5th Mar 2013

Kristin & Graham

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Graham played Lacrosse at the University of Michigan with some friends of mine from high school. The mutual friends introduced us at a Michigan/Michigan State football game tailgate in fall of 2008. We hit it off instantly!
We've experienced a lot of changes together but throughout, we have remained each other's constant. Between graduation, three years living in Manhattan, times of job uncertainty, moving to Charlotte, NC and buying a house together, we've done a lot of growing! It makes it a lot easier to have a partner by your side.

I thought Graham was taking me out to dinner for our four-year anniversary. Instead, he had a limo pick me up from work and drive me an hour and a half up to a Bed and Breakfast in northern NC. I arrived to find Graham waiting with champagne, flowers and chocolate covered strawberries. He got down on one knee, I said yes, and we both cried tears of joy! The next day Graham had arranged for a wine tour throughout NC's Yadkin Valley. Saturday we drove back to Kristin's parents' house where all our family was waiting - his parents, his sister & her fiance, and my sister had all flown in. Sunday we had everyone back to our condo for a big home-cooked breakfast. It was the perfect weekend-long celebration!
My ring was a platinum band with 2  carat princess cut diamond. Gorgeous!

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I always imagined something simple, elegant and full of friends a family. I wanted beautiful weather, a sunset ceremony and a party with champagne, great food and awesome music. Our wedding was my dream wedding!
I always thought I would go for a princess dress with a big train.  Like most brides, the first beautiful dress I put on was "the one"! My mom had to convince me to keep trying more dresses on. I kept going to big shops but when I finally went in to a tiny boutique and found the Jessie dress, I knew it was the one!
My shoes were from Jimmy Choo "Crown" Peep Toe Platform Pumps in champagne glitter and my veil was a Giselle Bridal Cathedral-length veil - toulle with a satin trim.
I wore Nadri Teardrop Drop Earrings from Nordstrom to compliment the cream dress and satin trimmed veil. I chose a bejeweled "Felicity" belt from Desla Couture to cinch in my waist even more than the dress already did. It really finished off the look of the dress.
My hairpiece was a piece of lace and silk roses from Tia Mazza. I knew I wanted my hair up so I didn't have to worry about it throughout the night! I wasn't quite as sure what I wanted for my make-up but was completely taken care of by the girls at LRT Be Pretty.
I chose bridesmaid dress by The Dessy Group - sweetheart, full length chiffon dresses in African Violet and Graham wore a Hugo Boss Tuxedo from Nordstrom.

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We worked with a friend of my moms, Diane Maye throughout the process. She handled all the details from linens to flowers to candles. She was such a huge help!!! We had no set theme, but the venue was right on the lake so I wanted it to be formal but not too elegant. The room had vaulted wood ceilings that were beautiful on their own. For the invitations, I worked with a friend of my sister, Christa Music Nimmer of CMDesign. We went with a mounted card stock - white with purple details.
We invited 220. We knew we'd get about a 75% response, since nearly all the people we invited were from out of town. We wanted to keep it under 200 people, but we're so spread out! I was born in MN, raised in MI, went to college at Miami University in Ohio. Graham was born and raised in Buffalo, NY and went to college in Ann Arbor, MI. We lived in NYC after graduation. We had friends from all times in our lives that we wanted to be a part of our day.

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On the big day I woke up early and excited! All my bridesmaids came over from the hotel to get ready. The sun streamed in the windows and my mom made breakfast. My sister and I wore coordinated robes that she had gotten me as a gift. We sat around my bedroom, listening to music and taking turns getting hair and make-up done. We drank champagne to calm our nerves. It was the happiest morning of my life!
We rode with the bridal party and our parents in a party bus.

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The service was only about 20 minutes long, but it was the most beautiful 20 minutes of my life! Our music was done by a group called Musically Yours - a harp, guitar and cello trio; The parents walked down to a musical version of Rufus Wainwright's Hallelujah; The bridal party walked down to a musical version of The Beatles, Here Comes The Sun; I walked down with my dad to an acoustic version of U2's Beautiful Day; Graham and I left the ceremony to The Beatles, All You Need is Love. The sun was setting just as the ceremony was ending and the entire sky was painted pink, purple and orange. I couldn't have asked for a more beautiful backdrop!
Right after we were pronounced husband and wife, we walked back up the aisle grinning ear to ear and then began crying! I think we were so overwhelmed with emotion and the feeling that "we did it!!!" and cried tears of joy. I was thinking at the time how blessed I was to be starting the rest of my life married to my best friend and love of my life.

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The ceremony and reception venues were at the Trump National Golf Club in Mooresville, North Carolina - just outside Charlotte. They were at the tip of a peninsula on a lake with beautiful views! The sun set next to us as we set our vows, and dusk came just as our reception was beginning. The reception venue had a little cocktail room with a bar where we greeted all of our guests. Big doors then opened into the dining room with vaulted wood ceilings with huge chandeliers.
Diane Maye did our linens and decorated with flowers and candles. I hand-made our table assignments with corks and wine crates. I also had little notes around on chalkboards. A little birdcage served as a holder for cards.

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Graham and I were introduced to our guests to "You Are The Best Thing" by Ray LaMontagne. We had our first dance to Dave Matthews Band - You and Me
and then everyone enjoyed a dinner of filet, chicken, potatoes and vegetables. My sister gave her Maid of Honor speech and Graham's best friend gave his Best Man speech. Dancing with my Dad to Paul Simon's 'Father and Daughter' was definitely a highlight! Graham's Dad got to go on stage and play guitar with the band - it felt like we were at a concert. Everyone was on the dance floor, at the photo booth and at the bar all night. I did not want the evening to end!

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The cake was five tiered with hand-made flowers going up the middle. It was so classic! Everyone had a little bottle of Frank's Red Hot Sauce at the table (Graham's favorite) and everyone got a koozie that had our names & wedding date on it, as well as the phrase "To have and to hold and to keep your beer cold!"
We went with Elizabeth Scott Photography. They are a husband and wife team that actually got married at the same venue we did! They are the sweetest people and made us feel so relaxed on our wedding day! I treasure their photography from our engagement pictures and especially our wedding photos... do amazing work.

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Our wedding day was perfect. The weather, food, music, photo booth, everything. I felt the prettiest I have ever felt in my dress and make-up and I thought Graham had never looked more handsome! Our bridal party was helpful and happy and our families by our side made the day amazing. I wish we could do it over again!

My advice to a bride-to-be would be don't sweat the small stuff! Every bride will say it afterward but no bride will believe it before the wedding is over. I stressed big time over finding the perfect guestbook. I don't remember seeing it that day, half our guests forgot to sign it, and now three months later I don't even know where it is! Focus on the main things you want and remember - it's all about the love.

Shoes
Hair piece Both from J. Majors Bridal Boutique
Hair & makeup
Bridesmaids

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