Like any great girl-meets-boy love story, Andrea and Kevin started as friends. They hadn’t seen each other for five years when, in 2009, a chance encounter led to one date, then two, then blossomed into a two-year relationship. Finally, on the beach in Honolulu, Kevin got down on one knee and popped the question; Andrea said yes. Although a destination wedding would have made sense, with family and friends in Hawaii and Bulgaria, the Jersey-bred couple wanted to tie the knot in their home state (Andrea is from Ewing; Kevin from Peapack-Gladstone). But that didn’t stop them from bringing a destination to New Jersey.
To combine their mutual love of jazz, good food and vibrant history, they chose New Orleans as their theme. But rather than select Mardi Gras, they focused on the mystique and Old World charm of the French Quarter for their wedding on May 19, 2012. The golden hues of the Ashford Estate were a perfect canvas for the showy jewel tones of a peacock: turquoise bridesmaid dresses and yellow and peach flowers. Fleur-de-lis were pinned on bouquets and boutonnieres, names of streets in the French Quarter took the place of table numbers and vintage lanterns completed the look. The cocktail hour featured a Jambalaya station with jazzy blues on the side. For dessert: warm bread pudding with bourbon sauce. Guests even received favors from Leah’s Pralines, shipped in from the French Quarter.
Although Andrea left most details to the professionals, she made sure to add her personalized touch. She and her mother crafted welcome kits with a booklet of weekend events, places to visit and local restaurants. The wedding also paid tribute to Kevin’s mother, who passed away a year before the wedding. A chair was adorned with flowers and an ankh, which served as a tribute for her love of Egypt.
But one of Andrea’s favorite memories of the night was a surprise tribute to the newlyweds. She came outside to see “And They Lived Happily Ever After” projected on the wall of the estate. “Such a small touch had a lasting impact,” Andrea recalls. After a honeymoon in the Bahamas, the couple plans to live happily ever after in Alexandria, Virginia.
PHOTOGRAPHER • The Studio Photographers, Freehold
BRIDE’S GOWN • Augusta Jones, from Kleinfeld Bridal, New York City
BRIDE’S SHOES • Manolo Blahnik
BRIDESMAID DRESSES • Alfred Sung, from Weddington Way
GROOM’S & GROOMSMEN ATTIRE • Ralph Lauren, from Shaffers Custom Tailors, Lawrenceville
FLOWERS • Magnolia Exquisite Florals, Hamilton
CATERER • Marsilio’s Catering, Ewing
BAND • Sweet Harmony
ENTERTAINMENT • Unforgettable DJs, Wall
STATIONERY • Stephanie Somodi, Little Egg Harbor
CAKE • Chez Alice, Princeton
LIGHTING • Fennelli Design Group, Hamilton