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Joel and Elisabeth
Joel and I met in May 2012, in Sea Bright, NJ. Joel was playing trombone with Brian Kirk & the Jirk's at Donovan's Reef and I was there with some friends. My friends wanted to go down to the water, but I stayed behind and tried to find a seat on the seawall. Joel reached out his hand and helped me up to the empty seat next to him. We struck up on a conversation and ended up talking during every set break that night. Despite Joel NOT asking for my phone number that night (he says he was too nervous), we reconnected via Facebook. Since then, we have not gone one day without talking to each other.
He said he knew he would marry me after a month, but also knew he would have to wait or else he'd seem like a lunatic. After two and a half years, it was finally the right time. He had a sneaky suspicion that I was throwing him a surprise 30th birthday party (I'm not good at keeping secrets) and knew it was a perfect moment.
After arriving, he went up to the microphone to thank everyone for coming. He called me up to thank her for throwing him the surprise party...and then proceeded to get down on one knee and surprise me! I said yes, of course. It could not have been more beautiful. All of our family and friends were there to share in the excitement and it was special to propose in the town where we met.
Joel and I got married on September 10, 2016 at Bonnet Island Estate, just off of Long Beach Island, New Jersey. It was an absolutely magical day- made even more magical by the dress Hayley made for me. We had absolutely perfect weather- not too hot and just a little sunny. After waiting VERY patiently and NOT watching my episode of Say Yes to the Dress, Joel finally got to see me in this gorgeous dress I just couldn't stop gushing about. With 160 family and friends celebrating with us, we said "I do" in the beautiful chapel on site at the venue. From there, the party immediately started...it was out of the heels and into flip flops for me! The first time Joel twirled me around as we danced our first dance to Van Morrison's "Into the Mystic"- I have never felt more like a princess. We were so elated just to be married. From there, it was non stop music, dancing and fun until 3:30 AM, when the last of our guests finally called it a night. I will never forget looking at each other as we settled in to bed and saying, "Oh my god, that was so much fun." I've heard from a lot of brides that they have "wedding remorse"...feeling like they missed moments or didn't get to fully enjoy the night. I can honestly say, that was not our experience. We enjoyed every single moment of our wedding. It is, truly, a night we'll never forget.
- Photographer John Arcara Photography