The wedding today literally gave us goosebumps! Doug, with Transcendence Studio sent it to us and mentioned Elizabeth’s wedding would be a fun one to feature. He was right! We feel the love, warmth and togetherness throughout. Doug is based out of Columbus, Ohio and shoots with his wife. He referred to her as “his partner in crime”. The couple, Elizabeth and Gavin live in New York, but traveled back to their family to be joined in marriage. In fact, they brought a lot of family elements to the wedding. We were able to catch up with Elizabeth and ask her some questions about her wedding.
How did you and husband meet?
Gavin and I met in 7th grade! Although I can’t say exactly where or when, we are both pretty sure it was at a middle school dance. He insists that he asked me out when we 13, and that I said no! We met up again when we were both living and working in New York – when he asked me out the second time I said yes.
How long have you been together?
We have been together for about 4 years.
How did he propose?
He proposed on a very cold and rainy morning, in a beautiful spot right along Lake Michigan in downtown Chicago. He somehow convinced me to go out for a run, even though it looked like there was about to be a huge storm. And of course, about 5 minutes it to the run in started to drizzle. As we reached the pier where Gavin was planning to propose, he faked an injury so we could walk for awhile. When we got to the end of the pier, with water all around us, he got down on one knee and pulled his grandmother’s beautiful ring out of the pocket of his running shorts (where it had been WITHOUT A BOX for the whole run!). Just as I said yes it started pouring rain, so we should have known our wedding day would be a rainy one as well!
Your dress is gorgeous, where did you get it and how did you know it was “the one”?
I actually wore two dresses – I couldn’t resist. The dress I wore for the ceremony was my mother’s dress, with just a few changes. We removed the sleeves and the gorgeous high ruffled neck that was perfect for her November wedding but would have been a bit warm for our August date. But everything else we kept exactly the same. My mom is my best friend and I look up to her so much, so it felt very special to get married in the dress she wore on her wedding day.
The second dress I found after LOTS of trying on and changing my mind, and changing my mind again…at David’s Bridal. I knew it was the one because I tried it on in the middle of winter, with pale skin, those few extra winter pounds, no makeup and messy hair, and still felt so beautiful and special. AND most importantly, I could dance in it. It was made by a young designer named Amy Wong Micucci for a contest David’s Bridal and Brides Magazine held called Operation Dream Dress. It was a great way to get a dress made by an emerging designer at a David’s Bridal price. She has her own line of bridesmaids dresses as well, www.swoondress.com
Your veil is incredible. Is that something you bought or was it handed down from someone?
The veil was my mother’s as well – I loved it. Below is a picture of her wearing the dress and veil!
We love the boots….tell us more about that image?
The boots were a total fluke – I was joking with my friends that I should take them home just to ensure that it wouldn’t rain. I figured it would be like Murphy’s Law - if I take the rain boots it won’t rain; if I DON’T take them it definitely will. I had to pack a second suitcase just to bring them and needless to say, my tricky logic didn’t exactly work. The funniest part is that it wasn’t even raining that hard at this point – we had no idea just how bad it would get and how glad I would be that I had those boots! And to top it all off, my Mom got creative and used the boots as a vase for our post-wedding brunch the next day!
We hear its good luck to rain on your wedding day. What did you think when it started to rain?
Oh wow – I think I was in shock! The storm that blew in really hadn’t been predicted, so we were all set up outside. No one could see me, but I was actually sitting right behind the barn in the car with my Dad and all the girls, watching the storm blow in, watching the tents and place cards go flying, and watching all our guests running through the mud up to the barn. We couldn’t stop laughing! I knew it was out of my hands and I just had to throw up my hands and take the ride! Luckily we had an AMAZING wedding coordinator (Amanda of At Last Event Planning) who handled it all in stride and kept things moving smoothly. In the end I think the rain truly made the day (our engagement day and our wedding day!) and will hopefully bring us lots of luck in the years to come!
What sold you on your wedding venue?
The barn, the fields and woods all around, and the campfire. I had been picturing a rustic, Southern-style wedding (I was born in Virginia and we both love the outdoors) but wasn’t sure I’d be able to find a place that really felt authentic in my second hometown of Cleveland. We knew we wanted to be close to nature, but comfortable at the same time. We were originally booked in another venue that I liked but wasn’t really in LOVE with, but just a few months before the wedding, they told us they had accidentally DOUBLEBOOKED us with a Civil War Reenactment on the property! Oddly enough, I had saved a voicemail from someone at Botzum Farmstead – a place we heard about long after we’d booked our first venue. With just months to spare, we went to look at the barn and fell in love. It felt just like we had stepped into someone’s old family homestead. We could just picture ourselves getting married in the meadow, dancing in the barn, and sitting around the campfire making smores at the end of the night with all our friends. It felt like home.
How did you choose your wedding color palette?
I knew I wanted something soft and natural, and that I wanted the girls to be able to pick their own dresses and not all look the same. The champagne – blush palette seemed like one that would give the girls lots of options but not risk looking too pieced together. Plus JCrew offered a great selection of dresses in that color scheme. I picked 5 colors and let each girl pick any dress in those colors. Then the rest of the palette – for the flowers and décor – just came straight from the surroundings. Soft greens, ivory and blush – just like the woods, fields and wildflowers all around the barn.
What song did you dance to for your first dance as husband and wife?
We danced to Otis Redding’s “That’s How Strong My Love Is.”
What was your “something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue”?
Something old was my mother’s dress and the handkerchief I carried. I was the fourth generation of women on my mother’s side of the family to carry it. My something new was the beautiful bracelet Gavin gave me as a wedding gift that morning. My something borrowed was the amazing pair of earrings my sister-in-law and Maid of Honor brought for me to wear – a pair that belonged to her grandmother and that I felt so honored to wear. And my something blue…well this one is kind of a stretch…but it was the bottom of my shoes! They were a fun bright blue, although they were mostly muddy brown by the end of the night.
Do you have any advice for brides that are in the planning process?
Try to slow down and enjoy the little moments with the people you love. Everything seemed to be flying by so quickly during the week before the wedding. In moments when things really felt hectic I tried to slow down, take a breath, and really soak it all in. I remember those few moments so clearly and treasure them – like having a quick quiet cup of coffee with my Dad the morning of the wedding. Also, be creative with your budget. My husband and I sat down when we started planning and made 2 lists, without showing each other, of the top 5 things we were willing to spend money on, and the 5 things that didn’t mean as much to us. When we compared those lists, we knew where we wanted to spend, and where we could save. We managed to save in some big areas (like invitations from Costco, an online RSVP system, and serving our guests beer, wine and 2 signature cocktails instead of a full bar) so we could spend money on the things that meant the most to us – music and making sure we could invite everyone we loved. OH and hire a day-of wedding coordinator – such a lifesaver and worth every penny!
What was your favorite part of your big day?
SPARKLERS – at the end of the night, all our guests lined up along the dirt road leading up to the barn with these amazing 2-foot sparklers my Mom found. It was surreal – all the faces of the people we loved lit up, one of our favorite songs (Dixieland Delight by Alabama!) playing in the background, as we walked off down the road to start our new life. When we were far enough away from the barn, we stopped, turned back and watched it all from the outside. It was our first private moment as husband and wife and it was absolutely my favorite.
Venue: Conrad Botzum Farmstead
Dress: Alterations By Alina (she transformed my Mom’s dress) and Davids Bridal
Cake: Flour Girl (cupcakes!) and homemade whoopee pies made by my family in Pennsylvania
Floral: Martha Rogers Marsh of Gatehouse Interiors, Willoughby, OH
Catering: Taste of Excellence (These guys were running through the rain, made my vision of a family style dinner come to life, and even carried umbrellas!)
DJ/Band: Bluegrass band during dinner and cocktails: Ricky Prater and the Midnight Travelers
DJ for after dinner and dancing: DJ Matt Gazdak through Jerry Bruno Productions
Ceremony Musicians (added this one): Leslie Braidech (and friends) String Quartet
Videographer: Our friends – we decided to spend money on a small video camera that we could keep instead, asking our family members to videotape some special moments.
Invitations/Wedding Stationery: EInvite – Costco’s stationery provider
Wedding Coordinator: At Last Event Planning – Amy Hissa and Amanda Cochran
Thank you so much, Doug, for sharing this amazing wedding with us! Please stop by his blog and show him some love! And thank you, Elizabeth, for taking your time to answer our questions! We wish you and Gavin a lifetime full of love, laughter, and happiness!!! May every day be better than the last!