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Darianna Bridal Real Bride: Allison Barrett-Ferraro

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The Meeting:  Alex and I first met when we were introduced by a mutual friend during our sophomore year at Gettysburg College. It wasn’t exactly love at first sight, and we only chatted briefly before going our separate ways.

Two years later, we were reintroduced by another mutual friend, and as we got to know each other better I developed a crush on Alex. With the encouragement of my girlfriends, I got up the courage to ask Alex to my sorority’s formal. Alex agreed to be my date, and I was thrilled when he also asked me out to dinner.

We started dating in March 2012, two months before our college graduation. After graduation, Alex moved to Pittsburgh for law school and I moved home to Philadelphia and started working at an advertising agency. It wasn’t easy being so far apart, but I knew he was the one so the countless hours spent in the car driving across the state to visit each other were worth it.

The Proposal:  In November 2013, I drove to Pittsburgh to visit Alex. On Saturday morning, Alex cooked his signature sausage gravy and biscuits. We were both stuffed from a big breakfast, so Alex suggested a walk in Schenley Park, where we’d gone on walks and picnics many times before.

While walking through the park, Alex took my hands in his and got down on one knee. He pulled a ring from his pocket, I started crying, and the next thing I knew we were engaged!

Allison’s ring includes the diamond from her Grandmother’s engagement ring. Photo by Jennifer Baumann Photography
Allison’s ring includes the diamond from her
Grandmother’s engagement ring.
Photo by Jennifer Baumann Photography

 

An Heirloom in the Ring: Alex really nailed it with my engagement ring! I absolutely love the delicate band of diamonds, and the center diamond is from my paternal grandmother’s engagement ring, which I inherited after she passed away.  Before he proposed, Alex went to visit my parents and ask for their approval (which I know meant the world to them!), and they gave him my grandmother’s diamond to have it reset. Having this special family heirloom made the ring that much more special.

 

The Venue: We were instantly charmed by the gorgeous, old stone house and sweeping views at The Manor House at Commonwealth. I wanted a spring wedding that was classic and romantic, and we chose the date of June 13, 2015 after Alex’s law school graduation.

The Color Pallette: My family and friends love to tease me about my love of neutral colors, and it was no surprise when I chose a color palette of white with black and gold accents. The only pops of color came from the greenery among the flowers and my bridesmaids, who wore cornflower blue.

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Jennifer Baumann Photography

Saying Yes to Her Dress:  I was over-the-moon excited when it came time to go dress shopping. I brought my mom, sister, and an open-mind. I wanted a classic lace dress, but I was open to exploring other options. I was discouraged when ballgown styles drowned my shorter frame and bummed when a dress that I’d loved online didn’t look as good in person.

Then we went to Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo. I tried on a couple, but I hadn’t found the perfect one. Wendy listened as I critiqued each dress, and pulled one more dress for me. As soon as I came out of the fitting room, I started crying. This dress was everything I was looking for!  A classic, romantic, and incredibly flattering chantilly lace beauty. It was such a special moment, my mom and I crying as my little sister giggled, and I found a dress that I absolutely loved.

Still, I wanted to take some time to think about it, but then I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I called Wendy and asked if she could squeeze in an another appointment for me that weekend, and thankfully she said yes, and then I said “YES!”

Kismet:  My first date with Alex was March 31, 2012.  Two years later, March 31, 2014, I purchased my wedding gown.

Pre-Celebrations: My mother-in-law and bridesmaids each threw me a wonderful bridal shower, and I had a blast celebrating with my girlfriends at my bachelorette party.

Tradition:  I couldn’t wait to get into my dress – my “something new”!  For my “something old”, I wore my engagement ring with my paternal grandmother’s diamond and a pair of pearl earrings that I inherited from my maternal grandmother so that I would have a piece of each of my grandmothers with me on our big day.  For my “something blue”, my mom hand-embroidered my initials in blue thread on a piece of satin, which she sewed into the hem of my dress.  My “something borrowed” was a few silk stems of stephanotis. My mom had saved the silk flowers from her bouquet, and she lent them to me to carry in my own bouquet.

Their First Look. Photo by Jennifer Baumann Photography
Their First Look. Photo by Jennifer Baumann Photography

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

First Look:  I had initially been hesitant about bucking tradition and doing a first look, but I’m so glad that we did! I didn’t realize how much I’d been trying to hold it all together until I saw Alex – and I burst into (happy) tears. I felt so much more relaxed after getting to see him and spend a few private moments together, and I took the first deep breath I’d taken all day and suddenly felt relaxed and ready. This time together before our ceremony is one of my favorite moments from the day.

The Ceremony:  It was short and sweet, outside under the late afternoon sun, exactly how we wanted it. I teared up again walking down the aisle with my dad. My aunt, who also sang at my parents’ wedding, performed “Songbird” by Fleetwood Mac.  We exchanged vows, rings, and a kiss, and just like that we were married!

Our Song: “Thinking Out Loud” by Ed Sheeran.

Photo by Jennifer Baumann Photography

Dad/Daughter Dance:  My father and I danced to “Forever Young” by Rod Stewart, and it was such a special moment for the two of us (and yes, I cried again).

Gratitude:  Our wedding day could not have been more perfect. We are so grateful to all of our vendors who helped us to create such a memorable event. To our siblings and bridal party, thank you for all of the love, support, and laughs. Most of all we are grateful for our parents, who have always been our role models in life and in love.

The Vendors:

  • Reception Venue – The Manor House at Commonwealth, Horsham PA www.commonwealthmanor.com
  • Bridal Gown and Bridesmaid Dresses – Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo, Warrington PA
  • Men’s Attire – Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo, Warrington PA
  • Photography – Jennifer Baumann Photography, Norristown PA jenniferbaumannphotography.com
  • The Rings – Goldstock Jewelers, Pittsburgh PA
  • Florist – Petals Lane, Philadelphia PA http://www.petalslane.com
  • Ceremony Pianist – David Zipse
  • DeeJay – Mike Noble, EBE Events & Entertainment, Philadelphia PA http://www.ebetalent.com

 

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