Contemporary Weddings Magazine Spring/Summer 2021

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For All Couples Getting Married

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Aruba Honeymoon SWEEPSTAKES

Love, Laughter & Happily Ever After


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Spring/Summer 2021

Cover photographed by KSS Photography. See more on page 54

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Nicole Klym Photography


FEATURES & ARTICLES 24 2021 WEDDING TRENDS Looking ahead at how couples will say “I Do” 27 RECENTLY ENGAGED Six couples share how their fiancé popped the question 39 NEW JERSEY & NEW YORK RECEPTION SITE GUIDE The best wedding facilities in the tri-state and metro areas 54 PEACH PASSION Wedding inspiration at The English Manor that’s elegant, flirty, and chic 68 SECRET GARDEN Enchanting wedding inspiration with a colorful and modern twist


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113 HONEYMOON SWEEPSTAKES Enter to win a romantic honeymoon at the luxurious Barceló Aruba 114 SHADES OF PARADISE A romantic honeymoon awaits you on this ABC island 119 DESTINATION DAYDREAMING A dream all-inclusive honeymoon in the Dominican Republic

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Contemporary Weddings Magazine

in this issue







Maria & Michael at Park Savoy Estate


Marianna & James at Sheraton Eatontown

102 HONEYMOON HOTSPOTS Romantic destinations for your honeymoon getaway


Kristen & Joann at Park Château Estate and Gardens

127 INDEX OF ADVERTISERS Wedding merchants & reception sites


Colleen & John at The Mill Lakeside Manor


Stefani & Kevin at Bonnet Island Estate


Melissa & Christopher at WoodsEdge Farm


Brenna & Ryan at Private Estate


Jaye & Robert at Private Estate


Carey & Christian at Bear Brook Valley


Casey & Matthew at The Cairnwood Estate


Michele & Michael at Portobello Restaurant


Lauren & Kyle at Beyond Organic Growers


Jackie & Hutton at Private Estate

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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) 642-6864, Fax: (609) 642-8741 • 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 2021

The fall issue is a reprint of spring issue.


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REAL WEDDING - Maria & Michael

Maria and Michael first met in 2009 through Maria’s college roommate. The two didn’t see each other much over the years, but thanks to social media and mutual friends, they kept

Maria & Michael

in touch. Fast-forward to March 2017. Michael was working in Washington, DC, and Maria


gave her his number, and as soon as he moved back to New Jersey, they went on their first

Photography by Olivia Christina Photography

was visiting family. She posted a picture to her Instagram story from the Lincoln Memorial of the Washington Monument, and a few hours later she had a message from Michael letting her know he was working in that very spot that day. Although Maria had already left town, Michael date. “A few months later we looked back at the picture I posted, and we spotted Michael in the picture, so we like to think it was fate that put us both there that day so we could re-meet,” Maria reminisced. The two visited Washington, DC, for a quick weekend trip. During their trip, Michael got tickets to see the White House decorated for the holidays, but it was the next morning after a fancy brunch that Maria was given the surprise of a lifetime. It was there in the rain at the Lincoln Memorial that Michael proposed, making this getaway even more special.


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A Grand Affair: Choosing a venue that would fit two big Italian families was a priority for the couple, but choosing the Park Savoy Estate for their reception location was an easy decision. Maria and Michael particularly loved the immaculate grounds with patio area, floor-to-ceiling windows in the ballroom, and crystal chandeliers. First Impressions: Guests were invited to the March nuptials with invitations designed by Lace and Belle. The curated suite incorporated a gold foil-stamped monogram, gold-lined envelopes, and a gold belly band wrap.

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REAL WEDDING - Maria & Michael


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Two Dresses in One: For Maria, wedding gown shopping was one of the most difficult parts of the planning process. “I was very torn between wanting to feel like a princess in a ball gown or feel like myself in something more formfitting,” the bride shared. After shopping at eight different salons and trying on over twenty dresses, Maria went back to one of the first boutiques she visited. The bridal attendant at Elizabeth Johns took the time to understand the style Maria was going for, and ultimately combined two different designers to create a dream gown. Maria wore a timeless, formfitting Romona Keveza gown with plunging neckline and deep v-style back, but paired it with a dreamy overlay skirt from Hayley Paige for the ceremony and a crystal belt. Topping the Tables: The couple wanted to keep the florals simple and opted for two reception centerpiece styles displayed on tables draped in white linens. The first incorporated candles at variated heights with eucalyptus placed in between, while the second featured large gold ring stands embellished with florals and suspended candlelight. Gold Chiavari chairs and acrylic table numbers completed each tablescape design. Playing Favorites: Walking into the reception as newlyweds with loved ones cheering for them was Maria’s favorite memory of the day. “It was an unbelievable feeling to step onto the dance floor with everything and celebrate love together. We never imagined that just twenty-four hours after our wedding, social distancing would begin, and we wouldn’t be able to see everyone for weeks. We truly had a celebration before quarantine,” Maria reminisced. Michael loved sharing their first dance to a rendition of “Overjoyed” by Matchbox Twenty, which was sung by his cousins. Honeymoon Escape: The newlyweds planned to travel to Mexico for their honeymoon, but with the start of COVID hitting the States, they knew it wasn’t safe to fly out of the country. Instead they rented a car and drove to Charleston, South Carolina, and explored the city together.

Ceremony Location: Immaculate Conception Church Celebrant: Father Victor Kennedy Reception Location: Park Savoy Estate Photographer: Olivia Christina Photography Cinematographer: NST Pictures Entertainment: Time Machine Band Floral Designer: Crest Florist Limousine Service: Top Town LimoRide Cake Designer: Calandra’s Bakery Wedding Gown Designer: Romona Keveza Ceremony Skirt Overlay: Hayley Paige Veil: Elizabeth Johns Headpiece: Paris by Debra Moreland Shoes: Badgley Mischka Groom’s Attire: Bucco Couture Invitations: Lace and Belle Favors: Designed by Bride Hair Stylist and Makeup Artist: Dina’s Kiss and Makeup Jeweler: B&B Jewelry Live Event Painter: The Celebration Artist, Jessica Stevens

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REAL WEDDING - Marianna & James

James had just graduated from college and was hired by Target as an executive team

Marianna & James SHERATON EATONTOWN EATONTOWN, NJ 12.04.2020 Photography by Inspire Me Imagery

leader. He was supposed to be placed in a different store, but as luck would have it, he ended up at the Clark location. At the time, Marianna received a promotion, which was also at the Clark Target. The stars aligned and the two met on her first day. “I swear my heart skipped a beat when I first saw James,” Marianna recalled. She, too, made a first impression on James. “She had beautiful eyes and a smile that lit up the room. I knew I wanted to get to know her more.” Fast-forward about four years later. One of their favorite places to walk around is Rutgers Gardens. On October 20, 2018, they were about two weeks from closing on their first house, and James suggested they take a ride. They found a pretty gazebo, and James told her to stand in it with her back toward him so he could take a photo of her amid the natural surroundings. When Marianna turned around, James was down on one knee proposing. “It was perfect.”


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All the Marks: The couple’s first appointment at the Sheraton Eatontown blew them away. Not only was the space exactly what Marianna and James were looking for in terms of layout and capacity, but they also loved the décor throughout. The staff, too, answered all of their questions and made them feel at ease. Bridal Beauty: Marianna’s hair was inspired by Elsa from Disney’s Frozen. She chose to have it pulled back in a thick cascading braid embellished with crystal hairpins. The bride’s makeup was applied in neutral tones that accentuated her natural features.

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REAL WEDDING - Marianna & James


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Playing Favorites: Picking out her wedding gown at Kleinfeld Bridal with her mom and grandma was Marianna’s favorite part of wedding planning. Although Marianna prepared by creating a profile on their website of gowns she liked and wanted to try on, her consultant pulled a wild card that spoke to her. “My mom and grandma were in tears. I knew it was the one,” Marianna shared. The A-line gown featured a V-neckline, open back with buttons, lace, and embroidery detailing. Groom’s Attire: The groom sported a charcoal gray suit with matching vest, white shirt, and black bow tie. He also wore his Harry Potter Deathly Hallows cuff links. Cuisine Choices: Cocktail hour served a variety of selections for every palate, including a Tuscany table, carving station, pasta station, and even a stadium station offering cheeseburger sliders, mini hot dogs, and French fries. For dinner, guests had a choice of New York strip, chicken, or ginger-infused salmon. Something Sweet: The newlyweds cut into a three-tier ombre wedding cake to the song “Marry You” by Bruno Mars. The yellow cake was filled with raspberry and was frosted with buttercream icing. Guests were also treated to coffee, tea, and a warming station serving hot chocolate.

Ceremony & Reception Location: Sheraton Eatontown Officiant: Ryan Calvi Photographer: Inspire Me Imagery Entertainment: Off The Chart Entertainment Floral Designer: Garden State Floral Design Cake Designer: Chocolate Carousel Wedding Gown, Headpiece, and Veil: Kleinfeld Shoes: Nina Formal Attire: Men’s Wearhouse Invitations: Minted Favors: Etsy Hair Stylists: Tina Penna Hair and From This Day Forward Makeup Artists: Christine’s Beauty Bar and From This Day Forward Jeweler: Jared and Littman Jewelers

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A wedding You will

For the most wonderful day of your life, the Pines Manor offers an extraordinary setting to accommodate any size wedding. Your guests will be wowed and you will too. All entreés are served “a la minute” - from oven to plate to table. Our experienced staff will give you peace of mind that comes with knowing everything is running smoothly. This, combined with the Pines Manor’s easily accessible location, will ensure that your wedding could not be more perfectly planned. 2085 Lincoln Highway — Route 27, Edison, NJ 732-287-2222

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Cherish Forever

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Wedding Trends Looking ahead at how couples will say “I Do” By Meghan Chalfant As we rang in the 2020 New Year across the world, engaged couples, vendors, and guests alike had such high hopes for what should have been one amazing 2020 wedding season. A few months passed with so many wedding plans on the horizon, and then COVID-19 changed EVERYTHING. While the pandemic initially brought broken hearts, anxiety, and panic, it also without a doubt has changed the wedding industry as a whole and the way couples are tying the knot. Weddings right now might not be exactly what we’re all accustomed to, but we did learn that love is without a doubt the only thing that matters at the end of the day. Weddings moving forward will be more intentional with a focus on what matters most, while industry experts join forces behind the scenes to make every celebration as seamless as it possibly can be during a global pandemic. If you’re determined to not let the virus stop you from saying “I do” in the near future, continue reading our 2021 wedding trend predictions!

BRUNCH WEDDINGS Don’t underestimate a brunch-style wedding. After all, who doesn’t love a celebration where breakfast and lunch favorites combine with heartfelt I do’s?! Consider serving passed hors d’oeuvres, such as French toast sticks served in maple syrup-filled cups, various quiches, and tea sandwiches, followed by an elegant, amped-up plated selection. Think New York style bagels with salmon and cream cheese, lemon ricotta pancakes, fried chicken and waffles, and steak and eggs for the main dishes. Bring on the endless mimosas and bloody Marys!

LIVESTREAMING WEDDINGS Livestreaming the wedding ceremony will be particularly important and more sought after throughout the coming year. While travel restrictions will eventually pass, couples might have invited out-of-state guests who might not be able to make the trip, whether it be due to not getting time off of work or health-related issues. That’s where broadcasting your wedding ceremony via Zoom or another outlet comes in! Loved ones will still be able to cheer you on as you exchange vows and become newlyweds, even if it’s from afar.


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Wedding photo by Photo DH

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OUTDOOR TENTED WEDDINGS For those couples who have their heart set on a larger wedding, choosing to have your wedding reception outside under a tent is a great idea, especially during unprecedented times. You’ll have more room to spread out guest tables and improve ventilation with fresh air circulation, while still transforming tents into a magical space. Location is everything when hosting an outdoor tented wedding! It’s important to focus on the view of what guests will take in as they look around past the tent, as well as the season. What we love the most though is how tented weddings can be so versatile in style. Choose a clear tent for guests to dine under the stars without the worry of inclement weather, suspend chandeliers and/or twinkle lights for romantic lighting, and make your dance floor a focal point with a personalized vinyl decal. The sky is the limit when it comes to tent décor!

The Estate at Florentine Gardens

WEEKDAY WEDDINGS Move over, weekend weddings, there are hot new wedding dates in town and we’re TOTALLY here for it! Don’t be afraid to choose a wedding date that falls between Monday and Thursday. Keeping an open mind will offer you more flexibility, especially if you have your heart set on a specific venue or if you want to tie the knot on the day you started dating, on a meaningful holiday, or perhaps even one of your parents or grandparents’ anniversaries. Plus, you can add on extra wedding activities to keep the party going. For example, if you choose to get married on a Monday, you can host a welcome party on

Nicole Klym Photography

Saturday, and another group activity on Sunday, such as a cookout, pub crawl, or even a booze cruise. Think of it as a mini getaway for guests!

MICRO WEDDINGS Intimate weddings might not have been on your wedding radar, but there are so many reasons why more and more couples are opting for a small-scale celebration. We’re here to tell you that you can in fact have all the elements of a traditional wedding, even with a reduced guest count. Plus, you’ll have more venue options and can create a full wedding experience that guests will appreciate and, more importantly, remember. Think of micro weddings as an opportunity to spend more Barbara Marcello Photography

time during your best day ever with those you love most.

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INTERACTIVE FOOD TRUCKS Food trucks are a great way to bring a personalized touch to your wedding in a flavorful and interactive way. Whether you and your fiancé partake in taco Tuesday each week, pizza Friday, or you want to pay homage to your NYC roots with hot dogs and grill-fired pretzels, street food is a fun and easy way to make your wedding pretty epic. Limelight Entertainment

SENTIMENTAL & DETAILED DECOR With a smaller guest count comes the affordability to focus on the finer details that you had your heart set on. Maybe you opt for surprise entertainment like a guitarist for cocktail hour, add on those rentals to create a cozy lounge area, or splurge on lush florals or the photographer and videographer. Saving on catering–the wedding category where the majority of your budget would have been otherwise spent–allows you to allocate money in other areas that might have been out of budget if you were hosting a larger wedding. Vanessa Joy

COMMUNICATING THE DETAILS It goes without saying that pretty paper is key when it comes to communicating all the details and setting the tone for your wedding day. But what happens when you unfortunately have to postpone your wedding or adjust your original plans? Now more than ever, invitation suites and stationery, along with wedding websites, have become the most essential wedding details. Meghan Shaughnessy, owner and creative director of Lace and Belle, suggests sending change-the-date cards to quickly relay to guests your plans have changed. She also recommends that couples also add their wedding website to the cards informing guests to frequently visit for continuous details and updates. “Doing this as early as possible is crucial, as it helps family and friends establish a routine to stay informed in the easiest and most Idalia Photography

streamlined way possible,” Meghan mentioned.

After such a terrible and disheartening 2020, we cannot wait to see what the New Year brings for weddings. With so many postponements and loved ones impatiently waiting to put on their dancing shoes to celebrate, we just know weddings moving forward are going to be pretty incredible!


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ENGAGEMENT - Kristin & Andrew

Kristin & Andrew

Engaged October 19, 2019 The Beginning Kristin and Andrew grew up in a small town and knew who each other were but weren’t friends. In college their friend groups merged, and the two began hanging out more. During a trip to the Poconos, Kristin and Andrew spent the whole night getting to know each other, and that’s when they knew they found something special. Love at New Heights Every year the couple participates in the Lighthouse Challenge of NJ, where they drive and visit all the lighthouses. At the top of the Barnegat Lighthouse—their favorite—Andrew got down on one knee and popped the question. Ring Bling Kristin’s engagement ring is a simple, yet classic six-prong solitaire ring in white gold. Wedding Date May 31, 2021 Wedding


Kristin & Andrew 5-31-21

Location Renault Winery Photographer Limelight Photography

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ENGAGEMENT - Nicole & Adam


Nicole & Adam 6-26-21

Nicole & Adam Engaged May 12, 2019 Early On Nicole and Adam grew up in Queens, New

York, and even attended the same church, Polish school, and parties. When they got older, Nicole and Adam ended up in the same group of friends, and the more they hung out, the more they realized how much they had in common. They’ve been inseparable ever since! On One Knee The couple talked about getting engaged for a while. With two vacations planned, Nicole was sure the proposal would happen in Italy, but to her surprise, Adam got down on one knee during a sunset dinner on the beach their last night in Aruba. “It was so unexpected, but the best surprise I could have imagined,” Nicole shared. Wedding Date June 26, 2021 Wedding Location Jericho Terrace First Dance Song Conversations in the Dark by John Legend Photographer Charming Images


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ENGAGEMENT - Amy & Christopher

Amy & Christopher

Engaged September 23, 2020 A Spark of Love Growing up, Amy always knew who Chris was, but it wasn’t until the summer of 2016 that fireworks happened between the two. Amy went to her friend Marissa’s house for a Fourth of July

party, and that night, Amy and Chris realized there was something there between them. They began dating a few months later. The Proposal Being at


Amy & Christopher 10-8-21


their beach house in Beach Haven West is their favorite retreat. On September 23, they took the boat out and docked at Parker’s Garage in LBI. Following dinner, they went down to the water for a sunset photo when Chris asked a bystander to take a picture of them. It was there he got down on one knee and proposed. Wedding Date October 8, 2021 Wedding Location Mallard Island Yacht Club Photographer Heyn Photography

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ENGAGEMENT - Samantha & Bret

Samantha & Bret

Engaged March 7, 2020 How They Met Samantha and Bret have a mutual friend to thank for introducing them at a party. The two hit it off right away and didn’t take long


Samantha & Bret 3-13-21

to make their relationship official. Proposal Story Bret was living in Charleston, South Carolina, and flew up to New Jersey to spend the weekend. Despite the chilly and windy day, they decided to go to Point Pleasant to play games in the arcade and take a walk on the beach. Bret knelt down to grab a piece of sea glass and took a beautiful engagement ring out of his pocket instead and proposed. Wedding Date March 13, 2021 Wedding Location The Sunset Ballroom Pretty Palette Navy, gold, light gray, and blush Photographer Monika de Myer


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ENGAGEMENT - Courtney & Mike


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Courtney & Mike

Engaged January 26, 2020 Friends First Courtney and Mike first met when she was visiting Ramapo College for her friend’s birthday. The two were introduced at a party and even became Facebook friends, but it wasn’t until Courtney transferred to Ramapo a few months later that they became friends. At the end of the semester, Mike showed up at her house with flowers asking her to be his girlfriend. She Said Yes The morning of January 26, 2020 started as a normal Sunday morning filled with house chores and getting ready for the week ahead before their lunch with friends in Belmar. When they arrived, Mike mentioned their friends were running a little late and suggested they take a walk on the boardwalk while they wait. Before Courtney knew it, Mike was down on one knee proposing. A friend was even close by with cameras capturing the moment. They celebrated with family and friends at Mike’s parents’ house in Jackson. Wedding Date May 16, 2021 Wedding Location Perona Farms Wedding Aesthetic Rustic Elegance Photographer Kelly Sea Images


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ENGAGEMENT - Ana & Edward

Ana & Edward


Engaged December 23, 2020 Ivy League Ana and Edward met in Princeton, New

Ana & Edward

The couple was driving to New York to visit Edward’s brother for Christmas. On their

Dec. 2021

was a bit suspicious about the detour, but undeterred, Edward proposed in front of a

Jersey, when they were studying public policy as grad students. A Perfect Proposal travels, Edward pulled in to Princeton to walk around campus to stretch their legs. Ana beautiful arch across the street from one of their old classrooms. Photography by Fabienne was close by capturing the moment on camera. Wedding Date December 2021 Wedding Location San Luis Potosí Photographer Photography by Fabienne


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Find Local Wedding Venues, Services & More!

Discover new ways to SEARCH for venues, services and products in your area! View PHOTO galleries and VIDEO clips from local wedding professionals! Read helpful articles and wedding planning tips in our BLOG section! Find out about upcoming BRIDAL EVENTS, expos, showcases and trunk shows!

Erik & Beth Kent, Co-Publishers • (908) 874-0417 • • Enter Our Monthly Contest For Fantastic Prizes! 38

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The Finest Local Wedding Venues in the NJ/NY Area

The hospitality industry is committed to protecting our employees and guests. As we return to our daily lives, we pledge to you, our guests, to continue to be a leader in health, safety, and sanitation practices. - New Jersey Restaurant and Hospitality Association

BERGEN COUNTY The Estate at Florentine Gardens 97 Rivervale Road • River Vale, NJ (201) 666-0444 • 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. Tented weddings available.

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350 Y Y Y Y varies 2-3

ESSEX COUNTY Nanina’s in the Park 540 Mill Street • Belleville, NJ (973) 751-1230 • 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.

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MERCER COUNTY Windsor Ballroom at the Holiday Inn East Windsor 399 Monmouth Street • East Windsor, NJ (609) 443-8000 • 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.

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220 Y Y Y Y $84+ 14-15

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MIDDLESEX COUNTY The Estate at Farrington Lake 16 Patrick Street • East Brunswick, NJ 732-297-1500 • 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.

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 |


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

MIDDLESEX COUNTY (cont’) Château Grande Hotel 670 Cranbury Road • East Brunswick, NJ (732) 238-4600 • Idyllic French-American facilities suggest a proper measure of grandeur fit for the most important occasions; modern dining & catering by the innovative chef David Burke complete the destination’s trifecta of event services, luxury lodging and relaxed bar & restaurant.

Park Château Estate & Gardens 678 Cranbury Road • East Brunswick, NJ (732) 238-4200 • 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. Tented weddings available.

The Pines Manor 2085 Route 27 • Edison, NJ (732) 287-2222 • 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. Tented weddings available.

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MONMOUTH COUNTY Bella Vista Country Club 100 School Road • Marlboro, NJ (732) 308.4600 • Premier venues for weddings, showers, civil unions and events in Monmouth County. Our sprawling golf course sets the stage for a memorable event from our wedding pavillion or our tastefully designed clubhouse. Open-air Wedding Pavilion.

Crystal Ballroom at the Radisson Hotel Freehold 50 Gibson Place • Freehold, NJ (732) 780-3405 • 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.

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 |

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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 • 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.

Sterling Ballroom at the DoubleTree by Hilton Tinton Falls - Eatontown 700 Hope Rd • Tinton Falls, NJ (732) 544-9305 • 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.

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MORRIS COUNTY The Park Savoy 236 Ridgedale Avenue • Florham Park, NJ (973) 377-7100 • 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.

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OCEAN COUNTY Atlantis Ballroom at the Days Hotel Toms River 290 Route 37 East • Toms River, NJ (732) 731-8000 • 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.

Crystal Point Yacht Club 3900 River Road • Point Pleasant, NJ (732) 295-7000 • 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 • 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.

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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 |


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

reception SITE GUIDE

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

NEW YORK Grand Oaks Country Club 200 Huguenot Boulevard • Staten Island, NY (718) 356-2771 • 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 • 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 • 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.

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PENNSYLVANIA Faunbrook Bed & Breakfast 699 West Rosedale Avenue • West Chester, PA (610) 436-5788 • Faunbrook B&B is an 1860’s grand Victorian mansion in West Chester, PA. With seven guest rooms; and a beautiful, private outdoor patio and wraparound porch set on two acres, Faunbrook is ideal for Intimate weddings and events for 2 to 100 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 |

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REAL WEDDING - Kristen & Joann

Kristen & Joann

Kristen and Joann met in December of 2014 during Joann’s ugly sweater Christmas party. Kristen’s cousin–who is married to one of Joann’s good friends–felt the two would be great for each other, and introduced them. Even though they were both in relationships at the


time, they hit it off. “I instantaneously felt compelled to want to know Kristen more,” Joann


Kristen who proposed first! On July 1, 2018, Kristen took Joann to Pier 17. It was while they

Photography by Salt & Sonder Studio


reminisced. Although Joann knew from the first time she met Kristen that she was the one, it was were enjoying the Brooklyn views that Kristen got down on one knee and proposed. Joann proposed six weeks later on the Highline.

Contemporary Weddings Magazine |

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Falling for Autumn: When the couple began planning their wedding, they knew they wanted to tie the knot during their favorite season. “We love everything about fall; the activities, the clothes, the colors, and the vibe lends itself to a fun, calming part of life.” Once they found out October 26, 2019 was available, Kristen and Joann immediately took it, as 26 is a lucky number in both families. Love at First Sight: Kristen and Joann immediately fell in love the moment they drove onto the Park Château property. The facility, located in East Brunswick, New Jersey, checked all the boxes from the architecture, manicured grounds, and layout to the intimate, nondenominational chapel. The staff, too, made Kristen and Joann feel like family right from the beginning.

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REAL WEDDING - Kristen & Joann


Contemporary Weddings Magazine |

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Beautiful Bouquets: The brides carried bouquets made up of white Playa Blanca, ivory vendela, red Rubicon, burgundy spray roses, and white ranunculus accented with dusty miller, seeded and silver dollar eucalyptus. Kristen’s bouquet was wrapped with a piece of her mom’s wedding gown, along with a picture of her grandfather who passed, while Joann chose to incorporate her grandfather’s anchor. You’re Invited: Guests were invited to the black-tie wedding with custom invitations designed by Jaynee’s Party. The book-style suite featured gold raised ink, lace, and gold undertones. A Moment in Time: The couple initially thought their first dance as newlyweds was going to be awkward, but it turned out to be a beautiful moment that will always be cherished. As family and friends surrounded the dance floor, Kristen and Joann shared their first dance to “Love Someone” by Lukas Graham. “We felt so much love and were so grateful to have each other and everyone we love around us,” they shared. Favorite Wedding Day Memory: Kristen and Joann both agreed that listening to each other’s vows and being surrounded by love during their ceremony was the favorite memory from their wedding.

Ceremony & Reception Location: Park Château Estate & Gardens Officiant: Michael Baglieri Photographer: Salt & Sonder Studio Cinematographer: Ashe Productions Entertainment: The Rhythm Shop Floral Designer: Linda’s Florist Table Linens: BBJ Linen Limousine Service: B&M Limousine Service and Romantique Limousines Cake Designer: Calandra’s Bakery Wedding Gown Designers: Pronovias and Pnina Tornai Headpieces: Bridal Styles Boutique and Etsy Shoes: Jimmy Choo and Nina Shoes Invitations: Jaynee’s Party Favors: Saratoga Olive Oil Co. Hair Stylists: Chelsey Drapeau and Maysoon Faraj Makeup Artists: Ashley DiSarro and Maysoon Faraj Jeweler: Adlers Jewelers and Paramount Diamonds Honeymoon Locations: Florida, Italy, and France

Contemporary Weddings Magazine |


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REAL WEDDING - Colleen & John


Colleen and John met the summer of 2008 while working as camp counselors for Odyssey Adventures. “I always say we fell in love around the campfire, since our camp took campers on outdoor adventures and camping trips,” Colleen shared. The two kept in touch throughout the year, and when they returned to work the following summer of 2009, they officially began dating. The rest was history, and what better way to bring their story full circle than by bringing Colleen back to the location where they first met for the surprise of a lifetime. It was in front of the lake at Thompson Park–where they spent a few summers canoeing and enjoying the outdoors–that John proposed with a rose-gold oval-cut

Photography by Limelight Photography

diamond ring. Not only did John have a photographer nearby capturing the engagement on camera, but he also surprised Colleen with having both their families waiting at her parents’ house to celebrate after.


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An Instant Connection: Limelight Photography was recommended to Colleen from The Mill, and as soon as she spoke with Jackie Marino, Colleen felt an instant connection. “I knew she was the perfect fit. Jackie was incredible. She made the day flawless and helped establish my timeline for everything! She was so upbeat and made my day stress-free and fun,” the bride raved. Down the Aisle: Colleen and John wed under a ceremony arch made out of birchwood made by John’s father. Designs by Dara decorated it in natural greenery, which framed the lakeview seen from the floor-to-ceiling windows in the ballroom. Pillar candles in variated heights lined the aisle.

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REAL WEDDING - Colleen & John


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Details of the Day: A color palette of deep and natural greens with pops of white and gold accents defined the January 18, 2020 winter wedding. Pillar candles with greenery and white roses adorned the reception tables, while the arch doubled as the sweetheart table backdrop. A Change of Heart: “I tried my gown on and knew INSTANTLY [it was the one],” Colleen recalled of finding her gown at Castle Couture. The bride initially thought she wanted a gown with sleeves, but after trying on every sleeve dress, her bridal consultant recommended a Madison James number with a form-fitted silhouette, beaded spaghetti straps, and a sweetheart neckline. “It fit me like a glove!” Colleen accessorized her wedding day look with a faux fur shawl (borrowed from her good friend) for photos outside, cluster earrings, a sparkling headpiece from Sunshine Daydream, and emerald-green shoes. A Moment in Time: The couple wanted their first look to be special, so they decided to have a first look before the ceremony. “We wanted that moment of anticipation to be captured on camera.” Late Night Bites: At the end of the reception, guests were sent home with everlasting memories, as well as late-night treats to enjoy before they departed. There was also a furry friend station for guests to take dog treats home for their pets.

Ceremony & Reception Location: The Mill Lakeside Manor Officiant: Robert Ford Photographer: Limelight Photography Entertainment: Limelight Entertainment Floral Designer: Designs by Dara Limousine Service: Shore Luxury Limos Cake Designer: Chocolate Carousel Wedding Gown Designer: Madison James Veil: Castle Couture Headpieces: Sunshine Daydream Shoes: Nine West Formal Attire: Men’s Wearhouse Invitations: Etsy Favors: Coozies Hair Stylists: Pin It Up Bridal Makeup Artists: Make Me Up Eva Jeweler: Earth Treasures Mini-Moon Location: Cape May, NJ

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STYLE SHOOT - Peach Passion

Peach Passion

at The English Manor in Ocean Township, NJ

It’s no secret we’ll always have a love affair for blush wedding ideas. From soft colors to delicate details and pastel florals, pink wedding styles always prove time and time again that rosy shades are equally as elegant as they are flirty and chic. This styled shoot dreamed up by KSS Photography is exactly that and more! And who would have thought peaches would spark the concept, evoking a fresh and juicy aesthetic with a touch of whimsy romance?! It just goes to show that creative visions can be found everywhere!


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The Inspiration: “It was summer and all I could think about was fresh everything, pretty, soft colors, and a season where love exudes like a warm summer night,” Kiamarie shared about the inspiration behind the shoot.

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STYLE SHOOT - Peach Passion

Treat Yourself and your guests to something sweet, like a donut wall from Off the Wall Donuts featuring your favorite frosted donuts decorated in your color scheme! This treat-filled, interactive installation will be the talk of the reception décor and can even be paired with other decadent delights, such as cream puffs, French macarons, and cake pops.

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STYLE SHOOT - Peach Passion

Pastel Pretties: Kiamarie gave floral designer Brady Everett free creative reign for the florals. She did, however, request one over-the-top bouquet made of limelight hydrangea, roses, eucalyptus, and even pampas grass, in hopes of inspiring future brides to go bigger and bolder with their wedding flowers. The English Manor was a lovely backdrop for this colorful wedding style among a blooming garden. Lace and Belle even incorporated a venue sketch of The English Manor into the wedding invitation suite, as well as modern calligraphy, a wedding crest, and a lace belly band embellishment.


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Elegant Estate: The English Manor exudes quintessential charm throughout the estate-style setting, including picturesque gardens and outdoor terrace with panoramic golf course views and a newly renovated ballroom. With a property as pretty as this, outside portraits are an absolute must, especially the infamous bridge shot!

BEHIND THE SCENES Location: The English Manor • Concept and Photographer: KSS Photography • Planner & Assisting: CSC Event Planning • Cinematographer: Color Room Films • Floral Designer: Brady Everett • Cake: Duchess of Desserts • Donut Installation: Off the Wall Donuts • Desserts: Puffs and Pops • Rentals: Lovely Luxe Rentals • Linens: Snassy Crafter • Bridal Salon: White House Bride • Menswear: Chazmatazz • Hair Stylist: Stella Fatale • Makeup Artist: The Perfect Look • Stationery: Lace and Belle • Vow Books: Wedding Story Writer • Styling Boards: JRD Art Shop • Ring Boxes: The Mrs. Box • Models: Thais Sanchez, Mat Sanchez, Erin Bienkowski, Rob Lawler, Reyna Mananedakis, George Mananedakis, Nicole Bryant, Joanne Adamczyk, Layla Hijazi, and Ron Koval

Contemporary Weddings Magazine |


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REAL WEDDING - Stefani & Kevin

Stefani and Kevin were college neighbors at James Madison University. They met in

Stefani & Kevin

2010 and began dating in 2011. “Kevin took me to the Camden aquarium for our first official


and stopped at their favorite overlook they frequented when they were students. As they

Photography by Nicole Klym Photography

into town, they stopped at all of their favorite spots, including CrossKeys Vineyards, Billy

date. Afterwards, we went to eat at Bahama Breeze where we still continue to go for some special occasions,” Stefani shared. Eight years later in August 2019, the couple went back to their alma mater to reminisce. Stefani and Kevin took a drive through the scenic Skyline Drive were taking in the views of the Blue Ridge Mountains in the Shenandoah Valley, Kevin got down on one knee and proposed with a family heirloom engagement ring. On the drive back Jack’s–their favorite Irish pub and dive bar in downtown Harrisonburg–and ended the night on a rooftop bar.


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A Coastal Celebration: Stefani and Kevin always knew they would one day get married by the beach. Bonnet Island Estate offered the classy, beach chic style they were looking for in a wedding venue. The two wed inside the boathouse chapel during an unplugged ceremony officiated by one of their closest friends, Joseph Kuykendall. The Whole Package: “Nicole was incredibly helpful throughout our entire wedding planning process. Her attention to details and preparation made us so comfortable on our special day. She depicted the day as bright and cheery as it was,” Stefani raved about her wedding photographer.

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REAL WEDDING - Stefani & Kevin

Princess Diaries: “I tried on about seven dresses. The first dress I tried on was the dress I chose in the end. I think I was too overwhelmed to know it was the one at that point. After I had tried a few more on, my mom went back to the rack and said, ‘Let’s try this one again,’ and voila, I loved it!”, Stefani recalled of finding her Sareh Nouri gown. The elegant number featured a scoop neckline and ball gown skirt with tailored pleated princess seams, a signature bow, and chapel train. She accessorized her look with a cathedral veil, simple earrings and her mom’s diamond tennis bracelet, which served as her something old and borrowed. Covid Challenges: Unfortunately, due to Covid restrictions, the couple couldn’t utilize the beautiful ballroom, so their reception took place outside on the veranda overlooking the bay. Tables were decorated in crisp white linens with tall and low floral arrangements made of lush greenery and white florals displayed in gold vessels to match the gold Chiavari chairs. “Planning a wedding during a pandemic is definitely not ideal, but we were determined to plan a safe celebration for all and optimize on spreading the love and joy during these difficult times,” the bride shared. Island Vibes: Stefani’s parent’s lived in Bermuda, and Stefani and Kevin were lucky enough to visit them often. The couple brought fun island vibes to their reception through their signature drink of choice for guests to enjoy. The Bermuda Rum Swizzle–also referred to as Bermuda’s national drink–was made to order and included rum, grenadine, bitters, orange juice, and pineapple juice.


Contemporary Weddings Magazine |

Ceremony & Reception Location: Bonnet Island Estate Caterer: Merri-Makers Catering Officiant: Joseph Kuykendall Photographer: Nicole Klym Photography Cinematography: Creative Vision Media Entertainment: Paris NY Floral Designer: MDS Floral Designs Cake Designer: The Bake Works Shuttle Service: Mike's Affordable Shuttle Service Wedding Gown Designer: Sareh Nouri Veil: Castle Couture Shoes: Jimmy Choo Formal Attire: Black Vera Wang Matron of Honor’s Dress: Amsale Invitations: Paige Tuzée Favors: Homemade Hair Stylist: Samantha Fazzina Makeup Artist: Make Me Up Eva Jeweler: Castle Couture Food Truck: Valducci’s Pizza Truck Mini-Moon: Harborside Hotel, Maine

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REAL WEDDING - Melissa & Christopher

Melissa & Christopher WOODSEDGE FARM STOCKTON, NJ 10.24.2020 Photography by Monika de Myer


After swiping right on Tinder, Melissa and Christopher met in Manhattan’s East Village at The Cube–a sculpture located in Astor Place. The two hit it off and their conversation flowed so effortlessly, they even walked in circles around the East Village, passing their destination several times. About six years later on January 19, 2019, Melissa and Christopher planned to revisit some of their favorite bars and restaurants from when they first started dating. Despite the state of emergency for an impending snowstorm, Christopher was adamant they stick with their plan. After parking in the East Village, they walked by The Cube and Chris proposed. “I was in complete shock and immediately started sobbing happy tears,” Melissa reminisced.

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First Moments: When Melissa and Christopher first got engaged, it was just the two of them in that moment. It was only fitting they shared a moment privately with a first look before their ceremony. Unity Tree: During the ceremony, Melissa and Christopher planted an olive tree before they exchanged vows. They collected dirt from their childhood homes and poured them together into a pot. The olive plant, symbolizing peace, hope, and love (and also a nod to their dog), now resides in their living room and is a constant reminder of their wedding day. Love at First Sight: WoodsEdge Farm was the first venue Melissa and Christopher visited, and after looking at several other locations, nothing compared. They always loved the idea of having their wedding in a barn, but once they met the owners, Amy and Brent, and saw the llamas surrounding the barn, they knew they had found their dream locale. The couple wed outdoors amongst nature under an oak tree with Melissa’s older brother officiating.

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REAL WEDDING - Melissa & Christopher

A Blank Canvas: The couple was inspired by the structure of WoodsEdge Farm, as well as the strung lights and beautiful wood farm tables. The semi-blank canvas allowed them to choose décor that fit their vintage, intimate, and rustic aesthetic. The reception featured greenery and candlelight over delicate lace and sheer table runners, along with eclectic adornments of vintage photo frames, repurposed windows, and lanterns. On the Menu: Passed hors d’oeuvres and a mac and cheese station were available for guests to snack on during cocktail hour. Dinner began with a kale Caesar salad, followed by wild mushroom risotto, and braised short ribs, and roasted chicken for the main entrée. “Choosing the food for the wedding was our absolute favorite part of planning. We worked closely with the caterer to design a menu of the foods we loved executed in a way that would impress our guests,” the couple raved. A Thoughtful Thank-You: Guests were gifted hunter green blankets to use throughout the ceremony and reception. Those staying at the hotel were also welcomed with a gift bag filled with snacks and essential party recovery supplies.


Contemporary Weddings Magazine |

Ceremony & Reception Location: WoodsEdge Farm Caterer: Harvest Catering Officiant: Matthew Craig Photographer: Monika de Myer Ceremony & Cocktail Hour Entertainment: Gina Corso Entertainment: Paul Anthony Entertainment Photo Booth: Oh Snap That Floral Designer: Dahlia Florals Wedding Gown Designer: Maggie Sottero Shoes: Badgley Mischka Formal Attire: Men’s Wearhouse Invitations: Minted Hair Stylist: Alicia Garavaglia Makeup Artist: Michelle Elise Artistry and Allison C Beauty Honeymoon Location: Excellence Playa Mujeres, Mexico

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STYLE SHOOT - Secret Garden

Secret Garden at Park Château Estate and Gardens in East Brunswick, NJ Simply put, this wedding inspiration at the Park Château Estate and Gardens makes us so happy. Not only do the colors harmoniously blend together, but the aesthetic brought to life by Heather Benge Events is equal parts romantic and modern. If your heart yearns for a colorful spring or summer soiree, this secret garden wedding inspiration just might be exactly what you’re looking for!

On the Tables: Florals prevailed throughout the Park Château Estate and Gardens to achieve the secret garden look. Tables were adorned with lavish, colorful flowers including garden roses, tulips, hydrangea, sweet peas, asters, ranunculus, peonies, and eucalyptus. White dinnerware, gold flatware, vibrant napkins, and purple-hued goblets accented the lilac gray linens.


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The inspiration “for this styled shoot is from the book The Secret Garden and how being in the garden brought the couple health, joy, and much love. The lovely scene was an attempt to recreate the beautiful secret garden and all of its beauty with the greenery and flowers that were used. One of the things we love about the secret garden is the mystery of finding it, and the elation it brings to those when found,” Maria Azcona Photography shared.

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Wedding Style: The bride donned a form-fitting Netta BenShabu gown from The Paris Collection. The gown featured lace detailing, long sleeves, plunging neckline, and open back. The groom wore a blue peak lapel suit from Generation Tux.

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The Cake: Can’t decide on a cake design? Opt for three variated looks like this trio. Evoking a minimal, garden boho style, each crisp white cake featured floral toppers, hand-painted flower accents, and cascading macramé displayed on a striking purple table linen.

behind the scenes Location: Park Château Estate and Gardens • Host: Styled Shoots Across America • Photographer: Maria Azcona Photography Planning and Design: Heather Benge Events • Floral Designer: Tracey Reynolds Floral Design • Cake: It Started with a Cupcake Bridal Salon: Solutions Bridal • Gown Designer: Netta BenShabu Bridal • Menswear: Generation Tux • Shoes: Bella Belle Shoes Jewelry: Etoile Fine Jewelry • Hair Stylist and Makeup Artist: Sunkissed and Made Up • Invitations: JesSmith Designs Rentals: Lovely Luxe Rentals • Linens and Coverings: Nuage Designs, Inc. • Ring Box: Lovely Ring Box Models: Brenda Andrada and Alan Hepner

Contemporary Weddings Magazine |


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(848) 333-5362 •


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REAL WEDDING - Brenna & Ryan


Brenna and Ryan both scored the winning touchdown with each other after meeting back in 2016. The two were at their favorite bar in Baltimore, Maryland, watching Sunday football with friends, when Ryan walked right up to Brenna and introduced himself. The conversation was natural, and before they knew it, Ryan was walking Brenna home. The rest was history! Brenna absolutely loves Christmas, and the couple had plans of going to see the Rockefeller Christmas tree. Brenna had previously told Ryan she didn’t want a grand public proposal, so Ryan decided to find a quiet side street that still had a view of the tree. It was

Photography by KSS Photography

there Ryan got down on one knee (in a muddy puddle) and proposed to Brenna, making the holiday season that much more magical.

Contemporary Weddings Magazine |


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REAL WEDDING - Brenna & Ryan

Dazzling Diamond: Brenna’s engagement ring is an heirloom that belonged to Ryan’s grandmother. Originally, the center stone was a ruby, but Ryan replaced it with an oval diamond. “I love that there’s history behind the ring, while Ryan also got to add his own special touch,” Brenna shared. An Intimate Affair: Due to Covid, Brenna and Ryan only had 27 of their closest friends and family present. “Having such a small, intimate wedding really took the pressure off of us as we didn’t feel the need for everything to be absolutely perfect. We knew the people that were attending were there because they love us.”


Contemporary Weddings Magazine |

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Behind the Lens: Natural photography that was light and airy was the exact style the couple sought in a wedding photographer. Kiamarie of KSS Photography was the perfect fit! “She makes you feel so comfortable and at ease,” the bride mentioned. Pictures were taken in front of the church and throughout Brenna’s parents’ home. Gown Decisions: Since the couple still plan on having their larger reception in the future, the bride chose not to wear her original wedding gown. Instead, she wore the dress she picked out for the rehearsal dinner. The form-fitted white dress featured a sweetheart neckline with off-the-shoulder cap-sleeve, and a fun, yet flirty ruffle detailing. Brenna accessorized with simple stud earrings and carried a bouquet made of white roses, blue hydrangea, baby’s breath, and eucalyptus. The Decor: Topping the tables under the backyard tent were low arrangements made of all white

Ceremony Location: Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Celebrant: Rev. Msgr. Ron Rozniak Reception Location: Parents’ Backyard Caterer: Meiganne Serrano

florals with a touch of green. Along with rose

Catering and Events

petals were framed table numbers listing the

Photographer: KSS Photography

guest names underneath. Gold Chiavari chairs and

Floral Designer: Ivy Carte Florist

white linens completed the tablescape look, and

Rentals: Ridgewood Party Rental

strung lights suspended across the patio created

Wedding Gown: Studio Suite 201

romantic lighting.

Invitations: Paper Rose Invitations Favors: Custom Gift Bags

A Personal Touch: In addition to crab cakes for dinner, guests were treated to specialty signature drinks. The bride picked a grapefruit martini, while the groom selected a Moscow mule for his drink of choice.

Hair Stylist and Makeup Artist: Verve on Location Jeweler: Ron George Jewelers Honeymoon Location: Sagamore, Lake George

Contemporary Weddings Magazine |


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REAL WEDDING - Jaye & Robert

Jaye and Robert first met during architecture class in high school, but it was well after

Jaye & Robert PRIVATE RESIDENCE FREEHOLD, NJ 10.10.2020 Photography by Vanessa Joy Photography

graduation when they began dating in 2009 after reconnecting on Facebook. “Rob would always draw graffiti letters and I cheekily would bother him to teach me to draw my name all fancy,” Jaye reminisced. It didn’t take long for Jaye to realize Robert was the one and even had a feeling a proposal was coming but was surprised when he proposed on Christmas morning in 2017. Falling in Love: Jaye and Robert love fall, so it was a no-brainer to use the coziest season of the year as the muse for their backyard wedding using hues of mauve, mustard, and olive green. Danielle of Magnolia West Events even incorporated unique aspects of the couple’s relationship, including flannel (Jaye’s favorite!) and deer antlers that Robert and his dad acquired from hunting trips.


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Backyard I Do’s: Due to Covid-19 restrictions, Jaye and Robert decided to move forward with a micro wedding, held in Rob’s sister’s backyard, with their closest family and bridal party. Their dog, BoBo, was even in attendance. Ceremony Decor: At the altar was a custom pergola built by the groom and decorated in bohemian-style florals, including roses, eucalyptus, hydrangea, leaves, and jewel-toned Amaranthus. Wood chairs flanked each side of the aisle, while pashminas hung on the backs of some chairs in case guests got cold.

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REAL WEDDING - Jaye & Robert


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Get Cozy: Following the ceremony, guests made their way to the outside tent for a celebration under the stars. Greenery-embellished chandeliers and suspended lights served as a focal point, while romantic lighting continued on the farmhousestyle tables adorned with seeded eucalyptus, pumpkins, and gold silverware. The yard also served as a laid-back lounge area with ottomans placed throughout with textured pillows and fleece throw blankets. Table for Two: The newlyweds sat at one of the prettiest sweetheart tables complete with a settee chair, various gold votive candles, lanterns, pumpkins, and fall foliage. On the Menu: Guests dined al fresco and enjoyed Italian cuisine including eggplant rollatini, chicken francaise, and penne vodka. And what’s a celebration without capping off the night on a sweet note?! The three-tier vanilla funfetti wedding cake had buttercream filling and frosting. The Future: Jaye and Robert are excited to make memories as a couple and look forward to adding another fur baby to their family in the future.

Ceremony & Reception Location: Private Residence Officiant: Wayne Isbitski Caterer: Romeo’s Italian American Photographer: Vanessa Joy Photography Cake Designer: Abbate Bakery Wedding Planner & Floral Designer: Magnolia West Events Table and Chair Rentals: Daylily Group Tent: Party Perfect Rentals Ceremony Pergola: Made by the Groom Place Card Calligraphy Tags: Smith Love Letters Wedding Gown: David’s Bridal Headpiece & Shoes: Amazon Groom’s Jacket: Chazmatazz Formalwear Favors: Terhune Orchards Hair Stylist: Metropolis Salon Jeweler: Diamond Castle and Woodbridge Jewelry Exchange

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REAL WEDDING - Carey & Christian

Carey and Christian met while attending The College of New Jersey for their undergraduate degree. The two had mutual friends and were active in the same Christian organization on campus, but it wasn’t until Christian’s senior year that they started to hang out. The couple went on a sunrise hike at High Mountain in North Haledon, New Jersey. When they got to the top of the summit, they sat on one of the rock outcrops overlooking NYC with the sun rising behind the infamous skyrises. It was there–at the same place where his parents got engaged 30 years prior– that Christian asked Carey to stand up, and then got down on one knee to propose. Tucked in Nature: Nestled in a gated residential community, Bear Brook Valley boasts greenery, a vineyard, and a modern farmhouse. The second Carey and Christian walked in, they were warmly welcomed, and they loved that they were able to customize their wedding exactly how

Carey & Christian BEAR BROOK VALLEY FREDON, NJ 11.07.2020 Photography by Monika De Myer

they envisioned. “Having our wedding in 2020 as well came with its unique challenges, and the fact they were able to have an open-air reception sealed the deal for us,” the duo raved.

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REAL WEDDING - Carey & Christian

Nothing Fancy, Just Love: With unseasonably warm weather for an early November wedding, Carey and Christian wed–less than three months from when they got engaged–overlooking Bear Brook Valley’s pond. The ceremony was officiated by Daniel Balevski, the groom’s older brother. “Dan has seen our relationship grow and progress. We both agreed it would be so special for him to be the one to marry us. We were right. He did such a great job,” the couple reminisced. The Best of Both Worlds: Carey expressed that saying yes to the dress was the easiest and most fun part of wedding planning. She was particularly drawn to Jenny Yoo for her modern styles and fell in love with a dress she had seen online. The gown featured a V-neck bodice with delicate straps, a fitted silhouette, and a low back that tied in a bow. Carey even added an


Contemporary Weddings Magazine |

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elegant tulle skirt overlay for the ceremony and then took it off to reveal a second look for the reception. She accessorized with a simple pearl necklace, statement earrings (borrowed from her sister), and pink BHLDN shoes. Groom’s Attire: Christian sported a nontraditional charcoal and black herringbone jacket from J.Crew with black pants, white shirt, black tie, and tie bar. A fall-hued boutonnière wrapped in black satin complemented his wedding day look. Table for Two: The newlyweds dined at a sweetheart table dressed to the nines. A garland accented with roses and pillar candles framed the table, while a greenery wall made a lovely backdrop. Simplistic Style on Budget: Carey was inspired by simplicity and really wanted the venue to shine. Set on the farmhouse-style tables were greenery garlands mixed with pillar candles in hurricane vases and tealights for a warm glow. Table numbers were displayed in gold frames.

Ceremony & Reception Location: Immaculate Conception Church Officiant: Daniel Balevski Photographer: Monika de Myer Photography Entertainment: DJ Nic Dolce Floral Designer: Viburnum Designs Limousine Service: Sparta Limousine Cake Designer: Palermo’s Bakery Wedding Gown Designer and Bridesmaid Dresses: Jenny Yoo Headpiece & Shoes: BHLDN Menswear: J.Crew and The Black Tux Invitations: Minted Favors: Photo Booth Hair Stylist and Makeup Artist: Alisha Nycole Honeymoon Location: The Cliff House, Maine

Contemporary Weddings Magazine |


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REAL WEDDING - Casey & Matthew

Casey & Matthew


Casey and Matthew met in 2012 while attending Pennsylvania State University. The two dated for seven years and even lived together for three years before taking their relationship to the next level. In March of 2019, Casey thought they were headed to her best friend’s house for a housewarming party. “On the way, we stopped by my parents’ house to pick up brownies


my mom had made for us to bring,” Casey reminisced. As they were walking up the path to

Photography by The Talented Photographer

place, but inside waiting to celebrate! Casey recalled, “It was truly a day I will never forget and

the front door, Matthew stopped her, got down on one knee, and proposed. Little did Casey know, their loved ones were not only peeking through the blinds watching the milestone take the surprise of a lifetime.”

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A Change of Plans: Casey and Matthew were originally set to wed and celebrate at the Knowlton Mansion, but due to the unfortunate circumstances of the coronavirus, they had to move the reception outside of the city to be in CDC guidelines. While the Cairnwood Estate might not have been the couple’s first reception option, the locale was able to accommodate an outdoor reception and made Casey and Matthew feel like royalty. “The venue is surrounded by beautiful architecture. It was truly the silver lining in having to move the [reception] location,” the bride shared.

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REAL WEDDING - Casey & Matthew The Inspiration: Casey and Matthew’s wedding can be best described as chic and elegant, with industrial touches in a neutral color palette. Gown Goals: Casey’s ball gown was beautiful itself, so she chose to only accessorize with gold stud earrings, a beaded headband, and a cathedrallength veil, which she wore only for the ceremony. “I tried on about seven dresses and knew it was the one as soon as I put it on,” the bride noted. The gown was a modern design in crisp white with a rose detail on one side. Casey then changed into a form-fitted, lightweight silk dress for the reception. First Look: The couple described their first look as a special moment they will never forget. With their bridal party and families watching close by, Casey’s nephew walked her over to Matthew. As soon as he turned around for the big reveal, Matthew immediately started to cry. Simple Decor: Tables were accented with white linens, greenery, and gold charger plates, along with white and black taper candles for a romantic glow. “Seeing all the creative ideas in my head come to life was the most exciting part of planning the wedding,” Casey said. Something Sweet: The couple’s four-tier, seminaked wedding cake continued with a clean and Ceremony Location: The Knowlton

minimalist design incorporating shimmering gold


leaf and acrylic monogram topper. The flavors

Officiant: Robert Moore

included chocolate cake or vanilla pound cake with

Reception Location: Cairnwood Estate Photographer: The Talented Photographer Entertainment: Push Event Group Floral Designer: Torresdale Flowers Trolley Service: Cescaphe Trolley Cake Designer: Conroy Catering Wedding Gown and Veil Designer: Maggie Sottero Headpiece: Babeyond Bridal (Etsy) Shoes: Badgley Mischka Groom’s Attire: Hugo Boss Invitations: Basic Invite Favors: Bottle Opener Hair Stylist: Top Knot Hair Makeup Artist: Air Hair and Makeup Jeweler: Infinity Jewelers


Contemporary Weddings Magazine |

chocolate buttercream filling, and the cake was served with whole strawberries, ice cream, and rum mocha and berry sauces.

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REAL WEDDING - Michele & Michael


Michele and Michael met in second grade when he moved to Waldwick, and they started dating the summer going into their senior year of high school. They were together for nine years, and while everyone around them was getting engaged, Michele was left thinking, “Why not us?” Michele had a bad day at work and when she got home there was a sign that said “Will” hanging in their parking spot. Thinking she would have to call management, Michele grabbed the mail and went upstairs to a dark apartment lit with romantic candlelight and another sign with the word “you” written on it. As Michele called out to see if anyone was home, their dog Edgar came running out wearing a shirt that said

Photography by Barbara Marcella Photography


“marry.” Michael then appeared, got down on one knee, and proposed with a custom engagement ring making this occasion one of the best days of Michele’s life.

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A Turn of Events: Despite getting engaged in 2018, securing vendors by early 2019, and initially having plenty of time to wedding plan, the coronavirus threw this couple for a loop, leaving them to make new arrangements in the middle of a pandemic. “COVID-19 made it very difficult for us to plan anything. We had multiple plans before we came up with the wedding day we had,” Michele shared. “I guess the pressure of getting everything done in such a limited amount of time was the real exciting part!”

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REAL WEDDING - Michele & Michael

Simple Silhouette: Michele walked down the aisle in her parents’ backyard wearing a form-fitted, beaded dress from Lulus. She accessorized her look with a beaded embellished veil, a necklace borrowed from her mom, earrings, and a simple silver bracelet. Bouquet Breakdown: Michele’s bouquet incorporated a mix of white florals including dahlias, white Playa Blanca roses, spray roses, lisianthus, veronica, blue thistle, light blue mini delphinium, acacia greenery, and eucalyptus. The stems were wrapped in silk and included charms of her beloved dog. An Intimate Celebration: Following the ceremony, the newlyweds and their closest loved ones headed to Portobello Restaurant to celebrate with an intimate outside dinner. Palm trees, string lighting, centerpieces, and wicker-style chairs were just a few details that harmonized with the locale’s tropical atmosphere. Wedding Day Moment: Michele and Michael both agreed that seeing each other for the first time during the ceremony was their favorite memory of the day. A Local Hideaway: The newlyweds escaped to Victorian Cape May for a mini moon right here in New Jersey. They stayed at the Grand Hotel, relaxed, and enjoyed their time together.


Contemporary Weddings Magazine |

Ceremony Location: Parents’ Backyard Officiant: Evermore Officiant Celebration Location: Portobello Restaurant Photographer: Barbara Marcella Photography Cinematographer: Danny B Productions Ceremony Music: Royal Strings Duo Floral Designer: Serendipity Floral and Event Design Limousine Service: Ultimate Party Bus Cake Designer: Melanie’s Desserts Wedding Gown: Lulus Shoes: Betsey Johnson Groom’s Attire: Men’s Wearhouse Bridesmaids Dresses: Azazie Invitations: Zazzle Favors: Etsy Hair Stylist and Makeup Artist: Leah Michelson & Lita Zurka Jeweler: David Jewelers Honeymoon: Cape May, NJ

P h o t o s (left) Photos (l eft) Courtney C o u r t n e y Simpson S i m p s o n Photography, P h o t og r a p hy, (rig (r iigggh ht) Ry Ry an a n Elizabeth E l iz ab e t h Photograp P h o t og r aapp hy hy

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Designer Invitations for Weddings and Special Events

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Customized Sweet Treats To Go Top the night off after celebrating with a sweet send off provided by Jaynee’s Party. Completely customized to offer what you want, from candy and chips to donuts and giant pretzels, your guests are sure to appreciate the treat to enjoy for their ride home.

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REAL WEDDING - Lauren & Kyle

Music has the power to connect moments and to bring people together. That’s exactly what happened in Lauren and Kyle’s case. Following the popular music festival Bamboozle, the two spent every weekend together that summer and started officially dating right before Lauren left for her sophomore fall semester. “We were inseparable,” Lauren shared. The couple had been together for almost seven years, and along the way, Lauren even teased Kyle about proposing. They were celebrating their first Christmas together in their apartment, and Kyle had wrapped an empty jewelry box, which Lauren thought was a joke. Before she knew it, Kyle was down on one knee proposing with a halo-style, emerald-cut engagement ring.

Lauren & Kyle BEYOND ORGANIC GROWERS, FREEHOLD, NJ 10.24.2020 Photography by Heyn Photography

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REAL WEDDING - Lauren & Kyle

All-Natural Atmosphere: Beyond Organic Growers wasn’t the couple’s first venue choice, but when Lauren and Kyle realized they would have to postpone the big reception they originally imagined, they decided to move forward with an intimate celebration. They knew they wanted a location that was covered but still outside for a natural and organic feel. As soon as Lauren visited Beyond Organic Growers, she fell in love. “The way the herbs and greenery engulf the greenhouse is beautiful, and it needed almost no decorating because of the natural beauty. The staff was very accommodating and made great recommendations,” Lauren raved.


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Find Your Seat: The couple chose to forgo traditional tented escort cards. Instead, they printed out guests’ seating assignments– arranged by table number and framed in gold frames–creating a modern seating chart display. They even personalized it by adding a photo from their engagement session in one of the frames! Simple Decor: Natural tones of white and green filled the venue’s greenhouse. “We did not want to take away from the beauty of the venue and kept a natural vibe,” the bride mentioned. They adorned guest tables with scattered eucalyptus and added gold accents through table numbers and charger plates. Let Love Grow: In keeping with the organic vibe of their wedding aesthetic, Lauren and Kyle sent guests home with miniature potted succulent plants as a thank you for sharing their wedding day with them. The favors were collectively displayed on a table with a sign that read, “Take one and watch love grow.”

Ceremony Location: St. Aloysius Church Celebrant: Deacon Uku Reception Location: Beyond Organic Growers Photographer: Heyn Photography Cinematographer: Creative Unlimited Floral Designer: Wildflowers Florist Cake Designer: Kathy’s Cake Wedding Gown Designer: Stella York Shoes: Aldo Groom’s Attire: Macy’s Favors: DIY Hair Stylist and Makeup Artist: Spa Bella Jewelers: Kay Jewelers and Bentley Jewelers

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REAL WEDDING - Jackie & Hutton

Jackie & Hutton PRIVATE RESIDENCE POINT PLEASANT, NJ 10.03.2020 Photography by Fox Photography


Jackie and Hutton have DeSales University to thank for bringing them together. They supported each other throughout college and cheered each other on at lacrosse games and dance shows. “I like to think we broadened each other’s horizons through performance arts and sports,” Jackie shared. The night of the engagement started with a dinner date in Belmar, New Jersey. Jackie even jokingly asked Hutton if he was going to propose as she was getting into the car. Following what Jackie said felt like the longest dinner ever, they went for a walk on the beach. As they were taking in the view, Jackie turned to find Hutton down on one knee. “I was so surprised and happy!”

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Roll with the Punches: Jackie and Hutton’s wedding day might not have gone exactly as they anticipated, and they even had to re-plan almost everything. Despite the setbacks and COVID-19 restrictions, the couple rolled with the punches, and their wedding day ended up being imperfectly perfect with a small Catholic church ceremony and mass, followed by a micro wedding overlooking the Manasquan River at Jackie’s parents’ home in Brick, NJ. A Family Affair: The bride decided not to hire a wedding planner, but many of her family and friends helped with details and decorating. Shades of ivory, beige, green, and terra cotta mixed with velvet, dried flowers, and seashells made their fall-at-the-beach wedding come to life. On the reception tables were ivory linens with centerpieces made of dried eucalyptus and bunny tails, with seashells at the bottom of each vase surrounded by candles and a disposable camera for guests to capture moments through their perspective.

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REAL WEDDING - Jackie & Hutton


Contemporary Weddings Magazine |

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Whimsy Romance: Jackie tried on about 12 gowns in total between two different bridal salons and even went to BHLDN by herself, where she narrowed her selections down to three designs. She then went back with her mom and ultimately said “yes!” to the whimsical and romantic Miles gown featuring a touch of lace along the sweetheart neckline and off-the-shoulder sleeves. Jackie accessorized with a veil handmade by her mom, emerald stud earrings, and a pearl anklet, gifted by one of her maids of honor. Bouquet





eucalyptus, small pampas, and scabiosa pods made up the bride’s bouquet. Jackie’s mom’s blue sapphire ring was tied around her bouquet, which served as her something blue. Sweet Treats: The groom is an ice-cream connoisseur, so they knew they needed to incorporate this favorite sweet treat into their wedding day. Lexylicious delivered with a late-night snack, serving up gourmet ice-cream sandwiches including chocolate, vanilla, cookie dough, and mint chip on various flavored cookies. Road-Tripping: The newlyweds originally planned to honeymoon in New Zealand, but that didn’t work out. They changed plans and drove through upstate New York and visited Tarrytown, Sleepy Hollow, Cold Spring, and Windham.

Ceremony: Saint Peter’s Church Celebrant: Rev. Joseph Moschetto Reception Location: Private Residence Caterer: Spring Lake Manor Photographer: Fox Photography Cinematography: Kendra Brisco Videography Entertainment: Silver Arrow Band Bouquets: Flower Bar Transportation: Long Branch Trolley Company Cake Designer: Oak Crest Catering Ice-Cream Truck: Lexylicious Wedding Gown Designer: BHLDN Veil: Made by Bride’s Mother Formal Attire: Generation Tux Bridesmaid Dresses: Bella Bridesmaid Invitations: DIY Favors: Donations Hair Stylist: Hot Mess Studios Jewelers: Consider the Wldflwrs and Twin City Jewelers Mini-Moon Location: Upstate New York

Contemporary Weddings Magazine |


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Hotel Riu Palace Paradise Island

(800) ATLANTIS • 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 • 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 • The ultimate all-inclusive Bahamas vacation; exceptional service; freshwater swimming pools; Jacuzzi; solarium-terrace; Renova Spa; decadent cuisine; 379 guest rooms; friendly Bahamian pace.






Contemporary Weddings Magazine |


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Hot Spots


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Hot Spots


Your guide to finding the perfect honeymoon resort


The Ocean Club

Sandals Emerald Bay

Sandals Royal Bahamian

(800) 819-5053 • 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 • 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.

(888) SANDALS • Monument to regal elegance; full-service European spa; heated colonnaded pool; exotic firepits; ten superb restaurants; various offshore, water, and land activities; private offshore island.


Divi Southwinds Beach Resort

Fairmont Royal Pavilion

Hilton Barbados Resort

(800) 367-3484 • 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 • 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 • 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 • 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 • 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 • Unforgettable experiences; daily programs; complimentary water sports; swimming pools; beach concierge; on-site dining; spa and fitness centre; premium all-inclusive resort and hotel.



Contemporary Weddings Magazine |

Adults Only


Golf Course

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Your guide to finding the perfect honeymoon resort


Divi Flamingo Beach Resort & Casino

Harbour Village Bonaire

Plaza Beach & Dive Resort Bonaire

(800) 367-3484 • 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 • 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 • Suites and rooms with ocean and laguna views; private beach; boat rentals; kids club; theme nights; water sports; yoga; fitness center; newly renovated luxury pool and beach bar.


Hotel Bahía del Sol

Si Como No Resort, Spa and Wildlife Refuge

The Westin Golf Resort & Spa, Playa Conchal

(866) 223-2463 • 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 • 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 • 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.


Baoase Luxury Resort Curaçao

Blue Bay Curaçao Golf & Beach Resort

Dreams Curaçao Resort, Spa & Casino

(888) 409-3506 • Luxury services and amenities of a five star resort; 12 of the 23 units, feature private plunge pool; lush gardens; Balinese-inspired furnishings; serene and tranquil atmosphere.

5999-888-8800 • Unwind 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 • 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.






Contemporary Weddings Magazine |


bonaire • costa rica • curacao • bonaire • costa rica • curacao • bonaire • costa rica • curacao • bonaire • costa rica

Hot Spots


dominican republic • jamaica • dominican republic • jamaica • dominican republic • jamaica • dominican republic • jamaica

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Hot Spots


Your guide to finding the perfect honeymoon resort


Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Punta Cana

Viva Wyndham V Heavens

Viva Wyndham V Samaná

(855) 537-4129 • Five-Star accommodations; world-class dining in nine restaurants; nightlife; casino; 15 pools; poolside service; 24/7 in-room service; Nicklausdesigned golf course; spa and free wifi.

(800) 996-3426 • Soak up the sun on the beach or at the pool; hit the links of the Playa Dorada Golf Course; spend your evenings indulging in upscale dining, live entertainment, dancing, or at the nearby casino.

(800) 996-3426 • Crystal-clear waterfalls; miles of pristine secluded beaches; rolling hills; distinct culture and history; one of the country’s most attractive, yet still unexplored regions; upscale, a la carte dining.


Bluefields Bay

Hilton Rose Hall Resort & Spa

Hotel Riu Montego Bay 5

(877) 955-8993 • 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 • Nestled between the scenic mountains and turquoise Caribbean waters; contemporary beachfront accommodations; Sugar Mill Falls Water Park; full-service Soothe Spa.

(888) RIU-4990 • Calm beach; turquoise water; themed restaurants; freshwater swimming pool; Renova Spa; fitness center; windsurfing; sailing; kayaking; snorkeling; diving; completely refurbished in 2020.

Hotel Riu Negril 5

Hotel Riu Ocho Rios 5

Hyatt Zilara Rose Hall

(888) RIU-4990 • 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.

(888) RIU-4990 • Located on the splendid Mammee Bay; surrounded by thick woods and waterfalls; personalized service; delectable restaurants and bars; daily activities; two freshwater swimming pools.

(833) 284-9288 • 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.



Contemporary Weddings Magazine |

Adults Only


Golf Course

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Your guide to finding the perfect honeymoon resort


Jewel Paradise Cove Beach Resort & Spa

Royalton Blue Waters Montego Bay

Royalton White Sands Montego Bay

(833) 325-3935 • 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.

(855) 744-8371 • Luxurious escape; stylish architecture; pristine beach; unlimited à la carte dining; signature handcrafted DreamBed™ mattresses; stay at 1 play at 2’ benefits to adjacent Royalton White Sands.

(855) 744-8371 • Unlimited reservation-free dining and drinks; activities, sports, and entertainment program; signature handcrafted DreamBed™ mattresses; stay at 1 play at 2’ benefits with Royalton Blue Waters.

Sandals Royal Caribbean

Sandals Royal Plantation

The Westender Inn

(888) SANDALS • 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 • 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.

(800) 223-3876 • Blending island charm with laidback luxury; twenty-eight unique rooms, suites and cottages to suit any preference; seven acres of lush tropical gardens, four pools, and two bars and restaurants.


Beach Palace

Dreams Tulum Resort & Spa

The Grand At Moon Palace Cancun

(800) 986-5632 • 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 • 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 • 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!






Contemporary Weddings Magazine |


jamaica • mexico • jamaica • mexico • jamaica • mexico • jamaica • mexico • jamaica • mexico • jamaica • mexico

Hot Spots


maxico • maxico • maxico • maxico • maxico • maxico • maxico • maxico • maxico • maxico • maxico • maxico • maxico •

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Hot Spots


Your guide to finding the perfect honeymoon resort


Grand Oasis Cancun

Grand Oasis Palm

Hard Rock Hotel Cancun

(800) 44-OASIS • 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 • 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.

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

Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya

Hard Rock Hotel Vallarta

Hotel Riu Palace Pacífico

(855) 537-4603 • 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 • 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.

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

Hotel Riu Palace Riviera Maya

Marriott Puerto Vallarta Resort & Spa

Moon Palace Cancun

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

(888) 236-2427 • 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.

(800) 986-5632 • 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.



Contemporary Weddings Magazine |

Adults Only


Golf Course

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Your guide to finding the perfect honeymoon resort


Oh! Cancun The Urban Oasis

One&Only Palmilla

The Pyramid at Grand Oasis

(800) 44-OASIS • 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 • 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.

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

The Sian Ka'an at Grand Palm

The Sian Ka’an at The Pyramid

Sun Palace

(800) 44-OASIS • 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.

(800) 44-OASIS • 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 • Intimate and couples-only; 252 guest rooms or suites; private balconies; breathtaking views; luxurious amenities; five-star restaurants; three bars; spa services; exhilarating activities.


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


Villa Montaña Beach Resort

Wyndham Grand Rio Mar Beach Resort & Spa

(888) 432-4667 • 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 • Designed to pamper and impress; breathtaking ocean views; 400 guest rooms; Mandara Spa; full-service casino; secluded beach; two oceanfront swimming pools.





Contemporary Weddings Magazine |


mexico • puerto rico • mexico • puerto rico • mexico • puerto rico • mexico • puerto rico • mexico • puerto rico • mexico •

Hot Spots


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Hot Spots


Your guide to finding the perfect honeymoon resort


Four Seasons Resort Nevis

St. Kitts Marriott Resort & Royal Beach Casino

Sugar Bay Club Hotel

(869) 469-1111 • Beachfront oasis; 50 spacious villas and estate homes; ideal for romantic retreats; private beach huts and pool cabanas; boating excursions; snorkeling; sunset sails; 18-hole, par-71 golf course.

(869) 466-1200 • 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 • 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.


Calabash Cove Resort & Spa

Coconut Bay Beach Resort & Spa

Ti Kaye Resort & Spa

(800) 917-COVE • 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 • 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 • 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.


Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora

Manava Suite Resort Tahiti

Tahiti Pearl Beach Resort

(689) 40-603-170 • 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 • 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 • 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.



Contemporary Weddings Magazine |

Adults Only


Golf Course

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Your guide to finding the perfect honeymoon resort


Alexandra Resort

Beach House Turks & Caicos

The Somerset on Grace Bay

(800) 284-0699 • 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 • 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 • 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.


Boca Raton Resort & Club

Catamaran Resort Hotel and Spa

Enchantment Resort

Boca Raton, Florida (561) 447-3000 • 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 • 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 • 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 • 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 • 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 • Beachfront hotel; world-class shopping; awardwinning dining; oceanfront WET East pool; nightly entertainment; 24-hour gym; sunrise yoga; beach boot camp; new AWAY Spa.

Due to the ongoing pandemic, please check with your travel agent or resort for any restrictions regarding your destination






Contemporary Weddings Magazine |


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Hot Spots


Barcelo-ad.qxp_AD TEMPLATE-single 2/22/21 10:14 AM Page 1

The most beautiful paradise with an idyllic beach perfect for romantic walks and the best experience to enjoy the caribbean

1 800 BARCELO |

Live up to more

Sweeps-121.qxp_AD TEMPLATE-single 2/22/21 9:25 AM Page 1

The honeymoon of your dreams awaits in the sun-soaked setting of Aruba. It’s here in the ABC Islands you’ll find infinite turquoise waters, clear blue skies, and palm-fringed sugar-white sand beaches; everything you need to relive your best day over and over again. Fall even deeper in love at the all-inclusive, Barceló Aruba. From beachside relaxation to adventure, there are many activities to enjoy while honeymooning on one happy island. Unwind on Palm Beach under a shady palapa or bask under the Caribbean sun at the resort’s sprawling pool, or participate in activities such as snorkeling, kayaking, and chartering a catamaran. If you’re the winning couple, you’ll escape on a romantic, all-inclusive seven-night honeymoon at the Barceló Aruba with luxury accommodations for two adults, including all meals, snacks, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, and all on-property entertainment and activities. What are you waiting for? Enter to win by filling out the enclosed card or enter on!

Fill out the enclosed card or enter online, or to view the official rules and regulations, visit *Some activities may be subject to an extra charge. *Some restrictions and blackout dates may apply.


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Shades of Paradise A romantic honeymoon awaits you on this ABC island By Meghan Chalfant

Every day is sure to be paradise with your other half, but jet-setting off to a romantic locale after planning the biggest life event to date sounds pretty incredible! After postponements, and in some cases, making the decision to pivot to plans b, c, and d, we’re here to tell you, the honeymoon of your dreams does NOT have to be put on hold. Yes! It is still possible to plan and safely travel…especially if the tropical escape of your choice includes island adventures, crystal blue water, miles of powder white sand, spectacular sunsets, and falling even deeper in love on one happy island.


Contemporary Weddings Magazine |

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About Aruba Cradled within the southern Caribbean, the Dutch island of Aruba is 15 miles north of the Venezuelan coast and has long lured discerning travelers to its sun-soaked shores. 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 youÊre 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. ArubaÊs rich, multicultural history can be seen throughout the entire island, from the vibrant architecture and island excursions to delectable cuisines and, of course, ArubaÊs monthlong Carnival celebration (uniting the entire country) with over-the-top pageantry, music, parades, parties, and more.

Where to Stay Nestled on ArubaÊs famous two-mile stretch of Palm Beach is a spectacular, beachfront all-inclusive resort. ItÊs an oasis thatÊs known to mesmerize with its captivating white sandy shores, picturesque palapas, and fascinating sites. Your Aruban stay begins at the Barceló Aruba. Here, guests will enjoy only the finest in Aruba luxury, complete with VIP service. Panoramic ocean views prevail from each of the hotelÊs 373 room balconies, but itÊs within the 44 Royal Level rooms, where discerning couples will truly enjoy elite amenities and VIP services within the resort. In addition to all the standard comforts the Barceló Aruba has to offer, including spacious accommodations, bathrobes, slippers, room service, free Wi-Fi, personal concierge service, priority reservations, and a private lounge for check-in and check-out, guests choosing Royal Level accommodations can also expect first-rate linens, pillows, towels, a minibar (restocked daily), and nighttime turndown service, as well as dining at the Royal Level Restaurant–exclusive for Royal Level guests.

Traveler Health Requirements (updated as of January 13, 2021) 1) An embarkment form must be completed through an online portal prior to visiting. 2) Travelers will need to have a negative PCR test 72 hours before coming to the island; results need to be uploaded or showed at the airport upon arrival. 3) In the event that a PCR Covid-19 test is not taken prior to travel to Aruba, one will be administered and required at the airport when arriving in Aruba. A mandatory quarantine is required at the travelerÊs booked accommodations up to 24 hours, while the test results are assessed. In the event you test positive, you will be isolated to a facility of their choosing. 4) You will also be required to take out temporary health insurance to cover any Covid-19-related expenses up to $75k; price is $30 per person flat fee. Visit, for continuous and the most recent updates regarding health requirements.

Contemporary Weddings Magazine |


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Island Temptations Whether youÊre craving poolside snacks or full-course meals, the Barceló Aruba has a variety of delectable restaurants to choose from to satisfy your tastebuds in the resortÊs seven restaurants and three bars. During the day, fulfill all of your cravings at The Beach Club, serving light fare, grilled specialties, soups, salads, and more lunch alternatives; enjoy international provisions at The Palm (buffet-style); or enjoy Italian, Mexican, Japanese, or local Aruban seafood at the themed à la carte restaurants. Although all meals, snacks, and drinks are included at the all-inclusive Barceló Aruba, you may want to try one of the great restaurants the island has to offer. Off 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 (, 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 youÊre on the island, donÊt 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, thereÊs so much more to Aruba than just the beach that highlights ArubaÊs natural beauty. The California Lighthouse offers breathtaking views of the western coastline and entire island, while the Fontein Caves emphasize ArubaÊs history with drawings made by the Arawak Indians. Schedule an off-road UTV tour along the islandÊs desert side with a stop at the Natural Pool for a quick dip, or stop for a romantic picnic under the 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.YouÊll also want to stroll through shopperÊs paradise– Downtown Oranjestad–where youÊll find locally made artisan crafts and international brands from jewelry and fragrance to Dutch delicacies, Aruba aloe products, and even Cuban cigars! 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 resort activities such as kayaking, snorkeling, and fitness classes like beach Zumba– you can do it all or nothing at all.


Contemporary Weddings Magazine |

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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, or at the Barceló Aruba with the sweeping water views as your backdrop. Whether you envision a grand ballroom celebration or an intimate dinner on the beach, the Barceló Aruba offers a unique wedding experience with a variety of packages for every type of engaged couple.

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, youÊre 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 Resort photos compliments of Barceló Aruba 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) ArubaÊs 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) ArubaÊs sun is strongest from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM; donÊt forget to protect your skin by reapplying sunscreen often. 7) Aruba is known for its casual and laid-back island vibe. By day, vacationers wear bathing suits, cover-ups, hats, sunglasses, and flip-flops, but donÊt forget to bring along sturdy walking shoes or sneakers for off-road adventures.

Contemporary Weddings Magazine |


HardRock-ad.qxp_AD TEMPLATE-single 1/3/20 1:31 PM Page 1

get lost in the moMent It’s a day you’ll always remember, so make it unforgettable. Set the scene with one of our inspired collections that have been crafted to perfectly complement the breathtaking backdrop of your big moment. | 855.762.5255 | @weddingsbythebeach

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HONEYMOON - Dominican Republic

Destination Daydreaming A dream all-inclusive honeymoon in the tropics By Meghan Chalfant 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!

Travel Advisory Visit Dominican Republic tourism ( and/or Hard Rock Hotel Punta Cana ( for detailed information about travel requirements and safety protocols. Travel mandates update frequently and regulations can change, so it’s important to be prepared before you travel or plan a trip.

Contemporary Weddings Magazine |


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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 freespirited 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


Contemporary Weddings Magazine |

PuntaCanaHoneymoon.qxp_AD TEMPLATE-single 2/16/21 9:18 PM Page 3

during your stay at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Punta Cana. Whether you’re craving midday snacks or fullcourse 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. At the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Punta Cana,

sun seekers FROM RELAXATION TO ADVENTURE, THERE ARE MANY THINGS TO EXPLORE BY DAY WHILE HONEYMOONING IN THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC. 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 resort’s four new wedding inspirations to make your day even more incredible.

Contemporary Weddings Magazine |


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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 offroad 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

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


Contemporary Weddings Magazine |

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For incurable romantics, loving the idea of getting married in the sun. Call our Expert Wedding Team to help design your perfect dream - today!

(800) 917-COVE (2683)

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bridal showcase-ad.qxp_AD TEMPLATE-single 2/19/21 5:12 PM Page 1


The Ultimate Bridal Showcase

The Grand

Come see the STUNNING TRANSFORMATION of THE (former) BETHWOOD 38 Lackawanna Avenue • Totowa, NJ Coming in April 2021 Check the website for show dates and times and for Covid-19 updates


FREE ADMISSION! NJ’s finest wedding professionals • Live entertainment & high energy fashion show Grand prize giveaways • Hot and cold food stations + desserts • Complimentary bridal magazines REGISTER TODAY and VIEW ADDITIONAL SHOW DATES AT

BRIDALSHOWSNJ.COM Questions? (732) 672-5071


Contemporary Weddings Magazine |

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Banquet Facilities & Catering Atlantis Ballroom . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14-15 732-731-8000


Grand Ballroom . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9 732-876-3996

Windsor Ballroom . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14-15 609-443-8000

Grand Oaks Country Club . . . . . . . . . . . . .33 718-356-2771

Bridal Consultants & Event Planners

Grand Plaza . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .37 718-967-4034

Calligraphy Bella Vista Country Club . . . . . . . . . . . . . .31 732-308-4600 The Château Grande Hotel . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 732-724-4600 The Crystal Ballroom . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14-15

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

732-780-3405 Crystal Point Yacht Club . . . . . . . . . . . . .4-5 732-295-7000

Park Château . . . . . . . . .Inside Back Cover 732-238-4200 The Park Savoy . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Back Cover 973-377-7100

Jaynee's Party . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .92 201-568-6717

Lace and Belle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .91 908-380-6617

Gown Preservation Hallak Cleaners . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .38 201-343-7333

Honeymoon Locations & Travel Barceló Aruba . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .112 800-BARCELO

Cosmopolitan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7 973-633-5111

The Pines Manor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .22-23 732-287-2222

The Estate at Farrington Lake . . . . . .16-17 732-297-1500 The Estate at Florentine Gardens . . . . .2-3 201-666-0444 Faunbrook Bed & Breakfast . . . . . . . . . . .29 610-436-5788

Hard Rock Hotel Punta Cana . . . . . . . .118 855-762-5255

Sterling Ballroom . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14-15 732-544-9305

Calabash Cove . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .123 1-800-917-COVE

Vanderbilt at South Beach . . . . . . . . . . . .35 718-447-0800

Invitations Jaynee’s Party . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .92 201-568-6717

Versailles Ballroom . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14-15 732-719-1206

Lace and Belle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .91 908-380-6617

Contemporary Weddings Magazine |


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Radisson Hotel Freehold . . . . . . . . . .14-15

Milton Gil Photographers . . . . . . . . . . . . .67

Jewelry Link . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .52-53



732-370-4840 Ramada Toms River . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14-15

Nicole Klym Photography, LLC . . . . . . . .63

Limousine Service



Ambassador Limousine of NJ . . . . . .96-97

Sheraton Eatontown . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9

Rentals & Linens


Bergen Linen Co. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .38



Music & Entertainment Limelight Entertainment . . . . . . . . . . . . . .72


Photo Booths Limelight Entertainment . . . . . . . . . . . . . .72

Over-Night Accommodations The Château Grande Hotel . . . . . . . . . . . . .1



Sweets Truck Jaynee's Party . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .92 201-568-6717

Wedding Events Photography & Videography

Bridal Showcase/Four Season . . . . . .126

Allan Reider Studios . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .80 Crystal Point Yacht Club . . . . . . . . . . . . .4-5



732-295-7000 DoubleTree by Hilton Tinton Falls . .14-15 732-544-9300

Elegant Bridal Productions, Inc. . .124-125 DaVinci Storytellers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .87



Wedding Information Service KSS Photography . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .72

Contemporary Weddings Magazine . . . .43



Holiday Inn East Windsor . . . . . . . . . .14-15

Limelight Entertainment . . . . . . . . . . . . . .72

NJ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .38




Faunbrook Bed & Breakfast . . . . . . . . . . .29 610-436-5788


Contemporary Weddings Magazine |

ParkChateau-ad.qxp_AD TEMPLATE-single 2/17/21 1:01 PM Page 1

Park Château Estate and Gardens is located on 15 acres of luscious gardens. With a privaate pond and serene chapel, it w ill prov ide the perfect setting for your exclusive ou o tdoor or indoor wedding ceremony and reception.


Th Chât The h teauu Grande rande Hote otel for more information, pllease v isit the hotel website w w w.chateaug ra

678 Cranburyy Road, Road East Brunswick, Brunswick, NJ 08816 | 732 732-238-420 238 420 00 0 0 www.p | info@

ParkSavoy-ad.qxp_AD TEMPLATE-single 2/16/21 3:26 PM Page 1

Wee p u rsu e a s i ng l e g o al : to cre a te s e t t i n gs ffoo r g ard e n we ddi ngs wa r m e d W b y t i m e l e s s e l e g a n ce a n d m a t ch e d bbyy a we d d i n g re ce p t i o n w i t h f l a wl e s s by se r v i ce . F ro m s u p e r b c u i s i n e to l ovellyy n a t u ra l g a rd en s a n d u np a ra llele d s t a f f,f TThh e Pa rk S a vooyy i s a w o n d e r f u l llyy u n i q u e we d d i n g ffaac a i l i ttyy. I n k e e p i n g w i t h o u r co m m i t m e nt to s e r v i ce , we ca te r to o n e we d d i n g a t a t i m e s o t h a t we m a y ffoo c u s o u r a t te n t i o n s o l e llyy o n yo u a n d yo u r g u e s t s .

Articles inside

Jackie & Hutton at Private Estate

pages 100-103

Lauren & Kyle at Beyond Organic Growers

pages 95-99

Casey & Matthew at The Cairnwood Estate

pages 86-89

Michele & Michael at Portobello Restaurant

pages 90-94

Carey & Christian at Bear Brook Valley

pages 83-85

Brenna & Ryan at Private Estate

pages 75-77

Stefani & Kevin at Bonnet Island Estate

pages 62-65

Melissa & Christopher at WoodsEdge Farm

pages 66-74

Jaye & Robert at Private Estate

pages 78-82

Colleen & John at The Mill Lakeside Manor

pages 50-61

Marianna & James at Sheraton Eatontown

pages 20-45

Kristen & Joann at Park Château Estate and Gardens

pages 46-49

Maria & Michael at Park Savoy Estate

pages 12-19
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