We had just wrapped up some time with my family in Indiana and Chicago and then we were off to Niagara falls to meet his sister and her family where we were going to help them drive/move back down to Florida. As the only son in the family, J gets roped into helping his 3 sisters move, A LOT.
In preparation, I had done research and booked a room for the entire family to stay at the Embassy Suites on the Canada side of the falls. The week of the trip, my future mother-in-law found out she did not get her passport and she would not be able to cross the border. I tried to cancel the room at the Embassy Suites, but it required a 72 hour cancellation and it was too late. The family ended up booking a VERY small room for the 3 adults and 3 children on the American side of the falls. I couldn’t understand why he was being so rude to his family. In the end he, won and we drove over the boarder to Canada.
We got checked into our room, and immediately upon entering, I went to the floor to ceiling windows to look at the horseshoe falls. They were all lit up with lights and it really was beautiful. I as stood at the window blabbering about the falls, J came up behind me, wrapped his arms around me and put the ring in front of me asking if I would marry him. I teared up and I had to sit down in the chair, and told him to get down on one knee and put the ring on me. It was perfect.
Close up on ring from our room with the falls in the background:
The view from our room really was great!
Later the next day we rode the Maid of the Mist
Wedding Party Attire:
I bought my dress about 6 months before the wedding. I met my mom and sister at a David’s Bridal in a big town near us that would have better selection.
I was having trouble with a dress because I don’t think I am really a lacy or fancy style of girl. I was in love with the Maggie Sottero Adelaide but in the end I decided it was a nice evening dress style. Not quite special enough for my wedding dress.
I found another really elegant dress at Davids but again, it was too elegant/fancy for my personality. At the last minute our consultant pulled this dress. It fit my personality perfectly.
For lack of a better term, we started calling it a swan dress. It fits because we are having our wedding at the zoo. I knew this was the dress because I did not want to take it off or have anyone else try it on. Also, it was the first dress that I could imagine wearing when the church doors are pulled open. And most importantly, I wanted to party down all night in this dress! There is no way I would consider a reception dress!
The dress is designed by Monique Luo and is Style CH515. I ordered it in Ivory.
We really wanted to try to get the groomsmen to buy their own suits. I had never seen J in a full suit, let alone a tux so we just felt that would be too formal. We also wanted our wedding to have a very casual feel. Plus, it was $150 towards something that could be worn again rather than $150 down the drain in a rental.
However, I felt really bad asking the guys to all buy chocolate brown suits that would be hard to wear again. We toyed with the idea of doing a black or charcoal colored suit and decided that would have to do. After looking at Mens Warehouse, Macys, Dillards, JCPenny, etc, we still couldn’t find anything we liked within our price range (and that we could get 6-8 suits in various sizes of). Finally, based on a Weddingbee recommendation we went to look at some brown suits at Kohls. They do have a three button jacket and pleated pants which is more traditional (less modern) than what we were hoping for, but it worked fine.
The bridesmaid dresses were also purchased from David’s Bridal for about $125 each and are in “fern green”. They really worked well to complete the look we were going for!
We got married in the church I started attending around 7th grade. It has a beautiful exterior right on the water and the inside is very unique.
Here is a picture from our wedding day:
Alter with arrangements
We also did a Guest Declaration of Support during the ceremony which I teared up during. It was so nice to turn around and be able to see all the guests that were at the church to support us.
And then we Kissed as husband and wife!
We had a deposit down on another venue and had went to talk to the florist about the major decorations that would be needed for the space. As we described the look and feel that we were going for (natural, rustic, etc) the florist asked if we had visited the venue space at the local Zoo. We had not heard of it, but the next day we went to look at it. They even had the chocolate brown table linens that I wanted to rent. It is a smaller space (we can only fit 22 tables ~ 175 guests) but there is a large deck that overlooks the giraffe exhibit.
All professional photographs are from our photographer, Cathy Heinz.