If Theresa & Nick’s engagement photos are half as vibrant and charming as their wedding day, then I must say that we’re totally missing out. But regardless of this, our bride generously shared with us a lot of stories about where it all started, the wedding planning, and the special day itself. We love how her answers are so in-depth that even though we’re showing you just the engagement photos, we believe that future-brides out there can still learn a lot from her experience as one. Besides, the photos are adorable to look at while you’re reading through (and taking notes!). Congratulations Theresa & Nick.
Never lose focus of what the day is about – a marriage! It’s not about the most fabulous party or having the prettiest dress. It’s about what happens the day AFTER the wedding that matters most!
What is your story as a couple, how did you meet & fall in love?
Nick was a friend of my older brothers and I had a crush on him since I was 13 years old! By the time I got to college, Nick was still taking classes at Cleveland State, and my brothers told him to look after me. Well, he sure did! Nick’s friends’ little sister was all grown up and we started hanging out and one thing led to another, and he revealed that he had a crush on me!
What makes the two of you a perfect match?
For all that we are opposite, we are the same! We both have very strong personalities and are very passionate with our hobbies and views, and its that passion that we take into our relationship and love for each other. So many of our friends say how there is no one on this earth better matched than the 2 of us. And we couldn’t agree more!
How did he (or you) propose?
Nick and I both have a huge passion for Disney, and on a trip to Walt Disney World, we decided to book a little mini photo session on the beach of one of the Disney resorts. In the middle of the shoot, we were walking along the water as the photographer snapped our photos, and the next thing I knew, Nick tugged on my hand and was down on one knee! I was speechless! He had rehearsed a whole little speech to say to me and I was so shocked, I didn’t hear a word! He even had to say, “Well? Will you?” because I was standing there just gawking at him!
How long was the planning process? Did you think it was enough time?
We planned our wedding in about 10 months, which felt crazy at the time! Nick had recently relocated 200 miles away for his job, so that left a lot of the planning on my shoulders…when I wasn’t pining away for my love! So when I wasn’t meeting with vendors, juggling invite lists, and dealing with budgets, we were both driving back and forth on the weekends to try to spend time together! We put a LOT of miles on our cars in that time!
What was the best advice you received when you were planning your wedding?
I think the best thing I heard was that something will go wrong. And when it does, it will give you the best stories to laugh about later. And they were right! Knowing that it couldn’t be perfect from the get go helped me relax a little bit. And all kinds of things went wrong during our wedding, and they still make great memories to this day! Whether it be from my wedding shoes not fitting nearly as well as I thought they would, to a few wedding guests who had one too many at the reception, it all made the event into the great story that will be told and retold for
What tips & tricks (can we use “hacks”?) can you share future brides that you yourself have learned during and after your wedding?
I think the most important thing to do when planning your day, is to prioritize your budget. We made a list of the things that were most important to us and least, so we knew what we were willing to spend more money on to help us plan what we spent. We cared a lot about pictures, but not so much about things like flowers, so we portioned out our budget to allow for lots of photography money!
What were some challenges you faced while planning your wedding & what did you do to address them?
I think the biggest challenge we faced was coordinating our schedules to meet with vendors. With Nick living so far away, but still wanting to be as much a part of the planning as he could, it really limited our calendars for meeting with people! I really don’t think there’s any solution to this other than, don’t move away from your fiancee with your planning your wedding! Ha!
What inspired your wedding décor? Why did you choose the things that you did?
Again, we were going for whatever was easiest since we had such a short time to plan and I had to do so much planning on my own. We were inspired by whatever was easy and still chic!
What was the wedding budget?
I wouldn’t say we had an exact budget at anytime, but rather, many smaller ones. We went into each type of service we needed to contract or purchase with an idea of what our maximum price we were willing to spend was.
Where did you save the most money?
I think we saved the most money on flowers! I’ve never cared about them too much, and the church we were married in was gorgeous on its own, so we only needed a minimal amount of flowers for bouquets and boutinnieres, which made things really simple and affordable!
What was the biggest expense?
Our biggest expense was definitely the venue. We come from families who love to eat and drink and we made sure to have great food and plenty of alcohol!
How many guests were invited in your wedding and what was the final guest count?
We invited about 250 guests to our wedding, knowing many would not come because they were either out of state or in Nick’s case, living in Greece. So I think our final count was about 180 guests.
How did you narrow down your list?
Narrowing down the list was extremely hard. For my part, we just used the guest lists from my brothers’ weddings which made it super easy! Nick was the first child to be married in his family, so they had a bit of a harder time getting it together and narrowing it down!
What songs did you use during the ceremony?
We had a traditional Greek Orthodox wedding service, so while we had the traditional wedding marches, we also had Greek Orthodox chanting throughout the entire ceremony.
Where did you go on your honeymoon?
We went to Hawaii! It was absolutely beautiful, and after all the planning and living apart, it was so fantastic to get to be together in the same place for 2 weeks, no matter where it was!
What are you most excited about for the future?
I’m excited to learn these new roles of husband and wife. We finally get to live under the same roof, in the same city, and I look forward to all the little things I never got to experience with Nick, like cooking breakfast together, cleaning house and even hearing him snore!
Do you have advice for couples still in the planning process?
Never lose focus of what the day is about, a marriage! Its not about the most fabulous party or having the prettiest dress. Its about what happens the day AFTER the wedding that matters most!
What do you think is the overall story for this album?
I think our album shows an exact representation of our relationship. We’re pretty easy going and laid back!
What inspired the wedding day outfits?
We just wanted to be comfortable and effortless, while also being dressed up!
What was your favorite part of the day?
I know the part I will never forget is locking eyes with him for the first time when I started walking down the aisle. That is a look I will never forget for the rest of my life.
Was there any Do it Yourself (DIY) projects? If so, can you describe them in detail?
For our engagement photos, our photographer actually made my artificial floral headpiece and bouquet by watching tutorial videos online and getting to know craft tape really well! I think she did a beautiful job!
What were the highlights from the ceremony & reception?
Being given away by both of my brothers was incredibly meaningful for me, and I was so happy to have both of them by my side. The reception was all one giant highlight for us! There was so much dancing, and laughing and good times, its hard to pick out a favorite, though I think a very special moment was when we had a special “Mother’s Dance” where we both danced with our mothers. My mom and I broke off in the middle of the song and started to hula, which is a little inside joke in our family! We stole the show!
Was there a theme for the ceremony and reception?
While we did have a bit of an outdoorsy theme for our wedding, we were more just going for a vibe of comfortable and approachable. We didn’t want a stuffy wedding, we wanted everyone to get down and have a good time!
What part of the ceremonies do you think was the most memorable for you? Your guests?
The most memorable part for me was walking down the aisle and finally getting to stand as husband and wife with my husband. It was what we’d been waiting for, not only for the 10 months of planning, but for the entire 6 years we had been dating as well!
Photographer: Sarah Renee Studios