Abby & Ryan: Let the Adventure Continue
If their engagement was going to be in any way indicative of their wedding, I should have known that it’d be all out.
And growing up with Abby (we’re cousins), I knew Ryan was the one for her when he planned an elaborate and unique proposal. In brief, he had family and friends gather at her house that was filled, (filled!) with balloons. When she arrived home he’d meet her out front, propose, and all of us in the back would let the balloons rise into the air like her favorite movie “Up”.
While Abby’s all too perceptive and knew what was up (pun intended), she was nonetheless very excited, and me even more so I could help plan their big day!
A little back story on the couple: Abby and Ryan both have an entrepreneurial spirit; she started the largest tiny house community in the world, and he is kicking off Lancaster’s first ever film festival (coming Fall 2019). These two know what a vision is and definitely know how to execute on it!
There were a few stipulations given to Ryan before he proposed, it couldn’t interfere or take away from Abby’s business endeavors. So, they settled on a quick 9-month engagement just before the end of 2018. Historic Acres of Hershey had the availability and space (200 people don’t just fit anywhere!) perfect for the couple’s winter nuptials. The beautiful, glass-enclosed barn, outdoor courtyards and fire pit perfect for reception cigars were just what the couple ordered.
One of the greatest gifts you can give to yourself and future spouse on your wedding day is the gift of time. The lovely thing of having your getting ready area, ceremony and reception in one space is the flexibility with your timeline (no shuttles to catch, trying to figure out ETAs, etc.) for more photo and videography opportunities. There was probably a solid 30 minutes before guests started to arrive, that the couple could hang out, peek in on the reception space, have a pre-ceremony cocktail and be able to relax before the night escaped.
When it was time for the ceremony, guests were welcomed into the space by waiters filled with trays of warm cider or hot chocolate and handed a unique program...a newsletter! There were feature articles on the couple, highlights of the bridal party, even a crossword to find out what food Ryan hates the most (cheese), how many kids they want (four) and where they'd be honeymooning (St. Lucia!) For the guests arriving with some time to spare, there was a calendar to sign your birthday and a place to leave happy wishes for the couple. The vows were heartfelt, sincere, and true to where Abby and Ryan are individually and together. During a lock ceremony, Ryan must have gotten caught up in the moment and forgotten where he was because he snuck in a kiss! Then proceeded to throw the key to the heart that was just locked up down the aisle. Only Ryan could get away with something like that, but it was perfect and gave everyone a good chuckle!
Moving into the cocktail hour and reception space, there were so many unique and personal aspects right away. Abby has traveled quite extensively and to represent that, the name cards each had unique stamps from all across the globe, all arranged on vintage suitcases and globe decor. The bars-- excuse me-- “Fueling Stations” paired with adorable airplane bottle openers and “In Flight Snacks” (read: hors d’oeuvres and desserts) guided the theme towards travel and adventure. Again, true to who Abby and Ryan are and fitting for the life they've built.
A photo booth that was more of a selfie mirror with the most unique and irreplicable props had a red carpet line all night long! The additional decor was provided by Abby’s parents who own the Strasburg Antique Museum and even brought items from their home to adorn the mantle behind the couple. If those aren’t personal touches, I don’t know what are!
Lastly, guests were welcomed for a cigar break by the adjacent fire pit to close out their evening. The couple were swept away in a private limousine to kick start their honeymoon, and guests staying at Tiny Estates went back by nothing less than a pimped out school bus.
1- There is no such thing as "too many personal touches."
2- The value in having moments to breathe, relax, and enjoy the date is immeasurable.
3- Don't clean tiny houses with bleach and ruin your manicure the day before your wedding! (But if you do, I'll have the nail polish to fix it in my kit)
To a lifetime of love, happiness, and wild adventures, cheers!
Photography credit: Jeff Frandsen
Second Shooter: Madeline Isabella
Videography: Cinema Capture Films
Venue: Historic Acres of Hershey
Caterer: The JDK Group
Florals: Weddings by JDK
Jewlery: Koser Jewelers
Hair and Makeup: The Bonafide Ginger