When one of my best friends, Becca, asked me to be in her bohemian-inspired wedding this fall, I knew that meant I couldn’t be the primary photographer for the day. But that didn’t stop my hubby and I from working together and snapping away whenever we got the chance! 😉 Becca and Jim had one of the most unique weddings I have ever seen, and photographing each moment was such a joy.
Becca and Jim did a “first look” before their wedding at the Old Stone Church in West Boylston. The spot is gorgeous any time of year, but the fall colors reflecting off the reservoir and surrounding the church are especially beautiful.
The bride made all of the flower crowns and bouquets out of dried flowers. Just another unique, DIY wedding detail in their wedding. For more on the sentimental meaning behind the flowers read Becca’s story below.
I love capturing the moment when the groom sees his bride-to-be in her wedding dress for the first time.
Cannot get over this stunning bride! Becca helped design her custom wedding gown while working abroad in Vietnam.
Couldn’t resist making a fun animated “gif” of the bridesmaids tossing these fall leaves around the bride!
We were able to sneak in a few baby bump progress pictures in between the group portraits, including one of baby boy, the beautiful bride, and I! I was 22 weeks pregnant here and will be sharing another pregnancy progress update on the blog soon, so stay tuned for more belly pictures and exciting updates! 😉
After the first look and group portraits at the Old Stone Church, we headed to the Piermarini’s lakeside home in Lancaster, MA for their beautiful backyard wedding ceremony and reception, or as they called it, a “festival” of fun!
Becca’s mother Lynn married the smitten newlyweds in a sentimental lakeside ceremony.
Jim and Becca had a special “canoe getaway” across the lake after the ceremony.
Becca and Jim spent some time in Southeast Asia doing humanitarian work while they were dating, and they started referring to their love as “llama love.” It became a symbolic part of their relationship so they wanted to have a few different llama details throughout their wedding. They were even able to have some llamas attend the reception as special guests!
Llama Love koozies were the wedding favors and sweet llama figurines adorned the top of their cake:
Thank you Becca and Jim for allowing me to be a part of your special day in multiple ways.
Wedding Dress: Custom Designed by Bride with Yaly Couture in Hoi An Vietnam
Bridesmaids Dresses: Mix and Match
Bridesmaids Shawls: handwoven Fair Trade Indigo from Thailand
Groom’s attire: Groom’s suite custom designed fabric by Bride and Groom with Yaly Couture
Ceremony & Reception Venue: Piermarini Residence Lancaster, MA
Florist: All floral arrangements dried and designed by bride and bridesmaids
DJ/ Entertainment Services: DJ Scott Noring -friend of Bride and Groom
Catering Service: Blazing Hearth Pizza Truck
Cake: Homemade by Groom’s Aunt – Valorie Reed
Decor/tables/chairs/games rentals: Boston Rustic Wedding Rentals
Tent Rental: Atlantic Tent Rentals
Invitations: Monet – Graphic Designer Bangkok Thailand
Favors: Llama love koozies
introductions | Hold on (I’m Coming) -Sam & Brown
first dance | Jim (my amazing Husband) Singing & Playing Moon River
father/daughter | All the way- Frank Sinatra
grandmother/son | Here there and Everywhere -Beatles – Jim Danced with his grandma since his mom passed suddenly two weeks before the wedding.
How did you meet?
We actually Met on OK Cupid. We were a 99% match! I (bride) moved back from Italy and had been living abroad so many years I hadn’t seen the male market for awhile, I signed up out of curiosity. Jim messaged me and asked me on a few dates but I wasn’t ready to jump into the online dating market just yet and soon deactivated my account. 9 months later I reopened my account he asked me on a first date to see a Bill Burr comedy show at the Wilbur theater. It was love at first sight, as soon as our eyes met I felt instantly comfortable. We laughed for hours over my crazy poop themed travel stories and the millions of things we had in common.
How did Jim propose?
We both moved to South East Asia to lead volunteer backpacking trips. On one of our beach side vacations on the island of Koh Kood in Thailand. We were on a budget as humantiarian backpack leaders we were shocked when we found a 5 star resort, the most luxurious one on this fancy high end island that normally costs between $400-$1,000 a night (that’s millionaire status here in Thailand, in comparison we were staying at a $20 bungalow that night) was somehow marked down 96%off for one night only, the following evening, a steal of a deal of only $28! We booked it and when it was confirmed we couldn’t believe it was actually true.
The morning he proposed we woke up early to seize the morning at our little bay before heading across the island to our new fancy home for the night. We had breakfast on the beach then grabbed our snorkels and saw the widest variety of coral I have ever seen!! We were then picked up by our private transport from the hotel to our new oasis! The High Season Resort and Spa! We were greeted with fresh lavender towels to refresh ourselves with before we were both adorned with orchid garlands around our necks and later tropical fruit cocktails. We entered through the tall waterfall wall to the reception desk. Soon we were told to wait for the manager, who soon informed us a huge mistake occurred and that the room should have been on sale for $400 not $28 but he will honor our reservation for the price anyways-phew! We were given a lovely tour of the resort before arriving at our gorgeous private deluxe villa with our own private infinity pool! Our villa was unlike any room I have even seen in the greatest of commercials or films, it was pure tropical paradise luxury! While I freshened up Jim went out to “scope the scene.” When he returned he told me he reserved a special dinner for us high up in the palm trees-literally. We were going to have dinner in the private Birds Nest, a hanging nest about 50 feet or more in the air that was extending off the top of Palm trees, with a sunset view overlooking the sea.
We enjoyed the most delicious dinner, drank the most incredible cocktails, and talked for hours, literally hours. We were up in the nest for 5 hours. There is a thing called: 36 questions to fall in love published by the NY Times. We shared so many heartfelt memories, dreams, passions, and stories as we made our way down the list of questions. We only made it to question #21:What roles do love and affection play in your life?- we both began sharing about how Love and Affection was at the foundation of life. Sharing how the last line in Into the Wild stated: “Happiness is best when shared,” and how true that is, especially since we have found one another. The topic went on and on and left us pouring our hearts out to one another in a teary eyed loving embrace, that’s when Jim took my hand put something in it and quickly held my closed fist in both his hands, I realized instantly it was a ring. He told me how much he loved me and how he couldn’t imagine life without me, then asked me to marry him as he slipped the ring onto my favor.
Of course I said yes, with tears in my eyes, under the moon and stars, hanging on top of the beach looking out into the vast sea, in a birds nest in the sky, in a tropical paradise island in Thailand. Dreams really do come true!
What was the most memorable moment of your wedding day?
There were so many priceless moments. I don’t know if we could pick one. Perhaps the fact that we were able to get Llamas to come to the wedding. Jim and I since the beginning of our relationship have had a special code love expression “Llama Love” and had a few llama themed touches for the wedding until we realized the neighbors had 2 llamas and they were willing to bring them by. Made such a unique touch to the wedding day.
The song I walked down the aisle to and our first dance song were recordings of Jim singing and playing the guitar, it made those key moments all the more special.
We also had a canoe ride getaway post ceremony, a Chinese lantern special prayer casting over the starry lake, and sparkler lit first dance.. the list could go on an on, the night could not have been more perfect!
What was your favorite detail?
We were broke and had made the decision we couldn’t afford any flowers for the wedding. Jim’s mother suddenly died 2 weeks before the wedding and his family offered up all the funeral flowers for the wedding. I spent hours and days drying hundreds of roses and flower. I ended up making flower crowns and the bouquets for myself all the bridesmaids, hanging flower back drops for the tent, ceremony, and venue decor, plus all the rose petals for the toss! It made the space and bouquets all the more beautiful and it was a great memorial to his mother.
Any advice for future brides/grooms?
Instead of getting hyper focused on all the bells and whistles of wedding decor focus on sweet sentimental things that are important to you and your husband, when you look around on your wedding day it will make the day that much more special!
Funniest memory from your wedding day?
We had made koozies with kissing llamas for our wedding favors and we were shocked during our photo session with the Llamas that the llamas kissed in the exact same way! We got such a kick out of it!!! Plus the llamas were an unexpected surprise for our guests and everyone’s expression when they arrived were priceless!
If you could do it all over, would you change anything?
NO! The day honestly couldn’t have been any different. I know you hear brides say that all the time and its totally cliche but it honestly was. People are still talking about how awesome it was!
Where did you go on your honeymoon?
Jim and I had 9 months in Southeast Asia with countless adventures, snorkeling, jungles, ruins, and islands… we call it our Honeysun! For our actual honeymoon we plan to do something special for a 1 year anniversary honeymoon