This Reeds Shelter Haven wedding in Stone Harbor New Jersey included: a teary beachfront first look, a spiderman wedding cake, and a crazy snow squall, too!!
Why Rhinehart Photography?
Sarah smiled, “Lisa was so much fun to work with! Usually getting pictures taken can be boring, but we were smiling and laughing throughout all of it! Lisa really took the time to get to know Nick and I and when we met her in person, it was as if we were old friends.”
She shared, “Nick and I initially chose Rhinehart Photography before we knew that though. We chose her after seeing her incredible photos. We loved how she captured every little moment on a wedding day, and that’s exactly what we wanted.”
She added, “Lisa knew exactly what we wanted with the pictures and well exceeded our expectations. We are so excited to see everyone single picture from our wedding day. It goes by so quickly, so we love that we’re able to relive it through the incredible photographs!”
It’s the Little Things…
I knew Sarah was all about moments, so I wanted each image to tell a story. The previous one gives you an idea of the setting– a stormy sky with light peeking through and a seagull circling for this beachy Reeds Stone Harbor wedding!
I focused on the spray droplets as Sarah’s awesome make-up team put the finishing touches on her look. I liked how the light was catching her blonde bangs, too. How beautiful is Sarah???
Sarah shared, “The morning of was so much fun! We had some old school music going and mimosas were being poured and everyone was just so excited for this day.”
Capturing real moments when they happen is my thang… I composed the photo so that you could see everyone and love the wide variety of expressions, here the ladies gather as Sarah’s shoes are zipped :).
Sarah continued, “The guys were at a groomsman’s shore house rental and they had a little boozy brunch. So cute!”
Speaking of cute, how cute this little guy as he lights up when he sees his grandma! With the low perspective, you can almost see this moment through Nick’s mom’s eyes here.
Sarah smiled, “The best moment of our wedding day was the first look. Just being together with no one around is something we will always cherish.”
Nick added, “I was so excited to see Sarah on our wedding day. During our ‘first look’, my first thought was how beautiful she looked in her dress on the beach.”
I was really touched by Sarah’s tears during her first look. She was laughing and smiling with tears running down her cheeks through most of the first look.
True story: I asked her about it, and she was like, “It was so windy and cold that my eyes started tearing up. So while those are real tears, I’m totally not crying!”
Sure, Sarah, sure– you know, it’s usually the guys that try to deny the tears ;). Just kidding, I totally believe you!! And I had your back in case they were real, haha!
Reeds Stone Harbor Wedding
Sarah recalled, “Nick’s family has a ‘shore house’ in Avalon so it was no question that we wanted to get married ‘down the shore’.”
She laughed, “We would always ride our bikes to Stone Harbor and walk past this beautiful place called the Reeds. Every time we saw it, we would say, “Yea we’re getting married there.” When we started looking at venues, the Reeds was the first and only place we looked at!”
The Reeds at Shelter Haven has a really sweet (and large) golf cart which makes accessing the beach pretty painless even in a Spring snow squall!
Yes, it was *that cold*. How pretty are the flakes, though?
Baby, It’s Cold Outside
Sarah laughed, “It was soooo cold that day! I had a denim jacket, so I wasn’t as cold as my bridesmaids, those poor girls! We may have froze our butts off, but it was well worth it.”
These ladies were quick coming and quick going– these two were full-on sprinting!
While most of my day is spent capturing real-life moments as they happen: Your vows, first dance, preparations, dance floor, etc. I do also make sure to capture more traditional portraits, too. While the blog shows a few dozen photos, I deliver a few hundred images, often more!!
Haaa, moments like this are never planned, and I’m there to catch them!
Now you understand the jeans jacket and blankets, don’t you?
Perspective is Everything
I really like capturing different perspectives throughout the day. I know it’d be a whole lot easier (and lighter) shooting everything with a 50mm lens.
But I love having so many different focal lengths and abilities for compression at my fingertips. It allows me to get epic shots like this one:
Here comes the Bride!
What a breathtaking view!! This is a shot I planned out long before this moment happened. I climbed up to the upper level so I could see everything from the groom’s arrival by boat (I know!!!) to this iconic moment between Sarah & her dad.
Nick shared, “What made me fall for my wife was her amazing personality and kindness. She is funny, smart, goofy, and always willing to help others. She is one of the most generous and compassionate people that I have ever met. All of these qualities are why I asked her to marry me.”
Sarah shared, “I immediately fell for my husband when I saw how goofy he was and that he was able to handle my goofiness. He is the most caring man I have ever met and I feel so lucky every day that I’m able to spend the rest of my life with him.”
She added, “My first thought when I saw him on our wedding day was “damn we’re actually getting married. And wow he looks good!”
Everything Comes Together
I love everything about this photo and can already envision it being blown up on canvas above their couch, haha!
Layers are some of my favorite things. Yes for layering clothes too haha, but particularly for aesthetics in a photo. Here you get such a sense of space, you can see the bay, beach houses, string lights, hor devours, guests, the bridal party (and all their expressions) as well as a stunning and joyful bride!
Sarah laughed, “We wrote our own vows and I’m glad we did. I thought it was a nice personal touch and it was funny to see that we each incorporated an Avengers quote!
Nick said, “to me, this day was inevitable.”
Sarah said, “babe, you’re my endgame.”
Sarah laughed, “We are so similar!”
Nick smiled, “I am looking forward to a life of fun, goofiness, and adventures.”
Seafood Appetizers at The Reeds
Sarah shared, “The food at the Reeds Stone Harbor is ridiculous! The seafood at the cocktail hour was our favorite part. When you’re down the shore, you expect good seafood, and the Reeds definitely delivered on that!”
Welcoming Mr & Mrs
Sarah shared, “We entered our reception to the song ‘Street Fight’ by Smallpools. It is a song I don’t think anyone else knew, but we didn’t care. It was a song we both loved, so we went with it.”
I talked about layering and storytelling earlier. In this case, I got behind the happy couple so that I could show not only their dip (well played) but also the cheers of their guests, too!
You’ll notice layers here, too. These are about the guests and ballroom at the Reeds, of course, the focal point is the couple.
Sarah explained, “I forget how we picked our first dance song. It was a country song we always loved and I even turned it into a ringtone for when Nick called.”
How adorable is this flower girl?
Can I see Your Wedding Band?
Nick shared, “I’m really close with my grandmother, so it was important to me to spend time with her on my wedding day.”
Here he shows her his wedding band and lets her take a close look. I love capturing candid moments like this! In this case, my second photographer, Jim, captured this for me :).
Reeds Stone Harbor Wedding Reception
Let’s get this party started! I love the color and action in this photo. Take a closer look and you can even see the colorful drinks and flip-flops that Sarah & Nick provided for their wedding guests!
Sarah shared, “That dress was meant to be twirled! Even though it was heavy and uncomfortable at times, it was so perfect to spin in. I love the look of the dress as it twirls.”
Here I liked how Sarah’s dress and Nick’s shirt pop against the dark background. I was able to incorporate their loved ones surrounding them in the frame, too!
The dance floor was packed & filled with laughter & embraces, too!
Better with Time
And the party only got better as the night went on!!
They smiled, “With everything that happened this past year, I think everyone needed a night where they could forget those worries.”
I think her expression and dangling Covid-19 mask say it all in this photo, haha!
Sarah added, “I’m glad everyone had so much fun dancing together and feeling normal again.”
An Ordinary Life is No Longer An Option
Yes, that is a spider man reference. You’ll see why in a minute.
Plus this dude is so rocking his inner superhero!!
nd how about her dress– love it– Wonderwoman??
Business in the Front, Party in the Back
No, I’m not talking about mullets, I’m talking about **this incredible cake**! As you can see the (audience facing) front is decorated in elegant wedding style, with white ornate fondant. The back is completely decked out in Spiderman!
Sarah explained, “Nick has loved Spiderman ever since he was a kid. We both love Marvel movies and superheroes so we thought it would be cool if we had fun with the wedding cake. We didn’t want an ordinary wedding cake, but something that would make people say “wow!””
They shared, “Our family and friends are so supportive. We couldn’t have asked for a better group!”
Sarah smiled, “I’ve always dreamt of that fairy tale wedding as a kid and it definitely came true!”
Sarah added, “There’s a quote from the show Parks and Rec that we would always say to each other. “I like you and I love you”.
She continued, “The next morning was when everything sank in. Moments of the day before were popping in our heads and all we could do was smile. Our wedding day was everything we ever wanted and more!”
Sarah & Nick’s Reeds Stone Habor Wedding Team
They shared, “Our entire vendor team did an extraordinary job and made our day absolutely magical!!”
- Hair and Makeup: Creations by Mia
- Venue: The Reeds at Shelter Haven
- DJ: A1 Entertainment, Bill Lynskey
- Florist: Stemtations
- Videographer: John Martin Accent Wedding Videos