Cairnwood Estate Wedding | NJ Photographer | Michelle and Troy
Michelle and Troy’s wedding at Cairnwood Estate this May was absolutely perfect in every way! Not only do these two light up the room with their infectious joy and love for each other, but the weather was perfect, the venue was stunning, their details were personal and beautiful, their portraits were OUT OF THIS WORLD beautiful, Michelle was a sight for sore eyes, the wedding party was so fun, their families were full of joy, and they had the best of friends there to celebrate their love.
I arrived to Michelle’s sister, Christine’s house in the morning where the girls were all getting ready and was overjoyed when Michelle handed over a beautiful pile of details to photograph. She had a beautiful bouquet of peonies, garden roses and Ranunculus that were made by the extremely talented Mullica Hill Floral. She had bright blue Badgley Mischka shoes, and beautiful invitations from Minted in light blue and pink pastels – perfect for a May spring wedding! She also had a necklace that was her grandmother’s’ that her parents surprised her with. Her grandmother passed away a few months ago and her parents told her that she was getting buried with the necklace, but then surprised Michelle at the rehearsal dinner giving her this family heirloom. She wore two wedding bands that stacked with her oval engagement ring and Troy gave her a beautiful gold ring as a wedding gift to wear on her right hand! It was STUNNING!
When I was done with details and the girls were done with hair and make up, I photographed them in their robes as we all popped champagne to toast Michelle! And let me tell you – Christine’s house was BEAUTIFULLLL and the perfect backdrop for these photos!! I joked all day that I was going to start renting it out for wedding prep because it was so beautiful and full of light! The girls all wore blush pink robes with metallic writing on the back and we popped champagne as they all shared some of their favorite memories with Michelle.
After this, Michelle got into her wedding gown with the help of her mom and sister and tried to hold back tears the entire time (which she did successfully). After a few bridal portraits, her dad came downstairs for his first look with her! It was such a fun and joyful moment between them! They spoke in Polish and shared a Polish blessing and he was so excited to see his youngest daughter in a wedding dress. Michelle was also joined in her bridal party by her maid of honor Sylvia who has been her best friend since birth, and her bridesmaid, Jen, who is her best friend since college. I am lucky to know all of the girls as well since I went to college with Michelle, Sylvia and Jen!! The bridesmaids wore three different shades of pink – one with a salmon color – one in a mauve color and one in a purple/dusty rose color. The flower girl, Stella wore a beautiful white dress with a pink ribbon and looked so adorable twirling around in it all day!!
When all the prep festivities were done at Christine‘s house, the limo arrived to take them to the church where Michelle and Troy would share their first look in the church garden. They had a sweet moment just the two of them to get the nerves out before the ceremony and then Michelle went back in the limo to hide while all the guests arrived for church! Thirty minutes later it was time for the ceremony to begin and Michelle walked on the aisle with her dad to a beaming and emotional Troy. They had a Catholic ceremony at Our Lady of the Peace and Pitman, New Jersey. One of my FAVORITE parts which I’ve actually never seen at a Catholic ceremony was when the priest shared emails that he had received from Michelle and Troy separately. They contained all the reasons why they loved each other and I LOVED hearing this – they are both such great writers!! I love that this got added to the ceremony because it really helped everybody understand how much they love each other!
After the ceremony we had an hour drive to their venue, Cairnwood Estate in Bryn Athyn, Pennsylvania. This estate is absolutely stunning and it looks like a castle!! It’s UNREAL!! The weather held out perfectly for us all day with a perfect cloud cover, no humidity and only a drizzle of rain for about two minutes!! We couldn’t have asked for anything better! We started off with family formals outside on the back patio of the estate. There was such beautiful architecture to use as a backdrop and we took all of the family formals in front of a beautiful archway!! After this we took wedding party photos – they had such a great wedding party that was so much fun to work with!! I love small wedding parties because it feels like we have so much more time to get creative!
After the full wedding party pictures Sara, my amazing second shooter and friend, took the guys out front and I kept the girls on the patio for some of my favorite bridesmaids photos to date!! The girls kept joking that they were going to quit their jobs on Monday and just become permanent bridesmaid models. They had so much fun!
After all the wedding party pictures were done, the girls, guys and family all went inside and Michelle and Troy had their time for portraits!! We had such beautiful locations to use and these are some of my favorite, elegant portraits to date. I knew after their engagement session that they were going to be absolute pros at posing. Michelle looked so stunning and I was freaking out all day about how beautiful she is. You could tell Troy was thinking the same thing because he couldn’t take his eyes off her!! I don’t blame him!! We took pictures on the patio, on the lawn, in the garden, and at the front of the estate. Each location was better than the last! I love the way these two laugh and make each other so happy with just a look!!
After about an hour portraits they went inside to enjoy their cocktail hour as guests started to arrive. Everything was an indoor/outdoor cocktail hour which was amazing! Everyone, including myself enjoyed a wonderful charcuterie board and hors d’oeuvres before the reception started in the great Hall.
Once 7 o’clock came around, the wedding party, family, and Michelle and Troy went up into the bridal suite to get ready for introductions. They came down the grand staircase being introduced into the Great Hall where Michelle and Troy shared their choreographed first dance to one of the songs from a Star is Born. Afterwards, Michelle danced with her father and Troy danced with his mother in the Great Hall to great applause.
After the first dances, the toasts happened right away and were given by Sylvia, Michelle‘s lifelong best friend, and Jacob, Michelle‘s cousin and Troy‘s best friend, who is responsible for them meeting! Sylvia and Michelle have been sharing a diary since they were in middle school and they used to share the diary back-and-forth writing entries and then passing it on to each other for the past two decades. Naturally, Sylvia wrote her speech in the diary and Michelle was brought to tears when she realized this!! After both toasts, Michelle and Troy shared a speech to everyone thanking all of their guests from coming from all over the country and Canada where Troy and his family is from.
Once the toasts were done, everybody was seated for dinner and cake which happened in two dining rooms on the far end of the estate. When dinner was done, dancing began and the dance floor was full for the rest the night!! While the dance floor kicked off, I snuck these two out for some night portraits in front of the estate and I absolutely love how they turned out, especially with the rain!!
Since I was both a photographer and a guest at this wedding, I traded my camera in for dance shoes around 8 o’clock and had a blast with so many of our college friends. Michelle and Troy are now enjoying a two week honeymoon in Paris, the French Riviera, and the Amalfi coast! I’m so jealous!
Michelle and Troy, I seriously have no words to describe how much I love you both as individuals and as a couple. I know you have so much love and laughter ahead in your future and wish you both decades of joy to come. I know I’ll be there to witness a lot of it, and I can’t wait to see what your future holds!! Thank you for having me be a part in your wedding day, it was truly a blast and such an honor!!
Wedding Cake – Stella Baking Company
Bride’s Dress Boutique – Bridals by Cyndi
Bride’s Dress Designer – Eddy K
Bridesmaids Dresses Designer – Birdy Grey
Groom Attire – Men’s Wearhouse
Groomsmens Attire – Men’s Wearhouse
Florist – Mullica Hill Floral Company
Band – Mazz Entertainment
Stationery Design – Minted
Catering – Sage Catering
Ceremony Venue – Our Lady Queen of Peace
Reception Venue – Cairnwood Estate
Officiant – Father William Kelly
Transportation – Cross Keys Coach