Real Wedding: Jen + Billy
My motivation for this styled shoot began with a desire to focus on talent in central New Jersey. To show our sweethearts that you do not need to travel an hour to NYC to find vendors. You do not need to be in the mad rush. If you just take a closer look, you may be able to find exactly what you need right in your backyard.
But, as I designed, sketched, created and collaborated ideas, my desire and intentions took a twist. It changed at the very first appointment with our model Jen.
Jen and I have been friends for a very long time. Although we may not see each other as often as we like, it always feels like yesterday when we do spend time together. I also had the honor of surprising her with decor at her baby shower back in February. She gave birth in March and she agreed to be our model bride just four months later. Yes, this beautiful creature is mother to a delicious 7 month old baby and she looks fabulous.
Jen is happy. Jen is engaged. Jen has found her soul mate. For her whole life, Jen has sang to her own tune. She is a woman who knows what she wants. A woman with beauty inside and out. A person who stirs your spirit in ways you would never expect. Jen is simply wonderful.
This was Jen’s first time trying on a wedding dress. And, I was lucky enough to share the experience.
I saw her eyes widen. I saw that twinkle in her eye. I saw in her smile exactly why I do the job that I do. It’s these moments that make me incredibly happy and grateful for the path I have chosen.
She got excited. She was looking at dresses and talking to me about ideas. Her backyard inspired wedding. Her wooden farm tables. Her laid back atmosphere and, of course, the bonfire at the end and a big barbeque pit. Describing all of these details that she has obviously put her heart into already.
“But, forget it. I should stop. We’re just going to get married at City Hall. We are both here for your shoot today anyways,” she said.
What just happened? Jen was just showcasing all the excited feelings you should have while shopping for your wedding dress. Out of no where she stopped dreaming and put herself and her desires to the side. It surely was not my day in the least. Sure, Jen was there to help me out, but it pained me to see her just brush her dreams aside. Here she was, a bride in every aspect of the word, and it seemed as if she didn’t feel worthy of being excited. I was truly saddened.
Why was she feeling like this? It was not my place to dig into the reason this was occurring, but it was my duty to fix it. A person filled with such life and spirit deserves only the best. I wanted to give Jen a shooting star in the sky. I was here to inspire my friend and show her that no matter what your situation is, no matter where you are in life, no matter how high or low your budget, your love can be celebrated any which way you want, no matter what the norm buy valium paypal says or what society pushes on you to believe is right. Every person in love deserves to dream about and celebrate their wedding.
That was it. It was decided. I was going to give Jen the best wedding ever… styled and real!
My team of vendors had no idea this was going inside my head. This was my challenge. My motivation. My crazy. Everyone was still on the same page with the style of 1920’s chic. (My husband and I are huge Boardwalk Empire fans and I could not resist a styled shoot with a flapper dress and a bottle of whiskey.) The theme played perfectly with Jen’s own wishes as well.
I needed a dress. No, I needed TWO dresses. I needed the best make up around. I needed gorgeous flowers. I needed details, details and more details. I needed Jen to know that I was on her side, no matter what. That even if she really wanted, as she put it, “just a city hall” wedding, it would be the best darn intimate gathering of vows that the world ever saw. This was my mission.
And, then it happened. After weeks of planning and design, I heard what I had been waiting for all this time. What I needed to hear. What every person should feel on their wedding day. We were just one hour into the shoot when Jen said:
“Wow… I look like a real bride. I love this dress! I’m having so much fun. I need to text Matt and call my Mother. They won’t believe this!”
I smiled and replied, “You are a bride, Jen.” She just smiled back at me and we both understood each other in that moment.
My heart burst into millions and millions of pieces of happiness and hope confetti. Happiness for a friend who deserves all the love in the world. And, hope that I may continue to inspire and move my clients to that moment. The exact crossroads of love, happiness and dreams that turn into a beautiful reality.
Jen wasn’t looking for vendors. She just wanted to help out a friend. And, I will be a friend who will always be just steps away in her backyard whenever she needs me.
Wondering if Jen is just going to city hall? Yes, she will make it official soon, but then there will be a soirée for Dee Kay Events to plan a couple months later. Two parties? Yes, please! Stay tuned.
For more photos of our 1920’s chic inspired wedding shoot, please visit Love, Sylvia Photography.
T H A N K Y O U
Location | Wilson Hall, Long Branch, NJ
Photography | Love, Sylvia Photography
Florals | Monday Morning Flowers
Red velvet chairs, gold side table, vintage suitcases | Bits & Pieces Vintage Rentals
Make-up & Hair | Cristina Mazzaferro
Invitation & Paperie | Bella Figura
Beaded fringe dresses, silver decor hair clip and jazz headband | Unique Vintage
Accessories | Sabrina Comb, Sophie Petite, Brielle Earrings, Celeste Earring, Claire Headband | Happily Ever Borrowed
Long, ivory wedding gown | Isabelle’s Bridal
Tuxedo | Tessuto Menswear
Cupcakes | Papa Ganache
Orange Leather Chair | Eric Von P Designs
I would also like to thank my models Maria & Billy:
two friends who can make me laugh all day and night…
… and make pretty good looking models too!