There’s a European feel to Courtney and Mike’s beautiful wedding day on the grounds Mayowood Stone Barn. It might be that the architecture of the century-plus old barn and grounds were inspired by European equestrian barn architecture, or maybe it’s just that their day was filled with timeless beauty captured so elegantly by the amazing Gene Oh. The bride explains the magic of the day as “…everything that anyone would have wished for inadvertently and organically happened, down to the unplanned fireworks, hundreds of fireflies, and most importantly the love, laughter and tears that were shared.” You’ll love this one!
What made the wedding special and unique?
When we first started planning our wedding, we discussed how we wanted our day to feel rather than how we wanted it to look. Of course there were many details, but the most important detail to us was to focus on heartfelt moments, and the love we have for each other and the love we have for our family and friends. We wanted every guest to walk away not just going through the motions of a wedding, but to have an experience and feel like they were a part of it. With that mindset, every decision we made was based on how we could make the day feel personal. And somehow everything that anyone would have wished for inadvertently and organically happened, down to the unplanned fireworks, hundreds of fireflies, and most importantly the love, laughter and tears that were shared.
Tell us about the gown and where/how you found it!
Luckily, I have the most supportive and sweet family and friends, so gown shopping was one of my favorite parts of planning a wedding. I found my gown at Che Bella boutique in Minneapolis, MN. I wanted my dress to be glamorous, traditional and whimsical, which is a hard combination to find. Yet when I tried on my dress, I felt exactly how I always imagined. When I stepped out, every one of my family and friends loved it. But when we found out that the dress was made with Chantilly lace, the same lace my grandmother wore on her wedding day, tears poured and it was a done deal.
What were some touches added to make it personal?
Our main focus was to make the day feel personal and heartfelt. I had my grandmother’s lace wrapped around my bouquet, and we had pictures of our ancestor’s wedding days on the entry table. For our ceremony, we chose to write a set of vows together to reflect us as a couple. For our wedding favors, we had small bottles of olive oil and balsamic vinegar from one of our favorite shops from our hometown, and our cake topper paid ode to our engagement. Last but certainly not least, my father-daughter dance was a choreographed dance that let my dad and I cut loose just how we always had talked about. But quite honestly, and as cheesy as it sounds, it was every one of our guests that made our day personal.
What was the most memorable part of the day?
Our first look was easily the most memorable part of the day. With eight years in the making, there was a great deal of emotion and anticipation built up. But being on wedding overdrive, this was the first moment we were able to take a breath and fully appreciate the journey that had led us to this day. To us, it wasn’t just a first look. It was that flashback photo-reel feeling. It was the butterflies going on our first date or walking down the stairs for prom. It was the celebration of graduating high school and college and getting our first jobs. It was all those special life moments culminated into one.
Tell us how you met and became engaged.
We have been together since we were in high school. For our 7 ½ year anniversary we decided to plan a day called the “Best Day Ever” by going to the best of the best. We set out to find the “best” breakfast, “best” coffee, “best” brewery, “best” mural to take a picture at, “best” view of the city, “best” ice skating, and “best” martini. As we were walking back from ice skating, admiring the glistening Christmas lights, we decided to take a picture. In that moment, with tear-filled eyes Mike got down on one knee and spoke the most beautiful words. It’s amazing how one beautiful moment can sum up almost a decade of memories and emotions, and it’s amazing how truly the “Best Day Ever” is easily trumped by the day we said I do.
Photography: Gene Oh // Wedding Coordinator: Letecia Holter, Ardently Yours // Florals: Lejardin Floral // Wedding Gown Designer: JLM Couture from: Che Bella // Bridesmaids Gown Designer: Jenny Yoo from: Bella Bridesmaids // Groom and Groomsmen Suits: Jos A. Bank // Ties: Macy’s // Video: Black Stamp Media // Dance Floor Rental: Majestic Tents and Events // Hair: Hair by Molly & Emily // Bride’s makeup: Bluh H20 // Trolleys: Rochester Trolley and Tour Co. // Bartenders: With A Twist Bartending Service // Catering: Johnny Mango’s Catering // D.J.: The Wedding Day DJ’s // Venues: Mayowood Stone Barn / Doubletree by Hilton and Hilton Garden Inn Rochester Downtown