Audra and Stuart enjoyed a rustic yet elegant November wedding with lots of sunshine and a gorgeous sunset at The Lodge at Stirling Ridge in Warren, New Jersey. The couple exchanged gifts in the morning, with Stuart receiving a set of custom cufflinks and Audra receiving a beautiful necklace. Their first look was full of excitement, as they had both been looking forward to that moment during the planning phases of the wedding. I photographed Audra’s cousin’s wedding earlier this year (Jessica & Ron) and was delighted to see all of the familiar faces and family gathering to celebrate another joyous event. Everyone enjoyed a beautiful indoor Jewish ceremony before dancing the night away at the reception, complete with an outdoor fire pit that made this fall wedding a memorable celebration.
The Proposal (Or How they met)
I wanted the proposal to be as memorable as possible, and with how important our families are to both of us, the best was to do this was involve everyone. I worked with Audra's aunt and uncle to have the ring custom made at their jewelry store. While I proposed in one of our favorite parts of the city, her cousin perfectly captured the moment from afar. While that was happening, Audra's family gathered at a restaurant in Midtown where we met them for a surprise celebration. The following day, we flew to Hawaii and met my family to continue the celebration. It was a whirlwind but I wouldn't change a thing.
It turns out our paths had crossed for years, with both of us working in the sports industry our entire careers. But it wasn't until work brought us to Rio de Janeiro for the 2016 Olympic Games that we finally met. We wowed each other with our sports trivia skills, shared a meal at a Brazilian Italian restaurant (though Stuart forgot he promised to share his dish with me and ate it all himself), and watched the Closing Ceremony in the rain. The rest is history. It was a covert operation, orchestrated by Stuart from start to finish, to get me to the perfect park bench in our favorite part of Battery Park. I admit I was a bit of a pain... I could tell something was going on but didn't realize it was going to be this! It took awhile for him to be able to get me moving. After he proposed, there were a lot of happy tears followed by a lot of celebrating -- from a surprise lunch at Ben's Deli with my family to a nine day trip to The Big Island of Hawaii with the Martins.
Wedding Planning Tip:
Style Me Pretty and The Knot for inspiration, of course. Honestly, for me the biggest help was the fact that family had gotten married a few months before and were kind enough to share lots of tips and their vendors!
Venue: The Lodge at Stirling Ridge @stonehousenj
Florist: Tracey Reynolds @trfloraldesign
Catering & Cake: Classical Caterers
Wedding Band: Silver Arrow Band @silverarrowband
Officiant: Reverend Maureen Jefferies
Invitations: MINTED @minted
Bridal Gown Designer: Augusta Jones @augustajonesbridal
Bridal Shoes: Badgley Mischka @badgleymischka
Bridal Jewelry: Abe Presman Jeweler @abepresmanjeweler
Bridal Veil: Etsy
Wedding Hair & Makeup by: Holly Kutilek & Ramonda Marku @beauty_by_Ramonda at Side Door Lounge @sd.lounge
Groom's Attire: The Black Tux @theblacktux
Wedding Bands & Engagement Ring Designer: Abe Presman Jeweler @abepresmanjeweler
Honeymoon: Paris, Venice, and the Italian Alps (Dolomites)