What happens when you plan your dream beach wedding down to the last detail—only to have to start all over months later? Jessica, 29, found out when damage to her Jersey Shore venue after Superstorm Sandy forced her to cancel her oceanfront bash and start all over—this time for an April affair at a nearby country club. With just six months to plan and a tight budget, Jessica and her fiance Colin—who met in high school and fell in love on the Jersey Shore beaches—got resourceful, making the most of the club's decor and designing a preppy, airy reception in shades of pink and green. Throw in a breathtaking Catholic ceremony at a historic church, a Cinderella-worthy ball gown, and two be-tutued ballerinas, and you've got a dream wedding, after all.
Jessica and Colin started dating during a summer in college spent together at the Jersey Shore, so Colin couldn't think of a more fitting proposal spot than their summer hideaway. On Labor Day weekend in 2011, he asked Jessica to take a walk on the beach. Just as they were about to turn around and head back, he dropped to one knee—wearing nothing but his swim trunks!
Jessica wanted to walk down the aisle in a dress she'd always remember, but she didn't want to blow her budget on a gown she'd only wear for a few hours. Weeks of research led her to a strapless ball gown with a feathered bodice and organza skirt by Pronovias. A fingertip veil, pearl earrings, and a simple bouquet of white peonies completed her traditional look. "The dress was so glamorous, I didn't want to over-accessorize," Jessica says.
Jessica chose a long, soft pink chiffon dress by Bari Jay for her bridesmaids, in fitting with her springtime country club affair. "Plus, the color looked beautiful next to my dress," she says.
Jessica's flower girls wore leotards, tulle skirts and ballet slippers. "Since my dress was so 'Swan Lake', I wanted my two flower girls to be my ballerinas," Jessica explained.
Groomsmen wore slim-cut Vera Wang Black tuxedos and matching pink polka dot novelty socks.
Jessica and Colin were married at Saint James Catholic Church in Red Bank, NJ, in a traditional Catholic ceremony.
The historic chapel had special significance to the bride: Jessica's family belonged to the church, and her parents were married there. "The church was so beautiful, it didn't even need decoration," she says.
After Superstorm Sandy put a damper on their beach wedding, Jessica and Colin scrambled to find another Jersey Shore venue that could accommodate them on short notice. The couple loved the idyllic Rumson Country Club for a spring wedding, but it meant big changes when it came to planning. "Switching from September to April and from the beach to the country club, my whole vision did a 360," Jessica says.
When she started thinking about an April affair, Jessica's mind turned immediately to her favorite designer, Lily Pulitzer. Using her brightly-colored sundresses as inspiration, Jessica designed her decor in a palette of springy pinks and greens. Simple white linens and the soft light from tall candles allowed pale pink napkins and preppy pink and green centerpieces to pop.
On the Rumson Country Club's walls hang beautiful prints of American birds. To offset the ready-made decor, Jessica and Colin hung escort cards in a birdcage and used John James Audubon's The Birds of America
as a guest book.
Jessica and Colin opted for eight tiers of buttercream-frosted cupcakes in lieu of a traditional cake, with a top layer of strawberry shortcake.
Before they headed home, guests stopped by a candy bar filled with pink and green confections.
Jessica's advice to brides? "You can easily have a beautiful wedding on a tight budget, but don't skimp on the honeymoon! We'll never regret splurging on a trip to St. Barths."
Ceremony Venue: Saint James Catholic Church || Reception Venue: Rumson Country Club || Bride's Wedding Dress and Veil: Pronovias || Shoes: Ann Taylor and Toms || Hair: Liz Casey Makeup || Makeup: Dona Massa || Bridesmaids' Dresses: Bari Jay || Groom & Groomsmen's Tuxedos: Custum Michael Duru and Vera Wang Black from Men's Wearhouse || Rings: A.H. Fisher || Florist: Barbara Batting of Bloomster Floral Design || Invitations and Paper Goods: Lily Pulitzer from Pauline's Paperie 732-212-1071 || Music: Bobby Ballack (cocktail hour) and Motor City Revue Band || Cake: Cupcake Magician || Photography: Jenelle Kappe Photography