Meet Suzanne and James, college sweethearts saying “I Do” at Duke Chapel and Bay 7 in Durham, North Carolina this summer. This Lilly Pulitzer, Kate Spade loving Bride to be and her easy going fiance are planning what is sure to be a fabulous weekend for their friends and family full of color, beautiful blooms and geometric shapes! To help pass the time as we count down the days until their summer wedding, we thought we’d share a few images from their downtown Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania park engagement session. We hope you enjoy these images by Brittany Hursen as much as we do!
How did James propose?
Some of my friends reserved a cabin in New Hampshire for the Fourth of July. With my crazy job, I just don’t have or make time to unplug and spend time outdoors, even though I love it. Since I had the long weekend off and was turning 26, it seemed like a perfect opportunity to spend some time in the New Hampshire wilderness. James was coming to visit me that weekend, so he conveniently booked a room at an Inn halfway between Boston and the cabin. He surprised me with a spa treatment and room service out on a private patio. As he presented me my birthday present, he popped the question. I obviously said yes!
So far, what aspect of planning the wedding has been the most enjoyable?
Despite loving Disney and Hollywood rom coms, I am not a dreamer and do not have my head in the clouds about a fairytale wedding. I am very practical, and I am all about efficiency and cost effectiveness. So, to my surprise, my favorite part about wedding planning has been the design! I feel like Kelley Ann has known me for years – she really knocked the vision board out of the park! I also really appreciate that Kelley Ann has been very supportive and creative in trying to find ways to make the original vision come to life while staying in budget.
Do you have any advice for recently engaged brides to help them stay stress-free throughout the planning process?
I highly recommend a wedding planner. When I originally looked at the list of to-do’s for a wedding, I totally thought I could handle it alone. Venue, cake, food, music, photography – done! Little did I know that there are so many details involved around each major line item. Kelley Ann has been able to walk me through the planning process at my own pace and accommodates my busy schedule; but she is also good at putting a little fire under my butt for when I need to make a decision quickly before a vendor or reception venue books up. In retrospect, it’s funny that I thought I could do this alone.
What are you most excited about for the day of the wedding?
I’m so excited to marry James. No backsies! I also am really excited to have all my family and friends in one place!
What are three words to describe the feel of your upcoming wedding?
Fun, joyful, bright – I feel like I am describing Christmas, just need to add “merry”
What made you decide to hire a planner?
The four main reasons were (1) we live out of town; (2) we are both busy with work and school; (3) our parents are not interested in wedding planning; and (4) my mom was convinced the vendor discounts through a wedding planner would cover the wedding planner fee. All of those reasons are very pragmatic. An added reason that I did not think about initially, albeit an obvious reason, is that Kelley Ann is a wedding planning pro. Not only does she know the local vendors (and sometimes gets a discount) but also knows what to do, when to do it, how much it costs, and is a wonderful, fun person to work with!