This beautiful Cape Cod wedding is full of vintage-inspired details and touching moments captured by photographer Lara Kimmerer. I especially love these romantic first look shots of the bride walking across a bridge to her groom… it doesn’t get much better than that moment and Lara captured it beautifully…
Says Johanna of the First Look: “I had always thought the first look thing was so silly and dramatic. But over time, when people explained it to me (Lara included), I became excited by the idea. When Paul and I met on a bridge down by the ocean for our first look, it was one of the most powerful and special moments of the entire wedding. We had been through so much that past year, and we turned to see each other and it was like, ‘We are here. We made it – and we look amazing!'”
“Just after we said our “I dos,” we walked up the aisle and Lara took us over to a little covered path in one of the gardens. It was so quiet and the light was pouring through the trees. We each had the other’s wedding band inscribed and had been waiting weeks to see what they said. We tugged our bands off and squinted to see the inscriptions… it was a really special moment.”
“Our guest book was comprised of vintage Cape Cod postcards and each guest was encouraged to write a message on one,” says Johanna. “Paul and I were about to move into a new apartment in New York, and we had this idea for our parents to slowly send us the postcards after the wedding. We are now making a guestbook of the well wishes.”
A candy buffet was actually a timeline of when various candies originated. The wedding cakes were also a special detail: “We had two cakes. One was from our favorite bakery in Pittsburgh, Prantl’s. Paul grew up in Pittsburgh and I went to college there. We both have great memories of eating Prantl’s famous burnt almond torte, so we had four of them flown in for the wedding. The other cake was made by an amazing little bakery in Orleans called Cottage Street Bakery. I worked there during the summers when I was in high school and had told Marc, the owner, that when I got married, I wanted him to make my wedding cake.”
One of the best parts of the day? “Paul and I were going to drive to a hotel after the wedding in our rental car, but instead our entire family had secretly decorated an old Volvo nicknamed Grey Poupon. This Volvo has been in our family for over 2 decades and has schlepped us to the beach and back hundreds of times. It was the best surprise of the night and an amazing way to get to our hotel, tin cans scraping the pavement and all.”
Why did you choose this location for your wedding? I grew up traveling to Cape Cod during the summers. I have such wonderful memories from my time spent with my family – my parents, brothers, cousins, grandparents, aunts, uncles – the whole crew! I knew from a fairly young age that I wanted to get married on Cape Cod. When Paul and I met and I discovered that he had traveled to Nantucket for many summers during his childhood, it matched up perfectly. We both loved the area and were so grateful to my Aunt and Uncle who opened up their home for the entire affair.
What inspired you when you were planning your wedding? We tried to play off the natural beauty of the Cape and location of the wedding. We worked with Mary at Flowers by Mary to make sure the flowers had a very organic, garden-like feel to them, and we used flower boxes and old vases and bottles that my mom had collected to give it a more laid back feel. Music was also very important to Paul and me. We found this amazing band in Brooklyn called the Blue Vipers of Brooklyn – they were actually the first vendor we booked. We hadn’t seen them live, but listened to their music online and loved it. It was bluesy/classic jazz/swing – we felt it would fit perfectly with the venue and the kind of vibe we wanted.
What was your favorite moment or part of the day? I had a few favorite moments – too hard to choose just one! It was an outdoor ceremony in a field and my dad and I were standing at the top of the hill before walking down the aisle. We were watching everyone process down and I was freezing and so nervous. My dad held my hand and said, “Breathe.” At that point, a sense of calm washed over me for a minute. Of course, I lost it again walking down the aisle, but those few quiet moments with my dad I will treasure forever.
What was the best advice you received as a bride? Try and let go of perfection. A friend shared with me this quote from Anna Quindlen’s book Being Perfect when I was having a wedding planning breakdown: “What is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself.” While I think this applies to life in general (it has obviously stuck with me), I think it very much applies to wedding planning too. It’s okay if everything isn’t perfect; just work on making it yours. Take inspiration from things here and there, but don’t get hung up on every last little detail. I promise, you are the only one who will notice. Learn how to let some things go.
What advice do you have for other brides? Don’t forget about the happiness of the day. Don’t forget to have a few quiet moments to reflect on everything with your partner. Dance. Eat. Drink.
Do you have any budget tips for other brides? No one is going to look back at your wedding and think, “Wow, looks like they really skimmed on the glassware.” Or, “Wow, they should have upgraded these chairs.” They are going to remember the moments and the love the two of you share. Also, don’t be afraid to try things on your own. Find something that you love in a fancy store that isn’t within your budget? See if you can do it yourself. I really wanted to do vintage china but it was about $7 per place setting to rent it. My parents and I ended up doing it (my mom really took on most of the challenge) and scoured thrift stores for months and months for used china. We found plates and saucers and teacups for 50 cents, $1.00. We ended up savings hundreds of dollars and still got the look that we wanted. And, after the wedding, my parents sold it all at a garage sale! If there is a will, there is probably a way.
Is there anything else that helps tell the story of the day? All of our vendors were amazing to work with. Paul and I were going through a very difficult time while planning our wedding. I was battling cancer and recovering from surgery and our day to day was at times incredibly challenging. Every single one of our vendors was understanding, accommodating, kind, and compassionate. I would like to extend a special thank you to Lara Kimmerer and her husband Peter who not only captured the day so beautifully but opened up their hearts to us during our struggles.