I consider myself very fortunate that my couples seem to be as beautiful on the inside as they are on the outside. Sara and Sal were a perfect example, and their wedding day was an absolutely precious part of 2021 for me. It was hard to keep a dry eye throughout the day (and I know I wasn’t the only one!). I can’t wait to share all the incredibly moving sweet and sentimental details: From a vintage car that used to belong to the groom’s father, to handcrafted rose favors from Italy – this wedding at The Mansion at Mountain Lakes is not something you want to miss when dreaming about your own 2022 wedding inspiration!
Getting Ready Photos at Hyatt Place
Sara and Sal met in high school, but didn’t officially started dating until they were in college. I always love when couples have been together for what feels like forever, because by the time the wedding day comes around, it just feels like magic. Sara and Sal have so many memories together, and they are both so easy going and full of life that some of their favorite memories are just hanging out, going for dinner, and floating around in the pool in the summer. I’ve always believed when it’s true love, being together doesn’t need to be fancy. Sara and Sal are a true reflection of that and excitement absolutely filled their wedding day. I could feel it from the moment I arrived to capture their getting ready photos (and stunning wedding day details!).
Almost as precious as their love for one another, is their love for their family and friends. In the past few years, it has become increasingly common for couples to give their wedding party gifts the morning of the wedding day. Sara and Sal went all out for their wedding party and even more than that, they made the getting ready moments so full of joy for everyone. You could tell celebrating with the people that mattered the most to them was important. Sara and her dad’s first look was one of my favorite moments of the morning!
A First Look & A Sentimental Vintage Car
Sal’s dad passed away, so Sara was very intent on bringing his dad into their wedding day (seriously, I told you she was sweet!). She ended up tracking down his dad’s old Trans Am – the exact car his dad used to drive! – and surprised Sal with it before their first look. We had fun taking photos around the car and then Sal drove to the first look location (The Station at Mountain Lakes) in the car and then drove him and Sara to group portraits in the car. It was a smoking hot August day, so I have to give Sara A LOT of credit for riding in this car (that didn’t have AC!) in her wedding dress!!
Large Wedding Party Photo Ideas!
After their first look, Sal drove Sara and himself to Hurd Park to meet their wedding party for photos! Together, they had quite a large wedding party so we were able to have a lot of fun together (and capturing a mix of classic wedding photos and candids).
Fun fact: Sara and Sal’s first date was at Sal’s sister’s sweet 16…and Sal’s sister was the one who invited Sara! It’s such a sweet ongoing joke between the two of them because Sara definitely pursued Sal in the beginning. Clearly it was worth it, and they gave a huge thanks to Daniella for kicking things off for them!! So sweet. I’ve always believed that taking the time to really get to know my couples before the wedding day helps me capture the chemistry that naturally exists between the two of them. There was definitely no shortage here!
Wedding Ceremony at The Mansion at Mountain Lakes
A word to the wise: Having a first look doesn’t mean you won’t cry during your wedding ceremony. As you can see in the photos below, Sara and Sal’s wedding was filled with both tears and laughter. The wedding ceremony was so sweet, and so incredibly personal to who they are as a couple. They chose to have an unplugged ceremony, and everyone was really present and dialed in as they exchanged personal vows and had two family members read readings for them. The harpist did an incredible job of keeping the ambiance soft and romantic, too!
Thoughtful, Unique Wedding Reception Details
You don’t need to worry about creating a “shot list” for me, as I always ask my couples a million questions about what moments (and details!) are most important to them. As you can likely tell already, Sara and Sal spent a great deal of time making sure their wedding day was incredibly personal, and unique to them. Before their reception, I set out to make sure I captured each and every one of their details before the reception begun. From custom signage in a few different places to handmade roses from Sal’s aunt in Italy, their wedding reception décor was so truly special. It was well worth the extra effort. Everything came together flawlessly.
A Joyful End to their Wedding at The Mansion at Mountain Lakes
One of the things I loved most about Sara and Sal’s wedding, is that they had no problem making their day their own, but they still kept a few meaningful traditions. It can often be a hard balance to strike in 2022! The first dances were so sweet, and there was hardly a dry eye during Sal’s and his mother’s dance! Like so much of the rest of the wedding day, there was so much laughter (and a few tears!) throughout the evening as friends and family gave their speeches and wished the two of them a big congratulations as they started their next chapter together!
Looking for something a little extra for your reception fun? I can’t recommend their saxophone player – the essential Jason Nelson – enough! I got to know him during their wedding reception (he’s also based in Hoboken!) and he was an absolute blast at the wedding. One of the things Sara was the most excited about on the wedding day was the dancing! Jason was definitely a fun and welcome addition and really kicked things off in a unique way.
A Perfect End to the Night!
Finally, a Zeppoli truck was waiting outside to wish guests farewell as they exited the reception. When I first talked to Sara and Sal they mentioned that they were worried they wouldn’t necessarily feel comfortable in front of the camera posing. This is SUCH a common fear, but I knew I wouldn’t have a problem with these two. At the end of the day, they wanted photos of their wedding day that felt natural, and reflected who they were as a couple. I truly believe we did just that, and I was honored to be a part of it!
Hoboken Wedding Vendors
Mile Square Moments is a wedding photography company in New Jersey. For more information on our packages (including a Photo/Video package with Murphy Studio), you can head to our services page here. As you can tell, we love getting to know each couple personally. You might be a MSM couple if you love a night in binge-watching Netflix, but you also aren’t afraid of a little PDA in photos. Currently planning a wedding in Hoboken, NJ or beyond? Get in touch here to inquire about our photography packages. Prefer Instagram? We love sharing fun love stories on Instagram. For more stunning Hoboken wedding inspiration, check out this stunning Antique Loft wedding.