Real Weddings/Rustic Weddings

Woodsy Chapel Wedding With The Sweetest First Look

Woodsy Chapel Wedding With The Sweetest First Look & Mexican Influence

Are you ready for a tearjerking first look? Let’s head to the woods for some cozy real wedding romance.

Tara and Efrain threw their wedding near their parents’ home in Pennsylvania – surrounded by lush trees and ferns the couple were spoiled with a stunning natural backdrop for the sweetest portrait session. We can hardly wait but this wedding’s pre-ceremony portraits look may tip the scale on whether your “should we have a first look?” question.

While their wedding may not have been wholly traditional, the couple found plenty of ways to honor their families and their destination. Surprising their parents each with songs and mariachi performances, as well as Czechoslovakian treats, the day was filled with eclectic honor and traditions.

Woodsy Chapel Wedding With The Sweetest First Look & Mexican Influence
Woodsy Chapel Wedding With The Sweetest First Look & Mexican Influence

The Proposal

After asking my Father for my hand in marriage, Efrain went to the jewelers with my sister to get my great-grandmother’s engagement ring resized. He says that when he returned to pick it up, and he had the ring in his hand, he couldn’t imagine waiting any longer to spend the rest of his life with me. He proposed the moment he got home with our dog by his side. It was perfectly simple and so genuine. We celebrated by going out to the neighborhood bar & restaurant where we first met.

Woodsy Chapel Wedding With The Sweetest First Look & Mexican Influence
Woodsy Chapel Wedding With The Sweetest First Look & Mexican Influence
Woodsy Chapel Wedding With The Sweetest First Look & Mexican Influence

The Dress & Attire

For my bridesmaids, it was important to me that they each pick out their own dresses. We decided on a neutral color palette and I was amazed by how fitting each dress ended up being.

Efrain and his groomsmen all grew up together in Texas and wanted their attire to represent that bond. Each groomsman wore their own unique boots and bolo tie. Efrain and I both really cherish our friends and love them for their individuality. On the day of our wedding, in the midst of nerves and excitement, we wanted to be reminded of that and the different ways each one has supported us in our lives and will be supporting us in our future.

Woodsy Chapel Wedding With The Sweetest First Look & Mexican Influence
Woodsy Chapel Wedding With The Sweetest First Look & Mexican Influence
Woodsy Chapel Wedding With The Sweetest First Look & Mexican Influence

The Planning & Flowers

From decor to our menu, we wanted everything we incorporated in the wedding to be meaningful rather than traditional. We splurged on the flowers and greenery and I am so happy that we did.

We wanted our flowers to be one of the main focuses of the wedding. It was important to us that everything looked like it could have been grown in the area so a lot of ferns and botanical elements. Dahlias were incorporated into my bouquet and I wore one in my hair because Efrain’s last name is Davila.

Woodsy Chapel Wedding With The Sweetest First Look & Mexican Influence
Woodsy Chapel Wedding With The Sweetest First Look & Mexican Influence
Woodsy Chapel Wedding With The Sweetest First Look & Mexican Influence
Woodsy Chapel Wedding With The Sweetest First Look & Mexican Influence

Favorite Moments

We both anticipated the morning before the wedding as being stressful, but it ended up being a really special time for both of us. Having that time with our closest friends to reflect on our pasts and celebrate the future was priceless.

Efrain and I had a few minutes together outside after the cocktail hour while guests were finding their seats inside the reception venue. The mariachi band was still there and they asked to play a song for just the two of us to dance to. It was a really tender and private moment that gave us a chance to breathe before moving on to the next series of events.

My father started off the wedding speeches by singing the song he used to sing to me as a baby. I don’t think there was a dry eye in the building.

Woodsy Chapel Wedding With The Sweetest First Look & Mexican Influence
Woodsy Chapel Wedding With The Sweetest First Look & Mexican Influence
Woodsy Chapel Wedding With The Sweetest First Look & Mexican Influence
Woodsy Chapel Wedding With The Sweetest First Look & Mexican Influence
Woodsy Chapel Wedding With The Sweetest First Look & Mexican Influence

The Venue

We chose to get married where my parents live in Pennsylvania because there is a little woodland chapel and clubhouse right down the road from their house. We felt that it would be really special to create memories in a location that we would one day be able to share with our children. We wanted to incorporate as much of the surrounding lushness as possible and also pay tribute to the historical significance of the venue by incorporating vintage decor.

Woodsy Chapel Wedding With The Sweetest First Look & Mexican Influence
Woodsy Chapel Wedding With The Sweetest First Look & Mexican Influence
Woodsy Chapel Wedding With The Sweetest First Look & Mexican Influence
Woodsy Chapel Wedding With The Sweetest First Look & Mexican Influence
Woodsy Chapel Wedding With The Sweetest First Look & Mexican Influence

The DIY Details

I sewed robes for each of my bridesmaids, my mother, and my mother-in-law to wear while getting ready. They made for great gifts and pictures.

Engraved in the foot beds of my wedding clogs were lyrics to the Mazzy Star song “Fade Into You.” It is a song that Efrain’s band was performing a lot around the time we got engaged it was our first dance. The lyrics are, “and then smiles cover your heart.”

We had a lifesize photo cutout of our dog Garcia by the dessert table. It was nice to have him there in spirit since he couldn’t make the trip to Pennsylvania. A couple of guests actually thought it was him and commented on how well behaved he was!

Woodsy Chapel Wedding With The Sweetest First Look & Mexican Influence
Woodsy Chapel Wedding With The Sweetest First Look & Mexican Influence
Woodsy Chapel Wedding With The Sweetest First Look & Mexican Influence

The Music

For our ceremony recessional, we surprised my parents by having the string duo play their wedding song. During the cocktail hour, we surprised Efrain’s parents by having the mariachi band play their wedding song.

Woodsy Chapel Wedding With The Sweetest First Look & Mexican Influence
Woodsy Chapel Wedding With The Sweetest First Look & Mexican Influence

The Cake

Poppyseeds are a very common ingredient in Czecholslovakian baking so as a nod to my Mother’s heritage, our wedding cake was lemon poppyseed with cream cheese flavored buttercream and raspberry pastry filling and fresh raspberries. For guests, we had a variety of cupcakes; lemon-poppyseed with cream cheese frosting, chocolate with violet buttercream frosting, vanilla with chamomile buttercream frosting, and pistachio with rosewater buttercream.

Woodsy Chapel Wedding With The Sweetest First Look & Mexican Influence
Woodsy Chapel Wedding With The Sweetest First Look & Mexican Influence
Woodsy Chapel Wedding With The Sweetest First Look & Mexican Influence

The Drinks

My father made a batch of whiskey shortly after we got engaged and it was served at the wedding. We have the batch barrel so we can continue to make versions of it in the future.

I had asked our photographer to do a role reversal getting ready shot with our respective wedding parties (i.e. the guys popping a bottle of champagne and the girls cheering glasses of whiskey instead of the other way around). The photos turned out really unique and funny.

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