We love, love, love, love it when we receive the story of not only the who … but the why and how … behind the photographs that are submitted for features on Style Me Pretty. Most of the time ~ the images alone do a pretty fine job of telling the tale ~ we see the style, the smiles, the little touches that brides and grooms sprinkle throughout their wedding celebration ~ but when we get more detailed info to boot ~ well, we kind of feel like we’ve hit the jackpot!

And so, without further ado, today’s featured wedding from Dave Robbins Photography!

Vanessa & Ethan, July 9th, 2009 ~ Wedding @ The Old Field Vineyards, Southold, NY …

How we met:
We actually met in middle school… yes, middle school. We became friends at 12 years old… dated for one month at 14 years old… and finally began dating again at 17. We have the same values, interests, and sense of humor, so it was pretty easy to stay together, even though we attended two different art schools for college. We’ve always marveled at how lucky we are to have each other. Our wedding was our celebration of 12 years together.

How he proposed:
We always knew we’d be married some day. In the meantime, after college, we started our own business shooting other people’s weddings. We found the Old Field Vineyards years ago, and began to visit it frequently every summer… always telling Ros (the owner) that we would get married there eventually. A few days before my birthday, in April 2008, we were sitting in our backyard together eating chips and salsa. I was in pajamas, sitting down next to Ethan, and I turned to reach for another chip but the bowl was gone! Not paying attention to what was going on, I noticed he had teared up… I thought something was wrong! Until I realized there was a box in my lap… I don’t think there was ever a question or an answer …

The Wedding:
I was so excited that we were really ready to have our own wedding! Old Field was the first thing we booked… and our photographer was the second. Since both of us are photographers (weddings by v&e), it was really one of the most important decisions we had to make. I had seen Dave Robbins’ work in magazines and had immediately fallen in love with his warm, unique, and somewhat quirky style. Once we met him it was a done deal. He was extremely relaxed, professional, and overall just really nice. His portfolio was extraordinary.

Our Guest Book:
I didn’t really want a traditional guest book. I wanted a record of our guests in photographs. We decided to create a “photo-studio” where people could click off their own photographs and write messages to us. I teach full time and the custodians at my school let me have an old slate chalkboard. We propped the chalkboard up by a large tree with the vineyard as the backdrop. Two of my students (who had just graduated) stood by one of our cameras on a tri-pod to man the station and hand out the wireless remote. Ethan set up all of the equipment before our ceremony.

Wedding Design & Planning:
Ethan created most of our wedding! I designed it and came up with the ideas, and he became the hands behind it. He reclaims lumber from storm-damaged trees and mills the wood into tables. Our altar table was the most beautiful organic slab table that we now use as our coffee table. He created two thick slab tables for the coffee tables in the lounge area of our tent. Ethan also made signs that pointed guests towards various happenings on the property. My favorite sign was the
lov&e sign (with the v&e) inside of a heart. This has become the idea behind the new logo we are now working on for our own photography business (weddings by v&e)!

Escort cardsWe designed the escort card table with the help of our florist, Victoria, who was also amazing! We printed the escort cards at home and Ethan collected the sticks that they stood on. Ethan’s father whittled each stick in order for them to stand up in the bed of moss. My Uncle Michael and my father helped string gauzy curtains over fishing line for a backdrop to the escort cards.

We have amazing family and friends, plus vendors that really went above and beyond for us. We drove to the property two days before the wedding in a U-haul packed full of everything from tables, to pillows, to lighting, to fishing poles! Kristy Homan from (Classic Party Rentals in Watermill) was able to bring furniture in early, giving us time to work out the final floor plan under the tent.

Ethan and I enjoy being on the beach, playing croquet, and fishing ~ so we set up croquet, horseshoes, and fishing poles on the beach next to Adirondack chairs for guests to enjoy. Some friends even brought wiffle ball. The fishing was a huge hit with our guests!

We didn’t want to do the cake-cutting ceremony, and Miche Bacher (Sacred Sweets) made the most incredible cakes we just couldn’t decide on one. I had always wanted a few cakes and lots of mini cakes and cookies instead… I loved the idea of a bakery styled table for dessert. She created the most beautiful table full of mini-cheesecakes, red velvet cupcakes, carrot cake cupcakes, outstanding cookies, and three small wedding cakes (including my favorites… chocolate cake with peanut-butter mousse and dulce de leche AND a vanilla coconut cake with passion fruit filling). I think the dessert was one of the most memorable parts of the whole day. Ethan and I skipped the line and went behind the table of desserts. Dave caught a photo of Ethan actually feeding me some cake, and then we stood there and served dessert to each guest. Ethan was cutting the slices of cake, and I was pointing out what each item was to everyone… it was really fun and completely spontaneous. We were ridiculously happy. (One of my favorite photos of the back of my dress is us standing behind this table with the guests on line in the background)

The most impressive thing that Ethan created for our wedding was our “bridal suite”. I mentioned one day how great it would be if I had a place to change at the end of the night… somewhere that had a full-length mirror and lighting. He milled wood and created a bridal suite that could be easily put together on site the day before. We used IKEA curtains and an IKEA mirror inside, along with a table (that he had made) and carnival lights surrounding an antiqued mirrored star lantern. One of my favorite photographs is us standing inside the opening… just our silhouettes.

My favorite things about the Old Field Vineyards ~ the family that owns it is one of the sweetest most relaxed we’ve ever met. They are kind, sincere, and completely unpretentious.  The property is “authentic” to the north fork of Long Island. It is rustic … the buildings are original and it has been in the family for five generations. The owners are also all about sustainable farming and even have biodegradable cups made from corn in their tasting room.  You have everything beautiful about the north fork in one location… a vineyard, large old trees, old barns and chicken coops (including the chickens and roosters), and a beautiful beach with views of Shelter Island.

At the end of the night we drove off in our U-haul… exhausted and elated. Our lovely friends and family met us in the morning back at the vineyard to help clean up, re-pack the van and head home!

See Vanessa & Ethan’s complete wedding gallery from Dave Robbins Photography here!

Event Planner: The bride along with her family!  Day of Coordinator: Vanessa’s Aunt Annie, Photographer: Dave Robbins Photography, Floral Designer: Victoria of Designs By Ahn, Cake Designer: Miche Bacher at Sacred Sweets, Caterer: Pete Ambrose at Food For Forks (I would also consider him a day-of coordinator… his team made everything run so smoothly!), Event Rentals: Classic Party Rentals (Kristy Homan), Invitations/Menus/Placecards: Designed by the bride (Invitations were printed at Lion in the Sun), Hair: Tommy Sipala and Katie Murphy from Monet Salon in Northport, Make-up: Sally Duvall, Wedding Dress: Junko Yoshioka from Mark Ingram Bridal Atelier, Band: Arcadia (Lead Singer: Gus St. Angelo), Tent: Sperry Tents, Hair flower: Twigs and Honey, Bridesmaid Dresses: Vera Wang, Shoes: J.Crew, Slab furniture, signs and outdoor “bridal suite” created by the groom, Weddings by V&E

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