What’s a better fairytale than a couple who marries on the same dock where they first met? Bride Whitney set to work planning her dream wedding day, using her talents to craft the perfect floral arrangements, paper goods, and so much more to set the perfect scene for Love Me Do Photography to photograph.
From the bride, Whitney: Michael and I met nearly fifteen years ago at his family’s cottage on Skaneateles Lake in Upstate NY. My dad and I were out on our old wooden boat and we stopped by for a quick hello (our fathers worked together at the time). A handful of years later we met again, at a Christmas party, where Mike made me a promise: to go explore the world on my own and when I was ready, to come back to our small town and he would marry me. A handful of years went by but I eventually made it back to NY… and I held him to his promise this summer, where we had a beautiful wedding on the same dock we met at.
From the start, we wanted our day to feel like a fun, relaxed “day at the lake.” I was inspired by antique wooden boats (coincidentally, the annual antique wooden boat show was held in Skaneateles village the same weekend of our wedding!), refreshing dips in the lake, family heirlooms, Americana, and the soft textures and colors that often found in cozy east-coast cottages. As an artist, it was important to me that care was given to every detail…right down to the color of ribbon used to tie the invitations and book favors (when he was in the Army, Mike would tie his letters to home in a yellow ribbon). I spent many hours planing down, cutting, sanding, staining, and (eventually!) assembling the benches used for the ceremony, and a handful of our guests ended up bringing them home as a wedding souvenir. We did happen to snag one for our own patio! Everything was created with a true DIY fashion- the floral centerpieces, bouquet, cake décor, event styling, paper goods, hair, and makeup were all done by myself with the idea that our wedding was (as I believe all should be!) a true labor of love.
Our wedding day was wonderful in every sense of the word… it was exactly what we wanted from the start. Even the weather cooperated! For a month leading up to the wedding day, every single weather forecast I could find online predicted thunderstorms, high winds, and showers all day long. But when I woke up the morning of our wedding, it rained for a quick minute (long enough to satisfy the whole “good luck on your wedding day” omen) but the rest of the day was clear blue skies and warm, beautiful weather. Walking down to Michael was the most amazing part of the day. Seeing him standing on the dock waiting for me…it was such an intimate, tender, nerve-wracking, soul-shaking, I-can’t-believe-this-is-happening moment! During our ceremony, our rings (which were his parents’ rings, too) were passed along all the guests, who prayed over them for us. We had two wonderful singers, Chris Merkley & Jackie Columbo, play acoustic during the reception and their voices added such an earthy and soulful backdrop to the day. We served hor’douvres and desserts for our guests, which really gave it a picnic vibe…there was no pressure to stick to a dinner timeline… everyone came and went as they pleased. As a special send off, my dad took us out for a cruise on the same antique wooden boat we were on when Mike and I first met. We all released white lanterns from the shore and in true lake fashion, got into our swimsuits for an evening dip in the lake. It really was a big romantic blur (which is great!)- but we were lucky enough to have such wonderful photographers capture our day with still imagery and video (the video is so neat!!!). By having something tangible to remind us of our wedding… it gives us the chance to relive our favorite day, every day.
Bride’s Processional: “That’s My Kind of Woman,” George Strait; “Like Jesus Does,” Eric Church
First Dance: “Meanwhile Back at Mama’s,” Tim McGraw
Wedding Location: Skaneateles Lake, NY / Photographer: Carina of Love Me Do Photography / Paper Goods, Floral Design, Styling, and Planning: Bride, Whitney Nichols / Venue: Private Residence / Wedding Dress: BHLDN “Tia” / Caterer: M&D Deli / Wedding Cake: Frosted Bakery / Music: Chris Merkley with Jackie Columbo / Tents: Hillside Tent Rental / Linens: Ames Linens / Officiant: Diane Ferri / Videographer: Danfredo Photography