Says Anne, “One of the most important things to us while planning our wedding was to make sure it was not only the best day of our lives, but an equally special getaway for our family and friends. We wanted the weekend to feel as comfortable and relaxed as if it was in our own home, with all of our wedding activities outside and in one place. At the same time, since our families live in all different parts of the country, we needed to find a location that was not only somewhere new and exciting for our guests to explore, but easily accessible as well. We visited venue after venue on the East Coast and felt fairly discouraged we would never find ‘the place.’ Each venue was amazing, but had just one thing that didn’t work with our visit. Then we visited the Weekapaug Inn on a freezing cold December day, and felt like we just walked into heaven. Despite the dreary weather, we immediately loved everything about it. It was large enough so [both] of our families could stay there, but not overwhelmingly big. It allowed us to have our ceremony, cocktail hour and reception outside and all on the same property. It was easily accessible from NYC (where we live) and had a major airport nearby. It felt comfortable and relaxed but still maintained an elegant vibe. There were tons of activities for our guests to enjoy all weekend. Not to mention the surroundings are beautiful and just so serene. In just the short thirty minutes we were there, I knew it was ‘the place’ for our wedding weekend. All of our boxes were checked, and we truly couldn’t have dreamed of a more perfect venue. When we first got engaged, people always asked us about the ‘moment’ we knew we would get married. Will and I both agreed that it wasn’t necessarily one specific point in time, but more a series of small moments that ultimately left us realizing we were meant to be together. When we initially started talking about it, we both had a different first moment that stuck out in our memories. After laughing and reminiscing, we decided then to wait and write each other letters to share our personal ‘moments’ with each other describing how we knew we wanted to marry one another, and we would give them to each other the morning of our wedding. It was such a romantic way to start the day (and luckily I read Will’s letter before I got my makeup done!) and since we wouldn’t see each other for another few hours, it made our first look together so intimate and meaningful.
I could relive every second of that day over and over again and never get tired of it – it really and truly was the best day ever! The part of the day that I remember most vividly was our wedding ceremony. Right before the ceremony I was waiting with my parents to walk out, and we were kind of tucked away in a corner behind a staircase so I couldn’t see anything. I remember feeling really overwhelmed and almost in a daze just waiting there. When we finally walked out, I saw Will standing up there, and I felt like I was just going to burst with happiness! I was smiling, laughing, crying – just feeling every emotion. Then before the ceremony began, our minister had us take a minute to look out at the audience and soak in the moment. I will never ever forget that image. It was every single person we knew and loved all in one place, all supporting our marriage with full hearts. It was the most magical moment.
Anne & Will’s Love Story | We met in NYC in the summer of 2011 at a charity event. My friend brought me, and Will’s friend was hosting the event. He approached me right away with a pretty dorky pickup line (which I still tease him about to this day), and we spent the entire night talking. I knew Will was going back to business school in Philadelphia at the end of the summer, so we dated for the few months he was in the city thinking it would just be a summer fling. We ended up staying in touch while he was in Philadelphia that year, and would occasionally see each other if we were in the same city. Then after graduating from business school the following summer, he moved back to New York and we picked right back up where we left off, and have been together since! I was definitely one of those brides that wasn’t very ‘bridal’ – I had no idea what kind of dress I wanted nor did many styles appeal to me. For my first day dress shopping I tried on literally everything – from huge ball gowns to slinky silk dresses. I took pictures in all of them, and just sat on it for a few weeks. Every time I scrolled through the pictures, I always landed on the same dress. It was funny because I didn’t even remember trying it on the first time! So I went back to try it on a second time, fell in love with it and bought it that day. Then still not wanting to feel overly ‘bridal,’ I paired it with some hot pink heels for a little bit of hidden fun!
My husband, Will, does not like cake, so we also had mini cookies, pies and donuts as an alternative for dessert. We made a signature cocktail that was a combination of our favorite things – bourbon, iced tea and lemonade.
Anne’s advice? The two weeks leading up to the wedding will undoubtedly be busy and crazy, and you will have the longest to-do lists, so be sure to do two things: 1) Set a time where you will just ‘turn off’ to soak up and enjoy the weekend. It goes by SO fast! For me, it was the Friday before our wedding. There were still things I hadn’t finished, or things I just forgot to finish, and in truth I don’t even remember what those things were. But what I will always remember is the time I spent with our loved ones, just sitting out on the lawn at the Weekapaug Inn. 2) Take another minute during the reception, dance party or whenever to just step to the back with your now husband, take a deep breath and look at everyone you love having an amazing time. You’ve spent months planning the greatest party of your lives – and you both deserve to admire it! Other – not quite as meaningful – advice: Don’t forget to eat, and wear comfortable shoes!
Credits: Photography: M.Studios | Venue: Weekapaug Inn in Westerly, RI | Wedding Planner: TRUE Event (owner Sarah True) | Florist: Hana Floral Design | Music: Press Play (out of NYC) | Tent: Sperry Tents | Lighting: Jack Falvey and Associates | Hair and Makeup: New Leaf Hair Studio (Bristol, RI) | Wedding Dress & veil: Monique Lhuillier | Bridesmaids Dresses: Jenny Yoo | Groom’s Attire: Oliver Wicks | Invites: Paper Moss | Bride’s Jewelry: Petite Delights | Cake: Sift Bake Shop | Transportation: Rockstar Limo