Caleb & Tory Zimmerman
Caleb and I met when we were 14 and 15 years old. I had seen Caleb a few times before (we shared mutual friends) but we had yet to really meet and connect. That all changed during ski club. It was my first year snowboarding. I had skied, but if you've ever snowboarded before, you know it is not AT ALL the same. Your first few days are...painful, to say the least. So we spent most of our time with the 4-year-olds on the "bunny slope." One day, my friend, Caroline, and I decided that we were brave enough to venture onto some of the easier trails from the top of the mountain. As we were approaching the ski lift, we saw Caleb headed our way, towards the same ski lift. I was a little nervous (our friend group had all collectively decided he was an absolute dreamboat), so when Caroline called out to him (she knew him and knew that I had wanted an introduction) I definitely started freaking out! He skated over to where we were standing, the two of them exchanging pleasantries. She introduced the two of us, and she invited him to join us on the lift for the ride up. He didn't say anything at first. He shifted nervously back and forth with his head down, a shy smirk on his face. Finally, he looked up at us with that trademark, clumsy, shy-boy grin that I fell in love with and said, "No thanks. I'm the Lone Ranger." And just like that, he skated off into the distance. Guys, I can't make this up. We rode the ski lift ourselves that day, but from then on...he had me intrigued 😉
It's hard to put a pin on when in our relationship I knew. It could have been when he gave me my first (of MANY) mix CDs. It might have been when we were on one of our many adventures, hiking and exploring. Maybe during one of our spontaneous picnics by the creek or when he lit up our stargazing spot with hundreds of tiny tea lights to spell out "I Love You." I think for me it was a slow and perfect progression and I got swept up in it along the way :)
Well, fast forward 12 years friendship. Years of exchanging cd mixes (it was the first gift Caleb ever made me, and I still have it to this day), years of notes and cartoons, laughter, tears, and advice. 12 years of breaking into abandoned buildings, concerts, and even seeing other people. Fast forward to Summer of last year, after finding each other again and giving this thing another go. To really understand this story, you all need to know one thing about Caleb Zimmerman, and that is that he is the King of romantic gestures. It has always been a joke between us for years about how little it took to make me happy (I'm talking a Wendy's frosty here) and how much effort he put into each and every surprise over the years. From surprise picnics by the creek, to showing up during one of my classes to write out his "promposal" to me in the parking lot in giant chalk letters (you know, before it was cool). He was always showing me these grand, romantic gestures. So, when Caleb took me out to dinner that July 7th, I didn't even see it coming. We ate at an adorable hotel turned restaurant, and then Caleb suggested that we revisit our favorite stargazing spot. We hadn't been there in years. It had been a beautiful, remote, retreat center at one time where we had attended parties and later, turned it into our favorite scene to frequent on a clear night. It was perfect. He had lit up the tree in twinkle lights, with a blanket laid out near the base of the tree that we had always sat underneath. Even with all of that, I thought nothing of it! He had done so many romantic things; it never dawned on me how special this moment was until he pulled out his phone and put on "our song." He shakily handed me a folded up piece of paper and told me to read it. I turned from him and opened it up to find a hand-drawn comic. That had been one of our things. Instead of just typical notes, I would make him comics of the two of us and things we had done together. Sometimes they would just simply be comics of my day and how it was going, but always kept with and Continued the same story, in some way. A few years back, Caleb had shared with me that he had kept them, everyone from all of those years, and this was his contribution. It picked up right where the last one had left off and chronicled our journey, right up until this moment. It ended with the scene set before me, complete with our signature stick figures and the light strung tree above me and the line, "there was only one thing left for him to do..." I turned around to my future husband, down on one knee, as I read the word on the last page: "propose." Caleb loves to tell people that in that moment, I "laughed in his face." I mean, I did laugh...But only because, in that moment, I was the happiest girl alive! And honestly, that hasn't changed ♡ (Fun facts: Caleb decided to propose with little preparation and no attention to the Calendar. He proposed on 7/7/17. We fell in love with our venue and tried to book a September/October wedding. The closest available date they had was in August, so I told them to just give me the latest date in August they had. They sent me back a confirmation for 8/18/18 ♡)
My search for a dress consisted of months and months of searching in bridal shops and online, to no avail. I had always dreamt of long sleeves since the first time I saw Grace Kelly's wedding photo in a magazine as a child. My style is very simple, and it was almost impossible to find a dress that wasn't covered in sequins and tulle, and that fit my laid-back personality and style. It wasn't until I stumbled upon Wear Your Love on Etsy that I really started to feel excited about the process!
As soon as I laid eyes on the Indigo Dress, I knew it was the one. The long sleeves, the flattering silhouette, the lace details at the neckline, and the open back I had recently fallen in love with...it was perfect!
I was nervous/excited! I had initially had my reservations about ordering a dress from online. I had already been through quite an ordeal with purchasing a dress through a local boutique, and it had been a disaster. But after reading so many positive reviews and learning more about the process and how much detail went into every step, I was so much more at ease! As soon as I felt the material of the dress, I fell in love!
We had our reception in a barn, but it wasn't a rustic feel. We tried to decorate with more bohemian/ethereal vibes.
Our wedding venue was the most beautiful little farm that also runs a bakery right out of their farmhouse! They are called http://www.meyersfarmbakery.com/, and they were an absolute dream to work with. We ultimately chose them for their flexibility in allowing us to choose our own caterer and vendors and that allowed us to take care of our own decorating, which was very important to me. We had a very tight budget, and I didn't want to sacrifice our style!
We actually used the most lovely trio of young girls from a local Academy (cellist, violinist, and pianist), to play at the church! I walked down the aisle to their rendition of "A Thousand Years" by Christina Perry and we walked out to the same string trio playing "You are the Best Thing" by Ray LaMontagne :) Our first dance song was by an old underground band we both loved in high school called Copper, and the song was "Caption".
My favorite moment for me was sitting at our head table, as my husband danced his mother/son dance, tears falling down his mother's cheeks. I looked to my left and right at our wedding party who had all helped us so much and in so many ways, and I took a second to be in that moment. I scanned the room and seeing the happiness and the emotions that had overcome everyone; it was magical ☆
Photography: Hand and Arrow Photography
I have loved Jess and Chris' work for some time and knew right away that they were the photographer I wanted to capture our moments!
Hair and Makeup: Alisha Nycole & Co https://alishanycole.com My hair and makeup girls were the EXTREMELY talented girls from Alisha Nycole & Co, and they were such a pleasure to work with! Caterer: Mission BBQ https://mission-bbq.com We are still getting compliments on the food to this day! DJ: Partycrashers https://www.partycrashersdj.com They kept the party going, even though the August heat! Florist: The Flowersmith at Two Barn Farms http://twobarnfarmnj.com I actually locally sourced our flowers from a small flower farm in NJ. It was really important to me that we try to support local businesses where we could. Jane was a sweetheart and made my bridal bouquet and my corsages and supplied me with so many beautiful stems. We used extra buckets of flowers purchased from the farm and supplemented with flowers from my personal garden to create our bridal bouquets, boutonnieres, and floral arrangements for the tables.
We did A LOT of DIY stuff to keep costs low. While I LOVED doing all of this, it was definitely overwhelming at times. Make sure not to spread yourself too thin! Don't be afraid to admit you could use the help and make sure to keep your future spouse involved. It all goes by so quickly, and you want to look back at that time as something special for both of you :)
5 out of 5 stars
Congratulations Caleb & Tory!
May the years ahead be filled with lasting joy for you two.
Tory is wearing the Indigo dress with the white lining, and a 6-inch train.
When did you know that this person had stolen your heart?
The very first time we spoke. I can honestly say I knew I would marry him from the moment I met him. His soul spoke to mine.
Tell us about the proposal ...
Both of us could tell this was a once in a lifetime love. But I knew Ben would put too much pressure on the perfection of something like a proposal. So after a quick check with his friends and family, and most importantly with my girls, I decided to propose to him! I got a special t-shirt made, and wrote my proposal on a softball. Just before the start of his Friday night game Ben's brother and the umpire helped get Ben over to home plate so we could scoot out to the pitcher's mound and pitch him the ball. I am an incredibly shy person for speaking in front of crowds, so I was really nervous... but it was (almost) perfect, and he said yes! I had gotten his whole family there, including a few that never attend his games, so I am pretty sure he knew something was up. I do know he was still surprised though, not a lot of guys get their own special proposal!
When did you know that this person had stolen your heart?
There wasn't exactly a 'moment' but eventually, I realized that I didn't want to experience life without him in it. We are an amazing team and always make it a point to make our life FUN. He is the most kind hearted, caring, hardworking and hilarious person I've ever known and I'm so grateful to have him in my life!