We met through an app called HER. Torie lived in Southern New Jersey, and Alyssa resided in West Chester, Pennsylvania. Although they’re only sixty-five miles apart, it was an hour and a half commute each time we wanted to see each other.
We chatted through the app for a few days before exchanging phone numbers to text each other. After only a few days of talking, Alyssa told Torie that it felt like she had known her forever, and the feeling was mutual. At this time, we were dating other people, something we were clear about with each other and the other girls we were seeing.
Torie drove to West Chester to meet Alyssa for the first time in November of that year. As we’re writing this story now, we’re both laughing at our similar reactions to each other. Alyssa says her first thought upon opening the door was, “Oh My Gosh, she’s so tall, she doesn’t look this tall in pictures,” Ironically enough, Torie’s thought was, “Oh my Gosh, she’s SO short!” First impressions aside, we hugged each other, and at that moment, it was as if we had been friends forever. The rest was history!
Sometime around the New Year, we made our relationship official. We started taking turns traveling to each other for the weekends and spent our days going to the movies, hiking, playing games, and grabbing cocktails and dinner at new spots each weekend. We often had “date night from afar” where we would face-time and rent the same movie and hit play simultaneously so that it felt like we were together when we couldn’t be.
Alyssa moved to New Jersey a year later, and we started our life here. We got engaged the following year and married a year after that.
Tell us about the proposal.
When we planned our trip to Croatia, we had already known we would be getting engaged. We discussed whether or not one of us should “traditionally” ask the other, but we knew we weren’t your “traditional” couple. Also, we don’t choose to be traditional in general; we like to be unique when possible!
When we called our families and friends to share the news, and when we returned home, the most common question we received was, “who asked who?!” and “how do you choose who asks who when it’s two girls?”.
We ultimately chose to ask each other, as opposed to one asking the other. We both wrote each other letters and read them to each other that morning on the sea rocks below Old City in Dubrovnik. It was early in the morning, so it was nice to have the entire area to ourselves to have this special and private moment remain unique and personal to us forever.
As we read the letters to each other, we both grew emotional, knowing that everything in that moment felt right. The world stops during this time, and it’s so amazing to feel that type of love and share it with the person you’ll be spending the rest of your life with.
We knew we both wanted rings when we were to get engaged, and since we knew ahead of time that this was going to be the plan, we got our rings in advance of our trip. Since there is no wrong or right way to do things, we had a lot of communication ahead of time about rings, and so we went to the jeweler and discussed our options, including the limit each of us was able to spend at the time.
We both chose rings that fit our personalities, and they just so happen to end up complimenting each other so well!
We left our trip on a high, and we’re so excited to celebrate with our family and friends when we got home.
What lead you to the venue?
We had been to the venue before for a wedding. It was quite a few years before ours, so a lot had changed. We chose this venue because it gave the feel of being on a vineyard and the rustic vibe of a farmhouse. The ceremony was performed in front of the estate mansion with the vineyards in the background. Loving the feeling that tied together a little bit of what we both love.
Alyssa has always loved the romantic boho/rustic theme, and after showing Torie some inspiration, she fell in love with it too! It seemed so fitting for us and matched our personalities. It captured both of our vibes and was perfect for the venue!
Talk to us about your experience finding the perfect outfits.
A: It was hard for me! I thought I knew the exact style of dress that I wanted and the actual store where I always wanted to go, but when I went and tried on a bunch of their dresses, nothing was right.
I ended up going to a total of three bridal shops and tried on approximately thirty dresses! Then, once I found “the one,” they told me it didn’t come in the color I wanted. So I went to Pinterest and found a dress, went to the store, and they ordered it. They didn’t have it in-store, so I couldn’t see it in person and try it on before ordering it! But once it came in and I finally tried it on, I was so in love. It made the whole ordeal so incredibly worth it. I decided to for-go any type of shoe and instead wore foot jewelry!
T: I knew what I wanted but couldn’t find the right dress for me, so I decided to get something that I liked, and then altered it to fit my style.
I knew from the beginning that I didn’t want to wear a traditional dress for the entire wedding, because I think it’s easier to dance in something you’re comfortable in, and I know I love to dance! I originally had a strapless dress that was straight across and a lot of tulle on the bottom.
By the end of the fittings, my dress had a sweetheart neckline, straps, and almost no tulle left! I found my change dress from Lily Pulitzer’s “white dress” line, and I couldn’t have been happier! I paired it with “something blue” and wore navy blue Converse to match my ring bearers. It was so comfortable, and so much more my style and I couldn’t have been happier in the end!
Do you have a standout, favorite moment of the day?
Our favorite memory from the day was our first dance, and the reason we say this is because we did something a little different than most. We chose to do our first dance in private, away from our guests. First dances are supposed to be intimate, but people in the room are often not interested or aren’t even watching this particular moment. We thought it would be beautiful to take a minute after the ceremony to be alone with each other.
We left the ceremony and headed into the venue to do our dance in front of sparkler fountains. The moment was extraordinary, and we got to cherish those few minutes with each other before sharing the night with our friends and family. We danced to “Fire and The Flood” by Vance Joy, which has always been our song. This moment was definitely our favorite, and we’ll cherish that memory forever.
Do you have any advice for other couples planning a wedding?
First (easier said than done), try not to stress! Things may inevitably go wrong, whether big or small, but don’t let it get the best of you. Enjoy all of the planning, and make sure to take it all in. Planning the wedding and then the day itself all flies by so quickly. Have fun with it! There’s no right or wrong way to plan a wedding, and it’s YOUR day!
So many people will have opinions and suggestions and even criticisms. Do what makes you and your significant other happy because at the end of the day, your wedding is about the love you both share, and it should be something you both remember forever.
Photographer & Cinematographer Saltwater Studios
Accessories BHLDN, Wedding Belles
Bridal Boutique Wedding Belles Boutique
Cake Sweet T’s
Catering Southern Mansion
Celebrant Francesca Danese
Ceremony & Reception Venue Willow Creek Winery
Decorative Elements Zazzle, Etsy
Donuts The Fractured Prune, Bassett’s
Engagement & Wedding Rings Roberts Jewelers
Entertainment SCE Event Group, DJ Jeff Scott Gould
Event Planner & Stylist Mary Dougherty
Gown Designer Maggie Sottero
H&MU Felicia Peary, Steph Masco
Lighting & Sound Hire Earls Girls
Marquee Hire Rental City
Photo Booth SCE Event Group
Robes Etsy, Pretty Plum Sugar, Alternative Apparel
Shoes BHLDN, Converse
Stationery Lace and Belle
Wedding Favours Donation to Humane Society