While Taylor and Michael currently reside in Texas, they choose to have their wedding where it all started – home. These childhood neighbors' automatic choice for their sunflower-featured wedding was at Taylor's favorite venue. While it's sometimes easy to get caught up booking each big vendor or checking off hefty to-do's, there is beauty in the little details that get extra attention – and this wedding is full of them. From family heirlooms to a group DIY venture, this couple ensured that the core elements that mattered most to them, was made special for all to appreciate. The setting and emotion felt from these photos pulls you in and makes you feel like a part of the family.
How did you meet?
We met while taking a class together in high school. I went away to college and we started our long-distance journey. That distance then got even further when Mike enlisted in the Marine Corps. and moved to San Diego. Despite all of the distance, our relationship only got stronger.
What is your proposal story?
I was visiting Mike in San Diego. He took me to a spot by the water that had become “our place” because every time I visited, we would go there and just talk about anything and everything for hours. He had even joked on a few of my previous visits that this would be the place that he would propose. Despite it being a dreary day, Mike asked if I wanted to go and walk down by the water. We sat down on one of the benches there and after a few minutes he asked me to marry him. Despite it being a little rainy at the time, it was the perfect moment because we had the place all to ourselves. The weather wasn't on his side that day, but just like all of our time together while he was in the Marine Corps., he worked with what had been given to him and made the most of the moments we got to be together.
Tell us a little a bit about your wedding (your vision, color, style, and location choices).
I grew up next door to a family-owned farm and worked there until I finished grad school and moved to Texas. The farm was my second home and I made some lifelong friends working there. I worked as event staff when one of the family members got married on their farm and ever since that day, I dreamed of having my wedding there as well. We wanted a small wedding that brought our closest family and friends together to celebrate our love story of eight years in the making. Each person at our wedding was by our sides through each stage of our relationship and we wanted them to know how much their love and support had meant to us. We wanted the details of the wedding to reflect the natural beauty and simplicity of the farm.
Tell us about your attire choices.
I wanted a dress that was simple but had details that were timeless. As for our wedding party, we chose a color scheme that fit with the changing colors in fall and the moody hues of the farm barn. Each of my bridesmaids picked out the style of dress that they wanted because I wanted them to wear something that they were truly comfortable in.
What was the most important to the two of you while planning? Was there anything that you chose to splurge on or skip?
Since our wedding was going to be on the smaller side and I envisioned a night where all of our family and friends sat down together to enjoy dinner together, I went into the planning process knowing that I would splurge on the caterer. A Thyme to Cook was the perfect fit for us because they have the same mindset as the farmers that I grew up working with when it comes to using what the land has to offer. One of the coordinators over at A Thyme to Cook was even one of my first managers on the farm, which made it even more meaningful.
What were your favorite parts of the day? (memories and stories)
We did a first look and I love that we made that decision. It allowed us time before all of the craziness to be together and helped to take away some of the jitters of the day. We also wrote our own vows (sitting on the floor the night before the wedding none the less). The personal messages that each of us wrote made the ceremony feel so much more intimate and meaningful (even though I could barely get mine started because I was already crying). I also made an impromptu speech at the start of the reception and can vividly remember looking out at all of our friends and family, many of which had just met that day, sitting at two long tables together looking like they had known each other for years and that was exactly what I had envisioned for our day. My brother and sister-in-law also brewed beer for the wedding, which was the sweetest gesture.
Tell us about your wedding flowers.
When it came to flowers, I knew I wanted them, but didn't want to spend a ton of money on them. The tables were lined with eucalyptus that I bought online and other assorted flowers that I bought at the local grocery store. The flowers used for the other decorative bouquets, my bouquet, and my bridesmaid's bouquets were put together by my college best friend using flowers from the farm and my mother's backyard.
Tell us about your wedding cake.
We opted to go an alternative route and have a small dessert bar. What's better than having several sweet options to enjoy?
What did you do for favors?
We share a love for wine and have saved the corks for years. We went through our collection of corks and chose ones that held some of the best memories for us as far as the experiences associated with them and made them into key chains. This fit in with the day well because all of the wine served at our wedding came right from the farm's winery.
Please describe any DIY, handmade, or personal details.
I can't thank my family and friends enough for all of the help they provided in putting the day together since many of the details were DIY. We had a team of people who came together the day before the wedding to set up the tables and put together the flowers that lined the tables. My childhood best friend made many of the signs that were used throughout the day, as well as the save the dates.
Did you include any family heirlooms or special traditions?
I wore a ring that had belonged to my paternal grandmother. I never got to meet her but my dad always spoke about how wonderful of a woman she was, so it was nice to have a part of her with me and I know it meant a lot to my dad.
Do you have any advice for couples planning their weddings now?
When we first started planning the day, I spent too much time thinking about what other people would want/think and I had to get over thinking like that. The day really is about you, so do what you truly want. The timeline of the day is so important, so I definitely recommend having someone to help keep you on track.
The below wedding pros made this amazing event happen. See more of their work by visiting their website.
- Ceremony Venue
- Private Farm in Shelton, CT
- Reception Venue
- Private Farm in Shelton, CT