A Whimsical Beachside Wedding at Boathouse Restaurant in Beach Haven, New Jersey

Sam Bradley (25 and a calligrapher and artist) and Dallas Bunsa (26 and an education consultant) avoided a specific theme and instead focused on highlighting the natural beauty of their location with an abundance of wood details, greenery and pops of dusty blue. Sam and Dallas spent the months leading up to their day collecting clamshells to leave on each plate at the reception. “I know people generally like to use starfish or sand dollars for beach weddings, but I associate those big, white clamshells with LBI much more,” she says. Sam made her flower crown the morning of the wedding. “I loved that each piece—dress, veil, flower crown, earrings—really added to my whole bridal look and spoke to my personal style,” she says. Sam designed the stationery herself, which included branches of leaves that resembled ones she carried in her bouquet. Sam asked her eight bridesmaids to wear navy dresses, hoping for a wide variety. “They didn’t disappoint,” she says. “I think there’s too much pressure to make weddings the event of a lifetime,“ Sam says. The couple originally wasn’t going to have a cake, but a close friend insisted on making one by hand, using an old family recipe. The confection fit perfectly with the refined style of the day. Sam and Dallas built the day around elements that reflect them as a couple, including hosting it on LBI where their families each have a history. “It was hands-down the most fun we’ve ever had,” Sam says.