Today we’re happy to be bringing you this sweet wedding full of lovely, airy details. We’re especially digging the full, tulle skirt on the bride’s gown, the barely-there pink of the bridemaids’ dresses and the white floral accents by Angela Austin Design. Photographer Sarah Elle Norman captured all the details (not to mention the amazing, glow-y lighting) of Jami and Ben’s wedding day at Beacon Hill Catering & Events.
What made the wedding special and unique?
I think one thing that really made our wedding feel almost surreal was the fact that we had a few bumps getting to it. When we first got engaged in March of 2014, we’d started planning a wedding for summer of 2015. Then we found out that Ben was getting stationed in Alaska (and we only had three weeks to move from New York to Alaska!) and thought it’d be better to plan it for sooner just to be safe. So we decided to have it in January of 2015. The same day that I was about to put a deposit down to book the Davenport (it was July 2014 by this point), Ben was told he’d be deployed for ten months beginning in September. Deployments are notorious for going over their date, too, so we planned it for August and just hoped for the best. When it comes to the military, that’s really all you can do. That, and be flexible once a last minute training, deployment, or any number of things changes that plan. He came home in early July, and the unit scheduled August for block leave for the soldiers to take R and R (a period of 30 days that you can take up to that entire 30 days off, or any amount within that 30 days). We got so lucky that our wedding date and honeymoon fell over an already planned leave time, and by the time we were celebrating our wedding day it just felt like a dream. The, ‘Wow, this is really happening!’ was amplified because of everything that had happened the past year, and it was amazing to finally become husband and wife and celebrate with all the people we love.
Tell us about the gown and where/how you found it!
My Dress. I’m so in love with it. I went to a handful of bridal shops before choosing Marcella’s, knowing I’d end up there because of how much I loved her when my sister got married and purchased her gown from Marcella. I liked a lot of dresses I tried on, and was trying on a lot of different varieties. Obviously Marcella saw what I was looking for without me really even knowing it, because she came into the dressing room and pinned together a bunch of her own creations, and that was it! I fell in love! It didn’t have a lot of the details the finished product has, but she’d explained what she’d do and add, which made it possible for me to see it as a whole. But, when I walked out of the room in it, half my girls were a little bit underwhelmed by it. Especially compared to the extravagant gowns I’d been trying on. My sister loved it right away, and then my mom and best friend sort of said, “Hmm.” Their hesitation made me go,’No! wait! This is my dress!’ and I think that shows just how much I’d already fallen in love with it. Then, once Marcella added a few more of the things that made it look more like a finished dress and not a top, bottom, and middle pinned together, they fell just as in love with it as I did! The entire process was so much fun, and knowing it was something that she
put together just for me made it feel even more special.
What was the most memorable part of the day?
The most memorable part of our day is probably a tie between our first look and saying our vows. Our first look was very dreamlike and surreal, whereas our ceremony and saying our vows felt very real and vivid. The first look helped those jitters and butterflies calm down enough so I could actually really enjoy our ceremony without nerves. Neither of us thought our first look would calm us down and feel intimate (photographer, videographer, bridesmaids and groomsmen spying on us) but it did. Sarah managed to be all around us taking pictures without either of us realizing it, and we couldn’t stop smiling and looking at each other. Honestly, I wanted a first look just because it makes sense logistically to be able to see each other and get couples and family photos done before the ceremony. But I ended up loving it simply because of how special it was. It gave us the ability to truly be a part of our ceremony. By time I was walking down the isle with my dad, I could take in every moment and didn’t feel nerves or jitters, just happiness!
Tell us how you met and became engaged.
Ben and I have known each other since I was fourteen. I became friends with his youngest brother, Brandan, in junior high. And one day when Brandan was helping me with math homework, he passed his computer (we were talking on AOL instant messenger!) over to Ben to help. Then I met Ben in person for the first time later that year at Brandan’s birthday party, and after that I would always ask Brandan if his ‘cute older brother’ was picking him up from lacrosse practice. Through the next handful of years Ben and I developed a patter of losing touch for a bit (he went off to college) then catching up every so often. Then, he came home for Brandan’s high school graduation, and we began talking all the time again. I was completely in love; I don’t think Ben knew what to do about me. We’d always been friends, and I think the fact that I was five years younger made him resolute that we’d always only be friends and never planned on anything more. Well, you what they say about the best laid plans! We’d been dating for a year and a half when we moved to Upstate New York together for his Master’s of Physician Assistant studies. New York City was the first vacation we took after moving to the state, and we continued to go there a few times a year. When he proposed, he spent months planning and snuck away to the city to find the ring, then nonchalantly told me we should take a long weekend trip over Saint Patrick’s Day. He let me pick a few places as options, all the while secretly herding me toward New York City. That day as we drove into the city he told me we should explore Brooklyn a little more since we usually stuck to Manhattan. The sun was just setting when we got to the Brooklyn Promenade (a gorgeous area that has a view of the entire Manhattan Skyline) and we talked for a bit of how crazy it all was, where life had taken us in such a short time and how many more amazing experiences we had in front of us. Now, at this point, it gets sort of fuzzy. I realized where he was going with this and the next thing I really remember is being up in is arms and crying and having this gorgeous ring on my finger. We put a lock on the Brooklyn Bridge with our names the date, then went to an amazing restaurant. Ben put together a dream weekend for me, where all we did was celebrate us and our future together.
Photography: Sarah Elle Norman // Wedding Planning and Coordination: Cameo Events // Florals: Angela Austin Floral Design // Hair: Carrie Gridley // Makeup: Earthly Beauty Bar // Ring Box: The Mrs. Box // Catering: Beacon Hill Catering & Events // Gown: Marcellas Bridal // DJ: Epic Vibe // Rentals: Event Rents // Venue: Beacon Hill Catering & Events