Real Wedding: Alison and Matt [Part 1]

I have a real weak spot for a sweet and meaningful wedding. The bride, Alison, wore her grandmother’s wedding gown that she had been saving just for her. I love when couples take time to honor family to create something really special. It makes the memories just that much sweeter!

This one is so gorgeous, thanks to the super talented Justin & Mary, I had to split it up into two parts. Up first is the wedding, and later today I will show you the amazing portraits. I will let Alison share all the charming details.

From the stunning bride, Alison:
When Matt and I started planning our wedding, we knew we really cared about four things: that the ceremony be meaningful, that the music get people on the dance floor, that the food be good, and that we have great photos to remember it with. Basically we wanted a fun party and we wanted our guests to enjoy themselves as much as we did. And based on everything we hear (and what we see in photos), I would have to say we accomplished that.

I decided quickly that I would wear my Nana’s wedding gown as my “something old.” My mother’s mother, who passed away just a couple of weeks ago (making this that much harder to write), had recently celebrated her and my grandfather’s 65th wedding anniversary when we got engaged, and both Matt and I look to my grandparents as a marriage we would love to emulate – people still very much in love at 90. Nana’s dress had been packed away since 1942 and she offered it to me as soon as I got engaged – said it was “waiting” for me. It should be noted I am not the first of her grandchildren to get married. It was silver and long sleeve – and weighed a ton. We decided I would cut off the sleeves wear this for the ceremony and find something else for the reception because, as explained best by my grandmother:  I asked “How do you dance in this thing,” “You don’t, dear.” In order to incorporate the dress further in the wedding, I had the sleeves cut into strips and the girls’ bouquets—including mine—wrapped in them. I also carried down the aisle a Bible that has been passed down in my father’s family since the 1800s. Each woman who gets married carries it down the aisle and then signs it. Its amazing to see the generation of women on the pages of that book.

In order to honor Matt’s father, we chose not to have the men wear boutonnieres but instead wear simple white pocket squares, as Matt does every day to the office and as his father did for years while he was alive.

Some of my favorite memories of the day are before anything really got going. My grandmother was able to travel east from Arizona for the wedding and hung out with the girls as we took over a salon in a neighboring town getting our hair and makeup done. It was a truly special time with her; even more special in the last few weeks. The other moments were doing a “first look” with Matt, which gave us a private moment before it all “got going” and let us reflect on what we were entering into.

We found the Inn and Longshore pretty quickly in our p
lanning process—having grown up in Westport, it was one of the few places in the area I knew of that would hold a big group and let us get married outside. After being mildly concerned about how our color scheme of pewter/silver, purple and white (Nana’s dress and a bouquet featured on the front of a magazine gave us our color scheme of silver, purple, and white), was going to look with a gold and ivory room, my mother (who owns a special events marketing company) took over and arranged for the chairs to be covered and new tablecloths, as well as some uplighting around the room to give it more of a glow. She was one helpful mother of the bride! Matt and I were both in awe of how beautifully it all came together with our simple centerpieces of low flowers and high candles.

Photography | Justin & Mary
Venue/Caterer | Inn at Longshore
Bridal Gown | Grandmother’s for ceremony and cocktails, Amsale for reception
Bridesmaids dresses | Melissa Sweet
Grooms Tux | Brooks Brothers
Groomsmen’s Suits | Calvin Klein
Ceremony Music | Quartetto Vivo
Cocktail and Reception | Ariel Entertainment
Cakes | Cake Boutique
Makeup | Beauty Entourage
Hair | Mari the Studio
Florist | Flowerfall

Coming up in a little bit: the portraits! You will not want to miss a single image, so check back soon!