I’m incredibly exciting to share a very special wedding with you this Monday morning, one that I personally connect with greatly. As many of you may remember it was just 2 short weeks ago when Alisha and I shared our 2 year anniversary. We celebrated our wedding weekend in Aurora, NY at the amazingly beautiful Aurora Inn. I was fortunate enough to be invited to Courtney+Don’s wedding almost 2 years to the day of our wedding. As you can imagine it was very exciting for me and special to be going back to the location of my wedding.

I’ve also been vocal about how important a band Phish has been in my life on my blog and on facebook, but those of you who know me how sentimental that is. So as if all of that above wasn’t enough just read how Courtney+Don met in her words:

“Don and I met through a mutual friend while attending Syracuse University. One night, luck found both of us sitting on Don’s front porch talking until the wee hours about our love of music, especially for the band Phish. Several weeks later at a Halloween party, Don asked me out on our first date to a local Mexican joint. He showed up with a rose and swept me off my feet. Our second date was a Trey Anastasio concert in Ithaca…and the rest as they say is history.”

I walked into this wedding with an instant connection and truly felt like one of the guests the entire night. I hope it shows in the photos:

It always helps when I get to walk in with cute shoes and a Pnina Tornai dress

I also thought the bouquets by In Bloom Wedding Floral Design were a knock out. I especially love the cameo (which was a gift from Don)

Some of my favorite getting ready shots….

Courtney had a wee bit of nerves as we got closer to the ceremony, and we decided it would be best for her to see Don before we start the ceremony. It was touching to see them embrace right away, and see how Don was seriously Courtney’s rock that day. You can almost see the emotion in the shot on the left. Right afterward Courtney was good walk down the aisle with her father

Another beautiful lakeside ceremony at the Aurora Inn

You know what time it is after that right? RIGHT? RIGHT?! Yes butta light time.

The Clark+Walker Facebook teaser

Ok you’re thinking “this looks like a Clark+Walker wedding… I see a gorgeous couple, a high end venue, great details, butta light – but what about the hot wedding party? Is this really C+W’s work?” I assure you it is.

You need some more cute details to prove it? Check out these awesome straws that were a huge hit for a summer wedding on the lake

One of my biggest internal challenges, if I’m being candid, is making sure people feel comfortable in front of the camera like on the left…. while also finding the in between moments like on the right

The tent looked even better than my already high expectations, and fit Courtney’s self described “very simple elegant, English romantic, Garden Party Chic, local feel” that she had envisioned for her event

I include this series from the toasts because I felt going through the images that it captured their relationship, their energy, and how strongly Courtney and Megan felt about each other.

The shot on the left is how I normally shoot first dances, and yes the one on the right is me shooting through a window. Let it be known I was flying solo at this wedding for the record!

I love this little series of Don’s dance with his mother, and the reaction behind them (yes still shooting solo by the way)

Some fun sparkler action to end the evening!

Oh wait – stop the music. I have to finish with a couple supa dupa butta light shots. Sorry it’s my blog.

Thank you to Courtney, to Don, and to all your friends and family for allowing me to share in a beautiful weekend. Also a big shout out to Heather Davidson, the planner extraordinaire at the Aurora Inn, who always rocks it. For real she’s the best planner/coordinator/super woman I get the pleasure of working with. Here is a Q+A with Courtney about this fantastic event:

 

Do you have a special proposal story?
Oh yes, Don is a true romantic and planned every single detail!! We got engaged January 2010 in NYC. Read the full story on our wedding website:http://www.courtneyanddon.com/proposal.html

What is your inspiration when planning your wedding?
We were absolutely inspired by the historical nature and pastoral setting of the Aurora Inn. We were drawn to the inn’s charm and laidback, lakefront atmosphere set amongst the unspoiled countryside.The Finger Lakes region holds a very special place in our hearts, so we knew it would be the perfect setting for our big day. Not only is it where we shared our first few dates, summer days and holidays together after meeting at SU, but it’s also where we have chosen to settle down and begin our married life. And in choosing our wedding venue, we wanted to offer our guests near and far a taste of the area that is dear to us.

When deciding on the colors, floral design and the invitation style and other wedding paper, I drew my inspiration from the poise and femininity of Jane Austen, Georgette Heyer and other regency-novel book covers (my favorite genre) and the sweet floral patterns of the Laura Ashley fabric that decorated my childhood bedroom. These elements also inspired the soft, ethereal, romantic look of the bridesmaid dresses and the traditional, timeless beauty of my look and wedding gown.

Did you incorporate any fun themes/motifs or design elements?

Other than simple, romantic elegance, we wanted our wedding to have a very handmade and local feel to it. Our favors were muth jars of Bee Attitudes Finger Lakes honey. We hired an Auburn NY artist to hand paint our Save the Dates—a view of The Aurora Inn. Our guest book were wooden oars purchased from a nearby gift shop. And I commissioned some paper and decor from Etsy artists, as well as collected vintage handkerchiefs that some flower arrangements sat on and vintage crystal brooches that I gave all the bridesmaids to wear on their bouquets then dresses. We also incorporated a lot of vintage and family heirloom decor, such as a lace tablecloth on the cake table that my great grandmother knitted, crystal vases borrowed from my mother and grandmother for all of the floral arrangements and my mother’s lace placemats that the vases sat on top off, my parents’ ring pillow recovered in my mother’s wedding veil that my MIL made for us, family wedding portraits on display, etc. Plus, I wore Don’s late grandmother’s cameo ring that his mother had re-sized for me and that matched the 1900s cameo brooch Don gave me for Christmas that I attached to my bouquet and he wore his late grandfather’s black opal ring. It was really important for me to use vintage pieces that actually had meaning to me and just weren’t pieces that I bought on Ebay to have a “vintage” wedding.

Did you include any special traditions, old or new?
We originally planned to write our own vows. Instead Don wrote the ceremony (and I edited it) to focus on the importance of love and family values, and we chose to recite the same vows our parents and grandparents (all of whom are still married) said at their weddings.

Is there anything else you’d like to share?
Overall, our wedding was about bringing close friends and family together to celebrate our special day in one of the most beautiful places of the country. And of course, music played an important role, so we made sure to hire a band that reflected our same tastes in music—a little blues, oldies and rock n’ roll : ) And…..we were THRILLED to have one of the most talented photographers in the business shoot our wedding!!

Wedding Date: June 18th, 2011
Wedding & Reception Venue(s): The Aurora Inn, Aurora, New York
Dress: Pnina Tornai, Kleinfeld exclusive
Hair/makeup: Kris Kellogg, MOD – Makeup On Demand
Bridesmaid dresses: Amsale
Flowers: Rachel Pasquarelli, In Bloom Wedding Floral Design
Cake: Trina Myers, The Aurora Inn
Catering: The Aurora Inn
Entertainment: Ceremony/Cocktail Hour, Clinton String Quartet; Reception, Little Joe & the Big Shots
Coordinator/Planner: Heather Davidson, The Aurora Inn

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