Lisa & Nate: Married!
How long have you two been together?
Tell us your story!
We met about ten years ago working together. After both getting different jobs, we didn't see each other for a couple of years before (literally) bumping into each other in a gas station. After that we saw each other here and there a few times (accidentally on purpose) before we went out on our first actual date. We moved in together about a year and a half later, and bought our house a couple years after that. October 4, 2015 was our first day off together in two weeks so we planned a day out and about just the two of us. We went to lunch then a local apple orchard we had gone to the year before and really liked. The weather was gorgeous and we just sat in the grass at the top of the hill in the orchard and you could see for miles. We decided to get up and continue our apple picking- I stood up, turned and put my hand out to help him up and he got up onto his knee and asked me to marry him! I was so stunned I couldn't even speak, I just kissed him! He leaned back and said, "so is that a yes?" After that we went to a wine tasting at a local vineyard and dinner at one of our favorite restaurants. It was such an amazing day from start to finish!
Describe what your wedding day style or vision was in one sentence:
We wanted it to show who we are as a couple- simple and fun, with good food and drinks shared with friends and family.
Wedding day color scheme and/or theme:
Turquoise with yellow accents and a sunflower theme
What was your biggest wedding planning challenge, and how did you overcome it?
We had basically the most DIY wedding ever, so it was a LOT of work! We liked to refer to it as "a labor of love!" The plus side to doing it the way we did was that we were able to really customize everything so it was exactly what we wanted. The challenges came when we had something in mind and it didn't pan out the way we anticipated, which happened a few times! The biggest was probably that I was stubborn and had my mind set on having homemade fondant sunflowers to decorate the cake and cupcakes and wound up in a fight with Mother Nature. It was hot and humid, which is not conducive to making and working with fondant. I threw out a few batches before FINALLY getting one to work well enough to be usable! They took me hours to make and get ready to put on the 140-something cupcakes that my aunts spent hours baking (in addition to all of the other baked goods and food they prepared!!) But eventually, they turned out amazing!
What was the most memorable and/or the funniest part of your wedding planning?
I think the biggest thing for me was really seeing all our family and friends band together and be so ready and willing to help us out because they knew we were doing it ourselves. We did a huge buffet, with a full appetizer round, followed by dinner with a 175lb pig which was roasting outside the hall all day, and then cupcakes and a ton of assorted desserts! Our families made a bunch of the dishes for the appetizers and the dinner, and my aunts came with a car load of amazing desserts! We were lucky enough to have some friends that went to the hall early to set up the food while we were having the ceremony, which was a godsend because of the timing of it all and choosing not to have a caterer, there was no way we could have gotten the food out in time for the guests without serious help!! Our bridal party was absolutely amazing in helping with the decorating and the clean up, and keeping us sane during the whole process! I am truly just overwhelmed with gratitude to have the amazing people we have in our lives!
You had a really special ceremony. Tell us about that:
Our ceremony was on the smaller, more intimate side, at Nate's parents' house on the water. The guests stood on the deck looking down at the bridal party in the yard right in front of the water. Nate's father built an arbor for us to stand under and stained it to match their deck. (it has now shifted to become the entrance to the water, which is pretty cool for us to think about every time we walk through it going down to the dock.) Nate's mom put sunflowers in flower boxes which decorated the deck and on either side of the arbor. Our fathers both got ordained and performed the ceremony together. It was so much more meaningful for us to have our dads be the ones performing the ceremony than just hiring a random stranger. I don't think anything really proves how much we both lucked out in the in-law department as much as knowing that each other's father likes us enough to be the one performing the ceremony! It was also really nice to see their bond as friends shine through throughout the process. The two of them alternated readings, and my father asked Nate if he would take me as his wife, and his father asked me if i would take Nate as my husband, which we thought was a really great touch. The bridesmaids wore different styles of turquoise lace dresses and yellow shoes with bouquets of sunflowers and white daisies tied together with yellow ribbon, and the groomsmen wore turquoise paisley ties, and of course our dog had a bow tie to match! Our dads' ties were yellow in the same paisley print, and Nate's was matching in silver. It was really amazing for us to have that intimate experience with the people we are the closest to in the world- our best friends by our sides, and close family as witnesses.
Our reception was at a private, log cabin style hall owned by a foundation that Nate and his friends are a part of. This was a huge bonus for us because we were able to get in there a couple days beforehand to decorate and have an extra day after to clean up (which came in really handy, being that it doesn't come with people who do that kind of thing for you!) We were able to decorate however we wanted as long as everything went back to its place when we were done.
As far as decor, we went pretty simple. Turquoise and yellow paper lanterns hung from the ceilings. We had white linens on the tables, the centerpieces were wine bottles (a different bottle on each table) with a single sunflower and a stem of ivory stock in each bottle, atop a wooden turquoise circle for a pop of color. There is a large bulletin board which we decorated with a collage of our RSVP cards and a few faux sunflowers and "THANK YOU" across the top. There is a gorgeous large, stone fireplace, the mantle was decorated with yellow and turquoise mason jars with candles, as well as a couple of custom personalized carved bamboo cutting boards we had received as gifts. In the fireplace itself, we had an array of pillar candles which looked really nice, considering it was way too hot to light an actual fire! My father and I made a backdrop for a "photo booth" and set up a whole corner for that, with props and an instant camera (with a sign encouraging them to take more than one photo so they could keep one and leave one for us in a scrapbook we had set up there as well). For favors, we had personalized sunflower seed packets (designed by one of my fabulous bridesmaids!) and hand cut, glued and filled (another labor of love).
For a "guest book" I painted a canvas turquoise and cut pieces of cardstock and glued it in the shape of a sunflower for each guest to sign a petal. For food, we did a massive multi-course buffet. We ordered a couple of dishes from the restaurant group Nate works for, and a few of our family and friends made some of our favorite dishes to go on the buffet as well. When guests arrived the appetizers were laid out (courtesy of some amazing friends who went to the hall early to get all of that ready while we were at our ceremony). The main attraction, however, was the 175lb pig we had roasting outside the hall all day! A bunch of people camped out at picnic tables near the roasting pit to take advantage of the samples being handed out as it cooked! We had made large batches of a red and a white sangria, and had a couple of kegs set up at a beverage table.
For dessert, we had a 7 tier tower of cupcakes with fondant sunflowers and a small personal cake for us. In addition to baking 140-something cupcakes, my aunts also made a large array of other assorted amazing desserts! It was definitely a day full of amazing food! It was definitely not your traditional structured wedding reception. We didn't have a DJ, or toss the bouquet. We did our cake cutting in private- which I was very nice and polite about, for the record. My husband, on the other hand, managed to get cake not only up my nose, but also got it stuck in my nose ring! My amazing best friend made an amazing speech, and my beautiful 15 year old niece had pretty much the entire room in tears with her speech! She is still pretty impressed with how many people she made cry! The night wound down with a thinned out crowd having a dance party after the tables got folded up and pushed to the side, and then ended with a bonfire in the field behind the hall. It was hands down the most amazing day we could have asked for, and the best day of our lives.
What advice would you like to impart to other brides?
Be true to what you and your partner dream of for your wedding day. Just remember that at the end of the day, it's about the two of you, and all that really matters is you're married to the person you love and you get to spend the rest of your life with them.
What is your favorite wedding day memory?
I think the most memorable thing that happened was having a boat drive by in the middle of my vows, honk, and yell "DON'T DO IT!" Their timing could not have been more impeccable, or hilarious! Some people would probably have been offended by that, but we really all just thought it was funny!
At Nate's parents' home on Quaddick Pond in Thompson, CT
Camp Waldron, North Grosvenordale, CT
Quaddick Pond State Park Thompson, CT
Bridesmaids flowers: ordered loose and put together by the bridal party!
Cake / Dessert:
Homemade by the bride's aunts
select items were ordered from Bocado & Mezcal
homemade by the bride & her father
Bride: What is the best part (so far) about being married?
After being together for so long, we didn't really think it would feel any different to have a piece of paper that says we're married, but it kind of does! I sound super cheesy but I really just love being able to call him my husband.
Groom: What is the best part (so far) about being married?
Getting to see her smile every day and knowing she is happy.
I have known the amazing Kara Emily Krantz for about 10 years now, and could not have been more honored or excited to have her be the one to capturethe best day of my life on film. I actually can't imagine having a different photographer shoot our wedding. I have seen her work over the years and have always loved her style of photography. She captured all of the shots we requested and an amazing array of other artistic ones, some of my bouquet, my "something blue" which was a piece of my late grandfather's tie that my aunt made for me and was pinned into my dress, our rings, and even some of the personalized gifts we received! We have gotten so many compliments from everyone who has looked at our pictures! I lost count of how many times I've been told they should be in a magazine! I may be slightly biased, but I couldn't agree more! Not only because they're pictures of my wedding, but because it would give Kara the recognition she deserves as an amazing photographer. Kara customized a package for us to fit what we were looking for in our somewhat unconventional wedding day to make sure we captured everything that was important to us. My father noted that "her finger did not stop clicking the entire day" which means, she literally captured every amazing moment! Our biggest struggle is trying to narrow down the list of favorite photos! I would highly recommend Kara Emily Krantz Photography and I know that you will not be disappointed in the quantity or the quality of her work if you hire her to shoot your wedding.