A wedding that screams luxury, set in a literal castle in the woods, featuring the most stylish couple of the year and not one, but TWO glorious wedding gowns – need I say more to convince you to stay? This one was a doozy, because I simply could not narrow down the photos I picked to show you; every little moment of Alexis & Alex’s New Jersey castle wedding at Skylands Manor was glistening with glamor, sparkling with elegance, and brimming with style. I hope you’re ready to fall headfirst into this enchanting, real-life-fairytale-come-true ✨
After shooting Alexis & Alex’s engagement last year, I was prepared for the wedding of the century, my friends. We bonded over our shared love for Taylor Swift and all things luxury, so I knew it was going to be a grand time – yet I was somehow still blown away by what these two came up with.
One thing to note before you really start scrolling through this dreamy gallery: Alexis and Alex booked my “Weekender” package, which means I covered their celebration for two separate days instead of one! This is a big reason why it was extra hard to narrow down my selection of photos for this blog, and also why their wedding turned out so phenomenally – they had an abundance of time to truly celebrate & enjoy it all.
Alexis and Alex chose to spend the first day of their wedding weekend with just a few close family members & friends, and holding a small elopement ceremony in a stunning New Jersey home. Such a lovely mini-celebration before the big big day!💛
If you’ve never even heard of booking a photographer for multiple days of coverage, or just the idea of having a multi-day wedding/wedding weekend at all, let me give you a quick briefing! Full wedding weekends are fabulous for a multitude of reasons, the main ones being that you get multiple days to curate however you’d like to, and that you get more time to spend with your loved ones. I’ve seen many couples create one private, more intimate celebration with just the two of them (or them & a few close friends), and then join their families the next day for a larger gathering. Alternatively, you could absolutely spend both days with everyone in attendance with the official stuff on one day, and pure fun & hangouts the next!
Just know that whatever way you choose to curate your unique wedding timeline, be it one day or four, it all deserves to be captured for you to remember💕
Day 2 was the big one, where Alexis and Alex hosted the most glorious castle wedding at Skylands Manor, a romantic castle-style mansion in Ringwood, NJ. They went all out with this high-class affair, simply bursting with luxury and elegance at every step of the way; in every little detail. I am a sucker for anything glam & gorg, but Alexis and Alex truly outdid themselves, starting with their spectacular venue choice!
Skyland Manor is a dreamy, mid-1920’s mansion located perfect for couples looking to bring their fairytale wedding to life. You’ll literally feel like a queen/king throwing a grand party with all of your loved ones, from the rolling green lawns, to the gorgeous verandas, to the stone terraces that feel like they were pulled straight from Romeo & Juliet. A huge bonus is that you and your guests can not only enjoy a full wedding day at this mansion, you can also spend the night in one of their glamorous suites! The formal gardens can host up to 600 guests, so no need to cut back on your guest list – this phenomenal venue has space for everyone.
After getting ready in the stunning rooms the castle has to offer, filled with old-timey decor to create the most magical Victorian-castle atmosphere, Alexis and Alex had what’s called a “first touch.” They opted for this over having a traditional first look at their ceremony, or the now-popular pre-ceremony first look, where you see each other beforehand; instead meeting up once they were dressed to touch each other, and read private vows, without seeing each other. It was such a special moment to witness, and resulted in just stunning photos from above the grand spiral staircase!
And we didn’t simply take portraits of Alexis, Alex & their wedding party at one location; no, we used all the spaces the castle had to offer; first some flash portraits in a large room filled with stunning wood, beautiful light fixtures, and a dreamy fireplace. We then made our way outdoors for a few shots on the castle lawn, and finally to the little water feature among the grass for a set of group photos that truly belong on the cover of a magazine! I’ll be damned if every member of this group didn’t have some sort of modeling background, because they rocked this elegant garden party look.
There’s nothing better than having a stunning floral arrangement at the altar – except for maybe two stunning floral arrangements at the altar. I am OBSESSED with the symmetrical pieces that Alexis & Alex’s florist created, bursting with white roses to match the petals sprinkled down the aisle and an abundance of bushy baby’s breath. Tying the knot never looked so elegant; what a dreamy ceremony underneath some of the many lush trees this property had to offer! The atmosphere & aesthetic created the kind of ceremony you’d see in People magazine when an ultra-glam celeb couple ties the knot, for sure.
Once the ceremony wrapped up, the new Mr. and Mrs. made their way to me to spend some time exploring the property and taking portraits galore – how could we not take advantage of every little nook & cranny of this enchanting castle? The sexy flash photos of these two snuggling up in the dimly-lit library are some of my personal favorites, but it is nearly impossible to choose when you have such a fabulous bride & groom.
After making things official and snapping more portraits than a couple could ever need (does that number even exist?) all around this spacious, spectacular property, it was time for Alexis and Alex to bask in the presence of their loved ones & have their absolutely killer reception! The night started off with snacking on charcuterie boards in the library and moved into first dances, toasts from their most special people, and – my jaw-drop moment of the night – an outfit change by Alexis. You already know I am in love with the idea of outfit changes during your wedding day and am head-over-heels obsessed with every couple who does it, so when Alexis swapped her princess ballgown for a white, roaring-20’s-style, feather-covered dress that had me weak in the damn knees.
If you’re loving the outfit change trend just as much as I am, take a peek at Gunnar & Hannah’s Colorful Retro Botanical Conservatory Wedding to see not one, but TWO gown changes throughout the day (yes – that means three separate gowns!) 😍
The night ended on a strong note with a poppin’ dance floor, mouth-watering cake & desserts, and the coolest indoor lighting show + fog machine. What a day this was – and what a pleasure to be a small part of it!
Credits to the amazing vendor team who brought their talent & creative minds to this incredible day!
Looking for more wedding inspiration at unique venues like Skylands Manor? I highly recommend taking a look at the one-of-a-kind weddings below to get those creative juices flowing!