Emma was living in Philadelphia, waiting out the final week of a six-month online dating subscription on CatholicMatch, when she received a message from a handsome man from New York City. Their first in-person meeting began shortly after, the day Mark stepped off a train into Philly's 30th Street Station. They soon began dating long-distance, and ten months later, Mark got down on one knee in the middle of the station.
From the Bride:
Deciding where to tie the knot was tricky. We’re adopted East Coasters with friends scattered from Pacific to Atlantic. We ultimately chose rural, quirky and historic Eureka Springs, Arkansas--an hour away from my parents--for our semi-destination wedding.
Mark is a convert who was drawn to Catholicism through the beauty of the traditional Latin Mass. Our wedding mass was in English, but we were able to find a schola choir nearby to chant parts of the liturgy in Latin.
The Crescent 1886 Hotel, where we held our reception, claims to be one of the most haunted hotels in America. This was not a deal breaker for us! It happened to be situated within walking distance of a quaint, historic Catholic Church, itself a rarity in the South. We wanted a moody, vintage and romantic feel for our wedding, and the entire area made me think of an Edwardian ghost story come to life.
I was initially afraid planning a wedding out of state would make including personal touches impossible. However, we ended up with more DIY projects than anticipated, and found many ways to reflect our style and talents. Mark and I are both graphic design savvy, for instance, so we created & printed our Save-The-Dates, invitations, programs, place cards and all other wedding signage ourselves.
Antiquing is a passion in my family. Every time I come home to Arkansas, my mother and I scour area junk shops for oil lanterns with hurricanes, antique medicine bottles, and authentic vintage mercury glass. I showcased some of our finds for the reception, and ended up following some online tutorials and creating additional mercury glass votives and vases.
Our wedding favor was a small jar of home-infused mint & blueberry tequila (Combine 4 cups tequila, preferably 100% agave, 2 cups blueberries, and 1/4 cup mint in a sealed container for 4-7 days, then strain). I made something similar as a gift for Mark on our first Valentine’s Day, and home-infusing has since become a bit of a shared passion. We infused & bottled it over the space of a few weeks, assembly line-style, in my kitchen. A caravan of friends driving to the wedding transported the bottles from Philadelphia to Arkansas for us.
Choosing vendors off the internet was a bit challenging, but easier than it could’ve been in the age of video chat and peer-reviews. We went with less traditional retailers for our wedding party’s attire and were pleased with the overall ease and quality. And we hit the jackpot with our photographer, Kinsey Mhire, whom we met in person for the first time on the morning of our wedding!
I found all the tropes and hackneyed sayings people spout about your wedding day to be maddeningly true. It does go fast, you won’t get to spend the quality time with each guest that you might like to, and definitely don’t forget to eat. I woke up early, made some coffee and spent some quiet time on the porch by myself, praying and reflecting about the solemnity of our vows and what lay ahead. I’ll repeat some more tropes and say that the day winds up being special not because of the details you have planned, but because it seals you & your beloved in a covenant.
Photographer's Website : Kinsey Mhire | Nupital Mass or Engagement Location: St. Elizabeth of Hungary Catholic Church | Wedding Reception Venue : The Crescent 1886 Hotel | Rings: Marisa Perry Atelier | Wedding Dress: David’s Bridal | Bridesmaids Dresses: Azazie | Groomsmen’s Suits: The Black Tux | Music: Twin Lakes Radio | Ceremony Music: The Gregorian Schola of St. Joseph Parish | Donuts / Cake: Rick’s Bakery | Day-Of-Coordinator: The Vintage Soul | Invitations & Stationary: Created by the Bride www.emmadallman.com