Caitlin & Matt, Earth Day Nuptials

    They met through a mutual friend.  Set up as roommates who barely knew each other, their friendship quickly blossomed. Caitlin and Matt “hit it off immediately, ” says Caitlin and they were suddenly hanging out all the time. Soon thereafter they began officially dating, and proceeded to live together as partners for the next 7 years.

    They knew they would get married, but Caitlin always imagined an elopement. She never expected Matt to formally propose, but on Christmas Eve, Matt brought her into their garden where he wanted her to open her Christmas gift. This wasn’t unusual since Caitlin is an avid gardener. In fact, she is co-owner of a successful landscaping business, Swamp Fly. Matt had lit candles in the garden and displayed new garden statues for Caitlin's Christmas gift, but the real gift was his proposal. It was a complete surprise. 

All wedding day photos by Citrine Pictures

    The wedding planning soon began, but Caitlin was not the sort of bride-to-be who had dreamed of her wedding day her entire life. Caitlin imagined something smaller, something just for them, but the truth was it was not just for them. Caitlin and Matt, being very close with their families, knew that an elopement to Ireland or some other far off land was not ideal for having everyone they loved be there. 

    So, here was the deal, if they were to throw this wedding at home, Caitlin didn’t want it to feel “overly fancy,” more like a big garden party. She imagined medieval inspired decors, with fairy-like whimsy, and a cajun flare. It was to be a “hobbit party,” “quirky and charming,” and Beauvoir Park served as the perfect venue for their spring, Earth Day nuptials. 


    Caitlin had already picked out her dress. She was going to keep it simple with an off white linen sundress, but her friend had other ideas. With a blunt “absolutely not,” her friend made Caitlin realize that something more special would be more appropriate for the occasion, but the thought of trying on dresses in a bridal shop “horrified” Caitlin… “on a really deep level.” “I couldn't see myself wearing any of the gowns in a bridal shop,” she says. “They're beautiful, but it didn't feel right for me.” 

    She 1st asked her mother if she could make her a wedding dress, but the two decided together going with a custom Gretta would take the pressure off. Her mother agreed to embroider some pieces to embellish the dress. Caitlin designed the artwork, her mother embroidered them, and I appliquéd them to her one of a kind dress with fairy wings.  

Caitlin's final fitting accompanied by her best friend, Ashlee

“I loved getting to be a part of [the process.] Choosing things like the fabric and having input on how I wanted the dress to look and feel. Seeing what worked and what didn't along the way. Being able to make minor adjustments… It was nice to be able to workshop with you.” 

Caitlin's mother's embroidery pinned in place to be appliquéd

    Caitlin’s mother’s hand embroidered botanical designs served as the sugar on top. I encircled the appliqué pieces with crystal seed beads onto Caitlin’s hand dyed silk bodice with crinkled chiffon overlay. After coming to me with “so many different, competing ideas'' Caitlin says her dress “felt and looked like a wedding dress, but was not one that [she] ever would have found somewhere else.” 


April 22, 2023. After a busy morning setting up, and getting ready, Caitlin was about to get married.

“I definitely felt really nervous. I don't know why. It was a strange sensation that washed over me, but in a good way. I was excited to get married but nervous having people stare at me walking down the aisle.”

In front of draped “old world, saturated color” fabric panels, Caitlin’s best friend stood at the end of the aisle, waiting with her groom to officiate their wedding. She also wore a custom Gretta. 


“I [knew] that Ashlee could absolutely do this, she is the most poetic person I know. She's my best friend, and would lay herself down in front of a moving truck/do anything to make the day special. She was the best choice and she made it so special. She went above and beyond interviewing me and Matt, individually and then together. She made it fun and interactive, with the handfasting ceremony…She was so nervous on the day of the wedding. More nervous than anyone, but that’s because she wanted it to be special and memorable. All I heard from anyone that day was how awesome and special it was. How unique, genuine and charismatic…”

    The lighthearted, poetic ceremony seamlessly washed into the evening. A joyful, whimsical, hobbit inspired garden party was brought together with handmade decorations of ribbon streamers and paper cranes. City Pork provided a delicious feast, and dessert became the talk of the evening as “the best cakes I've ever eaten.” 


    “We got to share it with so much of our family. We’re so lucky to have all of our immediate family still with us. They all got to be a part of it.” Caitlin’s mom not only hand embroidered applique pieces for Caitlin’s dress, she made the flower girl dresses herself, and got them wings  to match Caitlin. Caitlin’s aunt and sister-in-law took over the flower girl baskets and “decked them out.” A friend made custom scent candles as party favors for Caitlin and Matt’s guests, Caitlin’s sister printed custom, reusable parade cups for the guests and Caitlin’s mom got custom printed Hubig’s Pies with their names and wedding date on them.


    As the evening came to close, Caitlin and Matt walked hand in hand to their home just around the corner “We'd both walked to the wedding so we walked home together. In my wedding gown with Matt, just walking down the street to our home.” It was a beautiful way to end the night. 

Caitlin’s advice for the bride considering a custom dress:

“Wearing a custom dress definitely feels really special. Someone put so much time and effort and care into making something that is just for you on this one day that is about you… If someone has the opportunity and desire to do it, they should. Aside from the getting married part of the day, the dress is something you can take with you and have forever. It’s something from your wedding that you can pass down. I never realized before that the dress is such a special part of your day. I'd never thought about it like that, but it is! It really is probably the most special thing that I have as a keepsake from our wedding.”

    Another tip…“Heed your advice,” and “trust the process,” Caitlin says. “Finding examples for something that you like is important, but don’t hold on to that too tightly because it might not ultimately be what works for you, and if you make the dress more to fit you instead of what your idea of it was, then it'll look so much better…” Lastly, “don't sweat the details on the day of. Just enjoy it! Before you know it it's over. The whole day is a whirlwind, so just enjoy it!”

Amazing vendors from the night: Photos by Citrine PicturesVenue @beauvoirparkCakes @10centbaking Catering by City Pork CateringBand, Guest Favors @quietcricketstudioVivid Ink

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