Today's wedding, captured by Danielle Nichol Photography, is the very essence of a personal, family-filled affair. Kristen and Michael started their life together on Kristen's family's beloved blueberry farm, and with a "village" full of help, crafted every detail of the day themselves.
Kristen wore the dress both her mother (in the 80's) and grandmother (in the 50's) wore, changing it only by having a seamstress remove the "huge puff sleeves". Says the bride, "It was absolutely my dream dress for an absolute dream day."
The two wanted a January wedding - inspired by the Avett Brothers song - so they set a date for 9 months after Mike proposed. True to the personal nature of their venue, it was a completely DIY affair; with the help of family and friends, they planned and made every detail that went into their day.
How adorable do the guys look, with their mixed bow ties and blueberry boutonnieres? I couldn't resist giving them a lil' showcase.
The story of how Kristen and Michael met starts out in an ordinary way - through eHarmony - but ends with a perfectly quirky twist. Kristen found out one day before their first meet (in Lakeland, where she lived) that it would be Michael's birthday, adding to the stresses of planning. She decided on a gift of a book and took him to two of her favorite local spots. Says Kristen, "In person we connected even more. As Michael left that evening (and we made plans to get together soon) something happened that sealed the deal. A bird pooped on his face. This was a relationship that would last."
One year and a month later, standing in the same spot we met, Michael knelt on one knee with a ring in his hand and a graffiti-ed stepping stone on the ground. The stone read "Will you marry me?" (Michael planned on using his hand cut stencil to tag an alley wall downtown but chickened out and bought a stepping stone - "It's movable — it can stay with us" was his excuse.)
“It takes a village to raise a child” became the theme of the prep. We merged everything we love into one big celebration: art, music, bicycles, nature, folky, and whimsy, and on and on. While it was fun and silly, it was also beautiful and very special.
How much do you love this idea? Michael painted a canvas of their faces, sans features, and asked their guests to pick up a brush and fill in the details.
Kristen summed it all up pretty beautifully: "We spent a wonderful evening with friends and family, drinking homemade sangria, sitting around the fire, dancing, enjoying our wedding and celebrating a new family."
Ready for the even sweeter ending? The two have started Blue Yonder, creating jams, marmalades, vinegars and other treats from their family's berries. (Adorable, right?) Congratulations, you two! Best wishes in your new venture - and life - together.