This is our last week of real wedding features of 2015! Today we head to Massachussetts for Meg and Bryan’s backyard wedding, and all I can say is… how incredible is Meg’s heirloom veil?! Also, read on for a hilarious story about their vintage wedding day transportation (thank goodness for a backup plan!).
Photos by Olivia Rae James.
From Meg & Bryan:
Why did you choose this location for your ceremony? Meg: Since we decided to get married in my hometown, it was only fitting that we get married in the church I grew up in, St. Anthony’s. I was baptized, had my First Communion and confirmation there, so there was just a lot of meaning behind it.
Your ceremony in three words. Personal, Musical, Joyful.
How did you go about planning your ceremony? Meg: Bry is Episcopalian and I am Catholic, so we kept it simple and didn’t do a full mass. We wanted it to have a personal and intimate feel, even though it was in a big church, so we asked Bry’s cousins, Winslow and Roz if they would play the violin and piano and some of our closest family member to speak, including Bry’s 85 year old Grandfather who was a former Reverend. Having those personal elements to the ceremony really changed everything for us. It was just so special and powerful.
Who officiated your ceremony? Meg: Father Mulvehill officiated our wedding and was my Priest growing up. He also happened to be my mom’s childhood Priest in another Massachusetts town, purely a coincidence. So he holds a special place in my family’s heart.
What was your ceremony music? Meg: Our ceremony music was a mix of traditional and non-traditional. We had the classics like Canon in D for the bridal party and Trumpet Voluntary for my dad and me, but the violinist also played All You Need is Love by The Beatles during seating and my favorite, The Lover’s Waltz, was incorporated throughout the ceremony. I didn’t just want an organ, so we incorporated violin, piano and trumpet.
What were your vows like? We said traditional vows, which I think are so sweet. Bry was strong as an ox and I of course got emotional the second I opened my mouth.
What was your favorite thing about your wedding ceremony? Meg: Having Bry’s cousins, Winslow and Roz playing violin and piano was really special to me. Just hearing them play together makes me emotional. It’s so beautiful. Also, being able to wear Bry’s family veil was such an honor. Bry: When my grandfather did his reading. I loved how he didn’t use a mic and just got up and belted it. And then walking out after we were married to all of the applause and seeing all of our family and friends for the first time.
How would you describe your reception? Our reception was relaxed, romantic and overall just felt magical. One of our friends told us, she felt like the whole night “sparkled” and for some reason that feels perfectly accurate in our memory. We had the time of our lives.
Why did you choose this location for your reception? We knew we didn’t want to do a traditional “venue”, so we scoured the internet for New England farms/barns/you name it, but never found anything that got us excited. So when Meg’s dad jokingly told us to get married in the backyard, he didn’t realize we would actually end up taking him up on it, and we are so happy we did.
What inspired you when you were planning your wedding? Meg: I of course looked at Pinterest and every wedding magazine on the shelf, but at the end of the day, I just wanted something timeless and elegant, without being too over the top (it was a backyard wedding after all). I wanted everything to have a very natural and easy feel, so being in the backyard, it only made sense to incorporate greens, whites and wood (and lots of twinkly candles), and I think it really worked.
Any special songs?
Our first dance song: “Blue Sky” by the Allman Brothers
Father/Daughter: “Into the Mystic” by Van Morrison
Mother/Son: “Bright Side of the Road” by Van Morrison
What type of cake or dessert did you serve? We had carrot cake (Bry’s favorite) and mini ice cream cones (Meg’s weakness).
Please tell us about any other special details or moments from your reception. Our band was a band we saw in Martha’s Vineyard two summers ago and absolutely fell in love with, so it was really cool to have them and they are just ridiculously talented and have the same taste in music as we do. At the end of the night, the sparklers were lit for our exit from the tent, and then the band surprised us with one final song (Shout), so naturally, everyone went back into the tent, sparklers lit, to dance to Shout. It was equal parts amazing and equal parts dangerous. But it was definitely memorable (and made for a great picture)!
Did you include any special traditions in your wedding? My something old was a family Veil which is about 100 years old, and my something borrowed were the earrings of my best friend’s mother. She was someone who really changed my life, and she passed away from breast cancer when we were in high school, so it was really special to be able to commemorate her in a small way.
Are there any DIY details you’d like to tell us about? For all of the tables, we had wooden boxes for the centerpieces, which my dad, Bry, a bridesmaid, and I made one weekend in our garage. They were a labor of love, but totally worth it in the end – I loved how they came out! For the place cards, we used an old lobster trap, and secured every card to it with a miniature wooden clothes pin. Totally inspired by Pinterest, but ended up looking great! My bridesmaids were still pinning on the names the morning of the wedding, so I owe it all to them!
What was the best advice you received as a bride? When the day comes, just sit back and enjoy it. At least one thing will go wrong, but it won’t matter.
What advice do you have for other couples in the midst of planning a wedding? Take deep breaths and remind each other that you love them as often as possible!
Do you have any budget tips for other brides? One of the best things we did was think about the things that were most important to us, and then cut back in areas that didn’t matter to us or our guests. So for instance, we knew the music was something we both cared about, so we went big with the band. We also knew people generally threw out invites the moment after they RSVP’ed, so we went with the thinner paper. I don’t think that ruined anyone’s evening.
Is there anything else that helps tell the story of your wedding? One funny story – we had an old car to take my dad and me to the wedding and Bry and I back from the ceremony, and although it looked beautiful, it was a little touchy. So, as my bridesmaids go off in the trolley and my dad and I get into the car, we think “Everything is going smoothly, the weather is perfect, we are so lucky!” And then BAM! The car doesn’t start. So we sat there and tried, but nothing. It was one of those moments you know you won’t forget. We just looked at each other and laughed. Luckily my brother saw a text from my dad to have the trolley come pick us up, and we ended up getting there just in time for the 3pm start! Once the ceremony was over the car decided to work again (after a few pushes) and Bry and I had such a fun joy ride along the Cohasset coastline to the reception! It was heaven being able to get that time together before the craziness started!