PLANNING: We set aside a whole year to plan this. We gave ourselves time. Also being art directors, our jobs keep us very busy plus we make sure to find time for our families and friends and ourselves. At the time we started planning I hadn’t even attended a wedding in the U.S., so I had no idea where to start from, where to find vendors, etc. We also wanted to make sure we found the right venue for the celebrations. We love nature so we knew the wedding had to be outdoors, at least a part of it. We are also not over-spenders and like the simpler stuff that means more than it costs.
VENUE: We chose Alyson’s Orchard for our wedding celebrations. It’s a very serene place – away from the cities, on top of a hill, surrounded by well-kept rows of apple and peach trees. While we’re looking for venues, we initially looked at historical gardens, private bungalows with beautiful backyards, hotels by the lake, but when we saw a small sparkling pond in the middle of this orchard overlooking the hills, we were smitten. There was nothing artificial or commercial about it. It was pure. And we knew our guests would love to be here too. We even rented a farmhouse on their property where the bridal party stayed. The staff there treated us like family and took very very good care of their property. Maybe down the line, we might even renew our vows there! We just need a reason to go back there and party.
PHOTOGRAPHY: I found First Mate Photography Co. through some vigorous online searching. Photographers, at least the good ones, get booked more than a year in advance. So we did have our set of disappointments when we couldn’t get any dates from the ones we had initially shortlisted. What I loved about First Mate Photo was the incorporation of art in their pictures. It was no surprise that we started enjoying the unique placements, compositions that First Mate Photo was indulging us in. And after speaking to Chad, it only became clearer that he was a nice, humble guy. He didn’t try to oversell anything but spoke about everything very passionately. Also, First Mate doesn’t hold your hi-res photos hostage for more money. “What am I going to do with those?” he said, “They take up space on my hard drive!”. I think it’s crazy that some professional photographers only give you low-resolution digital files for the base pay and only release high-resolution if you pay more.