A Classic Whimsical Beach Wedding at Ocean Club Hotel in Cape May, New Jersey

Kristin Katra (29 and a pharmacist at her family’s independent community pharmacy) and Luke Baird (29 and an optometrist at Vision Works) wanted to have an enchantingly romantic beach wedding. They chose the Ocean Club Hotel in Cape May, New Jersey, for their gorgeous beach setting and worked with A Garden Party to create the whimsical, organic garden feel with lush floral arrangements throughout the decor. “Our florist went above and beyond what we were expecting and transformed our venue into the most beautiful space,” Kristin says. The couple used a dusty mint, blush and ivory color palette to complete their whimsical wedding. Kristin and Luke exchanged vows at Pittsburgh Beach and had a maritime captain officiant the waterfront wedding. Wanting their ceremony to be a little less traditional and a lot more personalized, the couple incorporated their guests into the intimate event. “Our readings were compilations of responses from our guests to two questions we included in our invitations: What is Love? and What is Family? The responses were given to Luke’s grandfather and my cousin and each of them used the responses and words of wisdom to form readings that were shared at the wedding,” Kristin says. The bamboo wedding arbor was decorated with hanging vases full of fresh blooms and herbs that symbolized qualities that were important to them in a marriage. For example, chamomile represented wisdom, dill for good cheer and basil for long-lasting love. After their intimate ceremony, the Ocean Club Hotel served passed hors d’oeuvres and a delicious dinner. “Luke and I love good food, so the menu was very important to us,” Kristin says. “We also were down the shore so seafood and fish were a must, since we knew it would be fresh. Chef Lou was amazing, and we had eaten at Sea Salt a number of times and had delicious meals every time.” One of their favorite parts, though, was the vintage post card guest book. “Every couple of weeks my mom mails a couple post cards to us with our guests’ well wishes or their memories from the night,” Kristin says. “It has been really neat to continue to have our wedding excitement extend through our first year of marriage.”