Destination I Do

A New Jersey Winery Wedding

Words by Sarah Padilla
Photos courtesy of Vanessa Joy Photography

For Danielle and Collin, their destination wedding was actually a homecoming of sorts. The New Jersey natives had dated for years before moving to Indiana, nearly 700 miles away, a year before tying the knot. A wedding back home just made sense.

“Not only would it be easier for family and friends to attend, but I was homesick having just moved away. It meant even more to me to have the wedding there, near our real home,” says Danielle.

The result was a stunning sunset ceremony at the picturesque Laurita Winery in New Egypt, New Jersey. Set against a backdrop of sprawling grapevines, this intimate vineyard allowed the couple to host an outdoor ceremony during the area’s beautiful fall season. Being surrounded by wine was an added bonus.

With the help of wedding planner, Carla Friday of Details Made Simple, and several family members and friends, Danielle and Collin created a vintage-chic celebration, embellished with DIY details and hand-picked treasures. The tables featured charming centerpieces of antique books, jars, lanterns and lace. An old-fashioned candy buffet tempted guests with a sweet display of retro treats.

“Seeing all of our hard work come together felt so good, and we were excited for everyone to enjoy what we had been planning for so long,” says Danielle, who adds that wedding planner Carla was instrumental in pulling everything together. 

Following a ceremony in which the couple shared their heartfelt and handwritten vows, Danielle and Collin’s 185 guests headed indoors for an upbeat cocktail reception with plenty of dancing – a perfect ending to a perfect day.

Danielle recalls her favorite memory – a close second being her dad walking her down the aisle – as the couple’s “first look,” held before the ceremony at nearby Allaire State Park.  

“I felt such butterflies in my stomach, which is not something you’re used to feeling after being with someone for so long,” says the bride. “That feeling was indescribable. It was so romantic!”

Vendors: Photographer: Vanessa Joy,, Wedding Planner:  Carla Friday of Details Made Simple,, Ceremony/Reception Site: Laurita Winery,, Gown Designer: J. Hjelm from Mustillo’s Bridal Boutique,, Florist: Spence Cook of Bloom Boxx, Asbury Park, Groom's Clothing Designer:  Liz Claiborne and J.Crew,, Bridesmaids/Groomsmens' Clothing Designer:  J.Crew and Liz Claiborne,, DJ:  Be Our Guest Entertainment, Point Pleasant,, Invitations:  Dapper Paper,, Caterer:  Conroy Catering, Philadelphia, PA,, Videographer:  Rob Adams Films,, Makeup: Tina Georgy, Hair: Tina Georgya and Carly Christensen, Pre-Ceremony Wedding Pictures: Allaire State Park, Wall, NJ

This article first appeared in Destination I Do's Fall2013/Winter 2014 issue. You can order a copy here.

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