Van Vorst Park is one of my favorite New Jersey wedding ceremony locations. This past June, I had the absolute honor of photographing Raychel and Dave’s micro wedding here. One of the things Raychel mentioned she loved most about Dave was how his family is always his top priority. From the moment they met, he’s treated her family exactly the same way. Both of them are incredibly close with not only their own family but each other’s as well. As a wedding photographer, that absolutely has my heart. If you’ve been searching for inspiration from a real wedding at Van Vorst Park, you’ll love Raychel and Dave’s micro wedding as much as I do.
Mile Square Moments
Before you scroll through the photos (prepare to be wowed by the details that Raychel and Dave chose), I wanted to quickly introduce myself. If you are looking for a NYC or New Jersey wedding photographer, you can learn more about my wedding photography packages here. I love to use a photojournalistic style to really document your wedding day as it naturally unfolds. If we work together, you’ll notice how much I value getting to know you and your fiance as a couple. This way, when I show up on your wedding day, I can capture the unique chemistry that exists just between the two of you. It’s truly the most beautiful thing in the world. If you are ready to save your date (or want to have a conversation!), you can connect with me directly through the button below!
Getting Ready Photos Near Van Vorst Park
This wedding was planned by my own wedding planner, Veronica Joy Events, so I knew that the details would be both thoughtful and beautiful. If you are curious – you can read about my own wedding day here. I always love photographing the getting ready photos, because it’s when I get to capture all of the gorgeous details that my couples have poured their hearts into during the planning process. For Raychel and Dave, it was their invitations, stunning jewelry (and velvet ring box!), and a felt board that proudly read “0 days until I do”. Although Raychel and Dave got ready in the same place, they stayed in separate areas until they were ready for their first look. Excitement filled the home!
First Look Wedding Photos at Van Vorst Park
When we were ready to go, I walked over to Van Vorst Park with Dave to secure the most incredible first look location – in front of the fountain. We had a backup location in case, but I always love the fountain backdrop. After we were ready, Raychel and Veronica (the wedding planner) started to walk over and meet us. The way that these two looked at each other when they saw each other for the first time was absolutely priceless. I’m pretty sure you could have felt the love radiating throughout the entire park.
After their first look, we took some classic wedding couple portraits outside, both around Van Vorst Park and then in front of some nearby brownstones (another favorite outdoor photo location of mine!). I’ve talked before about how much I love a first look (the timeline feels more relaxed, the mood feels more intimate) but in case you are debating for your own wedding, I’ve written an entire post about it! Click the button below for a wedding photographer’s perspective!
Wedding Ceremony at Van Vorst Park Gazebo
Raychel and Dave wanted their wedding to feel incredibly personal. It was the first chance they had to bring their whole families together. The energy was pure magic. Because of the intimate guest list, they had all of their guests inside the Van Vorst Park gazebo with them. Although their ceremony was later in the day (5pm), the summer weather was wonderful. The natural lighting was truly a dream. As a NJ wedding photographer, I am prepared for any lighting situation. But I have to admit, it was so nice to see the natural light shining through the gazebo! After the ceremony, we took group photos with the whole family. Then, we walked to the reception!
Micro Wedding Reception at Porta Jersey City
Finishing off an absolutely beautiful wedding day, was their micro wedding reception at Porta in Jersey City. Porta’s open-air patio has been an absolute favorite for micro weddings (especially during COVID). And for good reason! Porta did an outstanding job with the food, the signage, and the cake. Raychel and Dave truly made the venue their own. No detail was overlooked.
After appetizers, Raychel and Dave danced to “I want more” by Kaleo. SUCH a beautiful first dance song! Halfway through, they invited their guests to join in the dance and celebrate with them. During the entrees, they had a few toasts and then opened the mic to everyone. Raychel and Dave wanted a casual feel for their wedding, and the night truly was full of joy and mingling. Exactly what they had planned.
This Casual Summer Wedding in Jersey City was Perfect!
Raychel and Dave admitted before their wedding ceremony that they really weren’t used to being the center of attention. Because of COVID concerns, they chose to have a smaller guest list. What I love about these two – they admitted it likely would have been their first choice anyway. As a New Jersey wedding photographer, I’ve also become a little obsessed with the intimate energy found with smaller guest lists. If you’re debating, let me reassure you that a micro wedding is a solid first choice. In Raychel’s words, the circumstances gave them the perfect excuse to have their wedding exactly how they wanted. Without any guilt!
If you are feeling excited and inspired by this New Jersey micro wedding, let’s chat! I would love to have a conversation and learn more about what your wedding day vision is. If I can help document your wedding day dreams coming to life, I would be honored. The first step is having a conversation, so get in touch via the button below! Congratulations!
Reception Venue, Signage, and Cake: Porta
Mile Square Moments | New Jersey Wedding Photographer
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. This is so, incredibly important to me. 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 this fall wedding at Van Vorst Park.