Chic Weddings/DIY Weddings

Industrial Chic Wedding With A Vintage Train Ride

The Carters | Essex Steam Train & Lace Factory Wedding | Brigham & Co. | CT Wedding Photographer | Top 10 CT Wedding Photographers

Next to a vintage, working steam train in Connecticut, Josh and Courtney said their “I do”s. The two hopped aboard along with family and friends to their industrial chic reception, filled with gorgeous lighting, textiles, and endless personal touches.

Thanks to all the talented vendors and freedom of choice these days, brides and groom’s can truly create a wedding that represents them as a couple. Whether that means including personal design touches or getting married somewhere meaningful, we love hearing the stories behind our couple’s special days.

These two met on the 8:04 express from Manhattan home to Connecticut, and thus they say the rest is history. Courteney, being a lover of all things weddings, with the help of her crafty mom and on-the-ball wedding coordinator, rolled with the train theme in their raw industrial venue space without going “train overload” as she says. Two thumbs up from us at Bridal Musings, Courteney, you totally did it!

The Carters | Essex Steam Train & Lace Factory Wedding | Brigham & Co. | CT Wedding Photographer | Top 10 CT Wedding Photographers
The Carters | Essex Steam Train & Lace Factory Wedding | Brigham & Co. | CT Wedding Photographer | Top 10 CT Wedding Photographers

Our Love Story

On March 13, 2012, while working in the Financial District, Josh sprinted through Grand Central Terminal to catch the 8:04 express train home to Connecticut. As he leaped up the stairs two at a time and raced up the platform just as the final bell rang. After quickly slipping through the closing doors, he caught his breath and scanned the train car for a seat.

The train was packed. People were heading home from work on a typical Tuesday evening. In a twist of fate, he eyed a seat next to a “professional shopper” whose bags were strewn about the seat next to her. Realizing that this was the last seat, he asked if she could move her bags so he could sit next to her.

After quickly shuffling her bags on the floor, Josh sat down next to the girl he would one day call his wife. Josh did what he does best and sparked up a conversation with Courteney and her two eventual bridesmaids, Taylor, one of her sisters, and Kristen, a girlfriend from nursing school. Knowing his stop in Fairfield, CT was approaching, he scrambled to exchange numbers with Courteney. A few dates, series of phone calls, and multiple texts later, Courteney and Josh began dating…and the rest is history.

The Carters | Essex Steam Train & Lace Factory Wedding | Brigham & Co. | CT Wedding Photographer | Top 10 CT Wedding Photographers
The Carters | Essex Steam Train & Lace Factory Wedding | Brigham & Co. | CT Wedding Photographer | Top 10 CT Wedding Photographers
The Carters | Essex Steam Train & Lace Factory Wedding | Brigham & Co. | CT Wedding Photographer | Top 10 CT Wedding Photographers

As Courteney pulled into the old harbor on the Block Island ferry, she turned to Josh and said, “this is my favorite place on Earth!” It was a gorgeous Memorial Day weekend, and Courteney & Josh were heading to a housewarming party for one of Josh’s clients.

Courteney recognized the beautiful old barn at the front of the property next to the cottage where her family had vacationed for years. Josh explained that he had mentioned her love of old barns to his client and he said it was fine to walk around before heading to the house for the party. When they walked up to the barn, Josh placed the bottle of champagne he had gotten for his client on the ground so they could walk around.

Before continuing down the dirt driveway, Josh asked Courteney to pick up the bottle, and when she turned around, she was both surprised and confused to find Josh going down on one knee! When she finally realized what was happening, she fell to the ground crying…it was a dream!

The Carters | Essex Steam Train & Lace Factory Wedding | Brigham & Co. | CT Wedding Photographer | Top 10 CT Wedding Photographers
The Carters | Essex Steam Train & Lace Factory Wedding | Brigham & Co. | CT Wedding Photographer | Top 10 CT Wedding Photographers

The Dress & Attire

We wanted our bridesmaids and groomsman to feel like themselves just as much as we did so the colors and designs we chose for their outfits were clean and simple. I gave my bridesmaids a color and texture from J.Crew and they picked out the design that fit their body best.

My dress was the first one I tried on, and after trying on about ten more dresses after that, I knew for sure that I had gotten it right the first time. I felt like it was made for me, and I knew that feeling would make me most comfortable the day of. My shoes and earrings weren’t too overpowering and simply accented the dress.

The make-up/hair artists kept that natural vibe that I was going for, while encouraging my bridal party and I to choose a design that made us feel comfortable as well.

The Carters | Essex Steam Train & Lace Factory Wedding | Brigham & Co. | CT Wedding Photographer | Top 10 CT Wedding Photographers
The Carters | Essex Steam Train & Lace Factory Wedding | Brigham & Co. | CT Wedding Photographer | Top 10 CT Wedding Photographers
The Carters | Essex Steam Train & Lace Factory Wedding | Brigham & Co. | CT Wedding Photographer | Top 10 CT Wedding Photographers

The Florals

Our florist brought the outdoorsy, natural feel to our ceremony and reception. The floral design we created with her was just enough to make our ceremony and reception spaces pop.

She enhanced the natural beauty of The Lace Factory, which is exactly the feel we were going for. She threw in gold taper candles to give it that vintage feel, and we went with an olive colored tablecloth accented with ivory colored napkins and gold chargers to make the floral arrangements stand out. Jakki’s talent and vision is incredible.

The Carters | Essex Steam Train & Lace Factory Wedding | Brigham & Co. | CT Wedding Photographer | Top 10 CT Wedding Photographers

The Venue

Our ceremony space spoke for itself in terms of why we chose it, we met on a train so it was only fitting that we got married at a train yard and had our guests ride the train with us to and from our reception venue. Our whole wedding centered around trains and how we met, but we didn’t want it to feel like “train overload.”

 

The Carters | Essex Steam Train & Lace Factory Wedding | Brigham & Co. | CT Wedding Photographer | Top 10 CT Wedding Photographers

The Ceremony

My bridesmaids and I were escorted out of a train car before we walked down the aisle, and our guests rode the train to and from our reception with us. Incorporating the train was important to us because it’s what brought us together in the first place.

Josh and I said both traditional vows and also wrote our own personal vows. This was by far one of the best things we ever did and will ever do. It was personal, intimate, and got down to the “nitty gritty” of our love for each other.

One of my sisters, Taylor, is an incredible singer-songwriter, so she sang the psalm and Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen during our ceremony. She also sang our first dance song and the national anthem during our reception. Josh is one of – if not the most – patriotic person I know so having her sing the national anthem was his only true request of the day.

The Carters | Essex Steam Train & Lace Factory Wedding | Brigham & Co. | CT Wedding Photographer | Top 10 CT Wedding Photographers
The Carters | Essex Steam Train & Lace Factory Wedding | Brigham & Co. | CT Wedding Photographer | Top 10 CT Wedding Photographers
The Carters | Essex Steam Train & Lace Factory Wedding | Brigham & Co. | CT Wedding Photographer | Top 10 CT Wedding Photographers
The Carters | Essex Steam Train & Lace Factory Wedding | Brigham & Co. | CT Wedding Photographer | Top 10 CT Wedding Photographers

The Reception

We didn’t really have a “theme,” but we knew we wanted it to be simple and clean with a vintage, elegant charm. We’re not glitzy-glam people so it wouldn’t have felt like “us” if we had done otherwise.

The Lace Factory is so beautiful as is and speaks for itself so we didn’t feel we had to do too much to it. Greens and ivory-toned colors were what we stuck with to give it that natural, clean feel. All of our vendors had this in common too, which is why we chose them.

The Carters | Essex Steam Train & Lace Factory Wedding | Brigham & Co. | CT Wedding Photographer | Top 10 CT Wedding Photographers
The Carters | Essex Steam Train & Lace Factory Wedding | Brigham & Co. | CT Wedding Photographer | Top 10 CT Wedding Photographers
The Carters | Essex Steam Train & Lace Factory Wedding | Brigham & Co. | CT Wedding Photographer | Top 10 CT Wedding Photographers

The Details

Decor details created by the bride were as follows: newspaper programs, wooden welcome sign, menu, thank you and donation cards at each place setting, table numbers, cookie bags and banner, wooden last name sign, card box, and guest book platter. My mom and I took vintage glass bottles that we found at an antique flea market, added some flowers, and turned them into beautiful escort cards.

The “8:04” banner that was hung in front of our place settings at the head table was to pay tribute to the 8:04 train that Josh and I met on.

In my bouquet, I attached a piece of the fabric from my mom’s wedding dress, along with pins of people in my life that I wished to remember and honor. I had a similar pin made for Josh that was placed inside his coat jacket. I also held the bible that was carried by my grandmother on her wedding day.

The Carters | Essex Steam Train & Lace Factory Wedding | Brigham & Co. | CT Wedding Photographer | Top 10 CT Wedding Photographers
The Carters | Essex Steam Train & Lace Factory Wedding | Brigham & Co. | CT Wedding Photographer | Top 10 CT Wedding Photographers
The Carters | Essex Steam Train & Lace Factory Wedding | Brigham & Co. | CT Wedding Photographer | Top 10 CT Wedding Photographers
The Carters | Essex Steam Train & Lace Factory Wedding | Brigham & Co. | CT Wedding Photographer | Top 10 CT Wedding Photographers

The Photography & Videography

Our photographer and videographer both had a natural feel in their work. Josh and I wanted to look back and feel how we did on our wedding day.

When Jess sent us our photos, all the emotions from our day came flooding back, which is exactly what photos are supposed to do: transport you back and allow you to feel all those emotions again.

We wanted the real, raw emotions behind the love we have for one another to be captured, and we feel our photographer and videographer did just that.

The Carters | Essex Steam Train & Lace Factory Wedding | Brigham & Co. | CT Wedding Photographer | Top 10 CT Wedding Photographers
The Carters | Essex Steam Train & Lace Factory Wedding | Brigham & Co. | CT Wedding Photographer | Top 10 CT Wedding Photographers
The Carters | Essex Steam Train & Lace Factory Wedding | Brigham & Co. | CT Wedding Photographer | Top 10 CT Wedding Photographers

Advice to Other Couples

After the wedding, many people asked me what I was most surprised with and I always said the same thing: how calm and comfortable I was! There were three key elements to this.

One was Tiffany and my mom. Tiffany was our day-of wedding planner. If you have the means, invest in a “Tiffany”! There were a lot of little elements to our day, and without Tiffany we wouldn’t have been able to accomplish most of them let alone enjoy ourselves. My mom, Josh, and I did everything leading up to the day, but Tiffany was always there to answer any questions we had and stepped in three days before to take everything off of our hands.

Then the second element, I did what I wanted and felt most comfortable the day of because I had done so. I can’t imagine doing anything different and this gave me such peace of mind on the wedding day.

The third element was Josh. Wedding planning was not his thing so he let my creativity fly, but kept me grounded at the same time, reminding me of what was most important. I kept him informed throughout the whole process, making sure it wasn’t just “my” day. When the time came to walk down the aisle, everything melted away because I knew I was walking towards the love of my life and into this new chapter with him, and that made me feel most at ease.

The Carters | Essex Steam Train & Lace Factory Wedding | Brigham & Co. | CT Wedding Photographer | Top 10 CT Wedding Photographers
The Carters | Essex Steam Train & Lace Factory Wedding | Brigham & Co. | CT Wedding Photographer | Top 10 CT Wedding Photographers

The Honeymoon

We left the day after our wedding and headed to Ireland for one week and Switzerland the week after that. This was our “trip of a lifetime,” so we took advantage of our honeymoon and said YOLO! We’re so glad we did!

We had the best time just driving around and exploring each country, taking in the cultures as we went along. Although leaving the day after seemed like a lot, the high we were on from our wedding kept us going and stayed with us throughout our trip.

Go somewhere you might not normally go. We’re big beach people, but we felt like there would be more opportunities in the future to go lay on a beach or vacation to an island than there would be to do a two week trip to Europe. Go wherever will make you most happy!

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