Ali is Getting Married! (and we might be a *little* EXCITED!)

Team Swales’ own Ali Dean is getting married!

OK…so the actual wedding date isn’t until 2015 but still, we CAN’T WAIT.  We even got to photograph the proposal (in full on stealth mode!) and still can’t get over Ali’s ‘yes’ face.  Because Ali and Zach are such an amazing couple – and we are ridiculously excited for their big day – we asked Ali for behind-the-scenes access to all of her wedding planning adventures.  And…spoiler alert…it is going to be an INCREDIBLE journey.

Tammy Swales_Ali Dean_Gets Married

From Ali Dean….

When I was ten years old, my Aunt Anne asked me if I would play the violin in her wedding that fall and I was so honored to be given such an important task.  The day of the wedding – a gorgeous, sun-bathed September afternoon – I stood at the end of the aisle and watched as the guests took their seats.  My Uncle stood patiently underneath the arbor waiting for the ceremony to begin.  When it was time, I began to play my violin.  I watched my Aunt Anne walk down the aisle, arm-in-arm with my Grandpa, in the most stunning gown.  Everything about that day was magical.  It was the day I fell in love with weddings.  And, it was the day I began dreaming of my own.

 Immediately, I began collecting every wedding magazine I could get my hands on and spent hours online looking up wedding dresses, flowers, bouquets, centerpieces and saving the images to my computer desktop.  I was constantly stopping into jewelry stores and looking at rings.  I even bought my own wedding shoes and dressing robe well before I was actually engaged.  Pretty much anything wedding I was obsessed with and I haven’t stopped since.

Twelve years later, Zach, my boyfriend of nearly seven years, asked me to be his wife.  The proposal was incredible and, thanks to Tammy, fully, beautifully, and sneakily photographed.  I had no idea it was coming.  Seriously, the week before Zach proposed I had been joking about how it would be years before anything like that could possibly happen.

Zach asked me to go for a walk on the beach near my parent’s house.  Well, really he insisted – it was pouring rain, freezing cold, and beyond windy so I wasn’t interested in walking anywhere.  I guess I should also add that Zach had been giving me small gifts throughout the day (mostly involving elephants – my FAVORITE animal!) but I was still absolutely oblivious to his plans.  It wasn’t until Zach stopped, put down his umbrella, and got down on one knee that I realized what was happening.  I was speechless, in complete disbelief, AND I didn’t even know Tammy was hiding out in the bushes capturing every incredible moment for us.

Zach asking me to marry him was (to date) the most incredible moment of my life.  And now we get to create our own dream wedding together.

Family is so important to Zach and me.  Most of my inspiration has grown out of my family and I really want our wedding day to be focused on that.  Our ceremony is going to take place at my Grandma’s house, Bonnie Castle Farm Bed & Breakfast, which is also where my Aunt Anne was married.  As for the reception, we’re going to hold it at my family’s restaurant, Skipper’s Landing, which is pretty much where I grew up.  I’ve also drawn a lot of inspiration from the women in my family.  Every wedding gown in my family has had long sleeves and I definitely plan on keeping that tradition alive. 

My Aunt Anne owns Cure Organic Farm in Boulder, CO and over the last few years I’ve spent a lot of time with her there on the farm – it’s one of the places where I feel most comfortable and at home – and it’s really given me some amazing inspiration.  I want our wedding to have a natural, dreamy, and organic feel to everything.  I’m thinking lots of gold and soft, romantic colors like creams and blushes.  I can see tables filled with candles in mercury glass holders, herbs and succulents housed in simple terrariums, and moss and greenery overflowing everywhere.  I also LOVE bees – my Aunt Anne keeps bees at her farm in Colorado and I’ve helped her harvest the honey.  The whole process, from taking the honey from the hives to filtering and bottling it, is so amazing as are the bees who produce it and I really want to pay homage to that with small honeybee accents throughout the entire design.

We have so much time before the wedding, but I can already feel it flying by.  It’s still hard to believe that the day I’ve been dreaming about and planning for so long is on its way here.  Some days I still feel like the ten year old girl I was – enchanted with the wonder and whimsy and magic of a fairytale wedding day – and it’s amazing to be taking all those dreams and shaping them into reality.  It may be over a year until our wedding, and we have a TON more to do, but I couldn’t be more excited to be Mrs. Reed.

Now, obviously, we are VISUAL people, especially when it comes to wedding inspirations, and as much as we know you’ll love hearing from Ali let’s be serious….you want to SEE what she’s thinking.  Luckily for you, we’ve got the hookup!  Click the link to see her Ali Gets Married: WEDDING Inspiration! Pinterest board filled with all her incredible inspirations.




Posted byTammy Swales

One thought on “Ali is Getting Married! (and we might be a *little* EXCITED!)”

  1. Reading this made me tear up! Ali was an amazing photographer at my own wedding, and is just the sweetest person in general. I know your wedding is going to be perfect! Congratulations!

    Best wishes,

    Molly and Justin

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