May 21, 2018
A little over a week ago, I photographed Kelsey and Joe’s joyful, colorful and nautical themed Crystal Point Yacht Club Wedding in Point Pleasant, New Jersey! This beach loving couple chose their wedding location due to their love of the Jersey Shore and the day was filled with lots of beach elements mixed with a few rustic touches – sunflowers, burlap, mason jars, chalkboards, and whiskey barrels were used in their details, but my most favorite and colorful detail of the day was their donut wall!
Kelsey and Joe first met at Kean University in the fall semester of their freshmen year in 2009. He played baseball and she played softball, which led them to meet through mutual friends on their teams. They began dating by December of that same year and their first official date was at The Chart House in Weehawken in November of 2009. Kelsey knew Joe was one when spending five minutes apart when they first met felt like five years. They always wanted to be together and truly became best friends over a short period of time. Throughout their eight year relationship, they have been through many different life changing events from graduating college, starting their careers (Kelsey a teacher, Joe a police officer), buying a house together, and everything in between they have been there to experience it with one another. I photographed their engagement session back in the Summer of 2016 and knew their Crystal Point Yacht Club wedding was going to be magical and I was right!
Engaged on 07/09/2016, the proposal from Kelsey: “We just got back from a big friend’s vacation in Punta Cana. This vacation was with hometown friends, so coming back from vacation we hadn’t seen our college friends in awhile and Joe said let’s catch up with them when I got done at work that day. He said we would be going to a restaurant by Kean University to meet all of our college friends. This was nothing out of the norm of what we would normally do, so I did not have a problem driving down to Kean to go out to see and catch up with college friends. As I called Joe to let him know I was on my way and Joe said to me, “wait you have something nice on, right?” That is when I became confused because Joe never asks questions like this. I just answered and said, “Yes, I have on a dress that I didn’t wear on our vacation.” He also told me that my friend Jeanina would be picking me up since she’d coming down for dinner as well. This is where I became even more confused because she was one of my hometown friends that we were just on vacation with and she did not know many of my college friends. As she picked me up, I just went with it and had a ton of suspicions. As I tried to get answers from her, she would not tell me a thing and acted as if everything was normal! As we arrived down at Kean University, she did not drive to the restaurant right by the college but she turned into the college. When she pulled in it was the parking lot for the softball field. At my most confused state, I said “Jeanina this is not the restaurant, you have to keep going down the street.” She said “No, Kelsey we are here. We can get food after.” I just had to go with it and couldn’t stop asking her all these questions as she directed me to the softball field for where Joe had everything set up for the proposal. I looked around and there was no one there except me and Jeanina. Although I noticed as Jeanina pointed out a sunflower was at every base (sunflowers are my absolute favorite flower!). She walked me up to “first base” and there was a note that she read to me that Joe wrote regarding when we “first met”, as I ran to “second base” on my own there was another note saying on “second thought” which it continued to talk about our relationship together as the years went on, and when I ran to “third base” the end of the note card read “as you’re rounding third, I’ll take you “home”. With that last note, Joe came out from behind the dug out and walked me to home plate. Here is where he read his last note, got down on one knee, and asked me to marry him! Our friend who is a photographer was there the whole time without me knowing. And as Joe and I celebrated, our families came out from the outfield fence to congratulate us as they were there the whole time watching! Everything about the proposal was so thoughtful and completely us. Having it where we first met at Kean, on the softball field, quiet and intimate to celebrate on our own, and have my family there after was story book to how I wanted the proposal to be!”
The day started out at a beautiful and bright Jersey Shore rental home in Brick, NJ. My bride was so bubbly and happy, that I loved capturing every moment from her getting final hair and makeup, to popping champagne with her bridesmaids and finally her getting dressed and then reading an emotional card from her groom. Once everyone was ready, we drove to Point Pleasant Beach where we met our excited groom for the first look. We were worried about rain all day, but the weather cooperated and we were able to get beautiful portraits on the beach before arriving for their Crystal Point Yacht Club wedding ceremony and a few more photos before they said I do. Their reception was one of the most fun of the year! Amore de Music kept the dance floor packed all night and we even ended the evening with a beautiful sparkler send off. Now that these two are married, they are planning a honeymoon this Summer to Costa Rica, they are looking forward to traveling to the many different places on their hiking bucket list before settling down and having kids.
Any advice for future bride’s planning?
Everyone always told me to “enjoy every minute because the time flies by!”. I cannot agree more and I would like to tell every bride to take that seriously. Enjoy every moment in the planning, spending time with your soon to be husband, and all the little things in between. It is all about you and your future husband at the end of the day, remember that throughout the planning process!
Every part of our journey through life is sacred and passes by way too quickly. Susan elegantly captures the story of your legacy from the beginning with marriage and throughout motherhood with each special season it brings.
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