You know those times you see a couple that are so cute together that you just can’t help but say “awwww” out loud? Hello, Troy and Lydia! These gorgeous WWW readers had one of the most heartfelt weddings I have ever seen. It took place on July 8th 2016 at Stackhouse Park in Pennsylvania and was followed by a fabulous reception at The Grand Halle, a former church. The happy and talented pair undertook a lot of DIY projects to add in their personality to the day and it all turned out beautifully.
The highlights for me were definitely the multicoloured vintage bridesmaid dresses crafted by Lydia’s Mum (from recycled sheets – how cool is that?); the felt florals that made up the bouquet and the groom and groomsmen’s button holes (created by Lydia); and most of all, the look of pure joy and excitement on the bride and groom’s faces in the first look photos.
You will definitely want to have a read of the romantic way Troy proposed in the questionnaire below. So adorable.
Thank you so much, Adliv Collective, for sharing these amazing pictures with us.
THE PROPOSAL | Right before I moved away for my last year of college, I read my favourite book to Troy, a children’s book called The Little Prince. I have always adored this book for it has inspired me to live with child-like awe and wonder. When I began reading it to Troy I started to get all teary-eyed and my voice was shaking because I was realising while reading to him that this book had a whole new meaning I hadn’t yet known till that moment. I realised it was about loving someone the way I loved Troy. I looked over as I finished the last chapter and saw that he had teary eyes too. Fast forward to a few months later. I took the train home from college to visit him, and he picked me up at the train station. The reuniting was a sweet, sweet victory after months apart. The first thing we did was drive to our favourite spot to watch storms (we predicted one was about to roll in). We ventured up to the train tracks to explore a bit and while there he pulled out a brown paper package from his backpack. He asked me to open it and when I did I found the original 1943 French copy of The Little Prince (Le Petit Prince). It was the only copy I didn’t have in my collection yet and I was giggling at how thoughtful that was of him. As I lowered the book to thank him, I found him on one knee holding his grandma’s diamond that he got re-set (the diamond just so happened to be made in the same year the book was published).
THE VISION | I knew it would be quirky, crafty, and mostly DIY. I wanted it to be us… because it was a day about us and our love for each other. This meant using our hands and our creative, artistic hearts to make it personal and a perfect representation of us.
THE PLANNING PROCESS | The process was a bit hard and slow at first. I was stuck at college for most of it. This meant bouncing ideas off of my fiancé Troy through text or a computer screen. I just wanted to be home planning the big day with him. I felt like I was doing the whole thing by myself from a dorm room, which wasn’t ideal… but it was the cards we were handed at that moment so we made the best of it. Despite being at college, I tried to enjoy every bit of the process because you only do this once. Trying to balance school work and wedding planning too…. forget it (I’m lucky I still graduated with honors.). This is why I had a Maid of Honor at college and one in my hometown where the wedding would be. Having a point of reference in both places was incredibly helpful. Troy was more than willing to do whatever needed to get done while I was stuck in classes all morning and rehearsals all night. Planning a wedding that is in one place while you are living in another place four hours away sounds daunting, but it is very much possible. By the time I moved home we had two months till the wedding, which didn’t sound like a lot of time to me. It was a two month long whirlwind and my life felt like one big, constant craft project, but you’d be surprised how much you can get done in two months if you set your mind to it.
THE BUDGET | $5,500 but our situation is different than most. Realistically our wedding cost $10,000 BUT we had loads of friends who volunteered to do things for free or at a very small price. It pays to know people (or the opposite of pays I guess).
THE VENUE | We got married outside at Stackhouse Park. One of the trails to the park is practically in the backyard of the house I grew up in. I know those woods like the back of my hand and I spent many days of my childhood creek stompin’ there. It has a lot of sentimental value to me. I even got to hike up my dress and creek stomp for pictures, which made me feel like a kid all over again. The main entrance is right across the street from the coffee shop Troy and I had our first date in too, so it all came together perfectly. We even put on our invitation that guests could go grab a drink at the café before they made the little hike down to our ceremony spot. This offered people an opportunity to see where Troy and I had out first date and enter into a little piece of our love story.
The reception venue was The Grand Halle on Broad Street. The Grand Halle was once a German-immigrant parish, but there was a parish consolidation in 2009 that closed some of the churches. A not-for-profit came in and transformed this church into a reception hall (steeplesproject.org). It is a little piece of our town’s history and we were happy to be a part of preserving that history by having our reception there.
THE DRESS AND ACCESSORIES | Dress: An Etsy shop called kelseygenna.
Veil: An Etsy shop called Carrollbridal.
Head wreath: An Etsy shop called ShopBleuGardens.
Bracelet: It was my grandma’s who passed away.
FINDING THE DRESS | I knew I couldn’t spend a whole lot on a dress, so I went through the wedding dresses on Etsy with a fine-toothed comb. My only guidelines were Troy wanted to see my freckle-y back and I didn’t want anything too poofy. I ended up stumbling across a page that sold their sample size dresses for much cheaper than they sell their regular dresses. I found a sample piece that happened to be my exact measurements, extremely affordable, and made me swoon. The price seemed to be a once in a lifetime offer. It was the little details that made me fall in love with it. It had an open back to show off my freckles, it had darling little capped sleeves that I thought matched the style of the bridesmaids dresses well, it had a drop waist that was very vintage and elegant and I thought would look good on my frame, and it had little mustard yellow beading that just sent me over the edge (mustard yellow is a little obsession I have and was the base color of the wedding). I was torn only because I never got to go out and do a dress fitting with my bridesmaids and momma. I didn’t want to miss out on that moment we see in the movies, but I kept coming back to that mustard yellow beading. It really did feel like destiny.
GROOM’S ATTIRE | Troy is passionate about denim and probably knows everything and anything you could possibly ask him about how jeans are made. He knows the whole history too. It was very important to Troy that denim be a part of the wedding. Troy has a vast denim collection so it was hard for him to choose which ones to wear, but he picked his Tellason jeans (raw selvedge denim). His shirt was from Forever21, his suspenders from H&M, his tie was his dad’s army tie, and his shoes were just a good ole pair of thrifted wingtips.
THE READINGS & MUSIC | A bunch of really good musician friends of mine all got together to form a band for the day and supplied the tunes.
Before the ceremony:
Family and Friends by Family and Friends
We Got A Love by Lennon & Maisy
A slowed down killer cover of Love On Top by Beyoncé
Processional and Entrance of the Bride: Promise by Ben Howard
Communion: Benediction by Josh Garrels
Recessional: I Believe in a Thing Called Love by The Branches
As for readings, our Pastor referenced The Little Prince throughout his message which was a really important detail to us.
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | My mom has an Etsy shop called The Sheet Shop where she sews dresses out of vintage sheets. My mom made all of the bridesmaid dresses, flower girl dresses, and the bow ties for the little boys out of vintage sheets she found thrifting. I knew before I even got engaged that she would make the bridesmaid dresses and I owe all the thank you’s in the world to her for bringing my dream to life.
THE FLOWERS | Blood, sweat and tears went into making my bouquet and the boutonnières and it was my favourite little touch. Literally blood and sweat… no tears though. Maybe some happy tears over the darling felt anemones though. I’ve always loved felt crafts and making my bouquet was absolutely my favourite part of the wedding process. I made all the bridesmaids Billy button bouquets out of little felt wool pom poms too.
PHOTOGRAPHER / VIDEOGRAPHER | Adliv Collective. Wade and Tabitha are a husband and wife videography and photography duo. Their work continually blows us away. Not just because Wade was Troy’s best man and went out of his way to still make us a video even though he was IN the wedding, and Tabitha is pretty much responsible for setting us up…. but because they do good work. Just see for yourself.
THE DETAILS AND DÉCOR | Vintage Pyrex mugs are something both Troy and I collected before we even knew each other. Together our collection is absurd. We used the mugs as centerpieces. I filled them with rocks and made felt succulents to put inside. The flowers were from the Johnstown Farmer’s Market (Gahagan Farms). Everything else was pretty much made by hand by me. Cutting out hundreds of pennants out of sheets and gluing them to over 120 feet of twine was brutal, but it was a pretty cool moment to look back at the entire hall and see our handiwork come together in such a beautiful way. We poured ourselves into the details.
THE HONEYMOON | We decided on a week in the PNW. We flew into Seattle and out of Portland and did a lot of hiking, camping, driving, and exploring in between. The mountains were calling.
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | There are 2 moments that stick out the most:
1. Troy and I collect plastic dinosaurs. This is because on our first date we acquired a plastic dinosaur that was eventually given the name Josh. Ever since that day we’ve brought Josh around on the different adventures we go on. He was even in Troy’s pocket when we said our I do’s. Troy started surprising me with new plastic dinosaurs on some of our milestones. During our first look Troy pulled out a new plastic dinosaur and gave it to me. I think that perfectly captures us.
2. The first dance. Our first year of dating I made Troy a “mixtape” and the last song on the CD was The Universe by Gregory Alan Isakov. I told him it was my favourite song ever written, so every night when he would drop me off back at my house he would flip the song to The Universe as we said goodbyes and he would drive home listening to it. Dancing together as a married couple was a moment to breathe in the chaos of the day and the most emotional part of the day for both of us.
*This story is also why we settled on a mixed CD of “Our Soundtrack” as our favour for guests, because we have so many stories just like this for so many more songs.
ADVICE FOR COUPLES | You will wake up the next day married to the person you love. Rain or shine, whether or not everything comes together, and despite any mishaps. You will wake up the next day husband and wife. At the end of the day that is all that matters.
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Photographer | Adliv Collective
Ceremony Venue | Powell Stackhouse Park
Reception Venue | The Grande Halle
Flowers | The Shakey Leaf
Bridesmaid Dresses | The Sheet Shop
The Dress | Kelsey Genna
Shoes | Modcloth
Veil | Carroll Bridal
Hair Wreath | ShopBleuGardens
Denim | Tellason
Troy and Lydia, your story and obvious happiness brightened my week. Thank you so much for sharing your idyllic celebration with us. Abby xx