From the second we met Andrea & Kieran for their Philly engagement shoot, we knew they weren't going to just be clients, but friends. Their joy for life & their humor made it so easy to get along and enjoy our time together. But after their shoot, they stayed in touch and kept us in the loop with all their wedding details which just made us SO excited for their day when it finally came. It was like celebrating with good friends! Their day had so many fun details like smoke bombs at their first look, food trucks and homemade decor (that looked like it was straight out of anthropologie). Their story is so sweet & I can't believe they chose us to spend their day with! Check out what they said about their wedding:
We met 4th period lunch of our Freshman year at Hightstown school! I just moved to Hightstown, and was really eager to make new friends. A couple of Kieran's mutual friends started sitting at my lunch table, and eventually he made the move over, too! We were both shy, but even then sarcastic with good senses of humor, so we spent most of the year teasing each other (aka how teenagers flirt, I guess!). Later in the year, a senior asked me out and we dated for a little bit-- Kieran told me a couple years later that the day he was going to tell me how he felt was the same day he found out I was dating this other guy... yikes! Obviously, it didn't end up working out, and I think Kieran not wanting to miss his chance again asked me out in the last week of school. Our first date, we went to downtown Hightstown in the morning, got bagels, and walked around Peddie Lake. We both had finals in the afternoon, so we walked to our high school together. Our friends were so surprised to see us walk in together as a couple!
In Christmas 2015, I surprised Kieran with plane tickets to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. We both wanted to go away somewhere for a while, and going to a lively, beach city checked off a lot of our boxes. The week we were there, it rained a lot-- yet, I had no idea it would end up being so romantic and perfect. Kieran wanted to go to Pão de Açúcar (Sugarloaf Mountain), and we went on one of the rainier days. We took cable cars up the mountain until we got to the very top... the trees and and the fog were so lush, and misty, and ethereal. This is a big tourist spot in RDJ, and there was almost no one there except us; it was seriously amazing to be able to explore and enjoy the mountain by ourselves. Eventually, the rain was getting heavier, but Kieran kept taking his time and trying to take pictures of me and everything, while I kept trying to get us back down the mountain. About 10 minutes away from the cable cars, Kieran took one more picture, held my hands, and said there was something he needed to do... and I said, "What, no, it's so wet, let's go!" But he held my hands tighter, got down one one knee, and showed me the most gorgeous ring, which was passed down to him from his great grandmother. I love thinking about this day so much.
During the rehearsal, I was already crying when I was "walking down the aisle" and saw Kieran. I think I would have been a hotter mess on our wedding day if I hadn't seen him all day until our ceremony! I actually had so much nervous energy getting ready with my family and bridesmaids in the morning, and it all melted away when I saw Kieran at our first look. When he started crying he when saw me, I knew he felt happy and relieved to see me, too.
Before we started planning and booking vendors, we sat down together and made a list of priorities for the wedding day. It was to make sure it was both "our" day and not the vision of one person or the other, and also to make sure that as we went down the wedding planning rabbit hole, we wouldn't lose sight of what was important to us. We wanted a beautiful, relaxed, and joyful ceremony and reception. Making sure the food and drinks were delicious was really important to us as huge foodies. We also wanted to use the local Philly businesses that we already knew and loved. Lastly, we wanted a casual, super fun party where people were eating, mingling, and dancing! When we were stuck on something, we would refer to "the list" to see if our decisions lined up. It really guided us into planning a wedding that was unique for us, and it paid off.
The details of the day that were helped by our close friends and family made the entire day special... it really was a labor of love by everyone. One of our bridesmaids, Taryn, impressively made all the geometric centerpieces out of copper tubing. The groomsmen, Joe and David, did guitar and vocals of "Bloom" by The Paper Kites for our processional (the tears were flowing, y'all). On the morning of, the welcome sign I had painted was not finished, and I was so sad about it, but my bridesmaids to the rescue! They finished painting it while we were all getting ready. The flowers were made possible by two of my aunts, Carolyn and Cherie, one of whom couldn't make it in person, because she just had a baby... but holding my bouquet reminded me how much my Aunt Cherie loves us and wanted to be there. Our awesome mixologists were gifted by Kieran's mom, and the cocktails were such a huge hit! My mom and Kieran's dad helped us choose my wedding dress and Kieran's suit respectively (it's how we got so stylish). There's just so much more-- and it fills our heart with so much joy that everyone wanted to help make our day memorable.
Start planning early, and just love the process. Some of it can feel like a chore, but remember that at the end of the day, you're marrying the love of your life and that's all that matters. If there is something that isn't bringing you joy, then don't do it! I know families all have a preconception of what a wedding "should" look like, but a lot of that is made up anyway, and a wedding should look like what makes you and your partner smile from ear to ear. Oh, and hire a really great wedding planner/coordinator-- we are so grateful for the difference ours made in having a stress-free wedding day!