A Chic, Nautical Wedding at the Stateroom Long Beach Island in Ship Bottom, New Jersey


                    Jodi Giambona (25 and a chef) and Joe Lischwe (27 and a consultant) took Ship Bottom, New Jersey, by storm with their own versio

Jodi Giambona (25 and a chef) and Joe Lischwe (27 and a consultant) took Ship Bottom, New Jersey, by storm with their own version of a nautical chic wedding. Combined with their friends and family, the couple put together an understated soiree with anchors, ombre hues and seashells. It all started at the reception at the Stateroom Long Beach Island. Guests found their wave-inspired escort cards nestled in a bed of sand, shells and sea glass by aqua anchors. Blue ombre table numbers then pointed everyone to their seats. Once there, they feasted a plated dinner and blue ombre wedding cake with wave-like buttercream ruffles. To take the theme a step further, Jodi and Joe also treated their guests to a cigar bar, complete with a white seashell-covered crate of matching matchboxes. Mary + Roy captured every sea-worthy detail, as well as the couple's hearts. "We felt so comfortable with them from the get-go and loved their work," Jodi says. "As a result, we fully trusted their suggestions on other vendors (makeup, venue) and couldn't have been happier with the results.” Catch every natural and sweet moment of their day, below.

Jodi and Joe's stationery mixed works by friends and family with items from Minted.com for a custom set. Anchor-clad ceremony fans stood out on every folding chair at the reception at the Stateroom Long Beach Island in Ship Bottom, New Jersey. Wrapped in red and navy ribbon, their full list of wedding party members was printed on the back in yellow or blue script. The front had Jodi and Joe's “J” monogram around a chevron blue anchor.
“We found out about the Stateroom from the blog of Mary + Roy, our photographers,” Jodi says. “After seeing how beautiful and close it was to our shore house, we decided it was perfect.” For the ceremony, they let the venue speak for itself with minimal added decor. Rows of white folding chairs lined the way to the neutral stone fireplace, which served as their ceremony altar. Blue coral, pink wildflowers and seashells also accented the construction to suit their theme.
The bridesmaids had a chic take on the blue wedding color, showing off their personalities with short, chiffon Donna Morgan dresses. Each woman got creative and picked out her favorite neckline, as well as her own hairstyle and jewelry. To tie the looks together, they also carried the same hydrangea, garden rose and rose bouquets.
Since all his groomsmen live in different cities, Joe took picked out their looks from a stylish online retailer: the Black Tux. Each man wore a chic navy tuxedo with a white shirt and matching tie. (Their patterned light blue pocket squares also matched Joe’s tie, as well as the bridesmaid dresses.)
While their friends, family and parents helped with the decor, flowers were definitely Jodi’s domain. She chose all the blooms in the bouquets for her and her bridesmaid. During the processional, she happily walked down the aisle with a personalized arrangement of peach garden roses, mauve and ivory roses as well as dusty miller and pink astilbes in a white ribbon wrap.
Jodi’s mother took care of all the decor for their ceremony backdrop and aisle. Fitting the couple's nautical inspiration, she filled the venue’s outdoor fireplace with blue coral, seashells, sand and matching light blue tulle. Each piece drew on their color scheme and matched the bridesmaid dresses.
While the bridesmaids chose different necklines and accessories for their Donna Morgan dresses, they presented a cohesive look with the same bouquets. MDS Floral Design crafted each one with mauve, white and peach roses as well as white hydrangeas and dusty miller. White ribbon gathered every stem for a classic touch.
Letting the Stateroom's neutral stone fireplace serve as their backdrop, Jodi and Joe held a custom ceremony in the venue’s courtyard. “Joe chose a reading from 'The Alchemist' in Spanish, which was a favorite book of ours, and I chose a poem from Thomas Kempis on love” Jodi says. "We also did a combining of red and white wine. This was sentimental because we met at a wine bar in New York City.”
“In terms of style, I wanted to look different from the groomsmen, but also have some sort of similarity,” Joe says. He exchanged rings with Jodi in a modern, gray Bonobos tuxedo with a notched lapel. His aqua tie from the Tie Bar inspired the matching groomsmen pocket squares, giving them that desired, cohesive look.
Nothing says nautical like a few sea-worthy accents. To decorate their table of family photos, Jodi and Joe surrounded it with seashells, white lanterns and a sign. Their names and wedding date were painted on the gold whale, creating a standout keepsake.
The couple let their pros from MDS Floral Design take care of all the centerpieces. Unlike the flower-filled accents in the reception, their lounge seating had a more direct link to the nautical theme. Metallic sea coral served as the nearby table accent surrounded by tealight candles and matching metallic discs. The bright seating also fit their color scheme.
Jodi and Joe's nautical theme became more prominent as all 140 guests entered the reception. Each wave-inspired escort card had an aqua anchor tucked into the side. The notes stood out among a bed of sand, sea glass and seashells for a more literal take on their nautical inspiration.
To show off the illusion lace back on her dress, Jodi wore her hair in a chic updo during the ceremony. But for their first dance, she surprised Joe with his favorite look on her: a down hairstyle. The curls beautifully cascaded along her back as they swayed across the floor. “We decided on Ed Sheeran’s ‘Thinking Out Loud’ because of the meaning and also the fact that his first album was something we played on repeat when we first met,” she says.
As with the rest of their decor, Jodi and Joe chose an understated, nautical design for the reception tables. Paired with gold chiavari chairs and ivory linens, each place setting included a bold navy napkin draped along the edge and matching ivory dinnerware. A mini arrangement of roses, dusty miller and hydrangeas, which matched the bridesmaid bouquets, stood out in between each one. Candles in seashell-filled vases also accented the tablescape.
Every table number brought out their wedding color with a chic design. Blue ombre hues served as the background for each white number. The combination also matched their ombre blue wedding cake from Carlo’s Bakery.
Their wedding favors fit the theme and also nodded to Joe’s Peruvian heritage and Jodi’s cooking talents. They gave each guest a jar of Peruvian sea salt that resembled sand. “It was a perfect gift that had pieces of us both in it,” Jodi says.
Since Jodi is a chef, the cake’s design and flavor were especially important to them. “The end result could not have been more perfect, as all the guests mentioned how much they enjoyed the cake,” Jodi says. Teamed up with the pros at Carlo’s Bakery, they designed a blue ombre confection. Salted caramel and vanilla cake filled every layer below thick buttercream icing. Bunches of baby’s breath also topped the tiers for an unexpected, natural touch.
Guests didn't expect this surprise at the reception: a custom DIY cigar bar. Next to an open wooden box of cigars, the couple had a white crate of personalized matchboxes. Each one fit their theme with bright seashells and a teal background.
Before the ceremony, Jodi and Joe snuck away for a few photos with their photographer, Mary + Roy. Styled by Taffeta Hair and Makeup Design, her chic updo remained in place with a few soft curls and a thin white headband. It gave her a slight bohemian, yet natural look, which was exactly what she wanted. She looked lovely her and Joe stole a kiss in the Stateroom Long Beach Island's alleyway.