A Shabby Chic Wedding | Nicole and Gary
Photos by | Tyler Boye Photography
Location | Historic Smithville, NJ

bride and groom by carousel

Today's real wedding feature is a beautiful shabby chic wedding located in the tiny historic village of Smithville, NJ.  I love everything about this wedding, the vintage tea sets, the amusements, the gorgeous flowers, and beautiful backdrop of this quaint little town.  Our featured couple, Nicole and Gary, wanted their wedding to have a romantic, cozy, and charming ambiance, similar to what guests would find when entering their home.  They achieved this by renting out the entire local bed and breakfast, allowing them to feel as if they had the village all to themselves.  I admire the way the two families get along and how both the bride and groom's fathers seem to be the best of friends.  There are a few moments that these men cannot contain their excitement and in a quirky, yet adorable way, are the life of this amazing celebration.  

shabby chic wedding carnival games photo
colonial inn bed and breakfast
wedding photos tram car ride

How They Met

"Gary and I met when we were juniors in high school, through a mutual friend.  From the start, we connected and became the best of friends.  Our friendship progressed for three years with phone calls, dinners, movie nights, and lots of hangouts.  Our subconscious love for each other first unlocked when Gary wrote me brave and sweet love letters.  This led to a phone call, which shifted us from best friends to best friends in love."

first look bride
first look groom
Tyler Boye Photography shabby chic wedding

The Shabby Chic Wedding Attire

"Finding my dream dress was a memorable experience.  I went into my first and only appointment with an open mind, but what I absolutely knew was that I did not want a strapless or princess style gown.  I had always dreamed of wearing a romantic lace dress with cap sleeves and I prepared myself that it might be difficult to find one in a wedding world of strapless gowns.  My shabby chic wedding dress turned out to be one of the first ones I tried on and was just what I always dreamed.  I loved the dress on the hanger, but was skeptical about how it would flatter my figure."

shabby chic wedding wedding attire
shabby chic wedding rings
wedding dress on custom made hanger
shabby chic wedding shoes
shabby chic wedding earrings
shabby chic wedding dress
pre-wedding cocktails
bride with her pre-wedding cocktail
bride and her mother enjoying pre-wedding cocktails

"My Allure Bridals dress was a soft and romantic fitted dress with lace throughout.  It had a scooped neckline with an off ­the ­shoulder cap sleeve and v­-shaped back.  I did not even see myself in the mirror yet, but I knew it was the dress for me based on how the dress immediately felt.  I felt beautiful, romantic, and comfortable in this dress.  Then I looked in the mirror and got very emotional."

bride in mirror getting dressed
beautiful lace wedding gown
lace bridal head piece
bride with brother and bridesmaids
ghosbusters wedding cufflinks
smithville railroad co.
groom's shoes
groom with groomsmen pre-wedding
groom suit
groomsmen suit
groom with groomsmen on train platform
shabby chic wedding party

The Ceremony

"Our ceremony was very authentic to Gary and I, right down to our music choices and order of events.  We got married in the charming courtyard of The Smithville Inn, and found a minister that we felt would create a very personal and genuine ceremony, reflecting our love for each other."

bride awaiting to walk down the aisle
shabby chic wedding bouquet
shabby chic bridesmaids in pale pink bridesmaid dresses

"Before the ceremony, we answered two very significant questions to our minister, which he incorporated into the ceremony.  So along with reciting our own written vows, we also heard what we answered about each other for the first time.  Our ceremony felt like our own love story, being told in a matter of minutes."

bride emotionally walking down aisle with both parents
groom's first look at bride walking down the aisle
bride and groom at the altar

"Since we did a first look, it opened the door for an opportunity to honor both sets of parents. Gary and I both walked down the aisle with our parents.  It was a something that meant so much to all of us."

groom reading his vows
ring exchange
bride and groom at the altar
shabby chic wedding first kiss

"Lastly, one of my favorite moments was after our first kiss.  Our fathers ran up to each other in front of everyone and bumped chests.  We didn't know this was planned and definitely set the tone for the rest of the night.  We love that it was captured in both pictures and video."

bride and groom's fathers bump chests
first walk as husband and wife
bride and groom kiss as the wedding ceremony ends
shabby chic wedding portrait
bride and groom by carousel
bride and groom in the garden
bride and groom on the boardwalk

The Reception

"Our shabby chic wedding venue was also at The Historic Smithville Inn, a rustic, intimate, and charming fine ­dining restaurant located in the historic town of Smithville.  Both our families visit this little village multiple times each year, so we knew that when we looked at Smithville for our reception, it would be the perfect place for us.  The beautiful grounds of the village that surrounded our wedding included a lake, shoppes, eateries, boutiques, and was lined with cobblestone paths."

Smithville New Jersey

"All of Smithville was already so beautiful and had the exact ambiance that I was looking for, so I felt that all it needed were a few personal touches.  I did quite a few DIY projects, one of which included our teapot centerpieces.  Over the course of our three year engagement, I thrifted and collected all the teapot and teacups, and glued them together to give to our florist.  We came up with the arrangement of garden roses, ivy, hydrangeas, ranunculus, wax flower, and silver brunia balls with artemisia."

shabby chic wedding table centerpieces
shabby chic wedding table
shabby chic wedding table details

"For our shabby chic wedding stationary, I created our save ­the ­dates on hankies and put magnets on clothes ­pins for guests to hang the hankies on their refrigerators.  For our formal invitations, I tea­ dyed paper doilies and wrapped the doily over each invitation like a present." 

shabby chic hanky save the dates and wedding invitations

"I also made doily table numbers and Mr. & Mrs. doily chair signs.  One of my most time consuming DIY projects was the hand ­painted escort 'teapot magnets' for guests to take, tying in the shabby chic theme.  I made all the shabby chic wedding signs along with our cake topper and ceremony program, which was a windowpane that hung from a tree."

shabby chic wedding escort cards teapot magnets
shabby chic wedding cake
shabby chic wedding cake topper
shabby chic wedding program window pane with writing

"We used a dictionary as our shabby chic wedding guest book, where guests were to find a word that reminded them of me and Gary, circle it, write a note, and mark their page with post ­it tabs.  It is something that we can keep on our bookshelf forever."

wedding guest book dictionary

"Our wedding favors were done by Ashley from Candlewyck Cottage in Smithville.  Each guest received two candle wax melts, pumpkin and pine, perfect for the fall and Christmas seasons right around the corner. They were absolutely amazing and guests raved about them."

wedding favors

"Overall, what we were looking for was a reception that was beautiful, but also let guests know that this was a celebration and a time to party and let loose.  With so many logistics of a wedding day timeline, we decided with our DJ that the best way to maximize our fun would be to do a half­ hour dance set right after our first dance.  We didn’t want to wait to dance and we didn’t want our guests to wait either.  It was a great decision and set a fun tone for the rest of the night."

bride and groom eating cake
bride's father dancing
shabby chic wedding dancing
fun wedding party
bride and groom's father stealing the show

"The magical thing about Smithville is that Gary and I can go back whenever we want, even when we have children, to enjoy the place where we got married."

Favorite Moment

"I chose two favorite parts of our day.  The first was our portrait session, which was just an absolute blast spending alone time with Gary.  The other was walking down the aisle towards Gary and seeing the emotion on his face.  It was priceless and allowed me to get lost in the moment."

bride and groom's first dance

Hope you enjoyed this Shabby Chic Wedding story!  Leave a comment below.  I'd love to hear from you!  

bride and groom at the sweetheart table

See Nicole & Gary's Wedding Video

Wedding videos have certainly come a long way from the days of giant shoulder cameras bouncing around the reception with bright lights recording messages from guests.   This wedding video documented Nicole and Gary's entire day and illustrates, even more than photos, the love this family truly has for each other.  Watching literally brought tears to my eyes and the warmness it radiates really gives the feeling of personally knowing each and every one of them. Grab a hanky and enjoy.  

The Smithville Inn Wedding: Nicole + Gary from GT Modern Creations on Vimeo.


shabby chic wedding centerpieces
shabby chic wedding bouquets
wedding first kiss
shabby chic wedding table decor
bride adjusting headpiece in mirror
rustic wedding party
bride and groom holding flowers and gun
beautiful bridal portrait
bridesmaid shoe
shabby chic bridal party
groomsmen with bride's shirtless father
shabby chic bridesmaids
bride and groom on boardwalk
rustic wedding couple
shabby chic cocktails sign


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