Modern Hues of Black and Terracotta Wowed at This Boho Beach Wedding in Cape May, New Jersey
Dana has extensive experience in the event industry so when it came time for her and Derek to tie the knot in Cape May, New Jersey, she knew exactly what she envisioned for their beach wedding day. "When it was my turn to get married, I knew exactly what I wanted," explains Dana. "I wanted to represent who we were not just as individuals but as a couple. To encapsulate our day, I knew we needed the beach, forest and beautiful bohemian details that trailed off the ‘traditional’ path, and what is a wedding without flowers—and lots of them! Being that the wedding took place in the fall, I wanted a color palette that was rich in earth tones to bring out the nature around us. I decided to incorporate those natural elements by having driftwood intertwined with the archways and centerpieces. The bridesmaids also wore gorgeous red-orange velvet dresses which we accented with terracotta table numbers and planters for the flower arrangements."
"Our boho-chic day took place in my hometown of Cape May, New Jersey," explains Dana. "This is where my parents spent many of their days and also where I took Derek on one of our first dates. I knew about this hidden venue, The Beach Club of Cape May, which hides on a dead-end in the back bays of Cape May from working as an event planner. We were lucky that we chose such a secluded and spacious venue that allowed for everyone in our pared-down guest list plenty of room for social distancing. We also provided face masks and personalized hand sanitizer bottles to promote safe event practices. Everything from the ceremony to the cocktail hour and reception was outside so everyone was comfortable to relax and have a great time. What made our venue so unique was that the space was built from scratch. It was not a building that needed some up-lighting and decorations; we had to envision exactly what we wanted and bring it to life. To create our dream space, we rented vintage furniture, had beautiful farm tables with terracotta-colored runners, had the whole tent decked out in greenery and flowers, had candles lit, and dim uplighting which matched our colors."
"We began our weekend renting a house on the beach for us and our wedding party," recalls Dana. "The backyard was a lush green meadow with reeds as far as the eye could see - a picturesque dream and where we took many of our bridal party portraits. For the ceremony, my girls and I went barefoot of course. One of my favorite memories from the day was when I was walking down the aisle with my mom and saw Derek for the first time. He looked so beautiful and I could tell he thought the same about me. Derek and I opted out of doing a first look because we really wanted that moment of seeing each other for the first time as I was walking down the aisle. There is something so special about seeing each other for the first time in that moment that you have waited so long for. As part of the service, Derek and I performed a water ceremony before our vows where we washed each other's hands to represent a fresh start to our forever. We used a Native American terracotta pitcher that was blessed by the Navajo Tribe. Derek and I are very spiritual and we love the symbolism of the Navajo tribe— how everything in the universe has a purpose and knowing the different stages of order, balance, respect, beauty, peace, and harmony to achieve a sophisticated and effective understanding of nature, Earth and the universe. It is a responsibility to protect our environment as it helps us to live a healthy life and succeed in the future. During our reception, my mom gave me a necklace with the first diamond that my dad, who passed away in 2015, had ever given her. She also gave his favorite watch to Derek with 'welcome to the family' engraved on the back. Another beloved memory is us dancing all night! Derek and I met at a music festival and we love traveling and seeing live music. It was really important for us to have a playlist that included music for everyone to dance to, not just us and our festival friends. We took so much to make a playlist that included everyone's taste and I would say we were very successful because there wasn't one person that didn't dance."
"My advice for brides planning their special day: don't sweat the small stuff because something will happen (like the baker dropping your cake or your veil getting stuck on a stick while walking down the aisle—yes, it happened to me) and enjoy every second because it goes so fast," says Dana. "Derek and I made sure to take a moment on the dance floor and look around at how beautiful everything was and how happy everyone was. We then took a couple of minutes to ourselves and sat in the lounge area we created to just savor the day and each other."