New Jersey Bride style editor Susan Brierly met Robert Bush four years ago, and they instantly fell in love. Once she accepted his proposal in 2013, they asked their six kids to be their bridal attendants. And that’s the way they became the “Brierly-Bush Bunch.”
The August 16, 2014, boho-chic event for 70 guests took place on a picture-perfect day at Fairleigh Dickinson University’s Vanderbilt Mansion. Susan’s parents and Robert’s parents (each married for 57 years!) were honored guests, and even the couple’s rescue dogs walked the grassy aisle. The bride wowed in a Free People crocheted gown, and the wedding party was decked out in navy and coral.
The ceremony, performed by Rev. Clark L. Callender of St. John’s United Methodist Church of Hazlet, featured music from the ’60s, ’70s and early ’80s by DJ Gary of Craig Scott Entertainment. The bride’s unexpected processional song was “Love Is All Around” by the Troggs, and retro tunes continued during cocktails on the terrace. Inside Mrs. Vanderbilt’s historic tearoom, Matthew Friedman and Uptown Sounds kicked off the evening dinner reception by introducing all six kids and the newlyweds, with the bride wearing an Alice + Olivia gold-sequin party dress that reflected the room’s glittery gold décor.
As a surprise, the couple, both former actors, performed a musical-theater-style first dance, choreographed to “Taste of Honey” by Herb Alpert. Guests shared their best moves and also hung out in the photobooth that held up to 12 partiers at once. The balloon-filled dining room sported stenciled burlap tablecloths with macramé fringe, whimsy summer flowers, gold animal place-card holders and custom placemats with a “Bush Family” logo.
Swordfish, lamb and beef entrées were garnished with fresh tomatoes and herbs from the couple’s organic garden. The dessert table was loaded with nostalgic candy as well as mini donuts and a luscious buttercream cake by Palermo’s Bakery. Wedding decorations were inspired by Pinterest and then handmade by the bride or found on Etsy. For details, including DIY tips and resources, visit Susan’s “Second Time’s a Charming Wedding” blog.
Caterer: Gourmet Dining
Bride’s Gown: Free People via The Mall at Short Hills
Bridesmaid Dress: J.Crew
Groom’s and Groomsmen’s Suits: Jos. A Bank
Entertainment: DJ Gary/Matthew Friedman and Uptown Sounds, Craig Scott Entertainment
Flowers: Kim Auriemma Designs
Rings: Robert Hodulich, wholesaler, Mendham
Cake: Palermo’s Custom Cakes and Bakery
Hair & Makeup: Andrea DeIuliis & Erika Velasquez of Suzi’s Salon Spa & Wellness
Choreographer: Cathy Callahan of Broadway Bound
Photobooth: Boccabella Imagery