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Our Wedding Day: Springtime in the Enchanted Garden



It’s been at least a month since my last blog post & though they’re far and few between, I still love doing them even though I’m not too consistent with it. That being said, I’d like to write a little bit of a personal post today (but don’t worry, there will still be some DIY goodness that you can get your hands on!). I wanted to do this post because I love reading personal posts from the bloggers I follow. It makes me feel more connected to them & their lives, not just their content. So I thought in order for you all to peek more into my life, I’d share a bit about my wedding day (I also have plans for future DIY posts for some of the wedding decorations that I made)


Two months ago (my intent was to post this in April but as you can see I am severely behind), I celebrated my 1 year anniversary of marriage to my husband! I honestly can’t believe how quickly the year has gone! The day seems so far away, yet it also seems like yesterday (which I know sounds really cliché). I think it’s because so much has changed between this year & last year. Instead of celebrating our anniversary on a different continent with some pasta, champagne, & dessert, I spent it on the couch with some mac & cheese and my husband spent it on Zoom calls all day because of COVID-19. It’s a really odd feeling.


It’s true what they about all the “hype” & build up until the wedding day but then when you finally get to that day the moments are so fleeting. It’s honestly kind of heartbreaking. I remember the day after the wedding, I think I was in a bit of a shock… like…what do I do now? I had spent every free moment for the past 2 years planning in between job changes, education, & moving to a different state so when the day finally arrived, it felt a little like it was happening to someone else. Does that make sense?


We got married on April 6th 2019, in Lancaster, PA (not too far from where my husband and I grew up) surrounding by amazing friends & family, and as in my nature, I planned everything (or so I thought, to a T).


I owe all of the success to those amazing family members & friends that helped contribute to our special day. My best friend (who was also my maid of honor) flew multiple times across the country from LA to PA to attend bridal showers, bridesmaids dress try-ons, & bachelorette parties & my treasured friend from where I live now drove 7 hours from New Hampshire to help me set up the ceremony & reception venue the day before. My grandmother & grandfather gifted us our wedding cake, my aunt, who is a florist, did all my flowers, my grandmother-in-law pitched in to make copious amounts of desserts for our dessert table, my grandfather (along with my father) drove me to the church in his Mini Cooper, my parents helped with everything under the sun, & my maternal grandmother, who unfortunately passed away a few years before, left me money for something extremely special, which is what I used to purchase my wedding dress. All of those personal touches are what made the day something I will cherish for the rest of my life.

THEME & COLORS


My theme was a combination of Edwardian English Garden wedding & whimsical woodland fairytale (because I could not for the life of me decide between the two! Any why should you have to right?!). Since we were getting married in April, I wanted the palette to reflect the soft colors of Spring, so I went with lilac, wisteria, & sage green hues and make sure to have lots of greenery.


For those who like to wander, this one’s for you. I am a huge travel lover & try to travel as much as I can. When I travel, it is important to me to experience the history of that destination. In fact, one of my main purposes & reasons for travel is rooted in my love of history. I typically gravitate towards destinations that hold a specific interest for me, whether that be a captivating historical event or even an appealing era of history. So, you can be sure that I will be sharing my pictures, recommendations, & experiences, as well as the history related to the specific areas I have traveled in hopes that it inspires you to visit. And by all means, I encourage you to share your travel destinations & experiences with me!


VENUE (RECEPTION & CEREMONY)


RECEPTION


I think I only toured about 3 venues when looking for a spot to have the wedding reception (and honestly I toured those 3 because I felt like I needed to give myself options). But I knew from the moment I set foot into the first venue it was where I wanted to have my reception.


The reception was hosted at Bear Mill Estate which is nestled in the rolling hills of Lancaster County. It is a beautiful stone gristmill that was built in the 1730’s & recently restored by a gentleman who was family friends with the previous owners.


The venue itself is built with beautiful old stone & there’s plenty of weeping willows by the pond & the gentle rushing of the river that would turn the gristmill. There’s two old stone fireplaces (one upstairs & one downstairs) that they decorate with fresh flowers for Spring. There was a stone dancefloor, a fire pit for S’mores, and a back patio for guests to sit & chat. The downstairs also has large comfy couches for guests to mingle, a bar, an old grand piano to be played by a hired musician (or even just friends and family), & an original stained glass window from an old church nearby. The upstairs came complete with old wooden doors, beautiful stone walls, open rafters, antique lighting, & handcrafted Lancaster County wooden barn tables.


I think my favorite parts about the venue were that the atmosphere filled with so much history & that it honestly felt like a space guests could move about so freely that they didn’t have to feel like they needed to be planted into their seat the entire night.


CEREMONY

We chose to have our ceremony at a local Catholic church in downtown Lancaster – St. Joseph’s. The church has these very beautiful old doors at the front & the interior of the church is absolutely stunning.


DECOR & FAVORS


To give the enchanted forest/whimsical garden feeling, I wanted a lot of the décor to be special to us, in fact, most of the décor was straight from my decorations that I use around my house, but I also wanted to incorporate the natural hues of Spring in subtle floral ways (like the greens & purples).


The wedding favors were another decision that I wanted to be deliberate about, but also wanted to didn’t want to spend a ton of money on because I wanted to allocate it to other things that were more important to me. I knew this was another opportunity where I could do a DIY project to save some money in the budget. I wanted to stick to the whimsical garden/enchanted forest theme, so naturally I scrolled through Etsy for some inspiration. I discovered the most delicate, beautiful seed packet wedding favors & figured it would be fairly easy to replicate them. So I set to work with the small amount of free time I had & created each seed packet one by one (I made a total of 175 – I hope to also post a DIY on this project as well). I even displayed them in cute little vintage drawers with moss lining the bottom.


TABLES

For the tables, I handcrafted all of my table numbers (I have a DIY post planned for these in the future) out of moss to go in the center of the tables.



I purchased some gauzy, flowy mauve table runners from Etsy as the base of the table setting.

Then used my collection of old books, along with brass candlesticks, and vintage bottles to hold a few springs of asparagus fern and stock flower as the “centerpieces”


THE SIGNAGE/SEATING CHART


I handmade the bride & groom signs for the back of our chairs, the Jane Eyre quote sign (as an ode to my favorite novel) & the giant “C & A” lettering to be hung on the old grist mill doors (I have DIY posts planned for these as well).



The seating chart was also made entirely by me (are you sick of hearing “I have a DIY post planned for this” yet?) out of items gathered from the craft store.



OTHER DÉCOR

For the rest of the décor, most of it was decorations that I had brought from my home, like the crystals/gemstones, faux plants to put on desert tables, moss picture frames, & wooden lanterns to add


PHOTOGRAPHER

Lindsey Ford Photography is honestly one of the first vendors I booked because she was just so dang talented & we connected from the moment we met. She honestly was like a long-lost best friend. It was extremely important to me to have a photographer that I really meshed well with because I was a bit camera shy & awkward, & at that time I really didn’t like having my picture taken.


She made the process so easy & enjoyable. We also had the privilege of getting to spend some time with her and her husband in Ireland for a honeymoon photo shoot at various locations along the west coast of Ireland. We got along so we that I consider both her and her husband good friends!


FLOWERS

I knew from the time I was young that I wanted my aunt to do my flowers. She is a florist by trade who owned her own flower shop & I have such fond memories of the countless hours spent in her shop as a kid, sitting on my very own stool mesmerized by her floral crafting. For my flowers, I wanted to go with something that looked like you pulled the arrangement straight out of a fresh Spring garden but I also wanted it to be just a tad bit polished as well.


My favorite flowers are lilacs & the hope was to make them the centerpiece of the bouquet. Unfortunately, since lilacs weren’t quite in season, my aunt was very worried that we would receive the lilacs, but that they wouldn’t hold up for the big day in the flower arrangement. So, she thought of a genius alternative, and incorporated pale purple stock flower instead, which looks fairly similar to lilacs & they also smell sweet as well!


She did the same with the bridesmaid’s bouquets but in a smaller version. She then used lots of silk ribbon that I bought on Etsy in various hues to tie all of the bouquets together. I also wanted my bridesmaids to wear flowers in their hair but I didn’t want them to be burdened by flower crowns, so my aunt whipped up some flower hair combs, as well.


As if that wasn’t enough, she provided/took care of all flowers for the ceremony space, the centerpiece for the bride and groom table, the boutonnieres, my cake, the garlands lining the bar/drink/dessert tables, & the guest tables floral décor.


THE CAKE

Our cake was a masterpiece created by Rosie’s Creative Cakes. I honestly only went to one cake tasting & it was hers. After I tasted her samples & saw all of her designs I knew I didn’t need to look any further.





We didn’t want anything too large because we knew that we were also going to have a large amount of desserts on our dessert table all homemade by my husband’s grandmother (from homemade Twix bars to lemon cake pops & everything in between) but we also wanted enough so that we would have left overs to eat for our 1 year anniversary.


We did a 3 tier “sheer” naked cake with lavender drizzle & chose vanilla as the base with black raspberry Chambord filling. We didn’t necessarily want a cake topper, so we decided to just let the fresh fruit & flowers tie the natural look of the cake together. Rosie used fresh blueberries & blackberries, leaves, & stock flower to decorate the different layers. And in case anyone was wondering, the cake was just as delicious 1 year later!


THE GOWN


I went to various different bridal stores around the tri state area and I thought I had a pretty good idea of what I wanted: A-line, minimal (if any) beading or sequins, and I knew it HAD to be the ethereal off the shoulder look. Well, I ended up with full-length sleeves instead of off the shoulder sleeves, but I honestly think it was for the best because in April, Pennsylvania weather can be a bit unpredictable (snow, rain, sleet, you name it) & the full, yet airy sleeves allowed for some coverage without feeling too stifled.


I tried on a lot of different gowns but time & time again, I went back to this Maggie Sottero Deirdre gown. I truly wanted my dress to feel special, because when my grandmother passed away, she left me some money for something special & I thought since she wasn't able to be with me physically on my wedding day, this would be a way I could have her there in spirit.


I kept trying this gorgeous dress on over & over & I was enamored with the fact that it fit me like a glove & it made me feel like a true bride (and also like Queen of the Woodland Fae- but that’s neither here nor there). And as if the soft lace detailing, the ethereal flowy chiffon skirt, and the bodice wasn’t enough to sway me, the description of the dress on the website literally says that it is perfect for an enchanted forest fairy wedding… so I promptly said “TAKE MY MONEY” & found the perfect dress.


ACCESSORIES

Going along with the whimsical Enchanted Forest/Garden theme, I wanted my accessories to be flowy & ethereal.



The hair combs were made by Twigs & Honey



My veil came from Noon on the Moon. I ordered the veil in the style “Maria,” and it was absolutely stunning.


It is made from draped silk & I decided to order it in the “cathedral” length because I wanted it to be more dramatic because I didn’t have any beading/gems on my gown & because I knew I was going to be walking down the aisle in a cathedral domed church so I wanted to make sure I had all the flowy, ethereal goodness.


My shoes were from the British company Harriet Wilde. I found the image of them originally on Pinterest but couldn’t for the life of me find who the sellers/makers were. Then one day I was continuing to browse & discovered them randomly. I went straight to the site and bought the last pair available in my size & as luck would have it they were extremely discounted to make room for new stock!


HAIR & MAKEUP

I had the amazing Stefani from Bonafide Beauty Co do my hair & makeup because she is honestly a wizard. I wasn’t too picky with my makeup, I just specified I wanted it pretty neutral but also ethereal & glowy.


But for my hair, I showed Stefani a reference picture for what I wanted & gave her two words “ethereal nymph” & she executed it better than I could’ve ever hoped. She also stuck a bunch of fresh left over flowers from my aunt’s supply in my braids to add to the forest fae vibe.


CATERING

Both my husband & I really enjoy renaissance faires & medieval times, so when choosing our caterer we didn’t want to go with ones that had “cookie cutter” menu choices. It was important to us to find a caterer that was a bit adventurous & who was willing to create a more custom menu to put a bit of a modern twist on a medieval feast.


We set up a few food testing appointments with various catering companies, but found Mountain Laurel Catering, to be the best fit for us. Thankfully we had the opportunity to try their food before ever even booking our wedding because my sister-in-law & her husband had them cater their wedding. We remembered the food was unlike any wedding food we ever had, so we decided pretty quickly that we wanted to book them. Sarah & Chef Pat were so accommodating. It blew us away with how much time & effort Chef Pat took to do research about medieval fare & how he found a way to incorporate that research into modern dishes that our guests would like

Our menu consisted of:

  • Assorted charcuterie, artisanal cheeses, marinated/pickled vegetables, strawberry & lavender jam, mixed nuts, bread & crackers

  • Vegetable crudité with sugar snap peas, radishes, carrots, green peppers, tomato, cauliflower, endive served with hummus & avocado puree

Entrees included:

  • Manchet (medieval beer bread) with rose water whipped butter

  • Mixed greens with assorted dried fruits, asparagus, pearl onion, & Gorgonzola vinaigrette

  • Sauteed carrots, cabbage, and chard with roasted garlic

  • Brown butter seared potatoes with sauteed leeks

  • Smoked chicken with toasted almonds and pomegranate glaze

  • Beef brisket Gut Lembratten with chasseur sauce


TREASURED MEMORIES


I had the privilege of spending the entire evening with the friends & family whom I loved so dearly. We danced the night away & formed an impromptu karaoke circle belting out every single lyric to Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” as the last song of the night.


My new husband & I were then sent off with well wishes for a happy marriage & a magical sparkler exit.

The entire day was spectacular & the weather turned out to be unseasonably warm & dry for early April but chilly enough to cozy up by the fire & make S’mores in the evening.




I know it sounds extremely cliche but the day truly did go by in a blur. The things they say about savoring every moment & taking everything in is so true. I am so grateful to have these amazing pictures to remember this enchanting day.


We went on our honeymoon to Ireland and Switzerland & ended up meeting our photographer & her husband in Ireland to capture some honeymoon photos, which I hope to post in the future!!



Until next time…




All images in this blog post were taken by Lindsey Ford Photography

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