A Wedding Editor's Victorian Picnic Celebration by the Sea in Cape May, N.J.

The island's most-photographed mansion inspired a colorful aesthetic and lasting details.

wedding couple in front of blue building
Photo: Charla Storey

As high schoolers in two different graduating years, Sarah Schreiber and Zach Van Wingerden were what she calls "sometimes" friends. "Zach was a major social butterfly and operated in a lot of different friend circles, including one of mine," she says. "He was a year older and very cool; I was not." So when they ran into each other years later at a local bar where Sarah was working and Zach asked her for her number, she ignored his texts. "Then fate started messing with me—I ran into Zach everywhere," she says. "At the pharmacy, with friends, again at the bar. When he finally called me out for not texting him back, he said it nicely: 'I think I put my number in your phone wrong.' I replied honestly, saying that I just…didn't answer."

After that callout, Sarah did start answering Zach's messages, and the pair spent the next few months getting to know each other. "It was truly the most wonderful courtship," says Sarah. "We took it really slow and learned so much about each other from afar, even when we were back at school." A "pretty life-changing" weekend visit from Zach to Sarah at college in New York City made the relationship official.

By January 2021, the couple was living together and had one of Sarah's family diamonds reset into a custom engagement ring—and though Sarah expected Zach to pop the question on a weekend trip to Cape May, N.J., one of their favorite spots, he instead got down on one knee the moment he arrived home from work Monday night. "He said he just couldn't wait, and would I please make him the happiest man on earth by becoming his wife," says Sarah. "It was very simple, straightforward, and sweet."

As Sarah and Zach began planning their wedding, they knew they wanted a small, outdoor event, mitigating the risk of COVID-19 for her immunocompromised father and Zach's pregnant sister, a venue in Cape May, where Sarah's family spends their summers, and a top-notch vendor team. As the associate editorial director for MarthaStewart.com, Sarah had the third element covered: She enlisted Wendy Kay of Birds of a Feather Events for wedding planning and design, Carey Lowe of The Idea Emporium for event details and stationery, Sofia Bloss of Cézanne for floral artistry, Megan Pettus of Megan Pettus Films for videography, and photographer Charla Storey to capture every detail of the "Victorian garden picnic by the sea" she imagined.

"We had the privilege of working with some of the greatest creatives in the business. That honor is not lost on me and I am so grateful for this team, who prepped for months and flew out on a holiday weekend to make this day special for us," says Sarah. "But whether you're in the industry or not, it's important to hire a vendor team that understands you—and then let them work."

The backdrop for the couple's 32-guest wedding on May 28, 2022, was the iconic Abbey mansion in Cape May, N.J.—"a town that I have loved my whole life, and a place that Zach fell in love with—which was when I really knew I could love him forever, too," says Sarah. A nearly endless array of personalized elements included honeysuckle-scented invitations inspired by the couple's favorite beach pathway, blueberry cobbler, homemade by the bride and her mother, for dessert, a modern Jewish ceremony with a public ketubah signing, and a post-reception beach portrait session, complete with a floral bridal bathing suit.

The vision for the day was "casual, but elevated, picnic, but not beach picnic, antique, but not vintage-themed, classic, but not in the modern interpretation of the word," says Sarah. "I wanted someone, anyone, to look at our wedding in 50 years and have no idea when it took place. It went beyond 'timeless' for me—it was more about taste, restraint, and intentional, personal details."

But when Sarah and Zach look back on their own wedding in 50 years, what they'll remember most is the love they felt while surrounded by their family and friends, and how their bond was strengthened—and not just by their vows—during the weekend. "Even if you do it your way, big or small, your wedding is a major family event. There will be some feelings!" says Sarah. "Accept this and move through it with your partner at your side. In the aftermath, Zach and I look at each other and say, yes, some of that coordination was tough—but we always had each other's backs, no matter what. We always will."

That connection felt real and true even when the pair woke up at dawn on their wedding morning to prepare for the day's vendor arrivals. "Was it a highlight in the moment? Hard no," says Sarah. "But in retrospect, that's it, isn't it? That's the work. Marriage is moving cars at 5 a.m.—and it's looking at your partner eight hours later and saying, 'There's no one I'd rather have in the passenger seat.'"

Floral Delivery

victorian wedding invitations
Charla Storey

Sarah and Zach's invitation suite, completely designed by Carey, offered guests a fully sensory experience. Cream-colored cards printed with a blue letterpress script were wrapped in vellum and secured with a wax seal; each seal was hand-painted with a blue lily of the valley (the couple's wedding motif). The wrapped cards were presented in reusable pouches made from a tapestry-inspired fabric—a nod to the Abbey's color scheme and iconic wall hangings—and scented: "They smelled like honeysuckle, which lines the pathway to our favorite beach in Cape May," says Sarah. Adds Zach: "To put it simply, Carey is a genius."

But the bride's favorite part of the "insanely personal" paper suite was the reply postcard. "Carey transformed a modern photo of the Abbey into a soft, vintage image via a magical printing method," says Sarah. "She sent me videos—it was mesmerizing." The postcards were printed with a full-color letterpress technique, during which each color is layered onto the image individually. "Printing these postcards took two days of precision placement, ink mixing, trial, and lots of error, resulting in a fully tactile postcard that was straight out of a different century," says Carey.

Historic Elegance

couple sitting on house steps for rehearsal dinner
Charla Storey

Sarah and Zach's rehearsal dinner, generously hosted by the groom's parents, was held at The Chalfonte in Cape May. Sarah calls her yellow floral Rebecca Taylor dress her "favorite look of the weekend," while Zach chose a slate-colored suit (slightly dressed down, without a tie) from the Suit Shop. "The rehearsal dinner was held in the hotel's Magnolia Room. We made sure their claim to fame, the fried chicken, was on the menu," says Zach.

What's in a Name

rehearsal dinner menu on floral printed papers
Charla Storey

Rehearsal dinner menus, also made by Carey, included sketches of several different magnolia varieties. Sarah and Zach chose the design as a reference to the dining room's name, without realizing Zach's sister and her husband—who were expecting their first daughter within the month—had Magnolia at the top of their baby name list. "It's such a sweet, funny coincidence that always makes me smile," says Sarah. "Whenever I look at baby Magnolia June, who is now almost 9 months, I'm instantly transported back to the Magnolia Room in May."

On Location

victorian house colorful wedding venue
Charla Storey

The Abbey, a Gothic Revival mansion built in Cape May in 1869, is the island's most-photographed home, says Sarah, and offered the perfect spot for the couple's wedding weekend. "I grew up summering in Cape May, so I've (literally) spent my whole life walking, biking, or horse-carriage-ing by this place," she says. "It was one of the only properties in Cape May with a side lawn large enough to host a wedding; it also has 12 bedrooms, a massive dining room, a library, an incredible farmhouse kitchen, and more, which meant most of our guests could stay on-site. Also, the porch!"

Sarah and Zach allowed the building's exterior to direct their color palette. "In a sea of weddings that are white, green, and blush, we wanted ours to stand out," she says. "Our event was always going to be outside, set against the backdrop of the powder blue, brick red, and creamy yellow details of the house's exterior; our color palette was a tonal interpretation of these shades."

One and Done

bride walking upstairs in wedding dress
Charla Storey

Instead of browsing boutiques in person, Sarah scheduled a virtual session with bridal stylist Gabrielle Hurwitz, who suggested a Dôen eyelet gown in cotton and silk organza with puffed sleeves and a scalloped square neckline. "My jaw hit the ground," says Sarah. "I had this dress bookmarked for my wedding before we were even engaged. I just love this brand, own so many of their dresses, and never could stop thinking about this one. I couldn't believe Gabby pulled it. Had to be fate, right?"

Sarah snapped up the last one left in her size, turned to Moline Kronberg in Montclair, N.J., for alterations, and was "so, so happy," on her wedding day. "I never went into a bridal atelier or had a 'try-on' experience or a Champagne lunch—and I don't regret that at all. It was so me, and the gown fit the day so well," she says, noting she plans to wear it again. "You don't have to follow the fashion path that everyone else does. I didn't need approval to know this dress was right for me, and you don't either!"

A Last-Minute Switch

bride wedding portrait of hair accessories
Charla Storey

Sarah planned to accent her beachy waves with only a Jennifer Behr bow headband—until the day before the wedding, when Charla, her photographer, suggested she try a veil. "I'm telling you, I trust these women!" she says. "Only problem was, we didn't actually have a veil." But Charla had a plan: Second shooters Julie Wilmes and Alison Heffington were driving to Cape May that day—and detoured past Kleinfeld Bridal in New York City to pull two options.

"I just assumed I'd wear the veil for the ceremony and the headband for the reception," says Sarah. But as stylist Taylor Brownlow of Tint Color Bar finished her hair, they decided to try both together. "I just lit up—it was the moment it clicked for me," says Sarah. "I was getting married, I was a bride, and this was so special. And this all happened (seriously) two hours before the ceremony—talk about a 'something new.'"

But, she clarifies, "This isn't me telling you to wear a veil if it's not your thing—it's me telling you to trust the process. The look you wind up wearing down the aisle is the one that's meant for you."

Family Heirloom

wedding ring in round box
Charla Storey

She also donned double-pearl earrings from Jennifer Behr and an heirloom diamond ring that had belonged to Zach's late Oma, Katherine. "Zach's family gave me the ring shortly after she passed; it was so special to have a piece of her with us on the big day to serve as my 'something borrowed,'" says Sarah.

Garden Party

bridesmaids in floral patterned dresses
Charla Storey

Sarah's bridesmaids, her three younger sisters, Olivia, Emily, and Abby, chose floral frocks from Reformation. "I don't really believe in asking your inner circle to jump through crazy hoops for you for your wedding (that's not who I am—and I'm the oldest sister, after all!), so it was important to me that they were in patterns and cuts they felt comfortable in," she says. "The goal was—as we all say—to wear them again, but I honestly think they will. They looked so beautiful and I was so grateful for their support on the big day (and all the days leading up to it)."

The bride's mother, Maureen, wore a blue-and-green Marchesa gown that spoke to her daughters' looks. "I found it while scrolling on Instagram a few weeks before the wedding and just knew it was the one," says Sarah. "I called Mom and we frantically placed the order while we were on the phone—like my dress, it was the very last one in her size!"

Pop of Yellow

wildflower wedding bouquet sitting in window sill
Charla Storey

Maureen and Zach's mother, Anita, each carried a small bouquet ("Sofia surprised me by making not one, but three bouquets that morning," says the bride) that complemented Sarah's hand-tied bunch of petite yellow blooms. "I just loved my bouquet—it was so different," says Sarah of the spray, filled with bright wildflowers, smokebush, and cut pitcher plants for structure. "After the wedding, I turned it upside down and hung it on the wall in our bedroom, right below our ketubah. It dried beautifully and it's still one of the first things I see when I wake up in the morning."

True Blue

wedding groom in blue suit portrait
Charla Storey

Zach donned a slim fit suit, also from the Suit Shop, in a deep marine shade with an emerald-patterned tie—a perfect match for both the wedding's coastal atmosphere and for Sarah's attire. "He was my 'something blue!'" she says. "Zach's brother, Jack, was his best man and the only member of his half of the wedding party; he matched Zach in blue, too."

We Are Family

wedding groom family portrait
Charla Storey

"I love this photo of my family and new wife," says the groom. "It's all of us in one place: Everyone has grown up, moved to different to states, and entered new phases of life. There's a lot of us, and we're only growing—I have a new niece, a future niece or nephew on the way, and I'm also about to gain a brother-in-law. Wrangling us all together is a feat, but being able to share these milestones with them means everything to me."

At First Sight

bride smiling during first look on porch
Charla Storey

The couple met on the Abbey's side porch, where hanging ferns and architectural woodwork set an intimate scene. "Walking out onto the porch, and passing through that arched doorway, felt like I was taking a step backwards in time—but it was also a step forward, towards our future," says Sarah. After spending the morning together on wedding preparations, Sarah and Zach also felt "a degree of relief," she says. "This was a signal that the good stuff was finally starting!"

Although they had planned to read their personalized vows to each other during the first look, "we were on the pushing-it end of our no-stress, go-with-the-flow schedule," says Sarah. Instead, they hosted an impromptu, pre-ceremony cocktail hour after their first look. "I grabbed a few bottles of Champagne and Zach and I went out onto the property's other porch, where all of our guests had gathered ahead of the ceremony. Everyone was like, 'Wait, what are you guys doing? We shouldn't see you yet!'" says Sarah. "And I just yelled, 'It isn't that kind of wedding!' and started pouring bubbly. That was just so us—a little behind schedule, but always ready to have a good time."

Ready to Wed

outdoor garden wedding ceremony set up
Charla Storey

For the ceremony, birch wood president chairs lined the otherwise bare aisle; at the altar, a blue linen-draped table held the essentials (challah, wine, and a wrapped lightbulb) for the Jewish ceremony to come.

Natural Beauty

wedding ceremony flowers in large stone vase
Charla Storey

Sarah and Zach pointed Sofia toward the Abbey's central tapestry as inspiration for the ceremony's floral aesthetic. The result: Two "effortless, grown-from-the-earth, and organic" urns overflowing with pale pink, cream, and buttery flowers. "That was it—we let the beauty of the property, Sofia's florals, and the porch do the rest of the work," says Sarah.

A Moment to Cherish

bride and father wedding ceremony processional
Charla Storey

In accordance with Jewish tradition, both of Sarah's parents escorted her down the aisle after Zach's mother and father escorted him; the bride, a self-described "Twilight girl" chose Christina Perri's "A Thousand Years" for her processional. "Watching Kristen Stewart walk down the aisle towards Rob Pattinson in the second to last movie changed me as a person," she says. "It was like a tectonic plate inside me shifted when I watched that wedding scene unfold in Breaking Dawn Part 1. I'm not the least embarrassed to admit it! My one regret? Not hiring a string quartet to swell the music (and drama!) a bit as I made my aisle debut—another planner told me that they'd taken that route with this song when I posted about it on Instagram. That would have been epic—someone else do that, please!"

Walking to the altar flanked by her parents held an even deeper emotional resonance for Sarah, whose father passed away seven months later. "My dad's health was already failing—he took a turn shortly after the wedding—and his mobility was quite limited," she says. "He worked hard to get me down that aisle. It was a lot for him and I know he pushed himself those last few steps. This moment means so much to me now."

Tying the Knot

bride and groom circling during outdoor wedding ceremony
Charla Storey

To officiate their modernized Jewish ceremony, Sarah and Zach turned to a friend of the bride's family: Beth Garfinkle Hancock of Blessings by Beth, who served as principal of the bride's Hebrew school, hired a teenaged Sarah to babysit her son, and acted as cantor for several family bat mitzvahs. "It meant the world to me that she married us," says Sarah.

Sarah and Zach updated several traditions, including circling each other—instead of having the bride only circle the groom—and using a contemporary version of the seven blessings.

7 Siblings, 7 Blessings

groom's sister reading seven wedding blessing
Charla Storey

"We asked each of our siblings (conveniently, there are seven between the two of us!) to stand up and share a blessing, going from oldest (Amanda!) to youngest (Abby!)," says Sarah. "Looking back, this might be one of my favorite moments of the ceremony."

Signing the Ketubah

signed wedding ceremony ketubah
Charla Storey

The bride and groom also signed their ketubah in front of all of their guests, reading it aloud before their witnesses, Maya (Sarah's college roommate and one of her dearest friends) and Dillon (Zach's best-bud-turned-colleague) joined them at the altar. "I was convinced I wasn't going to be emotional during, well, most of the wedding day, but I was entirely wrong," says Sarah. "Our ketubah's text was beautiful and I nearly dissolved when it came time to read the last line: 'We will remember why we fell in love. Our sacred covenant is valid and binding.'"

Smashing the Glass

bride and groom smashing glass wedding ceremony
Charla Storey

It took Sarah three tries to smash the glass after she and Zach (who got his on the first attempt) were pronounced husband and wife. "I started to panic after I couldn't get it on the second try, and gripped Zach's arms to really go for it on stomp number three," says Sarah. "Third time's the charm—but maybe practice with that lightbulb!"

The New Mr. and Mrs.

bride and groom recessing flower petal shower
Charla Storey

Guitarist Tom Powdermaker performed Peter Frampton's "Baby, I Love Your Way" as the newlyweds left the altar showered in dried petals. "We were lucky enough to see Peter Frampton live a few years ago," says Sarah. "This song was actually a top contender for our first dance, but we thought its plucky opening strums would be so ebullient on live guitar—and really hit that just-married feeling."

Sarah and Zach saved their personalized vows for after the reception and after-party, reading them to each other just before falling asleep that night. "I'm actually so glad that's how it worked out," she says. "It was really special to read those vows to each other after all was quiet and the day was behind us."

Words of Wisdom

wedding couple portrait laughing
Charla Storey

Despite the nearly effortless planning process, Sarah and Zach still worried over the weather (a rainy forecast that turned "disgustingly perfect"), sleeping arrangements at the Abbey ("It worked out in the end, but I shed tears over this!"), and "navigating the usual drama." She offers an honest take on a couple's journey to the aisle: "You might feel raw at times—not just with love or happiness or excitement, but with stress and sadness and nerves," says Sarah. "Not all tears are happy tears. That's a reality—a fact."

Her advice: Say yes to friends who want to help, commit to the details that reflect you as a couple, even if they don't follow tradition, and prepare yourself to face the elements that go awry. "There will be things that go wrong on the day-of and in the weeks or months leading up to it," she says. "No one notices or cares as much as you think they will (or as much as you do)."

A Very Martha Menu

martha stewart weddings book
Charla Storey

Sarah and Zach tapped the Washington Inn to cater a post-ceremony lunch reception based on Martha Stewart's first published wedding book. "I was so grateful to catering manager Lindsey and her team, who worked with us to reinterpret some of the recipes inside Weddings by Martha Stewart," says Sarah. "I spent hours pouring over the tome's menu pages and luncheon ideas. It was published in 1987, but fully holds up today and is a testament to Martha's unparalleled taste—and I'm not just saying that because I'm on Team Martha!"

Eat, Drink, and Be Merry

wedding cocktail hour oysters
Charla Storey

That menu included tea sandwiches with cream cheese and cucumber (a nod to the bride's bridal shower theme), oysters on the half shell, and lamb chop lollipops with chimichurri sauce ("This was a special request from my dad, who always brought up this one wedding where they had lamb chop hors d'oeuvres," says Sarah. "They were—in his eyes—completely mandatory wedding food.") For lunch, guests chose between grilled mahi mahi and chicken in a lemon cream sauce.

On the Bar

wedding cocktail hour bar with wine bottles flowers
Charla Storey

The bar served local wine from Hawk Haven Winery, beer from Cape May Brewery and Narragansett (Zach's favorite!), and vodka from North Cape May's Nauti Spirits Distillery, alongside Champagne from Faire La Fete. Though Sarah and Zach didn't coordinate a specialty cocktail, that didn't stop their friends and family from designing one: "Our guests got creative and turned the table that held iced tea and lemonade into a hard Arnold Palmer bar," says Sarah. "Smarties!"

Games People Play

wedding corn hole game with floral printed bags
Charla Storey

No seaside al fresco lunch feels complete without a cornhole game, so Sarah's mother and her boyfriend, Rick, took on the task of creating a personalized set for the reception. A laser-cut lily of the valley stencil from Carey stood out against the powder blue boards, while beanbags—which Carey sewed using the invitation envelopes' fabric—created a custom contrast.

Love in Bloom

wildflower seed wedding place cards
Charla Storey

Monogrammed seed packets set in antique flower frogs—which Sarah collects—served as place cards. "Carey made the packets and my family filled them on the Abbey porch the day before the wedding over pizza," says Sarah.

Rooted in Tradition

wedding reception long tables with florals everywhere
Charla Storey

Long tables set up on the Abbey's lawn were covered in powder blue linens ("We had yellow on standby, as well, thanks to BBJ LaTavola; we made a game-day decision," says Sarah) and lined with potted plants. "We wanted to create as little waste as possible, so not killing the flowers by cutting them was a win for us," says Sarah. "Sofia opted for a mix of colors and textures to translate the garden element—and speak to the Van Wingerden family trade, greenhousing and bedding plants."

Earlier that morning, as Zach's cousin Brian helped him into his suit, he peered out the window at the finished reception layout. "Wendy's work broke me," he says. "I wept the happiest, ugliest tears of my life seeing the result and couldn't wait for the party to start (and obviously, marry my wife)."

A Pretty Picnic

floral wedding reception table runners
Charla Storey

The couple placed the potted plants atop custom runners, hand-sewn in the invitation pouch fabric.

Place Settings

floral wedding reception place settings
Charla Storey

Wendy finished their "formal, but fresh" place settings with intricate, vintage-inspired china, traditional flatware, individual salt and pepper cellars, and marble ramikens filled with Old Bay seasoning (a nod to the groom's go-to spice).

Music Notes

groom placing record on turntable outdoor garden reception
Charla Storey

Along with background music performed by Tom Powdermaker and their first dance song—an acoustic version of Led Zeppelin's "Thank You," based on Chris Cornell's iconic cover—reception music included a few of the groom's favorite records. "Zach also brought down his record player, an antique (and a gift from his grandparents), which he hooked up to the audio system outside," says Sarah. "He collects records and loves music, so the fact that he had some ownership over this part of the day was major."

A Father's Love

bride and father wedding reception dance
Charla Storey

Though the wedding weekend was filled with memorable moments, Sarah looks back on the time spent with her father as some of the most poignant. "Dad was so sick, but dug deep to show up for me, for us," she says. During his toast, she sat next to him with her hand on his shoulder (he was a bit too weak to stand). "He let us know how proud he was and wished us well on the life journey that is marriage," says Sarah; as a "die-hard Yankees fan," he also couldn't resist cracking a joke about allowing his firstborn to marry a "red-headed man" who roots for the Boston Red Sox.

"The fact that we have an immortalized version of his wedding speech, his voice—this is why you don't skip videography. It is huge for us," says Sarah. "If there's a single wedding-day highlight, he's the highlight: How hard he tried, how he twirled me around while we shared our father-daughter dance, how he lit up around and chatted for hours with family and friends over the whole weekend. He was there. How lucky are we?"

A Dance With Mom

groom and mother wedding reception dance
Charla Storey

Zach shared a dance with his mom to Neil Young's "Harvest Moon," one of her favorite songs. "She used to annoy me by asking me to put this song on all the time," says Zach. "But this was definitely my favorite play-through."

A Taste of Summer

wedding blueberry cobbler with recipe and floral serving utensils
Charla Storey

In lieu of cake, Sarah and Zach served blueberry cobbler, homemade by the bride and her mother the day before the wedding. "I don't necessarily recommend this (it was a touch stressful!) but it was fun to do together and to know that we made one of the wedding's courses," says Sarah. "When guests arrived, the entire Abbey smelled like pie—and there's nothing like Jersey blueberries in the summer."

The couple personalized their menus by having the family-favorite cobbler recipe printed on the back—"It turned the menus into a keepsake and a lot of people took them home," says Sarah—and served the dessert with laser-cut pie servers (made by Carey) featuring their custom floral pattern.

A Lucky Find

bride and groom cutting blueberry cobbler
Charla Storey

Sarah and Zach cut a smaller cobbler privately before the rest was served to their guests. "This dessert unlocks a core memory for us as a couple," says Sarah. "On Zach's first trip to Cape May, my mom made a blueberry cobbler—he loved it so much, he talked about it for the rest of the vacation and asks for it almost every time we're down the shore."

Before dessert, the bride snuck out to change into her reception dress: A thrifted, strapless, linen J. Crew number, which she paired with another Jennifer Behr headband. "Remember when J. Crew made wedding gowns?" she says. "It was in great shape; all it needed was a quick hem. The price tag? $25. Sometimes, you get lucky—whether it's fate or the wedding gods, I don't know, but that dress was meant for me and I still can't get over it."

On the Porch

guests embracing on victorian porch
Charla Storey

Sarah shared a moment with her mom and Rick on the Abbey's porch. "I love this photo of the three of us," she says. "Rick holding and looking up at my mom, my hand just brushing hers—I am so grateful for our blended family. My mom and dad made so much of this wedding possible—and Rick was a part of that, too. He handled so many moving parts, let us borrow his truck whenever we needed it, and was there, without question, to help. We're so thankful."

Petal Shower

wedding couple exiting flower petal shower
Charla Storey

Petals rained down on the couple once more as they exited the Abbey at the end of the wedding.

A Shore Thing

bride and groom kissing in wedding surrey
Charla Storey

Sarah and Zach left the reception in a surrey, complete with a custom "Just Married" sign in their invitation font. "My family grew up renting surreys and riding around Cape May, and we thought it would be such a fun send-off," says Sarah. "As we pedaled around, cars honked and people waved—it was so much fun. The day's only rain shower hit us then. We were covered by the surrey's awning and it passed by the time we returned to the house. Perfect timing—as a colleague once told me, you will the weather you want."

One Block to the Beach

couple kissing on beach for wedding
Charla Storey

After the surrey ride, Sarah, Zach, and their guests changed into beachwear for a casual after-party with sunbathing and drinks by the sea. The couple headed towards the water a little early for an oceanfront portrait session.

The bride donned a puffed-sleeve two-piece with floral detailing from Anthropologie, which she paired with her second Kleinfeld veil. "Since we were getting married so close to the beach, I needed a bridal bathing suit," says Sarah, who shares that a colleague sent the suit's link her way, knowing it was her style. "It matched our wedding color palette exactly and was so me."

Beachin' It

wedding guests lounging on beach for picnic
Charla Storey

"Getting your toes wet and lounging in the sand with the people you love most after you tie the knot? No greater feeling," says Sarah.

groom holding just married sign walking toward beach
Charla Storey

So Much Joy

The couple remembers the last beach shot of the afternoon, when their vendor told them it was a wrap. "The exhaustion was starting to hit, but as we ran back to our friends and family, whooping and waving, with the sounds of the Atlantic's waves crashing in the background, we felt so lucky," says Sarah. "And so much joy."


bride and groom portrait with dad
Charla Storey

In loving memory of Dr. Steven M. Schreiber

Photography, Charla Storey
Second Shooters, Julie Wilmes and Alison Heffington
Venue, The Abbey
Rehearsal Dinner Venue, The Chalfonte Hotel
Catering, Washington Inn
Wedding Planning and Event Design, Birds of a Feather Events
Day-of Planning Assistant, Abby McKinney Events
Flowers, Cezanne Floral
Videography, Megan Pettus
Second Filmmaker, Kelsey Hubbard
Officiant, Beth Garfinkle Hancock, Blessings by Beth
Event Details and Stationery, The Idea Emporium
Music, Tom Powdermaker
Rentals, BBJ LaTavola; Party Rental LTD
Bride's Gown, Doên
Bride's Accessories, Kleinfeld Bridal veil; Jennifer Behr headband and earrings; Loeffler Randall shoes
Bridal Bathing Suit, Anthropologie
Bridal Stylist, Gabrielle Hurwitz
Hair, Taylor Brownlow, Tint Color Bar
Bridesmaids' Dresses, Reformation
Groom's Attire, Suit Shop
Alterations, Moline Kronberg Alterations
Engagement Ring and Wedding Bands, Boston Louis Jewelers
Champagne, Faire La Fête

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