We thoroughly enjoy getting to hear about all of our brides wedding day and seeing photos! If you are one of our brides, please do not hesitate to share memories and photos with us! Today, we are featuring Mandy and her beautiful sunflower-filled wedding! Katherine Zell knocked it out of the park (yet again) with these photos and we just can't get enough!
Can you tell us a little of your love story?
I participated in sports all through high school & college so when I graduated from Immaculata in the Spring of 2015 I knew I needed to find something to fill the hole. I was searching all over the perfect gym for me and just could not find it. My aunt asked me to go to this gym called Marino's Fitness in Downingtown, PA and after some convincing, I agreed. She and I took classes there and Justin was the instructor of the class. I thought he was really nerdy, but also really cute. He was shy and apparently, I was really intimidating (he tells the story like that). After a while (and I mean a while) we started talking about stuff related to fitness. I can remember talking outside the gym. He didn't realize I was trying to hang out with him for A LONG TIME. So eventually, I invited him to where I worked at John Pancott Gymnastics Center to teach me a "muscle up". I had always wanted to learn how to do one of these and I figured what a perfect excuse to hang out with him! It happened to be Valentines Day and he brought me one red rose, and he thought I hated it because I just threw it in my book bag. I remember a year into dating, he saw I still had the rose dried in my room which really surprised him. We ended up being perfect together - we balance each other out so well. He asked my dad for my hand in marriage. My dad said "good luck", jokingly (I can be a bit stubborn sometimes). We got engaged in Ocean City, New Jersey. He kept trying to get me to go to the beach and of course, in my natural "Mandy fashion", I didn't want to go. It took some convincing from my entire family to get me to go to the beach that night. His words to me were, "You are the biggest pain in my ass, so can we make it official?" So romantic! Maybe. Cute? Yes. True? Yes. Exactly us? Absolutely! He proposed and I would not have wanted it any other way. Fast forward a year later and here we are married and excited for our future together!
As a bride, you have many options when it comes to where you look for your wedding dress. What brought you to Blush Bridal and what was the experience like finding your dress?
Blush Bridal was the perfect shop for me. I hate a lot of attention on me and I get overwhelmed very easily. If there are too many options, I don't know what to do or where to start. I knew Blush Bridal was a smaller bridal shop, which I loved! It felt so personal. The staff cared about how I felt in my dress and how it looked on me. They knew my name, they knew my bridesmaids, and when I walked in, I was always greeted with a smile. I was never a number there. I always felt so welcome there. I loved that there were only three rooms, and the shop is just adorable! I would not have wanted to get my dress from anywhere else and I recommend Blush Bridal to all my friends who are getting married!
What were your favorite details about your dress?
I absolutely loved my dress. It was totally not what I saw myself wearing, but I fell in love with it the second I put it on. My sister made me try it on and I will forever thank her for making me do so! I got so many compliments on my dress, and how unique it was with all of the beading. Everyone said I looked like a princess. I felt so pretty wearing it and I really did feel like a princess! My favorite details of my dress was the delicate beadwork all over the top of it. I also loved the layered bottom. I wish I could wear it again! I loved it so much that when our reception was over, we went out in Lancaster City. Everyone went back to their hotel rooms to change before going out but I just went out in my dress because I didn't want to take it off! It was just so gorgeous.
Tell us about the inspiration for your flowers, decor, or any other fun details!
I LOVE sunflowers. So, I knew right away that I wanted to have lots of them! My bridesmaids wore navy blue and the sunflowers against their navy blue dresses were just stunning. We also did a lot of white blooms, and greenery and our florist did an amazing job making my vision come to life. Our reception was at the Barn at Silverstone; I like simple and elegant and the rustic barn was perfect for our taste! My cousin hand painted all of our signs that were in the reception. One of Justin's clients hand-made all the wood slices for our center pieces! My mom even got a thousand little candles to put all over the barn that really made the place come to life! I met a lady in Ocean City who hand painted a pair of white vans for me to wear during the reception and they were such a hit and such a special touch! They had all things important to Justin and me painted on them, which made them super special. My mom got me a "something blue" bracelet to wear. Justin wrote me the cutest letter and got me a pandora bracelet that he wants to buy a charm that symbolizes something special we do every month for our entire first year of marriage. Our signature drink was Titos and lemonade because that is what we were drinking in Sea Isle the summer we got engaged! I got my dad and Justin iron-on patches for the back of their ties. I coach gymnastics and I invited all my girls to the ceremony and they all came; it was so special. My dad surprised them (& me!) with a sparkling apple juice toast (picture is priceless!) My parents knew how important coaching and my girls are to me and the fact they went out of their way to make it special is a memory I will truly cherish forever. We had a photo booth and we also had a live band who played the best music! Another special touch for our reception were the home made pickles we had for our guests to take home. Our guests loved them! Our first dance song was "Beautiful Crazy", by Luke Combs, because the song describes me perfectly and Justin would not let us pick anything else!
What was your favorite part about your wedding day?
My favorite part of our wedding day was being introduced for the first time as Mr. and Mrs. Haslam at the reception! Walking into the room, with all our family and friends cheering for us is something I will always cherish! It was truly amazing to see all of the people we love in one place. The love and support we felt was unbelievable. We are so loved and we are so beyond lucky to have such amazing people in our lives. The feeling in that room that night just leaves me speechless. We had such a fun night dancing the night away! Another favorite memory was at the end of the night. We asked the band to make "We Are Family" the last song of the night and my family (my mom, dad, my sisters and brothers) formed a circle hugging and screaming the words to the song. Justin came into the circle and we all cheered and it was just a really special moment.
What advice would you give to other brides as they search for their dream dress and prepare for their big day?
As brides search for the dream dress, I would say, don't get one thing set in your mind for your dream dress. It could be something that is totally opposite than what you went in thinking you were going to get. It is much better to go in with an open mind and take your time looking! You will know the dress is THE ONE the second you put it on! Like I said earlier, I am so glad my sister Julia made me try this dress on because I am so in love with it! My best advice would be to have everything done the week of the wedding so that when the week is here, you are stress free. Things are going to go wrong, but when it all boils down to it, no one will know (except for you and probably your mom) but just accept it and move on. The day will be perfect no matter what! Also, don't spend the whole reception walking around talking to people. Greet your guests but keep it moving so you and your husband are able to enjoy YOUR wedding reception. Justin and I had the best time dancing the night away at our reception!
Photographer: Katherine Zell Photography
Venue: The Barn at Silverstone
Hair: Michelle's Boutique
Makeup: Michelle's Boutique
Bridal Gown: Blush Bridal
Bridesmaids dresses: Blush Bridal
Cake: The Master's Baker
Flowers: Lips "Tu"lips Flowers
Band: Bachelor Boys Band
Photo Booth: Eclipse Entertainment
Caterer: John Serock Catering