Clarks Landing Marina & Yacht Club Wedding
Shannon and Steven
Everyone knows a wedding never goes off without a glitch, whether it be rain, traffic, or some other “catastrophe”. I have seen what I thought was it all. Till Shannon and Steven’s wedding at Clarks Landing Marina & Yacht Club in Point Pleasant, New Jersey. What was a completely random mishap near the end, though, did not matter after a visit by an incredible surprise guest singer. Read on for all the details!
When Shannon, Steven and I started off their wedding day, we had no idea that their wedding would be one that would be one of the most memorable I’ve ever shot. After capturing emotional photos between the bride and her family, and the groom and his men, I captured Shanon and Steven’s first look down the Jersey Shore in Bayhead. The love between these two is incredible, and shines through each and every photo! We all moved on to Divine Park in Spring Lake (a favorite of mine) before heading over to Clarks Landing Yacht club to use their private dock on the bay.
Then the surprises began!
Steven arrived to the ceremony on a boat owned by Shannon’s father. These two said “i do” in the most gorgeous setting at Clarks Landing Marina & Yacht Club, and we were able to catch the sunset right on time for a few amazing photos. As the party began……the boat sank! And while the boat was sinking…THE Gloria Gaynor made a surprise special appearance to sing her hit song, “I Will Survive“. Oh, the surprises! And Irony I guess? :-Pd
Each and every one of my bride and grooms leaves a “mark” on my heart for one reason or another, and these two most certainly left an indelible mark on my heart forever. I adore Shannon and Steven; they were such a pleasure to work with, and I can’t wait to see them again next spring…..when I shoot Shannon’s sister’s wedding!
Venue: Clarks Landing Marina & Yacht Club // Event Planner: Details Made Simple // Wedding Gown Atelier: Castle Couture // Wedding Gown: Pronovias // Bridesmaid Gowns: Adrianna Papell from Bella Bridesmaids // Hair: Savvy Hair Loft // Make up: Make Me Up Eva // Floral Design: Bella Fiori Event Design // Cinematographer: Creative Vision Media // Photobooth: Pop Shop Photobooth // Trolley: Shore Luxury Limo // Cake: Bovella’s Pastry Shoppe // Stationery: Bella Fiori Event Design // Band: New York City Swing
Bride: Steven will say he saw me first, don’t believe him. I saw him as I walked into a football game with friends well before he claims this false story of seeing me first. But long story short, Steven approached me at a high school football game between two schools I didn’t even attend! I was standing along the fence watching the game, when I was tapped on the shoulder by this younger version of Steven with a serious laxer-surfer-kid flow and braces. I turned around to realize it was the boy I saw (first) when I walked into the game. He said, “You look like you need a hug…” to which I remember quickly responding sporadically and nervously, “I’m ok”, and walked off. Cue social media. We were able to reconnect over Myspace (can you believe it) and plan a date. However, as a teenager, I wasn’t allowed on dates – so we talked for a long time over the phone or when out with a group at the mall, becoming great friends before I was finally able to go to a movie with him. The rest is history. We grew up spending our summers going from my aunt’s houses to his grandma’s across the bay; we spent years in different states throughout college figuring out life, we remained there for each other through most of life’s journeys. It was like we knew from the beginning, all those years ago. I think we’re really lucky to be able to have and see that…
Groom: I first saw Shannon at a football game at my high school that Shannon didn’t attend either of the schools playing. She looked upset about something so I marched right up and said the only thing that my 16 year old brain could think of. “You look like you need a hug.” is what a blurted out and I don’t really remember her response except that the word no or I’m alright was part of it. We managed to keep bumping into each other through which eventually lead to her stalking me on Myspace but I was engulfed by her personality. For me it was really love at first sight. Did I mention I saw her first because for the record, I did.
How amazing is this shot of Steven watching Shannon walk down the aisle? Awww!
Bride: Walking down the aisle. Sounds so cliché, but hear me out. Steven and I dated for 11 years before we were engaged. There were many, many years of people seeing us not only as individuals, but as a team. Even when we needed to tag team family events or friend’s birthdays, we made it happen. Our families became family a long time ago; our friends became friends a long time ago. When I walked out of the parlor at Clark’s to see the most diverse crowd of our biggest fans all smiling and crying because of our happiness, all the hard work and stress of planning and squeezing into that dress, disappeared.
Groom: My favorite memory was the entire outdoor ceremony. Coming in on the boat, everyone we cared about being there to witness getting married by a lifelong friend of the both of us, and being at the shore was just perfect. The shore is where Shannon and I’s relationship really grew so to me it felt like we were getting married somewhere we considered home which I think is special.
Bride: The first important decision was that we wanted to share our special place with the people we love; the shore. The second was knowing we needed the best service around. We take serious pride in our party throwing and hospitality, so we needed a venue that took that just as serious. Looking from venue to venue along the coast of NJ all the way down to Avalon, we decided to look right at “home” near Lavallette and Brick, NJ where our family have homes. Little did we know that the venue of our dreams was so close to home. Clark’s Landing not only allowed us to keep our shore feel, but allowed us the ability to show our favorite place to our family and friends.
Groom: I have to say Shannon did the majority of venue searching and brought me her favorites which we then visited together with our parents. The first venue we went to was Clark’s Landing and I was sold. It was perfect and was in our backyard. For good measure we went and visited a few more venues but the other venues only confirmed we found the one for us on the first try.
Bride: Firstly, do what makes you happy and make your intentions clear to everyone from the beginning. We conduct our lives with a “velvet hammer” mentality and when too many cooks were in the kitchen, we “Irish good-bye”-ed. There was no drama or need to sweat the small stuff. We really enjoyed the process of planning our wedding and that made the day that much better. It went by for us at a great cruise-control speed where we didn’t feel over-planned or overwhelmed. Secondly, research your vendors and be open to all discussions and opinions. Read their reviews, make sure they fit your style, and ask questions! These people are professionals. You’re planning one day; they’ve helped in the planning of hundreds. They know what people like or don’t like, they know what will make the people dance, they know that you shouldn’t sit older people next to the band, or take photos after the cake cutting…. they know. Thirdly, if you build it they will come. We know it’s really “if you build it, he will come”, but in this scenario, we’re talking about the masses. We saw 200 people at our wedding and ended up with 230. Even still, it was amazing to see every single person we love’s face as we said our “I Do’s”, we won’t lie. So the advice is, be prepared.
Groom: Don’t stress. Planning your special day shouldn’t test your relationship. Also don’t be afraid to really talk to your vendors and get their opinions. You’re only getting married once while they do this at least every weekend if not more. Finally, if something happens that was unplanned, just take it with a smile on your face. What can you do? Yeah, maybe that one detail didn’t go quite as expected but don’t let that influence this once in a lifetime experience.
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Clarks Landing Marina & Yacht Club wedding photos by New Jersey photographers, Jaye Kogut Photography