When you have a gap between your micro wedding and your larger celebration, it feels like an extended cocktail hour. You kind of get the best of both worlds. You get to marry your person sooner (YAY) without feeling that wedding hangover (when your wedding day is over and you realize just how fast 24 hours can pass). Today, I am so excited to share Caitlin and Derek’s New Jersey micro wedding with you. I am already counting down the days until I photograph their larger wedding celebration later in August.
New Jersey Wedding Photographer and Videographer Team
Another reason I loved Caitlin and Derek’s micro wedding so much was because I had the chance to work with Alan from Murphy Studio again! As a New Jersey wedding photographer, I work so close with your videographer on your wedding day. Alan and I have worked together for many New Jersey and New York weddings, so we have come up with joint photo/video packages to make your life a little easier. You can read more about how Alan and I work together here, or learn more about our packages and pricing by clicking the button below.
Planning Your Wedding During COVID
Caitlin and Derek got engaged in Spring 2020 so they were a little hesitant to start planning their wedding. Neither of them wanted to be in a position that so many couples fell into this past year where they were forced to reschedule two or even three times. Although they were so excited to get married, they really worked with what they were given. The result was a beautiful spring micro wedding with a larger wedding celebration later in 2021 when restrictions are *hopefully* lifted. Even though it was always a part of the original plan to have a larger wedding later, they still weren’t in a rush to book their vendors in case they needed to be flexible down the line. They only recently booked me for their larger celebration about a month ago!
Preparing for your Engagement Photos
I shot their engagement photos in July of last year – and you might recognize a few of the poses from this post where I share my top 7 poses for engagement photos. We headed down to Court Street (one of my favorite photo locations) and took some photos by the New Jersey waterfront. I never turn down an opportunity to shoot in front of the NYC skyline. If you are planning your own engagement photos, we have you covered here on the Mile Square Moments blog. You can check out this post all about preparing for engagement photos (choosing your location, outfits and more) or this post on how to infuse more YOU into your engagement photos.
Getting Ready Photos at Oyster Point Hotel
We started their wedding day at Oyster Point Hotel for getting ready photos. Their wedding only had a guest list of 15 of their closest family and friends. This made the getting ready photos really intimate. Derek got ready by himself and his dad joined him for a private moment before the ceremony. For Caitlin, she chose to get ready with her bridesmaids and had her mom and sister help her into her dress. Before the ceremony, she had a first look with her dad, which was such a sweet moment. She gave him an embroidered handkerchief and honestly – I don’t know if there was a dry eye in the room. It was so special.
A word to couples planning their wedding right now: I know you might be wondering if you “really need” getting ready photos. I love getting ready photos for a few reasons. One, it gives us a chance to “warm up” together before the ceremony. Emotions are HIGH on the wedding day and although I try to be a fly on the wall, it can be a little nerve wracking to have a camera in your face for the first time when you are walking down the aisle. Second, it gives us a chance to photograph those details you have spent so much time choosing during the wedding planning process. Your invitations, your shoes, your dress – all the details. For example, Caitlin’s grandma gave her a hanky that she wrapped around her bouquet. These are the details we definitely want to take photos of!
St Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church Ceremony
After the getting ready photos, we headed straight to St Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church for their wedding ceremony. Caitlin and Derek chose to have a traditional aisle reveal instead of a first look. If you are wondering what would be right for your wedding, make sure to check out this post where I discuss the pros and cons of each option. Caitlin and Derek’s wedding ceremony felt extra special because the Priest marrying them was a close family connection. I love when couples make the ceremony a little more personal. St Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church was absolutely breathtaking as well. Between the brick walls, stained glass windows and white backdrop, it was stunning.
After the ceremony, Caitlin and Derek headed outside for a champagne toast! Then, after a few family photos, they headed to the reception in a private car. I am LOVING this new trend, moving away from limos with the entire wedding party towards a private car for just the bride and groom. It’s a great way to steal an intimate moment with just the two of you. Without needing to add it to the timeline!
Charlie’s of Bay Head Wedding Reception
Caitlin and Derek held their wedding reception at Charlie’s of Bay Head in their wine room. I absolutely loved the setting, between the exposed brick and candle light, the entire room felt warm and intimate. They kept their wedding color palette simple and classic, with white flowers and lots of greenery. When you have a smaller guest list, you can get a little more creative with your wedding venue. If you are thinking about getting married with only your closest family and friends, don’t be afraid to ask your favorite restaurant! It makes it so much more personal too.
New Jersey Micro Wedding
Sending the absolute warmest congratulations to New Jersey’s newest newlyweds! Caitlin and Derek were one of the sweetest couples and I can’t wait to photograph their larger celebration later this year. If you are considering having a micro wedding now and a larger wedding later, just do it. I know so many couples feel like they were dealt a tough hand in the last year – and they absolutely were. But if there is one thing I’ve learned, it’s that love always wins!
Bagpiper: Frank Watson
Mile Square Moments is a New Jersey wedding photographer. We love telling our couples’ love stories through their photos. And we love getting to know each couple personally before we ever start taking photos. Getting to know our couples before the camera comes out allows us to better capture the chemistry that already exists between each couple. Do you love a night in binge-watching Netflix and aren’t afraid of a little PDA? Planning a wedding in Hoboken, NJ or beyond? Get in touch to inquire about our photography services. Or follow along for some fun love stories on Instagram. For more elopement inspiration, check out Ruani and Cortney’s Jersey City elopement!