It isn't uncommon that I absolutely adore the brides that I work with. I have been fortunate enough to have some really awesome ladies come my way and Brianne is absolutely no exception. However it's not every day that I absolutely adore their family and friends that surround them. I got to experience this with Briannes sweet, workhorse family members who worked their butts off the day before and the day of to make her special day all the more special.
Brianne and David got married at Briannes families lake house on Chautauqua lake. I also now know how to spell "Chautauqua" after misspelling it on about a dozen emails, programs and schedules. Just one of the many things I learn every day as a planner.
The always wonderful Stephanie and I drove up to NY on the Wednesday before the wedding to get settled in and put some final touches on some DIY items for the wedding. I love DIY brides so much because it's such a more intimate, involved practice and allows me to really get creative with the styling and little details that make the day special. For this wedding we created a large paper fan and pom pom wall for the cocktail hour, silver and carolina blue centerpieces as a nod to Davids school and simple white yet elegant details for the ceremony such as the silk cloth draped across the tree branch forming a pseudo-arch that looked similar to sails on a boat. I had so much fun making this beautiful ladies day special, exploring the small towns of Western NY and Northern PA and getting an entirely new perspective on folks up north ; ) All pictures are provided by Debby Morales of Deb & Matt Photo they were the sweetest, most professional people to work with and truly made everything look magical.
Brianne got ready in the lake house and Dave got ready in their sweet neighbor Karen and Petes cottage next door to prevent the bride and groom from seeing each other before she walked down the aisle. We created the aisle with flameless votive candles, faux white rose petals and pew bows on the chairs that doubled as reception seating. When on a budget I can't stress enough how doubling up on your seating use can save you! It ended under the draped fabric arch with a smattering of candles surrounding the couple and the pastor. The ceremony music was brought to us by Briannes friend, an amazing, grammy-award winning harpist which created the dreamiest setting for the couple and their family and friends.
Parker handed out program fans and table cards to guests as they departed the cocktail hour for the ceremony. This little guy was a true professional, asked all the right questions and problem solved when the wind got carried away. We can all take a note from Parkers professional handbook!
After guests enjoyed cocktail hour, played corn hole and signed their beautiful custom guestbook wedding frame it was time.
Presenting Mr. and Mrs. Stokes! I admit, I cried a tiny bit as Brianne walked down the aisle. Because of the situation of the houses and Kent, the harpist. I had to signal when David and Brianne were coming down the aisle for the appropriate music. I think because of emotions I ended up waving my arms like a madwoman instead of my simple "double thumbs up" that was agreed upon. But all in all I kept it together. After getting to know Brianne over the past few months I feel like she is a friend and seeing her glowing as she came down on her wonderful sister Noelle's arm turned me into a pile of mush. Trust me it would've done the same to you had you have been there!
One of my favorite parts of this wedding was all of the DIY elements. I brought the burlap runners which were cut from a large piece of fabric and left frayed at the endings to add a lovely rustic element. I painted the mason jars silver and Carolina blue in honor of Daves college. Lanterns were borrowed from a friend and a simple babies breath arrangement was placed in the jars so as not to distract away from the beautiful waterfront setting. All of the greenery? I brought some boxwood cuttings and the rest were actually pruned from some of the local landscaping! I love getting creative and using what we have around to make add that extra oomph. We actually joked about sneaking over to a local CVS that had the most beautiful white hydrangea blooms and clipping a few for the tables. I didn't actually do this, so you don't have to call the authorities or the mental hospital but I was at about 75% determination before we set the tables!
As the sun set across the water and the evening glow faded into a cool cobalt blue, the day sadly had to come to an end. But the laughter and love felt from all of the family and friends will last forever.