Kirsten and Emily are featured in our first book, Capturing Love. And, we’ll have even more to show and say about their wedding in our upcoming release, The New Art of Capturing Love.
Here’s their story, as originally published on GayWeddings.com
If this beautiful wedding story of Emily and Kristen doesn’t bring out the romantic in you, we don’t know what will!
Emily moved to Boston from Charlottesville, VA and embraced Boston wholeheartedly, but never let go of her Southern roots (and the Southern accent she never had!). Her new wife, Kristen — Boston born and bred — found herself coming to appreciate life south of the Mason-Dixon line as she fell for Emily, and the result was a match made in heaven and a wedding celebration which married the best of both worlds.
We asked Emily and Kristen to tell us a bit more about their Big Day on July 17, 2010 and the elements which were most significant and memorable for them… and their guests. And here’s what they had to say:
In planning our wedding, we knew that we wanted a traditional affair. We wanted white wedding dresses, traditional practices (dads walking us down the aisle, first dances, toasts, etc.), and definitely lots of fun. Being from the south, I (Emily) have always loved the look of a big, rustic barn with scattered twinkle lights, so we started with The Webster Barn.
Then came the rest of our vision. We wanted mason jars for glasses, glitter lights through the rafters, a zydeco band (harking back to my partners’ and my first trip away together, to New Orleans) during dinner and a DJ with a motown feel for dancing. We wanted bare feet and country accents. We wanted linen. We wanted wildflowers and fresh herbs picked from a local farm, red and brown and beige, cupcakes and non-buttercream icing. We wanted handwritten vows, eternity bands passed from one hand to another, and a red pickup truck with lemonade served from the back. We wanted oysters and pulled pork. We wanted a photo booth with lots of giggling heard from under the curtain. We wanted costumes and party hats and feather boas in a basket for a free-for-all. And that’s pretty much what we got.
What is your most favorite photo from the wedding?
Wow. This is a really hard one as Thea (of Authentic Eye Photography) took so many amazing shots, but I think that both of us really love this one (at right) or the one of us in the back of the truck (see lead photo). The first one really captures us and you get to see the detail on our dresses but the second one really captures the red truck and the scene we set and it feels like it caught us in a shared moment reminiscing on the day.
You clearly put a lot of thought into the symbols used on your wedding day. Can you tell us about the most meaningful symbols incorporated into the ceremony and/or reception?
One meaningful symbol, or phrase I guess I should say, was the “For Real” handmade banner that my sister made for us. When Kristen proposed to me, I was so surprised that she was asking me when she did that the first thing out of my mouth was ‘For real?!” and she said, “for real!” and we kind of took that as a good representation of our future lives together. We are in this for real. We are going to take our vows and commit to each other for real. I know it seems like just a saying, but the way it came out and what we have taken it to mean has turned it into something meaningful for us – we even both have it engraved on the inside of our engagement rings.
Because we both loved the look of a big rustic barn, we wanted many of our details to go with that sort of rustic chic country feel – not too shabby, but not too glamorous to make people feel all stuffy. We did that by choosing the Webster Barn, having the red truck, the mason jars, the handpicked wildflowers, and the placecards and table names. I think it really worked.
Another was our ring pillow. One of our strongest memories of our mothers was of them using the red tomato with the small red strawberry pin cushion for their sewing they did when we were kids. We really wanted to pay a tribute to them and all that they did for us by pinning our rings to the top of that pin cushion as our ring pillow. I think they really liked seeing that.
Then, the last silly “symbol” that we had was the costume box and box of mustaches we had for the photobooth. First of all, I LOVE photobooths. Every time I travel someplace and find one I always get in and take a string of pictures, so I knew that I had to have one at the wedding. Then, I wanted people to have fun with it, so a friend of ours brought her sons’ box of various costumes, including boas, firehats, goggles, and even a big green hulk fist for guests to use. Everyone had a blast with those.
We also have this silly tradition every year Kristen and I go to ptown with our group of friends that we all wear fake mustaches one afternoon and then do karaoke at the Governor Bradford as the “Mustaches” so of course, I ordered 150 various mustaches so that every guest could try on one or three if they wanted. We ended up with some pretty hysterical pictures of everyone wearing a mustache, even the little babies!
What was your most favorite/special response a wedding guest shared with you about being a part of your Big Day?
Two of our good friends have been partners for many years and they grew up in a time when coming out and celebrating your love amongst friends and family was not as openly accepted. Although their families are amazing and love and cherish them as a couple, when you grow up with the fear of being judged by the outside world, it is difficult to fully express yourself. They may have had the best time at our wedding. We loved seeing them so happy and free. On multiple occasions one of them would come up to us saying how important the day was, how it was so moving to her and her wife. She was blown away by the incredible feeling of comfort and acceptance that everyone there had for not only our relationship, but for all of our gay and lesbian friends who were in attendance. Kristen and I have talked about it many times since and it truly is one of the favorite parts of our day.
Any special shout outs to the friends, family or vendors who supported you in your planning?
First, I’d definitely like to thank our incredible friends and family who couldn’t have been more supportive of our relationship and marriage. Everyone from old family friends who knew us when we were young to our coworkers now were completely accepting of our love and came out to celebrate with us. That feels amazing.
We also had so much help from them when it came to the preparations and decorations. Two of our friends made our cupcakes, a group of our friends came over one night for dinner and created an assembly line to finish off all of the placecards, various family members brought some of their country accents from their homes and helped us place them around the barn for decorations (which really finished off the look we were going for – and inexpensively too!), and not to mention the countless others who helped with the shower, the stages of planning when we just bounced ideas off each other, those who drove our supplies to and from vermont and picked up our rentals so we didn’t have to worry, and those who came out the day after and completely cleaned up the barn so that Kristen and I could spend the morning with each other and not cleaning up the mess from the night before!
Then, I can’t say enough about the wedding professionals we worked with. Everyone was so down to earth and easy to work with. From our photographer, Thea, who we met first at our engagement shoot and ended up developing a great relationship with and shot amazing pictures, to our wedding planner, Megan, who took care of all of the behind the scenes details so we didn’t have to worry about a thing, to our super fun DJ who took all of our requests, even the obscure bluegrass song from Austin, TX that my friends and I have been dancing to since high school.
What’s your best piece of advice to couples who are planning their weddings for 2011?
Ask your caterer to set aside two plates of food for you for later. Sometimes there is so much going on inside your head that when dinner time comes you can’t even think about eating but if they make you and your partner a doggy bag of everything they serve –later when you get back to your room and everything has settled down, you may find yourself starving and can actually enjoy what you eat!
The other important thing that I learned is that you can spend hours, days, and months trying to plan your wedding down to the last detail. You can obsess over every little thing and worry about who is going to sit where, but the most important thing to remember is that this day is ultimately about the fact that you are getting married to the person that you love and everything else is just icing on the cake. Sure, things will go awry, something may not go as planned, but when you look back at that day in a week, a month or ten years, what you are going to remember is the look on your partner’s face when he/she first saw you, the vows that you took, and the last few minutes in bed that night after a great celebration where you take a second and call each other wife or husband for the first time.
Any special plans for you as you consider how you might celebrate your first wedding anniversary in July?
One of our bridesmaids gave us a gift certificate to the Green Mountain Inn, where our guests stayed for the wedding, as our wedding present. We plan to return to Stowe for our anniversary, stay at the Inn, and make a day trip back up to the barn. We also plan to hand-deliver several photographs of the awesome red truck to the friendly, local Stowe resident who so kindly lent us his truck after we saw it on the side of the road, knocked on his door, and asked if we could use it in our wedding! He was so thrilled to have his prized truck be a part of our day but his one request was that he received pictures – so we will make sure we get some to him!
Anything else you’d like to add?
Every single little detail meant something to us – from the candid photos of all of the guests, our friends, hanging around the barn, to the handmade letter signs of “for real” and “just married” my sister made.
Our friends and family have been such an amazing support to both of us that we wanted to incorporate a piece of them into everything. And, we just wanted people to have fun.
Photographer: Authentic Eye Photography | Caterer: Black Diamond Barbeque | Event Planner: Megan Schultz | Reception Venue: The Webster Barn | Invitation Designer: Monica Rhines | Dress Designer: Casablanca, Demetrios | Other: Weddings, Tents & Events | Band: Slippery Sneakers | Linens and Coverings: Occasions Catering & The Linen Shop | Equipment Rentals: Vermont Photobooth Company