Photos by Shane Wynn
“I Dos”: Sept. 20, 2014. The wedding and reception were at Mohican Gardens in Loudonville.
Highlight of the day: Getting to marry the man of my dreams and being fortunate enough to share it with our friends and family
Hardest part in planning the wedding: Timing. I am in a second-degree, accelerated nursing program, and my husband works overseas. We were also planning the wedding from Virginia, so trying to find time together to see venues, taste food or even find a dress was nearly impossible.
Our guests are still talking about … The toast. We both come from strong Irish families, so instead of toasting with champagne, we had a small bottle of Jameson Whiskey on each table for our guests. Also, the groomsmen each had a Sharpie marker and a few extra to pass around to unsuspecting guests. At one point in the night, the boys tackled the groom, held him down, pulled up his shirt and each wrote a message to me. By the end of the night even Grammie was in on it.
The veil: My veil was originally my husband’s grandmother’s veil. When she wore it, it was 25 feet long, had a German lace overlay and was featured on the front page of the Chicago Tribune. It was then altered and passed down to my husband’s mother and two of her sisters. After Chris proposed, his mother asked if I would like to wear it. It was mainly tulle so she hand-stitched lace, sequins and pearls throughout to match my dress.
If the shoe fits: I changed from beautiful custom-made ivory lace heels to custom Converse (with) our wedding colors and “Bride” stitched up the side for the reception.
The vows: We each wrote a private letter to the other describing why we loved each other and read them during the ceremony. Afterward, our guests asked if it was rehearsed because it described our relationship so perfectly.
First dance: We chose “Makin’ Plans” by Miranda Lambert. It’s a song about two people who love each other in their entirety and can’t live without the other.
Kids at the wedding (cute or chaos?): Just because you’re small doesn’t mean we love you any less. Kids are part of our family, and we wanted them to be included in our celebration. Plus, they made for some super-cute photos.
The cake: We chose eight flavors of cupcakes and they were so good, we didn’t even get to try any. The best part was the topper: a custom-made figure of a pirate holding a mermaid. My husband is a sailor overseas, and I’m his mermaid — identities we’ve had for as long as I can remember.
Favors: Since the reception was held in a conservatory and I love to garden, each guest got a small succulent with their name on it. We liked the idea of giving gifts people would use, and it would remind them of our wedding every time they looked at it.
Words of advice: Make sure you’re having fun and that the decisions you make are for each other. If it makes you and your fiancé happy, it’s probably right.