Mother Nature threw everything at this couple the week leading up to their wedding on November 3, 2012, but neither Hurricane Sandy nor the unexpected snowstorm that followed was going to stop Nicole Hansen and Mark Porell from having the wedding they always wanted.
The two met almost four years ago to the day at a costume charity event at Public Bar in New York City. Nicole went as Autumn—her favorite time of year—and Mark as Clark Kent.
Three and a half years later, they were in Peru for a friend’s wedding. Being that they both love adventures and spending time outdoors, Mark thought a Peruvian hike was the perfect time to propose. Not wanting to travel with the real engagement ring, he bought an ink and silver ring with a turquoise stone made locally in that region of Peru.
Nicole’s actual engagement ring was custom-made by the designer Todd Reed out of Boulder, Colorado. “The stone was gorgeous and the band had two rows of organic diamonds,” she says. “Mark was attracted to the cut and sparkle of the ring.”
When it came to the wedding planning, “We were told what we really wanted for our wedding was impossible to find,” she says. “We wanted our guests to feel comfortable and the mood to be low-key, but glamorous at the same time. For it to feel like home, but also dressy.”
A friend told them about the Full Moon Resort in Big Indian, NY, noting its breathtaking views, expansive grounds, and country feel. “It was the perfect spot, because it was mid-way for everyone,” she says. “We also didn’t need to be so structured—we were given our entire wedding weekend to do with as we pleased.”
As for the pesky weather? “We were really hoping it would snow and it did, which looked beautiful for our pictures. No one could have predicted how much it would snow or how the weather would affect us, but everyone came together and it made the experience that much more memorable and special.”
One example of this was the maid of honor’s dress debacle. It was stuck at the tailors in midtown Manhattan due to the storm. Nicole’s landlord had to go into her apartment and find a dress to give to a friend to bring to the wedding for the maid of honor to wear.
The theme of the day was rustic elegance, and the couple took advantage of all of the nature surrounding them. One nice touch was how they had sparkly leaves suspended from beams in the barn where the ceremony took place.
All of the food was organic and as much as they could was locally grown. The cake was designed to look like a birch tree with their initials “carved” into the cake.
“I never really considered myself a wedding person,” Nicole admits. “I’ve always been independent and didn’t believe it would be a defining moment in my life, until the day came and was so much more intimate and emotional then I ever thought it would be. Not just for me, but also for my guests, who forged lasting friendships and even sent thank-you notes to us for being invited.”
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