All couples – just like the individuals within a couple – are different; some began their courtship early in life, some stumble upon each other in an unexpected way, and some met their loved one casually and nurtured a friendship before their romance blossomed. For pairs that had a particularly memorable first meeting, it will typically be important to them to include some element of their beginnings as a duo into their nuptials – whether in a significant way or with understated details.
If you’re looking to be inspired by brides and grooms who integrated their “how we met” story into the décor of their big day, we’ve found five lovely couples from real weddings who pulled this concept off expertly. Click on each photo for further ideas based on their motif!
Krista & Erik
Erik first laid eyes on Krista during orientation for the Duke University MBA program – she was playfully participating in a “limbo” competition, and Erik couldn’t help but feel drawn to the pretty blonde with the fancy-free attitude. The handsome pair stayed together throughout their schooling, and sometime after graduation, Erik asked Krista to marry him. When it came to their wedding venue, there was no question: Duke University – where they had fallen in love. The couple officially tied the knot inside the Duke University Chapel; the neo-Gothic architecture of which was the inspiration for the logos embossed on all of their wedding paper products. Krista and Erik also employed the talents of the top female a capella group at the university to entertain guests at the reception.
Photos by Walters & Walters
Jessica & David
Who says a relationship can’t start at “will you marry me?” David saved Jessica from a stranger’s unwanted advances with a faux proposal on the night that they met, and to make their first date an unforgettable experience, the young man flew his love interest from Houston to Orange County to see a popular DJ. David expressed quickly that he loved Jessica and wanted to marry her – instead of feeling uncomfortable, Jessica expressed the same emotion, and David officially proposed eight months later on a plane headed for London. For their big day, the pair decided on a destination wedding in Southern California – the setting of their first date. All of the small details of their nuptials featured “travel” elements – save-the-dates in the style of airline tickets, invitations that looked like passports, and stamps from the many locations the couple had visited together.
Photos by Troy Grover Photographers
Anne-Marie & Adam
Anne-Marie describes her romance with Adam as a classic love story – they happened upon one another at a birthday party in New York City when Adam complimented Anne-Marie on her shoes, and there was an instant connection. When the two were ready to wed years later, The Big Apple played a significant role in their heartfelt nuptials. The pair was married in Southern California, so it came as a complete surprise to them when they followed performers into their after-party to see the entire space bedecked in NYC-themed elements. There were multiple New York “sets,” including a newsstand, the Italian restaurant where Anne-Marie and Adam had their first date, a miniature version of the sign over the “Rainbow Room,” and candy stands throughout the venue.
Photos by Lawrence Crandall Photography
Hannah & Joe
Hannah’s first encounter with Joe wasn’t the most graceful of moments; she accidentally spilled a glass of wine down his walking boot he had on due to a sprained ankle during a college party. Eventually, the duo began to date, and coincidentally, Joe went on to become a professional winemaker. After the couple’s engagement, they selected a winery venue in Northern California immediately. Most of the décor details incorporated wine bottles, wine glasses, and the rustic vibe of a winery – rows of grape vines and all. Natural verdure adorned the alfresco space and wine barrels acted as austere focal points throughout the ceremony.
Photos by Clane Gessel Photography
Tracy & Braden
Picture your dream vacation: the sun, the sand, and a chance encounter with your future beloved – it sounds like a fairy-tale, but that sums up Tracy and Braden’s serendipitous meeting while on vacation in Turks and Caicos. Both were enjoying some light reading – scripts, as they are both Los Angeles-based film producers – when they first locked eyes. Discovering they were part of the same profession and only lived two miles apart, the pair instantly connected. Seven years on, they planned their nuptials around the picturesque tropical setting in which they met. They selected a luxury oceanside resort for their vows to honor that sunny, warm day on the beach: a view of the sea, the saltwater smell in the air, and love encircling the duo as they joined together in matrimony.
Photos by B&G Photography
Opening photo by Bob & Dawn Davis Photography