With a bit of luck, lots of love, and a heartfelt essay, Samantha and Tyler won the wedding of their dreams at Belle Gardens. Vintage chic was the theme of the day, filled with magnificent blooms, darling dresses, and stunning event design. Keep reading to see the essay that Samantha and Tyler submitted to win all of this gorgeousness!
From Park Road Photography:
When Pam and Larry Terpsta, owners of Belle Victorian Gardens, suddenly found themselves with a canceled wedding date on their hands this summer, they decided to have a little fun with the newly free Saturday and host a contest to give away a complete wedding to one lucky bride and groom on September 21, 2013. They partnered with some of the top wedding vendors in the Inland Northwest to promote and design an absolute dream wedding (i.e.: free wedding gown and accessories, gorgeous florals, custom designed invitations and paper products, fully catered dinner, signature drinks, among so many other special touches…. including a vintage ice cream truck!). After narrowing their entries down to three finalists, they conducted in-person interviews, and a winning couple emerged: Samantha Dodd and Tyler Loessin. Sammy and Ty couldn’t have been more lovely, gracious, or deserving of this special day!
As a photographer, my favorite parts of any wedding are the authentic, genuine moments that unfold naturally and organically. I love watching a groom’s heart melt as he catches his first glimpse of his beautiful bride. I love the look on a bride’s face as she hears her groom pledge to her his undying love and devotion. I love the moment a newly pronounced husband and wife walk down their wedding aisle, hand in hand and awash with bliss. This wedding I added another favorite to my list, and that was the moment Sammy and Ty dedicated in their ceremony to placing letters they had written to each other for their first wedding anniversary into an antique keepsake trunk on which guests had written their messages of love and congratulations. What a sweet gift to look forward to opening on September 21, 2014!
From the Bride:
When Ty and I applied for the giveaway we honestly had no idea we were going to win. We actually had been at the venue two weeks prior talking with Pam and walking the grounds, it was at that time Ty saw my eyes light up. You see when I was a little girl the old owners of the venue babysat me. The grooms cottage was our playhouse, the bridal sweet was a dream room of mine playing dress up. The stairs of the house I remember sitting on smelling fresh gingerbread during Christmas as a little girl. Belle Victorian Gardens was a huge piece of my childhood and that’s what was showing in my reaction while on the grounds. When we found out we had won not only our dream location but our wedding we were in complete shock. Ty and I were so grateful and felt so blessed to have won.
The whole experience was magical. Even though we had won we still had the chance to plan it all with Pam and the amazing vendors help. Pam and Larry Terpstra (Belle Victorian Gardens) Sarah from Park Road Photography, Mika from Batch BakeShop, Esther from Special Touch Florist, Aaron from Grace Media, Stella Gilbert from Stella’s Design, Erica’s Expression, Sweet Dreams Bakery, just to name a few honestly made me feel like family! The special touches they put into our day made it an absolute fairy tale! Each vendor acted like it was their own wedding day. We are so thankful to now call a lot of them friends. Their selflessness Ty and I can never repay.
View the live events from Samantha and Tyler’s big day below, marvelously filmed by Grace Media.
Jewelry: Stella's Design
Photography: Park Road Photography
Event Designer & Coordinator: Romancing the Stone Styling
Cinematography: Grace Media
Venue: Belle Gardens
Stationery: Vintage Invites Stationery and Styling
Flowers: Erica's Expressions & Special Touch Florist
Cake: Sweet Dreams Bakery
Caterer: Charley's Catering
Bridesmaids Hair: Heather Blake of Fringe Salon & Boutique
Bride's Hair: Jessica Mitchell of Stylz Salon
Makeup: Bri's Beauty
Dress Shop: Storybook Bridal
Sash: Stella's Design
Prop/Furniture Rentals: Event Rents
Vintage Dishes: The Attic
Vintage Ice Cream Truck: The Scoop
Cookies for S'mores Bar: Batch Bakeshop
Dj: Complete Dj
Read on to see the wedding winning essay and some advice from the bride on how to make sure your special day is flawless!
I know applicants will be writing in telling about their love stories and how this opportunity you're giving brides in the Spokane area is nothing short of a fairy tale. My name is Samantha Dodd and I am writing this email with the same intentions as everyone else although my story is a little different. I grew up watching weddings from across the street from Belle's and ever since I was a little girl my dream has been to get married there. My fiancé and I have been searching for that perfect location and as we started our journey in this crazy wedding planning world we realized the wedding of our dreams is out of reach as for now. So we gave ourselves a year to plan and put it all together knowing that a lot will have to be second choice due to the fact that we are paying for our wedding with no help. Although what's a "Dream wedding" anyway. In all reality it's the love shared between two people and your wedding day should be an expression of your love, but can you put a price on that? My fiancé Tyler is my best friend, lover, partner, and teammate in life. From the moment we met, this whole wedding planning ordeal has been fun although all I want at the end of the day is to marry my best friend, and my heart felt like it could finally rest. We have had our tests and trials, and at one point honestly it was our true love for each other that carried us through. The most amazing gift he can ever give me is his last name and to him this gift feels like it has to come with a hefty price tag. Student loans, medical bills, and surprise situations have put a huge damper on our wedding planning. What’s suppose to be a happy time ends in stress and wondering where the money is going to come from. Our love has been through so much and this too shall pass. No matter what, just getting to marry my best friend is all I want. Tyler supports me, motivates me, and he is constantly reminding me what's most important in life. Our love doesn't have a price tag. No amount of money spent on flowers, dresses, food, champagne or anything wedding related will ever be able to show our family and friends the magnitude of our love on our wedding day. The catch is every girl has dreamed of her wedding day since she was little. From the flowers, dress, food, and champagne, rather a value or not, every girl deserves her big day just as she's always dreamt it. My dream since I was a little girl has always been to get married at Belle's. This opportunity you're offering caught my eye because it would give my fiancé and I a chance to have the wedding of our dreams and express and share our love with family and friends beyond our wildest dreams. It would also take a lot of stress off of my fiancé, and this is the most important thing in the world to me. I thank you for taking the time to read this entry and I know I'm going to be one of many applicants, but I can only hope my entry sticks out to you in some way. With love, Samantha Dodd and Tyler Loessin.
Advice from the Bride:
Looking back now I can honestly say I would have done nothing differently except, SLOW DOWN to enjoy the experience more. We only had about a month and a half to plan our big day so things had to be crazy all the time. It was truly magical in every way but I should have slowed down while I was planning to take it all in. Create a theme for your day, not just colors. Ours was country, vintage, chic. It helped to bring it all together in the end. Also go to a few different bridal gown stores to try on dresses. I only went to one and found the perfect dress after three dresses. I do wish now I would have been to a few places and had the chance to experience more dresses and getting to play bride a little more.