Make it Meaningful

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This past weekend I attended a wedding in the Poconos. The pristine lakeside setting couldn't have been more serene--or meaningful. The bride's family home, located in a private community of cabins nestled into a thick forest of pines, has been their summer retreat for 80 years (her grandparents honeymooned there in 1947!). Rich history aside, there was no better place for this athletic, outdoorsy pair to marry. They simply love it in the Poconos so I wasn't surprised that the wooded setting tied everything together: postcards with images of the scenic lake served as save-the-dates, ferns adorned the invites, hors d'oeuvres were displayed on sections of a tree trunk and a pine tree logo spruced up the welcome notes and itineraries.

All of this, however, took a backseat to the real focus of the day: the bride and groom. My fiance and I were impressed by how every element was an effortless reflection of them, especially their lakefront ceremony. Services steeped in tradition can be moving and deeply significant, too, but I've never witnessed a ceremony as personal as this. There was no bridal party or string trio or talk of religion. The couple walked in together and out together. The bride's cousin and groom's sister each read a poem and the officiant talked about the words they use to describe each other. They vowed to love when it came easy and when it was a struggle. For them, the moment was perfect, just as it should be for every bride and groom. —Michaela Garibaldi, assistant managing editor, Modern Bride

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