I loved every minute of working with Kelli & Craig. As a wedding coordinator, sometimes I feel like a parent… not in the sense that I have to keep asking my kids to do something (though I do that too!), but that you shouldn’t play favorites. I work with a lot of couples, and not all are created equal… Kelli and Craig are the best of the best. There, I said it.
Kelli prepared for her big day in the comfort of home with her bridesmaids at her side. Meanwhile, Craig and his team were at his parents’ house (the wedding location!) having some fun while getting ready. I always love when I can joke around with the wedding party, and this group was no exception. When Amanda from Nicole Rae Photography showed up mid-afternoon to capture some groomsmen shots, the backyard was filled with laughter and smiles.
Guests began arriving mid-afternoon and were treated to a sun-drenched backyard with stunning landscaping that provided the backdrop for the ceremony. When Kelli and her bridesmaids arrived onsite, it was time to get the day’s festivities officially under way. As Kelli, escorted by her stepdad Jim, made her way down the aisle in a show-stopping gown from Alexandra’s Boutique, Craig’s face said it all – this was going to be a day overflowing with love. The touching ceremony officiated by Reverend Phillip Ryan was a testament to that love and when they sealed the deal with a kiss, guests were on their feet cheering for the newlyweds!
While Nicole and Amanda from Nicole Rae Photography were taking full advantage of the pretty property (have I mentioned I am obsessed with the color of their front door?!?!) to capture photos of the bridal party and family, guests were sipping on delicious drinks served up by the friendly team from COCKTAILS and marveling at the reception space. It was truly a sight to behold – Craig’s Mom Karen is hugely talented and designed a space that was elegant and pretty. Napkins with delicate floral rings sat atop gold chargers, and wooden candle holders (that doubled as favors for their guests!) were the perfect complement to the mason jars filled with greenery, twinkle lights and pretty pink flowers that were the centerpieces.
The fun officially started as DJ Frank Benway from Benway Entertainment introduced the bridal party to the crowd! And then everyone was on their feet as the newlyweds entered to huge applause and shared their first dance together to Brett Eldredge’s “Mean to Me”. In one of the cutest things I’ve ever seen, their daughter Grace did a blessing saying thank you for this food prior to dinner. As guests enjoyed the delicious BBQ from A Fork In the Road, we heard toasts from the best men, Jon & Joe, and maid of honor Katie, which brought laughter and a few tears into the room. I was touched when Jon mentioned that Kelli was one of the most genuine people he’s ever met. But I have to say, my favorite part was when he said how he loved how far their family would travel for an open bar!
Post dinner, Kelli & Craig cut their cake (made by family friend Mary) and shared dances with their parents. Then DJ Frank lit up the dance floor and the dance party began with full force! Guests only snuck away for a few minutes to enjoy some dessert, otherwise they were on the dance floor all night showing off some excellent moves in what turned out to be an epic dance party. It was a day filled with the love, laughter, and fun from the first moments until the last song faded out.
Kelli & Craig – I was thrilled to be a small part of your love story. I know your wedding day was the start of what will be a long, happy, life together. I hope it’s filled with laughter, good health, and many more trips to Aruba! xo
Stunning images below courtesy of the talented team from Nicole Rae Photography.