Shaylan and JT were married on the perfect late August day in Upstate, NY, surrounded by their closest friends and family. Their day began at the historic Sonnenberg Gardens and Mansion. The mansion gardens were the perfect timeless and romantic spot for their bridal party portraits. The deep burgundy color palette Shaylan chose was an incredible contrast to the lush greenery and navy blue for the groomsmen.
Their ceremony was located at the Plantation Party House in Spencerport, NY. Their guests gathered in the garden, the sun was low in the sky and the ceremony was perfectly shaded. The groom's father officiated their ceremony and they had a very special reading from one of Shaylan's (a pediatric nurse) patients. There was a roller coaster of emotions as we listened to their personal vows. Lots of laughter, happy tears and so much love.
Their reception was elegant with a long head table in the center of the room. Each table's centerpiece included vintage books, antique teacups fill with local flowers and hand-painted wine bottles. After the cake was cut, Shaylan and JT opened the dancefloor with a perfectly choreographed first dance. I don't think there was a dry eye in the entire place.
Shaylan graciously answered a few questions about their wedding for me. What better way to hear about their special day than in the bride's own words!
How did you meet? Tell us about the proposal. :)
Our meeting was by absolute chance. I had plans to meet a girlfriend of mine for drinks one night in February. Up until the moment I walked out of the door of my apartment I almost canceled. My husband says that he was about to leave the bar when I walked in. He ended up staying until I left the bar and then messaged me on Facebook later that night. We have been talking ever since.
The Proposal: I had worked late the evening before so he was letting me sleep in by getting the kids ready for school and on the bus which was our typical routine if I worked the night before. He got himself ready as if he were going to work that day as well. After he got the kids on the bus he came back inside and woke me up asking me if I could help him find his wallet. While I was searching through the apartment he stopped me and said: "Buggy, I have a question for you.." When I turned around he had managed to get himself on one knee (which I later learned he had practiced doing with a friend of his at work) and held out the ring. I don't think he even got out "Will you marry me?" or was able to place the ring on my finder himself, I was too excited. A little backstory on my husband and his reasoning for being in a wheelchair...He was 9 months old when he became ill. He had a fever which spiked above safe levels. Due to the fever,k he had nerve damage which resulted in him later being diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy. He is highly functioning and is active in his wheelchair basketball, playing on the Rochester Wheels and coaching local disabled children. His being able to get on one knee was special as he does not have leg mobility that most would have. He puts so much effort into everything that his disability does not stop him from anything. That is one of the things I love most about him.
What were some of your favorite parts of your wedding?
Instead of your typical dessert bar or served cake, we opted for a S'mores bar which was really fun. Our guests absolutely loved it! Our officiant was my Husbands Father as we wanted to keep things as personal as possible. The reading during the ceremony was done by a patient of mine whom I bonded with during his stay in the hospital (I am a pediatric nurse). We wrote our own vows which I feel added to the overall intimate feel of the ceremony. We did have a signature drink chosen by my Husband which he cleverly named "The Crippler" (Whiskey and Coke). My children were in the wedding as well as the ring bearer and flower girl. We choreographed our first dance to "Forever Like That" by Ben Rector. One of the funnier memories of the night was the "lap dance" that my Husband received from his Brother in Law to "Pony" by Ginuwine. I, along with everyone else at the reception quickly learned what an incredible dancer my son is- he will now be taking dance lessons. I had a surprise dance for my Stepfather, my mom and him split up when I was 13 but he was the only real father figure I had in my life growing up and even after they separated he was always there for me. The dance was a way for me to recognize him and to thank him for his part in making me who I am today. The final song of the night was "New York, New York" by Frank Sinatra. I wanted to end the night with a classic song full of hope and excitement. It was also a tribute to our love of New York City and Broadway. Everyone joined in a circle kicking in a rockette style. My husband and I ended up in the middle of the circle and as the last seconds of the song played we ended up surrounded by those we loved in a kiss which Whitney captured so incredibly.
What were the florals like at your wedding?
I used flowers from a local florist, Flowerwell NY who grows the majority of her flowers herself. She created the bouquets for my Maid and Matron of Honor and I as well as the corsages for our Mothers and the Boutonnieres for my Husband, his Best Man, his Father and my Stepfather. The rest of the floral arrangements including my bridesmaids bouquets and the boutonnieres for the rest of the groomsmen I put together with the flowers I bought in bulk from our florist. While we did not have large arrangements on our tables the overall feel of the wedding was a romantic garden and I feel that what we used worked well with our design.
What was the inspiration behind your day?
The first movie that I remember seeing in theaters was Beauty and the Beast, and I fell in love with the story and it's characters. From that moment on I was always "Belle". My mom had even had sewn me her blue dress one Christmas when we were low on funds, writing me a letter from Belle that she was handing her well-loved dress down to me. I have always had a deep love of romantic, garden-inspired details and incorporated both my love of a classic fairytale and my love of gardens in our wedding. Our separate photography location of Sonnenberg Gardens and our venue allowed for us to create a fairytale inspired wedding day. Our colors were navy, burgundy, and gold. As my mother has a deep love of Native American culture I had a reading done at my ceremony from an Apache Wedding Blessing.
Let's talk about decor for your ceremony and reception!
The majority of our decor was DIY. My mother decorated the gazebo with floral vines and white, gauzy curtains. My centerpieces I created from books I found at local second hand stores, wine bottle that I spray painted burgundy and gold ombre, gold votive candles and teacups with local flowers. I had a chapter of a book on each table to indicate the table numbers. My husband and I are both book lovers and enjoy our cup of tea but the idea also was a tie in Beauty and the Beast.
Do you have any wedding planning or marriage advice that you'd like to share with other couples planning their day?
I would suggest keeping in mind what is the most important reason for the entire process at the end of the day- you are marrying your best friend. Wedding planning can be stressful, especially if you are doing many projects on your own. I was able to stay calm throughout the majority of the planning process but I definitely started to feel the pressure in the final weeks leading up to the big day. I loved the DIY projects that I did because I was able to look around and see personal touches everywhere. If you're able to I would take on at least one project. Enjoy eachother. Choose eachother every day <3
Venue - Sonnenberg Gardens and The Plantation Party House
Floral - Flowerwell NY
DJ - H&H Entertainment
Hair/MU - Canandaigua Family Hair - Melissa Campbell