We're huge fans of creative details and all o' the pretty, but what we really fall most for is the story. I was immediately hooked by Dave and Elizabeth's tale: the sweet way they met, Dave's amazing proposal, how they put personal meaning into every moment, and of course, the beautiful photos by Peachy Keen Photography. Knowing that the bride followed us here quite a bit during the planning... well, that doesn't hurt, either!
Elizabeth and Dave, two biomedical researchers living in D.C., met during organic chemistry class in college when she asked him for help with an upcoming exam. Study buddies became lab partners, then best friends; then, a couple of years later, Dave brought her to his family's ranch and made her hike through a few miles of mud to become his girlfriend. He popped this first question under his favorite tree, overlooking a lake.
The second question came two years later, in a cabin in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. Says Elizabeth: It had a beautiful view of the mountains, so he suggested we read books on the deck to watch the sunset after dinner. After finishing my book and sun disappearing from sight, Dave asked me to get something from the kitchen. I returned to see the entire deck lit by candles. Music started playing, and he asked me to dance. We danced, he sang in my ear, I cried and cried. Then, during the last song, "The Book of Love" by Peter Gabriel, he got down on one knee and proposed. Through tears, I said yes. It was perfect.
Elizabeth and Dave had a first look, but had a hard time ignoring the camera.. so they shared a sweet moment afterwards: The first look was special and I read on so many blogs how important this moment was, and I agree. However, Dave and I are not big camera people, so it was hard to pretend the camera wasn't there when we knew it was. Dave and I had a few private moments before the ceremony where we talked and I gave him a book called, "I Like You" by Sandol Stoddard Warburg. We read a few pages together and soaked up the moment.
Elizabeth asked her 'maids to pick their own attire for the day (which you know we're big fans of!) It was important that each of my girls look gorgeous and feel gorgeous on this special day. I felt strongly that they choose their own fashion for the wedding (i.e., hair, makeup, shoes, dresses). Personally, I feel awful when showing up in the same outfit as someone else, so why inflict this on my best friends? I created a Pinterest page and set a few basic guidelines (i.e., short length, blush color). I just wanted everyone to look and feel their best.
To bring back the feeling of the proposal, the couple chose a nighttime ceremony. The Addison's courtyard was lit with string lights, and the aisle was lined with candles; they also added candles to the ceremony arch. A string trio played two of Dave's proposal songs during the processional, while Elizabeth walked down to "Can't Help Falling in Love With You" and the recessional was "Strawberry Swing" by Coldplay (the two are huge Coldplay fans).
The couple wrote their own vows, and I loved how Elizabeth explained what it meant to them: I'm going to cheat, and say my all-time favorite wedding moment was actually was before the wedding. We wrote our own vows and read them to each other for the first time on New Year's Eve alone in the car. It was beautiful hearing what each of us wrote. Beforehand, we were so nervous and unsure of what to write. What if we phrased things awkwardly, or forgot to include everything we wanted to say, etc.? In the end, I'm glad we did it. Writing our own vows brought so much personality and emotion to the ceremony. We're now in the process of framing and mounting our vows to hang in the house as reminders of that special time.
Their first dance was to "Book of Love" by Peter Gabriel, the last song from David's proposal. Says Elizabeth, "This time we danced in a hall full of our closest friends and family, and I sang to him and, of course, cried again."
Elizabeth incorporated her life-long love of thrifting and antiques into the wedding design, choosing a romantic vintage theme. Centerpieces were made up of assorted books and antiques gathered from the collection of a close family friend, and the pale pink roses were the perfect complement. The couple also paid homage to their parents (both happily married for more than 20 years) with a washboard display of sepia-toned photographs from their own weddings.
The couple brought in meaning to the meal, as well: We paid special tribute to my family travelling from Peru and my Peruvian heritage with purple peruvian potatoes as a side. (Peru has over 30 varieties in potatoes and takes great pride in all their colors and varieties.) We also chose Dave's all-time favorite meal as our main entrée, grilled salmon. Finally, our wedding cake was a delicious and moist guave and cream cheese cake served with café con leche — a special South Florida tribute.
Elizabeth shared a few more of the most special moments: My hair stylist, Nella, has been cutting and styling my hair for years, and was a guest at our wedding. It first started to feel like my wedding day, the minute I walked into her salon. Her and her daughter were there with candles and refreshments and everyone in the salon went out of their way to congratulate and compliment me. I felt like a bride. My mom did my makeup for the wedding. We looked at some professional artists, but in the end, my mom has been doing my makeup my whole life (i.e., dance performances, school dances, etc.). It gave us some great laughs and moments together.
My brother, our best friend, and my father gave speeches. They were personal and excellent and I cried the whole time.
Congratulations, you two - thanks for sharing all the meaningful moments and memories with us!
Ceremony & Reception Venue: The Addison, Boca Raton | Photography: Peachy Keen Photography | Floral, Event Design & Lighting: The Event Group | Cake: Ana Paz Cakes | Hair Styling: Salon Savvy in Plantation | Makeup: Bride's Mother | Ceremony Music: Strings Trio | Video: Camacho Productions