Real Wedding: Heather and Robbie’s Rustic Dog Friendly Wedding

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From Tammy: I had so much FUN photographing Heather & Robbie’s wedding!!  They were married, at Beaver Hollow Inn, on April 28th, 2012 in an incredibly intimate ceremony focusing on family, friends, and (of course!!) their dogs.  With their simple, thoughtful decorations, a gorgeous wooded setting, and an AMAZING dance party, this wedding was definitely unforgettable.  They designed natural, rustic centerpieces featuring beautiful succulents and accented with soft candlelight.  The entire day was full of touching moments and LOTS of love.  It was truly a spectacular celebration!

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From Heather & Robbie….

They say your wedding day is supposed to be the best day of your life and we definitely wanted to make sure it was by coordinating every logistical and artistic decision to the finest detail.  Like most couples, we wanted everything to be perfect – to create a magical experience for our friends and family that would leave a lasting impression.  But only after the “I Do’s” were said and the cupcakes eaten, did we realize the magic of our wedding wasn’t actually in our choice of flowers or reception venue – it was the intangible, unplannable things that really mattered.  It is important to let go of expectations and, instead, take in the magic and love and wonder happening all around you.  For us, what came out of the chaos was actually incredibly special.  Some of the most meaningful moments of our lives came out of that day!

We wanted our wedding to be a celebration of love, connection, and community.  It was our intention that by creating an ambiance conducive to rest, reprieve and reflection that guests would have the opportunity to reconnect with themselves and each other so we selected a venue immersed in nature.  We received great advice when planning our wedding and were encouraged to be creative and adventurous – to make each detail reflect our individuality and uniqueness as a couple.

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This made planning the details of our day both fun and easy!  Our family would not be complete without our two dogs Legacy and Uno, so we wanted them to play a central role in the festivities.  Uno, our flower-dog, stole the show parading down the aisle with a large branch trailing with flowers.  While Legacy beamed with pride as the ring-bearer and Chuppa-Holder! We also blew the glass ourselves to be used in the glass-breaking portion of our Jewish ceremony.  We sure are glad we did!  Discovering the glass was too thick to break on our own, our friends and family hopped up without a moment’s pause, offering their shoes and their added strength to help us, leaving us with memories far more valuable than any we could have planned for. It was unforgettable!

We took steps to include personal touches, both large and small, into our reception as well, creating an intimate environment for all of us to enjoy.  We prepared handwritten notes left for each guest at their place setting.  Also, hoping to highlight the weekend as a celebration of love and connection for everyone, we asked guests to indicate their “couple’s song” on their RSVP.  We made sure to have each song play over the course of the evening so others could have their magic moment too. From a personally-written processional and first dance song, to a family dance with our two dogs, we captured the importance of music in our lives and invited our friends and family to enjoy it with us.

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The recipe for having an unforgettable wedding is a secret one. It’s different for every couple. We learned that sometimes it calls for an extra spoonful of humor, or a pinch of humility. That famous saying tells you your wedding day is supposed to be the best day of your life but remember, it’s only one day out of the rest of your lives together. Some things aren’t going to go as planned, others will go better than you could have dreamed.  Friends and loved ones are coming to your wedding, not for the party, but for you! Take time to honor yourselves as a couple and highlight those things on your special day. The magic is in the details; those you plan for, and those you could have never imagined. 

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As always, I have to thank all the vendors that came together to create this unforgettable day!!

Ceremony & Reception: Beaver Hollow Inn  Photography: Tammy Swales Photography  Catering: Beaver Hollow Inn  Cake & Cupcakes: Zillycakes  Dress: The Gown Shop, Ann Arbor  Hair: Bella Capelli Salon

Posted byTammy Swales