Emma and Taylor envisioned an intimate wedding with their closest friends and family. They selected the Aurora Inn on Cayuga Lake because Taylor grew up visiting his parents at their lake house on Cayuga, and the absolutely beautiful setting and historic town were an easy choice. With the dreamy backdrop, the couple kept the rest of their event light and airy with a crisp white tent, pastel color palette, and Taylor’s dress whites! The moving video from NST Pictures and lovely images by Asher Gardner Photography bring to life this lovely late summer soiree!
In their own words
How did you meet?
Emma and Taylor met during the beginning of their freshmen year at Rochester Institute of Technology. As a member of the NROTC Rochester Battalion, Taylor was looking for a date to the Navy Birthday Ball that fall. One of Taylor’s friends knew a girl that lived across the hall from him in the dorms and suggested to ask her. After meeting the girl across the hall, Emma, the search for a date, and another kind of search, was over. From that moment, Emma and Taylor started walking through life together and never looked back. Emma supported Taylor in every way possible with his studies as a Mechanical Engineering Technology major and as a NROTC student. Taylor reciprocated by supporting Emma in her studies as an Industrial Design major as best he could, but his creativity skills were less than helpful for the level that Emma was soaring on. Through the passage of time and stresses of college, Emma and Taylor grew closer together and shared every bit of life with one another. Baseball games, drive-in movies, dances, shopping adventures, visiting family, holiday trips, study sessions in the library, and the endless every day laughter that got them through the week. All of this joy and happiness combined, though, could not exceed the thrill of a summer journey four years into their relationship. A summer journey they would never forget and would start them on a whole new voyage.
What is your proposal story?
Every voyage has a proposed destination, and a proposal is where this one began. Emma and Taylor’s proposal is not one of great surprise, but of specialty. The island of Tangier has always been held close to the heart of a Spence and Crockett, their close family relation. Located in the Chesapeake Bay area, Tangier island is a small, unique community. It is a place that Emma visited often in her childhood during the summers. Emma and her parents would lodge with Denny, Emma’s cousin, and his wife, Glenna. They are some of the kindest people you may ever meet, then again, every Tangier resident may fall into this category. It was Denny whom Taylor first met on Tangier the morning of August 9, 2016. He was waiting at the pier with a golf cart (the main source of transportation on Tangier) that was pre-rented and ready for Emma and Taylor to use at their leisure during their stay. This was a prime example of the kind and generous nature of the island. The first stop after getting off the small ferry was to Denny’s mother, Lois, in her house. After that, Emma and Taylor made their way to Denny and Glenna’s house to drop off their bags and begin their day on Tangier. Next on the agenda was to visit the Tangier museum and then head to the waterfront to check out the view. Let’s skip the museum and move onto the beach because the museum is about the past and this story is meant for the future. Bayside, the beach located at the southern end of Tangier, is where Taylor and Emma decided to watch the gorgeous day go by. Bayside is a long and narrow beach, with many twists and bends. It was within one of these bends that Taylor planned to do something he knew was inevitable. There were some other families near the entrance to the beach, and it was important to Taylor to be alone with Emma while proposing to represent that if Emma was, or felt, alone, she would always have Taylor. Getting around one of those bends, however, proved to be a little difficult. There were numerous times that Emma asked to stop to sit down on the beach while they were still in sight of others. Taylor had to calmly ask to keep going while he nervously fumbled to get the ring ready in his pocket without making it obvious to Emma. Although they had been dating for nearly four years and it only felt natural to take this next step, it was still extremely nerve racking for Taylor to ask the love of his life to marry him. They finally rounded the bend and the time had come. As Taylor stopped Emma to say what he had planned for weeks, it only felt right as he moved to drop to a knee. With a gasp of a “yes” from Emma, and Taylor’s shaking hands putting on her ring (as Emma will never let him forget), just like that, Taylor and Emma were engaged. Their engagement is what started their voyage, and the whereabouts of their next major milestone is unknown, but they are well on their way to finding out.
What was the most important to the two of you while planning? Was there anything that you chose to splurge on or skip?
We prioritized the venue, the photography and the video over everything. We knew the venue meant a lot to Taylor so that was a priority. The photographs and video were my priority, knowing that we would have them to look back on for the rest of our lives to remember our perfect day. The Aurora Inn handled most of the other details, which made things much easier. The string quartet was my personal splurge because I had dreamed of having a string quartet at my wedding since I was little.
What were your favorite parts of the day?
I had many favorite parts of the day but here are a few that stood out: 1. I really enjoyed getting ready with the bridesmaids and flower girls in the morning. We had the best time having our hair and makeup done by Make Me Fabulous, and just hanging out before the big event. 2. Another favorite moment was immediately after the ceremony, when Taylor and I had a moment to ourselves, off to the side, just the two of us. That was when it set in that we were finally married! 3. My dad’s speech was another wonderful part of the day. I got a little nervous at times during it because he hadn’t shown it to me, and so I didn’t know what he would say, but it was hilarious and heartwarming and everything in between. 4. Finally the floating lanterns and sparklers sent off over the lake after dark. It was the perfect ending to our perfect day.
Did you include any family heirlooms or special traditions?
When having my wedding dress altered, we asked them to sew one of Taylor’s Navy fatigue uniform nametapes into the inside hem of the dress. We knew it was there but no one else did. It was my “something new and something blue” for the day. The something new was his last name sewn in gold stitching and the something blue was the blue digi camo pattern of the nametape.
Do you have any advice for couples planning their weddings now?
Be true to yourselves through the whole process. You have a vision for your wedding, work towards and plan to that ideal vision as much as possible. There will be tough choices to make, especially when you’re sitting next to one another, wondering how many friends of friends you should invite and where you draw the line for invitations. Or whether to allocate more of your budget towards your apparel versus the food you will serve. All weddings are different. Remember that this is your day as a couple, make it how you want and stay true to your perfect vision.