Intimate Old Mill Wedding | Lauren Thomas & Mert Altinsoy

Lauren and Mert threw an intimate Old Mill wedding for a select few family and friends. It was a very untypical wedding day compared to our usual routine (it was on a Monday for starters!), but we loved every single second.

Lauren & Mert’s Old Mill Wedding

When Lauren met Mert, she dropped everything, and moved. To Turkey! She spoke none of the language, but soon learned as Mert’s family hosted her and embraced her as a member of their family. The kinship they created and experienced in such a short period of time is remarkable. And it wasn’t just a one way experience. When she and Mert returned stateside, her family became his instantly. As they planned their Old Mill wedding, their families were their greatest support. Lauren’s mother took a very active role in the planning as Lauren prepared for her role in the off Broadway show of Fiddler on the Roof (in Yiddish!). She even performed the wedding ceremony. This is why they had a Monday wedding. Theaters are dark on Monday. Everyone worked so hard to make sure that they could plan this wedding around her life and pursuit of her dreams. Her tenacity and creativity is what allowed her to take the leap and follow Mert to Turkey, and now it was helping make their wedding day unforgettable. 

Bride and groom laughing and getting ready before wedding with their dogs
Bride and groom wedding jewelry and accessories, gold wedding date necklace and custom name cufflinks
Bride and groom before wedding exchanging gifts and letters
Purple, white, and green bridal bouquet with wedding bands, sapphire bracelet, and boutonniere
Custom wedding bands with engraved names and date on bedazzled bridal heels
Simple wedding gown hanging on stone wall
Bridesmaids and mother of the bride helping bride into her wedding gown and shoes
Bride getting ready portrait putting on earrings and engagement ring, mother of brides and bridesmaid helping bride put on her jewelry
Bridesmaid putting veil in brides hair and laughing with the bride
Traditional window lit bridal portrait collage with purple and white bouquet

The day of the wedding was stunning and all the little details came together as a celebration of Lauren and Mert and their families officially uniting as one. One of the many special details was the hummingbirds that were everywhere. As a symbol, hummingbirds mean to always seek out the best in life with tenacity and endurance: to find the magic of life. And when they visit a person, they are regarded as a visitation by someone who couldn’t be there in person. When Mert and Lauren announced their engagement to her parents, there were hummingbirds just outside the window. Mert’s family was miles and miles away in Turkey, but their spirits were present for this happy moment. To celebrate this during their Old Mill wedding, and to honor much of Mert’s family who couldn’t be physically present, Lauren crafted origami hummingbirds out of a stunning hand crafted paper from Turkey. These hung everywhere throughout the courtyard at the Old Mill, graced the tables at the reception, and topped the cake. It felt as though Mert’s Turkish family was present in all aspects of the celebration.
An important part of Turkish culture is the giving and receiving of gifts. The first gift that Mert gave Lauren was a Nazar, which is believed to protect against the Evil Eye. Lauren included it on the chain of her necklace for their wedding day. Each of the bracelets she wore was given to her by her mother and mother-in-law. This was paired with a family cuff that was engraved with the wedding date on it that boasted a ruby heart inside. Her parents also gifted Lauren and Mert a beautiful Hamsa. This is traditionally believed to be a sign of protection over its owners. In return, Lauren and Mert presented their parents with engraved necklaces and cuff links as a thank you for all their love and support, and to commemorate the day they all became official family. 

Another little detail was the completion of the circle of their engagement. Mert proposed on the bridge at the Old Mill, so, naturally, their first look took place there as well. The place where he asked her about forever meeting the moment they started their forever together. They placed a sign there asking guests to make a wish for them as they crossed the bridge to the ceremony. Yet more magic. 

Bride and groom first look with groom waiting behind bamboo and bride walking towards him
Groom turning around and seeing bride for first time during first look behind tall bamboo
Bride and groom hugging right after their first look
Bride and groom laughing together during first look
Bride and groom kissing and smiling at each other on stone bridge above creek at the Old Mill
Bride and groom happily smiling at each other portrait in front of bamboo on stone bridge
Bride looking at and pinning boutonniere on groom
Old Mill outdoor wedding ceremony with welcome sign, aisle floral detail, and families walking down aisle
Groom at the alter watching bride and her father walk down the aisle
Bride and her father walking down the aisle and hugging her and the groom at outdoor Old Mill wedding ceremony
Bride and groom laughing and smiling together during outdoor wedding ceremony at the Old Mill
Bride and groom laughing and smiling together during vows at outdoor wedding ceremony at the Old Mill
Bride, groom, and their families at outdoor Old Mill wedding ceremony
Grooms family and friends doing a reading during outdoor wedding ceremony at the Old Mill
Bride and groom exchanging wedding bands during outdoor Old Mill wedding ceremony
Bride and groom kissing during outdoor wedding ceremony at Old Mill and walking up aisle looking at each other
Happy bride and groom show off their wedding bands after outdoor wedding ceremony at the Old Mill
Traditional bride and groom wedding portrait smiling and laughing together outside in greenery at Old Mill
Groom hugs and snuggles bride from behind traditional wedding portrait
Traditional smiling and groom kissing bride on her forehead wedding portrait collage
Bride and groom kissing in wall of hanging hand made paper cranes at outdoor Old Mill wedding

Their evening was spent among their nearest and dearest, enjoying a perfect summer evening together with the newlyweds. The garden party feel was so inviting and warm; a true celebration of love and family. 

Wedding cake with hand made paper crane wedding toppers and purple and green florals
Intimate outdoor wedding reception table setup with purple and blue linens, blue candle and green, purple, and blue centerpiece florals at Old Mill
Hand made paper cranes, gold and blue table details, white and green floral centerpieces at Old Mill wedding reception
Intimate outdoor wedding reception with green, blue, and gold table details and centerpieces at Old Mill
Intimate outdoor wedding reception with green, blue, and gold table details and centerpieces at Old Mill
Bride and groom making entrance at Old Mill wedding reception
Bride and groom first dance in front of hanging paper cranes at outdoor Old Mill wedding
Parents of the bride and groom and bride and groom dancing and laughing during Old Mill wedding reception
Parent toasts, best man, and maid of honor speeches during intimate outdoor Old Mill wedding
Intimate and colorful outdoor summer wedding reception at the Old Mill
Bride and groom laughing together during speech at outdoor Old Mill wedding reception
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