Michelle and John first met in 2012. John asked to buy the cute blonde a beer when they bumped into each other on the street outside the oldest bar in Ithaca, New York. They had a beer together, but did not exchange numbers and went their separate ways. However, it must have been fate because a month later Michelle was passing the same bar after work and decided to have a quick peek inside. John was there. They had another beer, exchanged numbers this time, and within a week they both knew it was love.
The couple came together to celebrate their love at the scenic Meadowlake Ranch in Sand Springs, OK. on November 4th, 2017. There wasn’t an official proposal. They just knew they were ready and wanted to be married, so they set a date.
They picked the ranch for a few reasons. “It was a beautiful natural setting,” explained Michelle. “It felt intimate and unpretentious, and it was affordable.” Plus, they got to stay in a very cool cabin directly on the lake, which just so happened to be the same place Paul McCartney stayed years earlier on his Route 66 tour.
To keep their budget under $15k, Michelle and John valued intimacy with a cherished guest list of 65 dear friends and family. Michelle’s brother, Nathan, served as the officiant and her sister, Erin, was the only member of their bridal party. Family is important to the couple and their daughter, Sophia, was their flower girl. The adorable one-year-old wore a white satin and lace dress with a crimson sash made by the bride’s mother, Janice, out of her own wedding dress. “It was one of the most beautiful and meaningful parts of our wedding,” said Michelle.
A good friend of the bride, the musician Briana Wright, helped Michelle plan the entire wedding and sang during the ceremony. As Michelle walked down the aisle to John she sang “Can’t Help Falling in Love” and “Teenage Dream” for the recessional. Katy Perry was on the radio constantly when John and Michelle started dating and “Teenage Dream” was extremely applicable to the early days of their relationship and that wonderful bubble of infatuation.
Michelle admits that she is a bit “decor-challenged,” so she relied on her friends and her expert vendors to make the day gorgeous.
The floral design was done by Anthousai, a team of two incredibly talented and artful young women who work out of Tulsa, OK. “I gave them just the basic details of the wedding and told them I trusted their vision,” said Michelle. Letting artists freely create always leads to the most beautiful outcomes.
For her wedding vibe, it was important for Michelle to have all of her guests feel at home and have fun. They had a fire pit outside the reception hall complete with a killer s’mores set up, great Oklahoma barbecue, and delicious cake in the form of a three-tiered vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry Bavarian cheesecake by Ludger’s Bakery, with raspberry sauce on the side, of course.
Michelle ordered three dresses from the online boutique Modcloth, but nothing was love. She decided to try to find something in person and was shocked to find a beautiful and affordable dress at David’s Bridal. She paired the flowing bohemian gown with her mother’s sapphire and diamond pendant and fresh flowers in her hair. For the ceremony, Michelle wore Betsey Johnson white satin heels with robin’s egg blue bottoms and she changed into cheeky, ivory flats with “hello” and “love” printed on them for the reception.
Her vintage ring is a 1950s cluster diamond promise ring and John, who is a carpenter, chose a ring a titanium and wood ring to signify his devotion.
The couple’s favorite part of the day was their first dance, which their daughter adorably crashed.
Their wedding was a joyful day surrounded by their friends and family and a total success. However, at the end of it all Michelle discovered that she does not really enjoy event planning, which is totally fair! “I wanted it to be beautiful and intimate and fun but had a hard time realizing that vision and found it very stressful,” said Michelle. “We also planned the whole thing within 7 months, which turned out to be a short amount of time.”
Michelle’s biggest advice to other brides: “Ask for help! Try not to stress because before you know it, it’s all over and you can’t believe it. Have fun and don’t sweat the small stuff.”
Photography: Shila Pratt @shilaprattphotography
Floral Design: Anthousai @anthousai
Cake: Ludger’s Bavarian Cakery @ludgerscakes
Venue: Meadowlake Ranch @meadowlakeranchok
It was a beautiful and very fun wedding.