Love Pink? This Wedding Pro’s Rosy-Hued Big Day at Valley Rock Inn in New York is For You
“I have been in the wedding industry myself for the last 13 years, so when it was my time, I knew exactly what I wanted,” bride Jennifer (Jenn) Tillema explains. The California makeup artist met her other half, Dylan Tillema, in high school. Though they shared a kiss (Dylan’s first, in fact) they went their separate ways but stayed connected via social media. 14 years later, after reminiscing about old times with a friend, she decided to reach out. “We messaged back and forth until late in the night—I actually called that friend the next day and told her that I was going to marry him,” recalls Jenn. “About a year to the date, he did propose!”
To set her long-cultivated wedding vibe into motion, Jenn went about selecting a dream team of her favorite vendors—the most important of which was her florist. “Katie just blew it out of the water. Flowers are near and dear to my heart, and honestly, nothing makes me happier: I knew I wanted to use a lot!” The couple worked with Noonan Designs to create a wedding day layout where punchy petals were the star—decor-wise, of course. “I wanted things mostly white with pops of color,” Jenn continued. “I have said for years that I wanted to go big with flowers—they would be my pops of color.”
Beneath a grove of verdant trees, guests walked the alfresco aisle and found their seats for the “I dos” in rustic wooden chairs. Small bouquets of pink, blush and fuchsia flowers marked the ceremony entrance and their counterparts—two arrangements of the same blooms—marked the altar, climbing up two trees on either side of the bride and groom.
Following her bridesmaids (dressed in all white per Jenn’s request), the bride strolled through the grove and down the aisle to a very special tune. “The song I walked down the aisle to was [something I kept] secret from my family until the day. My mom passed away almost 12 years ago now, and one of my family's favorite memories is her playing Bob Dylan's ‘Mister Tambourine Man,’” Jenn says. “I found a beautiful version and that's what I walked down to.”
The bride wore a custom-made gown she designed for herself. “I was able to pick the cut, sleeves, fabric, everything. I will admit: it was a bit nerve-wracking not getting to try on my dress until it was done, but when it finally arrived, I had never seen anything so stunning!” Dylan met his beloved at the altar in a unique and stylish navy suit jacket with an eye-catching floral pattern. “We knew he had to have a statement jacket,” Jenn goes on to note: “I knew my fella was the one for me when he wanted the sparkle loafers!”
Once their union was sealed with a kiss, the festivities could begin. Friends and family posed with a vintage Volkswagen bus all tricked out with whimsical photo props before grabbing a cocktail and snacking on some delectable passed hors d’oeuvres. Dinner was served at a long reception table sitting under a magical set of string lights. “The venue is so gorgeous that I wanted to keep the extra decor somewhat minimal, but I wanted to create a warm glow at the table,” Jenn describes. “I love candles and how the right usage of lighting can really create an atmosphere; mood lighting was a huge thing for me.” Stunning candles in varying hues rested between both low and towering floral centerpieces made up of the signature, shades-of-pink arrangements: a long, tulle runner underneath it all and cascading onto the ground. “On our RSVP card, we asked everyone to write down their favorite chocolates. At each seat at our reception, we left these handmade tin pomegranates with their name on the front, a little “thank-you” on the back and their favorite chocolate inside.”
The bride’s father, who’d passed away just before their original, Covid-postponed wedding, had already begun writing his father-of-the-bride speech before getting sick. Jenn was able to read his draft with her own additions at the reception—a heartfelt way to incorporate her dad into their special day.
As a bride and a wedding professional, Jenn has a few (golden) nuggets of advice for couples embarking on their wedding journeys. “Make lists. Don't wait to write your vows the week or morning of your wedding—I see it all the time. Your love for him won’t change that much in a month. Also, make sure your wedding is you, don't get too caught up on trends!”