A Double Proposal To A Perfect Wedding

Tell Us About The Proposal.

Dani- What can I say? I was a mess, and Murphy’s Law didn’t help. I had it all planned out for a while for our three-year anniversary mini-trip to Acadia National Park during the annual Maine vacation. The plan was to wake up and propose during the sunrise atop Acadia Mountain. A few issues happened with that plan though!

Needless to say, being flustered at 4:30 AM driving in the light rain to ill-marked trailheads and attempting to hike in the cold dark didn’t work out well. But during that time, we saw a road sign for Echo Lake. After two separate hiking attempts, we decided to sit at Echo Lake Beach and watch the sunrise together. As twilight came, my heart pounding in my chest, the moment that so many months had led up to, I got up to get my camera out of my bag. Thinking there was no possibility that this was a smooth transition. I returned to Lina and said, “You know I love you, right?” To which she responded, yes.

I then got down on one knee, with all the beautiful things I had thought of saying at this moment racing through my mind. I opened the ring box and said, “Would you like to be adventure buddies for life?”… Like, are you kidding?! That, out of everything I had planned, is what came out? Well, I didn’t get an immediate answer, just a stunned look. But then I saw something click in her mind, and she got down on one knee, pulling a wooden box from her bag that she also had to have with her during the hike! She silently proposed right back to me. I was stunned and confused! Once what had happened set in, my response was, “I think you were supposed to put your ring on first?” Lina TOSSED my ring box aside in the sand and stood up and, with a huge smile on her face and let me put her ring on her finger. It was perfect. She was all smiles and happy! 

But then I said, “But wait….. Do I get my ring…?” She froze for a second and had to look back into the sand to find the box. She got to put that ring on my finger as well as we both smiled our this is perfectly and chaotically us smiles at one another. From there, we enjoyed our moment of blissful silence in each other’s arms as the water lapped Echo Lake beach. Once we left, we popped a gift of Moet at the Airbnb while making phone calls and texts to family and friends!

What Led You To The Destination Venue?

We had been to Castleton Meadows once before the wedding when Dani threw Lina a surprise 30th birthday at one of the on-site houses. We both fell in love with the setting, and the staff were so welcoming. Once engaged, there was a little question about the location. The first selling point was that Castleton overlooks the stunning Blue Ridge Mountains. The second very important aspect was the many houses and cabins on the sprawling over 500-acre property. Most of our loved ones could stay on site, which helped reduce the stress of strategizing rides to and from a venue for the whole wedding.

What Was The Inspiration Behind The Vibe Of Your Wedding?

We were all over the place in the beginning with more grandiose ideas, but then we grounded ourselves when realizing we wanted the feeling of the wedding to be representative of who we are as individuals as well as who we are becoming as a married couple. We are both drawn to earth tones and more of a vintage romance vibe, but wanted to keep it simple. We tried to embrace the backdrop of the environment, embrace the season, and be ourselves. 

Did You Undertake Any DIY Projects For The Big Day?

We decided not to go with a florist and chose a different route with dried flowers and garland. We optimized Etsy in particular because of the wide variety available. Lina ended up piecing together the centerpieces. The garland came from Sam’s Club, actually. Dani wanted a vintage sitting area outside the tent where people could decompress and hang out during dancing. We sourced some vintage chairs, a couch, an end table, and rugs from Facebook Marketplace. We also purchased all of our alcohol from a large liquor store instead of going through the caterer. The stressful part of all this was the transportation of these items and all the spirits from where we lived to the venue. So, we ended up renting a Uhaul truck. Word to the wise, if you plan to DIY, expect unexpected complications and extra manual labor.

Talk To Us About Your Experience Finding The Perfect Outfits.

Dani reached out to some of her female-bodied friends for who they had their suits and shirts tailored. She got the name of three places, and based on conversations with each, she felt Christopher Schafer was the one she wanted to work with. His style, personality, and obvious talent shone through on the first visit. She was very happy with the end result.

Lina went to three different bridal studios, each had options she liked, but BHLDN had options she loved. Her mom and two close friends were grabbing so many dresses that were “just so Lina” that the attendants had to step in and sit them down. She was drawn to the more bohemian feeling of the dresses and felt they spoke to her the most. Her final dress was an easy “yes!”

Talk To Us About The Big Day! 

The week leading up to the wedding was calling for heavy rain and storms, so we were on pins and needles, hoping we would not have to pull out our plan B. Luckily for us, we woke up to a beautiful day! Lina and Dani got a quick workout in, had a cup of coffee, and got an acupuncture treatment done together before separating until the first look. Having a bit of the morning together helped keep some zen to the first part of the day before the nerves and BIG emotions hit. Lina spent the day with her closest friends and family doing hair and makeup while sipping tea and mimosas. Dani spent the day with her family and helped get together a few last-minute details for the day. 

When it was time to get dressed, Lina opted to have her mom with her, and Dani also got ready with her mom at her house on the property. Lina had a gorgeous first look with her dad (and a surprise one with her close friends), which Izzy captured beautifully. Then it was time for the moment we had been so excited for, our first look. It was a perfect moment where it could be just us. We could take that time to be truly present and let all our emotions flow.

Lina and Dani then let Izzy do what she does best and take the most stunning photos. The sky was really performing that day, and we were so grateful. 

Before walking down the aisle, we made a toast with family and our officiant (also our friend) and headed down the aisle. 

The rest of the night was just amazing and fun. Friends and family collided beautifully. The food was excellent, the speeches were sweet, and the dance floor was consistently full. We did not stop smiling. Both of us woke up with sire smile lines on our faces, and we could not have been happier. 

What Are Your Favorite Moments?

The first look is definitely one of our combined favorite moments. We decided to do a first look before the ceremony so it was more intimate but also so we didn’t happy cry/sob while walking down the aisle. More pragmatically, it also helped us take many photos before the ceremony so we didn’t miss all of the cocktail hour. 

In the time before the ceremony, we also brought our parents, best men, and our officiant to do a cheers with Dani’s “something blue,” which was Chivas Royal Salute scotch, paying tribute to her Granddad and her Scottish heritage. This was both a meaningful and a happy reprieve to take the edge off. 

Of course, hearing one another’s vows during the ceremony, especially how we both incorporated sweet and meaningful but also light and humorous aspects of our lives together, meant so much hearing all of our friends and family laugh and happy cry along with us. 

Finally, after all the “serious” aspects of the wedding were over, a song that all of our friends and we love came on, and everyone rushed to the dance floor. Family and friends observing said, “It felt like the earth shook” It was just a wonderful celebration of smiles everywhere.

Advice For Other Couples Planning A Wedding?

Wedding planners can be absolute lifesavers. For keeping you on track throughout the whole planning process to helping keep you stress-free day of. Heed their advice, ask all of the questions, and be true to your vision. Dani, in particular, was hesitant in the beginning because of the added cost for wedding planners but is now the first to recommend how beneficial they are for planning and running the show.

Anything You Are Glad You Did? Or Wish You Didn’t Do?  

Staying on-site for a day after the wedding and then heading straight to a mini-moon for full decompression. The overstimulation of planning, organizing, heeding people’s questions, and then an immense amount of attention from every direction was a lot. Having alone time together, enjoying the high of all the happiness and love, will be something we both cherish forever.

Photographer Steady&Sway

Caterer Bootheel Catering
Ceremony Venue Castleton Meadows
Dj Radsoundz Entertainment
Dress Bhldn
Engagement Rings Village Gem
Hair Stylist Brazen Hair Baltimore
Make Up Artist Mane Street Hair Salon
Signage The Hoovler House
Suit Designer Christopher Schafer Clothier
Wedding Planner Otherside Creatives

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