beautifully unique wedding nj

A Beautifully Unique Wedding

Sometimes, even when we’ve made the picture perfect plan, life happens, and things go awry. Scratch that – life always happens. But, depending on the way we choose to handle what life throws at us, those hurdles can bring us many wonderful and unexpected joys.

newlyweds in car black and white

Because of the pandemic, Gemma and Steven chose to have two separate wedding days. On one of these days they were married in a beautiful Coptic Orthodox ceremony. On the second day they celebrated their union in an enchanting and fun-filled reception.

dramatic wedding kiss

Steven and Gemma’s wedding ceremony took place on a bright winter’s day in January 2021 at the beautiful St. Mary Coptic Orthodox Church in East Brunswick, New Jersey. The church is distinguished by a large, colorful fresco depicting Mary, the mother of Jesus, above its outside entrance.

st mary coptic orthodox church nj

The Coptic Orthodox Church

The Coptic Orthodox Church is one of the most ancient churches in the world. When St. Mark the Evangelist, one of Jesus’ disciples, visited Alexandria, Egypt in 56 A.D., he established the Church of Alexandria. St. Mark is considered to be the first pope of the Coptic Orthodox Church. This makes the Coptic Orthodox Church one of the earliest Christian groups to exist outside the Holy Land.

coptic church wedding

The Coptic Orthodox Church created the first specifically Christian educational establishment, the School of Alexandria. They also began the practice of Christian monasticism, and were a founding member of the World Council of Churches, established in 1948.

coptic church wedding flowers

The Coptic Orthodox Church uses both the vernacular langauge and the Coptic language during its services. The Coptic language is an ancient one that was used during the time of the Pharoahs. Today, the Coptic Orthodox Church has over six million members. There are over one hundred Coptic Orthodox church buildings in the U.S. alone.

coptic church wedding procession

The Wedding Ceremony Attire

We love Gemma’s simple and elegant wedding gown. It reminds us of Meghan Markle’s wedding dress from her marriage to Great Britain’s Prince Harry! Her gown’s clean lines and classic style allow both Gemma’s innate, stunning beauty and the rich, intricate beauty of the church to shine.

coptic wedding dress bride

Steven looked so dashing in his black tuxedo. He exuded the same classic elegance that his future wife did in her dress!

coptic wedding groom tuxedo

Even their celebrant looked stately. The elaborate gold details on the garments he wore matched the beauty and elegance of the bride and groom. His clothing even coordinated with the capes that Steven and Gemma were given to wear during their wedding ceremony!

coptic church wedding celebrant

The Wedding Ceremony

The chairs Gemma and Steven sat in were like royal thrones in a children’s fairy tale. These red-velvet-lined seats were crowned with lush arrangements of white flowers and greenery. The effect was the epitome of romance!

coptic church wedding chairs

The use of incense during the wedding ceremony added an ethereal quality to the photos from it. Even the incense burner itself was beautiful!

coptic church wedding incense

We noticed the wonderful way that Gemma’s bouquet tied in both the red of her wedding colors and the white of the flowers used to decorate the church. Well done, Gemma and Steven – we see what you did there!

Coptic Church Wedding Couple

The wedding ceremony guests were also dressed to the nines. Their delightful dresses and sauve suits were a fantastic reflection of the beauty of the church, the couple, and the important life event happening that day!

brides parents church wedding

The crowning of the bride and groom was a lovely moment. Those crowns looked like they were rather heavy, but they were also undeniably exquisite! Gemma and Steve both look so content in this moment.

Coptic Church Wedding Crown

happy groom coptic church wedding

J & J Studios’ favorite photos of the wedding day are these, where the joyful bride and groom are exiting the St Mary Church. We love the bubbles, with their tiny irridescent rainbows, especially! The presence of the bubbles seems fitting, since Steven and Gemma look as if they’re bubbling over with happiness.

wedding bubble exit kiss

happy couple bubble exit wedding

The Second Event Attire

After waiting over two months to celebrate their union, Steven and Gemma chose a sunny day in March of 2021 to hold their belated wedding reception. Their beautiful and memorable celebration took place at Lucien’s Manor in Berlin, New Jersey. This gorgeous, family-owned venue has been in the events and planning business since 1898!

bride getting ready

We’re a bit obsessed with Gemma’s bridal robe, which she wore as she prepared for the celebration of her marriage two months prior.

beautifully unique nj wedding

However, Gemma’s second wedding gown, with its mermaid silhouette and intricate details of beading and lace, was completely alluring.

beautifully unique wedding nj

bridal wedding accessories

The collection of Gemma’s accessories on this gold mirror reminds J & J Studios of jewels in a crown. It seems fitting for this couple, who were given crowns to wear during their wedding ceremony!

beautiful unique lace cathedral veil

The edge of Gemma’s cathedral-length veil was lined with delicate lace. Tendrils of the lace crawled up from the hem of the long veil toward the bride. It was a dramatic, glamorous, and romantic effect when combined with Gemma’s dress and accessories.

bridesmaids silk pajamas dark green

Gemma gave all her bridesmaids forest green silk pajamas to wear as they did their hair and makeup. Those pajamas look so soft and comfortable – we’re actually a little jealous!

wedding party furs walking

wedding party fur and tuxedos

Gemma also had her bridesmaids wear furs to keep warm. Their brown color made a gentle contrast to the dresses that matched the color of their luxurious pajamas!

bride hairspray makeup

J & J Studios is quite proud of this shot of Gemma with her hair and makeup done, getting the final touch. We think the backlighting capturing the beads of hairspray in the air is dreamy!

beautiful unique bride nj

Wearing that striking crown and with her fetching looks, Gemma looks to us like a beauty queen who just won the competition of a lifetime!

bridal fur wedding winter

We thought that the fur Gemma wore over her gown to keep warm was a perfect touch! It mirrored the glamour of her gown while keeping her warm, and also didn’t block too much of the view of her dress. We also loved that it complemented the furs her bridesmaids wore, too.

unique groom socks present

How cute are these socks with Gemma’s face on them? What a sweet gift for her to get her husband, Steven!

Getting Ready to Celebrate

The groom and his groomsmen each chose a tiny bottle of liquor – perhaps for courage, or perhaps to get the party started early!

groom groomsmen toast


groom groomsmen liquor shot

Steven and Gemma chose to do a “first look.” A “first look” typically occurs on the wedding day. It’s a moment when the groom gets to see the bride in her wedding attire before the ceremony. Though Gemma and Steven didn’t have a traditional wedding with the reception immediately following the ceremony, the love and happiness these two newlyweds showed each other in this moment was quite touching.

happy groom first look reaction happy groom first look react

Steven looks like a child seeing all his presents on his birthday. We love how awed and excited his face is once he sees his wife!

first look hug

Steven and Gemma couldn’t help but hug after Steven saw Gemma in her second wedding dress.

The Wedding Reception

unique beautiful wedding reception decor

The groomsmen and bridesmaids made sure their entrances were memorable and amusing!

unique wedding party entrance unique bridesmaid groomsmen entrance unique bridesmaid entrance

The dance floor at Steven and Gemma’s wedding looked like a whole lot of fun! The colored uplighting and lights above the dance floor gave the reception a more party-like atmosphere.

unique wedding dancing wedding dancing bride

Everybody had been waiting months for a party, and they were beyond ready to enjoy themselves! The euphoria on the guests’ faces was a joyful sight to behold – and for J & J Studios to capture in photos!

wedding guests dancing

fun wedding dancing

J & J Studios thought that Gemma and Steven’s neon sign with their now-shared last name was a bright and fun touch. Now they can use it in their home as decor. The neon sign of their last name will also be a pleasant reminder of this exuberant event and celebration!

neon last name sign wedding

Steven and Gemma chose to display pictures of loved ones as part of their wedding reception decor. Doing this is a marvelous way to honor and remember the people who have helped create and shape the lives of the bride and groom, especially if they are no longer with us.

vintage wedding photos decor

The columns of sparks were lit again as Steven and Gemma cut their wedding cake.

nj wedding cake cutting

During their first dance, large columns of sparklers lit up the room around Steve and Gemma. We love the way the crystal chandeliers overhead captured the flecks of light! With the flames beside, the crystals above, the fog on the dance floor below, and the love evident between Steven and Gemma, it was truly a magical moment.

first dance wedding fog

Making Joyful Noises

The everyone had lots and lots of fun making joyful noise on this equally joyous occasion. Steven, the groom, joined a band member on the drum kit, while Gemma banged on a drum!

groom drum kit

bride playing drum

Later on in the night, Gemma got a hold of the microphone and serenaded her guests!

singing bride

Contact J & J Studios Today!

If you are interested in having J & J Studios capture your wedding ceremony and celebration, contact us today. We’d be thrilled to capture such an important day in both your lives, whether the reception takes place immediately after the reception, or even if there’s time in the middle!


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