Tag archive for : New Jersey

It has been an absolutely crazy week since Frankie and Nichole got married. This is, of course, not about me, but wow- the wedding busy season with a very tiny baby PLUS a toddler- this? This is a whole ‘nother level.

I always do a write up about the weddings I feature on my blog, and these awesome newlyweds have been waiting so patiently (and a few days longer than I usually like to take to do this) for their sneak peek that there’s a part of me who wants to skip the write up and just jump right into the photos.

Also, I am ever so slightly worried about them vacationing in Hawaii with its breaking news about volcanic eruptions, evacuations and toxic volcano fumes. I want to get them some wedding photos in the event that they are having to completely rearrange their honeymoon while in progress, so you have something good to focus on in the event that you are super stressed. Or maybe you’re on a completely different island and are not at all affected, but you just want to see some more photos! More photos. ALL THE PHOTOS!

Fair enough. :)

I do want to say one thing about this wedding, though. Listen, families are ever-changing, dynamic things, and lots of people have drama and dysfunction in their extended families. It’s just the way it goes sometimes. Weddings can bring out the best and worst in people, and I have seen it all- no judgment.

But that was not *at all* the case for these newlyweds and their families and wedding party. They only brought out the best in each other. Both families genuinely get along, amongst themselves and with each other. Both the bride and groom have amazing friendships spanning decades in some cases, although the groom’s bromances are particularly remarkable.

In the week since the wedding, I keep finding my thoughts returning to the relationships and the friendships I documented.

I keep thinking, “That was so nice. They are #goals.” Like, truly, I hope my sons grow up to be as close as Frank and his brother/best man Anthony are. In 25-30 years when my boys are grown and get married, I hope they both love, honor and include their godparents in their weddings as much as this bride and groom loved, honored and included *their* godparents. I hope *my* parents bring as much joy and energy to their roles as (far-in-the-future) grandparents of the groom(s), serving communion and weeping with joy and rocking out on the dance floor. I hope to spin at least one of my sons around the dance floor to “Beautiful Boy” (the son Frank’s mom chose) because I’ve been singing that to them since before they were born. Seeing Frank and Nichole join their lives and begin a new branch of this uniquely bonded family tree was just lovely, and I wish for you many, many years of happiness.

That said, guys, seriously? Your indoor fireworks were AMAZEBALLS and the Viennese hour? There are no words.

There are, however, pictures! Without further ado, here they are…

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Filled Under : Wedding

Ariana and Martin decided that they wanted to do something different, and they did! They were the first wedding ever on the rooftop terrace with a reception in the Victory Club at the Meadowlands Racetrack. Add in some Harry Potter details and lots of Star Wars references, incorporating the bride and groom’s favorite things respectively, and you have a unique party for a fun-loving couple.

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This wedding was so much FUN! I knew as soon as I walked into the bridal suite and heard the bride and her maid of honor cracking up that I was in for a fun day.

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Having best friends who crack you and wipe away your happy tears is just the best.

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The groom wore Rebel Alliance cufflinks and Star Wars socks!

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The newlyweds met 15 years ago and went to lots of the same parties and ran in similar social circles for most of that time. Then, about three years ago, something changed between them. They fell in love, and Martin proposed on one knee on a rooftop in Rome on Valentine’s Day. It sounds like a storybook romance, right? We can skip right from there to happily ever after, yes?

Except… real life happens. They both lost beloved grandparents, whose photos were given a place of honor in memorial lockets on the bride’s bouquet, and they found a more committed love and a deeper connection as they went through the bad times as well as the good. The bride’s best friend told me that’s how she knew Ariana had found The One. Martin was unshakeable, and supportive, and loving no matter what, for better or worse.

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Time to focus on the “better”- the first look!

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The bride and groom are huge football fans and they see lots of NFL games at MetLife Stadium, so it was fitting to get some with it in the background.

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I had to get some with their custom Star Wars-inspired logo, too!

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Wedding party photos and family pictures right before the ceremony can be a little stressful (although it means you get to enjoy all of cocktail hour!) but the bride’s best friends are hilarious and awesome. We finished one minute early. Booya!

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Time to get married!

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The adorable flower girl and her “I want cake!” sign were a huge hit.

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I love the eye contact here between the bride and groom as she makes her way toward him.

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Ariana blew a quick kiss to the assembled guests as a summer breeze blew through the terrace. I love when candid moments like this happen.

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The mother of the groom wiped away tears of joy as Ariana slipped Martin’s ring on and then caressed the back of his hand.

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After the ceremony, Ariana got a hug from her mom, and it was time to make it all official by signing the marriage license.

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Gotta include some horseshoe shots that the bride has been dreaming of since she saw them on Pinterest!

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The fun really began when we got the party started with introductions, the first dance and parent dances.

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The toasts were just the right mix of funny and touching.

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Then it was time for the best part of the night. Ariana and Martin had the best idea for wedding favors that I’ve ever seen. They placed a bet on a horse in their guests’ honor. Since each table was assigned a different racehorse, one table of guests was guaranteed to win big.

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They got to watch the race from the Winner’s Circle…

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… and present the cup to the winning horse.

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As they raced back to their party, Ariana exclaimed, “This is so much fun! How much fun is this?!?” It really was.

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She hadn’t had time to eat yet, but she really wanted to dance. So members of the wedding party surrounded her while she rocked out in her seat. Seriously, this couple has amazing friends.

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What’s more fun than Harry Potter references on your cake? How about a Star Wars-themed groom’s cake cut by a light saber knife?!?

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Also, the bride and groom are RAPPING. So funny.

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When a friend can’t fly in from the Congo, FaceTime brings the Congo to you!

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We ducked back upstairs to the terrace with the hopes of getting some shots with the New York City skyline at night, but instead we made the most of the rain.

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Thank you so much for trusting me with the memories of your hilarious, creative wedding day. I hope these pictures always remind you that the start of your marriage was incredibly fun. Congrats, Ariana and Martin!

Filled Under : Wedding

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