A COASTAL JERSEY SHORE WEDDING AT MALLARD ISLAND YACHT CLUB BY SUSAN ELIZABETH PHOTOGRAPHY
When you grow up along the Jersey shore, tying the knot in a locale that resonates with all of your happy memories just makes sense. It’s weddings like these that bring love stories full circle and ultimately reminds us why we love learning a couple’s reasoning behind choosing their venue. For Laura and Tom, their family home is on the bay in Ocean City and after touring Mallard Island Yacht Club, the duo fell in love with the idea of having the day’s events on the bay, rather than on a beach. As for the details? Well, this gallery is filled with crisp and clean elements that scream classic elegance. Overall, the details enhanced the beauty of the venue, while incorporating nautical accents as a nod to both being on the Jersey shore, as well as Tom’s career in the Navy. Take a peek at our favorite moments captured through the lens of Susan Elizabeth Photography. We promise this wedding is a must-see!
From the Bride…We met at Penn State in the spring of 2010 at Penn State at a frat party. I asked a random guy (Tom) for a beer and he struck up a conversation. I remember telling one of my girlfriends that day that he was kinda cute. We had mutual friends and would run into each other around campus and stayed connected through college. The love story started a few years after graduation. We reconnect when Tom was home between deployments. I remember running into him and thinking, was he the one who got away? The relationship started with emails at all hours of the day and Facetimes whenever Tom had service. I nicknamed him “Navy Boy” and that’s how all my girlfriends referred to this mystery guy I talked about. We managed to make the transatlantic relationship work and I got to enjoy a few Spanish vacations too. He proposed in Ocean City, New Jersey where my family has a house. One of my friends asked if I wanted to go to happy hour at Twisties. We were heading to the bar when my sister said she wanted to pull over and get photos of the sun setting over the bay. Tom pulled over and they had to force me out of the car (we were late because I am always late) and when we were walking out to get a better view, I saw a blanket with rose pedals and candles set up. I stopped dead in my tracks and remember thinking, this looks like it’s from the bachelor, and then oh my, is this for me!? After he got down on one knee, I looked up to see my parents had been hiding in the marshes taking photos and we all celebrated with champagne as the sky changed colors.
It took seven appointments before Laura found her dream wedding gown, but she ultimately said yes to a fitted, trumpet-style gown. The Sareh Nouri number featured a v-neckline and back with cathedral-length chain, button details along the back zipper, and a French bustle. “It felt special to be supporting an American business that takes pride in the dresses being handmade and manufactured in the United States,” Laura noted. The bride accessorized with a cathedral-length veil, ankle strap heels, a simple diamond necklace her mother wore on her wedding day, teardrop diamond earrings, and a bracelet that matched the bridesmaids’.
The groom sported two looks on his wedding day. Tom first wore his formal U.S. Navy dress whites, showcasing his medals, hat, and sword–later used for the cake cutting–and then changed before dinner into a formal black tuxedo with bow tie and white pocket square.
Laura likes to spend as much time as possible down the Jersey shore in the summer, so the couple began their venue search there. Upon walking into Mallard Island Yacht Club, they were blown away with the grounds and how the open-air chapel is nestled right on the bay. “Mallard Island was the first venue we toured and set an impossible bar to beat. I wanted to avoid being on the sand in a wedding dress, and Mallard offered a shore wedding with the elegance of a ballroom on the bay, in Long Beach Island,” Laura mentioned. The ceremony was held in the boathouse chapel–tucked away on the bay with an open air covered jetty–allowing the couple to not have to worry about inclement weather.
“My favorite moment was before we were announced walking into the reception. Tom pulled me in for a quick kiss right as they announced our name before we took our first steps into the ballroom. Dua Lipa’s ‘Levitating’ was playing, and the energy was already electric, and I just remember walking in feeling like I was on cloud nine,” Laura shared.
Reception centerpieces included various designs including tall arrangements displayed on gold stands and low arrangements incorporating blush and white roses, white hydrangea, Italian cuscus, eucalyptus and other greenery. Each table also had gold mirrored table numbers to complement the gold chiavari chairs and gold charger plates at every place setting.
Venue: Mallard Island Yacht Club / Officiant: Christopher Kelly / Caterer: Merri-Makers / Photographer: Susan Elizabeth Photography / Cinematographer: Visual Rose Productions / Entertainment: The Clara Jordan Band from Hank Lane Music / Floral Designer: MDS Floral Design / Cake Designer: The Bake Works / Wedding Gown Designer & Veil: Sareh Nouri / Shoes: BHLDN / Formal Attire: Bonobos Tux and Navy Uniform / Invitations: Lewes Lettering Co. / Favors: Johnson’s Popcorn and Shriver’s Salt Water Taffy / Hair Stylist: Top Knots by Aimee / Makeup Artist: Gina Brown / Honeymoon Location: Hawaii