A surprise proposal that swept her off her feet lead real Stella York bride, Katie, to the wedding of her dreams! Not letting the long distance wedding planning get in her way, she focused on the most important parts of the day and didn’t sweat the small stuff. And to top it off, looked amazing in her lace strapless gown. We couldn’t be happier for these two!
From the bride: My Husband and I had been together for almost six years prior to getting engaged, and he planned it out perfectly, too! We were booked to go on a 10 day trip through Europe visiting Budapest, Vienna & Prague. Our first stop on the trip was in Budapest, Hungary. We had literally flown in that morning and barely got any sleep on the flight and It was such a beautiful day outside with sunny, clear skies. While we were at lunch, our waiter was explaining how the next few days were going to be rainy, so if we wanted to do anything in the historical district, we should do it that day. So we finished lunch and decided to stop into the hotel and change before going for a walk. In the room, Matt was getting all dressed up, and putting a lot of effort into his appearance. I, on the other hand, was very content wearing leggings and a t-shirt! I was super tired from the jet-lag and didn’t want to get dressed up. He started asking, “can’t you just put on something nicer? We’re going to be taking nice photos so you will want to look better.” I said “no.” His reaction to this was to put his arm around me, look in the mirror at our reflection, sigh, and look at me again. Slightly annoyed, I said, “fine, i’ll put on a sweater.” Finally, We get down to the lobby to meet up with our friends when and all of a sudden Matt needed to go back to the room to get his jacket, while our other friend needed to grab her sunglasses, so they left the lobby. I had no idea, but apparently they went back to our room for him to get the ring and “practice.” During our trip, we ended up at the Fisherman’s Bastion, which is like a castle-like wall-terrace area that overlooked the Parliament and the Danube river. We had taken pictures across most of the terrace when Matt asked me to go back inside one of the towers to take a picture. At that point we had previously been in there, and nothing outside of the tower could be seen in the photo. I was exhausted, beginning to get hungry, and being a huge brat so I said “No, i’m not going back in there, you couldn’t see anything in the picture, no! We can take a picture out here.” So he shrugged and said, “alright I guess we will do it out here,” and got down on one knee! Needless to say, it was very surreal and I felt like a huge jerk in that moment!
When it came time to plan our wedding, the biggest obstacle we had to overcome was distance. We were going to be planning a wedding from 600+ miles away, so we had to get it right. My husband and I live in Vermont, and the wedding took place in Toledo, Ohio. Living this far away, we didn’t have the luxury of making quick trips to a venue or to visit a vendor for a meet and greet. Because of this, almost all of our preliminary work was done on the internet looking at vendor reviews and pictures [SO IMPORTANT]. We also used Skype to “meet” a few of our vendors and it worked out perfectly. Another key aspect of planning a wedding at a distance was knowing that we wanted to work with as few vendors as possible. In the end, the reason we chose our amazing venue was because they offered so much at one location [ceremony, reception, food, drinks, linens, candles on the tables]. I didn’t have to worry about those small details because it was all taken care of, and it actually helped us to stay within budget because we didn’t have money going in all directions. In the end it was a beautiful, perfect day, and we would not change one thing because our venue, dj, photographer, videographer, and officiant were all amazing, as well.
If there was a tip I could give future brides it would be to figure out early where to save money and where to spend it. Programs? Who need them. Favors? Top shelf liquor? Unnecessary. Remember, your guests get a free meal and they will drink the booze regardless of what it is. You’re there for yourselves, your relationship, and your vows. We felt the best money we spent was on our photographer/videographer. Not only did they go above and beyond on our wedding day, but just the mere quantity of photos we received was astounding. In addition, I can’t explain how beautiful the video turned out. The only thing we can really say is; Worth. Every. Penny. They captured the most important moments of our day, and it shouldn’t be discounted when planning yours.
The most special memory from the day is when we did our “first look.” About the time they started putting me into my dress it all became very real. I can remember the nerves setting in because we had all just been going through the motions. We were placed with our backs to a tree, wrapped around and holding hands so we couldn’t see each other. I’m not an emotional person who cries a lot, but I was literally shaking with nerves because as our photographer stepped back to give us a moment of silence, our whole relationship; past, present, and future just washed over me to solidify why I was standing there holding the hand of the person I would spend the rest of my life with. It was so special because then we got to turn to each other and have a moment away, just between us.
Photography by Mark Andrew