Susan & Jon
... and their romantic rainy mountain lodge wedding!
How did he propose?
Jon asked me to go on a hike. It was three days after his birthday in 2019. I initially told him to take our pup and I would stay home. He kept asking though and encouraged me to come along, eventually saying, "I really think you should come." (Apparently he'd tried to get me to go a couple other weekends, as well, but I hadn't and as a result he hadn't proposed yet). I finally agreed to go. However, this sent me into scramble mode. I had expected to have the morning to myself as, unbeknownst to him, I'd planned a surprise birthday party for him with a few close friends for that evening. A couple of the friends thankfully were able to pick up the food and supplies and agreed to take care of setting up while we went out to dinner that evening. So off we went on our hike. About halfway into our hike, he proposed. We were on a beautiful snow covered path in the woods not far from our home with our dog. It was perfect and very us as we spent a lot of time enjoying nature with our pup. We spent the afternoon calling family and a few friends (although not those coming to the party, hilariously enough). We went out to dinner and came home to the surprise party for Jon. After the initial birthday surprise, he spilled the beans and it turned into a dual celebration.
How did you two meet?
We met walking into work one day. We were waiting to cross the street and he asked me a question about a magnet on my car. Working for a larger unit at a university, we hadn't crossed paths before, but after that we started seeing one another more and more at work. A lot of our first dates were hikes in the area surrounding our town and spending time outdoors has continued to be a big part of our lives.
Tell us about your say yes experience here at Love & Lace!
I came to Love & Lace in August 2019 on the recommendation of my sister-in-law. I grew up outside Annapolis, but have lived in PA for 13 years. I knew I wanted to shop small and Love & Lace sounded really nice. My sister-in-law and my mom joined me for my appointment. I knew I didn't want strapless, but otherwise I was pretty open minded. I was the only bride in the shop and it was on the last day of a big sale week. There were still so many beautiful dresses to try on and at great prices. I got to try on many gowns and there was never any pressure. My stylist, Nicole, actually picked out the dress I fell in love with. It was perfect for me and would fit the style I had in mind for the wedding. My wedding wasn't until 2021, but I'm really glad I purchased it so far in advance as we had no idea a pandemic was on the way. I got so many compliments on my dress on my wedding day. I loved it!
What was your Wedding date & Where did you get married?
Date: 5/28/2021 at Rolling Rails Lodge in Port Matilda, PA.
We had originally planned to have it outside on their covered patio overlooking the mountains, but May 28, 2021 turned out to be rainy and set a record for coldest day ever for that weekend. Normally it's hot a humid Memorial Day weekend where we live. Thankfully our venue was versatile, so we got married inside by the fireplace. Since we had the venue from Friday morning until Sunday morning, we split our wedding into two days. On Friday, May 28, we got married with our immediate families (20 people total) followed by dinner, the cake cutting, our first dance and dances with my dad and his mom. On Saturday afternoon, we had a big casual party with our friends and extended family at the venue. We had yard games, lots of food, drinks, music, a cookie table (a western Pennsylvania tradition both our families followed), pie instead of cake, and enjoyed the opportunity to spend time with everyone after over a year of pandemic restrictions.
What was your favorite moment on your wedding day?
There were so many so here are just a couple. One that stands out is our first look. The look on his face is one I'll never forget. Another that stands out is during our vows. We used traditional vows from a hymnal, but I was barely holding it together getting through them. After I was finished, in an effort to lighten the mood and keep me from crying too much, Jon said, "Wow those were long." Our wonderful pastor was like, "Well you picked them!" We all burst out laughing, except the rest of our family hadn't heard the exchange so the three of us were the only ones laughing. You had to be there, but I'll always remember that. One of the perks of our venue was its bridal suite that Jon and I could stay in for the weekend. After our families had left Friday night after the formal events, we put on some music and danced around in the big celebration hall all by ourselves and ate leftover food from dinner. It was a lot of fun and really special for us.
What advice would you give to another bride?
To enjoy the ride! Even with a pandemic playing out, we really made it a priority to enjoy the planning. We obviously had to consider things like possibly postponing, changing the guest count several times, having it outdoors exclusively, and many other things. It all worked out in the end and our guests had a wonderful time. Make sure to book vendors early too. It gives you the best chance to work with your first choice vendors and explore other options if they don't fit your budget or are unavailable.
One other thing I'd like to share is to remember who this event is about. It's about you and your future husband, first and foremost. Keep that in mind when making decisions and planning. My goal was for people to leave our celebration thinking, "Wow, that really fit them as a couple and it was a lot of fun!"
Congratulations Susan & Jon!
Venue: Rolling Rails Lodge
Photographer: Organic Memories
Dress: Love & Lace Bridal Boutique - Justin Alexander
Bartender: Drinks By Design by Melissa Mangan
Caterer: Perret's Catering
Officiant: Reverend Carolyn Hetrick, Grace Lutheran Church, State College, PA.
Signs: Wright Lettering
Flowers: Emily's Pocketful of Posies
Hair and Makeup: Viva Bella Salon
Nails: Designer's Denn Salon and Spa
Cake: The Cakery
Engagement Photos: Jennifer Illig Photography (Fall 2019) and Organic Memories (Winter 2021)