From a somewhat rough start to a news-worthy proposal to breathtaking nuptials at Glen Manor House in Portsmouth, this couple’s love story is one for the ages. And for those who didn’t have the pleasure of keeping up with Alana’s wedding planning antics during her Aisle Say blogging days, you can catch up here — just make sure to bookmark this page so you can come back and see how it all played out!
What were you favorite and least favorite parts of planning? Did you already have a theme in mind going in?
Alana: My favorite part of planning was seeing how committed each vendor was to MY wedding. It made me feel so special. I know they have dozens and dozens of clients per year, but to see them put so much effort and thought into our wedding was amazing. My least favorite part of planning was making decisions. I hate decisions no matter how big or small — from picking ice cream flavors to picking a wedding venue. Saying yes to Ryan was the only easy decision I’ve ever made 😉.
As for a theme, I didn’t have one going in, and I never really developed one. All I knew was I wanted my wedding to have a laid back, non-traditional vibe. And I didn’t want any color besides white, blush and gold. From there, the aesthetic grew. That’s where people like Pamela and most of my other vendors came in handy; they know what looks good, and what doesn’t.
Did you run into any issues while planning? If so, how did you overcome them?
Alana: Well, the issue that I ran into — and most couples probably run into — is that everything has a price tag. And that price tag is way more than I anticipated. Luckily, I came across several “nice-to-haves” that I could easily cut, including favors, a wedding cake and a photo booth. (Disclaimer: we still had a wedding cake, but it was small, solely for picture-taking purposes and for me and Ryan to eat, so it was much smaller and therefore less expensive.) (Disclaimer 2: It was mostly just me that ate it. I ate my bite, and then half of Ryan’s bite, and then went back for seconds.)
How did you come across Mel Colvin for your photographer?
Alana: Ryan chose Mel as the photographer for our proposal. I owe him all the credit. He found her based on recommendations from friends and I’m SO happy we found her. She went along with all of our (my) crazy requests.
What drew you to Glen Manor?
Alana: The Glen was exactly what Ryan and I didn’t want — we actually wanted a backyard wedding. When we quickly realized that no one we knew had a backyard big enough for our guests, we chose a couple of random venues in the area to look at. When we drove up to the Glen, it looked like the castle from Beauty & the Beast, and we instantly fell in love. It is beautiful and elegant, yet in an understated way. It worked well for the dinner station set-up we wanted. It had a perfect balance of indoor and outdoor space. The water view, the gardens — it had everything you could want in a Rhode Island wedding.
Did you do a first look? Why or why not?
Alana: We did not. Mostly because we wanted to have that traditional first-look moment while I was walking down the aisle. It felt more special that way, for us anyways.
What was your first dance song?
Alana: “Then” by Brad Paisley. We both love country, and this song made a lot of sense to us from the moment we heard it together. We’re cheesy like that.
If you had to narrow it down, what would you say were each of your favorite moments from that day?
Alana: My favorite moment was dancing at the end of the night. We had already ate, drank, mingled, taken pictures and at that point, it was US time. At the end of the day, that’s what a wedding is for, right? As for Ryan, I hope that ‘Steve’ the Deer was his favorite, but I will ask him. (‘Steve’ is the name of his deer head — he’s from Foster — that he hangs proudly on our living room wall. As a wedding day surprise, I had Exquisite Events build a special stand behind one of the bars so that Steve could be a part of our wedding day.) Update: I asked Ryan, and he says his favorite part of the night was when I stole his bite of wedding cake. I’m not sure why that’s his favorite part, but whatever.
Do you have any advice for recently engaged couples?
Alana: My advice would be to look at venues and consider ideas OUTSIDE of your comfort zone. Your wedding day is a decision you want to be sure about, and you don’t want to ever look back and wonder, ‘what if?’, whether it’s about different venues or styles or whatever. Also, don’t lose sight of what’s important or not important to you as a couple. Don’t care about how fancy your invitations are? Then order more simple, and maybe cheaper, invitations. Don’t want your guests to worry about sitting at a table with people they don’t know? Go with an open seating plan. There are solutions and options for EVERYTHING!
And finally, how’s married life treating you so far?
Alana: Married life is great. Honestly, it doesn’t feel all that different, except for the whole “new last name” thing. But warning: you will be SO SAD when your big day is over. We were! Even our families were! It is THE best day ever, and we didn’t want to believe it was over. If you’re not going on your honeymoon right away, maybe plan a couple of days that you can have fun, whether it’s with friends and family or just the two of you.
Photography: Mel Colvin Photography // Ceremony & Reception: Glen Manor House // Officiant: Judge Lisa Bortolotti // Catering & Desserts: Russell Morin Catering & Events // Wedding Planner: Pamela D’Orsi Ryan // Hair: Salon KG // Makeup: Sarah Depault Beauty // Bride’s Dress: Essense of Australia, Alexandra’s Boutique in Fall River, MA // Bride’s Hairpiece: Etsy // Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Top: Eliza J, Skirt: Etsy // Groom’s & Groomsmen Formalwear: Carl Anthony Tuxedos // Florals: Farrissey Floral Design // Reception music: PartyGirl // Transportation: Fisher Bus // Rentals: Peak Event Services; Exquisite Events // Stationery: Zazzle // Signage: Nancy Galligan Calligraphy; Scribe Calligraphy // Videographer: JF3 Productions // Valet: Perfection Valet Parking