Bridget and Jim celebrated their wedding in a gorgeous setting, with timeless and elegant style. One of our favorite details? They shared personal vows privately before the ceremony, then shared traditional vows in front of their guests. If you’re hoping for a beautiful wedding that is big on meaningful moments and low on stress, Bridget and Jim’s day is sure to inspire you.
Photography by Elizabeth Fogarty.
What was the best advice you received as a bride? To relax, that it will be what it will be. Enjoy every moment because it goes by very fast. I really took this information to heart and tried not to get too wrapped up in the small details of wedding planning. I trusted my gut instinct on any and all decisions and I don’t regret anything.
What advice do you have for other couples in the midst of planning a wedding? I would recommend speaking about the wedding limited times throughout the week. It can be very overwhelming to talk about it every day. Jimmy and I made it a point to get together two or three times a week (Sunday, Wednesday, Friday) to discuss details and options. This kept both of us sane and very excited!
Did you include any traditions in your wedding? Before the ceremony I had a special moment with each of my parents. I wrote letters to each, gave my mother a bracelet and my father a handkerchief to use that I had personalized for him. Each were very touched and we all enjoyed these moments.
“It was scheduled to rain all day, the day of our wedding,” shares Bridget. “I woke up early enough to watch the gorgeous sunrise, thinking it couldn’t possibly rain after such a bright and gorgeous morning – I was wrong and it did. I accepted the fact that we likely wouldn’t be married outside (this was okay with me; nobody, no rain was going to dim the sunshine I felt in my heart) so I went on with the day. Around 3pm, our coordinator Kate, told me that the rain had stopped and they would ensure we got married outside as we both had dreamed. I was so happy! The overcast setting was more than perfect for our venue – it was more magical, mysterious and gorgeous because of this. Not to mention the temperature was perfect for our guests. I am so grateful for how everything worked out!”
Bridget’s bridesmaids wore matching mint green chiffon dresses. All of the ladies carried lush bouquets of white flowers and mixed foliage.
Why did you choose this location for your wedding? We chose to have our wedding at Strong Mansion because to us, it’s a spiritual place. Jimmy and I love to hike, we love to breathe fresh air, we enjoy each other most when it’s in the presence of Mother Nature. To us Strong Mansion is a sincere reflection of who we are spiritually. With Strong Mansion being so close to our home, we have enjoyed many hikes here, walked to grounds countless times and both knew years before this day, that when the time was right, this would be where we would share our deepest commitment to one another, in our favorite “secret garden” with our closest family and friends.
“In order to work with Rev. Louis we had to complete no less than 5 sessions of pre-marital counseling. It was amazingly fun and eye opening. Reverend Louis helped us navigate the strengths and weaknesses of our relationship. He provided us with the tools we would need to have a successful marriage. He worked with us on our ceremony and had us sit down separately and together to select the verses that would be used at our ceremony. He made our ceremony extremely personal. Our favorite part of the ceremony was when Reverend Louis had us turn around and face our guests. We stood on top of Strong Mansion’s stone steps in silence for a moment and were able to really take in all of the love, really make eye contact and smile at all of our closest family and friends. It was truly, truly something special. We will never forget that minute.
Your ceremony in three words. Sincere, traditional, emotional.
Who officiated your ceremony? We found Reverend Louis Schwebius on The Knot, and boy did we luck out! He was amazing! We selected him because of his enthusiasm and passion for what he does. It was very evident in our first meeting that he loves love. We appreciated that he really wanted to get to know us as people and as a couple.
Did you include any traditions in your ceremony? We mentioned family members who have passed which meant a lot to our families.
What was your ceremony music? We selected The Feather Theme from Forrest Gump for when I walked down the aisle. It was magical and very fitting for our venue.
When the ceremony was over, we left the stone steps to “You Are the Best Thing” by Ray LaMontagne. WE LOVE THIS SONG! Such a feel good song!
What were your vows like? Our ceremony vows were very traditional. We promised in sickness and in health, rich or for poor… the traditional vows. Our intimate and private vows to one another were more raw promises of our life, love and future together. While both of our vows were very special and personal, seeing my husband cry and look deeply into my eyes as he read his intimate, private vows to me, will be a moment, I will forever cherish.
What was your favorite thing about your wedding ceremony? As mentioned above, Rev. Louis made sure we turned around and took in all of our closest family and friends, the love was SO evident in the room in this moment. It was our favorite moment of our ceremony, perhaps of our entire wedding.
“How would I describe our reception? Magical would be the word that comes to mind. When the sun set and the beautiful white twinkly lights light up Strong Mansion’s trees and tent. The candles burned in the fireplace and dimly lit the inside of the mansion. It all felt magical.”
What inspired you when you were planning your wedding? I was inspired by Lauren Conrad’s wedding. Her wedding was gorgeous, classic and timeless. I tried to emulate her wedding as much as I could.
Please tell us about any special details from your reception. I loved our escort cards/favors. We used houseplants in terracotta pots. These directed our guested to their assigned table for dinner and was their special keepsake for attending. Hopefully everyone’s plant is still flourishing and every time they water it, they think of our special day.
What was your favorite moment or part of the reception? I enjoyed dancing with my family members and friends. My older brother requested a special dance for us, and this was a big deal to me and really warmed my heart. Also the dance I shared with my Uncle Dalton. He looks just like my Grandpa whom passed away, who I know was with us in spirit that day. It was special to him and special to me.
First Dance: Elton John, Your Song
Father/Daughter: Van Morrison, Tupelo Honey
Mother/Son: James Taylor, Sweet Baby James
What type of cake or dessert did you serve? Four tiered almond flavored cake with chocolate filling in one layer and raspberry filling as the other.
Did you have a signature cocktail? We did not have a signature cocktail however we made sure that our favorite drinks were there! Mine favorite is Sauvigon Blanc and Jim’s is Blood Line, IPA.
If you had it to do over again, is there anything you would do differently? I wouldn’t change a thing. Best day of our entire lives.
Do you have any budget tips for other brides? Just know that you can’t have it all, there will be compromises that have to be made but it will be beautiful no matter what because it’s your day. You will be lost in love anyway.