Today we are featuring yet another story that had its ups & downs with the world’s current situation but still prevailed & was absolutely stunning! A New Hampshire private estate wedding & in this story is also an amazing gesture of kindness that will touch the heart of many. Christy & Dan had issues with their venue situation as many have had during this time, with their wedding date quickly approaching they searched for a venue with no luck & little hope left. Then the most perfect blessing was supplied, a couple in the next town over offered their private estate to them to use as their venue, completely free of charge. Such a touching action that removed a heavy weight from Christy & Dan & allowed them to look forward to celebrating their big day!
Everything for their day was so thoughtfully curated. Christy is a graphic designer and created their beautiful invitation suite, which was such a beautiful representation of their simple and romantic wedding style. She and Dan wanted their wedding day to be a reminder and reflection of their relationship with God, so their ceremony arbor was a custom triangle shape to represent the triangular analogy of a Christ-centered marriage: Both the husband and wife have an individual relationship with God (the left and right legs of the triangle) as well as a close relationship with each other, and as the husband and wife grow closer to God (the top point of the triangle), they actually draw closer to each other. In every moment all day long, smiles were plastered on the faces of everyone in attendance— Christy and Dan’s joy and giddiness throughout the day radiated around them so you couldn’t help but feel ecstatic and cheery too. They chose to see each other before the ceremony for a brief First Look, just to get the nerves out and say a prayer together, before hiding away to not see each other again until she walked down the aisle for the ceremony. This choice made their ceremony that much sweeter and their couples photos after the ceremony even more filled with giggles and uncontainable smiles, and I loved their choice for this unique approach! From the taupe, peach, and blue color palette, to the beautiful green scenery at the New Hampshire private estate, every little detail fell in place to make the perfectly simple and romantic summer wedding. After meeting in high school and sharing their first date at a 50’s diner, Christy and Dan are finally husband and wife!” – Katelyn V. Photography
How did you two meet? What were your first impressions of one another?
“Dan and I met on an average Monday night through mutual friends when we found out we were not only going to the same college, but living in the same dorm. I was so thrilled to have a friend 700 miles away from home (and a ride back for winter breaks!), but apparently he already had feelings from our first conversation. We spent the next 5 months before freshman year talking, going on walks, and celebrating each other’s high school graduations. It’s so sweet to think back of how much we’ve grown since we were barely 18.”
Any special ways you incorporated your family or family history into your wedding day?
“Both of our families are special and important to Dan and I. Dan had a handkerchief that was once his newborn baby bonnet with him to wipe away happy tears. His mom held onto this special gift from her own baby shower for him almost 23 years ago. I had my bouquet wrapped with my late grandmother’s handkerchief and Irish claddagh necklace; it’s a family tradition to keep my mom’s mother part of our special days and include her in our bouquet.”
What part of your wedding day was/is most important to you?
“Daniel: Our first look for sure. Some people advised us not do a first look because it would take away from the emotions when Christy walked down the aisle. I don’t think it took away from the emotions at all, I think it gave room for even more emotions and special moments. The first look gave us a space, not to take our portraits, but instead to look at each other for the first time, me in my suit and Christy in her dress, with almost no one around and it helped us calm down. We were able to talk, laugh, cry, and pray together before the busyness of the day began. Before that moment of the first look, I can honestly say, I had never been speechless in my entire life, until I saw Christy for the first time. I could not form words for a good 2 minutes. That moment really set the tone for the rest of the day, and it was wonderful.
Christy: There were honestly so many favorite and important parts of the day to me. Looking back, the first look was so special to me. Seeing Katelyn positioning Dan as I hid in my dad’s truck, hiding behind a suit jacket; the anticipation of him seeing me for the first time and my very awkward “hello” waiting to signal Dan to spin around; and me trying to hold back tears as this was finally happening and it felt like a dream. It’s surreal when you see people in magazines and on social media with beautiful weddings and experiencing their day and then it hits you that you are in this moment and it’s yours. Getting those few minutes to just pray together, take it all in, laugh about how it’s finally here, talk about our mornings, and share all the joy and peace we felt being together was the exact perfect way to start our wedding. Also I absolutely loved getting to spend such special time with my girls the morning of the wedding. Despite all the challenges of a COVID wedding and high emotions, I have never felt so at peace than I did getting my hair done, sipping mimosas with my sisters and best friends, eating about 3 bites of a salad and drinking 2 sips from an iced chai from Starbucks, and taking in this precious time with the girls who have been there through thick and thin. The hair artist said she has never seen a more calm, peaceful, and relaxed bridal party on the morning of a wedding. It made me laugh because I am not usually a relaxed person at all, but it set the pace for such a calming, relaxing, and enjoyable day where I could take in every emotion, every dance, every teary eyed smile, and every look.”
What is the most honest thing you can say about love?
“Christy: Love is the most challenging and yet beautiful experience I have ever had the gift of knowing. To understand another human being in such an intimate way, to know their thinking, values, priorities, fears, talents, dreams, and memories in a way that only two married people can is something holy and rare. The gift of loving another person, forgiving them, cherishing and encouraging them, laughing with them, dancing with them in the kitchen, honoring them, and growing old with them is the most important role a husband or wife can have. Choosing to love each other–every day, every hour, every moment–is something so unique and special.
Daniel: Love is about staying by a person even when the the rest of the world doesn’t understand why, or does not support your decision. Love is submitting to one another and giving up you selfishness for the other. Love is being gracious and understanding when you can’t seem to communicate well due to stress or things not going your way. Loving each other is a gift that is given to us everyday that we must choose to embrace. This is how we truly love our spouses unconditional.”
“Christy and Dan’s wedding was my first wedding back after everything got shut down and postponed for COVID, and I truly could not have asked for a more perfect day or couple to resume my weddings for the year. The sunshine that illuminated the wildflowers was one of my favorite things to capture, and made an already radiant couple glow that much more with joy– you can’t look at their big grins and not smile too, their happiness and love is contagious, and I love that you can feel and see that authenticity in their images. Their wedding was scheduled to take place earlier in 2020, but due to COVID-19 they were ultimately forced to postpone their wedding to later in the year in July. In the process, they were faced with finding a new venue for their new date, and after booking with a second venue they lost that venue due to maintenance on the grounds and were left to scramble and find a third venue. The couple and their families called every venue in their area in New Hampshire with no luck and with low hopes, and one day an offer fell in their lap that could not have been a more perfect blessing– a couple in the next town over offered up their private estate to the couple to use as their venue, completely free of charge, just so they could finally get married and celebrate without the stress of continuing to search for a venue. The private estate brought everything together and was the final puzzle piece for these two to have their wedding. The two faced lots of obstacles getting to the wedding day, including their getting ready location falling through on the actual wedding day due to faulty utilities, but they faced each challenge together with brave faces and it made their wedding day that much sweeter and more of a celebration to *finally* become husband and wife!” – Katelyn V. Photography
Describe a hurdle you had to overcome in your relationship or during your wedding planning.
“We got engaged in February 2019 and after several months of venue searching, we finally settled on a simple venue for June the following year. We were 3 months away from our day when everything stopped, the world quieted, and the pandemic began. There were so many challenges in those months leading up to the wedding day. Dan and I were spending our engagement long distance with him at graduate school in one state and me working and trying to replan our wedding in another. Trying to adapt to this time and alter one of the most special and sentimental days of our lives apart was the most challenging part of our engagement. At one point, it was as if a new problem popped up each day; one day it was the dresses were delayed, the next was having to cut our guest list in half, my wedding band wasn’t going to arrive in time, grandparents couldn’t be there, and we were left with no where to host our intimate gathering 5 weeks out. We had to genuinely lean into each other, reminding ourselves of the real reason for this day, and that no matter what happened, who’s suit may or may not arrive, or who could be there, that we were going to be married and begin our life together. There were definitely some tears, lots of prayer, and support from our loved ones who helped make our absolute wildest dreams come into reality. In the end, we had perfect strangers graciously offer us their estate for our wedding, family and friends who showed their support both in person and from afar, and an overwhelming sense of peace and joy on the wedding day.”
Photographer Katelyn V. Photography / Venue Private Estate / Floral Designer In Bloom Weddings and Events / Dress Boutique Modern Bride / Dress Designer Maggie Sottero / Cake Designer Shana’s Sweet Tooth / Makeup Artist Sara Donlon / Hair Stylist Hair by Mirela Laine / Men\’s Formalwear Jos. A Bank / Rentals Special Events of New England / Film Lab PhotoVision Prints / Ties Frank and Buck / Invitations + Calligraphy Christy Hopkins / Bridesmaids Attire Birdy Grey / DJ Get Down Tonight Entertainment / Catering Lemay and Sons / Bridal Jewelry Olive & Piper