Allison and Jon's Pond House Cafe wedding, set in the beautiful Elizabeth Park in Hartford, CT, was simply gorgeous. It may have been almost two years ago by the time I'm writing this blog post, but it's still one of my favorites to reflect on for all the unique touches Ally & Jon created with their DIY efforts.
Ally & Jon wanted a day that truly reflected who they are incorporating their family and friends as more than just spectators for the ceremony. Most of the wedding was a DIY effort, with a lot of the set up work being done by Jon and the groomsmen and many of the personal touches being created by Ally. The bridesmaids did all of their own hair and makeup, as well as doing Ally's gorgeous natural look. Three of the groomsmen performed DJ and MC duties for the reception.
Allison's unique wedding dress was a DIY thrifted find, too! She found three separate pieces to bring together to create the stunning garden-goddess look together with earrings and a necklace she borrowed from her mother. Allison's floral accessories were stunning, from her succulent flower crown to her cascading bouquet, which included cabbages! P.S. How incredible is this unique engagement ring with a deep blue sapphire?! 😍
Allison and Jon wanted their wedding party, which they called an Honor Guard, to feel comfortable and relaxed on their wedding day. Instead of requiring a specific outfit for them to wear, they requested a specific color scheme and allowed them all to choose a garment style and designer they felt comfortable wearing. Jon presented all the members of his honor guard with unique sword-style tie-clips to complete their look and Ally had matching succulent hair pieces for the female members of her honor guard.
The wedding took place on a gorgeous fall morning in October. We started with a first look and wedding party photos in the heart of the stunning rose garden at Elizabeth Park on the Hartford/West Hartford city line. This was a lot of fun because we planned enough time to be creative and not feel rushed with their portraits in one of the most gorgeous Connecticut wedding locations. We also were a little bit separated from the set up and guest arrival at the venue, giving us a bit more freedom to feel relaxed while taking photos. This portrait session was also a little special since we had chosen to do Ally & Jon's engagement photos in the park but at a different time of year, so the bloom of the garden provided what felt like two completely different styles of setting for photos.
Their ceremony took place on the stone patio of the Pond House Cafe, adjacent to the park, overlooking one of the many ponds. The ceremony had some unique personal touches that Ally & Jon devised that I loved. For the ring exchange, Allison and Jon's rings were passed along the line by each member of their Honor Guard before being presented to them to be placed on their finger. Another touch was that all four of Allison and Jon's parents were brought up and honored with a reading about how important a parent's influence is upon a person and creating who that person ultimately becomes. Lastly, the ceremony ended with a rose exchange, where Jon gave Allison a single red rose and vowed that every year he would do the same as a way of renewing the vows they were making that day.
After the ceremony, guests were invited to partake in lawn games that were laid out before the official start of the reception inside the Pond House Cafe. At the start of the reception, Allison and Jon shared their first dance, were given toasts by groups from their Honor Guards, and cut their cake. After that, it was party time where most people spent it either on the dance floor or creating some funny antics with the DIY photobooth that was set up on the patio.
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Vendors for this wedding include: Cake: Borinquen Bakery
Engagement ring: Brilliant Earth
Allison's Wedding Band: Jared
Jon's Wedding Band: 25 Karats
Centerpieces: Moscarillo's Garden Shoppe
Bouquets and flower crowns: Whole Foods Market
Venue & Catering: Pond House Cafe
Officiant: Shelley Schulman wrote the ceremony, performed by Carol Schweitzer-Schilling
Allison's Dress: Lace Top by Jenny Yoo, Skirt by Tadashi Shoji