Nina and Jaiden’s Autumn wedding was romantic, joyful, and had the most beautiful soft and breathtaking color palette. Adore vendor, Allium Floral Design, complimented the overall vision with stunning florals filled with texture, yet still held true to the soft and romantic theme. Another Adore vendor, Nina Lily Photography, captured the purest moments of joy and true community. Loved ones gathered safely and excitedly to celebrate the new couple.
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How did you meet?
We first met, or saw each other, at a fall weekend retreat for a group we were both involved in in high school. We went to separate high schools in the Lehigh Valley, but our schools were both a part of the retreat. Jaiden started following me on Instagram and we would interact on social media here and there. About a year later, when we were 16 and 17, I started attending a new church and discovered that he went there, too. We officially met there. That day, he invited me to a day trip to New York City with a bunch of his friends from the church the following weekend, and I reluctantly agreed to go, even though we had just met! We instantly hit it off on the trip to New York City, and have been together ever since!
What was your proposal like?
I mentioned that we went on our first “date” to New York City with a bunch of friends. Part of that trip was attending a church service in the city. Since then, we had visited that church several more times. The day of our proposal, we were going again. As we were walking, we came to a certain spot, and Jaiden asked, “Do you know where we are?” As I looked around, I realized it was the spot where we had taken our first picture together on that day trip to New York City almost five years ago! Just as I realized and started to respond, he got down on one knee and proposed. It was such a special moment because it was just the two of us, and I was SO surprised! We asked a passerby to take our picture. It’s so special to us to have the picture of us after he proposed, and the picture of us on our first date in the same place! We still went to the church service right after the proposal, and when we got there, a bunch of our closest friends were there waiting to celebrate us and join us in attending the service! I was so surprised. We all went out to dinner together after the service.
What was most helpful in the planning process?
Each of our vendors treated us so delicately and optimistically during the planning process. We were engaged in February 2020 and married on August 22, 2020, so most of our planning took place during COVID. We were so grateful that our vendors were willing to adapt with us and keep their commitments to us for our wedding day. Throughout the process, they were encouraging and supportive. Also, having our wedding planner, Molly Gilley, as the liaison with the venue was extremely helpful! They worked closely on details and creative plans to create a beautiful, safe experience.
What was most helpful on the day of the wedding?
I think the most helpful thing on the day of the wedding was that our team of vendors and especially our planner really let us enjoy the day. We didn’t feel like we were being pulled in different directions to answer questions or put out fires. We truly trusted them with the details, and felt that they honored us so well by prioritizing our ability to experience and enjoy the wedding.
What moment was most important for you to have captured by the photographer?
In general, I think it was the most important for us to have the intimate, “un-staged” moments captured by the photographer–things that only the people that were involved have memory of. Things like my mom and sister buttoning my dress, my mom putting my shoes on, my parents reading the letter I wrote them, my brother helping Jaiden with his tie, his mom having a private moment with him before the ceremony, etc. The photos of these little “hidden” moments are so meaningful.
What was something fun that you did with your wedding party?
My mom made us a delicious breakfast to share together on the morning of the wedding. We ate together on the back porch of my house and just enjoyed a quiet morning together in preparation of the day ahead.
What would you do differently?
I am happy to say that it was hard to think of something we would do differently! In hindsight, we would probably have liked to have invited more guests than we did. Also, we would have liked to have been more intentional with making time to greet and visit all of our guests’ tables. We did make time for it during dinner, but unfortunately we did not have enough time to personally greet everyone.
What made you cry?
So many things! But I think the sweetest tear-jerker moment for me was receiving Jaiden’s gift to me right before the ceremony. We didn’t do a first-look or anything, so we hadn’t seen each other all day. I started to get a little bit antsy and nervous right before the ceremony, so it was perfect timing for someone to bring me Jaiden’s gift. It was a journal in which he had written a little love note to me every day from Valentine’s Day to our wedding day. It was absolutely beautiful. Jaiden and I both cried in the private moment we had together after the ceremony. They were tears of joy and gratitude for the start of our new life as one!
Leading up, what moment was most important to you?
I think one of the moments we I thought about the most was me walking down the aisle. Because it would be the first time we were seeing each other that day, it had such an anticipation around it. We picked the song, “Be Thou My Vision” by Shane & Shane and timed it perfectly with the processional so that I came out at the climax of the song. It was one of my favorite moments!
What surprised you?
I think we were surprised by how supportive and encouraging our guests were in spite of the COVID guidelines we had in place at the wedding. When we decided to keep our original August wedding date, some of our biggest concerns were that a lot of the guests we wanted to be there would not be comfortable attending, that we would face a lot of judgment, and that some guests might not respect the COVID guidelines for the wedding that we had communicated. While we did experience each of these to some extent, the atmosphere on our wedding day was completely joyful, comfortable, and encouraging. We truly had amazing guests!
What was going through your mind when you saw your significant other for the first time that day?
It was a moment of joy and pure contentment. In that moment, we both knew that we were doing the most important thing we had ever done, and that it was the best decision of our lives! Also, he looked super handsome.
What is something you wished someone would have told you in preparation for your wedding day?
How truly fast it goes! I mean, I’m sure people told us this here and there, but it’s something you need to truly be prepared for. A lot of people told us this the day of, so with that, we tried to be intentional to experience it and avoid being pulled in a lot of different directions.
What was something unique that you did?
Before dinner, one of our closest friends led everyone in receiving communion. At most weddings, communion is taken by the couple alone as part of the ceremony. We decided to invite all of our guests to participate, and had special wine and bread available for it at each place setting. The vision for our wedding was that it would have an emphasis on community, so it only felt right to share communion together! It was such a sacred and intimate moment.
What was your favorite design detail?
I thought our place card display was absolutely beautiful. The place cards were done by Lettering for Freedom, and the table design was done by our amazing planner and designer, Molly. We had the place card table at the entrance to the ceremony since our cocktail hour was seated immediately following the ceremony. I loved that the beautiful display was one of the first things people saw when they arrived to our ceremony, and the fact that it contained each of their names showed them that they were thought of and important right from the start of the event.
What made you laugh? Did you have an unforgettable funny moment?
Our wedding party and parents made us laugh so hard during their reception entrances, and the photos from this are some of our favorites! Also, our maid of honor and best man’s speeches were hilarious. During our best man’s speech, he said he wanted to start off by sharing some embarrassing story he had with Jaiden. He pulled out a bunch of notecards he had stuck together, so that when he opened the first one, it unfolded all the way to the ground. So funny!
What was your favorite moment of the wedding day (if you had to pick just one)?
It’s so hard to pick just one! But, I would have to say, it was probably dancing with all of our friends and family. After all of the stress of planning and revising our plans due to COVID, I think I had a moment on the dance floor where I realized everything worked out, and it had gone just perfectly. I danced my heart out because of that realization. We had the most fun guests who made the dance floor a joyful, vulnerable, and hilarious place to be! We had been so concerned that people wouldn’t dance at our wedding due to having to wear masks on the dance floor. We were so wrong! I could sense people’s joy of finally being able to be physically together with people for a celebratory day after months of fear and isolation.
What advice would you give to couples who are currently in the planning process?
Leaning into the people that want to help you and that truly care about your special day is one of the best things you can do. If you trust them to understand your vision and the heart behind your wedding day, let them help. You don’t have to feel like you’re burdening them because it actually means so much to people to be intimately involved with your wedding.
Do you have any additional thoughts or comments you would like to share?
Our wedding was the best day of our lives! We are so glad that we decided to keep our original date, and even with all of the adjustments from our original vision, we could not have asked for a more perfect day. The craziness of planning during COVID taught us so many important lessons about resilience and how to evaluate and prioritize what is truly the most important.
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