Soul Mate Through and Through | Wolf Oak Acres | Oneida New York Wedding Film | Holly + Ben

What is your story?

Ben grew up in Bradford, PA and Holly grew up in Cazenovia, NY.  When Holly was in her senior year at St. Bonaventure University, the owner of a marketing agency in Bradford reached out looking for writers to intern. Holly took the gig, and in May of 2018 moved to Bradford full-time to work at the agency after graduating. In July, one of Holly’s bosses (sensing her friendlessness after moving) invited her to a Fourth of July picnic at Allegany State Park with his family and friends. Lo and behold, that boss was Ben’s brother, Josh. We met that fateful day and began to form a friendship.

In the years following, our friendship grew as we made a lot of fun memories together. [It is here we must importantly mention how almost all of these lifelong memories included having Ben’s sister, Heather, by our side. Those priceless years of non-stop fun and trips and traditions are something we wouldn’t trade for the whole world, and we’re so lucky to have Heather in our lives.] We began to swap interests as we spent more time together — Ben’s infectious love of professional wrestling and campy slashers rubbed off on Holly, and Holly taught Ben about the world of great wine and getting beat in Spades.
In late 2020, our connection became irrefutable. When we were in a room together, it was like two magnets. We began dating and building our future. After we moved in together, it was so fun to explore the new interests that arose: We began an annual vegetable garden and learned new recipes to cook with our harvest, we adopted Wilson and nursed him from death’s door to full health, we re-discovered our mutual love of reading and got library cards.
On July 24, 2021 Ben proposed to Holly at 5:00 AM after we jumped into Willow Bay together at sunrise. On that day, we were hosting a seafood boil party for both of our families so that everyone could meet for the first time. We got to bask in the feeling of being newly engaged surrounded by our family and close friends.
On October 14, 2022 we got married and couldn’t be more excited to start our lives together as a little family — us and our two cats, Wilson and Wasabi.

How did the two of you meet?

We first met at a Fourth of July picnic at State Park with the Curcios and Jobes.

What was your favorite memory of your wedding day?

Ben’s: Watching Holly while she read her vows
Holly’s: Slow dancing to “Rearrange Us” (our song) at the end of the night surrounded by other couple’s whose love we admire.

What were the main influences behind the style of your wedding, its location and your venue choice for your big day?

We consider fall to be sort-of the season we fell in love in (our dating-aversary is 11/30/20).  Fall, specifically nature and being outside in the fall, evokes so many feelings of coziness, security, and nostalgia for us. When we got engaged, we knew we wanted an outdoor fall wedding for those reasons. 
In the pre-engagement, dreaming phases of wedding talks, we had dreamed of having our wedding at Allegany State Park. We had pictured a secluded, woodsy ceremony and all of our loved ones staying in cabins with us. As time went on, we realized having a wedding at ASP was not super feasible (you have to source everything from forks to porta potties… $$$!!!) and began looking for venues. Stumbling across Wolf Oak Acres was a dream come true. We were able to have our secluded, woodsy, dreamy ceremony AND have our loved ones stay in cabins! The bonus for us was the gorgeous indoor space, which meant we didn’t have to stress about unpredictable Upstate NY fall weather. 
If we had to describe the ethos of our wedding in 3 words, we’d say: cozy, intentional, light-hearted. We didn’t want anything to feel contrived, forced, or weird. We nixed any traditions that felt weird to us (bye, bouquet toss and dollar dance) and tried to build our day around the idea of it feeling like any other party we were hosting. We didn’t want our guests to feel they couldn’t be themselves, or couldn’t let loose, because of the pressures of a wedding. Holly loved the mismatched, but coordinated, bridesmaids’ looks and how it allowed each girl to shine uniquely beautifully how they each felt best.
Every detail we included was an Easter egg of sorts — our table numbers had 7 of our favorite love song quotes, our bar napkins had trivia about us, our guest book was designed to be hung in a specific spot in our home, our favors were stickers designed by Holly with a link to a playlist we carefully curated.

What would your top tips be for somebody planning their wedding?

Celebrate every little milestone and moment. We often paired our wedding planning tasks with good champagne which helped bring an air of celebration to everything rather than an air of stress. It’s probably really easy for couples to view engagement as a transient stage, a purgatory to get through before the rest of your lives but we think it was much more fun to view it as its own unique and special milestone in our relationship and savored every moment. 
Aside from that, here are our top logistical tips:
– Find a project management style that suits you and stick to it. Strive to be more organized than even your most organized vendor.
– Make sure you’re making time AND space for wedding tasks, separate from your daily life. For us, this meant going into a literal separate part of the house to start and finish each task so it didn’t bleed into the rest of our life.
– The last month will be stressful (I know what we said before, but even our celebration-coated experience was not immune). Be gentle, open, and honest with each other when you’re feeling triggered or stressed.
– Delete TikTok, Pinterest, etc. once you have your vision. The wedding trend space is just so overwhelming and oftentimes so unachievable. Once your plans are in place, try not to binge-watch what others are doing. Don’t let anything or anyone shake your sense of confidence about your special day.

What made you decide to hire a wedding videographer? Any tips for couples on the fence for a film?

First and foremost it was important for us to have our loved ones’ voices immortalized forever. Second to that was ensuring we had our ceremony on video in its entirety forever. It’s important to us to have those moments to share with our future kids, in a way that photo kind of falls flat.
If you’re on the fence and you’re not sure if a film is a good fit for you — try and think about how you would feel if you were able to watch the wedding film of your parents or grandparents. Personally, we would give ANYTHING to be able to see our loved ones on their wedding days and are betting our kids and other loved ones feel the same. For us, that’s what made it a no-brainer.

Photographer Company Name Sarah Heppell Photography

DJ/ Entertainment Company Name Washburn Entertainment

Wedding Venue Wolf Oak Acres

Hair Miracles Salon

Make Up & Beauty Meg Loveland

Florist Oneida Floral

Officiant Kathy Wright

Paper Products / Invitations Designed by Mayva Sturzenbecker and Holly Jobe

Catering Munching Moose

Chairs WOA

Cake Munching Moose

Transportation Hale Transportation

Live Music Jonah and Greg

Dress Store Circa Bridal Boutique

Wedding Ring Jared

Hair Piece David’s Bridal

Earrings Custom made with pieces from mom’s dress by Ralph at Cazenovia Jewelers

Shoes Lulus

Suit Store Tuxedo Junction

Wedding Ring Jared

Watch Etsy Fancy Gift Studio

Tie My Tie Shop

Groomsmen Attire Tuxedo Junction