lighting Available N Approx. Price Per Person $70+ View Ad on Inside Back Cover

This reference guide provides you with information of the finest New Jersey and New York wedding venues. All information is subject to change without notice. Please contact the facilities for more details.

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The Finest Local Wedding Venues in the NJ/NY Area

MIDDLESEX COUNTY (cont’) Park Château Estate & Gardens 678 Cranbury Road • East Brunswick, NJ (732) 238-4200 • www.parkchateau.com Upholding superior service, exceptional cuisine and a spectacular setting that our clients have experienced from our other top-rated catering locations. Our new venue presents the authentic style and setting of a vintage French chateau with classic gardens.

The Pines Manor 2085 Route 27 • Edison, NJ (732) 287-2222 • www.pinesmanor.com Experience the wedding of your dreams. The exquisite marble and granite lobby, with walls upholstered in rich imported fabrics, sets the stage for your event while our team of culinary experts rise to the challenge of pleasing the most discerning palates.

Maximum Capacity Ceremony Site Outside Area Bridal Suite Lighting Available Approx. Price Per Person View Ad on Page

400 Y Y Y Y varies 9

Maximum Capacity Ceremony Site Outside Area Bridal Suite Lighting Available Approx. Price Per Person View Ad on Page

1500 Y N Y Y $90+ 22-23

Maximum Capacity Ceremony Site Outside Area Bridal Suite Lighting Available Approx. Price Per Person View Ad on Pages

300 Y Y Y Y $89+ 14-15

Maximum Capacity Ceremony Site Outside Area Bridal Suite Lighting Available Approx. Price Per Person View Ad on Page

150 Y Y Y N $75+ 52

Maximum Capacity Ceremony Site Outside Area Bridal Suite Lighting Available Approx. Price Per Person View Ad on Page

200 Y Y Y N $115+ 44

Maximum Capacity Ceremony Site Outside Area Bridal Suite Lighting Available Approx. Price Per Person View Ad on Pages

550 Y Y Y Y varies 4-5

MONMOUTH COUNTY Crystal Ballroom at the Radisson Hotel Freehold 50 Gibson Place • Freehold, NJ (732) 780-3405 • www.crystalballroomnj.com Glamorous venue for your wedding reception. With gorgeous crystal chandeliers, indoor and outdoor ceremony areas, gourmet catering, and an expert team of event coordinators, it’s easy to see why the Crystal Ballroom is a Monmouth County favorite.

Nauvoo Grill Club 121 Fair Haven Road • Fair Haven, NJ (732) 747-8777 • www.nauvoogrillclub.com Lodge-inspired haven providing a mix of luxury and laid-back mission-style ambiance. Rich woods and soaring windows, warmed by accents of fireplaces, glowing lamps, and earth-toned accessories, your guests will enjoy the experience along with delicious cuisine.

Raven and The Peach 740 River Road • Fair Haven, NJ (732) 747-4666 • www.ravenandthepeach.net The Casablanca Ballroom, located on the second floor of Raven & the Peach, is decorated in the richest woods and finest fabrics dressed with luxurious table appointments held underneath a skylit ceiling and surrounding windows affording a desirable view of Fair Haven.

Shadowbrook at Shrewsbury 1 Obre Place • Shrewsbury, NJ (732) 747-0200 • www.shadowbrook.com A New Jersey landmark since 1907, this Georgian mansion is a destination for those looking for the privacy and tranquility of 18 secluded acres. Shadowbrook at Shrewsbury perfectly balances Old-World charm with luxury amenities for the most discerning guests.

This reference guide provides you with information of the finest New Jersey and New York wedding venues. All information is subject to change without notice. Please contact the facilities for more details. Contemporary Weddings Magazine | cweddingsmag.com

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reception sites • venues • banquet facilities • halls • reception sites • venues • banquet facilities • halls • reception sites

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reception SITE GUIDE The Finest Local Wedding Venues in the NJ/NY Area

MONMOUTH COUNTY (cont’) Sheraton Eatontown Hotel 6 Industrial Way East • Eatontown, NJ (732) 542-6500 • www.sheratoneatontown.com/weddings The newly renovated Grand and Regal Ballrooms can host up to 350 guests with a large dance floor, spectacular infinity chandeliers, starlit atriums, rich natural textures and shimmering metallics. Room blocks are also available across our 208 renovated guest rooms and suites.

Spring Lake Manor 415 Route 71 • Spring Lake, NJ (732) 449-6630 • www.springlakemanor.com A beautiful Victorian mansion located in the tranquil Jersey Shore community of Spring Lake hosting picture perfect weddings with an elegant ballroom, cocktail room, bridal suite and outdoor courtyard. With one wedding at a time, you will have exclusive access to all we have to offer.

Sterling Ballroom at the DoubleTree by Hilton Tinton Falls - Eatontown 700 Hope Rd • Tinton Falls, NJ (732) 544-9305 • www.sterlingballroomevents.com From the chic, simplistic elegance of the DoubleTree and Sterling Ballroom lobby, to the understated glamour of the ballroom, you’ll find the same high-level of taste in every detail of your wedding day.

Maximum Capacity Ceremony Site Outside Area Bridal Suite Lighting Available Approx. Price Per Person View Ad on Page

350 Y Y Y Y $114+ 29

Maximum Capacity Ceremony Site Outside Area Bridal Suite Lighting Available Approx. Price Per Person View Ad on Page

250 Y Y Y Y $95+ 53

Maximum Capacity Ceremony Site Outside Area Bridal Suite Lighting Available Approx. Price Per Person View Ad on Pages

225 Y Y Y Y $89+ 14-15

Maximum Capacity Ceremony Site Outside Area Bridal Suite Lighting Available Approx. Price Per Person View Ad on Page

500 Y Y Y Y varies 160

Maximum Capacity Ceremony Site Outside Area Bridal Suite Lighting Available Approx. Price Per Person View Ad on Page

400 Y Y Y Y varies 1

Maximum Capacity Ceremony Site Outside Area Bridal Suite Lighting Available Approx. Price Per Person View Ad on Pages

225 Y N Y Y $69+ 14-15

MORRIS COUNTY The Meadow Wood 461 US 10 • Randolph, NJ 973-537-5454 • www.themeadowwood.com This beautiful colonial manor will be your mansion. Graceful palladium windows, French doors, and private garden courtyards extend a classic style to your dream wedding; evoking airs of romantic elegance that will charm your every guest.

The Park Savoy 236 Ridgedale Avenue • Florham Park, NJ (973) 377-7100 • www.theparksavoy.com Step back to an age of glamour and elegance. The gracious and elegant Park Savoy Estate presents more than 50 years of catering tradition, reenvisioned with a spectacular multi-million dollar renovation. Lavishly manicured grounds for outdoor ceremonies and cocktail hours.

OCEAN COUNTY Atlantis Ballroom at the Days Hotel Toms River 290 Route 37 East • Toms River, NJ (732) 731-8000 • www.atlantisballroom.com Just minutes from the beach, Atlantis Ballroom is an Ocean County favorite for weddings. With indoor area, gourmet catering, Hollywood Lighting, and an expert team of event coordinators, we have everything you need under one roof.

This reference guide provides you with information of the finest New Jersey and New York wedding venues. All information is subject to change without notice. Please contact the facilities for more details.

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The Finest Local Wedding Venues in the NJ/NY Area

OCEAN COUNTY (cont’) Crystal Point Yacht Club 3900 River Road • Point Pleasant, NJ (732) 295-7000 • www.thecrystalpoint.com Newly renovated featuring our stunning Waterfall Bar! Crystal Point Yacht Club offers water views from every room, outdoor ceremony site overlooking the Manasquan River, on-site accommodations, outdoor fire pit, sound system & intelligent lighting, and the list goes on!

Versailles Ballroom at the Ramada Toms River 2373 Route 9 • Toms River, NJ (732) 719-1206 • www.versaillesballroom.com With our dramatic high ceilings, large dance floor, expansive bar, Veranda for cocktail hour, and outdoor area for photos, there’s ample space for everyone to strut their stuff beneath the cascading crystal chandeliers.

Maximum Capacity Ceremony Site Outside Area Bridal Suite Lighting Available Approx. Price Per Person View Ad on Pages

300 Y Y Y Y varies 42-43

Maximum Capacity Ceremony Site Outside Area Bridal Suite Lighting Available Approx. Price Per Person View Ad on Pages

300 Y Y Y Y $84+ 14-15

Maximum Capacity Ceremony Site Outside Area Bridal Suite Lighting Available Approx. Price Per Person View Ad on Page

350 Y Y Y Y varies 25

Maximum Capacity Ceremony Site Outside Area Bridal Suite Lighting Available Approx. Price Per Person View Ad on Page

1200 Y Y Y Y $100+ 7

Maximum Capacity Ceremony Site Outside Area Bridal Suite Lighting Available Approx. Price Per Person View Ad on Page

350 Y Y Y Y $67 54

PASSAIC COUNTY The Cosmopolitan 1377 NJ-23 • Wayne NJ (973) 633-5111 • www.thecosmopolitannj.com A versatile event space redefining style with spacious rooms amidst a chic, contemporary decor. We have the perfect banquet facility, with lush, manicured gardens and grounds, to provide a stunning setting for ceremonies and photography.

Westmount Country Club 728 Rifle Camp Road • Woodland Park, NJ (973) 256-2700 • www.westmountcc.com Our pictorial ambiance, awe inspiring table settings, artistically prepared exquisite cuisine, the finest sophisticated suburb service and our captivating blend of splendor and grace will make the start of your new life together nothing less than extraordinary.

UNION COUNTY The Gran Centurions 440 Madison Hill Road • Clark, NJ (732) 382-1664 • www.thegrancenturions.com As one of the best Union County NJ banquet halls, Gran Centurions will be the perfect venue for your special occasion. Explore our beautiful grounds, including our charming gazebo and our patio area. Our three spacious banquet halls can host between 50 to 350 guests.

This reference guide provides you with information of the finest New Jersey and New York wedding venues. All information is subject to change without notice. Please contact the facilities for more details. Contemporary Weddings Magazine | cweddingsmag.com

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NEW YORK Grand Oaks Country Club 200 Huguenot Boulevard • Staten Island, NY (718) 356-2771 • www.grandoaksnyc.com The Grand Oaks Country Club goes above and beyond when setting the standard for superiority. Located in the heart of Staten Island, Grand Oaks overlooks a beautifully landscaped golf course, and specializes in kosher weddings.

Grand Plaza 23 Nelson Avenue • Staten Island, NY (718) 967-4034 • www.grand-plaza.com One of Staten Island's premier wedding venues, Grand Plaza offers exquisite ambiance, gourmet food, and impeccable service with a dedication to quality that is second to none.

The Vanderbilt at South Beach 300 Father Capodanno Boulevard • Staten Island, NY (718) 447-0800 • www.vanderbiltsouthbeach.com Staten Island's exclusive beachfront facility with sweeping ocean views, attention to detail, and the option to take pristine elegance and professional white glove service outdoors.

Maximum Capacity Ceremony Site Outside Area Bridal Suite Lighting Available Approx. Price Per Person View Ad on Page

500 Y Y Y Y varies 45

Maximum Capacity Ceremony Site Outside Area Bridal Suite Lighting Available Approx. Price Per Person View Ad on Page

250 Y N Y Y varies 33

Maximum Capacity Ceremony Site Outside Area Bridal Suite Lighting Available Approx. Price Per Person View Ad on Page

450 Y Y Y Y varies 35

This reference guide provides you with information of the finest New Jersey and New York wedding venues. All information is subject to change without notice. Please contact the facilities for more details.

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REAL WEDDING - Ashley & Joseph

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Ashley and Joseph met freshman year while attending St. Francis College in September 2009. On the first day of freshman seminar class, they had to pick a partner, get to know one another, and then introduce them to the class. Although Ashley and Joseph were partners, it wasn’t until the following spring semester that Joseph reached out to her on Facebook asking to hang out after school one day. “We met up at a park across the street, talked for a few hours, and from that day, we hung out often,” Ashley shared. The two started dating shortly after. On April 21, 2018, Ashley thought they were attending Joseph’s aunt’s surprise party at Ciccone’s. Upon arriving, Joseph mentioned they were early and asked if Ashley would like to take a walk by the Brooklyn Bridge to take a picture. It was there Joseph got down on one knee and proposed to Ashley, completely surprising her, with a photographer capturing the moment on camera. They celebrated among family and friends who were waiting back at Joseph’s house.

Ashley & Joseph July 21, 2019

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Culinary Delights: Coming from Italian families, the couple knew that food would be a major factor when deciding on a location to host their reception. Seasons Catering hit all the marks for a spectacular cocktail hour and a four-course dinner reception, including entrée choices of chateaubriand, pan-seared salmon and shrimp, French-cut chicken, and oven-roasted vegetable medley. Additionally, the couple loved the grounds.

A Vision in Lace: Ashley went to four different bridal salons and tried on eight gowns before she found the perfect gown that had everything she envisioned. She walked down the aisle of St. Ephrems Church wearing a mermaid-style gown. The Eve of Milady number featured a sweetheart neckline, low back, mermaid-style skirt with lace and shimmering underlay tulle, and a long, appliqué embellished train. Ashley accessorized her classic look with a headpiece from Bridal Styles Boutique—white gold teardrop earrings and a matching bracelet— and carried a cascading bouquet of white orchids.

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REAL WEDDING - Ashley & Joseph

Bridal Beauty: Ashley’s makeup was applied in subtle hues of champagne and bronze. A blush lip completed her overall look. Her hair was styled in a romantic, tousled updo. “I actually had it pulled back with a poof for my trial, but it wound up falling, so I decided to part it the day of the wedding,” the bride shared. Dressed to Impress: Joseph’s best men and groomsmen wore navy blue suits accented with suspenders, bow ties, and white rose boutonnieres to complement Ashley’s bridesmaids, who wore lavender fitted dresses with ruffle detail. The bridesmaids carried bouquets featuring white and lavender roses with greenery accents. On Cloud Nine: The newlyweds danced on the clouds to “Love Someone” by Lukas Graham as sparklers lit up behind them for a magical moment. Following the couple’s first dance, guests danced the night away to a variety of music with the help of the bride’s cousin, Michael DeMaio of Sound Explosion Event Group. Wise Advice: “There are so many decisions to be made and a lot of money to make it happen. Choose wisely and according to your budget (definitely make sure you have one). Just breathe, try not to stress, and have fun because your wedding will be the most magical, memorable day of your life!”

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THE PROFESSIONALS Ceremony Location: St. Ephrem’s Church • Celebrant: Monsignor Cassato • Reception Location: Seasons Catering • Photographer: Anthony McMahon Cinematographer: Majestic Creative • Entertainment: Sound Explosion Event Group • Floral Designer: June Florist • Cake Designer: Palermo’s Bakery Limousine Service: Nowstar Limo • Wedding Gown Designer: Eve of Milady • Headpiece: Bridal Styles Boutique • Shoes: Badgley Mischka Formal Attire: Dante Zeller • Bridesmaid Dresses: Vera Wang • Invitations: Elegant Wedding Invites • Favors: Wedding Favors Unlimited Hair Stylist: Dreamdry • Makeup Artist: SLM Beauty • Jeweler: Woodbridge Jewelry Exchange • Honeymoon Locations: Dubai, Phuket, Maldives

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REAL WEDDING - Amanda & Markin

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Amanda and Markin met on Cinco de Mayo in 2013. The two were at D’Jais down the Jersey shore when they locked eyes from across the bar. “I saw him step out with a friend to the patio area. I pleaded with my best friend (and future maid of honor) for us to go talk to Markin and his friend,” Amanda shared. They briefly chatted, exchanged numbers, and not long after, had their first date in Brooklyn at a Knicks game. The early stages of dating were filled with concerts, trips down the shore, and getting to know each other’s circles, but Amanda knew Markin was the one just a couple of months into dating. For their anniversary, the couple (who were together for six years at this point) traveled to the Dominican Republic. This particular trip might have been special for Markin (who hadn’t visited the country where he was born for 20 years), but he pulled all the stops to surprise Amanda. He worked alongside their resort butler, Alejandro, to set up a romantic dinner on the beach the Friday night of their vacation. It was after the first course that Markin got down on one knee and proposed with a 2.2-carat elongated radiant ring. They celebrated with an impromptu sunset engagement shoot in paradise.

Amanda & Markin August 29, 2019

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Gorgeous Grounds: A beautiful outdoor ceremony space was one of the must-haves on Amanda and Markin’s venue checklist. The couple decided to marry on the grounds of The Estate at Florentine Gardens underneath a floral arch made by the bride’s father. Prior to the garden ceremony, the couple had their first look, and Photo DH captured formal portraits, which eased any pre-wedding jitters. “We really wanted to enjoy the day together and we felt by doing the first look, we would have more time to do so.”

Two Gowns in One: Amanda knew she would wear a gown designed by Berta Bridal. She visited the Saks Fifth Avenue store while they were having a trunk show and tried on four gowns, but wasn’t getting that bridal moment. The consultant showed Amanda one last dress, and she immediately fell in love with the fitted silhouette, pearl straps, deep plunge neckline, and pearl and floral appliqué embellishments. Amanda’s favorite part, though, was the overlay skirt that she would be able to remove for the reception. On the wedding day, Amanda accessorized with a pearl and crystal headpiece, linear pearl earrings, a diamond tennis bracelet (a wedding gift from her husband), and glitter Jimmy Choo shoes.

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REAL WEDDING - Amanda & Markin

The First Impression: Guests were invited to the late August celebration with custom invitations designed by Lace and Belle. The suite featured the couple’s monogram and names in gold foil, ecru linen, and a chic navy back pocket to hold the accommodation, details, and response cards. They even had a custom wax seal of a French bulldog to represent their dog, Tank. “I loved our invitations. They were so timeless!” Amanda raved.

A Surprise Appearance: Even the couple’s pup made an appearance during the ceremony! “Tank was a surprise set up by my husband the day of the wedding. I had no idea how he was going to be incorporated into our special day. Right before the ring exchanges, the best man (who is a bit of a jokester) said he didn’t have the rings. I just thought it was a joke. But then when I started to see the concern on the rest of the bridal party’s faces, I knew he truly did NOT have the rings. Finally my dad said that my mom had them, and my mom ran to the back of the ceremony, and when she came back, she had our beloved Tank wearing the most adorable tuxedo, and the rings were tied to his back,” the bride recalled. Something Old: “I wanted a very clean, non-color look,” Amanda said regarding her florals. Her bouquet consisted of classic roses wrapped with a piece of her mother’s veil, which represented her something old. Dinner and Dancing: Following the outdoor ceremony, guests enjoyed cocktail hour, and then headed inside the Florentine Garden’s grand ballroom for dinner and dancing. The couple carried the romantic aesthetic through the décor with white floral centerpieces, floating candles, candelabras, and tables draped in ivory-hued linens.

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THE PROFESSIONALS Ceremony & Reception Location: The Estate at Florentine Gardens • Officiant: Father John Michael O’Sullivan Photographer: Photo DH • Cinematographer & Entertainment: Sal Travis Entertainment • Floral Designer: Santos Florist Cake Designer: Palermo’s Bakery • Wedding Gown Designer: Berta Bridal • Veil: Vera Wang • Headpiece: Bridal Styles Boutique • Shoes: Jimmy Choo Formal Attire: Ralph Lauren • Bridesmaid Dresses: Alfred Sung • Invitations: Lace and Belle • Favors: Donations • Hair Stylist: Bridals by Marina Makeup Artist: Makeup by Jay Saunz • Jeweler: Raineri Jewelers • Honeymoon Location: Aruba

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Style with the Works

Inspired by "La Femme Bride", this wedding editorial captured the modern natural bride, paying homage the iconic Bell Works. Featuring mid-century modern charm, Paola Zamudio (Lead Designer + Creative Director of Bell Works) dreamed up artfully curated details that encompass what she called, "metroburb", a metropolis in suburbia. Think bold lines, contemporary shapes, natural wildflowers, fresh eucalyptus and sleek materials for a retro modern wedding style that's both edgy and elegant.

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WEDDING PLANNING - Styled Shoot

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WEDDING PLANNING - Styled Shoot

behind the scenes Venue: Bell Works • Creative Direction and Styling: Paola Zamudio at NPZ Style + Décor Creative Planner: Brooke Petrany at NPZ Style + Décor • Photographer: Kate Testa at Offbeet Productions Hair: Christine Zilinski at Salon Concrete • Makeup Artist: Jan Murphy • Models: Lauren Farrell and Justin Ramalho Flowers and Event Decor: Flowerful Events • Wedding Gowns: Elizabeth Johns

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REAL WEDDING - Amy & Erik

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Amy and Erik attended the same high school, but didn’t officially meet until years later through the help of a mutual friend. The two were immediately attracted to each other’s humor and charm. On Friday, December 15, 2017, they were supposed to have dinner with Erik’s parents, but Amy was working a little bit later than usual and hit every obstacle possible getting home, including a December snowstorm. Erik remained calm and patient awaiting her arrival, and Amy was so happy to finally get home—so much so, that she failed to notice the dim lights, rose petals in the hallway, champagne, and fully burnt-down candles that had been lit for hours. “It took me a while to realize Erik was standing in front of me with a ring. After the proposal, we went to a nearby Italian restaurant where both of our families were waiting to celebrate, and then we went to a local boutique hotel that Erik had booked them a room for the night.”

Amy & Erik April 7, 2019

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Something Old:

Amy’s aunt gave her an embroidered piece of her grandmother’s wedding dress before the wedding, which represented her something old. “My grandmother passed a few months earlier, so this was extremely sentimental and allowed me to take a minute to reflect on the wonderful memories I have,” the bride shared.

Bouquet Breakdown:

Cascading white and blush phalaenopsis orchids and painted eucalyptus leaves made up the bride’s bouquet.

Rave Review: “I cannot say enough about The Park Savoy Estate. The venue speaks for itself. The first thing that stood out was its grandeur and elegance; the second was the staff. You can just tell everyone who works there is passionate about what they do and knows exactly what you’ll need to make your wedding day the best ever,” the bride raved.

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REAL WEDDING - Amy & Erik

A Change In Plans:

Amy and Erik initially had planned on exchanging vows inside, but with an unseasonably warm day, they decided last minute to have their ceremony outside. Amy walked down the aisle wearing a sweetheart strapless, beaded lace Kitty Chen gown accessorized with a gold shoulder necklace, while the groom sported a black-accented burgundy tuxedo.

On The Tables:

Inside the ballroom, orchids displayed in tall, cylinder vases, along with ranunculus bud vases and candlelight, topped each table. Each place setting was complete with a classic white charger and folded napkin with menu card placed inside.

A Fun First Dance: The newlyweds just wanted to have fun for their first dance, so they selected a song that represented their feelings for each other, but was still upbeat enough to dance to. They chose to dance to “Just the Two of Us� by Grover Washington Jr. with Bill Withers and had guests join in halfway through the song.

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THE PROFESSIONALS Ceremony and Reception Location: The Park Savoy Estate • Photographer: Lauren Spinelli Photography Entertainment: Jimmy Dee Entertainment • Floral Designer: Strange Vine Studio • Cake Designer: Palermo’s Bakery Wedding Gown Designer: Kitty Chen • Shoes: Something Borrowed • Formal Attire: Stitch & Tie • Bridesmaid Dresses: Dessy and Azazie Invitations: Minted • Favors: Made by the Bride’s Aunt • Hair Stylist: Laura Moore Beauty • Makeup Artist: Kristie Dicecca Jeweler: Jewelry Designs • Honeymoon Location: Bahamas

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REAL WEDDING - Faryal & Sadiq

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It was a love for dessert and a little bit of fate that brought Faryal and Sadiq together. Sadiq was traveling to Spain and Morocco from his West Coast home when he stopped in New York to see friends before his international vacation. Faryal, who frequently likes to make day trips into the city, just so happened to be standing in line at the same bakery and took a leap of faith by giving him her phone number. Their first meeting was at Lady M Cake Boutique. They made their relationship thrive despite the long distance and even only saw each other four times over the course of their courtship. “But I knew he was the one. The first time Sadiq flew a red-eye to spend the weekend with me, I instantly felt at ease when I saw him in person,” Faryal reminisced. Faryal was under the impression that her best friend had planned an outing for her girlfriends, but little did she know Sadiq had been coordinating the surprise of a lifetime all along. When Faryal walked into The High Line, she was shocked to see Sadiq there waiting for her arrival. Sadiq walked her down the steps where Faryal’s nephews and nieces were holding “Will you marry me?” signs and then got down on one knee and proposed. “I was shocked, had no words, and couldn’t believe he made this happen,” Faryal shared.

Faryal & Sadiq April 14, 2019

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A Cultural Soiree: Faryal and Sadiq’s wedding weekend kicked off with a big mehndi, followed by the religious nikah (wedding ceremony) at the mosque and lunch on Saturday. The celebrating didn’t stop there! The events continued with their reception on Sunday, and they even had another mehndi night followed by a second reception two weeks later in Fullerton, California.

The Big Reveal: When Sadiq found out Faryal wasn’t sharing details about her bridal ensemble, he decided to keep his style on the down low, too. On the day of the wedding, the couple walked down the steps from both ends at the Sheraton Eatontown and met in the middle, each revealing their wedding day looks during an intimate first look. The bride wore a custom-designed, handmade gown with rosegold head scarf, a full mauve-hued skirt with train, bronze-detailed top, and veil with ornate beadwork. The groom coordinated with a sherwani with gold and purple detailing and formal Pakistani khussa shoes, also in purple.

A Marriage Blessing: “In our faith it is considered a blessing to be married in a mosque. It was very special for us [to wed] in the presence of just family and close friends where I used to go to Sunday school when I was younger,” Faryal shared.

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REAL WEDDING - Faryal & Sadiq

A Grand Affair: When Faryal began searching for banquet facilities online, the Sheraton of Eatontown immediately stood out to her. When she visited the location, the dÊcor stole Faryal’s heart, and the modern style with pops of color was the look she envisioned for her wedding day. Topping The Tables: Set on neutral linens with gold sequin runners were alternating centerpieces of cherry blossoms and varioussized pillar candles set in clear glass vases. At each place setting was a gold charger plate with ivory napkin wrapped with a gold rhinestone napkin ring, and a wedding timeline card.

Love Is Sweet: RujBakes designed the fivetier wedding cake adorned with gold detailing and topped with an abstract gold cake topper. The flavors included yellow cake with vanilla custard and red velvet with cream cheese frosting.

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THE PROFESSIONALS Ceremony and Reception Location: Sheraton Eatontown • Officiant: Abdur Rauf • Caterer: Kababjees Photographer and Cinematographer: 1314 Studio • Entertainment: Bollywood DJ’s • Dhol/Drum Player: Nihal Singh Floral Designer: Partyland-Sajawat • Cake Designer: RujBakes • Wedding Gown Designer: Umsha by Uzma Babar • Shoes: Jimmy Choo Formal Attire: Calvin Klein • Bridesmaid Dresses: Bill Levkoff • Invitations: Paper Princess by Melissa • Favors: Exit Station Hair Stylist and Makeup Artist: Looks by Kinza • Jeweler: Palomi Mehta

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REAL WEDDING - Michele & Anthony

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Michele and Anthony met during a mutual friend’s birthday gathering at Café Wha in Manhattan of April of 2015. The two were casually introduced, and after Café Wha, the group headed to Dream Hotel for a couple of drinks. Michele and Anthony ended up sharing a cab together with a few other friends, and she later learned that Anthony told his friend that he was going to marry her. The next morning, Michele’s friend mentioned that Anthony had asked for her number, and the rest was history. They talked via text and decided to meet after work one evening for happy hour. The next week they went on their official first date at Tavern on the Green in Central Park, and in June of 2017, they moved in together. On September 29, 2018 Michele thought they were going to brunch at the Boathouse in Central Park. While they were walking there, Anthony wanted to take a photo at their spot. He asked someone to snap a picture of them, and three more people appeared next to Michele who then broke out in a cappella version of their favorite song, “Baby, I Love Your Way” by Big Mountain. It was there Anthony proposed with a classic round pavé-style engagement ring.

Michele & Anthony June 29, 2019

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Pretty Palette: Shades of dusty rose, beige, cream, white, and green were used throughout the wedding to create a soft, romantic, and whimsical style. The Right Decision: It might have taken five salon visits and over 30 gowns, but the moment Michele put on her Pnina Tornai dress, she immediately fell in love. “The only downside was the store only had a sample size in nude, and I knew I wanted a white dress. I had to take a risk and order it in white without trying it on in that color. When it arrived, I was ecstatic and knew I made the right decision,” Michele shared. The French lace wedding gown featured a low back with intricate details, and a long train. She accessorized her look with a cathedral-length lace veil, diamond stud earrings, white Chanel heels, and her mother’s flower diamond ring, which served as her something borrowed.

A Personal Touch: Anthony wore a custom tuxedo and personalized it with their wedding date embroidered on the inside of the jacket, as well as “Baby I <3 Your Way”—their wedding song—on his tux collar. He chose black patent leather Christian Louboutin shoes and changed into a white jacket halfway through the night for a second dapper look. His nine groomsmen and one ring bearer all wore black tuxedos with a bow tie.

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REAL WEDDING - Michele & Anthony

Favorite Memory: Michele walked down the aisle escorted by her father at Immaculate Conception Church. “I felt so incredibly grateful and beautiful walking towards the man I love,” the bride reminisced. Following their religious ceremony, the newlyweds exited the church as bubbles filled the air and then shared a champagne toast. A Storybook Setting: The reception was held at the Pleasantdale Château, which was chosen for the secluded location, breathtaking grounds, history, and grandiose ballroom. Michele and Anthony also particularly loved the greenhouse room and on-site accommodations. The reception space was filled with alternating high and low centerpieces made up of dendrobium orchids and Amaranthus, which perfectly complemented the cream table linens and chairs with pale pink cushions. Michele and Anthony dined under a lush floral arch that created a romantic sweetheart table for two.

Charitable Donations: In lieu of traditional favors, the couple chose to donate to The American Brain Foundation, a cause that is close to their hearts.

THE PROFESSIONALS Ceremony Location: Immaculate Conception Church • Celebrant: Father Benny Prado • Reception Location: Pleasantdale Château Photographer & Cinematographer: 5th Avenue Digital • Entertainment: The Clara Jordan Band • Floral Designer: Debbie’s Designs Cake Designer: Pleasantdale Château • Limousine Service: Moonlight Limousine • Wedding Gown Designer: Pnina Tornai • Veil: Toni Federici Shoes: Chanel • Formal Attire: My Suits • Bridesmaid Dresses: Jenny Yoo and BHLDN • Invitations: Paper Susan Programs and Menu Cards: Minted • Favors: Donations made to The American Brain Foundation • Hair Stylist: Gianna Correo Makeup Artist: Faces by Grace • Jeweler: David S. Diamonds • Honeymoon Locations: Mo’orea, Bora Bora, and Los Angeles

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REAL WEDDING - Haris & Dave

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It was a match made in heaven for Haris and Dave, who initially met through the popular dating app Match.com. The two were excited about all the possibilities of where their relationship could take them, and Haris knew just six months into dating that Dave was the one. Almost two years later from the day of their first date, Dave got down on one knee at Novita Bistro & Lounge in Metuchen and proposed. “There was a band playing that night, and they made an announcement and asked everybody to raise their glass to the good news,” Haris shared.

Culinary Delights: When it came time to book a location to host the reception, the couple looked no further than the facility where Haris works as a maître d’. “The staff was amazing and the food we had discussed with the chef in person,” Haris shared.

Haris & Dave September 1, 2019

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Bridal Style: Haris walked down the aisle of St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church wearing a fitted gown featuring a sweetheart neckline with intricately detailed sheer bodice, sheer beaded sleeves, and bow embellishment at the waist. She completed her look with a classic chignon updo and carried a classic bouquet of calla lilies.

Topping the Tables: Inside the ballroom at Pines Manor were white linens draping the tables with tall centerpieces of calla lilies and hydrangea. Red rose petals were also scattered on each table for a romantic look. An Unforgettable Celebration: Haris raved that the whole day was amazing, with picture-perfect weather. Daveâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s speech was one of her favorite memories of the day, but the most exciting part of wedding planning was knowing that her family would be traveling from Greece to celebrate with them.

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REAL WEDDING - Haris & Dave

First Dance: Haris and Dave shared a first dance to “Amazed” by Lonestar. “We were glowing from all the love and joy,” the bride mentioned. Honeymoon Heaven: Following the wedding, the newlyweds escaped to Aruba for a romantic honeymoon on one happy island.

THE PROFESSIONALS Ceremony Location: St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church • Celebrant: Father George Parsenious • Reception Location: Pines Manor Photographer & Cinematographer: PAP Studio • Entertainment: Luxe Event DJ & Production • Floral Designer: Anderson’s Flowers Cake Designer: Palermo’s Bakery • Wedding Gown Designer: Demetrios • Shoes: Badgley Mischka • Formal Attire: The Clothing Center Hair Stylist and Makeup Artist: Beauty by Pri • Jeweler: Woodbridge Jewelry Exchange • Honeymoon Location: Aruba

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REAL WEDDING - Barbara and Robert

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Barbara and Robert met in October of 2011 through a dating website. The two had dinner at a Moroccan restaurant in Lambertville, followed by a stroll over to New Hope, Pennsylvania, for drinks. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I knew Bobby was the one immediately. It is something you know inside your spirit, especially when you reach a later season in your life,â&#x20AC;? Barbara mentioned. Six years later, Robert proposed during their trip to Key West, Florida. On November 6, 2017, they had a two-hour couples massage in a rooftop balcony suite at La Concha Hotel and Spa. After the massage, they were left alone in the room for another hour to enjoy the sunset overlooking the ocean. With the cruise ships in the distance just as the sun was hitting the water, Robert asked Barbara to marry him.

Simple Ceremony Setup: Escorted by her grandfather, Barbara walked down the aisle at the Bernards Inn wearing an organza ball gown with sweetheart neckline, fitted waist with cap sleeves, and a pearl-embellished belt. With officiant Frank Brattole, Barbara and Robert exchanged vows and rings, and participated in a unity tree ceremony under a birch arbor decorated in fall florals with lanterns and pumpkin accents at the base of the arbor.

Barbara & Robert October 5, 2019

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Bouquet Breakdown: The bride carried an organic bouquet filled with beautiful fall blooms. Jardiniere Fine Flowers used Barbara’s favorite, sunflowers, as well as burgundy gerbera daisies, cockscomb, red berries, mums, echinacea pods, amaranths, ruscus eucalyptus, and olive throughout. A Family Affair:

The couple’s children were a part of the wedding, with Robert's daughter, Chloe, serving as Barbara's maid of honor and Barbara's son, Josh, as Robert's best man. They even shared special dances with them during the reception to “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” by Randy Newman and “Rainbow Connection” by Kermit the Frog.

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REAL WEDDING - Barbara and Robert

Waltzing Into Love: With the help of Jennifer Lynn, Barbara and Robert took dance lessons and learned a Viennese waltz. On the day of the wedding, the spotlight was on the newlyweds as they shared a first dance to Waltz #2 by Shostakovich, which was Robert’s favorite memory of the day. Travel Diaries: Following the wedding, Barbara and Robert escaped to the Southwest for a honeymoon in Paradise Valley, Arizona, Santa Ana Pueblo, New Mexico, and Santa Fe, New Mexico. During their road trip they spent a lot of time outdoors, including daily bike rides during their stay at the Hermosa Inn and taking in the incredible views through the Petrified Forest National Park.

THE PROFESSIONALS Ceremony & Reception Location: The Bernards Inn • Officiant: Frank Brattole Photographer, Cinematographer, and Entertainment: Eclipse Events • Floral Designer: Jardiniere Fine Flowers Cake Designer: Bridgewater Bakery • Wedding Gown Designer: Leonia Lee • Shoes: David’s Bridal Formal Attire: Brooks Brothers and Men’s Wearhouse • Bridesmaid Dresses: Camille’s • Invitations: All That Glitters Invitations Favors: Candles and Ornaments • Hair Stylist: The Bernards Salon • Makeup Artist: Jessica Ziolkowski Jeweler: Brian Gavin Diamonds and The Jewelry Store • Dance Lessons: Jennifer Lynn Ballroom and Wedding Dance Teacher Honeymoon Locations: Arizona and New Mexico

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WEDDING PLANNING - Groom’s Guide

groom’s GUIDE Who said it was all about the bride?

Weddings are supposed to be all about the couple, but the planning process tends to lean toward the bride’s sense of style. Some ladies prefer it and there’s certainly nothing wrong with that, unless you’re a groom who would rather participate in the planning process. Your wedding is the biggest party you’ll ever plan together, so there’s no reason why you should sit back and wait for your fiancé to make the wedding magic happen. More grooms are taking on wedding planning than ever before, and the key is simply to take on tasks you’re good at!

Anthony McMahon Photography

WHAT’S INSIDE... THE GUEST LIST

GET GROOMED

PHOTOGRAPHY

FOOD & ALCOHOL

YOUR ATTIRE

GIFTS FOR THE GUYS

THE VENUE

BACHELOR PARTY

FOR YOUR BRIDE

YOUR WEDDING VOWS

YOUR GROOMSMEN

WEDDING REGISTRY

TRANSPORTATION

MUSIC & ENTERTAINMENT

THE HONEYMOON

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WEDDING PLANNING - Groom’s Guide

the guest list The guest list is a daunting task, but we can’t stress enough the importance of giving your opinions. After all, whom you invite to celebrate the most anticipated event you’ll ever plan is and should be a joint decision. “This is a great task for you because it does not involve any stylized choices, but rather, is a straightforward task of compiling and organization,” suggests Danielle Aspromatis, Owner of d’Luxe Events. “It is helpful to collect all addresses in Word or Excel to make sure the transition over to your stationer or calligrapher is seamless.” If your guest list seems to be getting out of hand, then set some guidelines and stick to them. By working together, you’ll eventually come up with a finalized guest list and head count that works well for your set budget.

you are cordially Invited...

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It’s your wedding too, and being involved is a great excuse to spend time together as you plan the happiest day of your lives.

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cheers!

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Attending tastings is a part of wedding planning that you will love to be a part of. After all, don’t most guys love to eat? Not only will you have a chance to try various options that you’ll possibly eat on your wedding night, but also it’s during the food tasting that you can take note of presentation, quality of ingredients, and attentiveness of the staff. “Most grooms usually leave the details and décor up to their fiancé, but when it comes to their taste buds, they usually want and should be involved,” Aspromatis added. At the end of the day, it’s important that you both are in agreement when it comes to your wedding menu, cake flavors, and the alcohol. “I have never encountered a groom who does not have any input for food or alcohol. Even if he is not a big drinker himself, most know that their friends and family are going to be at the bar and a fabulous presentation is a must.”


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WEDDING PLANNING - Groom’s Guide

the venue While you may not be as interested in the décor used throughout, you still need to feel comfortable and 110% happy with the choice. The ability to host a ceremony on-site, the ballroom size, picturesque grounds, and a friendly staff are a few of the many factors you both should consider as you visit and research wedding venues. Lucky for you, we made it easy to find a venue through our Reception Site Guide. Flip to page 52 to get started.

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Make a list of the tasks to do before the big day to help you stay organized and focused.

your wedding vows

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If you’re planning on writing your own vows, this is one task on the to-do list that absolutely cannot be delegated for someone else to handle. Your wedding vows should be written from the heart and are an emotional part of the ceremony. There are many books and websites to find examples and ideas for your vows. Choose your words wisely. They’ll always be cherished.

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transportation Once the date is set, and the venue is chosen, it is time to start thinking about your transportation needs. Book your car service early, especially if your wedding date falls around a holiday or during prom season. There are many different types of sleek vehicles to choose from, but your vehicle choice depends on a few different factors. Do you have a large wedding party? You might want to consider a party bus or a trolley. Is it just the two of you? Try looking at some classic or luxury cars made for two. How you and your wedding party get to the wedding can really reflect your personality and can make for some pretty fun photos as well!

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WEDDING PLANNING - Groom’s Guide

looking good get groomed Your wedding day is one of the most important days and looking your absolute best is essential. Avoid trends and stick to your look. If you are normally clean-shaven, opt for a barber's shave the morning of the wedding. If you have a beard, get it trimmed neatly when you go in for your haircut. Your bride will appreciate the effort for a very dapper look. Kaleidoscope Imagery

Once you decide on your tuxedo or suit, choose accessories to coordinate with your wedding style and/or theme through a tie, bow tie, cufflinks, pocket square, and color coordinating socks!

your attire While the bride and her bridesmaids seek high and low for the perfect gowns, you and your groomsmen have a search of your own: to rent or purchase your formal wear. Let’s be honest. Sure, you like dress to impress, but on your wedding day, it’s so much more than simply putting on a tuxedo or suit and showing up. Starting early will allow for plenty of time to do your homework and schedule in-person consultations (if needed). No two formal wear shops are alike, so be sure to do your research before walking into just any store and signing a contract. Start your search by reading reviews online AND physically visiting a few different formalwear shops before making any decisions. Some questions you might want to keep in mind are: Is the consultant showing you various styles that fits within the season you’re getting married? Is he/she providing the best service possible? Is he/she listening to your wants and needs? If the consultant isn’t keeping your best interest in mind, then it’s time to keep looking for a reliable store you can trust. A personalized experience is key!

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Lauren Spinelli Photography

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WEDDING PLANNING - Groomâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Guide

the bachelor party Gone are the days of drinking all night at strip clubs. Guys today are more into experiences than a hangover. Consider going with your guys to UFC Fight Night, arrange for a private whisky or beer tasting, escape on a weekend getaway in Las Vegas, go skydiving, or take in a football game. Be adventurous and try to plan for at least a week from the wedding to ensure a good time.

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On your wedding day, find some time alone with your bride, even for a few minutes, and just enjoy the moment for a little while.

the boys

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your groomsmen Choosing friends or family to be in your wedding party is a very important decision. Before deciding who will be standing up for you at your wedding, you need to ask your fiancĂŠ about the size of your wedding party and if she has any requests, like her brother(s). The groom typically asks his brother, best friend or father to be his best man. Though the best man may have fewer duties than the maid of honor, his tasks are just as important, so think "reliable and dependable" when choosing your best man. The best man has an assortment of responsibilities before and during the wedding, and he should be ready to run any last-minute errands or offer assistance to anyone who needs it at the wedding.

Photo DH

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WEDDING PLANNING - Groomâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Guide

music & entertainment Your wedding music will set the tone for the entire evening. Get the party started by choosing between a band or DJ, or even specific songs. Even if your not musically inclined, per se, you still want your guests to dance throughout the entire night. Whether you wants to hear specific genres or songs, take note and let your band leader or DJ know. Your highly-recommended and professional entertainment company has hundreds of events under their belts. If you are nervous about your first dance, consider taking dance lessons so you two can shine on the dance floor.

letâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s dance

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Guys can get pretty crazy at a reception. If you want a level of decorum it's best to spell that out before someone tries to do a body shot off your grandma.

photography Your photographer is there to capture your day, so smile, have fun, and be yourself. These photos are going to be with you forever, and one or some of them may end up framed somewhere in your new house. You're going to want to look good in it if you're staring at it every day!

Nicole Klym Photography

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Limelight Entertainment

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WEDDING PLANNING - Groom’s Guide

gifts for your guys Your groomsmen deserve a nice gift. After all, they've spent a few bucks on parties, tuxedos and your wedding gift. So, they've earned it. You don't have to spend tons of money, just give it some thought and maybe even personalize it. Your friends will be happy with whatever you give them.

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a gift for her

thank you

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love

Show your bride how much you are thinking of her on your wedding morning with a heartfelt gesture. It can be as simple as a love note or new jewelry for your bride to wear on her wedding day.

Enjoy yourselves! The whole occasion is truly wonderful, so take it all in and have fun.

relax

the registry This is the fun part! Your registered gifts can range from kitchen and dining room necessities to furniture, appliances, and more! You can even add home improvement tools or things you might find useful to your list. Anything scanned onto your list should ultimately consist of items needed to start your life together.

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Macy’s Wedding Registry

your honeymoon Ahh, the honeymoon. Doesn’t the thought of escaping to a romantic locale as newlyweds eagerly make you want to pack your bags and leave, like yesterday? Well, this is one semi-easy task that you will have no trouble planning. Think non-stop flights in first class, an allinclusive hotel and sultry honeymoon suite, beaches, endless activities, and more. Enter the Honeymoon Sweepstakes on page 145 for a chance to win a romantic honeymoon to the Hard Rock Dominican Republic (above) and then head over to the Honeymoon Hot Spots on page 126 to check out other resort options.

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REAL WEDDING - Natalie & Jenelle

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A mutual friend tried setting up Natalie and Jenelle, but they resisted for five months until they both gave in. On November 27, 2016, the two had their first date, and it didn’t take long for their connection to grow. Natalie and Jenelle quickly realized they were going to end up married. In fact, they knew each other was “the one” on the same night. The women were hanging out at Natalie’s apartment one laid-back Friday night. All they did was talk and laugh for hours without any distractions. With marriage on their minds, Natalie and Jenelle decided to go look at rings, but to their surprise, they walked out with two engagement rings that day, and a race to who would propose first soon embarked. Jenelle took Natalie on a scavenger hunt through Barnes and Noble with romantic activities along the way, and later proposed at their new house after showing a video of their relationship together. A week later, Natalie proposed at home, and a limousine was waiting outside with champagne. The driver drove them around to all the memorable places the couple shared throughout their relationship, such as their first date, first kiss, and first apartment.

Natalie & Jenelle June 29, 2019

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Elegant Estate: The day’s events took place at The Park Savoy Estate, chosen for its pristine gardens, classy décor, and beautiful bridal suite. Natalie and Jenelle loved how the staff warmly welcomed them and treated them like family from the very beginning. “We loved everything about The Park Savoy and we both knew that was the place for us. When you know, you just know!” the couple raved.

Lucky in Love: Natalie and Jenelle decided to wed outside within the romantic gardens at The Park Savoy Estate. Guests watched the couple exchange their vows from white chairs flanking the aisle, with Kim Lalicata—a family friend—presiding over the ceremony. “She told our story beautifully and ran a great ceremony that had guests in tears,” the couple shared. At the top of the altar were two lush arrangements, with a sign displayed at the ceremony entrance that read, “Pick a seat, not a side; either way it’s for a bride.” After being announced married, the new Mrs. and Mrs. walked down the aisle to Stevie Wonder’s “Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours,”— one of Jenelle’s favorite memories of the day. Gown Goals: Natalie and Jenelle went gown shopping with their families on the same day at separate boutiques. After trying on many gowns, each family FaceTimed the other to make sure the dresses they loved harmonized with each other. They each said yes to their dress at the same exact time, but didn’t see them until the day of the wedding. Natalie chose a sweetheart strapless gown with a trumpet-style skirt and subtle floral beading, while Jenelle decided on a fitted lace gown with an illusion neckline.

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REAL WEDDING - Natalie & Jenelle

Pretty Posies: The brides carried bouquets in a free-form style with eucalyptus and various greenery, along with blush and white roses and peonies. Something Sweet: The newlyweds cut into their classic three-tier cake as the song “You’re My Best Friend” by Queen played in the background. The cake featured floral accents and topper with two brides and a dog (representing their puppy, Parker).

Honeymoon Escape: Following their wedding day, Natalie and Jenelle escaped to Maine—their favorite location—for a mini honeymoon. They went oyster shucking and lighthouse exploring, enjoyed lobster and boat rides, and spent time at the beach.

THE PROFESSIONALS Ceremony and Reception Location: The Park Savoy Estate • Officiant: Kim Lalicata • Photographer: Grace Brown Photography Entertainment and Videographer: Eclipse Entertainment • Floral Designer: Metropolitan Plant and Flower Exchange • Cake Designer: Palermo’s Bakery Wedding Gown Designers: Allure Bridals and Angel Rivera • Headpiece: Boutique de Voile • Shoes: Michael Kors, INC, and Keds Bridesmaid Dresses: Azazie • Invitations: Shutterfly • Favors: Hershey’s Kisses • Hair Stylist: Makeup by Jenielle Makeup Artist: Hairstyles by K • Jeweler: From Italy with Love • Honeymoon Location: Maine

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REAL WEDDING - Katelynn & Patrick

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Katelynn and Patrick met with the help of a mutual friend when they were 15 years old. Eleven years later, the two went on their first date, and Katelynn knew she found her partner for life. It was a beautiful spring day in early April when the couple went hiking in Pennsylvania. “I knew he was going to propose soon, but was surprised [when he proposed that day],” Katelynn shared. She said yes and began planning their rustic wedding.

A Change of Heart:

Katelynn initially went gown shopping with her mother, two sisters, and mother-in-law, tried on about 20 gowns, and purchased one they all liked. A few days later, Katelynn was looking at pictures her mom had taken and had a change of heart. “I went back to the store, by myself, and ordered a different gown,” Katelynn mentioned. She decided on an off-white lace dress with an A-line silhouette, sweetheart neckline, and embellished with beading. A rhinestone hair comb and mid-length veil completed her wedding day look.

Katelynn & Patrick June 1, 2019

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Pretty Palette: Katelynn and Patrick chose a color palette of burgundy and navy. The bridesmaids chose burgundy floorlength dresses in their preferred style, while the groomsmen sported navy blue suits, burgundy vests, and white shirts. Farm Charm:

When it came time to choose a location to host their ceremony and reception, the couple looked no further than Normandy Farms Hotel and Conference Center. Katelynn and Patrick particularly loved the country scenery for their outdoor ceremony held on the grass.

An Intimate Ceremony: During their ceremony officiated by the brideâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s father, the couple exchanged vows and participated in a unity ceremony. Katelynn and Patrick planted and watered a tree together to symbolize them planting their roots and nurturing them as husband and wife.

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REAL WEDDING - Katelynn & Patrick

Party Time: Following the couple’s first dance to “Tennessee Whiskey” by Chris Stapleton, guests danced the night away to a variety of songs from classic rock to today’s top hits. Family and friends also enjoyed choices of chicken Florentine, short rib beef, or rigatoni with vegetables for dinner. Honeymoon Heaven: After the wedding festivities, the newlyweds escaped to St. Lucia for their honeymoon in paradise. While there, they went snorkeling, horseback riding, paddleboarding, and fishing.

THE PROFESSIONALS Ceremony & Reception Location: Normandy Farms Hotel and Conference Center Officiant: James Nunn • Photographer: Classic Photographers Entertainment: Futurescapes Entertainment • Floral Designer: Theresa Nunn Cake Designer: Normandy Farms • Wedding Gown, Veil, & Shoes: David’s Bridal Formal Attire: Men’s Wearhouse 8 Bridesmaid Dresses: David’s Bridal Invitations: Vistaprint • Jeweler: Bentley Jewelers Honeymoon Location: St. Lucia

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HONEYMOON - Aruba

Honeymoon Heaven A romantic honeymoon awaits you on this ABC island By Meghan Chalfant

Every day is going to be paradise with your other half, but starting forever in a romantic locale sure does sound like pure post-wedding bliss. Don’t you think? Aruba has long lured discerning travelers to its sun-soaked shores, and for good reason. With natural wonders to explore paired with soft white sand, translucent blue water, cooling trade winds, and endless ways to unwind, along with rich history, culinary delights, pastel facades, spectacular sunsets, and the friendliest locals who are eager to greet you, it’s no wonder couples and families come back to the one happy island year after year. Here you’ll relive the best day over and over again; piña coladas, sunshine, and romance included!

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about aruba CRADLED WITHIN THE SOUTHERN CARIBBEAN, THE DUTCH ISLAND OF ARUBA IS 15 MILES NORTH OF THE VENEZUELAN COAST.

Part of the ABC Islands―together with Bonaire and Curaçao― Aruba is ideally located outside of the hurricane belt, offering those who visit near-perfect weather 365 days a year. Clear skies, warm sunshine, refreshing, constant trade wind breezes, average temperatures in the low 80s, and only about 15 inches of rainfall for the entire year are just a few of the many reasons the island has one of the highest return-visitor rates in the Caribbean. While you’re in Aruba, the friendliest residents (claiming over 90 distinct nationalities from more than 130 countries) are sure to make your holiday feel like home. Although the official languages are Dutch and Papiamento―a language drawn from Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, African dialects, and more―most Aruban residents are multilingual and also speak English and Spanish. Aruba’s rich, multicultural history can be seen throughout the entire island, from the vibrant architecture and island excursions to delectable cuisines and, of course, Aruba’s monthlong Carnival celebration (uniting the entire country) with over-the-top pageantry, music, parades, parties, and more.

where to stay NESTLED ON ARUBA’S FAMOUS TWO-MILE STRETCH OF PALM BEACH IS A BEACHFRONT RESORT WHERE ROMANCE MEETS LUXURY.

It’s a locale that’s known to mesmerize with its captivating white sandy shores, picturesque palapas, and fascinating sites. Retreat to exclusivity at the Tradewinds Club at Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino—an elevated resort haven exclusive just to adults. Here, guests will enjoy only the finest in Aruba luxury. In each of the 52 deluxe rooms on the eighth floor of the resort, couples will enjoy the best views as the Aruban sun rises and sets over the Caribbean Sea. Guests will be captivated by panoramic ocean views, as well as exclusive amenities such as luxurious bed linens, robes, slippers, upscale bath products, and a personal check-in and concierge to ensure your stay is truly unforgettable. One of the biggest perks of staying in Tradewinds is the access to the Tradewinds Lounge, which boasts complimentary breakfast, light bites, tea, happy hour, and pastries, all exclusive to Tradewinds guests. Tranquility awaits at the secluded Tradewinds Club Beach, reserved solely for Tradewinds Club guests. Relax on the pristine white sand while the famous trade winds caress your skin as you stretch out

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HONEYMOON - Aruba on a beach chair under a shaded palapa or on a complimentary float in the crystalline waters. Tradewinds Club guests also have access to take a swim in the H2Oasis adult-only pool, where you can indulge in a signature cocktail or beer at the poolside bar. Soothe your soul at the resort’s Mandara Spa, which offers a full menu of healing and body treatments, including massages and an aloe and milk bath wrap, which is a unique treatment to Aruba. (Fun fact: The aloe used in the treatment is harvested right here on the island at the Aruba Aloe factory, the oldest aloe factory in the world!)

island temptations WHETHER YOU’RE CRAVING POOLSIDE SNACKS OR FULL-COURSE MEALS, THE ARUBA MARRIOTT RESORT HAS A VARIETY OF DELECTABLE RESTAURANTS TO CHOOSE FROM, IN ADDITION TO THE COMPLIMENTARY GOURMET SELECTIONS SERVED FIVE TIMES DAILY IN THE TRADEWINDS CLUB LOUNGE.

Dine at La Vista for casual à la carte and Italian-themed buffets, make reservations at the legendary Ruth’s Chris Steak House, or head over to Champions Sports Bar for classic American-style meals. During the day, fulfill all of your cravings at Waves Beach Bar & Grill, serving light fare, snacks, and beverages, or enjoy some sushi at The Lobby. Atardi, the pop-up, toes-in-the-sand beach restaurant, is lauded for its mouthwatering seafood and is the perfect setting for a romantic dinner on the beach while watching the sun set. Off the property, Aruba also has over 100 international restaurants, with cuisine ranging from French and Italian to Japanese and Indonesian. If you would like to try a variety of restaurants, check out the Aruba Gastronomic Association (www.arubadining.com), which represents more than 20 well-known ethnic and international restaurants on Aruba. This unique dine-around program is perfect for travelers who are new to Aruba. Purchase combination meals at an affordable price for breakfast, lunch, and dinner that include an appetizer, entrée, dessert, coffee or tea, and service charge (where applicable). And while you’re on the island, don’t forget to try the local cuisine as well.

beyond the beach WHILE RELAXING AND DOING NOTHING AT ALL IS AN ALL-TIME FAVORITE FOR THOSE WHO VISIT, THERE’S SO MUCH MORE TO ARUBA THAN JUST THE BEACH THAT HIGHLIGHTS ARUBA’S NATURAL BEAUTY. The California Lighthouse offers breathtaking views of the western coastline and entire island, while the Fontein Caves emphasize Aruba’s history with drawings made by the Arawak Indians. Schedule an off-road UTV tour along the island’s desert side with a stop at the Natural Pool for a quick dip, or stop for a romantic picnic under the

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famous divi divi trees in Arikok National Park. You can even check out the Aruba Aloe factory for a brief tour to see the process of making aloe products, and bring a few soap, lotion, or sunscreen products back home as a souvenir. For those looking for something a bit more artsy, head over to the town of San Nicolas, where art galleries, restaurants and bars, as well as historic buildings of architectural interest await. For the adventure seeker, the steady trade winds and crystalclear waters make this island perfect for chartering a catamaran, windsurfing, kite surfing, and spending your days exploring. Snorkeling, sailing, and surfing are just a few of the water activities you can participate in, and De Palm Tours Aruba is there to help coordinate all of the details. From spectacular sunset dinner cruises, nightlife, entertainment, casinos, and adventurous activities such as sailing, snorkeling, and kayaking―you can do it all or nothing at all.

one happy day COUPLES WHO DREAM OF TYING THE KNOT IN A ROMANTIC SETTING, WHERE CLEAR SKIES HARMONIOUSLY MEET TURQUOISE WATERS, WILL FIND THEIR DESTINATION WEDDING FAIRY TALE CAN IN FACT COME TRUE. With magical sunsets and starry nights, along with planners and wedding professionals to bring your ideas to life, your special day is sure to be one happy day. While legal ceremonies in Aruba must take place at the Civil Town House located in downtown Oranjestad, couples are then welcome to have a second ceremony of their choice on the island. Whether you envision a grand ballroom celebration, an intimate dinner on the beach, or a chic evening within the H2Oasis event space, the Aruba Marriott Resort can accommodate parties for up to 800 guests and offers breathtaking locations and unique packages for every type of bride and groom.

getting there WITH NEARBY AIRLINES OFFERING NONSTOP AND DIRECT SCHEDULED FLIGHTS TO AND FROM ARUBA, GETTING TO THIS TROPICAL OASIS IS QUICK AND EASY. With a four-hour flight from the New York and New Jersey areas, most major air carriers (American Airlines, US Airways, United Airlines, Delta, and JetBlue) will fly into the Queen Beatrix International Airport. Whether you choose to relax beachside or adventure the island, you’re sure to create the best memories on one happy island as you start your life together as newlyweds. For more information about Aruba and to book your honeymoon or destination wedding, visit www.arubamarriott.com or www.tradewinds.arubamarriott.com.

h What to Know Before You Go 1. Entry Requirements: Passport and return ticket 2. Flight Time: Four hours from New York City and two and a half hours from Miami 3. Currency: Aruban florin (Afl) 4. Aruba’s drinking water is purified through the second largest desalinization plant in the world, making it pure and safe for consumption straight from the tap. 5. Aruba ranks as one of the safest and cleanest islands in the Caribbean with the highest return-visitor rate at almost 60 percent. 6. Aruba’s sun is strongest from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM; don’t forget to protect your skin by reapplying sunscreen often. 7. Aruba is known for its casual and laidback island vibe. By day, vacationers wear bathing suits, cover-ups, hats, sunglasses, and flip-flops, but don’t forget to bring along sturdy walking shoes or sneakers for off-road adventures.

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REAL WEDDING - Angela & Julian

A

Angela and Julian grew up in the same town and even attended high school together. They had different circles of friends, which prolonged their formal meeting until February of 2011, when they happened to be at the same bar with friends. “I remember being so intrigued by his collected and charming nature that I found it almost mysterious,” Angela reminisced. And all it took was two weeks into dating for Angela to know Julian was the one. She shared, “So many small things about us made sense, and everything was also so easy.” The couple eventually purchased their first house together, and following several months of renovations, they finally settled in. It was in the comfort of their new home that Julian got down on one knee and proposed right in the middle of their living room.

Unplugged Ceremony:

The couple opted for an unplugged ceremony. They printed a sign at the church entrance that kindly asked guests to refrain from using their smart phones or tablets during the service so everyone could be fully present.

Angela & Julian July 19, 2019

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Gorgeous Gown:

The bride walked down the aisle of her childhood church wearing an intricate, fit-to-flare gown with sheer bodice by Essence of Australia. It happened to be one of the first gowns her consultant pulled, but Angela tried on a few more options before saying yes to her wedding gown. “When I put it on again, there was no question that I had found my dress.” She adorned her look with a cathedral-length veil, crystal teardrop earrings, a tennis bracelet, and one of her late mother’s favorite heirloom rings, which served as her something old.

Magnificent Maids: “I

had four bridesmaids and wanted them to each have a different dress within the same color family ranging from sparkly gold to champagne, nude, and blush. Each girl wore a different style chiffon Hayley Paige Occasion dress and accessorized with rose gold earrings and bracelets.” Angela’s maid of honor stood out in a sparkly Sorella Vita dress.

Grandeur on Budget: After Angela and Julian exchanged vows, the newlyweds continued the festivities at The Primavera Regency for dinner and dancing, where low floral centerpieces and garlands beautifully decorated the guest tables adorned with gold linens and cream overlays. The bride’s bouquet was placed on the sweetheart table with candles flanking each side, while the bridesmaid bouquets were used to decorate the fireplace mantel. Something Sweet:

To honor Angela’s deceased mother, the couple decided to send guests home with her favorite black-and-white cookies. Each cookie was enveloped in clear wrap with a thank-you message and a small round sticker that explained why they chose the favor.

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REAL WEDDING - Angela & Julian

Island Explorations:

Following the wedding, Angela and Julian escaped to St. Lucia for a honeymoon in paradise. During their stay at the Sandals Regency La Toc, they took a helicopter ride, went on a sunset cruise, snorkeled near the famous Pitons, went on a Segway tour, and ziplined in the rain forest.

THE PROFESSIONALS Ceremony Location: Guardian Angels Church • Celebrant: Father Abraham Lotha • Reception Location: The Primavera Regency Photographer: KSS Photography • Cinematographer: PSPi Entertainment • Entertainment: Gold Standard Entertainment Floral Designer: Jacqueline’s Florist • Limousine Service: Santos VIP Limos • Cake Designer: The Primavera Regency Wedding Gown Designer: Essence of Australia • Veil: Jaehee Bridal Atelier • Headpiece: Etsy.com/shop/bestforbrides • Shoes: Badgley Mischka Formal Attire: Men’s Wearhouse • Bridesmaid Dresses: Hayley Paige Occasions and Sorella Vita • Invitations: Basic Invite Favors: Cookies • Hair Stylist and Makeup Artist: The Beauty Bar • Jeweler: Venus Jewelers Honeymoon Location: St. Lucia

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Sandals Grande Antigua

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The Verandah Resort & Spa

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(866) 237-2071 • www.stjamesclubantigua.com Secluded 100-acre peninsula; lush landscaped grounds; pristine beaches; stunning water views; serene garden settings; four swimming pools; on-site activities; four restaurants; live music.

(866) 214-9838 • www.verandahresortandspa.com Eco-friendly island resort; 30 beachfront acres; Caribbean village ambience; romantic getaways or convivial family vacations; perfect mix of activity and relaxation; Spa Tranquility.

ARUBA

Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino

Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort

Divi Aruba All Inclusive

(800) 223-6388 • www.arubamarriott.com World-class luxury resort; pristine beach and turquoise waters; 411 rooms; adult pools; exclusive Tradewinds Club; seven bars and restaurants; finest amenities and unexpected pleasures.

(888) 428-2884 • www.bucuti.com Nestled on stunning Eagle Beach; tranquil setting; outstanding personalized service; 104-room, ecofriendly, 4-star resort; world-class, romantic dining. Peace, Love & Happiness. Naturally.

(800) 554-2008 • www.diviaruba.com White sand beach; freshwater pools; choice of nine dining options; seven bars and lounges; non-motorized water sports; golf; spa and full use of the adjacent Tamarijn Aruba.

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Your guide to finding the perfect honeymoon resort

ARUBA

Divi Aruba Phoenix Beach Resort

Divi Dutch Village Beach Resort

Divi Village Golf & Beach Resort

(800) 367-3484 • www.diviarubaphoenix.com Spacious beachfront studios and suites with large balconies and sweeping views; thatch cabanas and hammocks; activities like windsurfing, scuba diving, and snorkeling; ultimate romantic escape.

(800) 367-3484 • www.dividutchvillage.com Intimate all-suite resort tucked behind Divi Tamarijn Mega Beach Resort; strolling distance of the Divi Village Resort; three freshwater swimming pools, fitness center, all-inclusive options.

(800) 367-3484 • www.divivillage.com Nine-hole luxury golf course; various island activities; glistening blue water and white sand; spacious studios; 1 and 2 bedroom suites; fitness center; water and land sports; all-inclusive options.

Hotel Riu Palace Aruba

Manchebo Beach Resort & Spa

Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino

(888) RIU-4990 • www.riu.com Situated on Palm Beach; two fresh water swimming pools; jacuzzi; sauna; gym; solarium-terrace; “Vita Novus Spa” health and beauty centre; buffet restaurant and four theme restaurants

(888) 673-8036 • www.manchebo.com 2-story resort; 70 ocean and garden view rooms; fresh water pool with shade areas; forty beach shades cabanas including chaise lounges and towels; full-service exotic outdoor spa facility.

(800) 421-8188 • www.renaissancearuba.com 40-acre island paradise; the only private beach in Aruba; fitness center; scuba diving; 9 restaurants; 2 resorts in one featuring an adult-exclusive hotel and family-friendly suites.

BAHAMAS

Atlantis, Paradise Island

Breezes Bahamas

Hotel Riu Palace Paradise Island

(800) ATLANTIS • www.atlantisbahamas.com 141-acre waterscape of over 20 million gallons of fresh and saltwater lagoons, pools, and habitats; nonstop thrills and romance; private all-adult pool; lavish cabanas; nightlife, casinos.

(877) BREEZES • www.breezes.com Super-inclusive resort; 391 guest rooms; five suites; 36 oceanfront deluxe rooms; fine dining; various water sports; daily entertainment; Blue Mahoe Spa; free weddings.

(888) RIU-4990 • www.riu.com The ultimate all-inclusive Bahamas vacation; exceptional service; freshwater swimming pools; Jacuzzi; solarium-terrace; Renova Spa; decadent cuisine; 379 guest rooms; friendly Bahamian pace.

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Sandals Emerald Bay

Sandals Royal Bahamian

(800) 819-5053 • www.fourseasons.com/oceanclub 107 rooms, suites, garden cottages and villas; 5 restaurants and bars, including DUNE by chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten; 3 swimming pools; Balinese-inspired spa; Ocean Club Golf Course.

(888) SANDALS • www.sandals.com Deep within the idyllic waters of the Exumas; 500 tropical acres; 3 impressive pools; expansive mile-long beach; Bahamian-style architecture; 183 villas and suites; 7 exceptional restaurants.

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BARBADOS

Divi Southwinds Beach Resort

Fairmont Royal Pavilion

Hilton Barbados Resort

(800) 367-3484 • www.divisouthwinds.com Located on a half mile of white sand beach; twenty acres of tropical gardens; shops; restaurants; nightlife; three freshwater swimming pools; 9-hole golf course; kids program.

(246) 422-5555 • www.fairmont.com/barbados/ Secluded, yet elegant and inviting, Fairmont Royal Pavilion beach resort is a luxurious retreat that surpasses expectations, and is the perfect hideaway for the perfect tropical honeymoon!

(246) 426-0200 • www.hiltonbarbadosresort.com Lush tropical setting; ocean-facing accommodations; panoramic views; lavish amenities; savory cuisine; exhilarating water sports; horseback riding; sprawling pool complex.

Mango Bay Barbados

Sandy Lane

Turtle Beach Barbados

(246) 626-1384 • www.mangobaybarbados.com Intimate beachfront setting with white sandy beaches and sparkling turquoise waters; 76 guest rooms, all with furnished balconies or patios; nightly entertainment; various water sports.

(866) 444-4080 • www.sandylane.com Idyllic resort overlooking the Caribbean Sea on a tranquil coral sand beach; exceptional golf; gourmet dining; outstanding spa; superb sports facilities; Barbadian hospitality; luxury romantic retreat.

(855) 687-6453 • www.eleganthotels.com/turtle-beach Unforgettable experiences; daily programs; complimentary water sports; swimming pools; beach concierge; on-site dining; spa and fitness centre; premium all-inclusive resort and hotel.

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Your guide to finding the perfect honeymoon resort

BONAIRE

Divi Flamingo Beach Resort & Casino

Harbour Village Bonaire

Plaza Beach & Dive Resort Bonaire

(800) 367-3484 • www.diviresorts.com Spacious oceanfront and gardenview guest rooms and suites; private balconies; amazing underwater adventure with Divi Dive Bonaire–a PADI fivestar, on- site dive resort; all-inclusive options.

(800) 424-0004 • www.harbourvillage.com Casual but luxurious retreat; exclusive oceanfront enclave; powder-white sand; enjoy sumptuous culinary menus; a spa and fitness center; a 64-slip marina; diving and snorkeling.

(599) 717-2500 • www.plazaresortbonaire.com Suites and rooms with ocean and laguna views; private beach; marina; boat rentals; kids club; theme nights; water sports; yoga; fitness center; adult-only pool and kids pool.

COSTA RICA

Hotel Bahía del Sol

Si Como No Resort, Spa and Wildlife Refuge

The Westin Golf Resort & Spa, Playa Conchal

(866) 223-2463 • www.bahiadelsolhotel.com Beachfront boutique hotel; steps away from the tranquil waters of Potrero Beach; personalized service; sustainable philosophy; modern amenities; tropical gardens; international cuisine; Nau Spa.

(888) 742-6667 • www.sicomono.com Lush jungle terraces; gardens overlook the sparkling ocean; full array of spa & other resort amenities; superb dinning; custom designed nature-based tours; adventure activities

(506) 2654-3500 • www.westinplayaconchal.com Nestled on the North-Pacific Riviera; lagoon-style pool; lush gardens; championship golf-course; personal concierge service for Royal Beach Club guests; world-class cuisine on-site and more.

CURAÇAO

Blue Bay Curaçao Golf & Beach Resort

Dreams Curaçao Resort, Spa & Casino

Santa Barbara Beach & Golf Resort

5999-888-8800 • www.bluebay-curacao.com Relax on the spacious beach; play golf on a challenging and attractive course; experience the comfort of luxury accommodations; eat at excellent restaurants; dive, play tennis, kayak, and more.

(866) 237-3267 • www.dreamsresorts.com Relax poolside or wade in the warm Caribbean waters, satisfy your taste buds at one of our seven dining options and four bars, or pamper yourself at Spa by Pevonia®. Unlimited-Luxury® experience.

(844) 258-7210 • www.santabarbararesortcuracao.com Curaçao's most luxurious hotel; five gourmet restaurants and lounges; full-service spa; alluring private beach; sprawling pools with Caribbean views; island adventures.

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Viva Wyndham V Heavens

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JAMAICA

Bluefields Bay

Hilton Rose Hall Resort & Spa

Hotel Riu Montego Bay 5

(877) 955-8993 • www.bluefieldsvillas.com A collection of six seafront villas on Jamaica's calm South Coast; personalized villas with private pool, butler, chef, housekeeper; gourmet meals; spa services; VIP arrival.

(833) 844-5866 • www.rosehallresort.com Nestled between the scenic mountains and turquoise Caribbean waters; contemporary beachfront accommodations; Sugar Mill Falls Water Park; full-service Soothe Spa.

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Hotel Riu Palace Jamaica

Hyatt Zilara Rose Hall

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(888) RIU-4990 • www.riu.com Located on Negril’s famous beach of Bloody Bay; ultimate relaxation; lush gardens; freshwater swimming pools; solarium terrace; Renova Spa wellness center; nightlife; outdoor activities.

(833) 284-9288 • www.resortsbyhyatt.com All suites feature private balconies with spectacular views; swim-up suites and personal butler service available; oceanfront Zen Spa; private beach cabana; championship golf courses; tranquil pool.

ON-SITE AMENITIES 136

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Your guide to finding the perfect honeymoon resort

JAMAICA

Jewel Dunn’s River Beach Resort & Spa

Jewel Paradise Cove Beach Resort & Spa

Jewel Runaway Bay Beach Resort & Waterpark

(833) 325-3935 • www.jewelresorts.com Luxurious accommodations; beautiful beaches; delicious dining experiences; “Jewel Only” exclusives offering pool concierge; dine-in movies; gem of the day; candlelit dining under the stars.

(833) 325-3935 • www.jewelresorts.com Casual Caribbean island lifestyle; 210 guest rooms or 15 junior suites; private balconies and patios; three shimmering pools with swim-up bars; a full-service Radiant Spa; endless activities.

(833) 325-3935 • www.jewelresorts.com Unexpected luxuries like swim-up suites, an array of authentic dining venues, water park and worldclass spas. Stunning oceanfront settings, vibrant culture, live entertainment and so much more.

Sandals Royal Caribbean

Sandals Royal Plantation

Sunscape Splash Montego Bay

(888) SANDALS • www.sandals.com Private offshore island with a Thai restaurant; Unlimited scuba diving; eight restaurants; five fullservice bars; seven main pools and five whirlpools; Stay at One, Play at Three exchange privileges.

(888) SANDALS • www.sandals.com Intimate all-butler resort of just 74 ocean view suites tucked into a magnificent coral bluff; tee off at nearby Sandals Golf & Country Club; Jamaica's only champagne and caviar bar.

(866) 786-7227 • www.sunscaperesorts.com Swaying palms; shimmering water; beautiful beaches; ten-story resort; Pirates Paradise Waterpark; three freshwater swimming pools; nonstop activities; entertainment, and more.

MEXICO

Beach Palace

Dreams Tulum Resort & Spa

The Grand At Moon Palace Cancun

(800) 986-5632 • www.palaceresorts.com Trendy, chic resort; two rooftop pools; two swim-up bars; large-scale water slide; breathtaking views of the Nichupte Lagoon; four restaurants; nightly entertainment; lavish amenities.

(866) 237-3267 • www.dreamsresorts.com Secluded on a sugar-white sand beach; ultraluxurious accommodations; minutes from the Tulum and Xel-Ha ruins; gourmet dining at nine specialty restaurants; world-class spa.

(800) 986-5632 • thegrand.moonpalace.com Unparalleled service, signature amenities, posh accommodations, 24-hour room service, worldclass dining, in-room double whirlpool tubs, and more. Elegance and extravagance is all included!

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MEXICO

Grand Oasis Cancun

Grand Oasis Palm

Grand Sens Cancun

(800) 44-OASIS • www.oasishotels.com Located in the hotel zone in Cancun; two swimming pools; beach club; daily entertainment; close to shopping and discos; eleven restaurants; kids club.

(800) 44-OASIS • www.oasishotels.com Family-friendly resort; 47 suites; two spectacular swimming pools; International cuisine; Kin Ha Spa; VIP area with ocean views and plunge pool; superb spa; magnificent scenic backdrop.

(800) 44-OASIS • www.oasishotels.com Adults-only resort; gourmet dining experiences; exclusive Sian Ka’an preserve; full-service Sensoria Spa; three-swimming pools (two ocean view and one sunset) and beach club.

Hard Rock Hotel Cancun

Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya

Hard Rock Hotel Vallarta

(855) 537-4606 • www.hrhcancun.com Luxury beachfront playground; rock-star style guest rooms; private balconies and water views; nine world-class restaurants, bars and lounges; expansive poolscape; legendary entertainment.

(855) 537-4603 • www.hrhrivieramaya.com Stunning tropical views; private white sand beach; exclusive saltwater snorkeling; lavish amenities; 4 pools; natural sea cove; fine dining and bars; Heaven pools and beach exclusive for adults-only.

(855) 537-4580 • www.hrhvallarta.com 348 guest rooms fit for the lifestyle of a rock ‘n roll star; 20 minutes from the excitement of Nuevo Vallarta; deep-sea fishing; scuba diving; snorkeling; sailing; horseback riding; kids club.

Hotel Riu Palace Pacífico

Hotel Riu Palace Riviera Maya

Marriott Puerto Vallarta Resort & Spa

(888) RIU-4990 • www.riu.com Five-star, all-inclusive resort; 445 guest rooms; freshwater swimming pool; specialty themed restaurants; daily entertainment; Jacuzzi; solariumterrace; gym; sauna and spa

(888) RIU-4990 • www.riu.com White sandy beach; authentic tropical oasis; thematic international restaurants; live show cooking; volleyball; snorkeling; kayaking; windsurfing; kids club; gold nearby.

(888) 236-2427 • www.puertovallartamarriott.com Deluxe accommodations; high-tech amenities; easy access to golf courses, shopping and nightlife; pristine stretch of sandy golden beach just steps from resort; ultimate retreat for discerning travelers.

ON-SITE AMENITIES 138

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Your guide to finding the perfect honeymoon resort

MEXICO

Moon Palace Cancun

Oh! Cancun The Urban Oasis

One&Only Palmilla

(800) 986-5632 • www.moonpalacecancun.com Located on Cancun’s south shore; scuba diving adventure; two outdoor freestyle pools; four swim-up bars; fitness center; on-site activities; daily entertainment; golf course.

(800) 44-OASIS • www.oasishotels.com Sophisticated hotel in downtown Cancun with a unique eclectic personality; lounge atmosphere with entertainment, live music, inviting pool environment, and much more.

(855) 878-5831 • www.oneandonlyresorts.com Dine on the finest cuisine; pampered care in individual spa villas; private plunge-pools; 2 infinity pools; scuba diving and snorkeling adventures; 27-hole Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course.

The Pyramid at Grand Cancun

The Sian Ka'an at Sens Cancun

Sun Palace

(800) 44-OASIS • www.oasishotels.com Glistening beaches; two sprawling swimming pools; International cuisines with exclusive restaurants and bars; spa services; endless entertainment and everyday surprises.

(800) 44-OASIS • www.oasishotels.com Ocean or sunset view rooms; exclusive Sian Ka’an rooms with private Jacuzzi or plunge pool; infinity pool; use of the facilities, restaurants, bars, and entertainment of The Pyramid at Grand Cancún.

(800) 986-5632 • www.palaceresorts.com Intimate and couples-only; 252 guest rooms or suites; private balconies; breathtaking views; luxurious amenities; five-star restaurants; three bars; spa services; exhilarating activities.

PUERTO RICO

El San Juan Hotel (800) 819-7155 • www.elsanjuanhotel.com Luxuries both past and present; lush poolscape; uninterrupted stretch of award-winning beach; volleyball; surfing; banana boat rides; snorkeling; fitness center and spa.

Casino

Villa Montaña Beach Resort

Wyndham Grand Rio Mar Beach Resort & Spa

(888) 432-4667 • www.villamontana.com Situated on 35 lush acres along three miles of pristine, secluded beaches; two signature on-site restaurants; surfing, snorkeling, scuba, fishing, biking and more.

(787) 888-6000 • www.wyndhamriomar.com Designed to pamper and impress; breathtaking ocean views; 400 guest rooms; Mandara Spa; full-service casino; secluded beach; two oceanfront swimming pools.

Weddings

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ST. KITTS

Ocean Terrace Inn

St. Kitts Marriott Resort & Royal Beach Casino

Sugar Bay Club Hotel

(800) 524-0521 • www.oceanterraceinn.com Set in magnificent tropical gardens; breathtaking views of the Caribbean Sea; 65 guest rooms, each with a private patio or balcony; three swimming pools; man made lagoon; free wi-fi.

(869) 466-1200 • www.stkittsmarriott.com Unparalleled experience; 393 luxurious guest rooms and suites; world-class amenities; fine dining to casual poolside fare; Vegas-style casino; nightclub; island explorations.

(877) 740-0007 • www.sugarbayclub.com Five acres of landscaped gardens; 89 suites and rooms; Atlantic Ocean; 80-foot pool with waterfall; lush landscaping; exhilarating excursions such as zip-lining, ATVs, and island tours.

ST. LUCIA

Calabash Cove Resort & Spa

Coconut Bay Beach Resort & Spa

Ti Kaye Resort & Spa

(800) 917-COVE • www.calabashcove.com Panoramic Caribbean views; swim-up jr. suites and sunset ocean view jr. suites; luxurious amenities; signature Windsong restaurant; steps away from Bonaire Bay.

(833) 300-0146 • www.cbayresort.com 85-acre, all-inclusive resort; palm-fringed pool; intimate cabanas; adults-only oasis; waterslides; lazy river; swim-up bars; four lighted tennis courts; three swimming pools; outdoor whirlpool.

(888) 300-7026 • www.tikaye.com Nestled along the cliffside overlooking the serene waters; each cottage is built into the landscape; modern amenities; personal pools; hammocks on balconies; unwind and unplug for total relaxation.

TAHITI - BORA BORA

Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora

Manava Suite Resort Tahiti

Tahiti Pearl Beach Resort

(689) 40-603-170 • www.fourseasons.com Surrounded by sand-fringed islets in a turquoise lagoon; spa with relaxation lounges and vitality pool; overwater bungalow suites with plunge pools; beachfront villa estates with private pool.

(866) 783-4496 • www.manavatahitiresort.com Four-star resort; two bars; highly rated restaurant serving Polynesian and international cuisine; fitness center & spa; famous infinity swimming pool facing the lagoon and nearby island of Moorea.

(689) 40-488-800 • www.tahitipearlbeach.pf/en Located on Lafayette Beach in the famous Matavai Bay; surrounded by sparkling waters; outstanding on-site amenities; infinity swimming pool; local arts and crafts market; beach access; on-site Le Spa.

ON-SITE AMENITIES 140

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Your guide to finding the perfect honeymoon resort

TURKS AND CAICOS

Alexandra Resort

Beach House Turks & Caicos

The Somerset on Grace Bay

(800) 284-0699 • www.alexandraresort.com Located directly on Grace Bay Beach; spacious suites; wide range of amenities and services; personal service from attentive and friendly staff; all-inclusive access to sister resorts.

(800) 284-0699 • www.beachhousetci.com 21 suite boutique resort; unlimited gourmet dining; premium drinks served to you at your private beach lounge chair; kayaks; paddle boards; snorkeling; all-inclusive access to sister resorts.

(888) 386-8770 • www.thesomerset.com Peaceful luxury hideaway; 53 graciously appointed villas; relax poolside, on the beach or at the resort spa; 5-star service at 2 restaurants; private beach dining.

USA

Boca Raton Resort & Club

Catamaran Resort Hotel and Spa

Enchantment Resort

Boca Raton, Florida (561) 447-3000 • www.bocaresort.com Situated on 356-acres in fabled South Florida, this eclectic, private village offers the best of all worlds: an award-winning spa, championship golf and tennis, expansive beach and luxury marina.

San Diego, California (858) 488-1081 • www.catamaranresort.com Tropical hideaway on the sparkling shores of Mission Bay; casual elegance with palm trees, lush vegetation, tiki torches, koi ponds, waterfalls, and exotic birds; beach, pool and spa.

Sedona, Arizona (888) 250-1699 • www.enchantmentresort.com 70 acres of panoramic natural terrain surrounded by red rock formations known for inspiring the mind, body and spirit; world-class golf course; luxurious spa; indoor and outdoor pools; fitness center.

Mount Airy Casino Resort

Omni Hilton Head Oceanfront Resort

W Fort Lauderdale

Mount Pocono, Pennsylvania (877) MTAIRY-1 • www.mountairycasino.com Located in the Pocono Mountains; luxury accommodations; casino; spa services; indoor and outdoor pool; nightly entertainment; championship golf course; nearby activities.

Hilton Head, South Carolina (843) 842-8000 • www.omnihotels.com Sugar sand beaches; sparkling pools; delicious dining; adults-only pool; private cabanas; access to an 11-mile lagoon system with bike trails, 25 tennis courts and three championship golf courses.

Fort Lauderdale, Florida (866) 837-4203 • www.marriott.com Beachfront hotel; world-class shopping; awardwinning dining; oceanfront WET East pool; nightly entertainment; 24-hour gym; sunrise yoga; beach boot camp; new AWAY Spa.

Casino

Weddings

Nature-Based

Restaurant(s)

ON-SITE AMENITIES

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REAL WEDDING - Oksana & Sergey

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Professional ballroom dancers Oksana and Sergey quickstepped their way to love after meeting in July 2017. Sergey was looking for a dance partner to compete with professionally, and his coach reached out to Oksana. They made a great first impression and a year later sealed the deal when Sergey planned a romantic hot air balloon for Oksanaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s birthday. As they were on cloud nine overlooking the views, Sergey proposed with a twisted halo-style engagement ring.

Beachside Romance: Oksana and Sergey whisked 15 guests away to St. Peteâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Beach for beachside nuptials officiated by Heath Watson. Palm trees lined the aisle runner, and the couple stood under an arch decorated with white and blue tulle fabric as they exchanged vows overlooking the Gulf of Mexico.

Oksana &Sergey October 1, 2019

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Destination I Do: The couple decided to see each other for the first time as Oksana walked down the aisle on the beach at the Grand Plaza Hotel. “I wanted to have an element of surprise on our wedding day,” she revealed. Bridal Beauty:

Although Oksana tried on at least 40 gowns, there was no hesitation when she tried on the dress in which she’d walk down the aisle. The bride wore a mermaid-style gown with a beaded bodice and organza skirt. A headpiece perfectly accented her curled side ponytail, which revealed earrings that served as her something borrowed.

Beautiful in Blue: Oksana’s one bridesmaid looked beautiful in a oneshoulder, floor-length dress in light blue, while Sergey’s groomsmen sported an ensemble featuring a light blue shirt and white pants.

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REAL WEDDING - Oksana & Sergey

The Party Continues: After the wedding in Florida, Oksana and Sergey continued the celebration one week later with a second reception at Le Pari Dance Center. “We have a lot of friends and students in New Jersey and we wanted to share our happy day with them,” Oksana shared.

THE PROFESSIONALS Ceremony & Reception Location: Grand Plaza Hotel • Officiant: Heath Watson • Wedding Planner: Krystn Simmons Photographer: Serge Sokolov • Caricaturist: Michael White • Floral Designer: DIY • Cake Designer: Jessie Lin Wedding Gown Designer: Allure Bridals • Formal Attire: DC Custom Tailors Company • Bridesmaid Dresses: Allure Bridesmaids Invitations: evite.com • Favors: Vintage Bottle Openers • Hair Stylist and Makeup Artist: Creative Touches Hair and Makeup Studio Jeweler: Blue Nile

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Infinite translucent turquoise waters, clear blue skies, Caribbean sea breezes, verdant hills, palm-fringed beaches, luxurious waterfront room views…oh, yes, please! From lying on pristine beaches to island explorations, the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Punta Cana has everything you’ll ever want or need to host your destination wedding or idyllic honeymoon; especially if the only decision you have to make for the day is pool or beach. It’s time to celebrate your love like rock stars in the Dominican Republic!

Contemporary Weddings Magazine | cweddingsmag.com

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HONEYMOON - Dominican Republic

a dreamy destination THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC’S VIBRANT, SUN-DRENCHED, IDYLLIC SETTING BECKONS COUPLES WITH WORLD-CLASS RELAXATION, RICH CULTURE, INTRIGUING HISTORY, AND LUSH, TROPICAL BEAUTY. Located in the northeastern Caribbean—about 800 miles from Miami, Florida—you’ll find a free-spirited island boasting 1,000 miles of coastline with 250 miles of pristine beaches, offering the perfect blend of tropical splendor and cultural sophistication. Discovered in 1492 by Christopher Columbus, the Dominican Republic is the second largest region in the West Indies, occupying the eastern two-thirds of Hispaniola, which the Dominican Republic shares with Haiti. This 18,000-mile-long island is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean on the north and the Caribbean Sea on the south, with Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands to the east and Cuba and Jamaica to the west. The Dominican Republic’s tropical climate has near-perfect year-round weather, making this island a popular honeymoon choice for couples. During the summer, temperatures average 90 degrees and drop to a low of 65 degrees in the winter. Although rainstorms can happen any time of the year, precipitation usually only falls for short periods, with warm sunshine quick to follow. With over nine million citizens, the Dominican Republic is home to some of the most hospitable people you’ll ever meet. Although most residents speak Spanish, the official language of the country, those in the tourism industry are multilingual and speak English, as well as French, German, and Italian.

the suite life NESTLED ON THE PRISTINE SUGAR-WHITE SANDS ALONG MACAO BEACH IN PUNTA CANA—THE EASTERNMOST TIP OF THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC—IS A BEACHFRONT RESORT WHERE SULTRY ROMANCE MEETS ISLAND LUXURY IN AN ALL-INCLUSIVE SETTING. Catering to discerning couples and families alike, the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Punta Cana is located approximately 30 minutes from Punta Cana International Airport on the northeast coast of the Dominican Republic. This lavish, five-star, all-inclusive oceanfront resort boasts world-class accommodations within its 1,775 stylish and spacious rooms, encompassing modern design and upscale amenities. From in-room dining to unlimited drinks, meals, turndown service, and more, everything you need is included during your stay at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Punta Cana.

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Whether youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re craving midday snacks or full-course meals, your palate is sure to be satisfied. Dine at The Market for buffet-style breakfast, lunch, and dinner; grab a quick bite at the deli; or savor full-course, innovative meals at the nine on-site restaurants, serving Mediterranean, Italian, Brazilian, Caribbean, Latin American, and Asian fusion options. Need to satisfy your sweet tooth? Visit Ice Cone in the centrally located parlor for handmade ice cream made with fresh ingredients.

sun seekers FROM RELAXATION TO ADVENTURE, THERE ARE MANY THINGS TO EXPLORE BY DAY WHILE HONEYMOONING IN THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC. At the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Punta Cana, bask under the Caribbean sun on the beach or at one of 13 pools, including a lazy river and an adult-only pool. Unwind at the 60,000-square-foot Rock Spa, offering guests a full menu of pampering from massages and facials to body wraps and exfoliation treatments. Zip-lining, snorkeling, parasailing, swimming with dolphins, horseback riding, and piloting your very own buggy across the beach are all exhilarating activities perfect for the thrill seeker. By night, begin your evening enjoying tropical cocktails as you watch the sun set, try your luck at the 45,000-square-foot casino, enjoy nightly entertainment, and dance the night away at Oro nightclub.

an unforgettable occasion MAKE ALL YOUR DESTINATION WEDDING DREAMS COME TRUE AT THE HARD ROCK HOTEL & CASINO PUNTA CANA. Imagine getting married on the sun-soaked beach as the Caribbean Sea serves as both a backdrop and soundtrack, with the waves gently gracing the shoreline, or choose to wed under a gazebo surrounded by swaying palms. Your day can be customized down to the very last detail by mixing and matching elements of your choice from the resortâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s four new wedding inspirations to make your day even more incredible.

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HONEYMOON - Dominican Republic

pack your bags THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC IS KNOWN FOR ITS CASUAL ISLAND VIBE AND NEAR-PERFECT TROPICAL CLIMATE. When packing your bags, bring items you know you’ll use, such as swimwear, cover-ups, hats, sunglasses, shorts, T-shirts, cocktail attire for fine dining restaurants, and a pair of sandals that can easily be dressed up or down. Planning on going on an excursion or two? Don’t forget sneakers for off-road adventures, zip-lining, mountain biking, or any other exhilarating activities. If you’ll be traveling during the cooler season (December through February), you may need a light jacket or sweater. You’ll also need your travel documents (passport, boarding passes, photo ID, and traveler’s insurance papers if purchased), basic toiletries, sunblock, and any medications or health supplements.

travel diaries TRAVELING TO PUNTA CANA IN THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC CAN BE EASY FROM MOST MAJOR CITIES ON THE EASTERN SEABOARD. Approximately a three-and-a-half-hour flight from the New York and New Jersey areas, most major US air carriers will fly into El Catey International Airport. From miles of idyllic coastline to verdant rolling hills, endless activities, and diverse culture, a honeymoon in the Dominican Republic will be nothing short of basking in newlywed bliss on the beach. For more information about Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Punta Cana or to book your honeymoon or destination wedding, visit www.hardrockhotelpuntacana.com.

h What to Know Before You Go 1. Capital: Santo Domingo 2. Entry Requirements: A valid passport and a tourist card or visa 3. Flight Time: Three and a half hours from New York City and two hours from Miami 4. Currency: The Dominican peso 5. Language: Spanish is the official language; however, you’ll hear resort and tourist destination employees speak English, French, German, and Italian 6. Hurricane season begins on June 1 and extends to November 30th

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INDEX

wedding PROFESSIONALS

1314 Studio

DIRECTORY OF

Banquet Facilities & Catering

Grand Ballroom . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .29 732-542-6500 www.sheratoneatontown.com

Nauvoo Grill Club . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .52 732-747-8777 www.nauvoogrillclub.com

Grand Marquis . . . . . . . . . . . . .Inside Back Cover 732-679-5700 www.grandmarquiscaterers.com

Park Château Estate & Gardens . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9 732-238-4200 www.parkchateau.com

Grand Oaks Country Club . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .45 718-356-2771 www.grandoaksnyc.com

The Park Savoy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 973-377-7100 www.theparksavoy.com

Grand Plaza . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .33 718-967-4034 www.grand-plaza.com

The Pines Manor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .22-23 732-287-2222 www.pinesmanor.com

Highlawn Pavillion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .27 973-731-3463 www.highlawn.com

Pleasantdale Château . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .31 973-731-5600 www.pleasantdale.com

The Estate at Farrington Lake . . . . . . . . . . .16-17 732-297-1500 www.theestatenj.com

The Manor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Outside Back Cover 973-731-2360 www.themanorrestaurant.com

Raven & The Peach . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .44 732-747-4666 www.ravenandthepeach.net

The Estate at Florentine Gardens . . . . . . . . . . .2-3 201-666-0444 www.florentinegardens.com

The Meadow Wood . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .160 973-537-5454 www.themeadowwood.com

Season's Catering Facility . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4-5 201-664-6141 www.seasonscatering.com

Gran Centurions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .54 732-382-1664 www.thegrancenturions.com

Nanina's in the Park . . . . . . . .Inside Front Cover 973-751-1230 www.naninasinthepark.com

Shadowbrook at Shrewsbury . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4-5 732-747-0200 www.shadowbrook.com

Atlantis Ballroom . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14-15 732-731-8000 www.atlantisballroom.com The Cosmopolitan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .25 973-633-5111 www.thecosmopolitannj.com The Cranbury Inn . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .52 609-655-5595 www.thecranburyinn.com The Crystal Ballroom . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14-15 732-780-3405 www.crystalballroomnj.com Crystal Point Yacht Club . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .42-43 732-295-7000 www.thecrystalpoint.com

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INDEX

DIRECTORY OF

Spring Lake Manor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .53 732-449-6630 www.springlakemanor.com Sterling Ballroom . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14-15 732-544-9305 www.sterlingballroomevents.com Vanderbilt at South Beach . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .35 718-447-0800 www.vanderbiltsouthbeach.com The Venetian . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4-5 973-546-2250 www.venetiannj.com Versailles Ballroom . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14-15 732-719-1206 www.versaillescaterers.com Westmount Country Club . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7 973-256-2700 www.westmountcc.com Windsor Ballroom . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14-15 609-443-8000 www.windsorballroom.com

Event Planners Jaynee's Party . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .102 201-568-6717

wedding PROFESSIONALS

Honeymoon LocatioNS Aruba Marriott . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .123 297-520-6634 www.arubamarriott.com Calabash Cove . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .151 1-800-917-COVE www.calabashcove.com

Sharon Rose Florist . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .81 732-922-1806 www.theroseofsharonflorist.com

Jamaica Tourism . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .119 800-526-2422 www.visitjamaica.com W Fort Lauderdale . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .131 954-414-8270 www.wfortlauderdale.com

Reverend Diane . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .44 732-262-3037 www.BestWeddingNJ.com/officiants

Rentals & Linens Bergen Linen Co. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .80 201-343-7333 www.bergenlinen.com

Sweets Truck Jaynee's Party . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .102 201-568-6717

Invitations Jayneeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Party . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .102 201-568-6717 Lace and Belle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .101 908-380-6617 www.laceandbelle.com

Jewelry Link . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .36-37 732-370-4840 www.jewelrylinknj.com

Gown Preservation

Limousine Service

Hallak Cleaners . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .80 201-343-7333 www.hallakcleaners.com

Ambassador Limousine of NJ . . . . . . . . .114-115 800-979-9663 www.limoservices-wayne.nj-biz.com

158

M&V Limousine . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .110-111 631-543-0908 www.mvlimo.com

Officiant Hard Rock Hotel Punta Cana . . . . . . . . . . . . .146 855-762-5255 www.hrhweddings.com

Jeweler Floral Design

Danaro Limo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .112-113 201-939-7077 www.danarolimo.com

Contemporary Weddings Magazine | cweddingsmag.com

MUSIC & ENTERTAINMENT Limelight Entertainment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .97 888-900-0042 www.limelightentertainmentnj.com

Over-Night Accommodations Crystal Point Yacht Club . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .42-43 732-295-7000 www.thecrystalpoint.com DoubleTree by Hilton . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14-15 732-544-9300 www.tintonfallseatontown.doubletree.com Holiday Inn East Windsor . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14-15 609-448-7000 www.hieastwindsor.com


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INDEX

DIRECTORY OF

Pleasantdale Château . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .31 973-731-5600 www.pleasantdale.com Radisson Hotel Freehold . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14-15 732-780-3400 www.radisson.com/freeholdnj Ramada Toms River . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14-15 732-905-2626 www.ramadatomsriver.com Sheraton Eatontown . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .29 732-542-6500 www.sheratoneatontown.com

Photo Booths Limelight Entertainment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .97 888-900-0042 www.limelightentertainmentnj.com

wedding PROFESSIONALS

DaVinci Storytellers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .91 973-575-4414 www.davincifoto.com Ephemera Photographics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .93 732-229-1964 or 908-489-1770 www.ephemeraphotographics.com Limelight Entertainment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .97 888-900-0042 www.limelightentertainmentnj.com MediaWorx Video . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .97 973-439-9679 www.mediaworxweddings.com Milton Gil Photographers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .87 973-771-9700 www.miltongil.com

Wedding Events Bridal Showcase/Four Season Productions . .152 973-669-1625 www.njwedding.com/bridalshowcase Elegant Bridal Productions, Inc. . . . . . . .154-155 888-427-4339 www.elegantbridal.com WeddingSetGo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .153 888-435-7773 www.weddingsetgo.com

Wedding Information Service Contemporary Weddings Magazine . . . . . . . .156 908-756-0123 www.cweddingsmag.com

Nicole Klym Photography, LLC . . . . . . . . . . . . .86 609-661-4406 www.nicoleklym.com

NJ Wedding.com . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .80 908-874-0417 www.njwedding.com

Photography & Videography

Real Estate

Wedding Registry

Allan Reider Studios . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .92 908-688-8808 www.njphotographer.com

Matt's Your Mortgage Guy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .44 908-296-8904 www.mattsyourmortgageguy.com

Macy’s Wedding & Gift Registry . . . . . . . . . . . .61 646-317-9701 www.macys.com

Contemporary Weddings Magazine | cweddingsmag.com

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Profile for Contemporary Weddings Magazine

Contemporary Weddings Magazine - Spring/Summer 2020  

For ALL Couples Getting Married - Wedding Ideas & Inspiration for Today's Bride in the NJ and NY areas.

Contemporary Weddings Magazine - Spring/Summer 2020  

For ALL Couples Getting Married - Wedding Ideas & Inspiration for Today's Bride in the NJ and NY areas.

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