The Groom Arrived by Boat to This California Desert-Themed Jersey Shore Wedding

The couple’s beagle-hound mix, Sebago, was the “dog of honor.”

The Reeds at Shelter Haven wedding

Erika Hineman and Michael Stobbe’s Reeds at Shelter Haven wedding was inspired by the California desert and the Jersey Shore. Photography by MLE Pictures

Why not create a destination wedding in your own hometown? It’s not a bad idea, one that at least a few local folks have embraced. There was this desert-inspired shindig at the Horticulture Center, and even one at-home wedding in Delaware County that felt more like a trip to Mexico. And, now, we have a Palm Springs Meets the Jersey Shore theme at this Reeds at Shelter Haven wedding. MLE Pictures snapped all the cool moments, which you can see below.

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It’s fitting that Havertown duo Erika Hineman and Michael Stobbe said “I do” down the Shore: It’s where their story started, in the middle of Ocean Drive’s crowded bar. Mike, a recruitment manager from Hainesport, was living in North Carolina at the time, and a year went by before they reconnected after he moved back to town. Erika, a content strategist from Kennett Square, invited him to the 2017 Phillies home opener. Two years later, they got engaged at Longwood Gardens, a special place for Erika, who had visited often as a child. 

The two originally planned for a 180-person wedding at the Reeds at Shelter Haven last June, then moved it to September 6th. They were determined to keep that second date, even though New Jersey hadn’t eased restrictions. Mike’s mother had recently been diagnosed with an aggressive form of brain cancer. “It was important for us to move forward with the wedding in whatever way, shape or form,” says Erika. 

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They invited the majority of their guests to tune in virtually, sending bubbly for them to pop from afar. The 59 in-person attendees also received flutes of champagne when they arrived at the Big Day, which had a desert-boho theme: Palm Springs Meets the Jersey Shore. It came to life with sunny colors, dried materials and textures aplenty.

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Ten-plus types of dried palms, pampas grass, seed pods and tropical leaves were incorporated throughout the decor and surrounded the Erika + Mike-branded signage. The paper goods included day-of details such as sunglasses (encouraged) and masks (required). Guests were grouped into “pods” to minimize risk and seated at tables outfitted with centerpieces made of roses, carnations and amaranthus in rust, putty, peach, caramel and apricot hues. And Mike and his groomsmen arrived at the wedding via boat, which is one of his favorite memories.

There were many personal touches: The couple’s beagle-hound mix, Sebago, was the “dog of honor,” and Erika’s 88-year-old grandmother came down the aisle as the flower girl. (The signature strawberry jalapeño margarita was named after Sebago, too.)


Will the couple hold another larger celebration in the future? No, says Erika: “It was important to us to celebrate the moment fully.”

Photographer: MLE Pictures | Venue, Catering & Cake: The Reeds at Shelter Haven | Event Coordination, Design & Invitations: House of Catherine | Florals: Steele Orchid | Bride’s Gown: Made With Love from Lovely Bride | Bridesmaids’ Attire: BHLDN | Hair & Makeup: Salt Spa at the Reeds | Groom’s Attire: Sunsilk Tailor | Music: Hake & Jarema | Videography: BFA Productions (livestream only) | Rentals: Rustic Drift | Linens: Nüage Designs | Cocktail Napkins: For Your Party | Photo Booth: Blush Booths | Boat Driver: Doug Hopkins of Pursuit of Hoppiness Charters

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