Intimate Backyard Wedding in New Jersey | Casey + Matthew

Casey had a microwedding in her parent’s backyard to celebrate her commitment to Matthew with those closest to them. Casey’s mother, Patti, had recently been diagnosed with ALS, which meant their time was limited. Knowing this made their elopement even more intimate. Her three brothers were her “best men” and very clearly each other’s best friends.

During my emails with Casey, we exchanged a lot of personal details with each other and some Game of Thrones geekery. We shared enthusiasm over the Eagles’ Super Bowl win. She was one of the first people I excitedly emailed after our anatomy scan with our soon-to-be son. She shared with me that she didn’t have any kids yet, but had the utmost respect for mothers. “You are carrying another human — that is magic,” she said.

When I entered the house to begin shooting, it was pouring outside. We talked about possibly moving everything indoors to the basement, while I refreshed my trusted weather app every five minutes. During that time, I had the pleasure of getting to know Casey and her family. When there are less than fifteen guests, it’s hard to not become part of the day in some small way.

I heard stories about how Patti attended college in Switzerland, modeled in New York, cheered for the Philadelphia Eagles, and became a flight attendant. Her wanderlust spirit was evident and when the sun came out just before the ceremony, she shed tears while holding her only daughter’s hand. She was an absolute gem, surrounded by the most loving family.

A lot has changed since their wedding in the summer of 2018. Game of Thrones came to a close. My 1.5 year-old son has grown into someone who loves to say “thank you” and requests to have his toenails painted. And five months after Casey and Matthew’s wedding, the world lost an incredibly loving mother, wife, sister, and friend. I’m so lucky to have met Patti in her perfectly vibrant, yellow jumpsuit. I can’t thank Casey and Matthew enough for trusting me to capture such a special day.

When I saw Casey wearing a “mother of dragons” shirt with the cutest baby bump on my Instagram feed last year, I was so excited to see they, too, would be welcoming a son of their own.

Casey, it’s been so lovely seeing you grow into a mother over the past year. You were right, it absolutely is magic. I know we haven’t seen each other since your wedding, but I can see your mom’s infectious spirit in your son and it warms my heart. If your life as a mom is anything like mine, strangers will come up to you in the grocery store checkout line and tell you to cherish every minute of it. Weddings like yours have taught me just that and made me realize how fragile life can be.

Also, cheers to the female-led vendor team who made the day especially memorable.

Private residence in Sewell, New Jersey | Venue
Harvest Specialty Catering | Catering
Ivy Kaplin at the Lovely Bride in Philadelphia | Dress
Jaizelle Hanna | Designer + seamstress
Aleksandra Ambrozy | Makeup
Lisa Ryan | Hair
Ashley Wrenn Aragona of Hello, Bird | Calligraphy + artwork


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