Sunday, December 1, 2013

Lavender Showers and I Do's: Our Wedding, Part 2

We got married at Greendance Winery in Mt. Pleasant, Pennsylvania, which is in the scenic Laurel Highlands region, most know for its ski resorts, such as Seven Springs. Greendance was the perfect venue for us: along with wine, they have an apple orchard, a field full of sheep, free-roaming guinea hens, and gorgeous acres of green. My parents picked the location for Dave and I while we were in Florida, but the first time Dave and I visited in person, we fell in love. Everyone at Greendance was wonderful to work with, especially Amy. We would absolutely recommend Greendace to anyone in the area, even just as a place to spend a lazy summer afternoon. You can bring a picnic lunch to eat in the orchards, or enjoy a bottle of wine outdoors in the garden. 

Again, all photography is by the talented Miriam Lorenzi, who can be found at

Dave and my Dad handed the duty of ring bearer over to Dave's son, Austin. 

Dave was so happy his parents were able to bring Austin down with them on the long drive from Connecticut. Dave explained what would happen and the importance of Austin's ring bearing duties.

Our musicians were Barb and John, who provided a lovely classical guitar and flute backdrop to the ceremony. 

The anxiously waiting groom. 

I waited in the back room of the winery until it was time to walk down the aisle, which was a good distance away. When it was finally time to start walking, it felt completely surreal: a flock of young guinea hens pecked beside where we walked, a chipmunk scampered across the path, and everything was completely quiet except for the sounds of nature. We could not hear the wedding music until we got much closer. In those few minutes of walking, it was hard to believe that the wedding was actually happening; months of planning were culminating, and everything was perfect. 

Seeing the ceremony site decorated and filled with our friends and family was extraordinary; the moment finally arrived. 

We took a big chance by having the wedding outdoors without a backup indoor location available, and the weather could not have been better. It was an ideal 73 degree early Fall day with plenty of sunshine.  We were so grateful! 

Dave later told me he was so relieved when I made it to the bottom of the stone steps; I'm often known for being clumsy, and I was really concentrating on making it down the stairs. I hadn't anticipated how difficult it would be in my long dress. 

I was so glad my Dad was there to walk me down the aisle and help me down the stairs. 

Sam and Ev were my official dress-fixing crew for the day, and they did a fantastic job. 

Our wedding officiant was Anne Marie Toccket. Thinking back, I cannot recall how or from what wedding website we found Anne Marie, but I'm so glad we did. She was easy going and great to work with. She co-owns the local Big Idea Bookstore in Bloomfield, which we now happily frequent. She sent some samples of other ceremonies she had preformed, and I drew from those as well as my own research and original ideas to entirely write our ceremony and vows. 

Dave's good friends Kristin and Andrew came to our wedding from Vermont with their daughter, Jolie.  Jolie brought us the red roses we gave to our mothers in the beginning of the ceremony. 

We each presented our mom with a rose, a tradition my mom and dad also did at their wedding nearly 30 years ago. (As a funny side note, we nearly forgot the roses; Dad and Dave had to buy them on their way to the wedding. Thankfully, there was a florist in between the hotel and winery!) 

Though we proofread them many times, we did not rehearse our ceremony or vows. I'm so glad we opted for that; hearing them at the wedding felt fresh and new, and not at all routine or practiced. 

Anne Marie did a fantastic job: she lightheartedly chatted with Dave during the anxious waiting period before my Dad escorted me down the aisle, helped carry the train of my dress when we gave flowers to our moms, something we hadn't pre-planned, and read our ceremony and vows perfectly. Many people commented on how much they liked the ceremony, which we took as a great compliment; our goal was not to have a boring and generic ceremony, but one that was personal and meaningful to us. I believe that intention shone through on our wedding day. 

We decided to have a tree planting ceremony, where we finished "planting" a tree together to symbolize the roots of our love. We got Dave's brothers involved by having Dave's older brother, Chris, carry our tree to us.

Dave's younger brother, Jesse, carried the pot of soil and the watering can. 

The tree we planted was a young oak started in my Nana's yard. Nana passed away last year, so using the tree from her yard was also a way to bring her memory to the wedding. 

The tree was already mostly planted, and Dave and I added a small amount of soil and water to go along with the reading given by Anne Marie. 

I'm so glad we chose the tree planting ceremony; it fit perfectly with our love of nature and gardening. When we find our new home, we will plant the tree in the yard there. 

Austin was an excellent ring bearer! He took his job seriously and delivered our rings safe and sound.

This adorable one knee delivery was completely his own ad-libbed moment. 

In our concern about the rings falling off the pillow, we tied them on the twine a bit too tightly, and I struggled to get my ring untied, which was a nice moment of laughter in the ceremony. 

"You may now seal your vows with a kiss." 

Presented for the first time as husband and wife. 

Again, I couldn't have done it without my dress crew. 

As we walked out, our guests showered us with fragrant lavender petals I ordered from a small organic farm in Wisconsin. Walking through them was lovely, and suited us much better than rice. 

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