New Hampshire Destination WeddingWords by Katie Martin
Photos courtesy of Anne Molnar Photography
When in search of a destination wedding location, picking a place that means a great deal to you is important, which is exactly what Jaime and Tyler thought when deciding on where to have their wedding. They knew they wanted a place they would return to often, so they chose to say “I do” in Alton Bay by having a New Hampshire destination wedding.
The couple chose the location for many reasons, including the fact that the bride grew up there. “Alton Bay holds special sentiments,” said the bride. “In a way, having the wedding at the Alton Bay Christian Conference Center was a homecoming for my whole side of the family.” The location even offered beautiful views for the couple’s wedding day. The ceremony would take place in the woods and the reception would be in a field with a view of Lake Winnipesaukee, the largest lake in New Hampshire. “After moving away to Ohio for a few years, the wedding was a chance to get the family back together and start off our marriage in such a special place.”
The couple lives in Ohio, but having a wedding there would not have been their ideal choice, as many of their family members live far away and it wouldn’t be the destination wedding that they envisioned. “A wedding in Ohio would have been ‘standard’ to us, rather than allowing for our unique rustic DIY vision,” says Jaime. “We most likely would have been married inside if it had been in Ohio, yet in New Hampshire we were able to be outside and getting married in the woods has always been my lifelong dream! On top of that, we were able to take portraits on the side of a mountain and I don’t think it gets much more incredible than that!”
It didn’t take much convincing for the couple’s family to be on board with a destination wedding in Alton Bay, but the couple did face one hurdle: guest accommodations. “Our largest hurdle was making sure we could provide accommodations for everyone,” says the bride. “The conference center made the issue extremely easy to overcome by already having a hotel and cottages available for our guests to stay.” This provided guests the space needed for the wedding and gave the couple an opportunity to spend more time together with family and friends before their big day.
To prepare for the couple's special day, it took a lot of work because the wedding was all do-it-yourself. “I pursued projects I knew would highlight the skills of my wedding party and guests,” says Jaime. “I ordered our flowers in bulk from Blooms By The Box and put the bouquets together with some help. The groom’s family found all of the mismatched china for our reception at thrift shops and auctions, which I enjoyed putting together with my bridesmaids and mother-in-law. My brother-in-law handmade the wooden boxes for our centerpieces and my mom and I went thrift shopping for all the glass bottles that sat in each box.”
In addition to planning their DIY wedding, the couple relied on several websites to make sure everything ran smoothly. “I mainly used WeddingWire.com to plan everything myself,” says the bride. “There are helpful tools such as vendor searches, guest list organization and seating charts. I was also able to make a wedding website where all my guests could RSVP.”
Having a DIY destination wedding made everything easier for the couple. “We feel as though we spent less money by choosing a destination wedding because we were able to execute so many DIY projects and focus on what really mattered most to us – getting married and celebrating with friends,” says Jaime. “In choosing a destination wedding, we were less likely to get caught up in all the details we could of at home. We had to get creative because we were limited with traveling space and more details meant more coordinating. Overall, having a destination wedding helped us prioritize the details of the wedding, stay on budget and do the things we chose to spend our money on very well.”
The couple’s wedding day finally arrived and was an unforgettable experience for the couple because their vision of a rustic wedding came true and it was truly beautiful. “Parts of my wedding that were just a dream, really did come true!” says the bride. Their wedding also gave the couple the sentimental value of returning to the bride’s childhood hometown and gave them the opportunity to enjoy the beauty of New England for an exciting weekend with family and friends.
As a piece of advice for couples deciding to have a destination wedding like Jaime and Tyler’s, they say to “let go of the small details and hold onto the real reason for the day.”
Vendors: Photographer: Anne Molnar Photography, Ceremony/Reception: Alton Bay Christian Conference Center, Florist: Blooms By The Box, Stationery: Vista Print, Hair and Makeup: Ingrid Cary Hair and Makeup, Gown Designer: Maggie Sottero, Groom’s Clothing Designer: Joseph Abboud, Bridesmaids/Groomsmen’s Clothing Designer: Donna Morgan
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