when i was 11 years old i was pretty sure i was going to be a fine artist and an eye doctor when i grew up. my interests were soccer and theatre and my favorite food was macaroni and cheese and pickles. everything about me has changed so dramatically since then- except, honestly, pickles maaay still be one of my favorite foods. ;)
when lara was 11 years old she walked into a new school and the very first person she met was her future husband. you guys, lara & zack met when they were ELEVEN! they became close friends quickly and their shared interests kept them very involved in each other’s lives- they had the same friends, shared the same extracurricular activities and even found themselves passionate about the same big issues as they grew up. in 10th grade everything changed- these two best friends started dating. it was a big step for them but was the most natural thing in the world to those who had watched them grow up together. luckily for lara & zack, it was the right move- they’re so obviously deeply connected and in love and their comfort level with one another is such that no one would question them having been the closest of friends for so many years. they are beautiful and rare.
when we were first contacted about shooting lara & zack’s wedding we knew only one thing- they were currently through-hiking the appalachian trail together and wouldn’t be able to meet with us until the october before their new year’s eve wedding. matt & i always do what we can to meet with a couple before we agree to shoot their wedding but in this case it made the most sense to meet with lara’s mom while they were away and then connect with them when they returned. andie, lara’s mom, showed up with adorable pictures and incredible stories of lara & zack and instantly we knew we had to meet these two! we had so many shared interests and passions and their life experiences fascinated us. we quickly decided that, though we’d never made new year’s eve available before, there was no doubt we were going to open it up for lara & zack! when we finally met with them i’m pretty sure i just asked them 1000 questions about their time working on an organic farm, about their passion for locally grown beautifully prepared food, about their time on the AT and all of the beautiful sights and experiences they shared during their time away together- they are fascinating. i could go on and on but i’m starting to realize this is getting rather long…but seriously! these two were a joy to get to know and so much fun to work with on their wedding day. we couldn’t have asked for a better way to ring in the new year!
lara’s family is presbyterian and zack’s family is jewish so lara & zack spent lots of time designing a ceremony that highlights the similarities in the two religions as well as their shared themes of love and unity. the service was unique and personal with both parents walking them down the aisle and remaining with them in support and encouragement through the whole ceremony. it was so clear how much these families love each other and find joy in lara & zack’s relationship:
the chuppah was designed especially for lara & zack and made from zack’s mother’s wedding dress, such an intimate, personal detail:
after the ceremony, guests enjoyed a lively time of catching up and cocktails before they were introduced into the stunning reception space, brilliantly designed by steve bales, creative director at bold american events and catering:
lara’s dad surprised her by playing a song she had written and recorded when she was younger- she was definitely surprised!
somehow the father daughter dance turned into an impromptu family dance- i LOVE it! such a clear picture of how close these two families are:
lara & zack’s parents planned lots of little surprises for them on their wedding day! one of the crowd favorites was the huge tray of whoopie pies brought in from maine:
zack’s dad surprised many of the guests by joining the band for auld lang syne after the big countdown, impressive!
instead of running to a car to exit their reception, lara & zack just walked away with their packs! clever, funny and perfect for them: