Not only is the couple behind this affair one of the cutest I’ve come across ( they literally met when they were the ripe old age of four!) but their wedding is a true reflection of all that adorableness as well. The happiest shades of pink are folded into the details, smiles and laughter abound and the chalk board signs are a pinterest junkies dream. See the full celebration captured by Rebekah Murray Photography right here in the gallery.
From the Bride… Neal and I met when we were both four years old. I moved in across the street from him and we quickly had a few intense clashes between our rival “forts” down at the neighborhood creek. We spent the next 10 years playing on separate sides of the street while our older brothers became best friends. Neal joined my class of 30 during our junior year of high school. We talked occasionally and hung out a few times, but it wasn’t until our sophomore year of college when I noticed Neal at a party and was surprised to realize that he had suddenly “grown up.” Six months later we were dating. 13 months later, on a December evening, Neal led me down a path of candles to a tree on a mountain top that was covered in candles and strung lights. He asked me to marry him, and I said yes.
We chose Stone Manor Country Club for its exquisite grounds and immaculate stone mansion. I had always dreamed of being married in a modern garden party setting surrounded by family and friends, so that directed our wedding design. As for the ceremony itself, we most wanted it to point all our guests to our great God as the one who was uniting us. My family was tight on money so we had to be very creative every step of the way. We were determined to stay within our budget, keep things very organized, and do as much as we could ourselves. We were incredibly blessed by our large group of very gifted friends who eagerly helped us in so many ways. One friend designed our wedding invitations and another addressed them with beautiful calligraphy. Other friends loaned us extra vases, votives, and other decor from their own recent weddings. Inspired by a Pinterest, Neal and I designed the ceremony programs together one evening.
I had always dreamed of creating a backdrop for our reception table, so Neal and his dad constructed the structure. With the little art background I have, I painted and tweeked the backdrop with my own design during the last two weeks before the wedding. Neal’s mom, a master gardener, volunteered to grow flowers for our wedding in her backyard. The flowers were used for the ceremony and reception flowers, in addition to some professional flowers. Style Me Pretty inspired our centerpieces. My husband-to-be built and stained all the wooden boxes with the help of his brothers. We cut and stenciled our table numbers on slate shingles we found at a local market. Both our moms grew wheat grass purchased from a local market (costing only pennies, literally). We laugh thinking back on the sea of grass that lined our parents’ kitchen counters the week before the wedding. For other décor items we took advantage of dozens of Michaels craft store coupons, Target’s end-of-summer sales, eBay, IKEA, and a few online clearance sales. My family is crazy about my mom’s red sangria, so we decided to make it our signature cocktail. Leading up to the wedding we had sangria tastings during every family dinner in search of the perfect mass-quantity recipe. The morning of the wedding my mom and dad were pouring and mixing sangria for 150 guests. All our guests couldn’t stop talking about how delicious “Gigi’s summer sangeria” was.
We were also blessed with wonderful vendors. Veronica Rogers helped design and critique all of our wedding ideas leading up to the wedding, then spent the day of the wedding setting up and arranging all of our decorations. For as long as I can remember I’d wanted a cookie bar for my wedding, so we had our best baker friends make cookies and recruited Small Comforts Bakeshop to make delicious and beautiful mini pies. Finally, we were honored to be the center stage of a Rebekah Murray Photography wedding. She was straight out of my wedding dreams and truly a pleasure to work with. She was very organized, helped me stay calm throughout, and was lots of fun. We feel so blessed by everyone who helped us put our wedding together. God richly provided for us in ways that left us speechless and made our wedding a special, once-in-a-lifetime memory.
Wedding Photography: Rebekah Murray Photography / Wedding Venue: Stone Manor Country Club in Middleton, Maryland / Floral Design: Sylvie Somerville / Wedding Coordination: Brielle Nelson / Wedding Decor: Veronica Rogers / Wedding Catering: Carriage House Catering / Wedding Cake: Mary Foster / Mini Pies: Small Comforts Bakeshop / Cookies: Susan Nelson, Kaitlin Mason, Nancy Royer / Wedding Invitations: Leo Alonso / DJ: Michael Valenti / Wedding Dress: Anjolique (Borrowed from Bride’s Friend) / Bride’s Hair: Anna Fazio of Structures Salon & Spa / Bride’s Makeup: Rachel Lagman / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: J.Crew / Bridesmaids’ Hair: Kristen Hoover / Men’s Suits: JCPenney