So, I’ve been meaning to write this blog for quite a while. Yesterday was ten months since Mark and I got married on a beautiful day in October at the historic Glen Foerd Mansion. We had such a wonderful wedding, I wish I could do it again I’m going to share some of are amazing pictures by the fabulous TimCo Photographers and all the details that went into planning my wedding.
In an effort to save money I decided to make all of my own paper goods (save the dates, invites, programs, menus, place cards). I printed the top layer on pearl paper and layered it card stock and ribbon. I found matching envelopes on envelopes.com, they have a huge selection. On the right are the earrings I wore, which were my grandmothers.
I knew I wanted to wear a sparkly belt. The ones available at bridal shops are SO expensive so I looked into alternatives. I ended up buying a piece from MJ Trimming ($79/yard) and cutting it to fit my waist. My bridal shop sewed in eyelet clips for me and it fit perfectly.
My makeup artist was the fabulous Tina of Make Me Glam, I highly recommend her! On the right is the barrette I wore in my hair, found at a kiosk at the mall.Pronovias and purchased from The Wedding Pavilion in Paoli.
Originally I had this idea that I would do all of my flowers myself. My mom was a florist (she passed away 3 years ago) and I had helped her many times in her shop before, so I thought no problem Luckily someone who once worked with her, Tara Stemborski, offered to help – thank god she did. I was able to get all my flowers wholesale and put everything together with the help of Tara, Cindy (former employee of my moms shop and she now owns Clarks Flowers in Newtown) and my dad. Tara put together my bouquet and I added a broach that was my grandmothers. Since my mom couldn’t be at my wedding it was really important to me that I incorporate her into my day in various ways. The ring bearer pillow below was made using lace taken from my mom’s wedding dress. It turned out so beautifully. The pillow was made by the super sweet Silvia of Gorgeous Complements on Etsy; she also made my veil.
This hanger was a gift from my maid of honor. I know she got it on Etsy but I’m not sure which one. There are many Etsy vendors who sell similar hangers. As someone who has seen many hangers at various weddings be sure to look closely at the quality because it varies widely.
I love all these moments Tim captured of me getting ready.
Pink shoes by Kate Spade and found on clearance at the Saks outlet. I just love a good deal.
Mark and I exchanged gifts before the ceremony. His sweet card made me cry.
I saw this at a wedding I shot last year and decided to get one for Mark. It is a tie clip with our names and the date engraved on the back. This one is from Spiffing Jewelry on Etsy.
Love this shot of Mark and his groomsmen in various states of dress.
Mark’s wedding gift from me, a Burberry watch.
Mark and I opted to have a first look so that we could get most of our formal photos done before the ceremony and could enjoy cocktail hour (my favorite part of any wedding!).
Some of my favorite shots from our day are these first moments seeing each other. Mark is a big softy so I had been teasing him for months that he was going to cry, but neither of us did at the first look.
We had about an hour for all of the portraits of us and the bridal party. Love all of these.
This is Mark’s boutonniere, which I made for him (proud of myself!).
This picture cracks me up because it was kind of a fail. The girls were asked to raise our bouquets in the air… Leah is blocking Michelle, and my maid of honor Lauren raised the wrong hand The guys did a good job, though.
When guests started arriving we went back inside and waited in the bridal suite until the ceremony was to begin. As I mentioned earlier the bridal suite was just gorgeous so we took the time to do some bridal portraits. The shot on the left is one of my absolute favorites.
We wanted our ceremony to reflect us so we made it really personal. First of all, we decided to have a self uniting ceremony (legal in Pennsylvania thanks to the Quakers!). One of Mark’s groomsmen, Justin, lead the ceremony but technically we married ourselves. The book in the pictures has our entire ceremony (the readings, the vows, etc) written out so it makes a wonderful momento. We also did a wine ceremony in which we wrote love letters to each other and put them together with a bottle of wine in the box pictured and nailed it shut during the ceremony. The idea is that we will open it during a difficult time in our marriage and drink the wine and read our love letters to each other. Hopefully we will never need to do this and then we’ll open it on an anniversary in the distant future. The box is now displayed in our living room.
Mark walking in with his parents.
One of the other ways I wanted to remember my mom was to save a seat for her at the ceremony. My brother walked down the aisle with this bouquet of flowers and put it on the first seat in the front row in memory of her.
My dad walking me down the aisle. That on the right is me trying not to cry (see! having a first look doesn’t make the ceremony ANY less emotional or special). The photographer in me was thinking “oh no! the light is terrible!”. While the light looks beautiful in this direction, the light on the bridal party and Mark was super harsh and bright. Oh well
My handsome groom
Notice the giant fly buzzing between us?
Ah! The terrible light! But a beautiful view none the less. Glen Foerd Mansion is situated right on the river.
Crying like a big baby as Mark reads his vows, but a happy cry.
Married! The picture on the right is the reaction you get when you’re introduced by the wrong name. It was particularly funny as Justin, who lead the ceremony, has been a friend of Mark’s for more than a decade. Instead of introducing us as Mr. and Mrs. Mark Walter Smith he introduced us as Mr. and Mrs. Walter Smith (Walter Smith is Mark’s dads name!). So funny.
First moments as a married couple.
I wanted to incorporate a lot of personal details throughout the wedding. This is a display of family wedding photos. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find one of my mom’s parents (even though I can picture exactly where it should be), so I used an old picture of them at a formal event. We have a little display that says “advice for the happy couple” and we made fun little wedding mad libs for guests to fill out based on this post on theknot.com. They were totally fun to read afterward.
We had a signature drink that we called Ashley and Mark’s Love Potion, which is basically a Dirty Shirley – cherry vodka, sprite, grenadine – they were a hit!
Flowers were one of the most important things to me because they remind me of my mom and I just love flowers so much. I wanted a garden feel so I decided to have several small arrangements on each table. My dad and I did all of the vases for the tables. I think it turned out beautifully.
I found these frames on efavormart.com and printed the inserts myself using the font used throughout my wedding.
For our menus I designed them in photoshop (I just copied designs I liked online) and printed them through my lab on scalloped pearl paper. I added a little sparkle sticker to the top of each.
Mark and I opted to have a sweetheart table. The fireplace behind us was filled with the bridesmaids bouquets and surrounded by rose petals.
Since I’m a photographer I thought it would be a fun idea to put disposable cameras on each table with instructions for the guests. Unfortunately this wasn’t the best ides I’ve had as many (okay, fine, most) of the images didn’t turn out. Those little flashes just don’t do much.
In one more nod to my mom I included her favorite candy (chocolate covered cherries) as favors on the table with the tag “Love is Sweet”. I made the tags myself and just tied them with ribbon.
The one thing I want to redo when I look at the pictures is the cake. I think it looks naked. I should have had flowers throughout, but it tasted great! It was raspberry marble cake with chocolate mousse filling and buttercream frosting. The cake was displayed in the conservatory which was a glass covered room where dancing was held. Behind the cake you can see the dance floor surrounded by candlelight. We moved into the conservatory as the sun was setting.
First dance in the drawing room surrounded by all the people we love. We took dance classes but if I was going to do it over I wouldn’t. It was hard to follow the steps in my giant dress.
My made of honor Lauren gave a wonderful toast.
After dinner we snuck outside for a few more portraits at sunset. I always recommend this to my clients!
One of my favorite parts of the reception was our photobooth. I got a great deal on groupon Rather than having a traditional guestbook, we had everyone take a picture in the photobooth and then put the photostrip into a scrapbook and sign next to it. It turned out great! Guests got to keep a copy of their photos as well. Here are a few of my favorites.
We decided to splurge a bit and get a videographer and I’m so happy we did. I just love how our video turned out. This is the 3 minute trailer, but we also received a 20 minute feature as well as the ceremony, toasts, and dances unedited. Video by the wonderful Jacob Schroeder.
A few months ago I was thrilled to have our wedding featured on The Style Me Pretty Little Black Book Blog. I’m grateful to be on their recommended vendor list. To check that out click here.
On a final note, I highly recommend both Glen Foerd Mansion and Conroy Catering. Their staff went above and beyond to make our day perfect, including dealing with an unexpected guest and delivering the top layer of our wedding cake to our hotel at midnight after we accidentally left it behind.
If you made it this far, thanks so much for reading about my wedding.I hope some of my ideas will help in your wedding planning.