Kelly & Pablos’ Fun and Festive DIY Lakeside Wedding


New Hampshire lakeside wedding

Happy Friday! Family is the most important to adorable couple Kelly and Pablo and it definitely shows through the personal touches in their beautiful celebration. First of all, the ceremony location is quite special — Kelly’s grandparents home on a postcard-pretty lake. Not only was it a perfect site to hold a family-centric affair, the place also holds a lot of memories for Kelly who spent many vacations there growing up. With their family’s help, they also DIYed a lot of the wedding details, utilizing homegrown natural elements which lended the party a rustic, handmade feel. They also had a non-traditional bridal party, choosing to include as many (very cute) little cousins as possible.

We have Nicole Chan Photography to thank for the gorgeous images. Enjoy!

New Hampshire lakeside wedding

New Hampshire lakeside wedding

New Hampshire lakeside wedding

New Hampshire lakeside wedding

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It’s time to meet the beautiful couple. From this point on Kelly will tell you all about the two of them, their wedding, and the elements that made it uniquely theirs:

Pablo and I met in Lincoln, NE at Union College where we were both students. We were part of the same circle of friends who hung out together quite a lot and we started dating our sophomore year. After I graduated in December of 2010 I left to move to Honduras where I spent the next 4 months as a volunteer at an orphanage. I helped with the kids at the orphanage and also helped with a daycare type program for the street kids in the town where I also taught English for them. I came back and began my career at Talent Plus, a global human resources consulting company in Lincoln, NE. I currently work there still and have also started my masters program at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, studying Leadership Development. Pablo is also attending UNL where he is working on a bachelor’s in finance and works for Sandhills Publishing in their Latin America division. We both plan to graduate in 2015.

We both love the outdoors, including hiking, camping, biking, swimming, whatever we can find. Travel is also a big focus and we’re in the process of planning a backpacking trip to Europe this summer. Our faith is also very important to us and we’re very involved in our local church in Lincoln, NE where I teach the Bible class for the kids ages 1-4 and Pablo teaches the Young Adult Bible class.

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We got engaged in January of 2012 after I returned back to Lincoln from a visit with my family in the Boston area. Little did I know that I brought with me my grandmother’s engagement ring which my family had smuggled into my purse. The next evening when I returned home from work Pablo had set up a scavenger hunt for me, sending me all across Lincoln in search clues. At one point I even had to pay the $18 in fines I owed the library in order to check out the stack of books in which he had hidden clues! At the end of the evening he popped the question and we started planning for our wedding.

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For our wedding I knew I wanted to have lots of bright purple! But more than anything I wanted it to be relaxed, laid back and FUN. So the groomsmen’s attire and Pablo’s clothes all came from Kohl’s where we used 30% coupons to snag a deal. For the bridesmaids, I told them to just buy any summery purple dress that wasn’t full length and sent them a sample of the bright purple I was looking for.

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We didn’t stick with the traditional ring bearer and flower girl. We had Junior groomsman / bridesmaid, ring bearer, Bible bearer and two cousins who carried in a “Here Comes the Bride” sign that a friend of mine had painted.

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Since we both love the outdoors, we wanted an outdoor ceremony with lots of natural accents as well. My grandparent’s live on a lake in  New Hampshire where my family vacations every single year together. I’ve always grown up with family as a central focus so I wanted to have my special day there, where I already have so many wonderful memories.

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We asked the head elder from my home church growing up to be the officiant who performed the ceremony. Although not a pastor, my family has been very close with his since I was little and I wanted someone who I had a personal relationship with to do the ceremony.

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New Hampshire lakeside wedding

New Hampshire lakeside wedding

New Hampshire lakeside wedding

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New Hampshire lakeside wedding

My grandfather helped cut lots of tree branches for our center pieces and place settings and my grandmother baked 600 cookies for guests to have at the ceremony. My sisters helped assemble decorations for the tables and my mom and aunts made all the center pieces with me. We all also painted different signs used for decoration. We used a lot of natural elements (wood, flowers, leaves, etc) and the whole family was involved!

New Hampshire lakeside wedding

New Hampshire lakeside wedding

New Hampshire lakeside wedding

New Hampshire lakeside wedding

New Hampshire lakeside wedding

We also decided to have our reception aboard the Mt. Washington as I wanted our guests to enjoy their time there and thought the opportunity for a sunset cruise would be a fun time.

New Hampshire lakeside wedding

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New Hampshire lakeside wedding

My sister was a graphic arts major in college so she designed all our invitations, programs and menus. We bought most of the linens for the reception in order to save money so my mom and my sister dedicated a LOT of hours to ironing them all :-).

New Hampshire lakeside wedding

Another fun thing we did was to have the wedding party learn a short dance to “My Girl” by the Temptations and we danced into the reception.

New Hampshire lakeside wedding

New Hampshire lakeside wedding

New Hampshire lakeside wedding

I think the most personalized part of all was the location though- my favorite place in the whole world, my grandparent’s house. I wanted family to be a very central point and so wanted to include a lot of my little cousins in the wedding party as well.

New Hampshire lakeside wedding

Hindsight thoughts and helpful advice from the newlyweds:

I think if I were to do it again I would find more ways to have my family involved during the actual ceremony and reception- not just in set up and prep work. I also think we could’ve skipped having our reception on the boat and just done a bunch of food in the backyard and that would’ve been just as fun and saved a lot of money. It went by so fast, I didn’t even have time to talk to everyone who came! I still feel bad about that to this day, so I think if we had done a more laid back cookout type meal, it may have been easier to have conversations with everyone.

I also stressed about flowers for a long time, trying to decide on the exact ones I wanted. When the actual wedding day came, the flowers were not what I was expecting or had ordered, but it ended up being totally fine. I think next time around I probably would just pick up a bunch of flowers from the local store and put together some bouquets myself. It would save money, be more fun and I think flowers are really not as big a deal as you may think. Same with the cake! We ordered ours from the local grocery store and I decorated it with flowers myself. I thought this was fun and looked good- we probably could’ve even made the cake at home as well next time!

Overall, just have fun and enjoy it. The day goes by SO fast and it was over before I could believe it. We also were only engaged for 6 months and everyone was so worried that we wouldn’t have enough time to get everything done. But honestly, there’s no point in spending tons of time stressing about it all and 6 months worked out totally fine for us. So you can definitely do it in a short time frame and have a nice end result 🙂

New Hampshire lakeside wedding

Thank you Nicole for sending your lovely images my way, and congratulations Kelly and Pablo! I sincerely wish you a lifetime of married bliss. 🙂

Photography: Nicole Chan Photography
Reception Venue: Mt. Washington (Laconia, NH)
Hair and Makeup: by Ali Linden
Dress Designer: Allure
Flowers: Lakes Region Floral Studio
Cake: Shaw’s
Bridesmaid dresses: Various
Groom and Groomsmen’s attire: Kohl’s
Programs and Invitations: Kristen Vogler

Image submission via Two Bright Lights

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