Samantha and Brian’s wedding at The Adventure Aquarium this year was an adventure indeed.  Samantha and her mother were such a pleasure to work with, and we loved the bright and colorful sense of style – we knew as soon as we saw her choice of venue it was going to be a fun event.  Amanda at Swoon Over It photography sent over these gorgeous photos that show what happens when you take over an aquarium for the day.

You may recognize Samantha as the beautiful bride featured in our Be Films promotional video!  We love when our relationships with brides continue to grow after their wedding day, and we were honored to have her come back to our shop.

Samantha’s bouquet was a mix of coral charm peonies, pink ranunculus, pink sweet pea, peach amaryllis, heuchera, geranium leaves, seeded eucalyptus and pink snapdragons. My favorite addition was the honeysuckle fresh from a friend’s garden!


For Samantha’s bridesmaids, we added peach campanella roses, geranium leaves, ammi, peonies and seeded euc.

For Brian’s bout, we added gold seeded eucalyptus with a peach isle spray rose wrapped in a coral ribbon.

The first look!

How cool is this??? We set up our birch canopy right next to the sharks – one of the most memorable backdrops we can think of for a wedding ceremony!

Since the room is pretty dark, we hung a few lanterns off the back of the canopy, and set up spotlights to help this ceremony stage really stand out.

We decorated the canopy with this corner piece of coral charm peonies, blooming branches, white hydrangea, and peach lilies.  The bright colors and pops of greenery here almost looks like something you could find in the coral reef and we love the end result.

Coordinating with the canopy piece, we filled these tall gold vases with matching arrangements of coral charm peonies, roses, honeysuckle, gerbers, white hydrangea, and peach lilies. We call them big mamas.

Here’s a close up of the gold  lanterns Samantha chose for her ceremony.

This gold vase has manzanita branches with hanging pomanders and gold votives to bring some attention to this display of wedding photos.

Even in a room full of color, these gold tapered candles always find a way to stand out.  They are such an elegant choice, and a relatively simple way to add some class to the decor.

Gold mercury votives and bud vases go perfectly with the brass pillar stands to add dimension and texture to these centerpieces.  

If you look closely, you can see how many different shapes and sizes the bud vases and candle holders come in.  We love mixing it up and keeping every design fresh and unique, and adding details like this keep the room from looking monotonous.

In contrast to the more scattered centerpieces, Samantha chose to keep these head table arrangements fluid, with a mirrored vases and cylinder vases creating the “floral runner” impression.  This is the perfect option for a table this long.

These gold chargers make a bold statement as place settings.  Guests must have felt like royalty!

Table names nodded to their love for ice hockey!

Of course our beloved gold sequined linen had to make an appearance at this fun reception!   And though we wish we could take credit for these cake flowers – they’re actually sugar flowers done by the talented Cake Studio of Ocean City! Darren is THE BEST!

Dying at the detail here ^^^^^^^

Wishing the best of luck, beautiful memories and more adventures to this lovely couple!

Samantha’s Bride Diaries 

What was the most standout, “Wow!” moment of your wedding day?

My husband and I both agree that everything was “Wow”, but the very first thing that made me cry that day was seeing my bouquet for the first time.  I was getting my hair and makeup done when Mary arrived with the bouquets.  She hit the nail right on the head and made absolutely gorgeous bouquets for everyone, and surprised me with a lace wrap on mine.  Seeing the reception space transformed for the first time was also just astonishing.  When the blinds on the glass windows came up and the guests at the cocktail hour saw the reception space for the first time, there was an audible ‘gasp’!  The lights, the decor, the overall feel was perfect.

We know things don’t always go as planned…Were there any entertaining wedding bloopers?

There were really very few glitches in the day, everything ran incredibly smoothly thanks to Isis at POSH Events.  The one disappointing thing that couldn’t be helped was that I had worked on a powerpoint to display the seating arrangements that was supposed to be displayed on screens at the Aquarium during the cocktail hour.  Unfortunately the screens were broken, but Isis covered by speaking with people, telling them their table assignments and printing out the powerpoint and displaying it on the bar.

Any wedding toasts that made you laugh til you cried? Cry your eyes out? Gasp in shock?

My maid of honor has been my best friend since high school.  She said she ‘tried’ to make her toast funny, but every time it just ended up sappy and with her sobbing.  So her toast ended up being heartfelt, and she left the best man to do the funny toast, which worked out perfectly.

4. We don’t judge!  Did you have any Bridezilla moments of weakness?

Many.  I was a fairly hands-off bride.  I left dealing with vendors and contracts to Isis, so I only had to decide what I wanted in terms of dresses, decor, ambiance.  Even that was too stressful for me!  Every few weeks I had to take a break from planning because I felt like I simply could not make another decision.  I don’t remember how many times I said to Brian, “Let’s just elope!”  It was very overwhelming, but in the end we both had the time of our lives.

Did you have a wedding planner? If so, what did he/she do to make your day run smoother? Did they fulfill your expectations?

Yes!  Isis Williams of Posh Events was the best.  She took care of contacting vendors, comparing vendor prices/packages, recommending vendors she trusts, handling contracts and she ALWAYS gave me her honest opinion.  She was invaluable to the process.  Even when I just needed to vent, she was there!  The timelines she made for the vendors and bridal party made everything so easy, and she made sure everything was just as we wanted it to be.

(Just wanted to insert that we love working with Isis and am proud to call her a friend!)

Cake or cupcakes? What was the flavor and theme?

Cake, of course.  We had two flavors: lemon cake with fresh raspberry filling and vanilla buttercream, and mango cake with passion fruit filling and vanilla buttercream.  The sugar flowers created by Darren at Cake Studio of Ocean City were AMAZING.  He is extremely talented.  I knew I wanted gold elements on my cake, and flowers, but no specific theme and he created something very beautiful.  Darren also made Brian a surprise groom’s cake of Petey the Penguin of the Pittsburgh Penguins hockey team wearing the jersey of Brian’s favorite player, Mario Lemieux, standing next to a mini Stanley Cup.  It was so cute and so DELICIOUS.

 We always try to bring your floral dreams to life…did we succeed? In what ways? Is there any room for improvement?

YES.  Garden Party did more than succeed, they well surpassed my expectations.  The bouquets, centerpieces, chuppah, and everything else…they were all gorgeous and exactly what I wanted them to be.  They created such a beautiful, romantic environment.  Mary is an absolute dream to work with and so easily accessible via phone and email.  At our initial meeting, I didn’t want any boutonnieres for the groomsman because they seemed too ‘prom’ to me.  But Brian wanted one, so I trusted Mary to make something that didn’t remind me of my high school prom.  She made a beautiful boutonniere for Brian that even I loved!

What song really got the party started?

Sam Catrambone from Center Stage Entertainment did a great job incorporating music that both old and young could ‘get down’ to!  People were dancing before dinner was even served!  He understood exactly what kind of music we wanted AND what music would make a great party.  I don’t remember what specific song got the party started though.

Who were your vendors?

Catering- Aramark

Bakery- Darren, Cake Studio of Ocean City

Bride’s Dress- Simone Carvalli

Bridesmaid Dresses- Amsale

Hair and Makeup- Bella Angel

Entertainment- Sam Catrambone, Center Stage Entertainment

Venue- Adventure Aquarium in Camden, NJ

Ties- Cyberoptix Tie Lab

FavorsMacarons & Cookies by Woops

PhotoboothParty Cam

Photographer – Amanda Young, Swoon Over It Photography

VideographerBe Films

Event Coordinator- Isis Williams, POSH Events LLC

I hope your wedding was exactly as you imagined it would be, but are there any details that went above and beyond your expectations?  Anything you wish you would’ve done differently?

Just overall how smoothly everything ran that day was way beyond my expectations.  All the vendors were extremely professional and we couldn’t have asked for more from any of them.  Cantor Ellie gave us a wonderfully heartfelt, and hilarious ceremony that really set the tone for the entire event.  I can’t tell you how many people came up to us saying, “That was the best wedding ceremony I’ve ever been to!”, how beautiful the ceremony was, and how hilarious Cantor Ellie is.  I’m still getting messages now, a few weeks later, about how much fun the wedding was, how beautiful the decor was, and how cool it was to be in an aquarium.

The one thing that sticks out in my head regarding something I would’ve done differently was when we did the Hora.  I really didn’t want to do it, but was convinced to do it because “you only get to do it once!”.  I regretted that decision when they lifted my chair in the air and I nearly fell off because no one was lifting the front of my chair!  I was tilted forward the entire time, hanging on for dear life, and yelling “PUT ME DOWN!!!”  Also after the fact we realized that we never made it to the photobooth together!  So I wish I had some photobooth pics of the two of us.  Oh well!