Nicole & Jesse: Crystal Springs Resort Wedding Photos
Nicole and Jesse are an incredibly special couple that I am blessed to have in my life; I can’t say enough amazing things about them, their daughter, or our friendship. And I definitly can’t even begin to describe their Crystal Springs Resort wedding day! From the HUGE wedding party, to the “first look”, to our own special time together, every single moment was unbelievable, and kept going all night long! Keep reading to check it all out.
Nicole and Jesse’s wedding day took place at the Grand Cascades Lodge, one of five venue locations within the Crystal Springs Resort, and it was nothing short of gorgeous: the weather was perfect all day long, the outdoor ceremony set at sunset was a dream come true, and the ballroom with loads of floor to ceiling windows was nothing short of spectacular. Add to the setting a HUGE wedding party of thirty-seven people, a “faux first look” complete with groomsman in a wedding dress, and one rocking DJ, and you get a wedding to be talked about for years to come!
The Crystal Springs Resort, located in the mountains of Northern New Jersey is a venue of epic proportions – literally. With over 4,000 acres, Crystal Springs offers couples five different wedding venues with stunning views, delicious food, and some of the best hospitality out there. Plus, Crystal Springs has two different locations for overnight guests and activities for all ages, from golf to pools to skiing, all year round. Really, this place has it all!
I couldn’t speak about the day, though, without mentioning the very private moments I shared with Nicole and Jesse during portraits. Shooting the couples portraits is the time of the day when it’s just the couple, myself, and maybe one or two other people; so it’s very intimate and really where I capture all the love between the couple on a very personal level. Nicole and Jesse asked to take a few moments with just me, no photos, to share very special words. These few minutes brought us all to tears, and something I will cherish forever. These two are incredibly generous, thoughtful, and kind, and I couldn’t be more blessed then to have them in my life.
I am always humbled when my couples share their gratitude for the work my team and I do for them on the most important day of their new life together. And I am so grateful because I love having the ability to capture memories like I do. But with Nicole and Jesse (and their adorable daughter, Lily), I am the blessed and thankful one. They are an incredibly thoughtful and giving family that has truly changed my life. I know great things are in store for this family, and I am so excited to be a part of them all.
Venue: Crystal Springs Resort // DJ: DJ Tony Gia // Cinematographer: Scott Christie // Floral Design: Added Touch Florist // Wedding Gown Atelier: Castle Couture // Wedding Gown: Pronovias // Hair & Make-up: Colorbar the Salon // Stationery: Minted // Bridesmaids: Bella Bridesmaids // Groom & Groomsmen: Chazmatazz //
What was your favorite memory from your wedding day?
I have two favorite memories from our wedding day. The first was having our daughter, along with 160 of our most favorite people in the world under one roof celebrating our love. The second, and easily my MOST favorite, was our vows to each other! Hands down one of the BEST moments for me and one that I will forever cherish in my heart.
How did you two meet and fall in love?
We met back in middle school over 10 year ago, but just three years ago he slid into my DMs from over 600 miles away and here we are today, husband & wife!
What was most important to you when planning your wedding?
Truthfully, for me it was making sure that our bridal party & parents knew & understood how much we truly appreciated all of their time, & money out of their own pocket that they put into this for us.
What made you choose your specific venue for your wedding day?
Even though it was in the same state, it was still a destination for pretty much all of our guests which was tons of fun to get away with everyone even if it was for just two days. We loved that for our ceremony we had the most beautiful outdoor vibe with the sun setting and mountains in the background with candles & bubbles. Then for our cocktail hour it had a true rustic feel in a room they call the Rotunda which is absolutely beautiful! Our reception room was one of my most favorites because it wasn’t the “white & airy” ballroom, or barn feel that most brides these day go for.
I wanted something different and something so warm and romantic looking, and that is exactly what I got. Sky high ceilings, with pretty much floor to ceiling windows, vintage looking chandeliers. it was everything we could of ever wanted! An additional add on is just how gorgeous the views and grounds are!
Was there a theme behind your wedding day? What colors did you choose? What ‘feeling’ were you going for?
If I had to choose a theme, I would say I went for a very romantic, vintage vibe the best way I could. The most candles and flowers everywhere, with tons of greenery!
What piece of advice would you give to future couples planning their big day?
My best advice, is to not get so lost in the small stuff, focus on the big picture. Your marrying the love of your life. As a past bride, I found myself getting so frustrated about such silly things. Be THANKFUL for the important things like your family, your friends, YOUR HEALTH! Be thankful to have these people in your life to be along for this ride with you, because not everyone is so lucky. People aren’t going to remember if your center pieces had roses or carnations, they are going to remember the love that they felt that day watching you marry your soulmate, and remember the feeling that everyone in the room had hearing you two read your vows to each other.
I know how easy it is to get wrapped up in this crazy social media world we live in today, and feel like you have to spend your life savings to have this picture-perfect, Pinterest wedding! don’t let it happen to you, and just remember that once the wedding is over, yes your left with these beautiful memories, but more importantly your left with your HUSBAND/WIFE, the person who is your whole heart for the rest of your life, and THAT is all that truly matters.
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Crystal Springs Resort wedding photos by New Jersey wedding photographers, Jaye Kogut Photography