Their romance blossomed after happy hour, and ignited a journey of happiness which involves traveling the country in a renovated school bus and getting married on Lake Superior, with their 10 nearest and dearest in tow. Everything about their intimate elopement wedding day speaks natural and simple beauty!! The bride, Laura added long sleeves to her simple white wedding dress, and it is magical.
Tell us, how did you meet? I moved to California from Minneapolis in 2010 for grad school. My grad-school roommate was from Redondo Beach and suggested moving there after school. James was high school friends with my roommate, so we met through him. I ended up driving James home from the Pier after happy hour one time, and we stopped for a drink together on our way home, and the rest is history.
Tell us about finding your wedding dress: James and I have been traveling in a renovated school bus for the last 14 months. (instagram @shortbustamove) We were traveling on the east coast when I was shopping for dresses. I looked online, and all of my searches kept bringing me to Dreamers & Lovers. My mom, bless her heart, tried to coordinate having dresses shipped to me while traveling, but I didn’t have a permanent address or even a mirror to try them on. My only mirror was at Planet Fitness – ha! So I decided to fly out to California for 24 hours. I had been living in Torrance for 8 years prior to our trip, so I was able to bring some of my friends shopping with me. I had only one appointment set up, Dreamers & Lovers. I knew I wanted a dress from D&L, and I was only in town long enough for this one appointment. So I said, “this is it, I’m finding a dress here”. I wasn’t surprised at all that I was able to find my perfect dress at D&L.
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? My brother officiated the ceremony, which was one of the most special parts of the wedding. The ceremony in general was non-denominational, though drew from various spiritual themes and traditions. My husband and I come from different religious backgrounds, so my brother was able to weave these into the ceremony. He built a traditional Jewish Chuppah, a canopy that represents the couple’s new life together. Traditionally, a chuppah must be a temporary structure created by hand (my brother). It’s open to the sky above as a connection with ancestors, and open on all four sides to represent hospitality. The is a covering, depicting God is all around us, one/flowing.
Photographer: Alina Kay
He cleansed the area with sage, and had us all take a rock from lake superior to hold for the ceremony. After the ceremony, we returned the rocks to the lake with a message of thanks to nature. He also used the theme of ancestors throughout the ceremony, which made the ceremony pretty emotional. He spoke of ancestors being a bridge between the past and present. He led us in a guided reflection on our ancestors. All married family members also shared “what marriage means to you”.
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We did write our own vows… we tried to keep them light, but with meaningful to both of us.
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? My photographer. I loved all of the details, including my dress and flowers, and she was able to capture everything so beautifully in such a natural style.
What advice do you have for other future-brides currently planning a wedding? Keep it simple. Spend time on things that will be meaningful to you and your spouse, rather than the “extras”. Spend money on a good photographer – it’s worth it.
Tell us all about the proposal- There wasn’t one! We had planned on getting married while on our trip, and we wanted family to be there, so we decided to get married last summer on the North Shore of Lake Superior with our family 🙂
How many guests did you have?– 10, parents and siblings. My brother officiated.
Describe your wedding cake or dessert? Simple, 8 inch round, white textured. I had my florist make a topper for the cake.
What was your favorite detail of the wedding? MY DRESS!! I’m still getting compliments.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Figuring out logistics while on the road.
What’s next for you as a couple? We just finished our year of travel, and we will be moving to Minnesota. I grew up there and my family is there. I’m a little nervous for James – he’s lived in Redondo Beach his entire life! It’s going to be cold!
Tell us about your wedding flowers? Flora North was amazing to work with. They matched my dream of having moody colors in a natural environment. The flowers were natural, moody and dramatic.
Photographer: Alina Kay Photography
Our Lumina collection is here..an exclusive surprise with just six styles. I’m so excited to share this new line with you, featuring styles, which evoke romance and the effortless spirit of boho. Easy-going brides opting for a relaxed, intimate wedding, with a finish that’s still chic, will be in love with these dresses.
This collection marks a break from D&L tradition; we’ve chosen to keep things fresh throughout the year, with a series of mini-collections instead of the annual large collection to which we’ve grown accustomed. This just feels right and authentic to whom we are as a brand.
On the subject of sizes, it can be so easy to fall into a groove, thinking, without realizing you’re doing it. In retrospect, I don’t understand why we listed our sizes as 0-14, when in reality we create size 16 and 18 on a regular basis for so many of our brides.
That’s why, the Lumina collection is our first collection where our samples will be offered in sizes 2-18. It feels so good to do the right thing and while I know that there are many sizes we aren’t covering, unfortunately change does take time, and this will be something I will be keeping in mind going forward.
The design for this collection was slightly different. Rather than create a storyline, and then design each dress to fit in to that story, we created each style individually. The only constant was the dresses each had to fit in the narrative of the easygoing bohemian bride. I took many of our best selling favorites, tweaked their silhouette, expressed them in different fabrics and most importantly worked on getting the best possible fit for each design.
A core focus during our creation of Lumina was achieving the most flattering fit for each style. I worked diligently with my team to perfect the fit of the foundation garment; while bride-to-be’s visiting our design studio/showroom, employees, and friends tried the garments in different sizes…we literally studied each fit. This is the part we can never get wrong that remained the same in this collection.
Designing this collection felt enlightening and liberating. I’m a self-taught designer, who went to school for Fashion Merchandising rather than design. Interestingly, my first ever collection, which I created some 5.5 years ago, was designed similarly to this one… and I loooooved it. No formal approach taken, just on a mission to create the best fitting, romantic and gorgeous silhouette I could dream up. I certainly hope that Lumina excites you as much as it does me.
The Styles of the Lumina Simple Wedding Dresses
Our new Anais is a spin-off of our best selling Azalea, with that same defined waist and that ephemeral and romantic lace that is now synonymous with the Dreamers & Lovers brand. Our Chloe and Audrey dresses are both a nod to our Catherine and Julia dresses, only, with the added long sleeves that so many brides have been requesting. I personally love the closed back but with the sheer lace…it really is magic in dress form.
The new Claire is an extension of our Clover and Arabelle dresses, some of the very first designs I ever created. The new Hazel is a dress that’s lived in my dreams forever and is finally getting her day, it has the same defined waist as Azalea, only, I added a ruched waistband, a split second decision made after seeing the first sample on our bust form.
The Grace dress is actually a dress I tried to introduce about three years ago, but it failed, the fabrics just didn’t synergize. Perhaps it was just not the right timing, but now I’m confident it is. Hazel, Claire and Audrey all combine lace bodices with silk skirts, an ensemble brides have expressed heightened interest in over the years.
At the dawn of our Dreamers & Lovers journey, I designed our dresses, photographed them, blogged about it and would rant about the how and the why. It has been a few years since I’ve done that and I wanted to return to that time. If you’ve made it this far through my ranting today; thank you!
My inspiration is always our bride…we see her as a fun-loving freethinker. She loves the outdoors, to dream and to love and, as it should be, her wedding is an extension of who she is and of her life. It was for this reason that I opted out of a non-model for this shoot. Instead I found the sweetest girl, who was like so many of the girls I meet in the studio everyday, so full of life, love and laughter. Someone who, like so many of my brides, celebrates what it means to embrace the bohemian way of life.
Amelia was just that and after working with her on the shoot, I fell in love with her even more, and saw our brides in her eyes. She is a fun-loving student at Pepperdine, who loves to travel, and loves taking on creative pursuits. Most of all she was laid-back and real, just like the brides I design for.
We hope you will love the Lumina collection. I chose the name Lumina on a tip from a friend, and fell in love with its meaning, simply light!!
Lumina’s laid-back wedding dresses are a symphony of laces and silks, rich and decadent yet ethereal in weight and wearability. These are bohemian wedding dresses through and through. We are sensory beings, inspired by what we see in the mirror, what we feel against our skin and how it makes us move; how our image becomes a conductor of sentiments to the people we interact with.
Lumina won’t let you forget for a minute that you’re doing all this for love, she will be soft, she will be gentle, she will enrich the soul of the world and those who cross our paths with love that feels its own timelessness. Illuminate your love with the spirit of boho, speak in poetry and never forget that real love rules the world.
Love and Light.
PHOTOGRAPHER: Christine Ta – For Love and Light – @forloveandlight on Instagram
The Mind of the Boho Bride on her Wedding Day
You saw him from afar, the guy of your wildest dreams, you made a friend, you got a little closer than friends, you started to realize you couldn’t do without him, then he proposed. So you conquered the uncharted coasts of (insert name here), pretty much! Engagement ring on finger, preparation for the bohemian wedding of those same wildest dreams under way, it strikes you hard …there’s the wedding night to come, the moving in, the MARRIAGE, the walk into the sunset, it’s deep, it’s vast, it’s real life and it’s yours. You’re stoked.
Clearly, you’ve zoned in on the ‘ONE’ or maybe even the ‘TWO’ (bridal separates), as far as your gown is concerned, you’ve opted for a few customizations to make it just right and can’t wait to try on the final product. There’s no time to play the waiting game though, since a sweet ton of things need doing, including all your cray-cray DIY projects…and you’re more than a little worried about enlisting enough help from your busy collective F&F for that.
The fact is, you chose a laid back wedding, a boho wedding and a beautiful, simple wedding dress because you’re chill as a freakin’ ice cube…well, usually. At the mo, a strange panic is setting in, especially since you’ve given yourself exactly 3 months to plan absolutely everything, plus your boss decided to hit you with an extra couple of tasks, with a smile: say whaaaat?!
The fact is, you’re usually so chill that you half expect it’ll ice your windshield over, but now, your system is awash with a totally odd compilation of hormones, neurotransmitters and a trance party of conflicting emotions, What The Actual F? You feel like a walking sweating teepee. Um…are you seriously getting married?
The months before the wedding are jam packed, the feelings unusual, sorta like…premenstrual. Still, when the day finally arrives, it can be really intense, your laid back persona might even seem to have gone underground when you wake up from that nervous, probably pretty disrupted sleep. Let’s talk about some of the things that go through a bride’s mind on her wedding day: a day so full of action that it often speeds by far to fast to be fair. Maybe, knowing what to expect will help that special, once in a lifetime day tick by a little slower. Maybe, reading this will help you make the most of it, instead of stressing.
#1: “Okay, checklist item A, OMG, B, Oh no, C, what was it again?” The longest night of your life
Remember those December 24’s as a kid, biting your nails in almost unbearable anticipation…or the same, before your finger-displayable birthdays? There might only be one night, post-childhood, that could compare to that sort of insane sleeplessness. There’s one night that may well make you feel like an 8 year old again, exhausted as you are from a week of work, final, mad preparation dashes and nervous tequilas with the crew…and that’s the night before your wedding.
That totally necessary, desperately craved beauty slumber will likely be standing somewhere near Jupiter, laughing at you hysterically, no sheep in sight, just a still standing pasture fence and a gate… the gate to the rest of your life.
The night before your wedding, you will be running over every single aspect on your wedding schedule, looking at every corner of your ideal image to try to find something amiss. You’ll be wasting your time, that much goes without saying but the fact is that you won’t be able to help yourself.
Boho diva or no, remember, stress is a leading cause of outbreaks and God forbid you wake up after a 3 hour snooze with a whopper on your chin, your forehead, or even…your NOSE! Meditate, watch a movie that’ll draw your attention, drink some red wine but for goodness sake, get some sleep and eat so you don’t look like the boho chic walking dead.
#2 “No thanks, I’m too excited to eat.” The champagne pain
Girl, don’t be cray. Studies have shown that the brain is responsible for burning 20% of your body’s energy. What happens when you’ve been stressing and worrying obsessively and you wake up with about 82 voices in your head is that that number goes up.
Even if you’re a careful eater and hunger is the very last thing on your mind; even if you’re terrified of bloating your tummy and being gaseous at the altar (just imagine), the fact is, now more than ever, you need a bigger than usual, high energy breakfast, along with about an hour to let it settle before you get too active.
No doubt you’ll be quick to accept that second champers and OJ but on a stomach that’s got no more than a small yogurt in it, all that you’ll get in return is a feeling of being wind-blown, in a place with no wind and legs that feel disinterested in the idea of keeping you moving.
#3 “It’s too much, it’s all too much!” The panic attack
It matters not how much you disapprove of time wasting, fluttering, near terminal glee, hugs and freakin’ expectations…that’s because, this morning, however many people RSVPed, well, that’s how many people will have you at or pretty dang close to their center of attention and there will be no escape.
What I’m saying is, basically, you just gotta chill like you’ve never chilled before and let folk fuss over you, don’t let them make you do anything unthinkable like wear a shade of pink lippy that makes you look 20 shades feminine-er that yourself . Otherwise, what’s gonna be going through this bride’s head is a whole lotta: “It’s too much, it’s too much…OMG, WTF?!!”
And seriously, bridechillas aka (dreamers & lovers brides), ladies of the times, don’t do panic attacks…how you gonna wear a laid back wedding dress, a totally groovy bohemian wedding dress and act like a high strung nut-case? That type of foolishness is for cupcakes, hello!
The Bohemian Wedding Day..and Dress
#4 “I feel ridiculous, walking slowly down this aisle like an airhead.” The princess parade
The aisles walk; okay, think about this one. Try it out with whoever is handing you over, do rehearse. Don’t parade yourself for the guests, walking at the pace of a song which makes you feel constipated, in front of a smiling, awkward audience.
Choose music with a pace that’ll get you there in just enough time to think: “Well he is looking fine, and so am I, and this is really happening in 3, 2, 1.” The aisle walk is a special thing and too much of: “this is taking ages, I feel stupid smiling at everyone, oh shoot he must be wondering why he’s here” is gonna leave you flustered when you arrive at the altar.
You should be looking at your man all the way, making eye contact even, thinking “SCORE, SCORE!”
#5 “Um………………………………………….” Terror in virgin territory
Believe it, there are still a great many boho sistas who, for religious, cultural or moral reasons, will be getting their cherry picked for the first time on their wedding night. For those chaste chillitas, there will likely be one of two tracks of thought traversing their minds pretty incessantly all day (with variations, depending on what kind of intel they have, from whatever sources, about the Birds, Bees and things like Man-bottoms).
Track 1: I hope he still likes me once he’s seen my nipples, my lady bits and my extensive (and possibly not as bad as you think) cellulite…and I hope he doesn’t expect me to act like a porn star…oh, oh and …I hope I still love him once I’ve met Walter (ahem).
Track 2: Oh My Word, Can We Hurry This Reception Up Or What? As in, look how fine he is all clad in his blue suit, I cannot cope any longer?!
Not every girl grows up imagining every detail of her ideal wedding celebration, day in and day out. In fact, a good many sistas, especially those of the free-spirited, hair in the wind, soulful, boho persuasion…they get caught with a serious case of romance, unexpectedly and from the stars enough to have the whole idea of floral crown, crying moms and all the wedding proverbials be really, truly, fully, awkward…and every little traditional fluff can end up feeling a task for, depending on just how much of a hippie spirit you are: unless of course, you learn from our D&L brides, run over your bridechilla mantra at least every hour or so…
“Let me just, make the guy proud, instead of making him wonder”
“an easy wedding portends an easy marriage”……. or something to that effect, just relax, put your hands in your boho wedding gown with pockets, thank goodness this is 2018 and such things are possible….breathe, and savor the miracle of it all.
Wishing you love and freedom. xx
All photos of Bride Carolina + Groom Nate’s wedding was taken by the freakin talented Katie Edwards Photo
Interested in reading the details of Nate’s & Carolina’s laid-back Tulum boho wedding see it here
Julia..her ‘Julia’ Bohemian Wedding Dress and Mark
Every so often, a free-spirited bride-to-be walks into the studio that Yanique feels she just won’t ever be able to forget. Sometimes, like in Julia’s case, the bride envisions and wears the dress sooo ethereally well that the designer feels it’s only right to name it in their honor.
The story about how Mark and Julia met is a new millennium tale and while their first steps may not seem like romance movie material to Julia… the fact is that, in her heart, some serious alignments were taking place which would give birth to her life’s poetry, Love, which just keeps growing. So, yes, Tinder can make dreams come true. Neither of them were serious about the online dating thing, it was a matter of friends coaxing them on from the get-go.
So that fateful Right Swipe happened in August of 2012, after which it took a few good weeks of chatting on the app and getting to know one another before they were ready to exchange phone numbers and organize a real date. The date was set for a Mexican restaurant near where Mark lived, called Habana. Unfamiliar with the spot and its surrounds, Julia rocked up a full hour late for their first date, after not knowing what to wear and getting seriously lost en-route. Flustered to the brink, Julia remembers the way that nervous energy dissipated on joining Mark at the table and how she so quickly needed to accept the reality of his serious handsomeness.
The Blind Date and Kiss of a Lifetime
That blind date stretched on into the hours, with tales told on a whim that both of them had previously felt to keep secret. Julia was swept up in the intrigue of him, his manners and how easily he made her laugh. In her center she felt the poem come to life that night and was grateful when he walked her to her car and said goodbye with a kiss. She could actually kind of hear the fireworks going off in the distance; something was definitely going on here. That event is now safely filed under Julia’s ‘Kiss of a Lifetime’ heading.
Since Julia had been single for such an age before that first date, she liked to joke that if Mark hadn’t popped the question within 3 years, it would be time to break up. It was a joke but Julia did believe that after couple of years, that’s when you’d know whether this was for the long run. While Julia’s pretty sure that she would have been prepared to wait for him forever, she didn’t have to wait that long: only 2 years and 10 months.
The pair was invited on a 2-week trip all through Iceland; a van, friends and the county. They couldn’t contain their excitement; they’d never been to Europe and for them it felt like the opportunity of a lifetime. Julia knows that God serendipitously opened all the doors to make the special trip possible. Of course, Julia was secretly holding thumbs for a proposal but she knew it was wiser to keep her mind off the idea and just enjoy the trip.
“Jules, you are going to get that ice in Iceland!”
The thing is that her friends had caught on and the official group joke was: “Jules, you are going to get that ice in Iceland!” As a result, she simply couldn’t stop thinking about the possibility of getting engaged to the man of her wildest dreams, while exploring one of the most beautiful places on earth.
On the 9th day of their epic journey, Mark kept raving about a ‘Black Rock Beach’ that featured very close to the top his ‘Must See’ list. This obviously tugged on Julia’s hopes but alas, after visiting said beach, there’d still been no proposal. That’s when Julia decided that she was 1000% sure that she had the wrong idea.
On the road to their next sightseeing, Mark suggested that she change into something really cute, so that they could do one of their customary photo-shoots at the waterfall where Justin Bieber shot his music video, “I’ll show you.” Julia rather likes JB so she figured that she could probably use a more Instagram-able getup. Taking pictures at their destinations is something of an obsession for them so Julia definitely didn’t think the request at all suspicious.
Once they got to Skogafoss Waterfall, Mark scouted for the ideal spot for their friends to take a few photos…this was nothing unusual for the group. That’s when Julia felt like the whole world went into slow motion. As Mark turned to her, he took her hand and got down to his knee. She sort of blanked out at that point and actually has no idea what words came out of her mouth, nor can she recall Mark’s actual words. Oh well, we’re thinking that the answer must have been something that sounded like 1000% YESSS!!!!
Speaking of epic journeys, Julia’s hunt for her totally unreal, totally exquisite, totally HER boho wedding dress was like running into a brick wall at first. Her and her sister had been on the hunt for a few months already, when her sister discovered Dreamers & Lovers on etsy.com. She instantly saw sparks and just knew that she needed to book an appointment on the double.
Julia’s vision involved a laid back, long sleeve gown with a dramatic plunging neckline and infinitely feminine lace right through. She now sees that trip to visit Yanique at the studio as the second best decision she’s made in her life thus far. In Julia’s words, Yanique is a beauty with a truly incredible talent. After slipping into a few D&L boho wedding dresses, she laid hands on the Lisa, at which point she and her entourage of lady-fam fell in love with the gorgeous lace, the long sleeves, and the plunging V-backline.
The Birth of the Julia Boho Wedding Dress
The only thing is, Julia had hopes for a plunging neckline and not a plunging back. In a burst of creative spirit, she asked Yanique if she could actually try the Lisa dress on backwards. To everyone’s awe, she came out of that dressing room as though her hopes and dreams had come alive. With the help of Yanique’s skilled and thoughtful seamstresses, D&L took every aspect of her vision on board and a few tweaks later; she had HER bohemian wedding dress, straight from laid-back heaven.
Pop-Up Wedding How-to…Solved!
Plans were set in place for an intimate wedding ceremony with just 23 of their nearest and dearest. Their reception, however, was to be a full on celebration with 150 friends and family partying it up into the night.
Finding a destination for their pop-up, outdoor, desert wedding was to be the greatest challenge; they found it so difficult to decide. They only settled on the perfect location 2 short months before the date; well after their extraordinary photographer, India Earl; their videographer, Max Cutrone, their florist, Leelina Martin and their AirBn’Bs had all been booked.
The mission was to have all 23 guests hop onto a 1 1/2 hour party bus ride to a pop-up ceremony on the Salt Flats in Palm Springs, CA, right in the middle of the desert. The couple will never forget that moment when the bus finally pulled over to the side of the road at Amboy Salt Flats. That’s when the guys sprang into fire-drill-like action, grabbing the macramé-decorated altar, ghost chairs and the rug for the ceremony and building it up from nothing in the space of an hour.
Julia felt like someone might pinch her awake at any moment, when her bridesmaids and mom helped her zip up her ‘Julia’ in the bus as the boys worked miracles outside before their eyes. The feeling of love and support from their dear friends and family, who helped them make their wild pop-up in the middle of sublime nowhere a bright reality. The location picked was at 7840 Amboy Road, Palm Springs, CA.
As for flowers, Julia’s favorite specimen is the King Protea so that’s what she chose for her bouquet, Leelina accented it with dusty swathes of eucalyptus, olive branches, silver tree, silver dollar seeds and the bridesmaids had the same dusty green eucalyptus vibe.
Oh, and since Julia has a weak spot for desert plants like cacti and succulents, she opted for a simplistic naked cake with desert arrangements for accents.
Readings were an integral part of the ceremony so, in Julia’s words, here’s what their beliefs entail and what they chose to have included in the ceremony:
God ordained marriage to be unique and to be the most deeply covenantal relationship possible by incorporating both horizontal and vertical agreements. If we were to see a picture of this, it would resemble a cross. For example, Ephesians 5:3 states that in marriage two individuals cleave together and become one flesh. The word ‘cleave’ emphasizes the Hebrew meaning of a man and a woman literally becoming glued together through a binding oath. This is the horizontal binding. Then, the beautiful nature of God’s perfect love for His people and what He desires for a married couple is expressed in 1 Corinthians 13:
“Love is slow to lose patience. Love is not possessive. It does not pursue selfish advantage. Love never gives up and never loses faith. It is always hopeful and endures through every circumstance.”
This is the example of God’s love, which is the binding agent for the married couple. This is the vertical binding. So, pictorially, husband and wife together and then their married partnership in union with God form the full nature of the Cross.
Self written vows were extremely hard for Julia, who says that there just aren’t enough words in the dictionary to truly explain the eternal kind of love she has for Mark. She could only describe her feelings and how Mark changed her life as a lightning bolt. Lightning bolts strike only once, in one spot and at one time. They have a purpose about where they strike and they most certainly leave a lifelong mark. The lightning bolt lights up the sky fast and if you’re not looking or paying attention you may just miss it. When it happens it might make you very nervous for a second but the aftermath is breathtaking.
Here are Julia’s own words:
Mark struck my heart with his love like no one else has done before and will ever do again. He lights up my world with his catching personality, laugh, and affection. I wasn’t looking for love, but it just happened to fall-like a lightning bolt…straight into my life. And I knew in my heart that there was something about this caring, tender man that I wanted more of. His love is the most amazing thing I have ever experienced and it leaves me in awe.
Next on the horizon for this angelic boho couple, who stole the hearts of the whole Dreamers & Lovers team, is thoroughly relishing the married life, seeing where it all takes them with traveling, puppies and even cacti and then, of course, starting their own new family!!
Photographer: India Earl
Florist: Leelina Martin
Shay and Tony’s Elopement Wedding At The Top Of The World
love at first sight exists and life can be very, very good indeed
Looking at pics of Shay and Tony on their wedding day, gazing out over a sea of green and rolling hills, with the cotton wool clouds in the distance almost in line with where they’re standing…I can hardly believe this doesn’t come from a magazine photo-shoot. The fairytale doesn’t end with the mountain top wedding venue they picked, it’s full of crazy romance that goes to prove, love at first sight exists and life can be very, very good indeed.
The couple met because of a coworker of Shay’s, Travis. Their circle of friends was mostly female, since they’re all elementary school teachers. Shay wanted to help find some buddies for her friend and chose to do it in a rather odd way, through Tinder! Tony’s profile listed him as an elementary school teacher who was new to their area and since Shay’s friend group was visiting the state fair that weekend, she asked if he’d be interested in joining, for Travis’s sake, of course. Tony was keen on meeting new people and happy to oblige. His condition though, was that he and Shay first meet in person, the next day, at a coffee shop.
With the suspicious smell of a ‘date’ in the air, Shay was about ready to back out last minute but her friends managed to convince her otherwise and thank goodness for that! The first thing Shay remembers thinking on seeing Tony waiting for her at the coffee shop was, “oh my gosh, I’m in SO much trouble.
Shay had the distinct feeling she’d just experienced LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT
A cup of coffee turned into two and the hours seemed just to slip away with Shay feeling as if she’d been reunited with a long lost best friend. They discovered a wealth of parallels between them, in their pasts and their future plans and when they finally parted at day’s end, Shay had the distinct feeling she’d just experienced LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT. From there on out, the pair was inseparable.
Interestingly, Shay said yes to the boho dress even before an official proposal had happened. The summer after they met, the couple was traveling in Ecuador and it was then that Tony shared the fact that he did, indeed, plan to marry Shay and since that was her hope too, she decided she might as well be prepared. She’s spotted a laid back wedding dress on Pinterest and began scouring the net for its like; it didn’t occur to her to follow the pinned link, hehe; but when nothing came up after a couple of weeks searching, she finally clicked it and wham!
Shay describes her Dreamers & Lovers experience as one of the most ‘no-fuss’ processes she’s ever been a part of
After that it was smooth sailing and Shay describes her Dreamers & Lovers experience as one of the most ‘no-fuss’ processes she’s ever been a part of. First she ordered a sample dress to try on and after that, she picked her own colors for the lace and underlay, got her measurements taken and ordered her custom boho wedding gown. When the final product arrived, she let it stay in its packaging for weeks without peeking because she wanted to try it on for the first time when her mother and best friend were with her in Charlotte, over the holidays.
Then, when the couple was driving to Charlotte, Shay mused that she was disappointed to not be having one of those Hollywood ‘yes to the dress’ moments. So, unbeknownst to her, the afternoon of the reveal, Tony orchestrated a distraction to get her out of the family home for a few hours. While she was out, he gave her childhood bedroom a dress shop makeover, with white sheets, a tri-fold mirror and a mimosa bar! I’m sorry but…what, whaaat, whaaaaattt???!!! Needless to say, the family support and the unearthly romantic whim displayed by her soon-to-be, made for an absolutely unforgettable day. We think you made the right decision with this one, Shay.
The official proposal happened when Tony took her out on a special date night, first to the coffee shop where they met, then to their favorite restaurant and then to the first brewery they’d visited together (since they’re both craft beer mad). Everywhere they went, Shay was sure he’d propose but when they kept ordering the check with no ring, She started to think she’s been mistaken. At last, they visited their favorite ice-cream parlor to order a take-home pint and then headed home to relax after a long work week.
Shay was putting a record on in the living room when she heard Tony groan, “oh man!” She called to find out what was amiss and he told her there was something wrong with the ice cream. She was quite incredulous, since their favorite parlor is the bizznizz and their snow, absolutely flawless.
That’s when he cried, “Really, there’s something in it!” Shay was a wreck, not only was she not going to be proposed to tonight…her favorite treat was now ruined. She ventured to the kitchen to investigate and when he handed her the tub to open, there it was! She looked up to find him down on one knee, making a speech about Love which she can’t remember since she was so consumed with love and joy that she couldn’t pay attention. Even though she’s not a girl that squeals, she squealed then…and the answer was YES! Once Tony had licked the ice-cream off the ring and they’d both had a proper laugh, it was time for more scrumptious ice-cream!
Rings were a very special aspect of this couple’s wedding and even though they chose to elope, the rings were a way for them to pay tribute to their families. Shay’s engagement ring is a solitaire containing the diamond from her parents’ engagement ring, which they gave to him when he asked for their blessing. Shay’s wedding band contains diamonds from Tony’s grandmother, symbolic of September, the month when they met, while paying homage to his Gran. Tony designed Shay’s wedding band, taking inspiration from the band Shay’s parents had had designed for them, which wraps the solitaire to resemble petals. For the couple, seeing those truly precious stones was incredibly poignant, as was knowing that they’d always carry their families with them.
During college, Shay had discovered a special hiking spot, overlooking the hills, where she’d done plenty soul searching. A few weeks after meeting, with the leaves in peak season, they took a day trip from Ashville up the parkway. They packed a picnic and made their way to the breathtaking spot, realizing they’d never enjoyed adventuring with any one else quite as much. They made many memories there, visiting it on weekends, but the biggest memory of all was when they had their ceremony there.
The only people in attendance were the maid and man of honor (cum officiant), Elle and Joe, as well as their photographer. They kept their elopement secret, everyone thought they were marrying in September but that was in fact to be their reception only, to which everyone dear to them (about 75 people) had been invited.
Shay’s ‘bachelorette’ party consisted of her MOH and her running around their college town in the misty rain, collecting wildflowers for their bouquets and the boys’ boutonnieres. They even did a few park, jump and run moves, thieving blooms from their old campus gardens and scouring the fields and parks all night, reminiscing about old times and contemplating the future. They ended up using Queen Anne’s Lace, fern leaves and some little, red, bell shaped flowers they’d found on their way up the Blue Ridge Parkway to reach their cabin.
The boys’ ‘bachelor’s’ was a similar mission, hiking the trail to the wedding site to open up foliage on route between the clearing where Shay and her Elle would be getting changed (so awesome!) and the ‘top of the world’ rock face where they’d have the first look and ceremony. While the boys were up there preparing, a huge cloud had rolled in and completely enveloped them. Indeed, Shay had been on her toes all week with thunderstorm warnings for the area but they were in luck when shortly afterwards, at sunrise, they got married overlooking a million hills with no rain, yet!
Picture this…they hiked up before dawn, the girls changing into their dresses in the dew-damp forest and carefully removing the bandanas that had covered their hair just before it was time. Up on the rock face the best friends shared an intimate and touching ceremony, telling tales of both their friendships between them and the new love that was being officiated.
Shay, we are going to get VERY old together, and I vow to let you grow and change as we do. Our lives will change and so will we.”
The couple wrote their own vows to one another, affirming each other and making some quirky promises in the process, such as not stealing the sheets, for example. Shay’s favorite line from his letter was “Shay, we are going to get VERY old together, and I vow to let you grow and change as we do. Our lives will change and so will we.” Tony’s favorite from her’s was: “I love how we explore and learn and play… the way you hold my hand when we fall asleep. And I love all your amazing dance moves. You have brought so much laughter and fun and light into my life.”
After taking the pictures that still catch their breath when they look through them, the crew drank champagne and took in the incredible view. Lucky for them, the promised rains only came once they’d reached the clearing and changed back into their hiking clothes. Shay was delighted to not have to get her D&L dress wet!
Time for their reception came a few months later and they were thrilled to have the opportunity to share that experience with family and friends but also felt really affirmed in their decision to have an intimate elopement at their favorite place in the world rather than a crowded ceremony…it had been a sacred joining between just them.
For the reception, Shay’s MOH (a professional baker) created a spectacular cake as one of her gifts to them. It was almond vanilla with a delicious buttercream frosting. There were three tiers and encircling each tier were sprigs of rosemary. Rosemary s a special herb for the couple and something they used a lot at their reception, it was on their invites and in a delicious lemonade drink they served their happy guests. The top tier of the cake was crowned with a bulb of Queen Anne’s Lace which, being Shay’s favorite flower, was present at both the wedding and the reception.
All I can say is, wow. That is an untraditional bohemian wedding story for the books! For the future…since the couple discovered their shared dream to teach internationally on their very first date, they’re in the process of applying for teaching jobs abroad. They plan to travel for 5 years and then settle in the states to raise a family. We couldn’t be happier for this beautiful couple and we’ve no doubt at all that their every dream is bound to come true.
The Catherine Dress can also be seen on more brides here and here
Photos by MorningWild Photography here at http://morningwild.com
Kara & Devin’s Tiny Intimate Tofino Wedding
I guess Kara and Devin are what you’d call high school sweethearts, Devin having first noticed Kara back in grade 8, when her red hair streaked past him in a race one sports day. They officially met for the first time in grade 10, when PE role call had them sitting next to each other on account of their alphabetically adjacent surnames Hanson and Gilroy.
They must have hit it off then because here they are, more than 11 years later, sharing their happy boho wedding and love story with us! The proposal happened one year at Kara’s family’s Christmas dinner. It came as a huge surprise to everyone except Kara’s Co-conspirator Mom when Devin popped the big one during a gift exchange…the answer was yes, of course.
The couple decided on a very intimate setting with their 8 closest loved ones, both of their parental units, their brothers and their brothers’ girlfriends. The small party would celebrate the union in beautiful Tofino, on the west coast of Vancouver island in Canada, a breathtaking natural setting that practically demanded Kara get her hands on something dreamy and boho, in the wedding dress department.
Shortly after the proposal, Kara noticed Dreamers and Lovers and their simple wedding dresses on Instagram and while she’d taken quite a shine to the Catherine Dress, it was Lisa’s long sleeves that made her heart flutter and just wouldn’t get out of her mind. She had no choice but to try on that laid back boho wedding gown, made as it was for the wind swept, moody beaches of Tofino…when she finally did, she knew it was the one for sure!
They both wrote their own vows but Kara was literally so choked up on the day that poor Devin had to read both his vows to Kara AND her vows to him
The couple’s celebrant, Barbara Densmore, combined their very favorite things, earth and ocean, to create a ceremony that was just perfect for them. They both wrote their own vows but Kara was literally so choked up on the day that poor Devin had to read both his vows to Kara AND her vows to him! She says that the vision of him about to burst, having to read the second set of vows too, will just get her every time.
Before the event there were guys and gals cabins for the purpose of beautifying. In keeping with her simplistic style, Kara opted to do her own hair and make up, she even helped pretty up the other girls and moms!
The gorgeous pair hired Wren and Rook photography (Adina for photos) and Kai Jacobson (Kai for videos) for their big day. They were overwhelmed by the sense of kindness, care and attention to detail they experienced from both professionals. Kara paid for them all to stay closer to the wedding location so that they could stay the course and not stress about late night tipsy drives.
It was such a success that the couple almost feels like they are part of the family now…they even stayed for the beach bonfire after-party. Just as wedding photographers / videographers should, both vendors went the extra mile to ensure that all involved were 100% comfortable throughout.
Kara had an arbor set up on the beach with flowers all courtesy of her Mom, the florist…( her shop has been in the family a whopping 50 years), who took her to the flower auction so that she could pick the florals for her bouquet. Her non-traditional choices certainly weren’t lost on her mom, however the lady certainly worked her magic, as the final product was magnifique! The Earl Grey roses in the bouquet were a symbol of the lovers’ addiction to the tea by the same name.
Instead of the traditional wedding cake and eats, the party took to the stunningly rustic, log cabin restaurant of ‘Wolf in The Fog’ in Tofino, after the ceremony. The photographer and videographer joined them at the venue and everyone was just blown away by the warm atmosphere and out of control scrumptious cuisine.
Well, you’ve likely noticed a little non-traditional pattern here and you’d be spot on. The couple even got married on their 11th anniversary (wowza). They bought gifts and hand wrote cards for every one in attendance (including the vendors and celebrant), which were opened before the ceremony. There were certainly tears shed left and right but Devin’s Mom and Kara take the prize for crying the most buckets!
only have a traditional wedding when that is what THEY want…because only when you do things YOUR way can you see the day through with absolutely no regrets!
Kara maintains that one should only have a traditional wedding when that is what THEY want…because only when you do things YOUR way can you see the day through with absolutely no regrets!
Needless to say, the couple are insanely happy since they tied the knot, they’re living life to the fullest and not looking back, except to cherish memories of their tiny, perfect Vancouver wedding. We wish them all the best throughout their journey of love and life and we thank them for sharing their story!
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