The Wedding of ...
Erin Whitehorn & Michael Herbert
Ceremony: Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Reception: The Westin Governor Morris Hotel
Gown: Pronovias, at Elizabeth Johns
Photographer: Mekina Saylor Weddings
Makeup & Hair: REFeyeANCE
Florist: Conroy's Florist & Tuxedo
Cake: Palermo’s Custom Cakes
Band: Elite Sound Entertainment
"Glamorous & Alluring"
Mike and I met at our mutual friend’s Super Bowl party. He was a junior at a local all-boys school and I was a sophomore at a local all-girls school. It took a long time for him to convince me to go on a date, and when I finally said yes we spent two and a half hours talking in the local Panera. It was like I had known him forever and I couldn’t believe I waited so long to begin dating this wonderful guy.
We were long distance for five years, while I went to college for psychology and education and Mike pursued his military education at the New Mexico Military Institute for one year before attending The United States Military Academy. I would wake up at three in the morning and drive four and a half hours from my college, Hobart and William Smith, to spend time with him during football game weekends. The year we graduated, he proposed!
One of our friends is a photographer and we’ve done photoshoots with her to build her portfolio. Mike had her ask me to do a photoshoot at a beach on the Jersey Shore. I thought nothing of it, happily going through the poses she was asking us to do. She instructed me to turn my back to Mike, then turn around and run at him when she said go. I turned around to find him on one knee. The photos show me realizing he was proposing and I treasure those photos. He planned a big dinner back at our house to celebrate with our immediate family.
Shortly after, we moved to Georgia where Mike began his Basic Officer Leadership Course. We had four days to find a venue and I spent every hour researching. The Westin Governor Morris had our date, a hotel to accommodate our out-of-town guests, and could comfortably seat up to 350 people. We went for a tour and the ballroom was alluring with glamorous chandeliers and a neutral color palette. We met Julie Olsen, senior catering manager, who became my go-to person. We clicked instantly and I was comfortable planning my wedding from afar, knowing she would be helping me. She made every effort to alleviate my stress. She was always prompt answering my emails, answered the phone for my urgent calls, and helped me fit various appointments in my two-day visits from Georgia. She was really flexible with my schedule and always easy to contact.
After being married at a local church, we headed to Washington’s Headquarters near The Westin to take photos, due to its military and historical significance, two very important themes in our lives. Arriving at The Westin, we went to the bridal suite to bustle my dress and freshen up, then went to enjoy our cocktail hour. It was on the Promenade outside the ballroom and had phenomenal food. We had a “Taste of New Jersey” station, a mouth-watering mac and cheese bar, and fun signature drinks. My cousin, a professional pianist, was kind enough to play fun songs for the hour. We had a memory table honoring loved ones who’ve passed away, knowing they would be there if they could and wanting to make it feel as though they were.
Our vision was refined black-tie elegance without too much excess. We had pink and white floral arrangements at different heights on our tables, white tablecloths, navy napkins, gold chairs, and amber uplighting, to create an inviting ambiance. The colors went beautifully with the military uniforms. Elite Sound Entertainment was excellent. They provided the best DJ experience I’ve ever had. Our first dance had the “dancing on a cloud” experience. The lights reflecting off the chandeliers were absolutely enchanting. They brought a photo booth which yielded some hysterical photos and an independent photographer, whose photos projected on a TV throughout the wedding.
For dinner, our first course was a tomato and mozzarella tower, followed by orecchiette pasta with Italian mushrooms. Our entrée choices were French cut chicken breast, petit filet mignon, and seared salmon. The Westin always provides vegan and gluten-free options upon request. We both really enjoyed the steak and had been looking forward to it since our tasting! In addition to our wedding cake, The Westin provided a New York style cheesecake. All the food was above and beyond our expectations!
Thank you to both our mothers who kept me from going crazy while planning! They helped me wherever and whenever they could. Thank you to my parents, without whom we couldn’t have had our dream wedding. (At the bride’s request, please note that this “is not sponsored by the US Army.”)
The Westin Governor Morris Hotel, Morristown, NJ