Caroline and Cliff met in college one October, when Cliff's fraternity was having a Halloween party. A lot of Caroline's friends were going because they had been invited by what turned out to be Cliff's friends. She was hoping to be invited, too, so she could hang out and have fun with her friends. Two days before the party, Cliff, whom Caroline had never met, asked her to be his date. She excitedly said 'yes' mainly so she could be with her friends. But once she was introduced to Cliff that night, they were glued together for the rest of the evening!
And of course, Caroline said 'yes' to Cliff again when he popped the question! They had traveled to Canada last August to spend time at Cliff's family's lake house with his entire family. While enjoying time on the water, Cliff suggested that they climb to a nearby cliff to jump off and swim for a while. Caroline knew this cliff, as the two had watched countless sunsets from this special place.
Once they got to the cliff, Cliff knelt down and pulled out his sunglasses case, which held the precious engagement ring. While Cliff's sisters and their boyfriends watched from behind the trees, Caroline reacted in complete shock and happiness, and was speechless for some time before answering! Back at the cabin, Caroline's family had made the seven-hour drive from their home, and others had taken a flight from Washington, DC, to be there to celebrate with them. Caroline said it was the best day of her life, but we think that day may have some competition...
Caroline and Cliff's wedding day took place in the shore retreat township of Cape May, New Jersey, the quintessential seaside resort town with its iconic Victorian houses, quaint shops and restaurants and salty ocean air. And the venue they close was the historic, grand beachfront hotel, Congress Hall.
Caroline got ready for her wedding in the Annie Knight Suite at Congress Hall. After JC Hair Design and Beauty on Location completed her beautiful hair and makeup, she dressed into her strapless Caroline Castigliano gown with its sweetheart neckline and amazing, light and airy ball gown skirt. Her waistline was accentuated with a thin, satin ribbon belt and she wore her hair in a chic updo, fastened with a lovely pearl clip to match her drop earrings. Caroline had such a sophisticated and glamorous look on her special day... so, so beautiful!
The bride's luscious floral bouquet from A Garden Party was filled with white blooms, accented with tiny light blue flowers, Caroline's dear 'pap pap's' ring neatly tied to the bouquet handle. Her lovely bridal party carried similar bouquets in white with blue accents. They all were so beautiful in their long, light dusty blue gowns, and coordinated perfectly with both the florals and with the groomsmen's attire as well.
Just a few minutes up the road, Cliff got ready for his big day with his groomsmen. They all wore modern fitted suits, the dark navy contrasting wonderfully with their light colored neckties and socks. Cliff added a vest to stand apart from the rest of his party, and his grandfather's pocket watch with its chain hanging prominently from it looked fantastic!
The couple met up outside at Congress Hall for their sweet first look before their ceremony. As always, this moment may just be the sweetest, most emotional one of the day. Definitely one of our favorites at every wedding, and yes, we should have brought tissues!
A fabulous photo shoot was held there at Congress Hall and later, across Beach Street, as we strolled along the shoreline in the warm Atlantic sands. We were so happy to film while Rachel Pearlman and her assistant took those amazing photos of the couple and their party. And who doesn't love a beach photo shoot?!
Caroline and Cliff's ceremony was held in the open air on the lawn on this sunny, late summer day. An amazing blue and white floral arch stood above the couple as they recited their vows, exchanged rings and said their 'I do's'. Before long, the Right Reverend James J. Shand was pronouncing them as husband and wife.
Then it was time for the food and festivities! An impressive white tent was set up on the lawn at Congress Hall for Caroline and Cliff's reception. And those lovely tall centerpieces adorning the round, white tables looked so incredible! The light blue and white color scheme was so fresh and so perfectly beachy!
Caroline and Cliff entered the tent when announced and danced their first dance of the evening, all perfectly choreographed. We loved watching those parent dances afterwards, too. After the blessing was given, Caroline's parents both gave beautiful welcome speeches and toasts to the couple (and sweet compliments as well) and we heard such thoughtful (and funny!) toasts from Caroline's sisters, her maid and matron of honor, and from Cliff's close friend, "sidekick" and best man on this day.
The Sultans electrified the tent's dance floor, keeping the wedding guests dancing all night long! Check out those moves! Later, Caroline and Cliff sneaked away to cut and taste their fabulous cake from The Bake Works.
We filmed Caroline's sister's wedding at Congress Hall a year earlier, and it was so wonderful for us to be back at this beautiful resort, and to be filming a second wedding with this fantastic, super sweet family. Congratulations to Caroline and Cliff! May there be so many more 'best days' in your lives together.
Photographer: Rachel Pearlman Photography - Philadelphia, PA
Floral Design: A Garden Party - Elmer, NJ
Hair Stylist: JC Hair Design - Wayne, NJ
Makeup Artist: Beauty on Location - Morristown, NJ
Wedding Dress: Caroline Castigliano
Bridal Shoes: Stuart Weitzman
Entertainment: The Sultans - Palm Beach Gardens, FL
Cake: The Bake Works - Northfield, NJ
Officiant: Rt. Reverend James J. Shand
Tent Rental: Sperry Tents - Belmar, NJ
Decor Rental: Something Vintage Rentals - Temple Hills, MD
Stationery: KP & Co. Design Studio - Tarrytown, NY
Venue: Congress Hall - Cape May, NJ
Accommodations: Annie Knight Suite - Congress Hall - Cape May, NJ