A Garden-Inspired Summer Wedding at a Golf Club in New Jersey

Kelli and Christopher

Photographed by: Vanessa Joy PhotographyLocation: Bridgewater, New Jersey, United States

Kelli Eversen and Christopher Brown spent the majority of their 11-month engagement living in London, only moving back to the U.S. shortly before their summer wedding. Because of this, the couple relied heavily on the bride’s mother and father to select a venue for the celebration. “We sent my parents on a tour of possible locations in New Jersey, [where I grew up],” says Kelli. “They were our eyes and ears!”

Though they had to depend on relatives for much of the planning, there were other tasks, such as interviewing and hiring event professionals, where the couple personally wanted to take the reigns. Kelli and Christopher focused on finding professionals whose priority was stellar service. “Given that we were living abroad, it was important that we found vendors who were pretty responsive,” explains the groom.

Finally landing the perfect property to host both the ceremony and reception, the premier golf club situated on a historic country estate also met the couple’s criteria of not feeling “like a stereotypical wedding venue.” Explains Christopher, “We wanted something different and comfortable for guests.”  

Overlooking the pristine golf course of the location – which lent to the natural beauty of the area – the alfresco ceremony was a vision of understated elegance and incorporated décor in muted summertime hues of blush, champagne, and grass green. Small arrangements of antique hydrangeas decorated guests’ chairs, while the bridal party’s bouquets looked freshly picked and included peonies, calla lilies, roses, and lisianthus blooms. Two cast-iron urns brimming with lush peonies, roses, delphiniums, hydrangeas, and ivy bedecked the altar. “We didn’t want any of the florals to feel overly manicured,” explains Kelli, who wanted to maintain a garden ambience.

The service focused mainly on the couple and did not follow specific traditions, albeit a familial keepsake that Kelli carried – the same handkerchief that her grandmother held at her own nuptials decades prior. “We really wanted the wedding to be reflection of us, and [the vow exchange] focused a lot on our story as a couple,” asserts the bride. 

Attendees next mingled at a cocktail hour before shifting to the reception, where tables were decorated with a mix of high and low centerpieces consisting of white and green hydrangeas, peonies and Majolica spray roses in pale pink, blush roses, and ivy. Diners noshed on a scrumptious duet of Loch Duart salmon and 40-day-aged filet mignon, before enjoying pieces of carrot cake with cream cheese buttercream icing. “It was impeccably decorated,” describes the bride of the confection. “It had ‘dried’ branches and flowers in pink and green made of fondant.”

The party continued on past midnight with loved ones. Finally, as the couple walked to their quarters, under the dreamy night sky, they had a cherished moment alone. “We were able to reflect on the day and take in the fact that we were married,” shares Kelli of the relished memory. “It was truly the perfect day for us.”