Even though we’ve featured more than 140 weddings here on United With Love, so many of those weddings resonate with me in an incredibly powerful way – and today’s wedding from Leo Druker Photography is one of those weddings.  Stacy and Kevin were married on an absolutely picturesque fall day at The Comus Inn at Sugarloaf Mountain in Maryland.  After recently losing both of their fathers, Stacy and Kevin wanted their wedding to be a celebration of love and laughter, surrounded by their closest friends and loved ones.  They filled their wedding day with personal details from start to finish, including an incredibly meaningful sun-filled ceremony and fun wishing well guestbook at the reception.

From Stacy: From the beginning, we really wanted our wedding to be personal and meaningful. We are honest, fun-loving, goofy people who dearly love our family and friends as well as each other.  We wanted our wedding to have a natural, colorful, comfortable, cheerful, FUN feeling, while still being elegant with lots of very personal elements.  We both recently lost our dads (I lost mine during our engagement), so bringing the family together to celebrate something happy was really important to us.  Making the wedding personal was also a priority.  Kevin and I spent a lot of time and effort adding personal elements to the day.  We had fun doing it and it was so worth it.

From a color/design-ish standpoint, I love yellows.  I wanted to incorporate yellow without going over the top with it.  Instead of going for yellow bridesmaid dresses with other accent colors, I went for an overall warm tone with blush dresses, and orange, gold, and yellow accents.  I liked a lot of vintage elements, including doilies, cameos, old photos, lace, pearls.  We incorporated those types of elements too.  The warm colors, the vintage vibe, the comfort foods, it all went toward that comfortable, familial feeling we wanted.

I had a tough time finding my dress.  I knew I wanted something soft with lace and something that enhanced my figure.  I just couldn’t get all the things I wanted in one dress.  I found a dress that had amazing lace, the fit that I wanted, but a top that I hated.  I bought the dress off the rack, and the store was nice enough to give me the train from another of the same dress they had in stock for free.  I worked with a wonderful seamstress who was able to alter the top so that the dress was all lace.  She did an amazing job and I absolutely adore my dress.  It was everything I wanted.

I love flowers, so despite many suggestions not to, I did my own floral arrangements (with help from my fiancé, mom, and friends of course).  It’s not a task to be taken lightly, and it’s not for everyone, but I loved doing it.  It really added to the experience for me.  I got to spend extra quality time with my mom and friends, and each bouquet, boutonniere, and centerpiece was that much more special.  We set specific flowers on chairs and at the front of the ceremony in honor of our dads.  My bouquet was made entirely of roses and was also in honor of my dad.

It rained the week before our wedding.  We thought we wouldn’t be able to have the ceremony outside like we planned.  At our rehearsal the day before the wedding, it was raining cats and dogs.  But later that afternoon, it did clear up.  The next day was beautiful and somehow the ground miraculously dried up.  We had a beautiful sun-filled ceremony, enjoyed a gorgeous sunset during dinner, and a big full moon that night.  I felt in my heart that my dad was responsible.  Even though he couldn’t be there physically, I knew he was there.

As my something borrowed, I wore my mom’s opal ring that her parents gave to her when she was a kid.  That meant a lot to me.  I also walked down the aisle with my mom.  I was so happy she was by my side.

The most personal thing we did was the ceremony.  We put a lot of effort into it and really made it about us from the music to the readings to the vows.  Kevin and I put a lot of thought into our ceremony.  Thanks to our fantastic officiant, we were able to tailor the ceremony so that it was special for us.  The ceremony was so beautiful, special, and memorable.

One fantastic moment was in the midst of our ceremony when a neighboring rooster began to “cock-a-doodle-doo.”  I think we had something like four cock-a-doodle-doos during the ceremony.  Kevin and I were cracking up.  You can’t plan little unexpected surprises like that, but those are the most magical.  It added an element of fun to our ceremony.  We think that Kevin’s dad (who was quite the jokester) was responsible for the rooster.

My bridesmaids gave me a wooden wine box with our initials and wedding date burnt into it for my shower.  During the ceremony, we put some wine, a copy of our ceremony, a copy of our vows, and love letters inside to open up and enjoy on our 10th anniversary.  I think a lot of couples get wrapped up in planning the reception and the “look” of the wedding, and just glaze over the ceremony.  The ceremony is the most important part: it’s not just walking down the aisle, it’s being at the end of the aisle with the one you love and promising your life to that person.  If you don’t really care about it, why should anyone else?

Kevin and I love music.  He plays guitar and the drums.  Over the years he’s taught me how to play the drums, too.  We used a guitar case as a card receptacle and a snare drum as our wishing well. At my shower, my friend gave me cards that guests can fill out with their wishes for the bride and groom.  We used those for our guestbook.  They were really fun to read later, especially the ones from people who were obviously drunk.  Someone actually put in a quote from Socrates and that was it.

For place cards, I used a shaped paper punch to punch out different colored cards, wrote names on them with a calligraphy pen, and placed them on glasses at the individual place settings.

We designed and made our own favors.  Kevin and I are always changing song lyrics to make them funny.  It only made sense to do something like a MadLibs with song lyrics.  We figured most people don’t ever use the usual kind of favors.  They could use these right away, AND get some laughs.  Perfect!  We laughed our butts off choosing which words to eliminate from certain songs while making them, and a few days after our wedding, we actually filled them out.  Results – hilarity!

At first we talked about having a small wedding, but with our dads unable to be there, we realized how important to us it was to involve as much family as we could.  We also wanted everyone to be able to eat well and drink well.  Food was a big priority.  We also didn’t want people to have to drive drunk, so we hired a shuttle bus to go back and forth from The Comus Inn to the hotel.

Stacy’s advice for other DC-area couples:

Make your wedding personal, especially the ceremony.  This is really important because when it comes down to it, weddings aren’t about dresses and carefully chosen colors and designer table linens; it’s about getting MARRIED, promising to share the rest of your life with someone.  Make those promises to each other significant and personal for YOU.  After that, add as many personal touches as you have time, money, and energy for.  It will make your day feel like you (by the way, “you” means you as a couple, not just you as the bride).  Another piece of advice – have fun!  Enjoy everything.  Enjoy the planning and enjoy the wedding day.  Really cherish it.  What they say is 100% true – it does go by so fast.

The following wedding professionals contributed to Stacy and Kevin’s wedding:

Venue + Catering: The Comus Inn, Sugarloaf Mountain, Maryland
Photographer: Leo Druker
Cinematographer: Josh Gooden
Officiant: Joyce Cochran, Say I Do Your Way
Cake: Fluffy Thoughts
Ceremony Music: Alexander Mitchell
DJ: Uptown Sounds
Makeup: Natasha of Maryland Wedding Makeup
Hair: Event Hair by Lauren
Bridal Attire: Purchased from Distinctive Design
Seamstress: Valerie Smith
Transportation: Crystal Limousines

Don’t forget to visit our vendor guide for more fabulous Washington, DC area wedding professionals or our real wedding gallery for more beautiful Washington, DC area weddings!

Photo Credits: Leo Druker Photography

Submitted via Two Bright Lights

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