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Estate at Florentine Gardens wedding of Brad & Trevor|Bergen County, New Jersey

Brad & Trevor’s wedding was a relaxed and elegant celebration of the union of two families and equality – just as they envisioned it. Can you tell Brad is a performer?

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How did you meet?

Trevor: We met 14 years ago when we briefly went to the same college. I left after only one semester, but we’d always kept in touch and hung out. We never started dating because whenever it was convenient for one of us, it wasn’t for the other. Either Brad was traveling the country for work, or I was living in Texas.

Who proposed and how?

Trevor: I was the first to propose. I spent many weeks crafting a ring box out of the remains of a tree that my parents had planted 30 years ago and was lost in Hurricane Sandy. My father helped me make it. I used a varnish my grandfather created and lined the box with one of his handkerchiefs. I invited a few friends over to Brad’s apartment one summer evening for a dinner party. They were all aware of what was going to happen. I asked one of them to bring his guitar and on my cue he began playing Brad’s favorite song “Just One Person.” We all sang and at the end I was holding the open box to Brad – who was already planning to propose to me!

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Now that you’ve been through planning a wedding together, what advice would you give to other couples starting the process? Any special advice for same-sex couples?

Trevor: If your mother keeps trying to do it for you… LET HER! Seriously, I don’t know what I was thinking. It would have been so much easier if I didn’t insist that we do it on our own.

For same-sex couples – go with people you know you can trust. When a vendor or venue hands you paperwork to fill out and it lists only Bride & Groom, bring it up to them. It’s not a slight, it’s usually a simple oversight and many were mortified at their error. Lastly, check for lists of businesses that support marriage equality. It’s so important that you utilize someone who has clearly raised their hand as an ally.

Brad: You are not crazy if you lose your mind.  On the contrary, you’re most likely insane if you don’t.  For as much as you want it to go smoothly, there will be hiccups.  And they will interrupt everything, even though you know that everything will come through.  Our pastor had to back out only to be replaced by someone who didn’t make it on time and then had to be replaced by the original pastor in less than five minutes’ notice.  Trust us….it all works out!

For same-sex couples, the frustration and beauty of our situation is that there are no real guidelines when it comes to wedding protocol.  So many times people asked what we are doing about a bridal party, do we have joint bachelor parties, who walks you down the aisle, DO you walk down the aisle, should we come dressed as the Village People, etc.  And our response was always that we don’t fully know.  There is no full model.  So we made it up!

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What was your favorite part of the wedding day?

Trevor: I remember so little , honestly, but my favorite part was clearing out the bridal… erm… groom suite of everyone and having the attendant bring in our pastor, who was there as a guest only. Our officiant was lost, we were about to start and in a pinch she was able to jump in. Probably because it was the only point during the day that I, as a project manager, was able to manage anything! But also because we were able to have the person preside over our wedding that we really wanted.

Brad: My favorite part was meeting everyone in the reception hall.  Old and new family alike, coming together in a celebration that would have been completely unheard of ten or fifteen years ago.  It was joyous and perfectly appropriate.

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How does it feel different being married?

Brad: I don’t know what it is, per se, but I do feel differently after the wedding.  It’s not a huge change, more of a shift.  It feels like this is solidified.  That all of our friends and family have now recognized this union.  And it makes me feel that much closer to Trevor, knowing that both of our families have shared this day together.

Trevor: I wouldn’t say it feels any different, since we were living together for about a year. But it is thrilling that this is a fully, legally recognized marriage and that if something happens to one of us, the other is not going to lose everything we built together.

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Ceremony & reception venue: The Estate at Florentine Gardens – River Vale, New Jersey

Suits: Macy’s

Cake: Palermo’s Bakery – Ridgefield Park & Union City, New Jersey

Flowers: Broderick’s Flowers – Bergenfield, New Jersey

Invitations: The Papery

DJ – Paul Anthony

Bergen County Wedding Photographer – Leslie Barbaro

 

October 31, 2014 - 4:12 pm

celia milton - These are gorgeous pictures and we all are so thrilled that non traditional couples can get married in NJ….but who married them? She should get credit.

Central Park wedding proposal |Erika & Michael

Last Sunday I had the honor and joy of witnessing Michael’s romantic proposal to Erika. Not only did I photograph it, but I acted as an accomplice with Michael too! When we spoke on the phone I could hear the excitement and nervousness in his voice. His plan was to make a scrapbook with photos and correspondence collected over their year together. And he was going to propose exactly one year after their first meeting, down to the minute, at the exact location where they first laid eyes on each other. When he asked if I could help him plant the book on the bench outside Central Park at 71st St. and 5th Ave. of course I was game!

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We coordinated and the plan worked perfectly. Just as I was walking away after placing the book, I spotted Michael and tried to contain my smile! Erika had no clue what was coming and thought it was a lovely one year anniversary gift…

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The proposal was filled with such emotion and joy…

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And there’s never a shortage of well-wishers when you ask your girlfriend to marry you in the middle of Manhattan…

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The spot where it all began…

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It was such a gorgeous fall day and we had to wander into the park for some photos…

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Congratulations again! Wishing you many years of love and awesome smiles together!

Brantwyn Estate wedding portraits of Cassie & Robert |Wilmington, Delaware

In the final installment from this gorgeous wedding, I’ll just let the images speak for themselves…

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Hotel venue: Hotel DuPont – Wilmington, Delaware

Hair & make up: Gloss Salon – Wilmington, Delaware

Dress: Tara Keely / Kleinfeld Bridal

Shoes: Jimmy Choo

Earrings: BHLDN

Kilt: 21st Century Kilts

Bridesmaid’s dresses: Dessy

Ceremony & reception venue: Brantwyn Estate – Wilmington, Delaware

Caterer: DuPont Country Club – Wilmington, Delaware

Cake: DuPont Country Club – Wilmington, Delaware

Flowers: Flowers by Yukie – Wilmington, Delaware

Invitations: Wedding Paper Divas

Officiant: RK Walker

Wedding coordinator: Karie at Simply Perfect Weddings – Middletown, Delaware

Brantwyn Estate Wedding Photographer – Leslie Barbaro

Brantwyn Estate wedding of Cassie & Robert |Wilmington, Delaware

A bit about Cassie & Robert’s meeting and proposal, more photos and some advice from the couple below…

How did you meet?

We met through a mutual friend (and groomsman).  Cassie thought Robert had awesome glasses and a cute accent but that he might be too grumpy.  We went to a party the night we met, drank lots of whiskey (Robert is Scottish, after all) and almost set fire to the kitchen we were chatting in. (Long story.)

 Who proposed and how?

Robert proposed while we were watching Jeopardy and drinking red wine on our couch after Cassie had just completed a super stressful assignment for school.  It was a COMPLETE surprise, Robert had previously been very clear about not wanting to ever get married, so Cassie saw the ring and the first thing she said was “What is that??”  Eventually the shock gave way to extreme happiness, of course.

Brantwyn Estate Wedding in Wilmington Delaware

How did you choose your venue?

We toured 5 venues in the Wilmington area (so we’d be close to Cassie’s grandma) and both had a gut reaction to Brantwyn, which was the last place we looked and definitely not our first choice on paper.  We were so happy we went to see it in person, we both really knew right away.

Brantwyn Estate Wedding in Wilmington Delaware

What was your favorite part of planning your wedding?

We really loved working together towards a common goal.  Robert made an incredibly detailed spreadsheet early on in the process and it made it easy for us to cooperate and communicate about all the details.  Cassie was in charge of falling in love with things on Pinterest and vetoing a wedding drone.

 What was the most challenging part of planning your wedding?

Cassie is in law school and Robert works full time—there never seemed to be enough time in the day!  And by the time we got close to the wedding, for each thing we crossed off our to-do list it seemed like 3 things we hadn’t even considered had to be added.

Do you have any advice for other couples who are planning their weddings?

Google Drive is your friend—the spreadsheet is key.  Make a budget but know that sometimes you’re going to blow it.  Trust your gut—every decision we made based on an emotional reaction was one we’d definitely do the same way again.  We found that being organized, chipping away at it piece by piece, and deferring to each other when one had a stronger opinion than the other (which definitely worked both ways for us) kept us from fighting too much about it, even as we got stressed in the days leading up to the wedding.  Also, do a wedding hashtag–it was so fun to see photos right away on Instagram and Facebook and easy to look at them all in one place with the hashtag!

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Check back tomorrow for our final blog installment and some gorgeous portraits of Cassie & Robert and their wedding party!

Hotel venue: Hotel DuPont – Wilmington, Delaware

Hair & make up: Gloss Salon – Wilmington, Delaware

Dress: Tara Keely / Kleinfeld Bridal

Shoes: Jimmy Choo

Earrings: BHLDN

Kilt: 21st Century Kilts

Bridesmaid’s dresses: Dessy

Ceremony & reception venue: Brantwyn Estate – Wilmington, Delaware

Caterer: DuPont Country Club – Wilmington, Delaware

Cake: DuPont Country Club – Wilmington, Delaware

Flowers: Flowers by Yukie – Wilmington, Delaware

Invitations: Wedding Paper Divas

Officiant: RK Walker

Wedding coordinator: Karie at Simply Perfect Weddings – Middletown, Delaware

Brantwyn Estate Wedding Photographer – Leslie Barbaro

F A C E B O O K