Take a show-stopping Vera Wang and add in a whopping dash of elegance + romance and what you have is a Finger Lakes affair that takes pretty to the extreme. It’s the perfect combo of a breathtaking backdrop like the Aurora Inn, lush blooms from Foley Florist and a whole lot of magical moments captured by Clark Walker Studio. Check out the full gallery of beautiful moments and the amazing film below.
From the Bride… Mike and I met in the summer of 2005 at his work event. He worked with my older sister and she dragged me to a work going away party for their good friend. The guys had already begun the celebration at their golf outing so, with a bit of liquid courage; Mike shook my hand and asked me for my number. I politely declined. We ran into each other one more time at a holiday party but it wasn’t until February of 2006 that he decided to make a serious effort and asked my sister for my number. Admiring his persistence, I agreed. It was the best decision I have ever made. I can’t imagine what my life would be like if I had blown him off. We went to dinner at an amazing Thai restaurant that was superseded only by the conversation. I could have stayed up talking all night and we have gone on to have many of those nights.
Fast forward six years, Mike was living in San Francisco after business school and I was living in DC finishing up my graduate research. Mike flew into DC to celebrate our dating anniversary. We planned a quiet and romantic trip to Charlottesville, Virginia, a two and half hour drive from the city. I was the driver, which wasn’t typical for us but Mike said he was tired from jetlag. He was our navigator and I questioned our route maybe only once or twice along the way since I had a friend tell me directions before I left. Mike was able to reassure me we weren’t lost and things were going well for his surprise up until he lost cell phone service and therefore his GPS. He was frantically in technology problem solving mode when I asked him “Have you heard of the Inn at Little Washington?” Secretly panicked, Mike calmly answered “No, why?” “I just saw a sign that says it is the next right. I heard it is a really beautiful and romantic spot, we should plan a trip there sometime,” I naively shared as the right hand turn came up. He shouted, “Turn right!” It wasn’t until that moment that I realized we were going to the Inn at Little Washington. I was truly surprised and so excited. Mike proposed privately in our suite. It was so heartfelt and romantic. We celebrated with champagne and dinner at the restaurant. The best part was that we didn’t have cell phone service so, we spent 24 hours blissfully engaged, enjoying each other and those once in a lifetime emotions. The next morning we held hands while walking around a peaceful farm, enjoyed breakfast and headed to Charlottesville, as a newly engaged couple.
After over a year of planning and anxious excitement, we celebrated our marriage with our family and friends on a perfectly sunny and 78 degrees day in August of 2013. We could not have asked for better weather, which was so important since our reception was outdoors. We decided to get married in the Finger Lakes Region near both of our hometowns. We looked at many venues in the area but once we saw the Aurora Inn, we fell in love. It is the type of place Mike and I look for when we want to escape for a romantic weekend together. We couldn’t imagine a better venue to reflect who we are as a couple. The Aurora Inn was the perfect setting to celebrate one of the best moments of our lives with those we love. It is an intimate and charming inn, full of history and character, with an incredible chef and restaurant on site. Can it get any better? Yes! The Aurora Inn is located in tiny, quaint town called Aurora and looks out over the gorgeous Cayuga Lake.
When it came to wedding planning Mike was happy to let me pick what I loved. There were a few things he really wanted to be a part of like picking out the groomsmen attire, food selection and music, otherwise, he helped me make decisions when I couldn’t choose. I began by picking our color palette of ivory, light pink, light peach and gold, which went perfectly with the pleated ivory lakeside tent for the reception. I kept the theme of soft romance in mind throughout the planning process. I lined our aisle with an ivory runner with a lace edging to keep things soft (the carpet was pinkish-red!) and topped it with tall baby’s breath arrangements. Our reception tables were layered with airy tulle, votive candles, baby’s breath and small floral arrangement. The fabric of my dress and the bridesmaids dresses all had softness to them.
From the start of wedding planning there were a few special touches I knew I wanted to incorporate. The first, having a homemade cookie table. My mom made thousands of cookies for each of my sisters’ weddings and this was a tradition we intended to continue at mine. We made a variety of sweets and put them on display with our wedding cake. As I walked down the aisle, I wanted to make sure I had all the important women in my life near me so, I had a pin from my mom, Mike’s mom and both of my grandmothers adhered to my bouquet. It was important to Mike and I that we honor our family members that could not be present. We did this in two ways, a photo display of our loved ones and in lieu of favors we made a donation to American Cancer Society.
Our wedding day, like so many couples will tell you, went by way too fast! However, we enjoyed every single moment. We spent the morning apart from each other while we each got ready with members from our bridal party so, the very first time we saw each other was when I was walking down the aisle. I was anxious since there were a few hiccups before the ceremony but as soon as I saw Mike, I felt calm. My stroll down the aisle with my dad was every bit as wonderful and emotional as I imagined it to be. Neither Mike nor I were nervous at the altar. Everything felt right. I remember being acutely present and trying to take in every aspect of such a special day. We both agree that our favorite moment of the day was when we exchanged our personalized vows. It was such a raw and heartfelt moment. After the ceremony, we celebrated by dining al fresco with our guests as the sun set over Cayuga Lake. We spent the rest of the evening with our loved ones eating sweets, dancing and enjoying the fire pit. We finished the evening with sparkler and released a wish lantern into the starlit sky. It truly was the best day.
Our day would not have happened without the love and support of our families, closest friends and the expertise of the best vendors in the area. We were lucky to have Heather Davidson from the Inns of Aurora as our wedding coordinator. She happily guided us through the planning process and was instrumental in making our reception spectacular. Not only is she on top of everything but also is genuinely excited about your day! Holly from A-List Artistry pampered all of us ladies in the bridal suite. She is very professional, has a great personality and every single lady loved their makeup that day. That is not an easy accomplishment! Finally, the Clark + Walker team captured our day perfectly. The photos bring us back to all of those moments that flew by so fast. The trailer that Josh created had us laughing, crying, smiling and reminiscing in just three minutes. We are so grateful that such talented individuals captured the most magical day of our lives!