A Romantic Garden Wedding At Shadowbrook in Shrewsbury, NJ

NY, NJ and CT, Real Weddings
Bride and Groom at Shadowbrook in New Jersey

Photo: Ron Antonelli of Brian Dorsey Studios

The road to this gorgeous, flower-filled wedding began by coincidence in Venice, Italy, in 2001. Daryl was traveling through Europe on a teen program, while Jesse was backpacking with his best friends before heading to Cornell University for his freshman year. A mutual friend introduced the two, and they spent the afternoon together before continuing with their trips. In 2003, Daryl arrived at Cornell as a freshman, and she bumped into Jesse in a restaurant during orientation. The instant connection led to dinner and dating, which continued until Jesse graduated in 2005. They broke up, but stayed close friends and even lived in the same neighborhood in New York City. Finally, during the summer of 2010, they yet again found one another on a trip to Europe, and this time decided their adventures would be even better together.

In February of 2013, as the snow fell outside, Jesse urged Daryl to get ready so they could go to brunch with her sister and her boyfriend. "Since I work in the wedding industry, I very rarely get weekends off," says Daryl, "so Jesse wanted to make sure we made our plans." As she got ready to go, Jesse asked Daryl to come into the living room. She found him surrounded by rose petals, flowers, and images of Paris. "He'd told me we were going to Paris for Valentine's Day, and it suddenly hit me that the trip was going to be a celebration of our engagement," Daryl says. "He'd wanted to ask me while we were there, but he said he couldn't wait!" After she said "yes!" the couple made their way to brunch, where their families were waiting to celebrate with them. The next day, they were off to Paris!

There was no question that the couple would be wed at Shadowbrook, an historic estate an hour from Manhattan that Daryl's parents have owned and operated since 1971. Fresh flowers, an incredible garden, and a warm gold-and-ivory color scheme set the scene for their romantic summer wedding on August 10th, 2013.

Laser-Cut Formal Wedding Invitation by Alpine Creative Wedding Bands and Engagement Ring

Photo: Ron Antonelli of Brian Dorsey Studios

Intricate laser-cut invitations by Alpine Creative Group matched the lace on Daryl's gown. Jesse chose a non-traditional rose gold band, while Daryl's solid gold band was passed down to her from her grandmother.

Bride's Crystal Prada Sandals

Photo: Ron Antonelli of Brian Dorsey Studios

Crystal-embellished Prada sandals gave Daryl some height—and some sparkle—beneath her gown.

Bride in the Vera Wang Leda Gown

Photo: Ron Antonelli of Brian Dorsey Studios

The bannisters of the mansion were dripping with fresh hydrangeas and orchids.

Vera Wang Leda Lace Wedding Gown Bride with a White Bouquet

Photo: Ron Antonelli of Brian Dorsey Studios

Daryl chose an elegant fit-and-flare gown by Vera Wang. "The gown had just arrived at the boutique in New York—I was only the third person to try it on," says Daryl. "The light, dimensional lace was perfect for our summer garden wedding. I did my due diligence and visited another boutique, but I couldn't wait to come back and order the Leda!"

To compliment her gown, Daryl carried a small round bouquet of garden roses, accented with stephanotis blossoms. She wore two vintage sapphire and diamond bracelets from her mother as her "something blue."

Wedding Party in Tuxedos and Blush Dresses

Photo: Ron Antonelli of Brian Dorsey Studios

Jesse wanted to wear something unique, but doesn't like being the center of attention, so he chose a bespoke midnight blue tuxedo. The groomsmen wore classic black tuxedos, while Daryl's bridesmaids wore dresses of their own choosing, one in blush and one in gold. "My sister's dress was just the right amount of sparkle, and was perfect for our palette," says the bride.

Escort Card Display with Pink and White Flowers

Photo: Ron Antonelli of Brian Dorsey Studios

On their way into the ceremony, guests were greeted with a large escort card board framed in bright roses, ranunculus, hydrangeas, and orchids in pink, purple, and white.

Flower and Branch Chuppah at an Outdoor Wedding Floral Chuppah at an Outdoor Garden Wedding at Shadowbrook

Photo: Ron Antonelli of Brian Dorsey Studios

The ceremony took place beneath a natural chuppah made of trees hung with white orchids and candles. The design accented the property's lush, manicured gardens. "It completely exceeded my vision," says Daryl. "It was exaggerated and gorgeous, but not over-the-top." The couple worked with their rabbi to personalize the traditional vows, creating something meaningful and special while still keeping it formal. "I'm a huge sap that cries easily, and my husband doesn't like to be the center of attention, so there was no way we were writing the vows ourselves," Daryl says. As they shared their first kiss, the string quartet played Rick Springfield's "Jesse's Girl." "I've always been 'Jesse's Girl,'" says Daryl, "and it was such a great surprise for our guests!"

Gold Wedding Reception at Shadowbrook in New Jersey Gold and Cream Tables at a Wedding Reception

Photo: Ron Antonelli of Brian Dorsey Studios

"We used lots of gold, warm lighting, and mirrors to cast a soft, summery glow over the Oak Room's dark wood paneling," says Daryl. A mixture of high and low centerpieces, overflowing with orchids and roses in soft pink and white, were surrounded by tapered candles. Gold-accented chargers, gilded flatware, and embroidered tablecloths completed the ornate reception décor.

Wedding Cake Decorated with Fondant Roses

Photo: Ron Antonelli of Brian Dorsey Studios

The couple's four-tiered wedding cake was classic red velvet—Daryl's favorite. "The ivory fondant roses matched the lace of my dress and the design on the invitation," says Daryl. It was the perfect cake for a wedding overflowing with flowers.

Bride and Groom's First Dance at Shadowbrook

Photo: Ron Antonelli of Brian Dorsey Studios

The couple shared their first dance to "Green Eyes" by Coldplay. "We had an 11-piece band, and they were incredible," says the bride. "Everyone danced all night!" For the after-party, a Bruce Springsteen cover band, Tramps Like Us, played until 3 a.m. while guests danced and dined on classic New Jersey boardwalk food.

As a wedding professional, Daryl loved having the opportunity to plan every single detail of the wedding. She also loved getting to work with the Shadowbrook staff. "They've known me since I was a little girl, and it was so special to have them involved on my big day," she says.

Jesse and Daryl took a mini-moon to Maine just after the wedding, then went to Argentina and Uraguay a few months later. "Being married feels like being boyfriend and girlfriend again," Daryl says. "We get to relax and enjoy our time together, without any major planning! We've known each other for more than 10 years, so it's all very natural."

Since she works in the industry, Daryl has lots of advice for couples planning their weddings. But the most important thing? "Remember that at the end of the day, it's a party—a celebration of your love and life together. Nothing is worth getting too stressed or upset over!"

Ceremony & Reception Venue: Shadowbrook || Wedding Planner: Amy Winters Events || Bride's Wedding Dress & Veil: Vera Wang || Shoes: Prada || Earrings: Goldtinker || Hair: Nancy Monroy, 646-369-6718 || Makeup: KaTrina Pedersen of Bailey Makeup || Bridesmaids' Dresses: Maid of Honor - Donna Karan, Bridesmaid - Erin Fetherston || Groom's Tuxedo: Michael Andrews Bespoke || Wedding Bands: Groom - Jamie Neuthaler Books, Bride - Kwiat || Florist & Event Design: SBK Event Design || Invitations & Paper Goods: Alpine Creative Group || Music: Venus Ensembles, Carnegie Hill of Element Music, Tramps Like Us || Catering: Shadowbrook || Cake: Piece O' Cake || Rentals: Alma Party Rental, Something Different Party Rental, SBK Event Design, SCE Event Group || Lighting: Frost Productions || Favors: KC Fortune Cookie Factory, Chewys Rugelach || Photobooth: Snapshot Photobooths || Videography: Well Spun Weddings || Photography: Ron Antonelli of Brian Dorsey Studios

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