Jess and Kenny were SO much fun. They had a “summer love” at the Jersey Shore, so getting married on the beach was a top priority for them! We created a very cool ceremony – a Shell Circle of Love – to incorporate their family and friends. [All photos courtesy of CLB Photography – thanks!]
They were married at Seven President’s Beach, in Long Branch, NJ, with their reception at McLoone’s Pier House.
When their guests entered, they were presented with a shell by a groomsmen, standing at the front of the aisle. The guests then came to the front, and placed the shell in the sand, creating a circle of shells surrounded the beautiful bamboo trellis that Jess and Kenny would be married in. As their bridal party entered, I presented them each with a shell, which they placed in the circle, to complete it, before taking their spot, standing at the front.
I explained the meaning of the Circle during the introduction of the ceremony:
As all of you entered, you placed a shell in the sand, forming a Circle of Love that now surrounds our bride and groom. Shells often symbolize the place from which one starts an important journey.
These shells not only represent this new beginning for our bride and groom, marking this spot and this moment in their lives – but also the love of each person who placed it. The shells that form this circle were placed as a pledge of support – support for our bride and groom as they become husband and wife, and as they begin this new, amazing, and wonderful journey together, as partners in life. Jess and Kenny are surrounded by these shells, this Circle of Love, just as they are surrounded by their cherished friend’s and family’s love today – and everyday!
I must give credit to another of my couples for the inspiration for this ceremony – the incredibly awesome Sarah and John are not having a bridal party, but plan to have each of their siblings and their significant others enter in the processional, and place a flower at the front, to form their own Circle of Love. They told me that it is a Hawaiian tradition – I think it’s an awesome idea and a great way to literally surround yourself with love on your wedding day!
But, back to Jess & Kenny. They were married within this circle of shells, on the beach, on a windy (but sunny!) May evening, remember?
Their Love Story was sweet, funny, and totally them. I talked about their first meeting at a bar, when Jess smiled at Kenny – and Kenny just walked by, completely oblivious. I overheard some friends talking after the ceremony, and they said that was totally Kenny!
They also wrote their own vows – a very sweet touch, and though they did share them before the ceremony, they were both very emotional and happy to hear them read. The bride was all smiles, and though she was afraid she was going to be nervous, once she got up there – other than some giggles! – she did just fine. 🙂
Their entire wedding ceremony had some beautiful details – flip flops and tissues for guests to use during the ceremony, a steel drum band that played them down the aisle, and a beautiful sand ceremony, incorporating sand from the beach itself. All in all, it was a beautiful day and a beautiful ceremony!
Jess and Kenny, congrats again!! Thank you SO much for letting me be a part of your beach wedding!
For even more photos, check out their extended gallery!