Date: 6/4/2011

Location: Matisse Restaurant, On the Beach in Belmar, NJ

First Dance: Such Great Heights, Iron and Wine

Ceremony: Right on the sand!

Lisa and Rafael are an adorable couple that wanted a beach wedding, and boy did they get one! The day was perfect. The sun was shining, it wasn’t too hot and they chose a wonderful location for their wedding. Matisse Restaurant is right on the boardwalk in Belmar, NJ just a few miles south of Asbury Park and the legendary Stone Pony, where Bruce Springsteen got his start.

The ceremony took place right on the sand. They had a friend perform it and play a little guitar as well. One of the highlights was the sand ceremony which has become very popular in the last few years. (Yves and I did one at our wedding, which was also beachy). The sand ceremony symbolizes the joining together forever of the couple’s lives. Two containers of sand are poured into one larger container, the sand can then never be separated again. It’s actually quite beautiful.

Inside, they set the tables up in more of a family style setting with long rows of tables so more people could dine together. There wedding was small and intimate, so this set up was really great for the guests.

The decor was vibrant and joyful with a “Lemon, Lime Orange” theme that ran throughout the place settings, and bridal party dress. It complimented the beachy background wonderfully.

Musically, Lisa and Rafael liked a lot of different things, including Beatles, Rihanna and Neil Diamond. Their first dance was a first for us and I though it was a great choice. Such Great Heights by Iron and Wine got things started off right. They served lunch buffet style, so we kept the music light in the beginning and then ramped up to a dance set of all of their favorites. Even Lisa’s 90 year old grandmother got up to dance! We played a taratella at her request and she got down! Honestly, when Lisa’s aunt pointed out that Grandma was 90 I was shocked. She really did not look it, and she certainly didn’t move like it…

We had a great time working with Lisa and Rafael and the amazing staff at Matisse. Believe it or not that was my first trip to the Jersey Shore, and I can’t wait to go back! There wasn’t a Snooki in sight!

Yves and Lisa at the end of the party!

A candid moment while Lisa and Rafael listened to their Best Men toast them!