Let’s face it – no matter how unbelievably beautiful a wedding, it’s the love stories that win us over time and time again. And this one? Well, it started way back at the bride and groom’s high school. Fast forward eleven years of relationship twist and turns, and you get a day bursting with summertime blooms from Sarah’s Garden, photography by Rachel Solomon, and a must-see film from Simply Cinema.
From The Bride….Our story started eleven years ago. Cory and I met in high school, when I was a freshman and he was a sophomore. Our first date was to play miniature golf with a couple of friends. We dated for four years before we separated. The next few years apart were filled with joyous success and heartbreaking loss, of graduating from high school and then from college. And then came the unexpected invitation to meet up for drinks. It didn’t take long before we knew that this time we weren’t going to let each other get away.
Cory and I got engaged in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico on October 10, 2013. We went for a weeklong vacation with Cory’s family. On the second night, Cory and I planned for a walk on the beach, at sunset, before dinner. In my regular fashion, I took longer than expected to get ready and Cory kept insisting we had to leave. As we started down the beach hand in hand Cory said “You know how much I love you, right?” And I did know. All of the sudden we stopped, Cory got down on his knee and asked me to marry him. Side note- the ring was stunning. We wrote our names in the sand before joining his family at dinner to celebrate.
We wanted a casual wedding with all the things we love most. The warm, sunny afternoon in Paradise Valley was just made for family, food, and dancing. We had a guest list of 125, with most traveling great distances to share in our special day. El Chorro offered a lush ceremony lawn with an intimate garden feel. I wanted to incorporate touches of vintage decor and was inspired by the charming chandeliers in the Casa Paloma pavilion. Blush pink, peach and coral came together in the bow ties, dresses, and flowers. I managed to surprise Cory by having our English bulldog, Banks, walk down the aisle with our ring-bearer. We asked our high school counselor, and long-time friend, to perform the ceremony. Guests spent cocktail hour enjoying drinks and passed hors d’oeuvres with good friends and family. We finished the night off with dinner, dancing, and cake- with peanut butter filling, of course!
It really was the best day ever.
I have this thing where I get an idea in my head only to find out that it doesn’t exist in a store, so I knew that DIY touches were going to be a must. El Chorro is beautiful on its own, a big reason we picked the venue, and so it didn’t need too much dressing up. Our guest book was a wishing tree made from branches that our guests adorned with their wishes on kraft paper tags. Minted offers guest name printing on place cards, so I bought them already printed and added a strip of gold glitter washi tape across the bottom of each one. The rustic hutch provided the perfect spot for a candy bar, decorated with tissue paper garland and a sweets banner both crafted by my talented mom. Other DIY projects included the cards banner, guest seating chart lists, and memorial candle for Cory’s mom. Thanks to the amazing support of our friends and family these small details made our wedding intimate and personal and something neither of us will ever forget.
Photography: Rachel Solomon Photography | Videographer: Simply Cinema | Floral Design: Sarah's Garden | Wedding Dress: Maggie Sottero | Cake: Piece Of Cake | Bridesmaids Dresses: David's Bridal | DJ: SKM Entertainment | Groom's Attire: Jos. A. Bank | Wedding Venue: El Chorro | Dress Boutique: Suzanne's Bridal Boutique | Rentals: Shabby Chic Weddings