Have you ever wanted to celebrate a major life event while floating in a hot air balloon? This is often the spot where someone pops the question. Or maybe celebrates an anniversary, or other special milestone. Lori and Natalia had other ideas! They had married the other year, but did not have, as they say, a 'proper first wedding'. This was to be their 'real' wedding! They wanted all of the excitement, love, and exhilaration they felt in their relationship, to be expressed through this
Lori and Natalia met the old fashioned way - on a dating app! After a month of chatting they finally met in person. Lori cooked up a homemade pizza, and the rest is history. Since that first date, the two have enjoyed many meals together and love finding new and interesting places to eat. They also are super adventurous, and have traveled the world, side by side, including a two month road trip in Asia!
Natalia and Lori treated themselves to all the pampering that one would equate with a full-scale wedding. Hair, make-up, beautiful florals...and those dresses! Swoon! They met with their families
at Mountain View Chalet in Asbury, NJ.
There, they had professional photos taken before we lifted off just before sunset.
In Flight Balloon Adventures, LLC was absolutely wonderful throughout this entire experience. In the top right photo, you can see that I was assisting the crew as they filled the balloon. My muscles got a workout! This would be a day of many 'firsts' for me. As soon as the air in the balloon became hot enough, it totally inflated. We had seconds to all hop in, and then we were off! The brides, photographer, and I, all stood in the basket - but the pilot actually sat on the edge of the basket. Aaahhhh!!
When the torch was firing into the balloon, it was quite loud. However, when it was off, I wasn't expecting it to be so incredibly quiet and peaceful. I also wasn't expecting it to be so 'still'. Since we were moving with the breeze, we didn't feel any wind. It was totally silent. Well, until the pilot fired the torch up to keep us afloat.
Photo credit to me on this one. I am always on the lookout for hearts, in any form. We all gasped a bit when I pointed out that the balloon made a heart-shaped shadow below.
Promises of forever, while floating in the sky.
The sun began to set, and it was time to find a place to land!
When the fire goes out, the balloon collapses. This was a 'run for your lives' moment - haha!
Fun fact: During the flight, the pilot is always on the lookout for where to land the balloon. They will have scoped out options before the flight, but one never knows where the wind will take you, so to speak. Near the end of the flight, the pilot lowers the balloon so that it is hovering just over the rooftops below. As you can imagine, homeowners come out to watch the spectacle and we all wave and even chat a bit! The whole time, there is a driver following us in a truck who will take us - and the balloon - back to where we started. The driver and the pilot are in constant communication. The driver will try to anticipate where the balloon could land and chat with a property owner to ask if it's ok that we land in their yard. In this case, as we hovered over this house, the pilot yelled down and asked them! When we got the 'ok', down we went. As is customary, the driver always carries a bottle of champagne, and presents it to the homeowner as a 'thank you'.
With the sun setting in the background, Natalia and Lori had a quiet moment to reflect on this special day. They often acknowledge how grateful they are for the love they share, and say, they wish everyone could find this type of loving relationship and the contentment that comes from having your best friend by your side to experience all that life has to offer.
They returned back to the Mountain View Chalet, where their families were waiting. They held a small reception in a private room with the people they loved most.
It was a joyful day of memories to last a lifetime.
Thank you Focco Visual for these amazing photos!
Donna is an award winning Humanist Celebrant. Her ceremonies are custom written to focus on the unique story of each couple.