A Surprise Arch for the Bride: Coast Guard Wedding by Stephen DeVries

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June in Jersey City, New Jersey, is a fine time for a wedding — especially a wedding on the waterfront, as can be seen with this couple in these pictures from Stephen DeVries. The bride wears a delicate lace-topped gown and sweet veil, carries yellow roses, and has flower girls in blue with yellow garlands in their hair. The Liberty Landing ferry takes her over to Maritime Parc, specially reserved for this celebration this day. She pauses for photos with family and attendants — her maid of honor in deep blue satin, the groomsmen in black tie. But this is a Coast Guard wedding, too: the processional is handled by bagpipers, and as the couple says their vows with the skyline at their back, her groom is in full dress whites…then surprises her by processing her under an arch of swords after the ceremony!

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Pictures follow, with both the honor guard and the musicians, and then it’s time to party. The wedding cake has chocolate frosting, white garlands, and a dancing couple atop it — the groom in full military dress. Changing into his black tie for the reception, the groom leads his bride to their sit-down dinner, then out onto the dance floor with every bit the polish of an officer and a gentleman. Mothers wearing yellow corsages get their dances with the groom, while the flower girls twirl on the arms of grandparents. As a finale to the night, the bride doesn’t toss her bouquet; instead, she hands it to a grandmother, in a gracious gesture of honor and love. The harbor is alight…as are the newlyweds’ smiles, as they begin the first day of their future together.

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