We have a special spot in our hearts for storybook romances, just like that of Rachel and Mike — a couple who has been together since their sophomore years of high school. Living proof that “when you know, you know,” their wedding day was brought to reality by the talents of Floral Fantasies by Sara and captured by Ruffled vendor Alexis June Weddings. Let’s get to it!
From the bride, Rachel: Mike and I have been together since we were 16 years old. We fell in love in a storybook kind of way the summer after our sophomore year of high school. The first time we kissed was on a walk home when we took a short cut through the Celery Farm, a nature preserve in our town. We stopped next to a bench situated on the lake to debate the sounds we were hearing from the creatures around us, and that’s when Mike kissed me. Later in the summer, Mike and I snuck out of our houses and spent a night sleeping in a field so we could look for shooting stars. That was the first time we said ‘I love you’. Even though it was a young love, we always said someday we would get married.
A few years after college we bought a house and moved in together. Mike was in charge of painting our bedroom while I was at work one evening. When I got home Mike made a production of showing me the job he had done; he made me close my eyes and led me into our room with all the lights off. When he turned on the lights and told me to open my eyes, I was staring at a wall that had been painted to say ‘Rachel, I love you will you marry me?’ When I turned around to face Mike, he was down on one knee with a ring in his hands and our dog, Skittles, sitting excitedly next to him. I said yes on July 31, 2013.
We began planning our wedding pretty quickly after we got engaged. I had always dreamed of my wedding day and so I had a lot of ideas and opinions going in to it. I didn’t want the princess fairy tale wedding, but I knew I wanted soft and beautiful elegance. I wanted every detail to be perfect, and we both wanted to make sure that our wedding was a celebration in which everyone in attendance had a great time. Mike’s priorities were the food and the music; my priorities were the venue and the photographer. We picked The Garrison because of the incredible outdoor ceremony space, the clean and simple décor, and the breathtaking views. The wedding coordinator, Todd, was so amazing to work with that we never once doubted that we had made the right decision, and it didn’t hurt that the menu was fantastic as well. As an amateur photographer, pictures have always been incredibly important to me. I met with a couple different photographers before I fell in love with Brandi of Alexis June Weddings. She has a contagious passion for photography and, from subject to pose to color and clarity, her pictures are true works of art. Brandi worked with Mike and I throughout our wedding planning process, including taking engagement pictures for us in the Celery Farm and at the bench where it all began. For the music we opted for an incredible 11-piece band. I had gone to see the Atomic Funk Project perform a couple times in NYC and was blown away each time I heard them. Their talent and energy were exactly what we wanted, and they ensured that our wedding reception was the kind of party that kept everyone on their feet.
My favorite part of our wedding was the ceremony. Mike’s childhood best friend, Clark, became ordained so that he could marry us. To say that he is a character is such an understatement and his sense of humor is unparalleled. Moments after he began, Clark had us all in stitches. The tone of our ceremony was lighthearted and heartfelt. And it wasn’t without its imperfections. Mike’s sister mixed up the lines of the E.E. Cummings poem she read; Clark almost forgot to do the exchanging of the rings; and my shoes, although stunning, were so impossible to walk in that my girls and I went barefoot down the aisle. We laughed and we cried and Mike and I promised to love each other ‘for now, forever, for always’ (something we’ve been saying since the beginning). Looking back on our ceremony, I would not change a single thing. Everyone that we worked with for our wedding was absolutely amazing. I loved the cake tasting, and trying on wedding dresses, having hair and make up trials, and shopping on Etsy for the little details. I had fun designing the invitations, and creating gift bags for guests who stayed at the hotels. I truly enjoyed every minute of planning my wedding. I still can’t believe how perfect it all was. Everything came together for the most amazing day, the first day of the rest of my life with my husband.
Photography: Alexis June Weddings
Floral Design: Floral Fantasies by Sara
Venue: The Garrison
Wedding Dress: Bijou Bridal & Special Occasion
Wedding Shoes: Badgley Mischka
Hair: Bridal Services by Tammy
Makeup: Flawless by JM
Bridesmaids’ Attire: Bliss Bridal Boutique and Special Occasion
Men’s Attire: Men’s Warehouse
Wedding Cake: The Pastry Garden
Band: Atomic Funk Project
Officiant: Clark Sarkisian
Wedding Favors: Treats by Taryn
Wedding Programs: Zazzle.com
Place Cards/Holders: Corkey Creations
Wedding Invitations: Christopher Mangan Design
Printing: Waldwick Printing Company
Transportation: George Carroll Transportation