We Planned a Mini Wedding in 3 Weeks and Here's What We Learned
Updated: Jan 14
Missed connections. Ever-changing guest list. Outdoor venue with full-on thunderstorms in the forecast. These were some of the things that we never expected to deal with when we excitedly planned out first mini wedding/elopement styled photoshoot. But in the end, it came together. In the end, it was so worth it because we got to work with some of the most generous vendors in Rochester and Buffalo NY area.
Now, there is no way for us to fully understand what our brides are going through. Not only are you dealing with what seems like a logistical nightmare, but there are also emotional components and disappointments. We can 100% guarantee that 'CDC Recommendations' didn't come up as dreamed about this big day when you were little.
Nevertheless, we wanted to do something. Put our services to the test and see what collaboration and hard work can make. Though they may not be the same struggles, vendors did not dream this up when they started their business. Both brides and vendors have been met with anxious late nights. Both have worried about the future. Both have been stretched to the point where it is unknown what work-life balance looks like anymore.
But, through it all:
Love never fails
We were so blown away by the generosity of all the vendors we worked with and we wanted to give you the chance to virtually meet them too.
Within a few emails, Lindsey was quickly able to pick up on our vision and made our Pinterest board pale in comparison to reality. Lindsey and her sister Alyssa worked all morning with sweat on their brows and smiles on their faces, mentioning how great it felt to be creating in a wedding space. Located in Chili, NY, Lindsey provides gorgeous floral arrangements for any occasion and for any space - even a table arbor! She perfectly paired the flowers and greenery with the jewel-toned glass and really made the event feel complete. The gorgeous flowers lasted all day and then brightened up our homes the week after!
We all know having your hair done is not what it used to be, but Emma worked so expertly and quickly we hardly ever noticed. She created a soft updo with braided in curls and the style lasted all day despite the weather. Emma works out of the cutest little salon in the heart of Batavia called Meraki Beauty which has a gorgeous atmosphere for getting ready photos. No matter the occasion, we highly recommend Emma for a stunning updo.
Soft brie, honeycomb, fresh salami. All the yum. If you're looking to take your hors d'oeuvres to the next level, we highly recommend chatting with Stephanie at Roc Boards. Our guests enjoyed this long past cocktail hour, finding something new to try each time. It also serves as a great conversation piece as guests can try different cheeses from across the globe. As we were able to work with Stephanie at our alma mater SUNY Brockport, it was so great to be able to collaborate again.
Everything about working with Stefanie was delightful, from finding the right style and look for the macaroons down to the taste. She caught right on to our vision and whipped up some rose-shaped strawberry coulis macaroons with vanilla filling and blueberry gold-dusted macaroons with salted caramel filling. Needless to say, our patience was tested as we had to wait until the end of the shoot to sample these amazing little treats! She strives for perfection in her work and it absolutely shows with each precisely handcrafted macaroon.
Here we need to mention that this really wouldn't have been possible with our amazing models, Abbie and Josh. They were so fun to work with and pose and naturally brought their own ideas and style to the shoot. Ultimately, that is what we're looking for. We want to show your love story and your personality in all that we do. So thank you, Abbie and Josh, for letting us capture you! Side note: the dress is from Amazon, as the first one we ordered did not work out. Thank goodness for prime!
As we talked about our design goals, "hand lettering a leather jacket" was at the top of Cathy's list. Finding one that wouldn't break the bank was another story. As the day approached and the chances for finding the right jacket slimmed, Eliza persisted. Quite a few Goodwill trips later, the perfect jacket (at the perfect price) presented itself. Cathy enjoyed getting creative with the different design elements, from painted picture frames to watercolor menu cards. We always encourage brides to not hold back with your vision as we are always looking for ways to try something new.
Last but definitely not least is planning by Eliza. A vision and direction quickly had to be formed as we coordinated with vendors and Eliza methodically turned Pinterest dreams into reality. As in, she and her family built the table and arbor based off of a Pinterest pin. (Thank you Pionessa family!) As the day approached, we quickly started to notice that thunderstorms were going to rain on our originally planned outdoor venue. Eliza quickly explored options and adjusted to a new venue. A quick note to brides planning a COVID-19 event: we suggest using a wedding website or Paperless Post, a digital invitation, to communicate with your guests. This way we were able to update all our guests and vendors with one quick update to the invitation.
Things Went Wrong
Broken glass. Broken chairs. Design ideas that looked better in our head than in reality. Missed calls and connections with a vendor. Before we have you thinking this event was an instagrammable dream to pull off, it wasn't. Things went wrong. A lot of things, actually. To the point where we joked that this wasn't our Plan A or B, but more like Plan Z. But we knew we had to do it for our brides and place ourselves in their shoes so we can help them more. And the biggest thing we learned is that we work in an amazing space. We get to work within an amazing community of wedding vendors in the Rochester and Buffalo area who use their passions in such a powerful and beautiful way. So yes, we may have been physically exhausted as we packed up that night, but we left with our hearts full of hope. Hope for our brides, hope for weddings and hope for love.
Thank you to our amazing friends and family as well who rallied around us and made this event happen. We did it!
Brides, we highly recommend reaching out to these vendors or following them as you plan your big day. Through all the COVID-19 stress, love never fails. Feel free to reach out to us as we would love to make your wedding dreams into a reality. Together, we can make it happen.
Eliza & Cathy