Molly and Brett shared their gorgeous summer wedding. It was the essence of elegance and tradition. Brett is in the US Navy, and so they were able to incorporate some military traditions that made their wedding even more personal.
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|| Allium Floral Design: Bethlehem, Pa || DPNAK Weddings: Lehigh Valley, Pa ||
How did you meet?
We met in high school (at Musikfest!) through a mutual friend.
What was your proposal like?
It was a rainy Friday evening and we were walking to meet our friends for dinner in Arlington, VA. We love this one particular, quiet street that has beautiful trees and old houses. As we were strolling down the street in the rain, Brett subtly reached into his pocket, and before I could even fully register what was going on, he got down on one knee! It turns out we did not have dinner plans with friends, and instead we went to Brett’s apartment for champagne and then had dinner at our favorite restaurant in Washington, DC!
What was most helpful in the planning process?
Hiring a “day of” coordinator was extremely helpful- our level of stress was significantly reduced because of her. She had all of the tricks, organization tools, and answers to our many, many questions.
What was your favorite design detail?
Perhaps the most special detail of the day was my veil. It was a Spanish mantilla that my mother and her twin sister had bought in college when they studied abroad in Spain. They both wore it at their weddings over 35 years ago, my cousin recently wore it at her wedding, and I got to wear it at mine! It was so incredibly special to be able to incorporate something so meaningful and beautiful into our wedding day. In terms of design, Sarah at Allium Floral design does absolutely beautiful work. She made the bouquet of my dreams, and the centerpieces and décor were absolutely beautiful.
What surprised you?
We wouldn’t call this a surprise; however something that we often look back on is how amazing it was to have every person we love and care about, in the same place, at the same time! We felt so much love that day from all of our guests.
What was your favorite moment of the wedding day (if you had to pick just one)?
It is so hard to pick a favorite moment—we loved it all! When really thinking about it, we feel that the moment we first saw each other in Packer Chapel was our favorite part of the day. It felt like the moment we had both been
waiting for and preparing for had finally arrived.
What was going through your mind when you saw your significant other for the first time that day?
Brett: I was so excited to see her, yet nervous because I was embarking on a journey that was all brand new to me. Once we finally met each other at the altar, I knew I was about to make the best decision of my life.
Molly: It is hard to put into words. It was like the rest of my life was just beginning! It was emotional and so exciting. I also was really trying to “keep it together” so I wouldn’t be crying in all of our wedding photos!
What moment was most important for you to have captured by the photographer?
What we wanted captured the most were our authentic reactions, both during the ceremony and reception. When we look at our wedding album, we still love the candid shots of us the most.
What was something unique that you did?
Since Brett is in the Navy, we had the opportunity to do a sword arch when exiting the church. This is a military tradition in which fellow service members who are attending the ceremony salute the newly married couple. It was so fun to share that tradition with our families and guests- many of who have never been to a military wedding. It was also very special that those who did it were Brett’s former shipmates and classmates. Additionally, during our reception, we cut our cake with Brett’s sword, which is also a fun military tradition.
What made you laugh? Did you have an unforgettable funny moment?
When doing a sword arch, it is tradition that when the bride exits the arch, one of the service members gives them a tap on the bottom and says, “Welcome to the Navy Mrs. (Name)!” Brett’s college roommate had the honor of doing this at our wedding. When he did it, my veil actually got stuck in his sword! It was only for a brief moment (I didn’t even know it happened), however when we got our photos back, the look on his face (and some people in the audience) was priceless! In case you were wondering, the veil was unharmed!
What advice would you give to couples who are currently in the planning process?
Try to enjoy the process. It is definitely stressful at times, but we promise that it is worth it in the end! It will be the absolute best day of your lives. We would also highly recommend a “day of” coordinator if it is in your budget. We cannot express enough how wonderful it was to have someone there that day making sure the timeline was being adhered to and everything was being executed smoothly. We did not have to worry about a thing.
Another piece of advice is that if your schedule and budget allow, try to plan a honeymoon or brief getaway directly following the wedding. It was the perfect way for us to relax after the wedding, recap all of the amazing
times, look at photos, and really relish in that “just married” feeling—just the two of us!
What is something you wished someone would have told you in preparation for your wedding day?
A few things:
1. The day goes so quickly. Our friends and family would even say that, but the day literally flies by like a blink of an eye. Think about that going into the rehearsal, the rehearsal dinner, and then for the wedding day. Embracing every little moment throughout the two days is the best way to remember and reflect on all of the memories.
2. It is YOUR day, so identifying what is important for the two of you is the bottom line. It’s what will keep you both energized and super enthusiastic about the wedding planning and keep you positive through the challenges that pop-up here and there.
3. Don’t stress too much, because it will be the best day ever!
Do you have any additional thoughts or comments you would like to share?
Something a little unique that we did was preserve my wedding bouquet (done by Hana Willow Design). It is now a beautiful piece of art and a constant reminder of our special day. I have had many former brides tell me they wish they had done something like that with their bouquets. We also propagated the succulents from my bouquet. It is fun to have both of these things (among others) to remember our wedding.
|| Photographer: Littlewing Studios || Videographer: Abominable Productions || Planner: DPNAK Weddings || Floral Design: Allium Floral Design || Ceremony Venue: Packer Chapel || Officiant: Father Robert George || Ceremony Music: Dennis and Kate Varley || Reception Venue: Saucon Valley Country Club || Band: The Infernos || Lighting: Laser DJ Company || Invitations: The Paperbag || Table Numbers/Escort Board: Nancy Kaiser || Cake: Cozze Cakes || Wedding Gown: Custom Barbara Kavchok || Bridesmaids’ Dresses: BHLDN || Jewelry: Nadri || Menswear: Courtesy of US Navy and US Marine Corps; Civilians in Mens Wearhouse || Transportation: J & J Transportation || Guest Accommodations: Weyhill Guest House at SVCC; Hotel Bethlehem; Grand Hyatt in downtown Bethlehem || Bouquet Preservation: Hana Willow ||