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Chris & Becca // Old Tappan Manor Wedding Day in New Jersey 

Chris & Becca’s wedding day is so special to me because Chris and I have known each other for a long time. We met online, bonding over the McElroy Brothers and their podcasts. When he reached out to ask me to photograph his and Becca’s wedding, it was really incredible. I had the joy of watching their relationship grow as his friend and to be there to document their Old Tappan Manor wedding meant the world to me.

bride and groom hug in blurry photo of Old Tappan Manor ballroom

Getting Ready & First Look

Their wedding day was SO rainy, but honestly, you’d never know. Chris & Becca were beaming the entire day and truly didn’t care. All that mattered was that they were getting married. With the weather, we had to pivot some with our plans for their first look. But, Old Tappan Manor is absolutely stunning and we were able to have Chris & Becca’s first look near where their ceremony wound up being held in the main ballroom!  

Most memorable moment from your wedding day?

The most memorable moment to us was our first look. It was such an emotional and wonderful moment where so many of the worries and nerves that accumulated throughout the day started to fade away.

bride approaches groom for first look inside Old Tappan Manor ballroom by arch
groom leans to kiss bride during first look inside the Old Tappan Manor ballroom
groomsmen go to hug groom by arbor inside Old Tappan Manor

Ceremony at Old Tappan Manor

Perhaps the thing I loved most about Chris & Becca’s wedding ceremony was that one of Chris’s sisters officiated the ceremony and the other did a reading. I love that they included their loved ones in their celebration in such meaningful ways! It was clear all day long that Chris & Becca are surrounded by so much warmth and love – it meant a lot to be a part of that. 

wedding guests take selfie in New Jersey venue
wedding guest mingle and look at welcome table for ceremony
family and friends sit in gold chiavari chairs for ceremony at Old Tappan Manor
grandparents sit in row of gold chairs at Old Tappan Manor for wedding ceremony

What did you love about your venue/wedding location?

The venue has very attentive, proactive, personable, and flexible staff that helped with planning a wedding that was perfect for us and that flowed seamlessly. It also didn’t hurt that it was close by to our apartment!

father walks with bride during wedding ceremony in New Jersey
bride looks at groom during vow exchange at Old Tappan Manor
bride and groom laugh with officiant during ceremony at Old Tappan Manor

What advice would you give to other couples planning their wedding?

1. Do as much as you can early: it helps to make things feel less stressful and overwhelming as the day draws near.

2. Everytime you get the opportunity to go to someone else’s wedding, take notes about what stuff you liked and what stuff you’d like to avoid at your own wedding.

groom walks into ballroom for ceremony at Old Tappan Manor
bride and groom hold hands laughing inside Old Tappan Manor
bride and groom walk up aisle leaving wedding ceremony in NJ ballroom
newlyweds hug parents after ceremony at Old Tappan Manor
bride and groom laugh with wedding guests mingling inside Old Tappan Manor

New Jersey Wedding Reception

After the ceremony, during the cocktail hour, the incredible team at the manor flipped the space that Chris & Becca had just said “I do” into their party. Their reception was incredible! It was super fun to see how different traditions are in New Jersey from weddings in Georgia. Chris & Becca had a sculpture (a first for me!) and their cocktail hour was much more elaborate, with different food stations. I loved it all. Once everyone got to start dancing and having a good time, it was a lot of fun. Chris & Becca know how to plan a party!! 

bride smiles at wedding guest seated at table
older woman in blue dress talks with guests at reception
bride and groom dance in ballroom at Old Tappan Manor
groom laughs leaning over his table while holding bride's hand
bride and groom hug each other around the waist watching guests dance at Old Tappan Manor

If you could do it all over, would you change anything?

The only thing we would’ve done differently is asked our bridal attendant to bring up more food from the cocktail hour (there were pierogis there and we completely forgot about them until it was too late!). Regardless, everything came together into such an incredible and memorable time and we loved celebrating with everyone!

guests dance during New Jersey wedding reception
guests dance during New Jersey wedding reception
guests dance during New Jersey wedding reception
bride and guests dance during New Jersey wedding reception
guests dance during New Jersey wedding reception
guests dance during New Jersey wedding reception
guests dance during New Jersey wedding reception

What were you most anxious or nervous about regarding your wedding day and how did it turn out?

We were both very nervous about how our first dance would go! We spent so much time practicing it and putting together a routine and we were worried that we would absolutely blow it. Chris was also worried about his dance with his stepmom since they had a rough routine in mind and only had a small amount of time the night before to practice. All in all the dances and the wedding as a whole went off perfectly! All our family and friends were just so excited and supportive of us during our dances and we absolutely killed it!

guests dance during New Jersey wedding reception
guests dance during New Jersey wedding reception
guests dance during New Jersey wedding reception
guests dance during New Jersey wedding reception
bride and groom hold hands dancing by wedding cake during NJ wedding reception

Any tips for future couples on how to prepare for their wedding photos?

Relax and be yourself (novel advice, we know)! Don’t be afraid to let your personalities show and it’s even better if the people in your parties are people that you feel comfortable being your full authentic self around. If y’all are super comfortable with each other then your wedding photos will be fun, stress-free, and perfect for you! Also, using Raven as your wedding photographer doesn’t hurt either 😉

wedding guests dance together during New Jersey reception
wedding guests dance together during New Jersey reception
wedding guests dance together during New Jersey reception
wedding guests dance together during New Jersey reception
wedding guests dance together during New Jersey reception
bride and groom dance during wedding reception in NJ ballroom
wedding guests dance together during New Jersey reception

Nighttime Wedding Portraits in New Jersey

In the evening, I stole Chris & Becca away to capture some nighttime portraits with my flash. I always love doing flash photography. Old Tappan Manor has a fountain and hilltop that we knew we wanted to do photos on. I’m so happy that Chris & Becca made time for these night shots! They’re some of my favorites from the day. 

newlyweds hug at night in front of fountain outside Old Tappan Manor
bride and groom hug close on dance floor during NJ wedding reception

Congratulations again, Chris and Becca. Saying that I’m excited for you both and thrilled I could be there is truly an understatement. I’m so lucky to know you two!

New Jersey Wedding Vendors 

Getting Ready: Hotel Nyack + Old Tappan Manor
Ceremony + Reception Venue: Old Tappan Manor
Florist: Melissa Danza
Bakery: Jess Armato
Entertainment: Stylez Entertainment
Videographer: Christopher’s Studio
Beauty: Pent Makeup & Hair

Looking for more inspiration for your destination wedding day?

My travel policies & procedures for destination celebrations!

See Kelsey & Rowan’s romantic Italian wedding!

3 reasons to bring your photographer for your destination elopement.

Ready to plan your destination wedding?

As a Georgia and destination wedding photographer, I’ve helped plan celebrations all over the world! I’d love to help plan yours. Reach out and let me know what you’re thinking!

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