July 8th 2016
Susan and Elaine—a science teacher and youth worker—met at a summer camp in the woods. After years of dating, living in “small and funny” apartments, adventuring, traveling and “parenting” a fat cat, Elaine proposed to Susan on a hike in the Azores, a series of Portuguese islands in the middle of the Atlantic. The couple planned their wedding over the course of a year and half.
Say the brides, “We wanted to create a vibe that was elegant but still felt laid-back and special. Our focus was on celebrating our love with our family and friends.” The brides opted for wild flower bouquets and mismatched bridesmaid dresses. They joined their guests for cocktail hour and lawn games. “Opting for less formal options along the way made it feel much more like a big party with our loved ones rather an overly formal affair.”
At the suggestion of their DJ the brides listened to Vitamin String Quarter and chose “Can’t Help Falling in Love” as their processional song. “The song was both modern and classic and felt simple, special and beautiful.” Elaine and Susan were escorted by their parents. The brides hadn’t given much thought to who would go first so they made a quick decision at their rehearsal. They kept their wedding party small and had their good friend—and Susan’s brother-in-law—officiate the ceremony. “He made it really comfortable, easy and personal.” The recessional song was Rihanna’s “No Place I’d Rather Be,” which was one of their favorite moments of the day.
Wedding Song: Ingrid Michaelson’s “The Way I Am.”
“We were both a little unsure about the first dance, so we chose a song that was short and sweet. In the end, the first dance felt a lot less awkward than we feared it would.”
Susan’s Favorite Moment: “We did our first look and photos before the ceremony, which made us feel so much more relaxed and excited for the actual ceremony. After the ceremony we walked back down to the gardens and spent 5 minutes alone, then with our photographer. We were so grateful to have a few minutes to breathe, celebrate together and prep ourselves for all the socializing to come.”
Elaine’s Favorite Moment: “After taking our first look and formal pictures we and our families went back to the bridal suite to hang out for about 20 minutes before the wedding began. This short time ended up being incredibly joyous and loving. We drank champagne with our parents, hugged our bridesmaids and signed our marriage license. The moment we realized we were officially married was by far the most exciting of the day.”
Rather than a traditional guestbook the brides labeled old wine bottles to mark various anniversaries and asked guests to write notes to read when they opened them. Say the brides, “There’s something really special thinking about the messages we’ll get to read in 2067.”
Asked if there’s anything they would change Elaine and Susan say that they were really happy. “We feel like we were able to ignore some of the noise and really focus on what mattered to us.”