Looking at this sweet and romantic seaside wedding, you’d never know the couple had nearly 200 guests. Alana and Max wanted their big day to feel intimate and personal, and there’s no doubt the couple achieved their goal. Add some photography by Michelle Gardella Photography, with Thomas Gardella as lead photographer, and Victoria Schaefer as assistant, and floral design by the ever-talented MDS Floral Design, and you’re good to go!
From the bride, Alana: Even before we were engaged, I didn’t want to have my wedding in a traditional catering hall (not that there is anything wrong with it, it just wasn’t our style.) When we visited our venue, Bonnet Island Estate for the first time we absolutely fell in love with the grounds, the reception hall and most of all the boat house chapel. The way the floors creaked in certain spots, the breeze that came through the barn doors and the stone fireplace just felt like home. I knew our ceremony would feel intimate in the space even with 170+ guests. We wanted a “classically romantic” wedding filled with personal details and everything about Bonnet fit our vision. We knew that once the chapel was decorated; the fireplace was filled with candles, the mantel and archway decorated with greenery and soft, fluffy, pale colored flowers our vision would come to life. What made our ceremony even more special and intimate was that fact that Max’s father played the guitar and sang as we walked down the aisle, my aunt married us and the readings we chose were read by our family members. We lit a unity candle and Max broke the glass to blend both of our faiths and traditions.
Bouquet recipe: My bouquet was a wispy hand tied rounded style bouquet that included pale pink peonies, pale pink ranunculus, pale pink astilbe, blush stock, cream and pale pink garden roses, café latte Dahlia, wispy fern leaves, seeded eucalyptus and gray dusty miller.
There was no specific theme other than the fact that we knew we wanted our wedding to be about our love. We wanted to include as much family as possible to make it feel intimate, combine both faiths with traditions (my husband is Catholic and I was brought up both Jewish and Catholic), and we wanted to throw an amazing party for all of our guests. Our color scheme was blush and navy blue with touches of gold. Yes, there were some DIY projects involved! I made all of our table numbers, “The Adventure Beings” sign, stained and spray painted our card box, assembled the programs to make them into fans and make our signature drink sign. We also took my grandmothers old mirror and remove the mirror, replaced it with a foam board and hired a calligrapher to write our welcome sign.
Any advice for couples planning their weddings now? There are definitely a few things I would pass along as words of wisdom to future brides! 1. It sounds so cliché but, enjoy every step of the process because as everyone told me, it goes by so fast. You become so consumed with lists of things that have to get done and the anticipation of your big day that when you’re wedding week finally does arrive; it is such a surreal feeling. If you take your time to enjoy every step of the process you can think back after your wedding is over and truly appreciate everything that you put into it and really appreciate just how perfect it was. 2. You will hear this over and over from previous brides, but the day goes by so fast. Take a few moments during your wedding day; just you and your new husband to sit back and take everything in. All of the hard work that you put into your big day and all of the love that everyone in the room has for you. This may be the only time that all of your family and friends will be in one room, so you really need to have a “pinch me” moment and soak it all in. 3. Planning a wedding is like having a full time job that can be all consuming and can get very stressful at times. It was important to us to step away from the planning every once in a while and have a date night where wedding talk was off limits! It really helped put things back into perspective, because in the end it didn’t matter if the tables had an overlay, what color the flowers were going to be or what songs we would dance to. What mattered is that we were making the commitment to marrying each other. To being each other’s forever. Sometimes you have to take a step back to really see the big picture. 4. The week/days leading up to your wedding try to relax. Whatever didn’t get done by that point probably won’t and that’s OK because you will be the only one to notice. Accept the fact that something is bound to go wrong, little or big so if it does, you can acknowledge it without getting upset and continue to enjoy your wedding day, because it will be over in the blink of an eye. Everything will be perfect.
Bridal Party Processional: “Hummingbird,” written by groom’s father
Bride’s Processional: “Home,” Phillip Phillips
Recessional: “All You Need is Love,” The Beatles
First Dance: “A Thousand Years,” Christina Perri
Father/Daughter Dance: “The Way You Look Tonight,” Rod Stewart