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Mae and Mack

Long Beach Island, NJ, United States

Our wedding day was full of magical moments and personal touches that made the day oh so special, and extremely memorable. The stress of preparing and organizing all slipped away that day, and come rain or shine it was going to be perfect. We were married by our friend a local boat captain by the sea in New Jersey. And in true beach town fashion we rode a bike for two from the beach to the bay after the ceremony. During cocktail hour we ran around in the marsh taking photos while our guests looked on from the porch on a beautiful sunset. From there we went into the museum and partied all night long dancing and singing surrounded by so much love. Overall the perfect day.

Mack and I both grew up going to the Jersey Shore - to this day I still work to conserve the natural environments and educate people on their importance, while Mack still goes surfing and brings our two pups for beach days. When we found the Foundation for Science and Arts in Loveladies we were won over. Not only did the deposit go to their science and art education initiatives, but the grounds overlooked acres of marsh and bay. While this was the perfect reception space, across the street was the beach where Mack and I could get married.

We wanted our wedding to feel like a celebration of our love, as well as the people who were part of our love story. The venue was decorated with photos of Mack and I with friends and family through the years, loved ones who passed away, and subtle touches that meant the world to us. Our favors were sea salt in test tubes, Mack being a chemistry major when we first met, the salt was harvested by a friend of ours from college that gets the salt from the beach where Mack and I shared our first kiss. Our papery was designed by my mom who is a graphic designer- she only included the native plants found in the marsh that we were getting married in. Our florist went to the family beach house in Seaside that morning to harvest plants from the garden as well as the beach where I grew up. During our ceremony we had both my brother and Mack's sister speak, my brother did a knot tying ceremony, which was a great tie-in with our #mackramae #tyingtheknot and Mack's sister read a poem that Mack's father read at her wedding. Mack's father had passed away so her passing on this poem to our marriage meant a lot to their family. Our cake that night was a cheesecake, from the same vendor that catered my parents wedding 36 years ago. Mack, instead of dancing with his mom, sang a song for her, where my father daughter dance turned into a choreographed dance with my parents. We even did away with the traditional flower toss and did a "mae" pole instead. Lastly, my dress, I wore the Hayley Paige Leah gown in amethyst- I always knew white was not for me- I actually had my bridesmaids (mermaids) wear white. But this color was so special for me because it was my Nanny's birthstone. She passed away when I was in middle school and after a nasty legal battle over her will I was left with my memories of her (priceless) and some money she was saving for my wedding dress. It seemed only right to have a piece of her with me that entire day long.

Our vendors were all local and as sustainable as possible, and anything we couldn't rent or find Mack and I built ourselves. This included a Photo Booth, Ceremony arch, window decorations, beer canoe, seating chart and more. Looking back I am glad that we did all of the personal touches and made it so unique to us.

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