Kathryn & Mark’s Wentworth Wedding in Newcastle, New Hampshire
I can not say enough wonderful things about Kathryn, Mark and their amazing family! We first met through a skype conversation at her grandfather’s home in Kittery, Maine along with Kathryn’s Mother Sharon. Kathryn & Mark live out in California and her mom drove up for Connecticut for the meeting. I new this would be a special day when Sharon filled me in on the gown she was working on and the back story of how the plans were coming together. Talk about sweet and welcoming!! Sharon was just finishing up a homemade apple apple crisp with fresh whipped cream and tea to enjoy while we chatted. After chatting with Kathryn & Mark I immediately new they were my dream couple. So sweet and so in love! I was thrilled when they chose me to photograph their wedding day.
Kathryn & Mark envisioned a fairytale wedding from the very start and that is exactly what they had. From the custom ball-gown designed and created by her mother to every last detail was a dream. Kathryn & Mark had so much love go into their gorgeous day it just blows my mind. Sharon not only put countless hours into the custom bridal gown, but also made the flower girl’s dress, ring bearers’ tuxedos, & ring pillow. The amount time that went to into the dress and finding the perfect materials across the country/world was a true labor of love! Kathryn’s grandfather came out of retirement and created the most beautiful bouquets, boutonnieres and table arrangements. I can’t even imagine how special that must have been for him.
One of the most special details of the day was Nana’s pearl crown. One night, a month before she died, Nana took her wedding crown out of her closet and placed it on Kathryn’s head. She said how she would love it if her granddaughters would consider wearing her dress or crown on their wedding day. Kathryn took that special moment to heart and decided she would do exactly that. Kathryn would include her Nana in her wedding day by wearing the same crown Nana wore when she married her Poppop. Her grandmother was very present throughout the day and a beautiful toast was made by Kathryn’s sister in honor of her Nana that brought everyone to tears. This day was truly so special and it was such an honor to be a part of it. XOXO
Photography: Casey Durgin Photography Casey & Ally
Reception: Wentworth By The Sea | Newcastle, NH
Ceremony: Immaculate Conception | Portsmouth, NH
Florist: Bob Consaga (Bride’s Grandfather)
Hair & Makeup: Crown & Halo
Dress: Sharon Wlodarczyk (Mother of the bride)
DJ: Get Down Tonight | Jeremy
Transportation: Regal Limo
Bridesmaid Dresses: LulaKate
Men’s attire: Mad Tux
From the bride:
What is your story of how you and Mark met and how did he propose?
Mark and I met four years ago in Burbank, California through Okcupid, an online dating app. After talking for a short time online, he asked me out to dinner the next night to Chevy’s Mexican Restaurant. Mark showed up wearing an over-sized shirt with random holes all over it, stained with oil spills. I was like oh boy! But then he smiled and said hello with such a warm, bubbly voice that I immediately forgot how he was dressed. It’s a good thing I did because from that very first date after a little conversation we just clicked! Mark’s sweet down to earth personality drew me in, and the more we talked the more I wanted to know about him. I remember the first thing he told me about was his baby niece Kylie. She had just been born a few months earlier and Mark could not be more proud to have become an Uncle. He had just returned from a trip home to Pennsylvania and all he could do was go on and on about how adorable Kylie was. Throughout the date we continued to talk and almost every conversation lead back to something about our families. It was clear to me, that Mark loved his family as much as I loved mine, something I had been struggling to find. We discovered that we were both Catholic and he was even proud to say he was Kylie’s Godfather! I mean what a guy! 30 years old and telling a girl on his first date about the feeling of holding a little baby. From that moment I knew Mark was a rare find and something very special. Little did I know at the time, baby Kylie 4 years later would be my flower-girl at our wedding.
After discovering that we were both from the east coast on our walk to the parking lot, Mark asked me out on a second date. This date started out much better, Mark showed up wearing a collard shirt and that’s when I knew this relationship could actually go somewhere. Mark had a similar feeling because he now tells me that the second date was when he knew he wanted to marry me. He just wanted to take his time, and that he did!
Three and a half years later… on September 4, 2016, Mark proposed at beautiful Lake Sonoma in northern California. So how did it all happen exactly?
Well… Mark had been home in Pennsylvania a few months before and went shopping with his best friend, Rich and his fiance, Jill. Rich had just proposed to his fiance, and had bought his ring at a local jewelry store, who’s owners had been a client of Mark’s family’s pool business for years. Mark also found out that his brother had bought his wife’s ring at the same store. So it just made sense that he would go to the same jewelry store to take a look. It was important to Mark that he wouldn’t be giving his money to a random business that he didn’t know, but rather people he knew and trusted. When Jill approved of the ring Mark had picked out, he bought it. Yes, Mark had the ring for a couple of months before he proposed!
When my birthday was approaching, Mark told me to plan a weekend trip for the two of us. I was a little suspicious, because Mark had also been freaking out about money for a little while. Being that it was Labor Day weekend everything was either sold out or really expensive. So we got a little creative… I really wanted to go wine tasting in Napa or Sonoma so I looked up campgrounds in the area. I found that the only campsites available were boat-in ones. Well, that just meant we had to some how get a boat! I found a good deal on a canoe on the app Let It Go, and Mark said, “buy it”!
Tying the canoe to the roof of our old Mercury Mariner, Mark, our dog Kye, and I packed up all our camping gear, Kye’s doggy life-jacket and headed up to wine country for the long weekend. When we arrived it was already starting to get dark, so we had to load up the boat quickly and start the mile long paddle into our campsite. Mark insisted on bringing his snorkel and wet-suit along, because he was so scared that the ring was going to fall in the lake and he would have to go search for it. I had no idea, and just thought he was being his usual adventurous self. But I mean come on! Who would really go snorkeling in a lake? Ha!
The paddle wasn’t too bad and with the help of our headlights we found our designated campsite. It was my birthday, so that night we celebrated with a bottle of wine while gazing at the beautiful night sky.
The next morning we awoke to a gorgeous view of the lake. As we were making breakfast, bees started to swarm our campsite. I hid in the tent to eat my breakfast. Protected by the screens of the tent I sat on my z-rest and watched the boats go by on the lake. I said, “Mark come in here, it’s much nicer and has a beautiful view!” Mark joined me in the tent and while we were eating our breakfast with the peaceful sounds of nature, Mark pulled out a ring and said, “Kathryn, will you marry me?” shocked, I reacted “Wait what? You have to do that again because we are both sitting. You have to get down on one knee, I’ll stand up.” Mark getting down on one knee asked again, “Kathryn, will you marry me?” I said, “Yes!!!”.
After breakfast we paddled out to our car, and went into Sonoma to go wine tasting. The cell service was very poor, so we decided just to enjoy the day and tell our family and friends on our drive home, the next day that we were now engaged! So that’s what we did. It was just Mark, Kye, and I walking around the cute downtown wine-tasting, followed by a nice dinner at a local restaurant before heading back to our campsite for the night. It was a wonderful weekend, with a story that we will remember forever!
Why did you choose your NH wedding venue? What was it about the Wentworth that you loved?
I grew up going to York, Maine every summer from the time I was a baby and continued this tradition even after moving to California. Early on in our relationship, I brought Mark to Maine and toured him around to see the place I had loved from the time I was a little girl. I went to college in Boston, Massachusetts and always loved the history of the Northeast. Mark loved the ocean and thought it would be nice to have it somewhere on the coast. Since Pennsylvania isn’t a coastal state, California was too far for family to travel and I was never really fond of Connecticut, it was just an obvious choice to look to the Seacoast for a wedding venue.
When we discovered the Wentworth we both knew it was perfect! A historical refurbished hotel, on the ocean just over the border from Maine. Mark’s first question to me after seeing the Wentworth was, “Can I wear a top hat at our wedding?”. I replied, “Yes, but just not in church!”. That’s when we started to brainstorm what our wedding would be. We geared a lot of it around the vibe we felt in the Grand Ballroom. That’s what we envisioned, a grand ball! Mark would be my prince charming and I would be his princess! From there we worked as a team to make our own invitations, place-cards, and favor gift bags to match our fairytale vision.
The details of the day and how they all came together: Dress, flowers…
My wedding was a Design’s By Sharon original, custom made for me by Sharon Wlodarczyk, my mother. Sharon graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City in 1979 with a Degree in Fashion Design. Her career began working for companies such as Murray Hamburger, Marriage Bridal and Columbia Bridals, with her wedding dress designs featured in Magazines such as Brides, Modern Bride and Cosmopolitan. When she had children she retired from the NYC fashion industry and went off on her own doing custom work under the name, Designs By Sharon. Needless to say, all my life she has been dreaming of the day she could design a wedding dress for me.
I knew I wanted a ballgown style and had seen a couple of different designs I liked. I wanted a layer of sparkle tulle, an illusion top that came to a V in the back, a full skirt with a large circle train, with beaded french lace. My mother then came up with a detailed sketch of all these elements in one dress. It was perfect! The only challenge was finding all the materials to bring it to life.
In February we went into New York City and found the perfect French Alencon lace at Gelmor Lace that she used to enhance the bodice and hemline. She also combined a delicate Venise lace on the bodice and scattered venise lace butterflies among the hemline lace flowers. My mother called manufactures that she had connections with to obtain silk organza, silk taffeta, and china silk. The six layers of the additional tulle skirts, were topped with white Italian net, which the lace was hand sewn to. The only thing she couldn’t find was the sparkle tulle. This was something she had never used on a wedding dress before. I didn’t want it to look like a costume, but wanted more of a hint of sparkle all over that just shimmered when it caught the light. My Aunt Eileen, who lives in Texas, jumped in to help, and said if this type of sparkle tulle exists, Texas is where you will find it. She proceeded to send my mother and I multiple batches of samples she found in various fabric warehouses from Dallas to Houston, TX. In her second batch of samples she had found the sparkle tulle! We ordered 15 yards of the sparkle and my mom and I got to work figuring out the layering of the skirt to give it the hint of sparkle I was looking for.
Next came the beads for the the lace. I went into the fashion district by myself in downtown Los Angeles and mailed my mother various samples of crystals, sequins and beads. She then told me how many of each she thought she needed and I bought them and shipped them back to her.
The next challenge was the engineering of the dress. It had to be built from the inside out. The aisle of the church was only four feet three inches wide, so my mother made the skirt pattern with a ruler open to the right measurement, to make sure I would fit down the aisle! First she made the hoop skirt and even embroidered our names, location, and date on the base ruffle of the hoop, using blue rayon thread, to be my something blue. Then she made a muslin pattern of the skirt, which we perfected to be as full of a circle as possible. The train was 10 feet wide at the widest point, extending to a royal length of over 100 inches. Altogether the skirt had fourteen layers that gave an airy and delicate look.
The bodice was made of Italian illusion net, silk taffeta, silk organza, and china silk, which was covered in the French Alencon lace used on the hemline. The neckline was edged in venise lace that draped through the bodice and onto the skirt.
Bridal Party Attire:
The flower girl dress, was another Design’s By Sharon original, my mother made with my vision in mind. I wanted Kylie to feel like a princess too! The sleeveless gown was constructed of the same materials used in my dress, white silk charmeuse satin, silk taffeta, tulle, glitter tulle and silk white organza. The full skirt had a navy blue satin sash at the waistline tied in a bow down the back to coordinate with the Bridesmaids.
The two ring bearers, were also made by my mother. We felt black would be too harsh on kids, and navy would coordinate with the girls and be more age appropriate. So my mom constructed navy blue double breasted tuxedos, trimmed with navy blue satin shawl collars and waistbands. We finished off their outfits with white bowties and suspenders.
The ring bearer pillows were custom embroidered and sewn by my aunt, Teresa Gelinne.
The bridesmaids dresses were Kristyn by LulaKate in Navy Shantung.
My shoes: I had my shoes handmade by Vahan Kharazyan of Crown Dance Shoes, a local ballroom dance shoemaker in Burbank, California.
My Grandfather, Robert Consaga, the original owner of The Country Florist, in Yorktown Heights, New York, came out of retirement to do my flowers for my wedding. I must say it was his finest work! He worked tirelessly with the assistance of my Aunt Denyse Collins to create beautiful bouquets, boutonnieres, centerpieces, and decking out the entire church with arrangements!
My grandfather is a true artist and that definitely showed with my cascade style bouquet he made up with white roses, white Phalaenopsis orchids, stephanotis, variegated pittosporum, variegated ivy and baby’s breath.
Mark wore a boutonniere made out of stephanotis, baby’s breath and variegated ivy. The groomsmen all wore boutonnieres of yellow roses, baby’s breath and variegated ivy. The father’s and grandfather’s wore boutonnieres made out of white roses, baby’s breath and variegated ivy.
The bridesmaids carried cascade style bouquets of yellow roses, cream colored miniature gerbera daisies, yellow Lisianthus, variegated pittosporum, variegated ivy and baby’s breath. The maid of honor had an additional touch of blue delphinium in her bouquet.
The flower girl carried a basket of white daisies, yellow roses, baby’s breath and variegated ivy, with a wreath of baby’s breath in her hair.
The Invitations/ Place Cards/ Favors:
Mark and I both handmade each Invitation, Place card and Favor bag by hand with the help of our Silhouette Cameo cutting software and tool.
What was your favorite part about your wedding day?
My favorite part of my wedding day, was after walking down the aisle and seeing how handsome Mark looked in his tales. His smile just always puts me at ease, and I’m so lucky to be able to have him by my side for the rest of my life!