To simply call this wedding "pretty" is one of the biggest understatements of all time. It's the story of our very own editor, Michelle and her love, Paul vowing their forever with a celebration that'll make any wedding lover weep - it's just that perfect. Set at New England's beloved Crane Estate, it's whimsical yet timeless, elegantly styled yet so deeply personal. And that O'Malley duo? They're to thank for every last image sitting in The Vault. Whether you're looking for invite inspiration, pastels done right or just want to see an absolutely beaming editor-turned-bride, this wedding is all that plus a million times more.
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From The Bride... Plain and simple, weddings make my heart extraordinarily happy. So, you can imagine my overwhelming gratitude that not only do I have the unique privilege to do what I love for a living, but I basically have the best job ever. My favorite part on the daily? Reading your love stories. Because it's a given that every great love comes with a great story, and I have the immense pleasure of sharing mine with you all today.
A month before graduating Parsons NYC my girlfriends and I decided that it was time to give internet dating a try. After two weeks of what I considered "online shopping for a soulmate" I expanded my search beyond NY, and that was how I found Paul from Boston. Upon reading his profile I instantly turned to my friend (and bridesmaid) exclaiming that I had just found my perfect person. I decided to be uncharacteristically bold and send him a message, praying he would reply. Thankfully he did and our connection was instantaneous with phone calls and Skype sessions lasting into the early mornings thereafter. Since he lived in New England and I was in New York, we didn’t meet in person for an entire month. The day we finally met he was waiting for me underneath a clock tower and like a rom-com brought to life - time literally stood still. Fast forward six months and I had left my beloved Big Apple for lovely New England, and after a four year whirlwind romance Paul proposed.
We planned our wedding close to home with the beautiful Crane Estate as our venue. I’d always envisioned an outdoor ceremony with a reception that felt more like a dinner party with endless amounts of champagne and of course a few flower crowns. I'm not terribly big on following the norm and our first unconventional choice was choosing a Monday. It gave my West coast guests the weekend to arrive and also the intimate celebration we truly wanted. Our ultimate goal was to have everyone we loved sharing in our joy, and I have to say we got just that and more thanks to everyone involved.
Every second of our wedding stands out as a favorite, but a few special moments that bring a smile to my face are: seeing my bridesmaids' reactions after helping me put on my veil. When my best friend from pre-school snuck up to the bridal suite and we both instantly started to cry. Anxiously walking towards Paul for our First Look and seeing the excitement in his eyes. The monarch butterflies that floated around us as we took our portraits. My dad handing me a napkin before we walked down the aisle because I was already crying. Paul's handwritten vows that he wrote in an journal as an ode to my roots. The handmade decor my Bridesmaid surprised me with. Sharing a dance with my father to our favorite song. Watching the little ones play croquet. When our cake knife broke mid-cut and we almost died laughing. Finally, seeing a shooting star as the evening came to a close.
Our photographers, Scott and Ashlee flew all the way from Seattle to captured our Big Day. They are truly the kindest couple and their talent speaks volumes. Everyone was instantly at ease in-front of the camera as they snapped every candid kiss and meaningful moment with such care. I felt as if my heart was going to burst with joy when they sent over the memories they captured and I can't wait to cross paths with them for every future life event.
As we lined up to walk down the aisle, I felt the wave of emotions from the day wash over me. It was all so surreal, it was a day that I'd been dreaming of and it was happening! As my Bridesmaids' (all crying I might add) walked down the aisle to Coldplay - Sky full of Stars I could feel a million happy tears streamed down my face. I was completely overwhelmed with gratitude that not only was I marrying my best friend, but also that I had six more to lead the way and share in our joy. Holding my Dad's arm (who also officiated) we followed down the grassy lawn towards Paul to the tune of The Beatles - In My Life . Through tears and streams of sunlight, we exchanged personal vows in a short but sweet ceremony and shared our first kiss as newlyweds.
The ceremony was followed by a relaxed cocktail hour as Vogue Entertainment provided the ambiance with an array of modern music played on a selection of strings. Guests were greeted by signature cocktails and my dream "cheese cake". While everyone was nibbling on passed hors d'oeuvres and mingling, Danielle of the Trustees flawlessly coordinated our day with elegance and ease. Transitioning from cocktails to dinner inside the Great House everyone found their seat amongst long linen covered tables complete with cascading centerpieces by Les Fleurs.
Sita and the team at Timothy S. Hopkins Catering crafted our dream menu - from lobster served on homemade potato chip to the fried goat cheese salad- every bite was to die for. After dinner guests were lead outside for a casual game of croquet, lots of wedding cake from Flour Bakery, and even more champagne. We shared our first dance to a string quartet version of George Ezra - Budapest and I remember thinking just how lucky we are. It was with huge smiles, sweet kisses, and grateful hearts that we shared an evening we’ll never forget.
Now for some advice. Think about the advantages of a weekday wedding. We wanted a small celebration and our Monday nuptials gave us just that (plus a lot of vendors have availability on weekdays). Also, consider a first look! It relieved us of any nerves, and we got all of our formal portraits done before the reception. Plus for the sake of vanity my hair + makeup didn't run the risk of falling flat! A great piece of advice we were given was try to stop seven times during the day to take a deep breath, do your best to take in that moment. Because like everyone says it goes by in a blur, but a beautiful on that you'll try your hardest to remember every detail of. All in all, just remember that your wedding day is the most wonderful and meaningful beginning that is about your love together - so have a glass of champagne and enjoy every minute!