Earlier this month, I had the pleasure of celebrating and photographing Christie and Matt’s beautiful Old Tappan Manor wedding in Old Tappan, NJ. From the moment I met these two on our first video call, I knew they had to be a Laura Lee couple! Their joy and love for one another was infectious. I couldn’t wait to get started working together and planning for their big day.
A little over two years ago, Matt messaged Christie online and asked her for a first date. After an amazing first date and many other memorable ones to follow, Matt popped the question during a weekend getaway in Cape May, NJ!
I had an absolute blast working with these two last summer during their engagement session on Long Branch beach! We were ALL smiles during their session on a perfectly lite summer day at the beach. If their engagement session was THIS good, I knew the wedding day was going to be UNREAL and I was right!
The day of their wedding started at Christie’s parent’s house where I photographed all the bridal details and Christie’s’ bridal prep. All of the girls were SO sweet and helpful, literally all day long! It’s always the best when you walk into the house and the girls and the parents say, “I have heard so much about you, I’ve been dying to finally meet you.” And that’s exactly what happened! I’m so thankful for couples who have turned into friends and bring so much positivity to my life!
The morning just kept getting better too! When I arrived, I introduced myself to the hair and makeup artists and told them I’d be sending them the images and linking to their business in the blog post. They screamed with joy and gratitude and it was the sweetest thing ever! Bri, Elise, and Alyssa, you ladies rock!
AND THEN, as I was photographing the rings and the shoes and all the pretty things, my dear friend Tim from Authentic Photo and Video rolled up! I had completely forgotten that he was doing the video with me for the day and got EVEN more pumped about the day ahead! It always makes the day so amazing working with an incredible vendor team!
After all the bridal details were done, I photographed the girls in their robes, popping champagne and sporting some awesome aviators! Then, it was time for everyone to get dressed, including Christie! Christie and her mom, along with one of Christie’s Maids of Honor helped her into her gorgeous dress and her veil. To me, this is a very special part of the day. The moments that Christie shared with her mom during this time were unbelievably sweet!
Before heading to the ceremony, Christie shared a very special first look with her dad. It was SO sweet! After her first look with her dad, Christie read a letter from Matt. I cannot tell you how much I love when couples write letters to each other! It is such a personal and intimate moment – I cry 99% of the times I hear them read aloud!
After the bridal prep, we headed over to the ceremony at the St. Paul Roman Catholic Church in Ramsey, NJ. I have to say, although I LOVE first looks, it was such a sweet moment when Matt watched Christie walk down the aisle! Once Christie and Matt tied the knot, we did some immediate family formals at the church. Then, we headed over to the venue for more family formals, wedding party shots and last but not least, the bride and groom portraits, which were AMAZING.
It was easily 95 degrees with full humidity the entire day! Everyone was amazing – such troopers in the heat! Christie and Matt had these little fans to keep them dry from sweat haha! For a good part of the day, Christie had hers under her dress, genius! Definitely keeping that little wedding hack in my back pocket!
After all the portraits and formal pictures were done, Christie and Matt joined cocktail hour and me, my second shooter Rosemary and my amazing summer intern Corinne photographed all the reception details! I just LOVE this grand ballroom and their decor details were just stunning!
When it was time for the reception to start, all of the guests entered followed by the announcement of the wedding party. Then after everyone was seated, Christie and Matt shared their first dance, which they choreographed themselves, thanks to YouTube! Christie was a dance teacher, so go figure it was amazing!
After all the first dances, and parents dances (which were all so special!) the best men and maids of honor all gave toasts, along with Christie’s dad. After Michelle, one of the Maids of Honor gave her toast, she had a little surprise up her sleeve.
Christie’s friends from her dance team at college along with pretty much the entire wedding party all broke out in a flash mob to “kiki, do you love me”!! It was so epic and Christie and Matt were so surprised, smiling ear to ear during the whole thing!! I don’t know how everyone did so well! I was blown away by how they all pulled off!
From there, the reception went into an epic dance party for the rest of the night, and I freakin’ LOVED watching their friends and family get down with their dance moves. It was such a good crowd, we didn’t want to leave!!
A few minutes before we left, I snuck Christie and Matt out for a few minutes of beautiful night portraits by the gazebo. The gazebo was lit up perfectly and I am SOOOO excited about these photos!! Always so much fun when couples let us photographer’s experiment!
Overall, I am just so honored and grateful I had the opportunity to be Christie and Matt’s photographer. We have become so close over the last year of working together and have had multiple dinner dates, coffee dates, and double dates and I hope that continues into the future! Thank you for letting me join in the celebration of your love for each other and becoming such dear friends!! I can’t wait to see what your future holds!
Wedding Cake: A Little Cake
Bride’s Dress Boutique: Bijou Bridal
Bride’s Dress Designer: Bijou Bridal
Bridesmaids Dress boutique: Bijou Bridal
Bridesmaids Dress Designer: Bill Levkoff
Groom Attire: Classic Tuxedo (Butler)
Groomsmen Attire: Classic Tuxedo (Butler)
Florist: Laurelwood Design
Band/DJ: Premier Entertainment
Videographer: Authentic Photo
Hair Artist: Beauty Lounge of Westwood
Makeup Artist: Beauty Lounge of Westwood
Stationary Design: Zazzle
Catering: with Venue
Ceremony Venue: St. Paul RC Church
Reception Venue: The Old Tappan Manor
Officiant: Father Stephano Hog (St. Paul’s)
Veil Designer: Mother’s Veil from Kleinfeld
Lighting: Premier Entertainment
Transportation: Santos VIP Limousine