Kelly Patricia Quackenbush and Cory Busbee Sullivan met on Bumble and both wanted to get married somewhere close to home. He grew up in New Jersey, and both of her parents were raised there. And so, the fact that the Garden State would be their wedding destination was practically written in the stars. Kelly’s parents got married at St Rose of Lima and had their reception at the Baltusrol Golf Club in Springfield. The couple decided to keep that tradition alive for their October 2019 wedding.
Aesthetically, the bride opted for white and green florals in the reception space, filled with candlelight and amber hues to create an intimate dinner party ambiance. Erin Sprecht of J&M Floral and Event helped bring this idea to life with larkspur, hydrangea, ranunculus, and eucalyptus. To help plan everything, the couple hired Hannah Elsaesser of Eloquence around six months out.
The night before the wedding, Cory and his mother hosted the rehearsal dinner at Riverpark in New York City. “Cory worked for Chef Tom Colicchio for more than five years,” Kelly explains. “And in addition to being an incredible mentor to him, Tom and his team created a truly amazing evening.” The delicious meal consisted of handmade agnolotti, seared scallops, and an amazing duck dish.
The next morning, Kelly and her bridesmaids got ready at her grandmother’s home before the ceremony. “There are now two sets of photographs of brides getting ready in my mother’s childhood bedroom, which I love,” she shares.
After wedding dress shopping in Hong Kong, where Kelly’s sister lives, and New York City, the bride-to-be kept thinking back to a strapless, tulle Oscar de la Renta gown. “Funnily enough, when I started the process, I thought I would hate strapless and tulle…” she admits. “But I just loved how elegant the lines of the dress were mixed with a floral texture that I had yet to see before.”
To complete her bridal ensemble, Kelly also wore a matching veil, Manolo Blahnik slingback pumps, and her mother’s diamond earrings and diamond bracelet. “My grandmother also lent me this beautiful pearl heart brooch that I wore right on my hip,” she says. “It has been a tradition for all women in my family to wear it when getting married.”
Cory looked handsome in a custom tuxedo from Knot Standard and Stubbs & Wootton velvet slippers that Kelly gifted him. “He looked painfully handsome,” the bride remarks. And groomsmen wore black tuxedos and boutonnieres with golf tees, as a nod to the groom’s love of the game and the venue. Kelly’s two maids of honor wore Saloni and Temperly London, while the mother-of-the-bride chose a classic Carolina Herrera design.
At the church where Kelly was baptized, the bride walked down the aisle to Cory and their Catholic ceremony began. “From the moment the church doors opened and I saw Kelly in her wedding dress for the first time, all I could keep thinking was how beautiful she is and how lucky I am,” the groom remembers.
“Some of my favorite moments were when family members participated in readings and hymns, as well as when one of the flower girls, Billie Grace, sang ‘Ave Maria’ for all,” Kelly says of the ceremony. “It was incredibly beautiful and special as she actually sang the same song a few years back at my grandfather’s memorial service.”
Once pronounced husband and wife, the newlyweds went off to take portraits, while guests enjoyed a cocktail hour at the golf club. For dinner, a delicious crab cake was served first, followed by red snapper and filet mignon. “Even though everyone told us beforehand that we wouldn’t really have time to enjoy the meal, we were able to sneak in plenty of bites,” Kelly says. “It was all super delicious!”
Caroline’s Cakes, a family favorite based in South Carolina, created the main carrot wedding cake, which was served along with a larger dessert bar filled with treats from Cory’s cousin, who owns Sully and Vanilla.
Once the sugar high kicked in, Atomic Funk Project started playing, and everyone hit the dance floor. “I was able to convince Cory to take some dance lessons before the big day,” Kelly explains. “It definitely paid off.”
For this portion of the evening, Kelly changed into a sparkly blue Markarian look, on loan from her bridesmaid, Christina. And immediately after the sparkler exit, guests filed into buses, supplied with mini champagne bottles and Wendy’s, headed for Primo’s in Tribeca. “We had the best time sipping on Negronis and espresso martinis late into the night,” the bride says. “Cory and I spent our wedding night at The Beekman just down the way—the perfect ending to a perfect day!”