For ALL Couples Getting Married

A Classy NJ Waterfront Wedding by William Avery

June 19, 2021, Mallard Island Yacht Club


Every once in awhile a wedding story lands in our inbox that solidifies that everyone is exactly where they’re supposed to be. Loressa’s traveling nurse career took her to California when she decided to download a dating app while there. As fate would have it, she was matched with Austin on the app and it was the first (and last) Bumble date she went on. Loressa even told Austin during their first date to not fall in love with her because she’d be moving to Texas, but the two hit it off, hung out almost every day for the remainder of her time in California, and by the time Loressa was on her way to Texas, she knew she would one day marry Austin. Following her 13-week nursing contract, Loressa made the decision to make the move to California and 9 short months after their first date, Austin proposed. He even hired a photographer to capture the proposal on camera and flew her family from New Jersey to be there for the milestone. How sweet! See how their wedding day at Mallard Island Yacht Club was brought to life through the lens of William Avery Photography.

From William Avery Photography…Austin and Loressa had to put their wedding on hold due to Covid and were both working the frontlines of the pandemic in California, while simultaneously planning a wedding across the country in New Jersey! Despite the obstacles and stresses, their day came together beautifully. The Mallard Island Yacht Club in Manahawkin, NJ was an incredible waterfront venue with so many great views and places to capture Loressa and Austin’s love for each other. It also happened to be the first venue Loressa visited and fit her vision of a “New England Classy” wedding perfectly. The ceremony was special from the start as Loressa’s Dad walked her down the aisle, after having been paralyzed from the neck down just four years ago. Despite being told he would never walk again, he beat all the odds and was able to not only walk Loressa down the aisle, but also dance with her at the reception. Talk about an emotional moment! From the huge smile on Austin’s face when Loressa walked down the aisle, to their personalized vows, to the lively reception that followed, Loressa and Austin’s day was so special. Personalized touches like a champagne wall built by the mother-of-the-bride and a live painter at the reception painting a portrait of Loressa and Austin’s first dance made their day all the more unique and memorable.

I knew that I wanted a white, form-fitting dress so that was probably the easier part. My bridesmaids also made it easy and agreed on a dress quickly. I knew I wanted everyone to be dressed in the exact same dress in the exact same color and we found one that everyone loved (it even had pockets)!

The inspiration behind my day really went into mirroring the classiness of the venue. When looking for a venue, I had a completely open mind and the only criteria that it needed to meet was that it needed to be by the water. Mallard Island Yacht Club was the first venue that I toured and I fell in love with it instantly. Hesitant to commit to the first venue that I saw, I decided to still tour the other venues I had in mind. However, it really was love at first sight with this venue. Once I saw the venue, I geared my details more towards “New England Classy” but ultimately I didn’t have a specific theme or color. When planning this wedding, it felt like I was picking random pieces and details that I knew I liked, but wasn’t certain if they all would mesh together. Luckily, on the wedding day it all seemed to correlate with each other and flow nicely and didn’t look piecemealed. I also had my family friend and youth pastor marry us. He has been a great role model both in life and with my relationship with Jesus since I was 11 years old so having him marry me and my husband was really special. We decided to do traditional vows on top of personalized vows which meant a lot to us.

I had to postpone my wedding due to Covid-19 so I feel like I had to plan my wedding twice. I also am the first person in my immediate family to get married and as much as I have always dreamt about my wedding day, I was never the girl to have everything down to a science beforehand. This made it difficult to pinpoint where I even start when planning a wedding and what the next steps were. If other brides are also in this spot, I would suggest joining a Facebook group to bounce ideas off of. Pinterest and Etsy are also very helpful when planning things out. My wedding coordinator was amazing and walked me through everything and was an angel the day-of the wedding to make sure everything went smoothly. I feel like I had a lot of personal touches and details at my wedding and that is ultimately what made it so special. Every guest may not have even picked up on those details but they are special to my husband. After everything is said and done, it’s the details that really stick with us. So, I’d say don’t stress the small things, but personalize it and make the wedding unique to you and your spouse because that will make a lasting impact. It also helps centralize the wedding to you and your spouse. A lot of hubbub goes on during the planning process and sometimes it’s hard to remember that it’s YOUR day and those touches bring that message home. It’s also important to designate a person for day-of questions. For me, it was my maid of honor and my cousin who took the reins on last minute day-of decisions. I can truly say that my stress level was at a minimum and I got to really enjoy the wedding because of them.

The champagne wall was definitely a personalization that went into the wedding. It was a labor of love from my mother and uncle that took them weeks to build from scratch and it was a talk of the night. My husband and I really wanted this wedding to be unique so we had some other personalized finishing touches. This included having a live painter at our wedding to paint me and my husband’s first dance. This was a new concept to me but once I learned about it, I knew I needed it. It ended up being one of my favorite parts of the wedding and now I have a personalized keepsake forever. Having a string quartet at the cocktail hour was also something personal that I thought would be nice to set the tone for the rest of the evening. The signage that I used including one for an “Unplugged Ceremony,” our welcome sign, and both of our neon signs on the champagne wall were very special as well. The dessert part of the night was also very personalized. My husband and I are not very much into cake and decided to not put so much attention on our wedding cake but rather have more dessert options. So instead of cake, we opted for a chocolate fountain, donut wall and ice cream sundae bar.

Following the cake cutting, the newlyweds were sent off with a sparkler exit surrounded by their loved ones.

Location: Mallard Island Yacht Club / Caterer: Merri-Makers Catering / Photographer: William Avery Photography / Cinema and Video:William Avery Photography / DJ: Elite Digital Images / Floral Designer: Michelle’s Flower Bar / Transportation: Shooboo Shuttle / Gown Salon: Blush Bridal Couture / Veils and headpieces: Dareth Colburn Designs / Shoes: Kailee P / Bridesmaid Dresses: Azazie / Tuxedo and Mens Attire: Friar Tux / Hair and Makeup: Taffeta Hair & Makeup Design Razberri’s Salon & Spa / Ring Designer: Hani Jewelry / Invitation Designer: Minted

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