Lora Warnick and Michael Karam

The Country Club of Waterbury

Aug. 6, 2016

Fritz Photography

Lora Karam is a big believer in shopping local. In fact, as co-founder of the blog unlockinglitchfield.com she does her very best to share with readers the personal merits and charms of small businesses in Litchfield County and beyond. The planning and execution of her Aug. 6, 2016, marriage to the handsome Mr. Michael Karam, which was featured prominently on the blog, was no different.

“We’re all about helping promote Connecticut businesses,” says Lora, “so it was fun to document the wedding process in order to help other brides do the same.”

The first order of business was a ceremony/reception site for what Lora and Michael, who met online in 2012, envisioned as an “intimate,” as opposed to “over the top” gathering of family and close friends. “Nothing formal,” says Lora. “That’s not us. We wanted a ‘cocktail-party’ kind of feel.”

Michael had joined The Country Club of Waterbury just a few months earlier and convinced Lora to come take a look. A bit hesitant, because Michael is rather, shall we say, “involved” with the golfing life (read: he plays three times a week and “when he’s not playing golf,” reports Lora, “it’s on TV”), Lora nonetheless walked into the club and knew, “This is it.”

Finding the ideal local vendors from there was, well, a piece of cake — which in this case was made, along with Michael’s favorite cupcakes, by AmandaBakes of Morris, who uses butter from Arethusa Farm in Litchfield and farm-fresh eggs, among locally sourced ingredients. The invites came fromLa Petite Stationer in Washington Depot, where Lora sipped champagne as she browsed paper and designs, and Steinen Hurtado, owner of Steinen Jewelry in Bethlehem, created custom earrings for Lora’s matrons of honor: her sister Holly Zaborowski, who owns The Primitive Home in New Milford, and blog partner and BFF Beverley Canepari. The Wedding Embassy in Oakville helped with Lora’s Maggie Sottero stunner, Sarah Worden of Sarah Worden Natural Design in Litchfield, whom Lora deems a “genius at design and all things floral,” was in charge of flowers, and divine chocolates from Thorncrest Farm & Milk House Chocolates in Goshen served as favors. Lora and Michael even managed to keep their registry local by using Elizabeth Richard in Woodbury.

The most meaningful local “vendor” however, was actually a friend: recording artist Kimberley Locke of Danbury, a top-three finalist on “American Idol” in 2003, who “gave us an amazing gift,” says Lora, by singing at both the ceremony and reception. Michael’s son Paul, who also served as best man, was the guy to catch on the dance floor onceLora’s friend Aaron DeMarest, owner of  Pryme Tyme Entertainment in Prospect, got everyone on their feet.

“It was really all about family and immediate friends for us,” sums up Lora — that and the chance “to make the day our own.” It was a happy ending for all in that shopping local helped Lora and Michael accomplish just that.

 

officiant: Dr. Peter LaBarbara

bride’s dress designer: Maggie Sottero

matron of honor dresses: Sorella Vita

dress boutique: The Wedding Embassy, Oakville

jewelry: Steinen Jewelry, Bethlehem

DJ: Pryme Tyme Entertainment, Prospect

vocals: Kimberley Locke, Danbury

florist: Sarah Worden Natural Design, Litchfield

cake: AmandaBakes, Morris

makeup: Andrena Gerace, Bethel

hair: Michelle Young, Seymour

invitations: La Petite Stationer, Washington Depot

favors: Thorncrest Farm & Milk House Chocolates, Goshen

This article originally appeared in the Spring/Summer 2017 edition of The Connecticut Bride.