I love this wedding so much that I’ve added it to my spank bank. For when I just need to relax with some wedding with nobody around judging me.
You think it’s by accident that I’m a wedding blogger?
Ok so this wedding you’re about to inhale – which by the way was submitted by the always on point Cassandra, of Cassandra Eldridge Photography, has been able to prove to me yet again that brides can be some of the most creative and thoughtful human beings on the planet, when it comes to honoring the loved ones who cannot be there in person. In fact, today’s bride Cara’s approach is so stellar in my opinion, that it capably answers a recent question submitted by one of our readers. YEAH! I love it when that happens!!
Dear Knotty Bride:
Recently my grandmother on my mom’s side passed away. We were very close. I’m getting married next year and was praying she’d be with me but I’m working on adjusting to the new reality. (I know how much she wanted to be with us on my wedding day, so it’s a tough pill to swallow.) Ok before I start uncontrollably crying here’s what I want to ask you:
While I know my grandmother will be there in spirit I really want to figure out a way to do justice to the huge impact she’s had and continues to have, on my life. I’m having trouble only because everything I think of seems too cheesy after I really think about it. If that makes any sense. I want something that speaks to the relationship we had while she was with us.
Any advice? It would be greatly appreciated.
Dear Miss E,
I’m so sorry to hear you lost your grandmother. I know how hard that is. Especially with how close you two were. It gives me joy knowing you were close though, since it probably means you spent some good quality time with her. That’s all we can take away with us, so I’m glad you have a good chunk of it going forward. :)
I’ve been searching for the same answers you have, E – so we have that in common. One approach we’ve taken I discussed in a post last year (click here if you’d like to read it) but beyond Honey’s maternal grandmother, I too have had trouble coming up with *just the right way* to inject the memory of other lost loved ones adequately and with grace.
So. I hope you’ll find just the right type of inspiration in Cara’s words, below:
Andrew and I got engaged in April 2010 in a boat on the Voltave River in Prague, overlooking the Charles Bridge and Prague Castle in the Czech Republic. Our relationship has always had an international element to it, especially since Andrew is British and I am American. One of the things that was extremely important to us was to have a wedding in an outdoor environment. Andrew grew up in England and we thought it would be the perfect tribute to his heritage to have our wedding in an environment reflective of traditional English gardens – landscaped hedges and manicured lawns, but filled with wild beautiful flowers at the same time. When we visited The Morton Arboretum in Lisle for the first time, there was no question where we wanted our ceremony and reception to be.
Our ceremony took place in the Hedge Garden at the Arboretum on June 1, 2012. We had the amazing Heavenly Harpists to play our ceremony, and floral arrangements of peonies at each aisle in bubble bowls done by the incredibly talented Stacey Carlton. I specifically wanted peonies in the arrangements because some of my favorite memories as a child were of being in my Grandmother’s backyard where she grew those flowers. She passed away the year before I got married, and it was important to me to have those as it reminded me of her.
The colors for our wedding were centered around corals and pinks. The groomsmen wore gray tuxedo’s with coral striped ties, and the bridesmaids wore coral strapless ruffled dresses. Our reception centerpieces stole the show. Stacey got incredibly creative and assembled the most beautiful arrangements of Juliet roses, peonies, birch wood and so much else in peaches, corals, light pinks and greens. Our reception was indoors, but really captured the wild beauty of the arboretum and English gardens by incorporating both woody elements and soft florals. She also placed candles on the tables to create a soft glow and the most impressive touch was that she carved C+A into the birchwood to echo our Save-the-date’s.
I had a lot of fun planning the wedding and bringing the international element, Andrew’s heritage, and our story as a couple together. The best advice I can give to brides-to-be on the planning is get a great photographer – don’t skimp on this. Andrew and I both felt strongly that after the food’s been eaten, the day is over and the guests are gone, there is only one thing remaining; your photos. I talked with 6-7 different photographers and chose Cassandra Eldridge because her style was exactly what we wanted, she is so easy to work with and really spent a lot of time and effort getting to know us as a couple. I received my wedding photos about 3 weeks after the wedding and they were absolutely beautiful! As for more general advice, don’t sweat the small stuff. If something is out of place that’s little, the chances are good that no one will notice but you. And lastly, take a step back, take it all in, and breathe – it’s your day and you should enjoy it and remember it for a long time!
Congratulations to the two of you, and thank you for allowing us to share your beautiful day!
Extra little tidbit from Cassandra on how these two brought everyone into the experience:
Their wedding day was filled with family and friends… and for those who weren’t able to make it due to the distance, Cara and Andrew set up a live stream video throughout the entire day, so that they could look on from home. How brilliant is that?!
Such a great idea. Love that idea!
Ok, QUESTIONS! Tell me…
1) Do you have any thoughts or suggestions for Miss E, regarding a smart way to bring her grandmother’s memory into her wedding day details?
2) OMFG, How lovely is this wedding?
Photography: Cassandra Eldridge Photography / Dress Store: Bella Bianca Bridal Couture / Location: Ceremony – Hedge Garden/The Morton Arboretum & Reception – Gingko Room/The Morton Arboretum / Submitted via: Two Bright Lights / Flowers: Stacey Carlton / Ceremony music (harps): The Heavenly Harpists / Reception DJ: Gregg Eisell, Sounds Abound / Officiant: Father Ron Crowley-Koch / Catering: Classic Fare Catering / Cake: The Cakery