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Classically Elegant Summer Wedding

I’ve only been married a little over two months and time has already flown by. I can’t imagine how quickly one year will go and I bet this adorable couple is feeling the same way as they get ready to ring in their first anniversary this weekend. But what better way to toast to good times than with Jeremy Hess’s photos and Lavon Film’s clip below! See their love story’s super sweet start right this way!


From the beautiful Bride… Family, tradition and love have always been what I hold most dear.

I remember spending Sundays sitting in the pews of our Moravian church, my feet barely touching the floor, daydreaming of my wedding at the church where I was baptized, and my family has worshipped and married for several generations. Many years later, that dream came true. Andrew and I were married on a beautiful summer day on Saturday, August 16th, 2014 in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, my childhood home.

It was the beauty and architecture of the Lititz Moravian Church and the Lancaster Country Club that guided the theme for our wedding day; classic, traditional elegance with soft, angelic, and romantic colors and textures. Our ceremony would represent everything that was special to me growing up in this church; the warm congregation, the beautiful music, the timeless elegance of the chandeliers, the stain glass windows that beamed the shining light, and the genuine beauty of the historic sanctuary. Our black tie theme reflected the classic, stately beauty of the church’s architecture and grounds.

After the ceremony our guests would arrive at the historic Lancaster Country Club. The cocktail hour would be where our guests could mingle, enjoy cocktails and appetizers, while embracing the beautiful rolling green hills of Lancaster County, and soft orange evening light on a warm, beautiful summer night. Our reception would be where we all toss off our shoes and party with Don Eaton’s incredible ten-piece band, and enjoy a three course meal and dessert and coffee bar. We envisioned a night full of love and laughter with our closest family and friends.

The moment Andrew proposed I was determined to find my dream wedding gown which would encompass all of the things I wanted to feel on my wedding day; beautiful and elegant. I had my heart set on finding a gown with a long train and delicate, cathedral length veil. The classic beauty of both the church and country club inspired me to find a gown that was truly special. After browsing through countless bridal magazines and Pinterest to find inspiration for my gown, I found “The Dress,” which was called “Coco” and designed by Amsale. The dress was the perfect blend of feminine, sexy, elegant, classic and fun. We added custom lace cap sleeves to the gown, which was the perfect touch. I knew the second I tried the dress on that I loved it and would have the time of my life in this dress – and I surely did! Andrew wore a custom Alton Lane tuxedo and Allen Edmond shoes. My sister and Maid of Honor wore a lace Amsale bridesmaid gown in blush and Badgley Mischka heels.

Our wedding stationery was designed by Renee Connors of Designs by Renee. We were amazed by her incredible work. My love for simple elegance was the theme going into our save the dates, invitations, church programs, and menu cards – tied with an ivory or light pink bow, classic raised letter fonts and beautiful hand written calligraphy for each invitation.

Among the many details of planning a wedding I knew there was another element that was extremely important to us. I’ve loved and appreciated photography for many years, so of course for my wedding day it was a must to have incredible photography and videography. It was important for us to capture every moment; the first look, walking down the aisle, all the small details of the welcome bags, guest book, advice cards, signature cocktails, and the expressions on all of our faces throughout the night. Jeremy Hess from Jeremy Hess Photographers and Derek Lavon from Lavon Films were the teams we hired to work with us on our big day. I immediately fell in love with their creations which had an artistic and editorial approach.From the NYC engagement shoot, planning meetings and wedding week walk through’s at the venues, I was blown away by Jeremy & Derek’s professionalism, exceptional organizational skills, patience and natural ability to make us feel comfortable in front of the camera. They truly made our wedding planning and wedding day experience so memorable.

After ten incredible months of wedding planning our big day was here. We spent the wedding morning with our respective families getting pampered, sharing stories and reminiscing – over mimosas for the girls and Bloody Mary’s for the guys. Andrew and I planned to share our first look in private before the ceremony in the church garden. Every sort of emotion and nerve was felt but the second we locked eyes and held each other in our arms we were immediately calm and subdued and ready for show time! It was such a surreal and touching moment that I’ll never forget. Following my first look with Andrew prior to our ceremony, I had a “first look” with my dad where he saw me in my wedding dress for the first time. He looked so happy and proud. I’ll always remember that moment and how incredibly sweet and special it was.

For the beautiful ceremony Reverend Dean Jurgen officiated. Our mothers lit the Unity Candle to “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring” by J.S. Bach, my sister entered to “Air” from Water Music by G.F Handel and my dad and I walked down the aisle to “Trumpet Voluntary” by J. Clarke. During our ceremony the congregation sang “Joyful, Joyful” and our soloist, Richard Jackson and organist, Dr. Jeffrey Gemmel sang, “The Lord’s Prayer” by A.H. Malotte. While Andrew and I lit our unity candle Richard sang, “Oh Perfect Love” by J. Barnby. These were all songs sung at my parents wedding thirty-four years ago, which was very special. Exchanging vows was such a sweet moment as we held hands and looked at each other with love while fighting back tears. Before we knew it we were being pronounced husband and wife with a loud cheering of applause. Following our ceremony our guests lingered on the front lawn as they enjoyed refreshments; homemade lemonade and water with frozen blueberries. Exiting the church we were greeted by our guests who tossed light pink rose petals into the air as Andrew and I were whisked off to the reception in a silver 1963 Rolls Royce Silver Cloud.

We continued the celebration at the Lancaster Country Club. The cocktail hour was al fresco (which I love). We had an open bar and also offered a champagne cocktail named, “The Kristini” made of champagne, pink lemonade and a lemon garnish. Passed hors d’oeuvres were served, the crowd-pleasers being the asiago stuffed potatoes, prosciutto, cantaloupe and honeydew kabobs, bacon wrapped scallops with sweet basil, and filo shells stuffed with crab. Live music was performed eloquently while the guest mingled while soaking in the warm summer evening breeze during our extended cocktail hour on the patio.

When we walked into our reception space our entire vision was executed flawlessly. Gold chiavari chairs and ivory linens adorned our tables topped with our menu which was tied beautifully with a satin light pink bow. Blush Damask linens draped over the sweetheart and dessert table creating a lovely contrast. Beautiful medium size vases and larger blooming arrangements done in a palette of ivory and blush, all soft, elegant and delicate flowers created a skyline of pale beauty that reflected the warmth of the votive candle light, and hinted at the panorama of the city we know and love. Stacia of Petals with Style incorporated ivory and light blush roses, hydrangea, garden roses and ranunculus. Our “Spread the Love” wedding favors of homemade strawberry jam, made and sold at the famous Lancaster County Farmers Market, accompanied each place setting. Each had a delicate lace placed over top with a satin light pink bow to continue with our theme.

Traditional recipes for pies and cakes are an important part of the German-Dutch culture of Lancaster County, and many recipes are passed down from generation to generation. Following the cake cutting ceremony our dessert bar and coffee station served Lancaster County traditional favorites such as miniature whoopie pies and shoofly pies, chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter icing, fresh fruit tarts, and key lime bites. Our beautiful wedding cake, by Byers Bakery, was a three tiered cake with white buttercream icing and white with raspberry filling. Touches of ivory and blush roses, ranunculus and porcelina spray roses were accented throughout.

The Don Eaton Band was certainly a highlight of our wedding day, with the dance floor packed until the second encore at the end of the night. The ten-piece band played the latest contemporary hits, my all-time favorite country songs, rock classics, and the hits from the 50’s to the 90’s. Each musician was very talented leaving our guests in awe of their range and level of perfection.

When it was time for the bridal party to be announced, our guests circled the dance floor as our parents and siblings came into the ballroom to the hit song, “Happy” by Pharrell Williams. With the crowd cheering, Andrew and I were announced and excitedly came in to “Signed, Sealed Delivered” by Stevie Wonder. It was quite an entrance with everyone on their feet clapping and singing. Immediately following our grand entrance we danced our first dance to Michael Buble’s, “Everything.” Our first dance was choreographed with lifts, dips and twirls which was a lot of fun and left our guests excited to see what fun dance move proceeded. The highlight was when Andrew lifted me in the air and spun me in a circle mid song with a romantic dip and kiss at the end. At this moment I remember feeling sheer happiness and hoping the night would never end.

In between the dancing, the toasts and greeting of our guests we were served several courses prepared by the LCC resident chef, and ate and drank the most delicious food and drinks. We spent time enjoying the company of our dearest family and friends.

The party was truly one to remember and one which could have lasted all night long! We could not have asked for more. All of our vendors did a wonderful job in helping us create the perfect day that reflected our story as a couple. Our wedding was warm, personal, and full of so many tender and loving moments. It was a day full of love, and it was better than we could have ever imagined. Our family and friends helped to make it an unforgettable day, which we’re ever so grateful for. I have no doubt that all of our guests felt the undying love between Andrew and I and how blissful and thankful we were to share this memorable day with them.

Head to The Vault for even more wedding inspiration!

Photography: Jeremy Hess Photographers | Cinematography: Lavon Films | Event Planning: Lancaster Country Club | Floral Design: Petals With Style | Wedding Dress: Amsale | Wedding Cake: Byers Bakery | Invitations: Designs By Renée | Ceremony Venue: Lititz Moravian Church | Reception Venue: Lancaster Country Club | Bride's Shoes: Badgley Mischka | Wedding Bands: Ream Jewelers | Hair & Makeup: Trim Salon | Band: Don Eaton Band | Groom's Attire: Alton Lane | Bridal Party Robes: Plum Pretty Sugar | Bridal Purse: Kate Spade | Bride & Groom 1963 Rolls Royce: Michael's Motor Cars | Bride's Jewelry: Saks Fifth Avenue | Dance Lessons: New York Partner Dance | Groom's Shoes: Allen Edmonds | Guest Transportation: Elite Coach | Linens: Special Occasions Linens | Maid of Honor Dress: Amsale | Rehearsal Dinner Venue: The Pressroom

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Rustic Chic Farm Museum Wedding with DIY Touches

If you’re considering a farm wedding for your upcoming nuptials, it’s time to start taking notes! With the help of Proud To Plan and captured by Shaw Photography Co., this DIY wedding mixes family tradition with rustic florals & pale pink touches. The bride wearing Theia from Lovely Bride in Philadelphia and jewelry from Anna Sheffield looked radiant with a simple floral crown and elegant makeup. From a naked cakes to string lights, be sure to check out every detail here!

Rustic Venue

From the beautiful Bride… More than anything, Mike and I wanted a wedding that was true to us — something that best represented our family traditions, our spiritual beliefs, our trust and faith in each other, our skills and passions, and our love of family and friends (and food and drink!).

Mike proposed on October 4, 2013 on our apartment building’s rooftop. That night, I arrived home expecting an empty apartment–and instead found a candlelit message spelled out in Bananagrams tiles, telling me to step out onto the roof. There Mike was waiting with the ring (inside a wooden container he made by hollowing out a tree branch) and a bottle of wine. The ring features a vintage rose cut diamond in a custom rose gold setting by Anna Sheffield.

We live in Brooklyn, NY, and our families are in Allentown, PA, and Wilmington, DE. We wanted an outdoor fall wedding to take advantage of the great autumn colors and the crisp weather — we both run warm! We settled on Lancaster, PA because it is equidistant from both of our families, is on an Amtrak line from New York, and has a great many beautiful farms. We found our ideal ceremony and reception venue there at the Landis Valley Village & Farm Museum. Landis Valley is a living museum with a quirky history: the original farmstead was run by two eccentric bachelor brothers whose collection of Pennsylvania Dutch folk art and farm implements is the largest in America. Our reception was in the yellow barn they originally built to display a portion of their collection.

Planning the reception was hard work, but we really struggled to write the right ceremony. We wanted it to reflect our own values and beliefs while honoring our family traditions — not always the easiest thing. After many discussions and just a little bit of family drama, we settled on a Quaker-inspired self-uniting marriage that incorporated readings from our friends and elements of Ukrainian and Catholic tradition, like receiving a blessing from a priest before the ceremony and later tying our hands together with a cloth embroidered by Mike’s late grandmother. The readings were composed of lines our guests had written to us on our RSVP cards; we had asked them to offer a few words of wisdom about love when they replied. Our favorite: “Love is giving someone half of your sandwich… and not regretting that you gave away half your sandwich.”

As guests left the school buses they arrived on, they were greeted by a bagpiper — another tradition, this time from our shared past at Carnegie Mellon, where every major event is commemorated with Scottish pipes. As guests made their way to the courtyard behind the barn, we greeted them with snacks and soft drinks. Welcoming our friends and family as they arrived was one of the best decisions we made. It not only made us really feel a part of the day, but also helped dissipate some of our nervous energy. I don’t love standing in front of large groups of people, and this helped me feel more comfortable.

After the ceremony, which was brief, and concluded just as dusk fell, we signed our marriage license and got our first drinks. In addition to beer and wine, we made two special cocktails: a homemade spicy margarita made with jalapeno-infused tequila (for me) and rye whiskey mixed with cask sarsaparilla (for Mike). We also had my sister’s homemade ranch pretzels and a couple of small mountains of cheese and veggies. Later, at dinner, we served buffet-style pit barbecue. The cakes (we had five different small cakes) were made by a family friend who is a baker in Kutztown, PA, and we filled out the dessert tables with cookies made by my family. At the end of the evening we invited guests to fill takeout boxes with leftover desserts.

We took our cue on decorations from the venue itself: rustic but elegant. Mike and I met because we were editors of rival literary journals in college, so escort cards I put together were attached to pencils that we stood up in an old card catalog, and every place setting was identified with a notebook with each guest’s name hand-calligraphed onto a tag. Everything was casual but considered; we didn’t want anything to feel “fancy,” but rather just to feel authentically “us” while also being a little more refined than we usually are. For instance, Mike and my dad spent an afternoon collecting “good-looking” leaves and spray-painting them copper and gold; we made table-number centerpieces out of vintage bottles we had collected, branches from my backyard, and rough-cut wooden rounds chain-sawed by my dad from trees in my parents’ backyard. We used long banquet style tables that we connected with vines.

After cocktails, my dad welcomed everyone to the reception, Mike’s sister introduced the wedding party, and Mike’s grandfather asked a blessing, as he does at all family meals. After everyone had gotten their food (or their first plate of it, anyway) my sisters and Mike’s brother gave toasts. Then we had a surprise speech from Mike’s old boss, which prompted Mike to get up and get a thing or two off his chest. It was beautiful. Then, dancing: In an effort to quell some of the nervousness about being up in front of people, we tried to do our first dance a few songs in and without anyone noticing, but that didn’t work — everyone noticed we were finally dancing, and made room for us to be the only ones on the dance floor. Soon we were hot and sweaty and needed to step outside for some fresh air. There, we had a bonfire along with another dessert, homemade marshmallows for s’mores.

We worried about all kinds of things before the wedding. But on the day itself, everything ran smoothly. It was definitely because of our awesome vendors — we really couldn’t have chosen more creative and professional people. We have to single out Proud to Plan, our day-of coordinators. Mike’s sister-in-law swore by them, and her gift to us was their services. We were skeptical that we’d need any help, but I take it all back! I am certain that the event went more smoothly, and that we enjoyed it so much more, because of their incredible foresight and poise.

Photography: Shaw Photography Co. | Coordination: Proud to Plan | Floral Design: Splints & Daisies | Wedding Dress: Theia | Wedding Dress: Lovely Bridal Shop | Cake: Chandelier Grove | Invitations: Kristen Lukiewski (Bride) | Bride's Shoes: Gilt Groupe | Engagement Ring: Anna Sheffield Bridal | Bridesmaids' Dresses: J.Crew | Catering: Harvey's Main Street BBQ | Hair: Luxe | DJ: Roger Campbell TopHat DJs | Groom's Attire: My Suit | Groomsmen's Attire: Jos. A. Bank | Wedding Venue: Landis Valley Museum | Bagpipes: Sean Gearhart, Charm City Piper | Bride's Earrings: Swarovski | Bridesmaids' Shawls: Target | Decorations: Kristen Lukiewski (Bride) | Escort Cards & Favors: Kristen Lukiewski (Bride) | Programs: Kristen Lukiewski (Bride) | Rehearsal Dinner Venue: The Montgomery House | Rentals: Eagle Rental | Seamstress: Eileen Clark | Shuttle: First Student Charter | Signage: Kristen Lukiewski (Bride) | Snacks And Baked Goods: Mary & Abbey Lukiewski (bride's Mother And Sister) | Weathered Wood "Mr" & "Mrs", "Cards" Signs: Fir + Forest | Wedding Ring (Bride): Ross Jewelers | Wedding Ring (Groom): Anya Weitzman

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Rustic Chic Wedding at The Farm at Eagles Ridge

Despite living more than 7 hours apart during their engagement, this pharmacist pair did their best to plan every detail of their wedding at Farm At Eagles Ridge together. Drawing inspiration from a delicate color palette, their rustic vintage affair was filled with handmade touches. From nailing their touching vows to their patient place cardsHarper Parker Photography captured it here!

Rustic Venue

From Harper Parker Photography It was on a bench in Cape May, NJ, three and a half years after they first met, that Tyler proposed to Ashley. He pulled out a piece of paper from his pocket that had listed every place the couple had lived and visited since they met and his favorite memory from each place. Last on the list was Cape May, NJ… “the place where I asked you to spend the rest of your life with me. ” Ashley was so excited she forgot to say “yes!”.

Tyler and Ashley spent the majority of their engagement apart while she finished pharmacy school. Although the couple was more than 7 hours apart they did their best to plan every detail of the wedding together… aside from the flowers which the groom chose all on his own (and he is color blind!!!!).

Ashley has always loved light neutrals, pinks, peaches and cream colors. These colors became the inspiration point for their rustic/vintage theme. So many wonderfully beautiful and heartwarming details were woven into this couples’ big day from the handmade patch that Ashley created for the back of her father’s tie, to the beautiful handmade wooden box that the couple nailed their vows into. Both the bride and groom are pharmacists so the medicine bottles with guests (“patient”) names that served as place cards were inspired by the couples’ pharmacy background.

While every detail of this wedding was so beautiful to photograph the most beautiful part was the couples’ touching vows to each other. After saying their vows in front of a late afternoon sun-drenched pond, the couple placed their vows in a special wooden box and took turns nailing the lid closed before sealing their marriage with a kiss. It was one of the most beautiful ceremonies we have ever seen.

Photography: Harper Parker Photography | Videography: C & K Cinematography | Event Planning: Planned Perfection | Floral Design: Lincolnway Flower Shop | Wedding Dress: Matthew Christopher | Cake: Ady's Cake | Invitations: Wedding Paper Divas | Ceremony Venue: The Farm at Eagles Ridge | Reception Venue: The Farm at Eagles Ridge | Bridesmaids' Dresses: J.Crew | Catering: Accomac Events | Hair And Makeup: Luxe | DJ: The Fair Trade Band | Rentals: Treasured Rentals

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here