In May of 2017, Taylor super liked me on Tinder, and I figured I owed the guy in a giraffe onesie and a hiking hobby a shot, so I swiped right too. We chatted for a week before I invited him to join me on my Saturday hiking plans. When I picked him up outside his apartment building, he had toys and treats for my two dogs, immediately winning some brownie points. I had three small mountains planned for the day; I drove, Taylor provided the soundtrack, and quickly realized by “do you want to go hiking” I actually meant hiking.
I wouldn’t say it was love at first sight, but I do know that I remember every step of our first moments together, what he was wearing, and all my first impressions. And I knew I had found someone truly special, who was willing to ride out my overly ambitious plans and trek through endless miles and mountains in the woods just to spend the day with me. From that first day, before we even admitted it to ourselves, we were all in.
A year after we started dating, Taylor bought his first home, with the intention of it being a foundation for our future and invited me to live with him a month later.
A few weeks into the 2020 lockdown, Taylor came home on his lunch break and asked, “So when are we going to go pick out your engagement ring?” Pajama-clad and enjoying a lunchtime glass of wine, as one did in the early days of covid, I jumped up and said, “Let me put on my shoes!”.
6 months later, as Taylor, my brother, and I watched the sunset from the summit of Mt. Jo, Taylor asked me to be his partner for life and we celebrated my “YES”, with a bottle of champagne.
The Venue: Brown’s Revolution Hall – Troy, NY – @brownsrevolutionhall
Revolution Hall snuck up on us, catching us by surprise! Taylor and I fell in love exploring the wilderness, got engaged in the mountains, and the plan all along was to have a weekend escape at an Adirondack lodge, beginning married life together somewhere in the woods. We had viewed several of these style venues, fallen in love with some aspects, and realized we definitely did not want others but had yet to fall in love with the entire package. We started thinking about what else overlapped with our love for the outdoors and quickly agreed that our other love was beer. What do you look for after emerging from a long stint in the woods? Good beer and hot food. Leading us right to Brown’s Brewing and their industrialist chic Revolution Hall! We toured the venue on a Saturday morning and by the time we arrived home, we both knew we had found the place.
The Photographer: Hannah Lux Photography – @hannahlux.photography
Photography was my top priority when we were lining up our vendors. I fell in love with photography as a teenager and was blessed to attend a high school that offered a photography program. It was in that program that I met Hannah and because of that program, I was certain that photography was not just Hannah’s career but a passion – something she loved to her core – and that showed in her work. Thanks to social media, I had been following Hannah’s photography career and knew before Taylor had proposed that Hannah was who I wanted to shoot our wedding. She is the most gentle and disarming soul and really helps you to enjoy the moment while she captures it. Her photo style is clean and crisp and her use of backlighting really makes her couples glow. Literally.
We love Hannah and have used her multiple times! She shot our engagement photos as well as a family photo shoot we gifted my mom for Mother’s Day a couple of years ago.
The Dress: Something Bleu Bridal – Saratoga Springs, NY – @somethingbleubridal
I have a theory that you will know you’ve found the dress based on the length of time you spent looking at it in the mirror and how badly you don’t want to take it off.
The entire engagement period and wedding process is one big, exciting blur of emotions, decisions, and events happening in rapid succession. After everything had come to pass, I found there were certain moments along the journey where time slowed down and a precious memory was formed. One of those moments happened when I stepped into my wedding gown for the first time. Something Bleu was the final boutique on my list, I had visited the others, tried on dozens of dresses, and even had a gown on hold, but I had a feeling that I needed to keep this appointment. We picked out a dozen more dresses to try on, each was gorgeous, but the very last one made time slow down. There was just something about it. I had found her. The dress I wanted to stand in front of a mirror in for a vain period of time and never take off. Standing in my wedding dress was the first time everything sank in. I had found my love, we had formed a beautiful partnership, and we were getting married!!
The Blooms: Poppy Tree Floral – @poppytreefloral
I felt pretty confident going into conversations with most of our vendors. When it came time to find a florist, I was bewildered. I had no idea where to start, what was needed, or how to find those things out. Our venue provided us with a list of preferred vendors, and I took that list of florists straight to Instagram to see what their body of work looked like. Poppy Tree was the 3rd or 4th page I looked at and the first and only one that blew me away. Melissa wasn’t just putting arrangements and bouquets out there. She was transforming the landscape of her events, creating a secret garden atmosphere and completely individualized pieces for all her brides. I was in love before we even spoke. When we did connect, she walked me through every possible option and placement you could dream of having flowers. I knew simply by the time she spent with me and how quickly she created detailed proposals with specific flowers and color shades that I could trust her to let her artistry run wild, she would give me the most beautiful blooms, and they would all be uniquely me.
The Tunes: Maddalone Entertainment – Saratoga Springs, NY – @maddalone.entertainment
Nick was so fun! He encouraged us to go with our gut on our music choices, not overthink how to please the crowd and did a really amazing job catching our vibe and rolling with it throughout the night. He brought personality and energy to everything and did an amazing job controlling the room and helping us stick to our timeline. Our guests danced all night long and the dance floor was full when the last song of the night played. We had so many compliments on Nick’s performance and still, months after, have friends saying he was the best they’ve seen!
The Planner: A Lively Event – East Coast Wedding Planner – @alivelyevent
We knew that, as a self-proclaimed lunatic in need of control, we needed to find someone I could trust to take charge of our wedding day. Someone to tell me when and where I needed to be and handle problems before I knew they existed. Friends recommended A Lively Event and before our consultation phone call with Katie was over, she had already made me feel like we were in the most capable hands and booked us with our top choice DJ. We booked A Lively Event for their month of coordination package. Katie guided us through the last 6-weeks pre-wedding, handling our timelines, coordinating with all the vendors, and making sure everything and everyone was in place. She even talked me off my perfectionist ledge more than a few times. Our wedding day was flawless, and I wholly attribute that to the excellence of A Lively Event.
Beauty: Make Me Fab & Alayne Curtiss Bridal beauty
I knew I wanted to have a flawless face for our engagement photos since I intended them to double as our Save the Date cards. After a quick Google search for hair and makeup appointments in Saratoga, Make Me Fabulous was the first place with an available appointment! At the time, I had no idea what a fortunate stroke of serendipity this was. I’d never had my makeup professionally done before. I had NO idea what to expect or be prepared for, and I definitely was not prepared to walk into the salon and have them greet me like I was a returning customer they knew by name and were so excited to see again. Alayne put me in the makeup chair, went to work, and made me look and feel like a rare beauty. After forty-five minutes with Alayne, I knew she and her team were who I wanted to do hair and makeup on our wedding day. I had a unique bridal party, made up of my mom, my two aunts, and my best friend, ranging in age from 29 to 73! We have wide-ranging tastes in hair and makeup styles and high standards, so I knew that we would need a team of artists that would please the group and make everyone feel their best and most beautiful. Alayne and Kendra were just the women and left every one of us feeling comfortable and looking stunning with hairstyles that would withstand a night full of dancing and flawless makeup that held up under hugs, sweat, and tears!
The Day: October 22, 2022 – Troy, NY
The morning of the wedding every member of the wedding party was moving slowly and searching for caffeine, carbs, and ibuprofen. We had SO much fun at our rehearsal dinner! The guys were able to sleep in, not meeting in the hotel suite until 11:30 am. The ladies were due at The Nest (the dreamiest loft above Revolution Hall) by 7:45 am, and thankfully the attire was pajamas and bathrobes. We traded off turns on the couches and in the makeup chairs, pounding Liquid IVs, and miraculously we were all rallied and ready for round two by 1:00 pm. It was time for the first look and formal photos.
I had two first looks on our wedding day. The initial first look was with my dad, right after I was officially an aisle-ready bride. I was surprised at how nervous I was for this one! I think it was the culmination of all the anticipation, the jitters of leaving the bridal suite, and the true beginning of the wedding. In hindsight, this private moment between my dad and I felt like the true close to my youth. A final goodbye to my girlhood and formative years. The guiding to and ushering in the next and best phase of my life. After that moment with my dad, I was solid, I was ready to climb the stairs (literally, so many stairs!) to the first look with my groom and at the rest of our lives!
Taylor and I felt so strongly that we wanted to have that special intimate moment on our wedding day. It really grounded us and washed away all the nerves and anticipation that had built during our morning apart. It was an exhale of the breath we had been holding all day. We were ready.
I had been so nervous to stand before 100 people and share words intended solely for one but when my dad handed me off (with a hug and a kiss for me, a slap on the butt, and a “Go get ‘em” for Taylor) the room melted away. From the moment our officiant, a close friend from Taylor’s college years, began to speak, tears leaked down my cheeks, and I thought, finally, I have found my home.
Since we had done a first look and formal photos before the wedding, we walked back down the aisle, husband and wife, and directly into cocktail hour and celebrations with our guests. From there, it was all smiles, drinks, hugs, and dancing. The most wonderful blur of love and happiness.
The Honeymoon(s): Florida and Cancun, Mexico
A couple of days after our wedding Taylor and I took our first honeymoon down to my family home in Florida. We spent our days napping and strolling the beach town, talking about, and reliving our wedding day and recovering from all the fun! It was the perfect place to wind down and transition into post-wedding life.
For our big honeymoon, Taylor and I (and one of our closest couple friends, also married in the fall of 2022) went to Cancun for 10 days of beachside luxury at Beloved Playa Mujeres where we watched the sunrise each morning, lounged and napped seaside each afternoon, and had a wonderful tropical experience.
Our wedding day was truly perfect. Somehow, we managed to surround ourselves with the BEST vendors a couple could hope for and form the most genuine support system in our family and friends. There is not a single moment we would change and our only wishful thought from that weekend is that we could have somehow slowed time down! As we left our reception, the shuttle driver held the door open for us, and I turned to Taylor and said I wanted to walk back to our hotel. I couldn’t bring myself to get into the shuttle and let them close the door on our wedding night. I wanted to savor every moment for as long as I could. Our wedding day was truly the best day of our lives. Every second of the day was a beautiful moment shared with the people we love most in the world.
Taylor and I will be spending the next couple of years with some big travel plans! We returned from our trip to Cancun in March and have a trip out west to explore National Parks, including the Grand Tetons, Yellowstone, Bryce, Zion, and the Grand Canyon, planned for this coming Fall. Next summer we are looking forward to a two-week land and sea expedition through Alaska with Taylor’s parents and also have some long-weekend plans in Florida and Colorado in between. After that, only the wind knows where else it will carry us!
We aren’t ready for anyone outside our fur babies to join the family yet but between traveling, we do dream of someday moving further north to a sleepy Adirondack Mountain town where Taylor can brew beer and I can run a side-of-the-road farm stand, living life at a slower pace.
~ Megan Parker