Doug Greaves and I were married at the Manor House at Commonwealth
in Horsham, Pennsylvania on September 25, 2011. We got engaged on Valentine's Day of that year so we had a short engagement, just about 7 months. This seems like a ridiculous time frame, as more and more couples are opting for lengthy engagements, but we knew we wanted an Autumn wedding, and we also knew we couldn't wait until 2012 to say "I do." We were off and looking at venues within the first week of our engagement, and decided on the Manor House by the second week. The Manor House is a beautiful 18th century fieldstone farmhouse that sits on a golf course, and while Doug and I desperately wanted to avoid a "country club wedding," this place was far from that. The Manor House is charming, elegant, home-y, and truly the perfect place for a not-too-big, not-too-small, wedding.
From there the details fell into place. We already knew that we wanted to book M2 Photography
as our photographers, and they were miraculously available on the date of our wedding. This husband and wife duo shot my friends' wedding in May 2010 and we were blown away by the images captured from that day. The emotion portrayed was real and tangible, both humbling and larger than life, exactly the way that true love is. And the talent between the two photographers, Michael and Melissa McManus, is evident in each shot. We were so thrilled to have them capture our special day, every tear, deep breath, nervous laugh, kiss, and minute of it. (To see more photos, check out M2's blog here
I had always wanted a blue and yellow wedding, with romantic, vintage touches, and while I didn't want to get carried away with tiny, incessant details, I wanted our wedding to have lots of special touches. The bridesmaids wore bright blue cocktail-length dresses and carried bouquets of multiple shades of yellow. I carried an all-white bouquet filled with different varieties of roses, and the stems were secured with a vintage blue and white handkerchief. Doug's boutonniere was a white rose plucked from my bouquet, and the groomsmen wore yellow flowers from the girls' bouquets. These were all done by An Enchanted Florist
in Doylestown, PA as were our center pieces and the flower arrangement on the arbor that we stood under for the ceremony. Kathy, who we worked with there, was fantastic. She perfectly executed my not-so-perfectly articulated vision. When we arrived at the Manor House on the wedding day I felt like a kid on Christmas morning, running around excitedly and taking it all in. Doug and I had spent the seven months of our engagement combing over every thrift shop in a 30 mile radius, collecting over 70 vintage glass bottles, mason jars, and bud vases, which Kathy expertly arranged on each table top. It was beyond beautiful, and considering all she had to go by was a magazine cut-out, it was beyond impressive.
We used a black bird cage for cards, and vintage floral notecards
as our guestbook. Our beautiful invitations
where white with a yellow and white damask border and charcoal font. We placed framed pictures of us around the front rooms of the Manor House, as well as stacks of my favorite books (I'm a literature nerd). And our tables were named after places that Doug and I have traveled together (we spent the first two years of our relationship long distance). I have sloppy, left-handed writing but I wrote the table names myself and affixed them to map backdrops, which were held up by photo clips on stands. These little touches personalized our wedding and made it even more special.
We had an outdoor ceremony followed by a traditional reception with a four-course dinner and dancing. Our DJ was courtesy of Silver Sounds
. We had Danoff String Quartet
play for our ceremony and they added a completely lovely touch. We wrote our own vows, Doug's sister read a poem we had chosen, and our friends who were married in May 2010 prayed at the beginning of the ceremony. We had the judge who married my older sister and her husband, as well as my mom and step-dad, officiate the ceremony. It was only about 25 minutes long, but packed with emotion, and just perfect for us.
The wedding went by in a blur, as everybody told me it would, but I wouldn't have changed any part of it. There's a lot to be said about planning the perfect wedding, but planning it with the right person, and your friends and family around you throughout the engagement and the big day, is pretty much a guarantee of that perfection. :)
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