Today on Marry Me Ink, I get to share with you Nicole and James’ outdoor wedding that took place at Millbrook Marsh Nature Center in Pennsylvania earlier this year with gorgeous photos from Savita Sittler. Practically everything was DIY.. Nicole purchased her dress off Etsy and then James’ sister hand-embroidered all the cuteness on it, including gnomes and flowers.
We met each other working at a library in college, where James was studying English and Philosophy and I was studying Geography. We shared a desk shift on Thursday nights and connected over music and art, both of which remain a big part of our lives and relationship.
Our personalities definitely shined through many aspects of the wedding. The ceremony was performed by two of our sisters, not only because we love them dearly but also because we wanted a matriarchal presence. Writing our own vows and walking down the aisle together allowed us to embrace each other as equals in our marriage as opposed to some of the traditional symbolism of marriage. James’ brother played a song that James wrote for me as we walked down the aisle, and we made a playlist for before and after the band of songs that we both love and make us think of each other.
Nearly everything was DIY. I love maps, so I used old topographic maps to make pennant banners. A handful of family members made nearly all the food. Though I ordered my dress on Etsy from Pure Linen Dresses by Azulsol, James’ sister spent hours embroidering it with ferns, flowers, gnomes, a moon, and other small symbols that I love. She also did my hair, and another sister did my makeup. I made the invitations, a friend did all of the flower arrangements, and we had a crew of about 30 family members and friends helping to set everything up and decorate. We even had one of our friends, who happens to have been a brewer at a restaurant we both worked at, brew a keg of James’ favourite beer. There were so many other great DIY elements that went into our wedding day, I couldn’t possibly pick a favourite!
Since we decided to walk down the aisle together, we ended up doing a ‘first look’ right before the ceremony started. It was the only part of the day where we were truly able to relax and enjoy each other’s company without being bombarded by guests. We were pretty nervous up to that point, but having an intimate moment together before the ceremony was really comforting.