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A ”Grace Kelly Meets Ralph Lauren” Wedding in New Jersey

By Alexandra Macon | Photography by 

Kate Headley

Sarah Keane, an account executive for Ralph Lauren, first met Brian Lord, an account manager at Acquire Media, when they were both in high school, although fate decided they would wait until after college to fall in love after reconnecting at an Irish pub in their hometown—they can thank the luck of the Irish!

Seven years after they started dating, Brian proposed while on vacation in New Orleans. “He proposed under a beautiful singing oak tree,” Sarah remembers. “It’s strung with a set of wind chimes that ring a pentatonic scale.”

Since the two fell for each other in their hometown, they both agreed they wanted to celebrate their wedding in Rumson, New Jersey, as well. The two wanted a “Grace Kelly meets Ralph Lauren” aesthetic, and found just what they were looking for at the Rumson Country Club Riverhouse. “The minute we walked in, we knew that was the perfect venue for us.” Set by the river with teak wood and crisp white whiles, the couple worked with event planner Cristina Calvert to create a blue and white wedding. “Maybe it’s because I have worked at Ralph Lauren for over a decade, and blue and white is now part of my DNA, but I’m a total sucker for anything in that color palette,” Sarah adds.

When looking for her wedding dress, Sarah was prepared for a long search. “I thought I would be the bride that would end up having to try on 100 wedding dresses before making a decision,” she says. “During our first appointment, my mom and I walked into the dress shop and I was looking around when my mom pointed to a gown on a mannequin and said, ‘try that one, I think that’s the one.’ Sure enough, the first dress I tried on was the one I went with—mom knows best!”

On July 29, Sarah and Brian tied the knot in front of friends and family at the Rumson Country Club. “We decided not to do a first look so our ceremony was the first time we had seen each other that day,” she says. “It was incredibly special walking down the aisle and seeing Brian at the end.”

After the ceremony was over, guests entered the Riverhouse and were greeted with mini appetizers, such as crab cake and shrimp po’ boys, and mini cocktails. Dinner followed after, with speeches from the matron of honor and best man, and then it was time for the cake cutting. Illustrator Arabella June brought Sarah and Brian’s love story to life through artwork and symbols that was then placed around the couple’s wedding cake. “We loved how each picture held such a meaningful significance in our story together, but my favorite part of it might have been the back” Sarah explains. “Brian went to Disney World with his family almost every year as a child and they are some of his best memories. We always joked that when we retire, we are going to move to Florida and he’s going to be the monorail driver. I had Arabella illustrate a pair of Mickey and Minnie ears and had our cake designer, Kate Sullivan of Cake Power, put the illustration on the back of the cake as a surprise to Brian. I loved seeing the pure joy on his face when he saw it. It was priceless.”

Throughout the wedding, there were authentic blue and white chinoiserie ginger jars sourced from Hong Kong with bright blooms and cascading berry vines. Arabella June also created the couple’s custom crest and monogram using the jars as inspiration. “The design elements were definitely my favorite part of the planning process,” Sarah says. “Each and every element we picked was carefully selected not just to fit with the theme, but to be meaningful and personal.”

After dinner, the couple danced to “Forever” by the Beach Boys, the groom’s favorite band. And once the reception was over, an after-party at the hotel continued until late at night. “I’m sure you hear brides say all the time that it’s crazy how quick the day goes by,” Sarah adds. “One piece of advice we got from our planner Cristina was to sneak in a few minutes after our sunset photos to look around and see everyone we love and care about in one room and that they are all there to celebrate us. That was one of my favorite moments of the whole night.”