Pets hold a special place in our hearts - especially dogs. When Rick and I moved in together, we adopted two rescue dogs - Bella and Shadow. We come from dog loving families and many of our couples share the same passion. Actually, I think these two, Taylor and Colin, have the biggest animal loving hearts of anyone we've worked with. You might remember their engagement blog from Allaire State Park back in October of 2020. Taylor and Colin, who work with Wag On Inn Rescue, brought their dogs with them to the session and it was no different for their wedding. Well, maybe one difference, the dogs had their own wedding attire for the special day.
Not many venues that I know of are welcoming of dogs, but the Estate at Eagle Lake is different. "Eagle Lake is an animal friendly Event Venue. All four legged family members are welcome to participate in the Ceremony or bust a move at the Reception!" according to their website - which was probably part of the selling point that attracted Taylor to the venue, aside from the beautiful gardens, lake front ceremony amphitheater, and on-site bridal and groom suites.
Taylor found her gown at Park Avenue South in Toms River. "The man who owned the dress boutique picked it out for me, it was the first dress I tried on!" according to Taylor. The dress fit her perfectly and was paired with a few flowers in her hair - simple yet elegant.
Since the couple lived together prior to the wedding, they opted to do a first look. You could tell both were a little nervous with the anticipation of the big reveal, but Colin's reaction to seeing his bride was all you needed to see to know how much they love one another. This is one reason we tell our couples how beneficial first looks are on a wedding day. There is so much leading up to the big moment when you first see each other - being able to do it in a private (or semi-private) way is such an intimate moment you can share with with one another.
The ceremony took place lakeside where the couple exchanged their vows, promising to always love one another and their tiny army of rescue animals. For cocktail hour, guests were able to take in the beautiful scenery with the bunker-top garden and koi pond while enjoying the amazing hor'dourves served by Summit Catering before heading back down to the tent for the reception.
Taylor and Colin surprised everyone by changing into more relaxed attire while entering the reception before dancing their first dance as a married couple. The couple danced to Road to Nowhere by Greensky Bluegrass. Taylor mentioned that her favorite moment was dancing with everyone - and by the pictures you can see how much fun they were having, even DJ Fuzzy got on the dance floor!
Taylor and her dad share their dance to Toxicity by System of a Down. (I was was not expecting it but I LOVED IT!!) Taylor said she choose that song "because that was 'our song' when she was a kid... it was hilarious." The moment between father and daughter was unique, fun and made for some great photos, which you can now see.
Photographer:: Brittany Harmening Photography
Venue: The Estate at Eagle Lake
DJ: DJ Fuzzy
Wedding Planner: Brianna with Works of Love
Caterer: Summit Catering
Bridal Boutique: Park Avenue South