A Rainy Camp Wedding: Alison + Gareth

I’m so excited to share this lovely wedding today. It was photographed by the talented husband and wife team of Heather + Jon of One Love Photo. Not only are the photos stunning, this wedding was held a summer camp! I so love this idea. This wedding is also for any bride who thinks if it rains on her wedding day it is the worst thing – I think these photos (and probably this wedding also) will convince you that you WANT rain. There is just something almost magical about some of these photos!

Alison is a children’s book buyer and also blogs for the Publishers Weekly blog ShelfTalker. Gareth is an illustrator and graphic novelist. Alison was so sweet to provide lots of details about her day, so I will let her share her wedding with you guys. Thanks Alison!

rainy_camp_wedding_01

We rented a children’s camp called Camp Wing in Duxbury, Massachusetts, and, yes, our guests really did get the full camp experience! Many of them slept overnight on bunk beds in the camp’s cabins or in the Duxbury Stockade, a really cool replica of a Revolutionary era fort. I kept saying that our friends’ kids were going to LOVE the Stockade, but I think it was our 30-something friends who were the most excited about it!

Our original plan had been to have canoe races, archery, and other such activities on Saturday morning before the wedding ceremony, but when we woke up on our wedding day to find it pouring rain, we had to postpone that fun until Sunday (a beautiful, sunny day!). Instead, guests spent the morning making lanyards and other camp-type crafts, playing board games, and just getting to know one another. Frankly, this worked out to be a much better plan than our original. By the time the ceremony and reception started, all of our guests had bonded. There was no need to break the ice!

bride and groom with umbrellas

bride and groom with umbrellas

I bought my Tahari dress off the rack at Lord and Taylor, before I was really even actively looking for one. Originally I held onto it as my “back-up dress,” thinking I’d return it if or when I found something I liked better. But as those 3 months of the “return window” ticked by I found myself liking it more and more, and making little effort to find other dresses. In the end, this dress just felt right. It suited my personality, it suited our venue, it suited the groom, and it more than suited our budget!

My J. Crew headband was a gift from my Matron of Honor. I had planned to wear another but when she showed up with this one as a “In case you didn’t find anything else!” offering, the consensus was that it went best with my dress. So, I made a costume change at the eleventh hour.

rainy camp wedding

rainy camp wedding

rainy camp wedding

There are so many, but if I have to choose just one, it would be walking up the aisle with my parents, toward Gareth, and seeing the smiling faces of our shared friends and family beaming at us from all directions. That experience was enough to fulfill many years worth of wishes for me. I don’t know when I’ve felt more connected to a whole community of people than I felt during our rainy day ceremony in that room. Here were all these people we dearly love and who love us in return, coming together just to celebrate the love Gareth and I have found for one another. I felt overwhelmed by the generosity of that gesture, and filled, beyond capacity, with joy. I think much of those emotions come through in Heather’s and Jon’s photos!

rainy camp wedding

rainy camp wedding

My best friend was my Matron of Honor, her husband acted as our officiant, and the older of her two sons acted as our Ring Bearer. It was wonderful to have so many members of their family playing such key roles on our wedding day!

bride and groom with umbrellas

camp wedding butterflies

paper hearts on clothes line

Guests found their table assignments on heart-shaped cards strung from clotheslines on the front porch. For centerpieces I grew wheat grass in inexpensive metal trays that my best friend and I spray painted to match our periwinkle tablecloths. To bring a little more height, color, and whimsy to the tables, I added butterflies cut from colorful paper and punched from dictionary pages. They “floated” over the grass on floral wires around the pillar candles. I added these same butterflies to our mothers’ corsages, which worked beautifully.

I wanted to do something creative for place cards but was stymied until a $2 purchase at a library book sale saved the day. Using a single volume edition of The Columbia Encyclopedia published in 1943, I made personalized place mats that added a bit of elegance to the tables and provided guests with some entertaining reading material. Each guest’s page included a different wing-related word (e.g. a type of bird or butterfly), and these pages were a huge hit! So many people told us they took turns reading sections of their place mats aloud to the rest of the table. I loved hearing that!

white paper papel hanging wedding

My aunt Marilyn and cousin Ashley purchased the papel picado for us in Oaxaca, Mexico, whe
re Ashley is currently living, and the camp strung all of our lovely little globe lights for us. The combination of all those hanging elements truly transformed the dining room!

It what turned out to be the best arrangement ever, Gareth and I made a pact with my illustrator pal Anna Alter and her (now) husband Bruno that each couple would agree to act as the other’s “day of coordinators.” This meant that on Anna and Bruno’s July wedding day we helped set and decorate all of the tables, coordinate the timing of dessert, etc. and we were the ones people went to with any questions that came up. On our wedding day, Anna and Bruno did the same for us. It was wonderful to have someone else be in charge and not have to worry at all about having things come together! And it was equally fun to feel so useful on someone else’s big day. (Fun detail – Anna + Bruno’s wedding was featured on Snippet & Ink!)

rainy_camp_wedding_13

Early on in the planning process Gareth and I reflected on the fact that, if there was one defining “dessert” of our relationship, it was most definitely ice cream. Wouldn’t it be fun, we thought, to have an ice cream truck deliver dessert to us at our reception? Nona’s Homemade made that dream come true. Tom Donohue drove the truck right up to the dining room entrance, music playing, then scooped huge servings of delicious ice cream to every one of our guests. I don’t think anyone missed having cake!

bride and groom at ice cream truck

camp wedding

camp wedding

rainy camp wedding

bride and groom in the rain

By the time we were in the position of planning our own wedding, we had attended a LOT of others and talked with still more couples about what things they had and hadn’t enjoyed about their weddings. The number one complaint we heard was that people felt they just didn’t have enough time to actually visit with their guests during the whirlwind experience of their wedding day. We didn’t want to come away feeling that way, so our goal was to try and find a way to make it affordable for our guests to spend more time with us than just one day. Renting a summer camp turned out to be one way of doing that, and it allowed us to have the fun of paddling canoes and slinging arrows (literally) with our friends, which is fun you just can’t have at your average wedding!

There are so many, but if I have to choose just one, it would be walking up the aisle with my parents, toward Gareth, and seeing the smiling faces of our shared friends and family beaming at us from all directions. That experience was enough to fulfill many years worth of wishes for me. I don’t know when I’ve felt more connected to a whole community of people than I felt during our rainy day ceremony in that room. Here were all these people we dearly love and who love us in return, coming together just to celebrate the love Gareth and I have found for one another. I felt overwhelmed by the generosity of that gesture, and filled, beyond capacity, with joy. I think much of those emotions come through in Heather’s and Jon’s photos!

Wasn’t this just a beautiful wedding?! I still can’t get over the photos. One Love Photo did such a great job capturing their day. Alison is sharing more details of her day on her blog here and be sure to see even more photos on One Love Photo’s Blog. Congrats again to Alison + Gareth!

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A Dreamy Engagement Session with Lots of Balloons

You guys know how much I love balloons in photos, so of course I couldn’t resist sharing these adorable photos sent to me by talented photographer Denise Bovee. I love how they attached the balloons to the ground for some of the photos – what a great dreamy backdrop – and totally original take on incorporating a bunch of balloons! Plus Nathan + Yvonne look so so in love :)

See more from this session on Denise’s Blog. Denise Bovee is a photographer based out of Southern California.

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A San Francisco City Hall Wedding – with a scooter!

Lilia of Lilia Photography sent me this super cute San Francisco elopement. San Francisco’s City Hall is pretty stunning for a city hall! Megan + Paul had a short civil ceremony at San Francisco’s City Hall on Christmas Eve with a few family members joining them. After their ceremony, they drove out to the Golden Gate Bridge for a super fun scooter session.

I love that even though they had a simple city hall ceremony, that hired a photographer to capture the day and some fun portraits after. Check out even more photos from Lilia’s Blog. Thanks again Lilia for sharing their beautiful day with us.

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