"A stór mo chroí." A gaelic phrase that was embroidered by Cassie's mother on their hand-fasting ribbons. "It translates to 'treasure of my heart,' which is what Sam calls me all the time," Cassie explained. Hand-fasting is a tradition in Irish weddings and a literal "tying the knot." It was only fitting that Sam and Cassie chose to include a hand-fasting ritual in their marriage ceremony, as Ireland holds a special place in their hearts after they were engaged there. Cassie expounded, "Each ribbon represents things we value in our marriage. One is for love, one for laughter, one for friendship, and one for loyalty."
Before their ceremony, Sam and Cassie chose an intimate first look on the lawn. Golden noon light filtered through the trees around them, and though it was a hot day, a cool breeze from the nearby lake whirled through the trees and around the lawn to offer an escape from the August heat. Cassie gracefully walked up to Sam and hugged him from behind, something that she always does with him at home. When Sam turned around to see his Bride they both became all smiles and laughter. Sam wrapped her up in a hug, and when they parted Cassie held out her hands and presented Sam with a gift. It was a tie tack inscribed with the gaelic translation of "my heart" and filled with sand from a beach in Sligo, Ireland. After Cassie pinned on his tack, Cassie told me the story of how she brought the sand for Sam's gift back to the US:
"We were walking along the beach and I knelt to scoop up some sand to take back with me to the states. I remember Sam telling me that I was stealing Ireland's land. Shortly after he made this remark, a sweet local lady walked by and said, 'Let her take it; we won't miss it.' It was totally worth being stopped by customs on the way back to the US to make him this gift."
Their ceremony was filled with joy, laughter, and happy tears as Sam and Cassie exchanged handwritten vows and tied the knot during their hand-fasting. They chose an unplugged ceremony and their guests were fully tuned into the moment that they promised forever to one another. As a fun way to celebrate the new nuptials, the newlyweds walked through a path of bubbles surrounded by their loving friends and family (and as you'll see, it was pure magic!).
Cassie's "something old" was her late grandmother's ring box. The brilliant purple velvet complimented the color scheme for the day perfectly.
To end their wonderful day, Sam and Cassie chose to have a short Bride and Groom portrait session at sunset on the lake. The sun was all low and pink and gold and the sky cast lavender hues over the lake behind them. I was mesmerized by the way the wind continually picked up Cassie's veil at all the right times. These lovely moments will be coming soon (and all on film!).
There were several DIYs that filled this beautiful wedding day, including the embroidery on the hand-fasting ribbons (handiwork of Cassie's mother), the wood burned inscriptions in all the wooden decor (crafted by the Bride herself), and the floral touch to Cassie's veil (finished by her sweet mother).
Congratulations to the new Mr. and Mrs. Sutton! Bless your marriage!
Venue: Innsbrook Resort
Bridal Gown: Melissa Sweet with David's Bridal
Suits: Men's Wearhouse
Florist: A Moment of Grace Florist
Bridal Shoes: Keds by Kate Spade
Jeweler: Helzberg Diamonds and Shane Company
HAMU: Celeste Beauty Bar
Dinner and Bar Service: Innsbrook Resort
Cake and Sweets: J. Noto Bakery
Tie Tack: Peace and Paradise