With threats of snow this weekend, I am so happy to be featuring this rustic New Jersey wedding from Christy Nicole Photography today! It’s full of fluffy bouquets, twinkle lights, and the prettiest aqua blue bridesmaid dresses. The tented reception at the Inn at Millrace Pond featured rustic wedding signs and beer favors home-brewed by the bride and groom. It’s a perfectly romantic, love-filled, spring affair!!
HOW THEY MET
If you were to ask Erin and Bobby how they met, you’d get two very different answers! They both went to Stevens Institute of Technology and were majoring in Chemical Engineering. Bobby claims that he had a crush on her since “spotting her across the room” in the spring of 2007, but they only really got to know each other after they started working together.
During one of their last college classes, Erin overheard Bobby talking about a job interview. As fate would have it, she was interviewing for the same position at the same company. At the time, she secretly hoped she had the job in the bag (because the job market was tough back in 2010). But because they were both such good candidates, the company wound up hiring them both!!
In college, Erin was too busy focusing on schoolwork to notice just how much of a catch Bobby was. But after seeing him in a professional setting, in his fancy work clothes, and really getting to know him, she fell for him what seemed like overnight.
After several months as friends, Bobby finally asked Erin out! He took her to Moonstruck in Asbury (even though she lived among tons of delicious restaurants in Hoboken) because he wanted their first date to be special.
Bobby and Erin were basically inseparable after that first date. With similar backgrounds and interests, plus the ability to easily fit in with each other’s friends and family; they seemed to go together so perfectly. Bobby was able to introduce her to the wonderful world of craft beer and Erin was able to get him interested in running and bike races. They truly compliment each other.
In the few years that they’ve dated, they’ve been on countless camping trips and snowboard adventures. They’ve also been to Atlantic City, Denver for the Great American Beer Festival, and Munich, Germany for Oktoberfest.
Bobby says he knew she was the one after he realized that they both made similar (very detailed) spreadsheets for each trip they took!
You could say Erin knew Bobby was the one almost immediately. But it wasn’t until her sister’s dress fitting that she actually said those words out loud. She fell really hard for him when she came down with a nasty cold and he brought over an entire cold kit (complete with chicken soup, tea, and medicine). It was at that point that she realized she was in love with him and he continues to remind her why every single day.
They constantly bring out the best in each other and are only competitive when it comes to the punch buggy game!! They’ve had an ongoing contest for who can see the most punch buggies since before they were even dating!! It’s become such a silly, yet integral part of their relationship because they are reminded of each other every time they see a punch buggy.
Erin even wrote it into her vows! She promised to never keep score—with the exception of the punch buggy game! 😉
For their third anniversary, they planned to go to dinner at Moonstruck in Asbury (where they’d had their first date). Erin was expecting (and hoping) Bobby would propose that night, so she bought a new dress and made sure to do her hair. But he showed up at her apartment in a beer t-shirt and asked if she wanted to go to a brewery before dinner.
The whole drive down to Kane Brewing all Bobby could think about was proposing. He kept practicing the lines he’d written down and been working on memorizing for weeks. He was nervous about having the ring on him (afraid that Erin would somehow find it) so he left it in the car. But he could do nothing but worry about the ring and try to remember his lines the entire time they drank their beers.
After the event, they finally left for dinner (and Bobby was relieved to find the ring still in the car). During dinner, he could only countdown the minutes until dinner was over and he could finally spill his heart to her. Erin, on the other hand, had completely convinced herself that a proposal wouldn’t be happening that night.
After dinner, Bobby convinced Erin to take a walk on the beach with him. As the sun began to set, he realized the moment was perfect. He took a deep breath and proposed (reciting the words he’d practiced perfectly). He was so happy when she said yes, jumping up and down in the sand! 🙂
As cliche as it sounds, our wedding day was truly a dream come true and exactly as we hoped it would be. The weather was absolutely perfectly—something that we both stressed about for weeks! (Hey, it’s New Jersey; you never know, it could snow!)
Our ceremony and reception took place at The Inn at Millrace Pond in Hope, New Jersey. The ceremony was outside on the lawn surrounded by the beautiful setting of the Inn, the cocktail hour took place in the meeting house, and the reception was held under a bistro lighted tent on the property.
I remember the morning and afternoon leading up to the ceremony in extreme detail because all I was thinking about was how I wanted to rush the day and get to the good part; but it seemed to be taking forever!
The bridesmaids, flower girl, my mother, and I all got ready in the meeting house overlooking the property. That was actually my favorite part of the whole Inn because I was able to see all of our friends and family arrive to support us on the most important day of our lives.
Bobby was very adamant about not doing a first look before the ceremony. He wanted the experience of seeing me walk down the aisle for the first time, and I’m so glad that he convinced me because my absolute favorite part of the day was walking down the aisle.
I am usually a very nervous person and do not like to speak in front of crowds, so naturally I was extremely nervous. Not at all about marrying Bobby, but more so the logistics of having everyone stare at me and speaking in front of so many people. After being so nervous and worked up, all of my concerns melted away when that door opened and I saw Bobby standing at the end of the aisle waiting for me.
Our ceremony was short, sweet, and personal—exactly how we wanted it. We decided to have an unplugged ceremony in order to allow our guests to be very present during our vows. Our photographer, Christy, did a fantastic job posting a few sneak peek photos on the night of the wedding so our guests didn’t feel as though they missed out on photos!
We wrote our own vows—something I was very adamant about. And even though we kept them a secret until the ceremony, they were actually very similar! Everything was amazing!
Because we are both AWFUL dancers, we took lessons for our first dance. We “danced” a (very) simply choreographed dance to Can’t Take My Eyes Off You by Frankie Valli—a song Bobby often jokingly sings at the top of his lungs to me. All I can say is it went better than it would have had we not taken lessons!!
One of our favorite details that we included in our day was the mead that we made. Wedding toasts are often made with champagne; however, we chose to brew a traditional honey mead for our guests.
Brewing our own honey mead allowed us to include a piece of my Irish heritage. The word for honey is meala in Irish. Mi na meala, the month of honey, refers to the moon cycle after the wedding when the newlyweds celebrated by drinking mead, a brew made of fermented honey—and thus the term honeymoon was coined. It was believed that this delicate yet potent drink was the best way to ensure a good beginning for a new marriage.
Luckily, we ended up with an extra unused bottle after the wedding, so we are looking forward to opening it on our anniversary!
We ended our reception with a sparkler sendoff and later met our guests in the tavern at the Inn for a fun (and delicious!) after party and s’mores around the chimenea. Another great part of the Inn was that many of our guests were able to stay on site. The next morning we gathered again for a fantastic brunch and relived the entire night!
HOW THEY BALANCED LIFE, LOVE, WORK & WEDDING PLANNING
I am an extremely Type A, organized, engineer, so I thrived with wedding planning. I made spreadsheets for every single step of the way and made sure I followed a timeline and checklist. We had a 13-month engagement, so we made sure to pace ourselves.
One of our goals that kept us on track was to try to get one big thing done each week. I would tell future brides and grooms to take one day/night a week where you don’t talk about the wedding at all and just have fun and enjoy each other!!
ADVICE FOR COUPLES
Everyone will have a piece of advice, comment, or opinion about the choices you make for your wedding every step of the way—so make sure you do what makes you happy. After all, it is YOUR wedding day and you (hopefully) only get one!!
Also, at some point, you may feel like you can’t make any more decisions—like what color napkins you want—just take a step back for a few days and then go back to it!
Congratulations, Erin and Bobby, and thank you so much for sharing your love story with us!! Wishing you both much love and laughter in the many years you’ll share together!! So many thanks to Christy Nicole Photography for sharing their very special day with us today!!