your love story!
Kaila and I technically met
for the first time during high school, when she came into the pharmacy I worked
at to visit her high school friend who also worked there. We lived in the same town (and graduated the
same year – we were actually born only 3 days apart), but went to different
high schools, and really did not become close friends until college. Kaila went to Cazanovia College in Upstate,
NY and I went to undergrad at Smith College in Northampton, MA, but a mutual
friend (Jess, who later served as my Maid of Honor) connected us during a break
from school while we were home, and our friendship blossomed throughout the
By the time I was in graduate
school in Boston, Kaila had moved to NH for work, and we were able to spend
more time together. Kaila was (and still
is) my very best friend. Many years of
an incredible friendship later, Kaila expressed that she had feelings far
beyond friendship, and the rest, as they say, is history.
What about the
Kaila and I are both from the Berkshires of
Western, MA. One fall weekend in October
during a visit home, Kaila said she wanted to head up to the top of Mt.
Greylock. It was a perfect fall day, but
also happened to be the weekend of the the annual Mount Greylock Ramble, so the
traffic getting to the summit was crazy.
We finally got to the top and wandered around taking photos. When we ended up in a quiet spot, Kaila
handed me a “pamphlet” she had found in the lodge and told me I should read
it. That pamphlet was actually her proposal. By the time I realized what was happening,
Kaila was down on one knee, asking me to be her wife. Unbeknownst to me (since there were so many
people at the summit), Kaila had a photographer there photographing the whole
thing. We wandered around taking more
photos and eventually stumbled upon our families waiting there with signs that
said “She Said Yes!” and lots of champagne (another incredible surprise). It was perfect.
When did you know that you were
meant to be with each other?
Once we both came to terms with the feelings
we had for each other (and the risk of losing our best friend by taking our
relationship beyond a friendship), the feeling that we were meant to be came
pretty quickly. We actually made a
half-hearted pact years before that that if we were both not married by 30, we
would just marry each other. Who knows -
maybe somewhere inside of us we knew long before, and just weren’t at a place
in our lives to acknowledge it.
Going into the wedding planning,
what did you definitely know?
Going into wedding planning, we knew we
wanted an outdoor wedding in the fall to take advantage of the beautiful
foliage that New England has to offer. We had a vision of a big rustic, barn wedding. We saw a mobile wood-fired pizza oven at the
Big E the year before and knew we wanted to incorporate that in some way (since
we both love pizza, and it was just so different and fun). We are also both avid DIY-ers, so we knew we
wanted to incorporate as many things that we could make ourselves into our day
to really personalize it and make it our own.
What surprised you during
planning? What was easy, what was difficult?
I am a (slightly compulsive)
planner by nature, so I was really excited about the planning process. Kaila is really easy-going, and was very open
to my vision, which made mutually deciding on things easy. She only had strong opinions about a few
things (like maple syrup favors, that, of course, were DIY-ed), and we made sure
to make those happen.
Our wedding venue
was basically just a beautiful piece of property and an empty barn, so we had
to find vendors for every component of the wedding. This was a little more challenging than I
anticipated, because it meant putting a lot of trust in a variety of people and
coordinating so many moving parts. We
tried to use as many local, small businesses as possible, but that also meant
there weren’t hundreds of reviews for all of them. We trusted our gut, and luckily, everyone
came through (and then some!).
Is there anything you wish you
knew while you were planning your wedding that you know now?
Yes – to
use a coordinator or a wedding planner! Because I am such a planner, I didn’t
think I would need a wedding planner or coordinator. Part way through the planning process, I
realized that it would be nice to not have to worry about anything the day-of,
and asked a good high school friend (who works as a wedding planner) if she
would be willing to be our day-of-coordinator. She agreed without hesitation, and it was probably the best money we
spent on the whole wedding. She and her
sister took the reins at the rehearsal and were incredible throughout
the whole weekend, and it meant that Kaila and I just got to soak up all the
love and happiness surrounding us on our day without a worry in the world.
In some ways, passing off some of the
planning earlier on might have been nice, too, as the planning and crafting
truly consumed nearly a whole year of our lives.
Any advice for couples planning
We were married the same weekend that we were engaged, just one year
later. We did not have the best rain
plan (we really didn’t want to spend a bunch of money on a huge tent we may never
use), and while we lucked out, getting close to the day made not having a
really solid rain plan caused for some incredible nerves. I wish I had just reserved the tent so I
wouldn’t have had to worry.
What was your
favorite part of your wedding day?
moment was during our portraits after the ceremony. Even though our photographer was taking
pictures, she was far enough away at points where it was really just the two of
us, and it was so nice to just take a few minutes to be with just her. Kaila’s favorite part was when I walked down
the aisle to her. The other favorite
part of our wedding day were all the ways that our family and friends
contributed: hydrangeas everywhere that multiple family members spent many
months collecting and drying for our florist to use, the perfect cake that was
made by my aunt (and driven to NH from PA), my uncle’s antique car that he
drove me to the ceremony site in, the incredible cocktails that my cousin (a
world-renowned mixologist) flew in from CA days early to carefully craft and
hand make (which included hand-squeezing thousands of lemons and limes), and
the endless décor that our wedding party and family spent an entire day in the
pouring rain helping us set-up.