kirsten + gabe // Adirondack Woodcraft Camp

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It feels like I’ve been wanting to blog this wedding for a million years and the day is finally here!  So, I’m not big on having “favorite venues,” because for me, this work I do is all about the people. The place just doesn’t matter all that much. But, if I ever did have to choose a favorite, I think Adirondack Woodcraft Camp would have to be it. I grew up in the foothills of the Adirondacks. My family spent time up there every summer of my entire childhood, so I think my biggest reason for loving this venue is the nostalgia I feel when I get to spend time up there as an adult. It’s a truly magical place for me. The weekend we spent with Kirsten and Gabe was just incredible, and I’m so excited to finally share these images. The thoughts and memories they shared throughout the post really bring it all to life, so make sure you take a minute to read them! They are the sweetest couple. 

Kirsten: “Our first date was the first time I flew to NY to visit. It was terrifying and soooo awkward because we had only been talking via phone and Skype as friends at that point. But Gabe picked me up from the airport and we went to Fort Stanwix, which is this weird historic fort. We were followed around by this super enthusiastic actor dressed and acting like a soldier. It’s was incredibly awkward and hilarious at the same time.

Kirsten: “So the story of my dress is actually pretty funny. I went to Charlotte NC for the weekend with one of my bridesmaids and met with my Mom, aunt and grandma. We had a wonderful weekend filled with mimosas and dress shopping. Finally found a dress that we all loved and we decided to order it in champagne! I’m not a super girly girl so I wanted something simple and with gold undertones. Well, a couple weeks went by and one afternoon I received a frantic call from the woman who helped me find my dress. Another woman had chosen the same dress and color and hers had come in that day. She called right away to tell me we had a huge issue- I had accidentally ordered a pink wedding dress! My least favorite color. The color ‘champagne’, which was supposed to be slightly gold, was actually pink in person. I was pressed for time and Gabe could tell I was stressed so the next day he drove me two hours to the shop and he actually helped me pick out my dress that I wore on our wedding day. It was pretty hilarious because obviously he was the only man in there and was super uncomfortable but he actually picked the dress out off the rack and when I tried it on I knew it was the one!

Kirsten: “Before our First Look I was so nervous for Gabe to see me all dolled up, but it was the perfect moment and he reacted in the best way.

Gabe: “When I first saw Kirsten at our First Look I thought to myself ‘I’m the luckiest man alive’.

Kirsten: “Gabe will always make me laugh. He will go exploring anywhere I want to. We are constantly finding new adventures to take together. We like to hike, take photos and just generally explore. We love to find ghost towns and abandoned buildings (basically anything creepy). We value each other and the time we spend together exploring new places.

Kirsten: “My favorite special touch was the Girl Gang jackets I had custom made for my babes. I wanted the bridesmaids gifts to be something they could use on the wedding day and also take home with them and wear time and time again. Seeing the looks on my bridesmaids’ faces when I gave them their gifts was something I will hold on to forever.

Gabe: “Looking out into the crowd before the ceremony started and realizing that all of my family and friends from all over the country were all here, in one place, made me feel incredibly thankful for each and every one there.

Gabe: “Having Bailey as our flower dog was the perfect addition to the wedding party. She walked down the aisle like a pro and laid quietly through the whole ceremony. We were very proud dog parents that day.

Kirsten: “Gabe and I wrote our own vows during a weekend getaway in the mountains and saying them to each other in front of all of our closest friends and family was an unforgettable experience, made possible by Gabe’s cousin Stephanie, who officiated our wedding.

Kirsten: “Our first kiss and the moments that followed were the happiest I have ever felt!

Gabe: “After the ceremony we slipped off into the woods while everyone went ahead to the cocktail hour. Those quiet moments were a chance for everything to sink in. All I kept saying was, ‘We are really married! We did it.‘”

Kirsten: “The wooden mountain landscape [above the fireplace at the reception] was a surprise that Gabe’s Dad made for me for the rehearsal dinner. He created it using our wedding invitations as his inspiration and when he showed me I was stunned. It is so beautiful and Gabe is planning on making us a new a bed frame and using it as our headboard!

Kirsten: “The Ciotti’s have a chant that they like to yell during family functions and a few minutes before going into the reception, while standing outside with the wedding party, I could hear a crowd of people chanting ‘C- to the I to the O-T-T-I’ and that’s when it hit me, I was officially a Ciotti!!!

Kirsten: “Our first dance song was ‘I Don’t Want to Set the World on Fire’ by The Inkspots. It’s an older song that not many people know about. I hadn’t heard of it until Gabe played it for me on the guitar. He sang it to me early on in our relationship and it quickly became ‘our song’, so when it can time to chose our first dance neither of us had to think about it. It just seemed silly to chose any other song.

Kirsten: “The father-daughter dance was very hard to chose a song. Growing up, my dad and I would watch The Muppets all the time and I love the song ‘Rainbow Connection’. Gabe and I spent hours listening to covers trying to find the perfect song. We never liked any of them as much as the original, but having Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy sing at our wedding also felt a bit absurd. Luckily Gabe comes from an incredibly talented family and his uncle, Elliott, and cousin, Stephanie, are especially amazing. I asked Stephanie and Elliott if they would be willing to perform the song at our wedding and they did. It made the dance so much more special having them play and sing it. Having the other Ciotti cousins chime in and sing along was the perfect ending to a beautiful moment.

Kirsten: “A piece of advice: have a day of coordinator! We luckily have a wonderful friend, Maggie, who offered to act as ours during the wedding. She made sure everything went smoothly and answered questions so Gabe and I didn’t have to! Honestly without her I’m sure we would have been stressed out, but having someone in charge left us carefree and able to have the time of our lives!

Working with Jenn and Ben was so wonderful. They are incredibly talented and knew how to keep us on our timeline, which I’m sure was difficult because I get distracted easily. We felt very comfortable with them and I recommend them to everyone I know who is getting married. I couldn’t have asked for a better experience or better photographs!

How awesome were Kirsten’s bridesmaid gifts?! AMAZING!! Check out more fun and unique wedding party gift ideas here!

Wedding Vendors Include:

Venue: Adirondack Woodcraft Camp
Cake: Kenwood Kakes

All other elements of this beautiful wedding were DIY