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Exquisite Small Scale Wedding on Historic Estate in Union, New Jersey - Joel Simpson | Union, NJ Wedding, Portrait & Event Photography
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Exquisite Small Scale Wedding on Historic Estate in Union, New Jersey

A wedding doesn’t have to be big and elaborate to be memorable, gorgeous, and full of love. I recently photographed Karima and Richard’s wedding, held at Liberty Hall in Union, New Jersey (where I happen to live). Liberty hall is a historical gem. First built in 1772, was once owned by the Kean family, who gave land to build Kean University, which is across the street on Morris Avenue. The University now owns the estate, and it was added to the National Registry of Historic Places in 1972.

There are two main buildings on Liberty Hall’s grounds, a museum and a fifty-room Victorian Italianate  manor house, plus several out-buildings. Karima prepared in one of the spacious out buildings, and the wedding was held under a tent. Then the reception dinner was served in the glassed-in gallery of the manor house, overlooking the gardens. Karima had made sure to decorate the windows with tiny lights, that added to the festive atmosphere.

 The bridal party standing in front of the old-growth American chestnut tree in front of the house.

The grounds of the estate are quite varied, even though as estates go, it is not particularly large, just 140 acres. A huge American chestnut tree on a mound in front of the manor house was our setting and backdrop for the formal family and bride-and-groom portraits. There is also a charming arbor with old-growth trees on the property, which could be used for photographic purposes.

 The hedge labyrinth in the rear of the Manor House.
After the formal portraits, including the bridal party, I took the couple around to the other side of the house, to photograph them in the hedge labyrinth, which is one of the most unique features of the estate.
Karima & Richard in front of their engagement portrait with the good wishes of their guests, recreating the pose of the portrait.
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