New Jersey Backyard Wedding – Autumn + Michael, July 3rd, 2016

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I still remember the day that I first met Autumn, back when we were 11 or 12 years old. It was a beautiful, warm day, not long after my family had started attending Cherryville Baptist Church. We were outside enjoying the nice weather, and we were all standing in a circle for Wednesday bible study, or for some similar reason. Autumn’s family was new there, as well, and I remember being introduced to her and thinking that she was a really cool girl. I mean, she shopped at Pac Sun, so she must be :) We spent the years passing notes in church discussing our crushes and similar teenage angst, picking on our younger brothers together, going to summer camp and music festivals together, camping in my backyard and making crafts in her basement, and just generally going through our awkward phase together, and helping each other make it through. I have always admired Autumn’s creativity, intelligence, sarcasm, wit, and beauty – she really is such a beautiful person in every sense of the word!

 

I also remember the day that I first met Michael, several years ago. Autumn and I had gone out for a glass of wine while I was visiting town during my husband’s second deployment, and afterwards we came back to their house to chat. Michael had been exhausted from work, and we accidentally woke him up when we came in the house. But instead of asking me to leave or of going up to bed, he spent the time to allow us to get to know one another, let me participate in their Hanukkah ceremony that evening, and put up with our conversations about aliens and politics and alien politics. I could tell that he is a sweet, patient, caring man who is absolutely crazy about Autumn, and whose heart is brightened by seeing Autumn happy. Their love for one another is earnest and pure and joyful, and such a pleasure to be around. So you can imagine my delight when Autumn asked me to document their wedding day for them! I am so honored that I was able to be a part of their big day and to celebrate with friends and family the next chapter in their beautiful relationship and the beginning of a sure to be very happy marriage.

 

Autumn and Michael planned their stunning backyard wedding at Autumn’s family’s home in rural Central Jersey. I grew up spending a lot of time here with Autumn and her family, so I knew how gorgeous the property itself was, but Autumn and her mom really outdid themselves making all of the wedding details come together! Autumn is probably the most artistic person that I know (and I went to design school), so it really wasn’t surprising. They wove little characteristics about themselves into the entire day, and it was beautiful.

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Michael simply could not contain his enthusiasm about marrying Autumn during groom prep – he is so genuinely excited about spending the rest of his life with her!

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Autumn has always been stunning (even during our mutually awkward years – I’ll spare you all those pictures, but let’s just say that we both made arguably poor decisions regarding our hair), but on her wedding day she was just absolutely glowing. You could just feel the excitement from everyone present – even Francine, who took a few minutes to nap in front of the tent in preparation for the festivities planned for later in the day. Autumn and Michael’s dog, Francine, and her parents’ dog, Ernie, are such important parts of their lives, so they made sure to include them in their wedding day. When Michael proposed to Autumn, he put the ring on Ernie and surprised her early one morning after an evening with friends.

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Autumn and Michael opted to do a “First Look”, where they shared a more intimate, personal few moments of seeing each other for the first time all dressed up on their wedding day, so that they could enjoy more of their cocktail hour with their guests. If you can’t tell, Michael was pretty mesmerized by Autumn in her dress!

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Autumn was raised Baptist and Michael was raised Jewish, so their ceremony consisted of a mixture of traditions, beginning with the signing of the ketubah, which is a religious marriage contract. A local New Hope, PA artist had created their ketubah for them, and just like everything else about the day, it was stunning and fit the two of them so well! And of course, Francine maintained her good watch dog status and let us know when the guests arrived!

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And finally the moment had arrived!! They had first met when Autumn was in high school, and eventually Autumn’s crush on the quirky, older guy turned into a fun, loving, supportive relationship. I’m not sure who looked more thrilled and touched by the moment finally arriving when they would be married!

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After the ceremony, we took a few quick formals with family, the wedding party, and with just Autumn and Michael. You can just feel the love with this wedding party!

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The one thing about their wedding that Autumn and Mike were most excited for was to have a fun, relaxed day with their family and friends (and the yummy food!)

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How gorgeous is this cake by Market Roost?! The flowers decorating the cake matched the striking sunset that we had that day, so of course I had to borrow Autumn and Michael for a few minutes to get a few images capturing that!

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And now, we dance!! Michael had spent the past year putting together a playlist for the reception – looks like someone has some potential as a DJ!

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A huge congratulations to Autumn and Michael on a beautiful wedding day full of smiles, laughter, and emotion – and most importantly, congratulations on the beginning of a long, happy marriage!! I am so happy for the two of you, and so honored that I was able to be a part of your big day and capture those special moments for you.

 

Dress Shop: Three Graces Bridal

Caterer and Cake: Market Roost

Musician: Alan Rigoletto

 

 

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