Theresa and Jamie put on an elegant and classic wedding at a historic hotel in Pennsylvania
Date: June 21, 2014
Venue: The Historic Summit Inn, Farmington, PA
Photographer: Amanda Brisco Photography, (Pittsburgh, PA)
Caterer: The Historic Summit Inn
Officiant: Rev. Donna Kopitsky
Theresa fell in love with the historic Summit Inn’s vintage beauty, and the venue quickly became the star of her wedding. Built in 1907, the hotel was filled with original woodwork and Stickley furniture that was perfect for Theresa’s vision of a modern twist on classic elegance.
Wedding Planner: Melissa Crawford of Devoted to You, (Pittsburgh, PA)
Videographer: Karl George Films, (Pittsburgh, PA)
Florist: None- Theresa DIY’s her flowers
Linens: The Historic Summit Inn
Administrative Assistant (and blogger: www.bridesmaidsconfession.com) Theresa and IT Consultant Jamie currently reside in Morgantown, WV. Theresa grew up in New Jersey, and the couple met there when Jamie was in town for work.
How he proposed: Jamie proposed to me in the living room of his apartment. We had already been wedding ring shopping at this point, and we were eating ice cream and watching a movie when he paused the movie to go into his bedroom. I finished my ice cream and since he was taking so long I teased him saying “Babe! Why didn’t you tell me you put my ring in the ice cream? I think I swallowed it.” He came out and said that can’t be possible because I have your ring right here. Well that sure silenced me! He got down on one knee and said “I’ve been thinking about the perfect way to propose and I’ve thought of a million different things but couldn’t decide on one, and then I realized every moment is perfect with you and I want to spend the rest of my life with you. Will you marry me?” Of course I said yes!
Where they met: We met speed dating! I remember I decided last minute I was going and the lady told me to bring cash for the $17 fee to participate. I was running out of my apartment that morning and stopped to check my wallet. I had exactly $17 which was odd because I never carry cash. I remember saying out loud “well if that isn’t a sign” and obviously it was but I never imagined it would lead me to my husband. I’m still so happy it did.
Rings: My husband went with a traditional gold band. I went with rose gold bands with small diamonds to match my engagement ring.
Colors: Any type of light pastel; pink, mint, and lilac.
Flowers: I decided not to go with any fresh flowers. My wedding planner had a gorgeous fake bouquet from a styled shoot that she let me have so after I saw it was a mixture of pink and white I bought my bridesmaids and flower girl flowers at Michaels. I just added ribbon and some rhinestones to liven them up a bit.
Centerpieces: They revolved around books and birds. I knew that I wanted to use books. I had seen a lot of that on pinterest while planning and it stuck with me. I’ve always liked to read and it seemed so charming to me. Luckily very early on in the planning process my mom and I found some fake pastel colored books at Michaels. My wedding planner had a lot of knickknacks that she brought over one day and I saw the wooden lovebirds and it just went from there. I never intended to have “love birds” as part of my theme but next thing you know my favors were little bird houses filled with candy placed at each place setting and I was buying antique looking wire candleholders with birds on them! I really trusted my wedding planner Melissa. I’m very type A and a bit controlling (shocker!) but I remember a week before the wedding being so stressed out and she tried to talk to me about centerpieces and when she realized I wasn’t listening she said…. ‘do you just want me to handle it?’ I surprised myself when I blurted out ‘yes.’ She took over and it turned out great.
Cake: Janet Carr of Fairmont, WV
Did you hand-make any wedding items? I hand-made the boutonnieres and the corsages. As I mentioned before I wrapped my bridesmaid bouquets in ribbon and rhinestones. My wedding planner and I worked on the table numbers and place cards.
Theresa’s Wedding Dress: Pronovias Collection – ‘Mercadel’ in off-white. Purchased at Coni and Franc, Morgantown, WV.
I bought it off the clearance rack and only had to have it altered at the bottom because I’m 5’5 and I decided to wear blue sneakers under my dress for the wedding day. My mom bought a gorgeous belt for it and I had that put on to enhance the waistline. The dress fit like a dream and really made me feel amazing.
Jewelry: Earrings from Lia Sophia Jewelry. My friend Katchie let me borrow a bracelet that worked perfectly.
Shoes: I had no idea what I wanted to wear the day of the wedding and then I saw these blue sneakers with rhinestones at Payless for $10. Sold!
Bridesmaids Dresses: I let them pick their own dresses. My best friend Heather was the first to buy her dress and it had a lace overlay in a mint color. It sort of set the tone. My sister Kelly went with a lace overlay in a lilac color and my sister Christina was the MOH so she went for a pink dress that was sort of like silk but had a pattern that tied in nicely with the other lace dresses.
Wedding Party: 3 bridesmaids and 2 groomsman
Vows: I wanted us to write our own vows but eventually my husband shared with me that it was too stressful to share all that in front of everyone. At first I thought this was just something he was saying to get out of doing it so I said lets write letters to each other to read at the first look. He agreed. This was one of the best decisions. His letter was so heartfelt which was a real treat for me because usually he shows me he loves me by picking on me. I was just blown away with all the reasons he said he loved me and why he was the luckiest guy in the world to be my husband.
First Dance Song: Come to Me, by the Goo Goo Dolls
What was your old, new, borrowed, blue? My old was my Disney nametag from when I did my College Program. New was my dress. Borrowed was a bracelet from my Disney College Program roommate. Blue was my shoes.
Honeymoon: We went to Las Vegas for a week. That was a fun trip. We were off the strip at a timeshare resort so it was pretty peaceful but not too far from all the action. We had a great view of the strip and the mountains from our balcony. We ate a lot of food, went on a pub crawl, saw Beatles Love, and even escaped a Zombie apocalypse with paintball guns. We’re big Walking Dead fans so that was interesting!
You and your husbands’ wedding advice: Try to get on the same page as early as possible. In the beginning I would constantly ask for my husband’s opinion on things and he kept telling me “whatever you want” or “I don’t care” and to me those were fighting words. We had a couple of fights in the first two months of planning. Then I hired a wedding planner and started to vent to her. She laughed and told me he’s not blowing you off it just doesn’t interest him. So I approached him again about it more calmly and he said yes that is what I’ve been saying all along. He had no real opinion on any of it and just wanted me to be happy. Glad that headache didn’t last all the way up until wedding day. Basically find out how involved your groom wants to be in the planning and you’ll be off to a good start!
Theresa’s most memorable moment: My sister pretty much roasted me in under 2 minutes during her speech by saying that I had to kiss a lot of frogs to get to my prince, and mentioned a few guys I dated that we’d given funny nicknames to, while at the same time dropping the scroll she was reading from so the paper went flying and you saw what she was reading from was about 5 feet long. So then she said something about not having that much time! OMG it was classic. The whole room was roaring with laughter.
What was the biggest roadblock that you ran into while planning the wedding? That I lived in West Virginia and all my friends and family were in New Jersey, except for my sister who was my MOH and living in Germany! My entire support system was 6+ hours away by car (to NJ) or plane (to Europe).
Who/what gave you the most help in the planning process? Honestly, my wedding planner. My mom told me it would be money well spent since she couldn’t be there to physically help me with everything. I mean my parents did come out one trip and look at the venue with me but that was after we booked it. I just wanted them to see it. But yeah my wedding planner Melissa was a savior in every way. I would message her when I needed to vent, ask her advice on everything, and the day of she was a total rock star. It took so much pressure off me and I was able to truly enjoy my wedding day with those closest to me. If something went wrong on my wedding day I have never heard about it and I now consider Melissa a close personal friend.
How much influence did your family/ fiancé have in the planning process? Wow. Being asked this question makes me realize they had very little influence in the planning process. It was my vision from start to finish. The only thing both my husband and family insisted on was an open bar. That was fine with me!
Which part of the process gave you the most stress? I think that my bridesmaids, my two sisters and my best friend, were so far away. A lot of the time I had to stop myself from thinking about that. I had to be methodical about planning because if I really thought about how they weren’t around to help me with things it sort of broke my heart. Don’t get me wrong they tried to help and did when they could! It wasn’t just the distance though, I was the first “big” wedding for my family as the oldest of three girls, so nobody in my family really knew what was involved. I had to learn a lot myself or rely on my wedding planner. My sister is getting married this year and she’s commented she’s lucky because we’re so much better at it this time around.
What did you do that you found helped out with stress the best? Vent to my wedding planner. I know I keep bringing her up but the reason I think we remain so close is that she was such a great listener. I hired her for full wedding services so I had unlimited contact with her, although I tried to keep a boundary for her sanity. Whenever I wanted to scream because something wasn’t going my way but I knew it would cause drama of any sort I went to her. I finally revealed to my husband what I had been saying to my planner AFTER the wedding was over. He replied, “Oh yeah, she was worth every penny in just saving us arguments!”
Is there anything that didn’t go as planned? When we snapped the cake knife in half trying to cut the cake. Never one to be shy I said to everyone, that’s what you get for buying a wedding cake serving set on ebay for $4.99. Luckily we were able to finish getting a piece out with serving knife. The staff at the venue then cut the rest.
What did you do to save money? Hired a wedding planner. A great planner will be worth every penny because they will save you so much money they will at least pay for themselves. If it wasn’t for my planner I wouldn’t have found an amazing photographer like Amanda Brisco who was within my budget. I also saved a lot of money by not having any fresh flowers and because a very sweet friend of mine made all my desserts besides the cake itself. She did this as a gift to us because she loves to cook and bake.
What was your favorite part of the experience/ event? Our wedding was technically a destination wedding because my family was 6 hours away in NJ and Jamie’s family was 3+ hours away in the southern part of WV. So really the fact that our closest friends and family came and stayed with us for the weekend at the Summit Inn was a real treat. The bridal party was there Thursday through Sunday, our wedding was on Saturday, and most of the other guests arrived at some point on Friday. To have 65 people that love you that deeply make your wedding their “vacation” for the year or their “mini-getaway” was really a testament to how lucky we are as a couple.
My other favorite parts were when my husband and I had our first dance and he told me it was a beautiful wedding and that I did an amazing job, when my Dad and I had our dance and he finally cried after trying all day to hold it back, and the fact that our dance floor was so packed and amazing that we had wedding crashers! My planner told me out of 32 weddings in 3 years that was the first one she had actual wedding crashers. They were from the wedding upstairs and they claimed the party was boring but honestly I think it was cause the bar had closed and ours was still open. It was still really funny and they were good dancers.
If you could go back in time, what would you have changed? There were two things I learned that could save a current or future bride some trouble if she’s reading this now. I made the mistake of booking my venue and then my wedding planner. The problem with that was once my wedding planner tried to help me negotiate things we were often told “the contract states” by the venue. So my advice is to hire a planner first and then find the venue and the rest of your vendors. Even if you don’t hire a planner make sure that you really read the contract and think about what you might what changed before signing.
The other thing I wish I could’ve done different was to start getting ready earlier. My first look was scheduled for 2:30pm, then all my pictures with my bridal party, followed by the ceremony at 5pm so I decided to have everyone start getting ready at 11am which turned into 11:30am. I can’t stress enough how much time you need! We should’ve started getting ready at 9am. Think of it this way, would you rather be late to your scheduled pictures and possibly your wedding? Or sit around with your hair and makeup done with an hour to spare? Granted everything turned out okay but if I could I would fix that.
What was your biggest splurge? My wedding dress which came as a shock to me. I was one of those women who had unrealistic hopes of spending $500 and topping out at $750. On clearance my dress was $1,100 but I fell in love with it. I didn’t want to take it off once I tried it on. Between the cost of the dress, tax, alterations, the veil and the belt, my dress topped out at $1,800 which was as big a budget item, or more, than I was paying some of my vendors.
Thank you Theresa, for sharing your wedding story with us. Please visit Theresa’s blog at: www.bridesmaidsconfession.com