Leave it to Mom to really have your best interests at heart. Meghan O'Neill, 29, and Aidan Kelly, 30, went to junior high together, then parted ways as high school, college, and life took them in different directions. 12 years later, Meghan's mom started pestering her about going on a date with Aidan. It took a full year before Meghan conceded. "She called him immediately to let him know he'd be taking me out that night at 7," Meghan remembers. Aidan showed up, took Meghan out, and they've been together ever since.
In May of 2012, Aidan surprised Meghan with a proposal in a secluded park, captured by a photographer who did an engagement session for them right then and there. Aidan asked Meghan to keep the engagement a secret for a few days so they could enjoy it, then took her to dinner to celebrate. At the restaurant was yet another surprise — their families and best friends were waiting to celebrate!
The couple spent the next ten months planning an outdoor wedding at The Orchard at Caney Creek, infusing the celebration with lots of DIY details and playful colors, and Jackie Ray Photography captured it all. Read on to see how Aidan and Meghan's March 23rd, 2013, wedding came together!
Meghan wore an ivory strapless Jim Hjelm dress with a beaded bodice and flowing skirt. "I'd gone into the store to try on a different dress, and pulled this one off the rack just because I thought it was pretty," she says. "The second I put it on, I knew it was the one!"
Meghan went non-traditional with her accessories, opting for a birdcage veil to show off the dress's details. The most important accessory was her shoes, silver-and-gold Giuseppe Zanotti sandals with Kelly green feathers at the toe. "I married a Kelly, so I had to have Kelly green somewhere!" says Meghan.
The bride's bouquet was inspired by a photo she saw on Pinterest. Her florist mixed ranunculus, peonies, poppies, dahlias, garden roses, and succulents in pinks, oranges, yellows and cream. Her bridesmaids carried bouquets of peonies inspired by the flowers from Drew Barrymore's wedding. They wore mint green organza dresses from J.Crew in the style of their choice.
Aidan wore a gray suit with a multicolored tie that Meghan had purchased while they were dating. "I bought it knowing he'd wear it at our wedding," she says. His boutonniere was a succulent with two orange ranunculus buds.
The groomsmen also wore gray suits, pairing them with colorful ties that Meghan had purchased along with Aidan's.
The ceremony took place in the orchard, surrounded by beautiful old trees. The aisle was lined with modern, bright arrangements of succulents, dahlias, poppies, and peonies.
Meghan's father walked her down the aisle.
The couple set up a low stage for their vows, to provide guests with a better view.
To keep it simple, Meghan and Aidan skipped ceremony musicians in favor of an iPod with a few songs on it.
The bride and groom paused for portraits before the reception. "The morning of the wedding was nerve-racking," says Meghan, "but it all went away the second I saw Aidan."
Guests were seated at three long tables beneath a white tent. Centerpieces featured succulents, single blossoms, and candles in mismatched glass vessels.
Meghan arranged all the centerpieces herself. "I loved the aqua mason jars," she says. "They added some fun color to the combination of vintage and modern glassware."
Guests had a choice between beef filet and a bone-in pork chop. "The pork was my favorite," says Meghan, who chose it to offer something different from a standard wedding menu. The specialty cocktail? Long Island Iced Tea!
Meghan and Aidan's wedding cake comes with a great money-saving tip. The cake was faux, except for a single tier for the couple to cut, and guests were served cake from a sheet cake kept in the back. The white tiers were decorated with gold fondant and fresh succulents.
For favors, Meghan made plantable paper with poppy, wildflower, and cosmo seeds in stamped fabric bags.
Guests were also given monogrammed bags of confetti to toss as the bride and groom made their exit at the end of the night.
Meghan and Aidan shared their first dance to "Let's Stay Together" by Al Green before having a joint mother-son and father-daughter dance and boogieing with their guests. They honeymooned in Puerto Rico, then came home to a new (furry) addition to their family: a puppy!
Meghan's advice is to take your time with planning. "Interview several people for each job," says Meghan, "instead of booking the very first person you talk to—unless you fall in love!"
Ceremony & Reception Venue: The Orchard at Caney Creek || Bride's Wedding Dress: Jim Hjelm, from Brickhouse Bridal || Shoes: Giuseppe Zanotti || Jewelry: Swarovski || Bridesmaids' Dresses: J.Crew || Groom & Groomsmen's Suit: Men's Wearhouse || Engagement Ring: Groom's great-grandmother || Florist: Arteflora || Invitations: Fig. 2 Design Studio || Music: DjCduxion || Catering: The Orchard at Caney Creek, Hasta la Pasta || Cake: Cakes by Gina || Rentals: Swift + Company || Photo Booth: Pure Photobooths || Photography: Jackie Ray Photography