Hi! My name's Marisa LB Grimes and I'm 26 years old. I'm from New York, and Brady is Houston born and raised, so it's been really fun to learn more about our North-South divide! My husband and I have been living in East Africa for 3+ years and both work at a non profit organization that directly serves farmers by providing critical trainings and inputs to prevent hunger and increase household prosperity. We have a hilariously rambunctious pup named Bruce Wayne who constantly keeps us entertained while we're home. We both love traveling and are blessed to be able to visit a handful of new countries off our bucket lists every year, but on a typical night you can find us in the kitchen making up recipes (I'm the sous chef!) or reading on the couch and acting like we're not super excited for the next Chicago PD or SNL episode to be aired. We both love our careers in service, and are driven to find ways to continue doing so in new places as we grow older -- so long as there's a yard for BWG to run around in!
How did you choose your wedding dress and what made it “you"?
Honestly, I saw the gold & tulle portion on Pinterest and immediately fell in love, and I also loved the idea of purchasing both pieces on Etsy! I knew that I wouldn't really be able to have a "traditional" dress selection day because I lived abroad and wouldn't be back for a single fitting before the big day, so I went with the first idea I loved, and haven't regretted it a bit. After sending both piece photos separately to my closest friends and my mom, all they could say was "this is SO you!". That's how I knew that this tulle & gold combo was going to be a winner, and I'm grateful the skirt elevated the dress into the category of dreamy wedding :)
Tell us a little about you and your partner’s story?
So, Brady and I met when I took a job at the organization we both work for -- and during my interview I thought he was totally dreamy! It wasn't three weeks after I arrived that he asked me out on a "date" (okay, he actually tricked me into a weekend away saying a few people were going but it was just us!), and we were basically inseparable since. Working with a colleague on the same general team, who lived on the same road as me (maybe 300 meters away), in a small Tanzanian town meant that our relationship grew quickly, and he proposed just about a year after we started dating on the top of a waterfall here in Tanzania. Our engagement also lasted a year (September is an auspicious month for us!), and was filled with an amazing trip back home and a long-distance relationship as Brady moved to Rwanda for 9 months before returning to Tanzania. This gave us an excuse to travel a lot though, and we were able to have adventures in Rwanda, DRC, Oman, and 4 European countries in the meantime! We both think it's the funniest thing that it took us years and a move to small town in rural Tanzania to fall in love with our soulmate as we helped thousands of farmers grow corn. Luckily, it keeps our love story special!
What was your wedding like and what was a most memorable moment?
We had two wedding parties, but our wedding took place in Skaneateles, NY on September 17th, 2016. The ceremony was conducted with only immediate family present in the green space at Frog Pond Bed & Breakfast. I hadn't been to the location since a teenager, but I remember thinking then "this place is perfect for a wedding!" and I went with it -- it fit the vibe Brady & I imagined with a big open farm venue and lots of green space! On our wedding day we had some showers right before when the ceremony when was going to take place, but we lucked out that it stopped long enough to say I do! Following the ceremony, ~80 more people joined us for a wonderful reception with heavy hors d'oeuvres and a busy dance floor. While we said no to many of the traditions surrounding a regular wedding, the one thing we were really excited for is our two nieces and nephew to be our flower girls and ring bearer. I loved how dapper Hudson looked, and how Lane & Grace had dresses almost exactly like mine! They lit up the dance floor despite being the only children, and twirled and sashayed their ways into everyone's hearts within just a few hours!
What was the most challenging part of your wedding planning process and any advice for future L&L brides?
My biggest challenge was two-fold: first, that we were planning TWO wedding simultaneously (one in NY, and one in TX) with totally different vibes, and secondly, that Brady and I had to do the entire thing remotely (THANK YOU MOMS!!!!). That meant we had to pick a decision after some online searching and just commit to it, and run with it. My biggest piece of advice for future brides is to be confident in something you love -- you love it for a reason! No decision we made, no matter how much we questioned it through the process, ever felt like at the end we made the wrong decision. In our case, we had NO bridal party and NO florals, except flower girl crowns & small bouquets Brady's Nana made from a huge potted flowering plant I bought the day before -- but in the end, I still wouldn't have changed a thing!
Photography - Jen Hudson Photography
Venue - Frog Pond B&B, Skaneateles, NY
Hair & Makeup - Hairtique Skaneateles
Gold Dress - Pure Magnolia Couture