JDE Brides: Nicole

I was referred to Nicole by a mutual friend back in 2013.  The first time I talked with her, I knew we'd get along great.  She was sweet and funny and easy-going....all while being THE most organized person I've ever met.  I love organization.  :)  I'm so happy I got to play a part in Steve & Nicole's big day.  It was a glorious, emotional, beautiful day.  Read on to get a glimpse of the day through Nicole's eyes and to see what advice she's passing along to future brides.

Who are you and who is your husband?  I am Nicole, my husband is Steve

How did you meet?  Steve and I officially met one evening in the Spring of 2010 at 501 City Grill. I was there for dinner with some girlfriends to celebrate one of their birthdays. A group of gentlemen walked in and out of them all, Steve caught my attention. We talked the night away and exchanged numbers, but nothing transpired immediately after. A few months later, I ran into him again but at another local establishment, Waterman’s. We’ve basically been inseparable since! Our rehearsal dinner was held in The Attic at Waterman’s and it was a neat way to share our story with family and friends that weekend.

How did he propose? Steve proposed in 2012. I call it the “year of the weddings” because between us both we attended a total of six weddings that year. Naturally, we began discussing our own future and wedding someday. On Friday, December 21st that year, we decided to exchange Christmas gifts early because as usual we were splitting our time between both families for the holiday. I opened a small wrapped box and found a card inside. It was a Hallmark singing card that played Hall & Oates, You Make My Dreams Come True (which on a side note, was the song we chose to dance to for our first dance at the wedding). He then asked me if I was ready for my real gift, went outside, and brought in...a beach cruiser bicycle!

The next morning, on December 22nd, we were getting ready to make a trip to the grocery store to prepare for holiday meals. I was literally still in my pajamas, when Steve walked up to me with another wrapped box and told me “you forgot a gift.” Puzzled, I sat on the couch and began opening the gift. Inside was another card, with a black and white image of a boy holding a bouquet of roses. Inside that card read one of the sweetest messages imagined, but more importantly asked one of the sweetest questions: Will you make another dream come true? After reading this, tears were streaming down my eyes of course, and that is when he knelt down and asked me to marry him!

Describe your wedding in 5 words:  Romantic, rustic, vintage, DIY (I count that as one word), and most importantly - FUN!

What was your favorite part of wedding planning? Together, one of our most favorite parts of wedding planning was the tasting and selecting the menu (because who doesn’t love being served a variety of delicious food to choose from?). But mainly, we got a chance to work together and we included food that represented each of us, from the petite Maryland style crab cakes, representing Steve’s family in Baltimore, to a mozzarella and tomato caprese, which incorporated my Italian heritage.

Some of my other favorites were dress shopping (of course!) and our engagement photo session. Our engagement session was definitely a blast. Our photographer is not only the best around but also super fun and it was great to get some practice in before our big day!

What was your least favorite part of wedding planning?  My least favorite part of wedding planning was trying to please everyone. It’s just flat out impossible. We stayed true to ourselves with our decisions and in the end everyone was extremely happy for us on our wedding day.

Where did you go on your honeymoon?  Antigua. We knew we wanted to stay at an all-inclusive resort because we wanted to fully relax after all of the work and effort that went into planning a wedding. We actually saw a commercial on TV for Sandals in Antigua, looked it up and fell in love with the resort and area. So, yes television advertising works haha!

Who were your vendors? 

Photographer: Andi Grant, Andi & Zoe Photography

Second Shooter: Brooke Tucker, Brooke Tucker Photography

Cocktail Hour Musician: Swell Luck

DJ: John “Rab” Rabulan

Vintage Rentals: Bluebird's Garage

Dress: Pure English
Invitations: Minted

Wedding Coordinator/Planner: YOU! :)

If you could do one thing differently, what would it be?  Ask for help. I am terrible at asking for help and maybe it’s because I am an only child and have been pretty much independent for so long. It wasn’t until the Friday before, that I realized I signed myself up to do too much, but luckily I had incredible support that day. Steve, my mom, and Maid of Honor all came through and pitched in to help pull many of the last minute items together. I just wish I had asked sooner so that I wasn’t stressing out to get things done so close to the wedding day.

Do you have any advice for future brides? 
Focus on the love you have for each other. That’s what this event is about after all! It’s easy to overlook this major part, with all of the many details that go into planning a wedding (and there are a lot!), but it is so important to keep in mind throughout the entire engagement/wedding planning process and especially important on the day of. That love will really shine (especially in your pictures) and outweigh anything throughout the day because let’s face it, you can expect that not everything will go exactly according to plan on the day of. But as long as you have each other, any little detail that is not perfect will seem perfect anyway.

Photos courtesy of Andi & Zoe Photography

Vendor Spotlight - Jenn Cakes-A-Lot

Jennifer Williams created the incredible cake for Steve & Nicole's wedding at the Cavalier Golf & Yacht Club. The cake {and accompanying cupcakes} were a huge hit!  Not only were they beautiful and absolutely perfect for the feel of the wedding, but alllll the guests raved about how delicious it all was!  Check out her site, read on and learn a bit more about her company, and then....do yourself a favor and order a cake from her.  I can PROMISE....you won't be disappointed.

How long have you been operating?  If you count peddling my goods from my easy bake oven at 6 years old, I’ve been operating Jenn Cakes-A-Lot for over 25 years. However, I didn’t start taking it seriously until about 3 years ago. I started making more elaborate birthday cakes for my boyfriend’s two kids, and before I knew it people were asking to pay me for my work. It was then that I decided perhaps this wasn’t just a hobby, and something I should take a little more seriously.

What areas do you serve?  I’ll serve anywhere that can receive my baked goodies without them crumpling into a pile of sugar and butter! This is a greater feat in the summer heat than in the winter. I actually chatted with someone I met at a conference in Seattle about how I might start shipping certain things. That said, generally I serve Hampton Roads, and should delivery be required I may charge a little extra for it depending on how far I need to go.

I used to watch the cake shows on Food Network and think the drama over delivering cakes was ridiculous. If anyone has seen them you will know what I mean. Now that I have to deliver my own cakes, I can verify that this is without question the most stressful part of the whole process. You just don’t realize how much force is applied when coming to even a slow stop in a vehicle!

What services do you offer?  I love making cakes for any occasion, be that birthdays, baby showers, weddings, bridal showers or retirements. I also make cupcakes, and cake pops and I’ve even been known to do cookies. I can make them themed or decorated or I can focus on flavor. Whichever best suits your needs.

How would you describe your "style"?  There is nothing wrong with traditional almond cake with simple white icing, and I’m happy to accommodate the traditionalists. However, I like making new traditions. I think a cake with a simple clean design and pops of color can make a bigger statement than one that is intricate and traditional.

What's the most memorable event you've ever worked?  I have had many! First let me say that while I love making cakes and cupcakes and other sweet treats, the best part is getting to be a part of really big events in people’s lives. A cake is an integral part of most celebrations. We blow out candles to them and share our first moments as husband and wife with them. All of this gets commemorated in pictures that we will look back on for years to come.

I created a five tier cake for the retirement of an Episcopal Priest. He’d been with his congregation for so many years and was so loved. I created a beach themed cake for my best friend’s wedding. Recently I created a three tier sesame street cake for someone turning three years old. When I delivered the cake and he saw it, he walked over, stared up at it with wonder, and said “It’s Elmo… and its cake!” It was as if his two favorite things had been combined and it was magic.

What are your favorite types of events to work?  Of course I love working weddings. While they are the most work, they are also probably the most rewarding. That said, kids events are fun too, and allow me to create some really fun themed cakes and cupcakes.

Who are your favorite vendors/venues to work with/at?  I’ve had good experiences with both the Lesner Inn and Williamsburg Winery. The goal, I think, is to find a venue with people running it that seem to genuinely care that your event is going to go off without a hitch. The rest can be worked out.

Any advice for brides trying to choose a baker?  I think it’s important when doing business with anyone that you look for someone who is a professional. If they call you back in a timely manner, and answer all of your questions in a detailed fashion, you know they are going to fulfill their commitment to you on time and with all of the details covered. This way you can just sit back and enjoy your event knowing that everything is going to be taken care of! 

Steve & Nicole

This wedding definitely goes down in my top five.  Steve & Nicole were such an incredibly fun couple to work with.  Nicole was easily one of the most organized brides I've ever met, which made my job of coordinating the wedding as simple as it could be.  Steve was so laid back the entire day.  They were just so happy to be marrying each other....everything else was just a bonus for them!

One of the highlights of the whole night for me was the dancing.  It's not often that you go to a wedding and see the dance floor taken over by the groom and all his groomsmen, instead of the bride and her maids!  It was so entertaining watching the guys show off their moves all night.

Another highlight of this wedding was that it gave me the opportunity to work with some amazing vendors that I hadn't had the pleasure of working with before.  I'll admit to being a little starstruck when I found out that Nicole had chosen Andi Grant of Andi & Zoe Photography to capture her day.  I've spoken to Andi & emailed with her probably a dozen times over the past few years, but never actually had the chance to meet her.  And now, here I was, working side by side with her.  It was AWESOME!  Be sure to check out her blog post for more incredible images from the day.  Meanwhile, here are a few of my favorites!

Congratulations Steve & Nicole!  Thank you for letting me be a part of your day!

Ceremony Venue: Star of the Sea Catholic Church
Reception Venue: Cavalier Golf & Yacht Club
Photographer: Andi & Zoe Photographers
Second Shooter: Brooke Tucker Photography
Rentals: Bluebird's Garage
Cake: Jenn Cakes-A-Lot
DJ: John "Rab" Rabulan
Florist: Trellis & Bloom
Cocktail Hour Musician: Swell Luck
Invitations: Minted
Dress: Pure English

Also, a big huge thank you to my friend Abby for being my right hand for the day.  I love you to pieces!