Photo: Shawn Connell of Christian Oth Studio
Though Sarah, 31, and Shawn, 32, both grew up outside of Pittsburgh, they didn't meet until they were in their late 20s. Once they found each other, though, they knew that it was meant to be and got engaged–on a boat in the Bahamas at sunset–after less than a year of dating. The couple dreamed of an outdoor wedding under the stars, but knew that the early summer weather in Pittsburgh could be unpredictable, so they hosted their wedding in a tent and hired an amazing florist to help bring the outdoors in. Lush centerpieces, hanging star lanterns, and a chandelier made of branches, blossoms, and moss transformed the tent into an enchanted garden.
Here are five tips from this couple's romantic fairytale wedding:
Shawn didn't want to see Sarah until the moment she walked down the aisle, so the couple took photos during cocktail hour. "It made timing more complicated, but it was important to him," says Sarah.
Sarah loved her voluminous, dramatic Oscar de la Renta ball gown, but "it felt too heavy and dramatic to wear all night long," she says. So she changed into a short Monique Lhuillier dress for the reception. Perfect for dancing!
Get Bling on a Budget
Sarah turned to Adorn.com to rent jewelry for both the rehearsal dinner and the wedding.
Find a Quiet Moment
After the ceremony, Shawn and Sarah took a private car to the reception. "It was our first chance to soak it all in together," says the bride.
Delegate, delegate, delegate!
The last few days before the wedding, Sarah decided that she was done making decisions. She passed any questions on to her planner, allowing Sarah to enjoy the time with her family and friends.
Check out Sarah and Shawn's wedding in the February/March 2014 issue of Brides (on newsstands now!).