I feel like it was ages ago when I first spoke to Kristen and John about their Fall 2018 wedding at Natirar and their rehearsal dinner at Alstede’s in Chester. With John’s family coming from North Carolina, they wanted to welcome their guests with a casual country dinner that included apple picking and BBQ! When the chef at Natirar found out they were apple picking, he asked them to bring him some for him to incorporate into their salad course at dinner!
I met Kristen and John only once before, so I figured before they left the apple orchard, we do some test runs portraits to get them used to posing and how ridiculous they might feel on the wedding day. And it worked! They laughed their whole way through their mini portrait session, which completely prepped them for some extraordinary portraits the next day.
In my opinion, Kristen is definitely a “good apple,” but the Bailey tradition forced her to be the “ball and chain” that John had to carry around his wrist for the majority of the dinner. Apparently, the tradition started when Kristen’s parents got married. Her father’s groomsmen strapped him to a ball a chain, so John was ambushed and wore the heavy bowling ball for over half an hour.
We ended the night with s’mores, which is the perfect way to end any BBQ.
When I arrived at the Bridal suite at Natirar, Kristen was facing one of her bridesmaids as the two got their updo’s pinned up. Kristen was reviewing her vows, so neatly printed in a wooden covered vow book. Once she felt confidently versed, I grabbed the vow book and all of her other details to get to work! Included in her details was a kerchief given to her when she was a baby by her Grandmother as a wedding day gift. Grandma, being 101 years old, didn’t think she would live to see the day her granddaughter got married. Not only did Grandma see her get married, she was their the entire day! From getting ready to the sparkler send-off, Grandma was part of it all. I made sure to use Grandma’s kerchief in all of the details seen below.
Meanwhile, Barb was at Ninety Acres with John and the groomsmen getting ready, and capturing moments like John and her father seeing the note Kristen left for them on the back of their ties, and grabbing a quick photo of John choking up over the letter Kristen had left for him.
The emotions didn’t end there either! John and Kristen were both crying tears of joy when they met for the first time at the bottom of Natirar Park. We had the wedding party meet us down by the stream for pictures with the mansion in the background, and then their wedding planner, Anadina, graciously brought shifts of the wedding party back up to the mansion.
Throughout the entire day, there were signs to show their guests where to sit, where to find bug spray, when the sparkler exit would take place. All of these signs were lovingly made by Kristen’s Dad, who used one of his fallen trees to create all of these creative signs!
When the ceremony began, Kelly started uploading some of the photos for a same day slideshow, and when I went to check in on her (hidden in the closet) she, too was crying! Even though she had only known the bride and groom for about 4 hours, she was so moved by the way they look at each other. It’s not hard to see how much these two adore one another.
Congratulations, Kristen and John! I know you two are going to live happily ever after each and every day, and we loved celebrating with you! Thank you Barbara Wentzel and Kelly Joyce for getting working alongside me and getting some awesome moments!
Photographers and Assistant: Lauren Kearns, Barbara Wentzel & Kelly Joyce
Venue: The Mansion at Natirar, Peapack NJ
Wedding Planner: Anadina Gratereaux, Slick Little Bride
Makeup/Hair: Nicole Makeup & Hair
Wedding Gown: Lela Rose, from Mark Ingram Atelier
Groom’s Suit: Knot Standard
Florist: Karma Floral and Event Design
Invitations: White Lace Design
Videographer: Kress Productions
Rehearsal Dinner: Alstede’s Farm, Chester NJ
Rehearsal Dinner Band: Owls & Lions
Wedding Day DJ: Marc Topaz