We LOVE wedding planners. Where would we be without them?! They are the logistical geniuses who keep a celebration running. The detail-oriented visionaries who pull it all together. The superheroes who swoop in to save you from stress.
But have you ever wondered what it would be like for a wedding planner to plan their own wedding?
When Lancaster, Pennsylvania wedding planner Gillian of Events By Gillian & Co. and her fiancé Kyle started planning their own “I do’s” the original plan was to get out of town. Gillian had tons of professional history with every venue and vendor in the area and they wanted to make sure their special day didn’t end up feeling like just another day at work for the bride. These two got engaged in 2020, though, and asking friends and family to make a big trip anywhere out of state felt risky amidst the uncertainty of the pandemic. So Gillian did what she does best and found a solution to her bride’s planning predicament–this time, though, the bride was her!
Conestoga House and Gardens was a local Lancaster venue that had only just recently begun hosting weddings. Gillian hadn’t worked too many weddings there yet, so the whole experience could still feel new and fresh! And getting to team up with the Lancaster vendors she already knew so well (or “friendors” as she calls them) ended up being totally ideal.
Gillian + Kyle put together a timeless yet modern garden party wedding full of joy and romance that utilized every beautiful corner of Conestoga House and Gardens.
Let’s take a look at some of the gorgeous photos that photographer Tori of Tori Co. took of this dreamy day!
Cork and Chambers created the elegant, contemporary paper goods for the event. The couple even incorporated line drawings of their venue in the invitation suite.
How great are those custom monogrammed vow booklets?!
The couple leaned into the venue’s architectural elements by embracing a black-and-white color palette for the day.
Moss and Vine created the day’s modern floral masterpieces including this textured, monochrome bridal bouquet. Anemones are PERFECTION for any B&W celebration.
Simple and stunning. 💍 The bride’s rings are from Vanscoy Maurer and Bash and the groom’s ring is a piece from SolidWerks.
Gillian’s quest for her dress began when she saw a gown on Instagram that she thought was *the one.* After a quick Google to find out which bridal boutiques near her might carry the designer, Gillian discovered The Ivory Concept in Malvern, Pennsylvania where she tried on *the* dress, similar dresses, unexpected dresses. She even tried on others at another boutique. “I’m not going to lie,” Gillian says, “this process made me indecisive.” Eventually she eded up back at The Ivory Concept to say yes to the Sydney gown by Alyssa Kristin—an original top pick!! We LOVE the timeless square neckline and the way the sleek silhouette blooms out into that full train.
Gillian’s bridal party palette celebrated classy muted neutrals with these BHLDN satin bridesmaid dresses in Champagne.
Kyle’s classic tux by Filling’s is perfect paired with those Gucci loafers!
We can’t get over how elegant these two look in this space!! Those B&W floors!!
Gillian’s sophisticated low pony is the work of Disco Cowboy by Chlo and her flawless makeup is by Emily Lyn Hurst.
How beautiful is this sparkling white ceremony setup against the venue’s climbing vines and grand exterior?!
What a thoughtful, subtle way to set aside seating for the parents of the bride + groom!
Pedestal arrangements are a fantastic way to bring flowers into your ceremony backdrop if you’re not feeling a floral arch or hanging installation.
Bamboo fans like these are the ideal favor to keep your guests cool on a warm outdoor wedding day.
Gillian’s custom veil was created by Sew Glorious.
Need more veil inspo? Check these out to find veils to fit your bridal style.
Our Musical Choices
Processional: "Ocean Eyes" by Billie Eilish (played by a string quartet)
Recessional: "Rather Be" by Clean Bandit (played by a string quartet)
First Dance: "Latch" by Sam Smith (acoustic & original version)
Gillian + Kyle kept things neutral and classic for their tented reception since the surrounding garden was so vibrant on its own.
Champagne-colored linens by Premier Linen Company and off-white guest seating from A to Z Event Rentals played into the reception’s elevated garden party vibe.
These B&W menus set the stage for a memorable meal by Mountain Laurel Catering.
This sweetheart table setup is an all-white floral explosion!!
One of the big surprises of the day was a first dance choreographed by Gillian’s high school dance teacher Alvina from Encore Dance Center that started slow with an acoustic cover of “Latch” by Sam Smith and then changed gears into the original! Also, we love getting a peek at Gillian’s Loeffler Randall Camellia Pleated Bow Heels in Pearl!
We adore the delicate floral pattern on this gorgeous three-tiered cake from Cake and Cup Bake Shoppe.
Pouring bubbly during a downpour!! An amazing way to kick off this celebration!
The day’s rainy moments were romantic and not a weather disaster thanks to this glorious sailcloth tent from Collective Event Group.
When the venue’s got a pool…you’ve GOTTA jump in for your grand exit!!
Our Advice To Those Planning Now
Tip #1-Hire a team of vendors you feel comfortable with and trust 100%. I'm lucky that I knew most of my vendors and work with them frequently so I knew what to expect. I say this because I truly got to enjoy the day. I knew we were in the best hands and they would take on anything that popped up without having to involve us. We had the best day and I still owe it all to every single person that was there.
Tip #2 for those just started to plan their wedding- create a separate wedding email address so you have a nice clean space with spam emails and both partners can have access. This allows for a good start to staying organized throughout this whole process.
See, this is why you leave wedding planning to the professionals!! Gillian + Kyle, your summery garden party celebration made such a splash! Congrats from GWS!!
photography: Tori Co. // venue name: Conestoga House and Gardens, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, United States // event design: Events By Gillian and Co. // planning: Events By Gillian and Co. // florals: Moss and Vine // wedding dress: Alyssa Kristin- Sydney // wedding dress boutique: The Ivory Concept // hairpiece: N/A // bride's shoes: Loeffler // bride's ring: Vanscoy Maurer and Bash // bridesmaid dresses: BHLDN // hair stylist: Disco Cowboy by Chlo // makeup artist: Emily Lyn Hurst // groom attire: Fillings // groom's shoes: Gucci // groom's ring: Solid Werks // videography: Bodnar Film Co. // paper goods: Cork and Chambers- custom // catering: Mountain Laurel // cake: Cake and Cup // desserts: Fox Meadows // linen rentals: Premier Linen // music: Bring on the Bash // officiant: Sealed with a Kiss by Kait // lighting: Jubilee Entertainment // Alterations/Custom Veil: Sew Glorious // Chairs & Dance Floor: A to Z Event Rentals // Tent: Event Collective // Live Music (String Quartet for Ceremony + Cocktail Hour) : Vivace Live // Live Dinner Music (Acoustic Guitarist): Ethan Burkhart // first dance choreography: Encore Dance Center