How You Met: Spencer and I met in high school. I was smitten from the moment I met him! We always had a major connection throughout our time at high school- we went to Homecoming together, were officers on the Student Government together, and of course, went to Senior Prom together. We dated as high school drew to a close and just remained best friends as I went off to college in Boston and he to New York. All throughout college, whenever I came back to town, he would come home too to spend some time with me. We perfected the “friend date”- going alone just the two of us to lunch, dinner, drinks, or simply hanging on the couch with a couple glasses of wine- without ever crossing the line, lying to ourselves that this connection was just a really great friendship. Finally, 8 years after high school graduation, for the first time we were both single at the same time and went on another one of our infamous “friend dates”. Needless to say, this one ended up with a goodnight kiss and we’ve been inseparable ever since.
Though I believe we would have ended up together no matter what path our lives took, one of the things that has bonded us so strongly is the common tragedy we have both, unfortunately, had to share. Spencer and I both lost our mothers to non-smokers lung cancer while in our early twenties. It was imperative to us that we felt our mothers’ spirits throughout every moment of our wedding day. By a stroke of fate, we found an old photo of our mothers together at our Homecoming football game, senior year of high school. It can be found in the forefront and background of many of our wedding photos, quite literally keeping them in the picture. I wore charms of each of our mothers’ pictures around my bouquet while Spence had special cufflinks made of our mothers’ pictures, one mom on each cuff. After our mom’s passed, we both thought our mothers would never know the person we married. Now, Spencer’s mother’s last memories of me are Prom together and never allowing Spencer to date (unless it was me!) My mother’s last memories of Spence are when he was working at the hospital while she was ill. Spence would literally take my mother by the hand and walk her to wherever her appointment was in the building. Fate always connected us, but our match was made in Heaven.
Details of the Day: Spencer and I wanted our day to be classic, timeless, and elegant. Downtown Princeton was the perfect backdrop for this. Our venue, the Nassau Inn has so much history and elegance with a modern touch. It was the very first place we looked, and we fell so in love with its charm, we had to look no further! It had the classic look we wanted with the convenience for our guests! Most of our guests were able to walk the streets from the Inn to the church and enjoyed a beverage or two in the Yankee Doodle Tap Room on the ground level of the Nassau Inn before cocktail hour and after the last dance.
Spence and the groomsmen wore navy tuxedos with black lapels, suspenders, and a bowtie. He really had the vintage look with a contemporary feel. I opted for a modern sweetheart ball gown topped with a classic lace off the shoulder bolero with pearl buttons down the back. The bolero absolutely transformed the gown and took me back in time. I even donned a faux fur wrap for some of the chilly outdoor pictures, really adding to the old Hollywood feel. My bridesmaids wore off the shoulder, floor length, dusty blue gowns. The light blue against the navy tuxes complemented each other as the perfect combination.
Keeping with the classic feel, I opted for simple classic centerpieces- bundles of baby’s breath in high-low pieces throughout the room. The groomsmen matched with baby’s breath boutonnieres, while Spencer wore a White Rose on his lapel. My bouquet was, as my florist put it, THE classic bridal bouquet. It was all white with peonies, hydrangeas, and roses. To give just a dash of pop, my bridesmaid held cranberry flowers with a touch of pink and extra greenery. It was my little modern touch to a classic wedding party look.
We had a photobooth set up at the Nassau Inn and our favors were magnetic photo booth strip frames. Our guests were able to visit the booth and bring home their picture in a frame ready to showcase at their home.
It was important to Spence and me that we included all of the important relationships in our lives throughout the day. Though we honored our mothers quite openly, we also honored our fathers with special gifts and gave our brothers cufflinks with pictures of our mothers on them. As a teacher, I invited my class of little ones to the ceremony and offered wedding coloring books and crayons to them with their programs. We are also very proud puppy parents to our lovely rescue, Ella. We included our relationship with her through her namesake signature cocktail, The Ella, as well as having her with us on our cake topper. Of course we also had a pet sitter with her waiting for us outside the church for some precious photo ops. One of the most special relationships we have, however, is with my sister, Danielle. Though 38 years old, Danielle was born with special needs and has the abilities of a 5-year-old and the heart of an angel. She had been looking forward to being the Maid of Honor at the big day for over a year. We gave her the special task of giving the blessing before food was served. Spencer and I had been practicing for months with her and she knocked it out of the ballpark! It may be the only wedding blessing on record to get a roaring round of applause and cheers afterward!
Menu: For dinner, we offered three options: Macadamia Crusted Mahi Mahi, Wild Mushroom Filet Mignon, or Vegetable Strudel. All of the choices were outstanding and no one left hungry!
Favorite Moment: My favorite part of the day was seeing Spencer at the end of the aisle for the first time. I truly believe he is my soulmate and there are no words to describe the feeling of seeing your childhood crush and man of your dreams with tears in his eyes waiting to devote the rest of his life to you. It’s the true reason for the entire day and celebration, and I did not want to lose sight of what we were all there for in the first place: to celebrate the two of us falling madly in love. After all we have been through at such a young age, it was so lovely to finally have the attention on us for a happy reason. From sixteen year old puppy love to standing by his side in a large white gown, falling in love with Spencer has been nothing short of magic.
Couldn’t Live Without: Our family and friends there. At the end of the day, take every detail aside and the magic of the wedding day would still be there. Take away our nearest and dearest? And it just wouldn’t be the same!
Favorite Detail: My favorite detail, is by far, how we incorporated our deceased mothers into our day, Especially my charms of each of our mothers’ pictures around my bouquet and Spence’s special cufflinks made of our mothers’ pictures, one mom on each cuff.
Honeymoon: We stayed at the Bucuti and Tara adults only resort in Aruba and had an unforgettable first trip as husband and wife!
Bride’s Gown: Watters purchased at the Bridal Garden
Bride’s Shoes: Badgely Mischka, from Nordstrom
Bridesmaid Dresses: Jim Hjlem from the Bridal Garden
Hair: The Beauty Room
Makeup: Christina Barria
Music: DJ Sully
Flowers: Flowers by Kim Glasson
Invitations: Handmade by the Bride, Printed by Cards and Pockets
Videographer: PF Films
Groom and Groomsmen’s Attire: Princeton Tuxedo
Transportation: Academy Bus