There's a new trend I'm starting to see quite a bit more that is, from firsthand experience, incredibly meaningful: having a loved one officiate your ceremony. The internet makes it quick and easy to get a license, so what's not to keep you from having your brother, uncle, sister, or close friend officiate your wedding? Bryan and I chose to have my uncle perform our ceremony and it was so incredibly emotional. I so strongly suggest the experience! Today's couple, Jake and Luciana did exactly that–and they reported on the experience below, along with plenty of other details from the big day.
We adore Brooke Courtney Photography for the gorgeous images!!!!
Tell us a little bit about yourselves. (How did you meet? Fun proposal story?)
We met during our senior year at Columbia University in 2006. Our mutual friend was very sneaky and told each of us that the other had expressed interest in meeting (amazing matchmaking skills!) so we entered the relationship feeling very confident about the pairing. The day after we first hung out we left school for a six week winter break. Jake went to home to California and I went to Argentina to visit family, but it was clear to both of us that there was already a pretty intense connection and we wrote each other virtually every day. When we got back to New York we literally ran towards each other and never looked back.
What prompted the decision to have the wedding at this particular venue?
We only looked at three venues, and it was truly the only spot that felt like “us.” We loved the idea of an outdoor, rustic barn wedding, but we knew we wanted some extra amenities in case it rained or if it was insanely hot. We had guests coming from all over the world and wanted everyone to feel relaxed and comfortable. A very close friend of the family recommended Gulph Mills Golf Club and when we saw the covered porch with the beautiful wood roof and gorgeous views, we really fell in love. It was so easy for us to picture our day in that setting.
What was the “inspiration” for your wedding style, colors, etc?
I studied in Paris during college and Jake and I actually got engaged there, and I've always been taken by the casual elegance of the French, that kind of of easy, carefree beauty. The bare setting of Gulph Mills is naturally beautiful, so we wanted to compliment it by keeping most things neutral and letting all the color come from the flowers. The bridesmaids’ dresses, groomsmen's ties, programs, linens, etc., were all neutral colors, which allowed our amazing florist to really play with color. It felt whimsical in a way, like a French garden party.
Did you have any special touches/traditions that you incorporated into your big day?
My brother officiated the wedding and we wrote our own vows. It was very special to be able to say our own words in front of our guests, to share a bit of our relationship as we made our commitment to each other. My mother handmade a lot of things for the wedding to incorporate my family's Argentine heritage, like the “amor” banner and the bride and groom seating signs. During the reception we put out little cards for people to write their marriage advice and wishes to us and our guests tied them to these cherry blossom branches, creating this gorgeous tree of marriage wisdom!
What are your most vivid memories from the wedding day?
The first look: There's definitely nothing you can do to prepare you for that moment– it's really overwhelming to see the love of your life just minutes before they become your husband or wife. The day itself: It had poured virtually non-stop the day before the wedding and even the day of it was threatening rain. About one hour before the reception the clouds just parted and we were left with the most beautiful day. The speeches: Everyone who spoke at the wedding just melted our hearts. The dancing: During the reception we had an epic dance party to “Shout!” I think that every single guest was on the dance floor.
What are some of your favorite photos from the day?
Brooke and Jeff really gave us some treasured, quiet couple time when we did our photographs underneath this beautiful enormous tree. I think the photos really capture us taking in the magnitude of the moment. We're also crazy about the shot of the bridal party on the hill with just a sliver of grass and the big sky behind us. And all the shots of the first dance with our friends & family around us. It's really hard to pick favorites!
Vendors: Photography: Brooke Courtney Photography // Cinematography: Escaped Studios // Flowers: Nancy Saam Flowers // Event Design: Bride, Bride’s Mother // Event Planning: Bride, Groom, Bride’s Mother // Ceremony and Reception Location: Gulph Mills Golf Club // Invitations: Designers Fine Press // Shoes: Jimmy Choo // Dress: Monique Lhuillier