Ashford Estate NJ Published on Style Me Pretty
From the publication “Pink and gray can look impossibly chic, and this summer wedding at a New Jersey estate is all the proof you need. From the Bride’s rose bouquet to the bridesmaids’ sterling dresses, everything is color coordinated to perfection—even the flowers on the grounds of the estate seem to fit right in! The ultra-talented Kay English, an Ashford Estate preferred photographer, captured all the lovely details, which you can see right here!”
From the Bride… Jay and I met at a softball tournament in early August. This doesn’t sound like the most romantic of meetings, however it was well planned and thought out by my sister and Jay’s sister-in-law. We casually hung out that night after the games were over and were basically inseparable ever since. Meeting Jay took me by surprise. It took a long time for me to find a so-called “nice guy” who was genuine and everything I had hoped for.
After almost a year of dating Jay completely shocked me by getting down on one knee in front of our families and asked me to be his wife. Soon after we began looking at wedding venues. We both knew we wanted a summer wedding and knew we wanted it to be somewhat local so we focused our search in New Jersey. I had been to a wedding at Bonnet Island Estate some years before and went on the website to research that venue. That’s when I came across the Ashford Estate. As soon as we pulled through the gates and drove up the driveway to the mansion I knew I had to have my wedding there. It completely took my breath away. It was elegant and romantic which is how I knew I wanted my wedding to be. Once the venue was picked we were able to focus on the details of the day itself.
The wedding dress was the first item on my list. The moment I put on the Justin Alexander ballgown I knew it was the one. The layers of organza with the beaded belt were what I’ve been picturing since I was a little girl playing bride in my parents backyard.
I didn’t have a particular theme in mind, I just knew I wanted the day to be romantic and centered around love. I focused on a color palette of soft pinks and gray. My bridesmaids wore Donna Morgan dresses in the color sterling and my flower girl coordinated in a light pink dress. The men and ring bearer were dressed in Vera Wang black tuxes. The girls and I carried light pink and white flowers with gray accents.
We had the barn chapel and the ballroom decorated with white and pink hydrangeas and tea roses, candelabras and vases. The centerpieces varied in height and the soft candlelight created the ambiance I had hoped for. Everything at the Ashford Estate was completely customizable to our tastes, from the menu to the table linens. We even chose bride and groom signature drinks, a champagne cocktail for the bride and whiskey for the groom.
I wanted to DIY some parts of the day so I had my mother make up a chalkboard program to be displayed outside the barn as well as a sign for the ring bearer (he wasn’t too cooperative in holding it), we also created place cards which doubled as our favor (silver script ‘love’ bottle openers) and had our guests toss rose petals as we exited the chapel.
The entire day felt like a dream. It was surreal and absolutely everything I hoped for. We asked my cousin to marry us. He became ordained and performed a ceremony that was the perfect combination of funny, sweet, and loving. The moment Jay and I locked eyes as I walked up the aisle I felt at ease. I knew whatever happened the rest of the day didn’t matter. After our first kiss as husband and wife we entered cocktail hour at the mansion and began our celebration with friends and family.
Our maitre’d coordinated everything perfectly with our vendors. From the moment we arrived all the way till the after party on the terrace. Our DJ kept the dance floor packed all night, we barely sat down! I am so thankful I have gorgeous photos and a video to look back on from that day because it was almost an out of body experience. It was so amazing that it didn’t feel real. I am fortunate enough to say I had my dream wedding and I married my dream guy. It doesn’t get much better than that.
Photography: Kay English, An Ashford Estate Preferred Photographer | Cinematography: Taylor Philips | Floral Design: MDS Floral | Invitations: Wedding Paper Divas | Reception: Ashford Estate | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Donna Morgan | Catering: The Ashford Estate, Merrimakers | Lighting: Fennelli Design | DJ:SCE NJ | Men’s Attire: Vera Wang | Bridesmaids’ Dress Boutique: Luli Bridal | Gown Designer: Justin Alexander | Wedding Dress Store: I Do I Do