I’m so excited to say that we officially got back our wedding photos! I am in love with all of them! I’ve been so excited to show you guys! I plan to do a series of blog posts for Wedding Wednesday to share more wedding details and it will be an excuse to post all my photos haha! In this first post of this wedding series, I wanted to share a wedding day recap and some of our favorite couple portrait photos.
Sunday, November 8, 2020 was truly one of the best days of my life. It was a day filled with so many emotions and there’s no amount of words I can say to truly describe how blessed and happy I felt on that day.
But oh wedding planning… – people talk about how exciting the planning process is, but honestly I thought it was just so stressful lol. Now don’t get me wrong – it was exciting when you finally decide on your venue and wedding date, say yes to the dress, go to the cake and food tastings, etc. There were definitely fun moments! But everyone wants the wedding of their dreams and for everything to be perfect so I always put a lot of pressure on myself and worried about everything. And then when you add a pandemic, it becomes insane.
Imagine planning a wedding not knowing whether it was going to happen. Even until a few days before, I was so nervous that we might have to postpone. It was hard to feel super excited because you’re afraid to get your hopes up. When Covid-19 started in March, we never thought that it would still be going on in November. Throughout our wedding planning, we always stayed hopeful and positive and didn’t want to consider the idea of postponing it. The venue did have us pick a backup date just in case and it’s insane how many dates were already booked in 2021. We ended up picking a Tuesday in October and we’re just so grateful that we were able to get married on our original date and didn’t have to postpone.
When you plan a wedding, it’s normal for it not to go how you completely expect it, but it’s funny because our wedding was so different from our original plans!
The first change was our guest count. We invited a little over 200 people and over half our guests couldn’t come. We were sad to hear that my family from Portugal wasn’t able to travel and a lot of our good friends weren’t able to come. But we completely understood and had no hard feelings, but it was still disappointing to find out that these people, who you imagined celebrating with, wouldn’t be there on your special day. Even though we ended up having a smaller wedding than expected with a little less than 90 people, we loved how small and intimate it was and it allowed us to spend more time with each of our guests.
The second change was our photographers. We hired Linda and Peter Photography. Unfortunately, they tested positive for Covid a week before our wedding. It was stressful finding out these news so close to the wedding, but they gave us replacement photographers who were wonderful! We loved them and connected so well that we even asked them to be our photographers for our church wedding that we had in December!
The third and big change was we got married at a completely different venue! Originally, we booked our wedding at Rock Island Lake Club. About a month before our wedding, the venue owners called and told us that the other venue they owned, Bear Brook Valley, was available on our wedding date. The couple who was supposed to get married there had postponed their wedding. The two venues are very similar – the only major difference is that Bear Brook Valley is bigger. At the time, indoor events had to be at 25% capacity, which was 100 at Bear Brook. This meant that all of our guests could be indoors. And because the venue was bigger, we were able to spread out and have more tables to make everyone feel comfortable.
It was funny because when we were deciding whether or not to switch, I kept telling Carl how crazy it was that our wedding was a month away and we had no idea where it was going to be haha. But we realized that Bear Brook was the best decision and we were so grateful that the owners offered this opportunity to us for no additional cost. The staff at both venues were great and made switching so easy. Since they were owned by the same people, everything was the same so we didn’t have to change any food options or decorations.
We loved both venues because they were exactly what we were looking for – rustic elegance surrounded by nature. It’s crazy how things turn out. When Carl and I were touring wedding venues, we saw Bear Brook Valley first. We fell in love with it! But we were heartbroken to find out that they had no dates available for a fall wedding and then we were excited when we found Rock Island. It’s funny how we ended up getting married at the venue we originally fell in love with.
I believe everything happens for a reason and despite all these changes and what seemed stressful at the moment, it really worked out in our favor and it was literally the best day of our lives. And we couldn’t believe how lucky we got with the weather. Our fall wedding in New Jersey was 76 degrees! How crazy is that! Whenever I think about our wedding day, I’m literally in awe with how it turned out and how perfect everything was. It was so much fun and we felt so much love from all our family and friends. I couldn’t have asked for a better day ❤️
Also, I wanted to thank all of our wedding vendors and the staff at both venues for all their work in making our day so special.
I listed all of them after the photos.
Hope you enjoyed my wedding day recap! Here are some of my favorite couple portrait photos! Stay tuned for more Wedding Wednesday posts!
Venue: Bear Brook Valley in Fredon Township, New Jersey
Photography: Linda and Peter
Videographer: Breathe Artistic
Florist – A Touch Of Elegance
Officiant – Celia Milton
DJ – SCE Entertainment (Tony Tee Neto is the best!)
Hair – Kristen Okaly
Makeup – Ashley Landry
Wedding Dress – Martina Liana (Style 1025)
Tuxedo – Bonobos
Wedding Shoes – Badgley Mischka
Wedding Jewelry – Dareth Colburn
Flower Hair Piece – Sense of Beauty on Etsy