Happy Wedding Wednesday! Get ready to fall in love with Jillian and Mark’s fall-inspired wedding! This wedding will warm your hearts from the stunning autumn colors, caramel apples and a unique signature drink created by the bride’s father. There is so much gorgeousness combined throughout this affair, including some of the most magical portraits captured by Danielle Hopkins Photography.
“I fell in love with my ivory, Jim Hjelm lace and organza gown the minute I tried it on! Fortunately, I had worked part time modeling dresses for the bridal store which I ordered the dress from, so I knew what style dress suited my body best. I knew I definitely did not want strapless as I absolutely hate having to pull up dresses when they start to fall! My dress, which featured lace straps to my shoulders and an open back, was comfortable, light weight, and made me feel absolutely beautiful! I actually took the original belt off the dress (a feather beaded flower) and used it to wrap the stem of my bouquet, and instead, added a completely beaded leaf designed belt. I seriously love my dress so much that at the end of the night- 3:00 in the morning as we shut the bar down-I honestly felt sad taking it off!”
Jillian rose gold Badgley Mischka shoes complemented her gown beautifully. She added a personalized touch by asking her mother and bridesmaids to sign the bottom using a purple pen.
Mark proposed to Jillian with a square halo engagement ring setting with a round one carat diamond and split diamond band.
Designed by Petal Pushers, Jillian carried a stunning lush bouquet featuring a mixture of each of her bridesmaids flowers with a touch of ivory roses and orange calla lilies. A locket to honor loved ones was attached to the lace wrapped stems.
“Mark went to high school with Danielle, so we checked out her website shortly after getting engaged and saw she did beautiful work, and immediately booked her for our engagement pictures. They turned out beautifully that it was no brainer hiring her for our wedding. She, along with her talented husband Chad, are laid back, as they make you feel comfortable in front of the camera. As a result, we have beautiful photographs capturing all aspects of our most memorable day! We took pictures at our childhood homes, church, and all over the grounds of the Mill. Some of our favorites are outside by the beautiful lake.”
“The Mill was only the third venue we saw and we both immediately fell in love with everything: the location (Spring Lake Heights), the modern, yet warm atmosphere, delicious food, and above all the staff. Donald Rodgers, the CEO and site manager was the epitome of a venue manager; he treated us as though he had known us for years, a common feeling when visiting The Mill. The staff makes you feel at home. Throughout our two year engagement, The Mill staff went above and beyond to help us create our dream event. We cannot thank them enough for the way they made our dreams come true after Hurricane Sandy had devastated the area. Thankfully, The Mill was not damaged, but the town of Spring Lake was without power and Don, his son Don Jr., and our wedding coordinator worked diligently to make sure our wedding reception happened (we were concerned as the weddings the weekend prior had to be canceled/postponed due to the power outage). It wasn’t until Wednesday night, two days before our wedding, that Don called us with the good news- they had power. Our wedding was a go! In one day (as our wedding was that Friday), the staff at The Mill prepared for our wedding. My father and I have both worked in the restaurant business, and we know how difficult it must have been to turn out a wedding in less than 36 hours, but the staff, still dealing with their own issues as a result of Sandy, did just that and then some. Our guests were treated royally, the food was fresh and delectable, and as result, Don was recognized in my father’s speech. We can honestly say we will continue to patronize the Mill for years to come.”
Jillian and Mark’s centerpieces were black lanterns with an ivory candle surrounded by a ring of antique hydrangeas with deep purple and orange accents.
The newlyweds held the spotlight to “I Won’t Give Up” by Jason Mraz, as family and friends surrounded the dance floor.
Jillian and Mark opted for two signature drinks for guests to enjoy throughout their wedding. “Fall in Love”, which featured Laird’s apple brandy was created by Jill’s father, a former bartender. They also had “Tequila Sunrises” available, which is Mark’s favorite wedding drink.
“Chris Mathews, our D.J., was fantastic! He played all the must haves on our play list which included everything from Sinatra (Mark’s favorite singer) to The Temptations, 80s hits to LMFAO. We even played a polka (in honor of our eastern European heritage) after we cut the cake.”
Tell us about your wedding proposal: Mark and I dated for about two years when we were in our late teens/early twenties. We broke up for a while, and it wasn’t until five years later, when I asked him to meet back up for coffee, that I knew he was definitely the one I wanted to grow old with. Though we are opposites in many ways, we have the same values and beliefs, and ultimately, a deep respect and love for one another. Our proposal wasn’t anything grand: he proposed on a Thursday night, in gym shorts, in his childhood bedroom. To me, it was perfect!
Bride’s favorite memory of the day: Our first dance; it was emotional because we honestly didn’t think we were going to be able to have that moment a few days before!
Groom’s favorite memory of the day: Seeing Jill for the first time. She was absolutely stunning!
What was the most exciting part of planning your wedding? Though I honestly enjoyed planning our wedding, I loved spending time with my dad rehearsing our dance. We are quite an emotional pair, so I was thrilled when my dad agreed to surprise our guests with a fast dance combination, avoiding a blubbering scene that was surely to come. I am a part time dance teacher, and my father came into the studio on Saturday mornings to rehearse our number. We began the dance with our real song, “You Can Depend on Me” by the Duprees because I grew up listening to Doo Wop with my dad. Then we broke out into his go to fast song favorite, the Black Eyed Peas “I Gotta Feeling”. At 65, my father did his dancing daughter proud by breaking out into the robot, throwing dice, and shimmy shaking his way across the dance floor. I will cherish that routine forever!
Where did you go on your honeymoon? We went to the Secrets Resort in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. It was recommended by family and friends, and booking it was convenient because you could book your hotel and flight all in one. They also had a honeymoon registry, which our family and friends graciously gave us money towards excursions and dinners on the beach.
Do you have any advice for couples that are planning their wedding? If you are a type “A” teacher type like me, please please please, let your family and friends help with they offer. This is just as an important day to them as it is to you, so let your inner control freak go with the flow. Your day will be perfect because it is your day-all the planning can’t stand in the way of pure bliss!
What are you currently enjoying or looking forward to as a couple? We are enjoying our conversations, laughter, and “alone time”. We look forward to traveling and starting a family very soon.
Jillian & Mark
November 9, 2012
The Mill at Spring Lake Heights • Spring Lake Heights, NJ
Ceremony Location: The Church of the Sacred Heart / Celebrant: Father Dennis Appoldite / Reception Location: The Mill at Spring Lake Heights / Photographer: Danielle Hopkins Photography / Videographer: Creative Video Editing Films / Entertainment: DJ Your Way / Florist: Petal Pushers / Limousine Service: Cescaphé Trolley / Cake Designer: Chocolate Carousel / Bridal Salon: The Bridal Suite of Hamilton / Shoes: Badgley Mischka / Formal Attire: Schaffer’s Tuxedos / Invitations: Magnet Street / Favors: Donation to Wounded Warrior Project / Hair Salon: Robert James Salon and Spa of Hamilton / Makeup Artist: Silvana Longo / Jeweler: The Original Pratico Jewelers / Honeymoon Location: Secrets Royal Beach Punta Cana, Dominican Republic