Kristen & Joe :: Married :: Old Sturbridge Village, Stubridge, MA
It's funny, we never had a formal proposal. We were sitting there next to each other one night, and I happened to mention how I would marry Joe in a heartbeat if he asked. A few months later, in a sort of coy fashion, I asked if we could go look at "jewelry", and he knew exactly what I meant. We looked and looked and ended up at Tiffany. At one point I looked at Joe and said, "Wait, this is really happening?!" They opened some champagne for us and sent us on our way with a little bottle of Veuve Clicquot that we saved and opened on our wedding day.
We wanted something classic and traditional, with little unique personal elements here and there.
Wedding Color Scheme and Theme:
Neutrals with pops of blue, with a rustic touch.
What was your biggest wedding planning challenge, and how did you overcome it?
The biggest challenge was coordinating all of our families and friends since they're spread out around the country. The majority of planning was actually not bad because we got as much done before my students went into competition season, and then I had most of the summer to get the rest of things accomplished.
The First Look
We were concerned about not having enough daylight for photos after the wedding, so we opted for a first look. I feel like they're supposed to be sentimental and serious, but as I came up behind Joe, he started singing the "Jaws" theme music. I was supposed to tap him on the shoulder, but I realized there were all these little flies from a nearby tree that had landed on them, so instead of sweetly tapping him, I just started dusting off all the little bugs! It was definitely true to us though - we wouldn't have wanted it any other way.
Our ceremony was like a real life fairy tale. The ceremony and reception took place at Old Sturbridge Village, so we opted to have guests driven to the ceremony site in a horse-drawn carryall. The ceremony itself took place outside in the Salem Towne Garden in front of the grapevine trellis. The weather could not have been more perfect. In what seemed like a never-ending slew of 90+ degree days with oppressive humidity, our wedding weekend were the only days that were in the mid-70s. My father and I took a surrey to the ceremony, and it was absolutely gorgeous. I felt like Cinderella.
The pastor of my church, whose children I'd also had as students, officiated. I've known Pastor John White and his wife and kids for almost 15 years, so he really knows us well. He gave what many told us was the most personal ceremony they'd ever attended. Pastor John is very much a fan of theater, so we had him do all the readings. One of the readings in particular, which happened to be from Winnie the Pooh, made both of us cry like crazy. We used Joe's late grandfather's handkerchief to wipe away our tears of happiness.
We couldn't have asked for a more perfect reception. Throughout the evening, we felt the love of being surrounded by our closest family and friends. The food was amazing, and the staff even reminded us to eat, taking care of us as if we were family. Throughout the Oliver Wight Tavern, we tried to incorporate little touches of us. Table numbers were attached to bourbon bottles filled with twinkle lights, since Joe and I enjoy trying different whiskies as a hobby. Each table had a different bottle we'd tried together. At the guest book table, we included photos of Joe and I from when we were in elementary school and had school pictures with the "laser" background that we all thought was so cool at the time.
The highlight of the reception was definitely the live band. We hired Honey Train, and they were a blast. Being a musician, most of my friends are also musicians or dancers, so we knew that having great music was a must! The band was a huge hit, and the dance floor was packed the whole evening.
All of the speeches were beautiful, and each had a little moment that made it special. When Joe's dad went to speak, there was an audible rustle of gasps and whispers as family saw him putting on glasses, something he NEVER does, so they knew how serious he was. When my father spoke, he mentioned how I'd told him Joe was the first person I'd ever met who had no "red flags". At the very end of the speech, my dad walked over to Joe and I and said, "I have something you can burn now." Out of his suit pocket (which happened to be a brand new suit that he'd bought just for our special day), he pulled a handful of tiny red flags for cake decorating. We instantly started laughing and crying simultaneously. A week after the wedding, Joe and I had a fire on our patio and burned the little flags before making smores. We made sure to send my dad a picture.
What advice would you like to pass on to other brides?
Our wedding planning was a joy and a breeze compared to stories I've heard. Our biggest suggestion would be to keep your focus on what's really important - the fact that you're marrying your husband or wife to be. We definitely hit some snags along the way, and not everything went smoothly, but we tried to laugh it all off over a beverage and stay excited about the process. I will say that we tried to be as organized as possible. Every weekend, we had a plan for something else we could accomplish. We scheduled our wedding preparation around my busy times at work. It was a huge help, and it allowed us to enjoy the months leading up to the wedding instead of going crazy.
(Also, the sparkly "bride" flip-flops I bought were a lifesaver when it came to the reception!)
What were you most concerned about regarding your wedding photography?
Neither of us really enjoy having our photos taken. We were nervous that we wouldn't like how we looked in photos, we were worried we'd run out of daylight, and we were worried we'd forgotten to request certain shots.
Everything ended up turning out perfectly. We rushed a bit after the ceremony, but we got some absolutely STUNNING photos and were able to really take advantage of the incredible scenery of Old Sturbridge Village.
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!
Ceremony, Reception & Portrait Venue:
Old Sturbridge Village, Stubridge, Massachusetts
Carbonneau Bridal (ceremomy dress)
David's Bridal (after dinner dress)
Hair: Hollie Asquith from Luxe Salon, Auburn, MA.
Makeup: Melissa MacGrory from Epic Beauty Photography and
Makeup, Oxford, MA
Green Thumb Florist, Brimfield, MA
Cake / Dessert:
Francesco's Italian Bakery, Charlton, MA
Custom suits from Men's Wearhouse