Planning an outdoor wedding in Autumn can be a bit of a risk, but Elaine and Shaun are not a couple to shy away from a bit of unexpected adventure. Their wedding day ended up absolutely overflowing in effortless glamour, thanks to the gorgeous natural light, Shaun’s 1969 Chevy Chevelle, and their touching tribute to family past on their ceremony arch. Pat Furey excelled at creating timeless photos that are simultaneously classic and unique, always perfectly representing the couple.
Junebug: What three adjectives best describe your wedding?
Elaine and Shaun: Heartfelt, Lively, Triumphant
Junebug: What inspired your personal wedding style, and how did you incorporate your style and personalities into your big day?
Elaine and Shaun: The month we married, Shaun and I were celebrating 6 years together so to us our wedding day was more of a formality than anything else. We didn’t want anything over-the-top and extravagant, but wanted to celebrate love and life with those we held closest to our hearts.
I knew from the very beginning that I wanted every detail of this wedding to scream “Elaine and Shaun” so I spent the year we were engaged really figuring out how I could convey this to our guests. I would say that our lifestyle is a little bit edgy, but I still wanted to keep an essence of elegance throughout. Shaun is a car fanatic, so I tracked down a red, 1957 stretch Bel Air and surprised him with it on the day of our wedding. I, in turn, was driven by my father in Shaun’s own 1969 Chevelle which represented my “something blue.” When choosing our venue, we wanted a more inviting-vibe and it was love at first sight once we visited Lake Valhalla Club. The ceremony was held outside with the lake as our backdrop and the relaxed charm only continued with floor-to-ceiling fireplaces and warm woodwork inside…perfect for the month of November. We hired a string duo for the ceremony and cocktail hour performing beautifully, harmonic renditions from Katy Perry to Metallica. I had made the seating cards as hand-written shipping labels adorned with a jute bow and a customized button pin for each guest. The programs had a ‘Fun Facts’ section about the bride and groom, and under each person in the wedding party we gave a short and funny description of what their relationship was to us. Instead of a unity candle we decided to do a unity box where we each wrote a little note to each other, dropped them in the box, put in a bottle of wine and locked it up. That box is not to be open for 10 years or unless we hit an extremely rocky road in our future where we will then open it, read the notes, drink a glass of wine and remember why we married each other. However, I think my most favorite part of the ceremony, besides saying “I do,” was how we incorporated photos of our loved ones who had passed away within the arch that we married under. We know it meant a lot to us, but it meant a lot to our other family members, as well.
Junebug: Looking back, what are the moments, decisions or memories that you love the most about your wedding?
Elaine and Shaun: The personal details continued throughout the cocktail hour and reception and did not go unnoticed by those who attended, and a lot of those details were done by the hands of myself and family. We received many compliments from our guests saying, “This wedding was so you guys,” and that is probably the most gratifying thing we both could have heard. We ended the night by the gigantic stone firepit making s’mores, lighting up sparklers and sending off sky lanterns. In our eyes to say our wedding day was a success is a complete understatement, it was everything and anything we could have ever imagined. And, now, I get to spend the rest of my life with my best friend cherishing every single moment from that day.
Junebug: What specifically drew you to Pat Furey and his imagery?
Elaine and Shaun: Shaun and I knew we didnt want the traditional, overly formal and often cheesy pictures you sometimes tend to see while researching for wedding photographers. We wanted someone who could tell our story, and the story of our special day through still images, and that’s exactly what we got with Pat Furey.
I came across his website/blog and picture after picture fell more in love. I grabbed Shaun and we must have spent an hour just scrolling through his work. I knew he was the guy after the first 5 minutes, but couldnt help getting lost in what I found to be such a beautiful and unique way to capture these couples big day. When we finally started to exchange emails, I knew I had made the right choice. Not only was he one of the coolest guys to work with, but he got it, and most of all he got us. I thought to myself, In 50 years, when I look through our wedding photos how do I want to remember that day? Pats vision of focusing on the candid and intimate moments of the guests, the bridal party, and of course, Shaun and me was exactly what we wanted.
My advice to any couples looking for a photographer is: Hire Pat. Just do.
The Wedding Team:
Photographer: Pat Furey Photography
Ceremony & Reception Venue: Lake Valhalla Club
Videographer/Film Maker: DDM Entertainment
Officiant: Father Paul Mayer
Invitation Designer: ChiGirl Creative
Catering: Lake Valhalla Club
Florist: Perla and Company
Cake: Palermo Bakery
Wedding Dress: Stefan Jolie; Exclusive Designer to Bijou Bridal
Bridal accessories: Swarovski
Bridesmaids apparel and accessories: Noir by Lazaro
Groom and groomsmen apparel and accessories: Black by Vera Wang; Bow-ties: Tie Bar
Hair and make-up: Make-up by Jillian Emma
DJ: DDM Entertainment
Live music: Ceremony and Cocktail Hour- Royal Strings
Transportation: 1957 Stretch Chevy Bel Air – All Pro Limousine; 1969 Chevy Chevelle – Grooms personal toy
Favors: Button Pins from Off The Record
Rentals: Elite Photo Booth
Rings: Bride – Henri Daussi
Program and Menu Design: Nicole Leonardo