Brynne and Matt
How did the two of you meet?
Matt and I met at his business’ 2012 Christmas party in Johnson City, NY. I had recently graduated from SUNY Binghamton’s nursing school and decided to stay in the area for work. I moved into an apartment complex on Binghamton’s South Side and became friends with my landlord George. Unbeknownst to me, George was also friends with Matt and the two played golf together fairly regularly. One day, Matt saw George and I walking out of his gym together and decided to ask George about me – George gave Matt my number and Matt convinced George to take me with him to Matt’s business’ holiday party that weekend. It was a little awkward for me considering I didn’t work for the business or know anyone in the slightest (ha!), but worth every second of strangeness! We met that night (December 14th 2012) and, although we didn’t start dating immediately, our lives were definitely changed forever.
What happened the day he proposed? How did he do it?
One year later, I had a strong hunch that Matt was planning on proposing at the same holiday party where we first met. What we had joked about sounding like a super romantic proposal months and months earlier, began to terrify me! I couldn’t imagine being proposed to in front of hundreds of people. So, that morning at a diner, I was nervously inhaling pancakes and must have looked obviously anxious because Matt immediately asked me what was going on. My words exactly were, “Well… Hypothetically speaking, if you were planning on proposing to me at the holiday party tonight… Could you not do that?” (yes, my delivery was AWFUL – I was terrified). His entire affect sunk and I tried my best to explain that I was nervous about being in front of so many people. It was the most awkward breakfast EVER, but he said he understood. My family had driven upstate for the party and so we all went together and had an absolutely wonderful night!! It was zero pressure and so much fun. After the party ended, Matt and I went home and he proposed on the couch while we were watching television. It was December 14th 2013 🙂
What were the main influences behind the style of your wedding, it’s location and your venue choice for your big day?
We knew we wanted a wedding that reflected us. We visited all the traditional venues, but every time we walked out I would look at Matt and describe how impersonal they all felt. When we walked into Hayloft on the Arch, we just knew. This was back in December 2013 and Hayloft wasn’t even up and running yet – it was literally an empty barn! But, you could tell that the owners of the venue were passionate, had a vision, and were going to hit that vision spot on! We couldn’t think of anything more beautiful – we wanted something elegant, personal, unique, and a place guests would simultaneously feel relaxed in. On a side note, Matt overcame many challenges and obstacles during the market crash back in ’08/’09 to open a La Quinta Inns & Suites across from Turning Stone Casino in 2012. The hotel is gorgeous and I believe it’s a testament to his work ethic, heart, and perseverance. Because of the hotel, he has a very special connection to Verona, NY – when an employee overheard us describing what we were looking for in a venue, she recommended Hayloft on the Arch which was coincidentally just down the street. It was meant to be.
How did you approach wedding planning? did you use any computer systems, apps or social media?
Well, I didn’t hire a wedding planner or use any specific apps – I wanted to be responsible for all of the planning myself (even if that meant having to make 4 hour drives upstate for appointments every month, ha!). We booked Hayloft immediately after the engagement and found a wonderful caterer literally that same day. We were lucky in that sense – to be honest, I believe in positive energy, personal frequencies, and the Law of Attraction. For whatever reason, we just trusted that if we rolled with things (as opposed to getting stressed out trying to find the perfect everything), our wedding would be wonderful. So, if the Universe sent us signs, we listened. For instance, while I was browsing photographers on WeddingWire, I noticed one with “Harlow” in their title (Harlow Bliss Photography). Because I rescued a dog back in 2009 and named her Harlow, I immediately took that as a sign. I visited Harlow Bliss Photography’s website and immediately started crying over the combination of beautiful music and Angela’s photography. Angela, in turn, then recommended your work (Gavin Law videography)! Everything fell into place. To anyone planning a wedding, I just recommend really letting go and enjoying the process. Book the big vendors early and spend the rest of your engagement enjoying the creative pieces and special touches 🙂 Planners (God, I love planners) and brightly colored Sharpee markers really help too!!
What made you decide to hire a videographer?
I was reading a wedding magazine one day and the woman writing the article described how much she regretted not hiring a videographer. Matt and I were considering holding off on a videographer because of our budget but, the more we thought about it, it was just TOO important to us! Again, like I said before, our mindset was one of “letting go”. To us, we decided the photography and videography were going to be a priority. Could we have spent the money on more flowers, a fancier tablescape, fancier dress, cake, etc.? Sure. But, we knew that celebrating our love with our family and friends (and capturing that celebration on film) was going to be more important to us than anything else! Those were the memories we wanted. And Gavin, you were an absolute pleasure to work with every step of the way! So, thank you for making it easy for us to feel confident in knowing we made the right decision!
Did you have any surprises for each other, or for your guests on your wedding day?
Before our reception entrance, Matt and I surprised our guests with a “Love Story” video we recorded with our DJ 2 weeks before the wedding. Our DJ interviewed us separately about our relationship and then edited it all together in such a way that was both romantic and hysterical. It was a really nice opportunity for guests to get to know us better – both individually and as a couple! I also surprised Matt mid-reception by performing a song I had written for him. My family and older friends know my music well because I was a singer-songwriter for many years when I was younger; however, Matt had never heard me sing before! Because I quit music in 2005/2006, no one from Binghamton knew that part of my life (and that includes my husband!). It was a very special moment for us both.
What would your top tips be for somebody planning their wedding?
ENJOY IT. To me, it always seemed like people planning weddings (women in particular, since a large majority of the time we are still the ones running the wedding-planning show, ha!) were so stressed out, anxious, and irritable. That’s not what I wanted for myself. I wasn’t a girl who grew up dreaming of that “special day”; I didn’t have my dress and venue and decor picked out by the time I was 12. Frankly, before meeting my husband, I wasn’t even sure I wanted to get married. Actually, it was my husband who insisted we have the wedding at all – I (very unsuccessfully) tried selling the town court idea, to no avail! My biggest piece of advice, again, is to enjoy it. Always remember that your wedding is a celebration of your love for each other. Make it your own. Trust that everything will happen the way it is supposed to happen and do not get worked up, or hung up, on the small things. Remember you can create a beautiful day on ANY budget. Spend the money on what matters most to you (for us, it was photography and videography!) and shop around or get creative with the rest!! Also, have a long engagement – I remember I was so heartbroken in December 2013 when I found out our venue was booked for all of 2014 and most of 2015!! We ended up setting our date for September 5th 2015 and it was the best decision we ever made. Take the extra time to plan, to save money, and to enjoy the journey – you won’t regret it 🙂
What were your favorite parts of your wedding day (or perhaps most memorable)?
Personally, my most memorable moment was waiting to walk down the aisle with my father. It was a barn wedding and the ceremony itself was outdoors; however, my father and I decided to make our entrance from inside the barn and walked down long, opposite staircases to the ceremony site. I’ll always remember standing inside and watching my father as he hummed along to the music and we listened to my cousins singing and my uncle playing guitar. I was full of so much nervous energy that I thought I might pass out. After the ceremony, the entire reception felt like one big happy family party! It was perfect. It was incredible to watch everyone dancing and enjoying themselves. In the days leading up to the wedding (and even on the morning of the wedding itself), we ran into so many little mishaps – and none of it mattered! Everyone was having so much fun. We were all lost in the happiness. It was truly perfect.
Any advice for brides currently in the planning process?
Let it go. A quick story: I bought my wedding gown a year and a half in advance – I paid in full with cash. I thought I was so ahead of the game! The designer shop was supposed to have my dress in two to three months before the wedding in order to start fittings. Three months out, no dress. Two months out, no dress (but they assured me everything was fine). One month out, still no dress. 3 weeks out, I learned that the boutique never ordered my dress!! Now, if I were on an episode of Bridezillas, we can all imagine just how terribly this would have ended. But, like I said before, I really do believe in positive energy and frequencies. Instead of seeing my situation as a nightmare, I saw it as a sign. I sent a bunch of emails to dress shops in New York City telling them all my story and explaining I only had 2 weeks to go until my wedding. RK Bridal in NYC replied to my email immediately, told me to come in the following morning, and promised me I would walk out with a dress. True to their word, I walked in at 1:00pm and walked out at 2:00pm with a dress off rack that was, seriously, meant to be. My point? I “let it go” and things worked out exactly the way they were meant to. We’re all trying to plan &/or create certainty in an uncertain world. At the end of the day (despite our well-intentioned attempts at organization, planning, preparation, and perfection), we just never know what is going to happen! Roll with it. If you plan an outdoor wedding and it rains, laugh. If you buy the world’s most perfect cake and it falls on the floor, laugh. If you walk down the aisle in 6 inch stilettos (which I do not recommend!) and you tumble, laugh. My best is advice is this: you can’t fight or plan for the unexpected, so you might as well enjoy it.
Wedding ceremony venue – Hayloft on the Arch
Wedding reception venue – Hayloft on the Arch
Wedding planner – Myself (along with several planner notebooks, bright stickers, appointment reminder alarms on my phone, and many colorful Sharpee markers!)
Wedding stylist – We didn’t have a stylist; however, I worked with Char at Affections Floral & Design who handled all of our decor and floral arrangements. She was wonderful and was able to really bring our vision to life!
Catering – Delta Lake Inn
Photographer – Harlow Bliss Photography
Videographer – Gavin Law Videography
Wedding dress – RK Bridal
Bride accessories & shoes – Jewelry: Claires, Burlington Coat Factory; Shoes: DSW
Bridesmaid dresses – TJ Maxx
Bridesmaid accessories & shoes – Bracelet: Kate Spade MOH bangle; Shoes: DSW
Groom’s attire & accessories & shoes – Men’s Wearhouse
Groom’s party attire – Men’s Wearhouse
Hair – Erin at Tangles Salon
Make up & beauty – Myself
Stationery – Save the Dates: Vistaprint; Invitations: Minted; Shower Invitations, Welcome Messages & Seating Cards: Party City!
Venue décor – Affections Floral & Design
Wedding cake – Euphoria Bakery
Wedding favors – Exceptional Receptions by Jimmie Malone provided magnet sleeves for photo booth pictures as our favors (which also doubled as our welcome message place setting holders!)
Wedding rings – Frank Longo Originals
Transportation – We used shuttles from La Quinta Inn & Suites Verona
Entertainment – Exceptional Receptions by Jimmie Malone
Florist – Affections Floral & Design