Amy & Mike's Tom's River Wedding

groom dips bride for a kiss on the beach

• Posted by Natalie •
I was so thrilled when Amy got in touch with me last year to talk about photographing her wedding. She and I had gone to high school together, but besides a Facebook update here or there, we had mostly lost touch.  When I think back to high school Amy, I remember a happy and hard-working classmate, who you knew was a just a good person to the core.  It seems that present-day Amy is just as kind and thoughtful, and she found a great match in Mike, whom she met at college.  One of my favorite parts about being a wedding photographer is to be a witness to the celebration of two much-loved people joining their lives.  And it's even more special when there are so many familiar faces at the event!
You never know what sort of weather you'll get when you're planning a wedding on the Jersey Shore.  Thankfully Amy and Mike had an indoor ceremony at St. Catherine of Siena Church in Seaside Park, NJ, since their early May wedding felt more like a blustery March day. They braved the elements for some portraits on the beach before heading over the the Toms River Yacht Club for the reception.  Amy and Mike are both Penn State grads, so we knew the reception would be great.  (We've had a few PSU brides and grooms so we've learned that Penn Staters know how to throw a good party-- just ask my step-sister and her husband who, over a decade later, are still getting compliments on how much fun their wedding was!) Amy & Mike's reception photos may be some of my favorite dancing shots we've ever gotten.  Everybody was on the dance floor and having a great time right from the start.
They also had one of the most detailed cake displays I've ever seen. They followed the trend of trading in a traditional wedding cake for cupcakes, but then Mike's very talented sister-in-law took it a step further and created a whole beach-scape complete with driftwood, and hanging cupcakes and even a set of cupcake-sized adirondack chairs. It was so creative!
Amy and Mike, I'm so glad the warmth and happiness of your wedding day completely negated the blustery weather! I wish I could bottle the love that just permeated every aspect of the day.  You both have such kind families and friends, and it was an added bonus for me to be able to catch up with a few of my favorite people from high school. It was such a joy to be your wedding photographers and document such a wonderful day.  Thank you so much for choosing us!

wedding shoes for bride & flowergirlwedding gown with blue sash and light blue bridesmaid dressesbear grass boutonniere and bouquet with cross

I just love the photo on the left below of Amy and her sisters helping their niece put on her dress.  In my mind I fast-forward to this little flower girl's own wedding day when undoubtably her aunts will all be doting on her as she puts on a different white dress. 

aunts help flowergirl get dressedlight blue sash on wedding gownbride opens gift from groombride puts on earringscamera lineupwedding gown lace and bride's shoesbride & familytoast to the groom before weddingSt. Catherine of Siena Church in Seaside Park, NJtrolly takes bridal party to churchflowergirls before weddingbride at St. Catherine of Siena Church in Seaside Parkinterior of St. Catherine Church in Seaside Parkbride smiles at groom during Catholic wedding ceremonyunity candle during catholic wedding ceremonyguests blow bubbles as bride & groom exit churchfamily portraits on Seaside Park beach

Special thanks to Sarah Fry, our assistant extraordinaire, for coordinating the "groom blowing away"  photo below and for helping to keep us and (more importantly) our gear dry during these rainy portaits!

groom blows away during blustery wedding photosrainy day beach portrait on Jersey Shorewedding day transportation on trolleyToms River Yacht Clubshells and sailboat centerpiecesrings and ropeBride and Groom portrait on dock, Tolley with Just Married signgroomsmen on dock in Tom's River, NJBridesmaids on dock at Tom's River Yacht Clubbride & groom kiss by sailboatbridal party walks up dock in New JerseyFirst dance at Tom's River Yacht Club receptionbridal party dance

Check out this cupcake display, courtesy of Mike's sister-in-law Jean Marie.  

beach-themed wedding cupcakes

We had to include Amy's photo of us. I'd love to make a trend out of this: Portraits of Matt and I by the bride and groom!

Fairmount Photographyreception at Toms River Yacht Club in NJ