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Royal Wedding of Avalon // Maura + Michael

Perhaps it’s because of their upbringing in the vacation-like setting of the shore… Mari and Mike are such a fun, laid back couple.  As noted by friends on their wedding day, they’re kind and genuine… truly beautiful, inside and out.  The couple grew up, met and got engaged in Avalon, NJ.  So it was only fitting to hold their wedding event in this peaceful and special location.


Mari and Mike held their ceremony in Avalon and the reception in nearby Stone Harbor, just as summer was coming to an end.  As Mari and her bridesmaids prepared for the day in Avalon, Mike and his groomsmen got ready in his family home a few minutes up the road.  Mari’s beautiful bridesmaids wore matching, long smoky gray-blue dresses that reminded us of the Atlantic’s ocean waves.  The groomsmen were handsomely dressed in dark suits with crisp, white ties.  We loved the thoughtful accessory Mike wore – a tie clip that commemorated their wedding day in latitude and longitude.


Mari certainly looked like a royal princess on her wedding day!  Her gorgeous wedding dress featured an A-line or princess silhouette, a sheer sash tied in a bow in back and a lovely lace covered illusion bodice.  She wore her hair up and held a lovely bouquet of flowers all in white, provided by Blooms by Country Greenery.  They filled this event with fresh, eye-popping flowers, including large and lush hydrangeas, in white and shades of light and dark blue.


Their touching, traditional ceremony took place in Saint Brendan the Navigator Parish’s Maris Stella Chapel.  We found it so beautiful (and apropos for a beach wedding!) that their officiant challenged them to add the qualities of salt to their marriage: cleansing, healing, preserving and enhancing the flavor of life, for these are the keys to a long and happy life together.  They recited their vows to each other and made their marriage official!


A wonderful, formal photo shoot for the family took place in the church and another session out on the beach in Avalon.  The wedding party had a lot of fun posing for photos for photographer, Ashley Gerrity in the warm sand!  Be sure to take a look at her photos from the wedding on her blog’s year in review!  It definitely was a beautiful day to stroll in the beach sand and film the happy couple with the waves crashing in the background.


Afterwards, we traveled on to Mari and Mike’s tented wedding reception on the bay at the Yacht Club of Stone Harbor.  Their event had a fitting nautical theme with linens in navy blue and white accents everywhere.


All eyes were on Mari and Mike as they had their first dance under their romantic, open air tent.  Later, guests danced into the sunset to the hip, energetic sounds of Gina & The Corner Boys.  The partying lasted well into the evening as everyone had a blast on the dance floor!  The sweet conclusion to this celebration came in the form of their last song, the classic “With a Little Help from My Friends”.


This was such a fun, unhurried wedding event, with a strong focus on family and friends.  During the toasts, it was said that this wedding should be called the ‘Royal Wedding of Avalon’ because of both families’ strong ties to the shore town and Mari and Mike’s love of the area.  We also feel that this quintessential beach wedding captured all the joy and inspiration of the seaside. 


Congratulations to Mari and Mike!  May all your days be filled with sandy toes and salty kisses!


bride having makeup applied
bride walking down the aisle with her father
bride and groom on the beach by lifeguard boat
bride and groom's first dance at the reception

Photographer:  Ashley Gerrity Photography – Philadelphia, PA

Floral Design:  Blooms by Country Greenery – Cape May Courthouse, NJ

Hair Stylist:  Erin Brown

Makeup Artist:  Spa at the Galleria – Red Bank, NJ

Entertainment:  Gina & The Corner BoysVPS Entertainment – Philadelphia, PA

Cake:  The Bake Works – Northfield, NJ

Officiant:  Rev. John P. Stack, O.S.A.

Venue: Yacht Club of Stone Harbor – Stone Harbor, NJ



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