Classic Vintage Wedding at Stone Mill Inn from Alyssa Alkema Photography
November 8, 2013
North America
VintageWeddings in Historical VenuesHotels + Resorts Weddings
I am just going to start out by telling you that this wedding is awesome.  So awesome, in fact, that I sort of just know that you'll be spending your entire Friday soaking in every last bit of lovely.  I guess that's what happens when a beautiful planner bride (the amazing Shaw Events) teams up with Hazlitt Vintage RentalsEcho Letterpress and Alyssa Alkema Photography (among many, many others)... pure, unadulterated pretty.  See it all in the full gallery.
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From the Bride... As a wedding planner, I felt overwhelming pressure to make our day perfect. After months of planning, and stressing out, it finally hit me. This day is for us. This day is for one thing - to express our love for each other. I spend so much of my time telling brides I work with to remember why they are having a wedding. How could I myself forget that? At that point, I knew no matter what happened, the day would be perfect for me. And it was.

I began by booking the big three - the reception location, the florist and the photographer. We looked at many different locations - trying to find one that suited the theme. I wanted a vintage theme, so I didn't want a typical banquet hall. I knew once all of the decor, florals and candle lighting were in, the room would really transform.

Finding Alyssa Alkema as our photographer was a blessing. She does amazing work, and Sean and I knew we were going to end up with photos we would cherish for a lifetime. She captured all of my hard work perfectly. To make the photos even more stunning, we chose an estate home as a location for our photos.

I rented items from different vintage rental company's such as Hazlitt Vintage Rentals and KJ & Co. And many of the items were DIY and purchased from Etsy. It took my family and I months to finish the hundreds of twined and laced mason jar candle holders, and I made our favours and place card holders on my own. The long hours spent on all of the items was worth the sacrifice, as it left money to be spent on other important areas. My favourite DIY items were the vintage windows I used as the seating plan, and the table numbers made from frames and brass numbers.

The day could not have gone smoother. I was relaxed - okay, I may have had my cell in my clutch for any unexpected things - but most importantly, I pulled myself out of planner mode and enjoyed the day.

The most important choice I made for the day was hiring a fellow planner. Michelle of Bespoke Event Design was wonderful. I hired her as my day of coordinator when I realized I needed a little help to completely enjoy my day. She did an incredible job. She was able to handle all of the decor I left for her and completely understood my vision. My favourite part of being a planner is the moment the couple sees all of their hard work come together - and when Sean and I walked into the room, it took our breath away.

I had many favourite moments of the day, but one that stands out in my mind is my first look with my dad. I chose to keep my dress secret from him and I had Alyssa capture the look on his face when he saw me. It was a beautiful moment we will always remember. After planning the first look with my dad, Sean and I were torn on whether to do a first look with each other. I encourage couples to do first looks, as it gives much more time for photos, and allows you to have your moment in private. We decided to keep the traditional elements to the day, so we chose not to see each other before walking down the aisle. Knowing we needed to calm each other down, we decided to take a moment to talk to each other, and say a prayer, before we left to the church. The catch? There was a door keeping us from seeing each other. It was so comforting to hold his hand and talk to him about our nerves and excitement without ruining the element of surprise.

Having our dog Maddox involved in the wedding was also a very important element of our day. As we got married in a Church, he was unfortunately not permitted in the ceremony. Instead, we had a friend bring him to our photos at the Estate. He looked so dapper in his bow tie, and we were thrilled he was able to be there with us.

Overall, the day was everything Sean and I dreamed of. It could not have gone smoother, and to have all of our friends and family enjoy themselves was all we could ask for.