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Weekend Snapshot
gallery May 18 2018
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A Thought For Thursday
gallery May 17 2018
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"you pull me,

a body with no soul.

spilling gold

beneath an open sky.

amber dust

scattered on limbs

tangled in more

than heat

and lost

in the idea

of stay."

- alison malee

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Michelle Title_key Gina

Real Wedding
gallery May 16 2018
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Hudson Valley Vows

Tell us your love story!

"I’m gonna marry that girl" probably wasn’t the first thing Michelle thought (after some awkward behind the scenes debate) when she reached out to Gina on match.com. Gina probably didn’t think, “yup – I’m gonna marry that girl” either when she decided to give it a shot just because Michelle happened to be within her 2 mile dating radius. However, after Michelle sent Gina a picture of herself dressed as a taco, Gina decided to let Michelle in on the big secret that she was BatGirl and at that point I’m pretty sure they both thought, at least for the moment, "YUP, I'm Gonna Marry That Girl!"

What about the proposal?

On the tailgate of a pickup truck in the woods by the water in view of maiden's cliff in Camden Maine on the 4th of July!

When did you know that you were meant to be with each other?

As soon as we realized both our mothers were named Barbara, our middle names are Marie, we each had a maternal bond with our grandmothers, even though Gina had lived the last 20 years in Florida we had grown up a few miles from one another, worked at the same mall in the same store at the same time, skated at the same roller rink, both had worked law enforcement, loved live music and are avid football fans of rival teams! That last one was almost a deal breaker!

Going into the wedding planning, what did you definitely know?

We knew we wanted the Ceremony to be about us and the rest of the event to be about our guests! We also knew that the most important components in order were Family, Friends, Music and Food.

What surprised you during planning? What was easy, what was difficult?

We were surprised by how fast and furious our event was! Choosing our venue, food, flowers, jewelry and planning our music with the DJ was so very easy! We never knew we cared about table linen! (Tip: we bought ours online and then sold it to our venue as part of our contract)

The most difficult part of planning the wedding was having everything we wanted and paying for it before the wedding. We had to shop - prioritize and get creative! The family photos were tough because it required a bunch of time and patience but we don't regret one moment of that and Jay made sure to get them all! Lastly it was difficult having half of our wedding party in Florida and the wedding in New York in September - hurricanes are not something you think of before hand!

Is there anything you wish you knew while you were planning your wedding that you know now?

We wish that we had known when we sent out our invitations to put both our guest and our address on the return envelope of the RSVP. We had a table side ordering / menu for our wedding so our RSVP didn't have choices - just a place to check attending or regrets. Not too many thought to put a return address on the RSVP envelope - we had invited 300 people and when the RSVP started coming in many times we had no idea who was responding! That is a planning nightmare! The other thing that we wish we knew: even when it seems the best idea in your mind - your vendors have the experience. We originally planned not to see each other before the wedding having separate rooms the night before. We had two pages of family photos planned. Our photographer Jay had suggested that we do a private first look before the wedding but we said no... by the end of the planning we gave in because we really wanted to participate in our wedding - not be absent for pictures half the night. It ended up being our second favorite moment of the day! We could not have anticipated what those few minutes alone in the woods before saying our vows would mean to us later on! PS : a tip from Jay - look up and breath so the happy tears don't ruin perfection!

Any advice for couples planning weddings now? Anything you would have done differently or anything you’d like to add?

We would advise taking your time and making it exactly what you want, we moved our date by one year so that we could have it our way. Also, finding the perfect wedding attire can be tricky, start that search from day one. Try on as many ideas and outfits as you want. I ended up in a dress from a store I would never thought to shop in with shoes from overseas and Gina had hers custom made with shoes that required a special trip to NYC. Do participate - we almost didn't create a website www.gonnamarrythatgirl.com, take the dance lessons or the engagement photos! We are so glad we did - it was fun and private endeavors, unlike your wedding day!

What was your favorite part of your wedding day?

It was the best day from start to finish - Our favorite moments were the ceremony and the first look. I can't express enough how important it was for the event to be so successful that the reception is for the guests and the ceremony for the couple. We had a photo slideshow of our guests in the ceremony room to engage them immediately on arrival. We had 3 second cards on the table as conversation starters between guests. We kept the traditional wedding dances etc. short and sweet to minimize "spectator time" for our guests. It goes so fast - we really wanted maximize being with our family and friends together.

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Sneak Peek
gallery May 15 2018
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Kayla Title_key Claire

Real Wedding
gallery May 14 2018
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An Irish-American Wedding

Tell us your love story!

Claire and I met a few days before my birthday at a Burlesque Festival in Ireland. I had moved to Dublin a month before to begin my Master’s degree in International Business. I had managed to talk my roommate at the time into going to the festival with me as a birthday present, she had only agreed because it was the Festival boylesque night. I went up to the bar during an intermission to order us drinks and met Claire while ordering. By the end of the intermission, I had promised her a dance when the show was over. I hadn’t expected her to actually show up and ask me! After several failed attempts to get me to dance, she asked one more time before I finally agreed. The rest was history.

What about the proposal?

One night, close to easter when we were due to visit the States to visit my family, Claire took me to one of our favorite upscale restaurants that we had often visited for the year we were living with her family. It was raining lightly outside and Claire had insisted on us having our dessert outside by the restaurants’ fire pit. After making sure I got a glass of champagne for suffering through the rain the waiters brought out our chocolate desserts. Mine just happened to say, Will you marry me? At first I thought I had gotten someone else’s and I turned to Claire to tell her as much only to find her on one knee ready to ask me! I was so stunned I couldn’t even say yes until she prompted me several times for an answer which I finally said, "yes of course."

When did you know that you were meant to be with each other?

Claire will often say that we knew we were meant to be together from the moment she met me and I finally agreed to a dance but I often have a hard time pinpointing the moment I knew we were meant to be together. It wasn’t any one thing that she did together but a gradual building of a life together and her constant support and help through trials that seemed to make it impossible to not be together. I think perhaps it was the moment I saw her after a prolonged time apart in order for us to deal with our visas. That was when I knew this was going to be worth it and that we were meant to be together.

Going into the wedding planning, what did you definitely know?

There were certainly a few things that we knew we wanted for the wedding. We wanted to have it in Ireland and we wanted to set the date far enough in advance for my family to be able to attend. We also knew that we wanted it to be hosted in an exclusive venue with a sort of old Manor House feel. Hosting it in Ireland and knowing there would be a number of Americans coming, many for their first time, we knew we wanted it to be impressive. To be something they couldn’t see at home.

What surprised you during planning? What was easy, what was difficult?

There were some very big surprises during the wedding. We were engaged two years before we got married and in that time the original venue we had chosen closed and we were forced to find another one. This ended up working out better for us as the venue we ended up with was better than the previous but if it had been closer to the wedding we would been in quite a bind!

The easiest and most fun part of the planning was the menu planning and all the things that the hotel took care of. The staff couldn’t have been any kinder to us and did everything they could to help us.

One of the most difficult things was having to handle the logistics of family and traveling. This is something that everyone should take into account when having a destination wedding. We ended up with roughly forty to fifty people traveling from the United States for the wedding, most of them making it a full length vacation. This meant there was a lot of planning with travel to get them from the city to the venue the night before the wedding, getting them back the next day, recommending restaurant and tourist attractions. Making sure that they were happy while also doing last minute touches the week before the wedding was the hardest thing.

Is there anything you wish you knew while you were planning your wedding that you know now?

Be selfish! One of the biggest things during our wedding planning was trying very hard to accommodate family and friends, not only those traveling but our family who lives here in Ireland as well. It was only when we had reached a point of near peak stress that we remembered it would our day and that normal traditions that both our families would have liked to seen weren’t going to be incorporated into our own wedding. This is your day and it’s okay to be selfish! To get what you want from your date and not worry about others.

Any advice for couples planning weddings now? Anything you would have done differently or anything you’d like to add?

Make sure to have a break from wedding planning during the process! Yes it’s a big deal but don’t let it consume everything else that you like about each other. Make room for dates and time out without thinking about it or stressing too much.

The last thing is to make sure to take in everything it’s so easy to get swept up in the worry on the big day that everything has gone to plan. But that’s what the hotel coordinators are for! If you lay out a good plan with them about what you want and need they’ll do it for you. Something does and most likely will go wrong, but they can handle it. If not it’s still your day and as long as you’re getting married to the person you love that’s all that matters. All the rest is just icing on the wedding cake.

What was your favorite part of your wedding day?

One of my favorite parts of the wedding day was the morning, getting ready. Everything was so exciting and nerve-wracking at the same time but we made sure to make it a little party. We pampered ourselves with bottles of our favorite champagne, music and family coming in and out at will. There was nothing like that kind of excitement in the air. I always think people should enjoy this part the most when everything is just starting off. When there isn’t a pressure yet to see all your guests and you can spend some time with those people you really want to see and who helped you so much on your big day.

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