Last Friday, I photographed Cassie and Michael’s microwedding at Andre’s Lakeside Dining in Sparta, NJ. Like so many 2020 couples, Cassie and Michael’s original wedding plans were affected by the pandemic. They were supposed to get married on May 2nd and then August 2nd, but when they realized they couldn’t have the wedding they dreamed of, they rescheduled to 8/21/21 but still decided to exchange vows in front of family on October 16th! I was not their original photographer, but since Cassie and I worked together in NYC back in my magazine publishing days, I was thrilled when she asked me to photograph her microwedding! Cassie is now a senior editor at the Knot, so I knew this wedding would be stunning and it was.
Cassie and Michael met on the dating app Hinge in February of 2017. She liked his comment about Peking Duck being one of his favorite foods, since it’s one of hers too, and then he messaged her. Their first date was Monday, February 27th. Cassie was never was into the idea of Monday dates, but she was busy so they made their date plans a week in advance. They had intended to go to a bar in the city near their apartments (they lived 10 blocks apart) but it turned out it was Craft Beer Week and really crowded so they went to another bar instead and had the whole place to themselves.
Engaged on 4/19/19, the proposal from Cassie: “We had fully discussed it was happening. In late Feb/early March, we went together to pick out the diamond, and then the setting, and had a trip planned in early April to Punta Cana but I told him I didn’t want a vacation proposal because I’d be worried about the ring, insurance, etc. (I was working on ring insurance articles for the Knot at the time!) I also knew Passover was coming up, and casually mentioned it would be nice to celebrate with our families at the holiday get togethers, so there was a 3 week window of time. We discussed how we’d want to celebrate with family, and thought a brunch the next day would be nice. Fast forward a few weeks, he had to go home to NJ to pick up the ring from his mom’s house because it was shipped there. Casually he said over dinner one night, by the way, my mom really liked meeting your parents. And I was like, “what?!?” turns out, they went over my parents house so he could “ask for permission.”
On Monday, April 15th his friend’s girlfriend sent a group text that she got a free dinner for 4 at a pizza restaurant, and asked if we would like to join on Friday? I thought that was a bit odd, but always like pizza so I obviously said yes. I got my nails done during lunch that day “just in case” and I picked out a color that was coincidently engagement-ring related. After work, I wandered around The Oculus window shopping to kill time until dinner and she texted us at 6pm that she wasn’t feeling well and needed to reschedule. Michael immediately texted me asking if I’d want to order in Thai, watch TV and play Rummikub. A highly specific and quick back up plan but I said sure, I’ll come home and pick up food on the way.
When I got home he said our Fios was down, so we had no TV or internet. He insisted a few times that we play Rummikub, but I didn’t think too much because we had no tv or internet and it was raining. We ordered Insomnia cookies but he wouldn’t let us eat until we were done. I was too excited for my cookie to notice why it was our longest game ever. The last tile of the game said will you marry me. Turns out the fios really was down, that wasn’t part of the act.”
Cassie and Michael had an intimate and naturally romantic Autumn microwedding at Andre’s Lakeside Dining. They had a full outdoor wedding and even though it rained all day, they were still able to have their ceremony and dinner in the onsite tent overlooking the lake and peak fall foliage. Cassie wore a Jovani gown that was actually a mother of the bride dress! Cassie always knew what she wanted as far as her gown went and visited 13 bridal salons in NYC and North Jersey before seeing this gown in grey on a store mannequin. Turns out, the tag said it came in white and it was well below her budget, so she took the chance and ordered it in white, figuring she could always sell it if it didn’t work out and it ended up being perfect!
They thought of every detail, from the stunning lakeside venue, from a sweet first look to a beautifully decorated chuppah with her grandfather’s fabric, personal vows, a stunning bridal bouquet filled with seasonal soft and romantic blooms, dried grass elements filled with sage greenery. She even had her grandfather’s tie wrapped around the bouquet as a dedication to him! Their garden party table setting with custom place cards for each guest and hand sanitizer tied in perfectly with their theme. After a delicious dinner, sweet speeches and cake cutting, I was able to capture a few night portraits of my happy couple before the evening ended. Cassie and Michael have been through so much in 2020 with their wedding planning and handled the day like pros, even a little rain didn’t bother them! They are currently on a well deserved honeymoon in Aruba, thank you so much for having me photograph your Fall microwedding at Andre’s Lakeside Dining!
Photography: Susan Hennessey Photography
Venue: Andre’s Lakeside Dining, Sparta, NJ
Bride’ Shoes: Badgley Mischka “Candy”
Engagement Ring: L Ingwer
Wedding Bands: Verstolo – Fine Jewelry
Veil: Basia Custom Headdresses
Tailor: Ellen’s Couture
Groom’s tie, tie bar, handkerchief, socks: The Tie Bar
Hair stylist: JC Hair Design
Makeup Artist: Beauty on Location
Florist: Whisper and Brook
Ceremony musician: Sweet Harmony Music
Officiant: Ricky Kreitner, Bride’s Brother
Hand Sanitizer Labels: Etsy
Place Cards: Etsy
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