There isn’t a thing I don’t love about this wedding. Not one single thing. The images by the amazing Carla Ten Eyck Photography – love. The floral design by Datura, A Modern Garden – love. The adorable bride and groom – really love. You see where I am going here. Picking images to feature was just too hard so be sure to devour each and every one in the gallery.
Our story begins in the tiny town of Falls Village, Connecticut, where a fateful convergence of philosophy, a chilly November night, a bonfire, and shooting stars paved a moonlit path to our humble beginnings. Both of us had participated separately in a Jewish organic farming program but we didn’t meet until the program’s reunion in November 2005. At the time, Jenna was living in San Francisco, while Aaron was in Columbus, Ohio, so from the West Coast and the Heartland, we both made the journey to Falls Village for the Reunion, where we spent three days hiking, learning, planting, and eating, and somewhere in the midst of it all we met and, under a star-studded sky by the glow of a bonfire, we fell in love.
However, the weekend was but a weekend, and both of us had lives in different terrains and time zones to return to. At the end of the reunion, we set off on our different paths without a clear understanding of what had just happened. Forty-eight hours later and worlds away, Jenna wrote a first email to Aaron. And in the four days following, we exchanged over twenty-three pages of emails. (Yes, we counted). Then, on the fifth day, we made the jump to telephone, and, we proceeded to have a four-hour long conversation in which we talked about so many different things that neither of us can remember anything we discussed. But both our lives had been altered, and although the distance and time difference might not have been the most convenient barrier to overcome, we had already fallen head-over-heels too far down the rabbit hole to turn back. Since then, we’ve both moved several times but the emails, phone calls, and our relationship have remained integral aspects of both our daily lives. Finally, in September 2009, Jenna moved to Boston, where we both currently reside, for the first time in four years, together. We proposed to each other with two rings and another starry night in February 2009, and we’ve been envisioning our future together ever since.
We got married at the very beginning of October after a year and a half of dreaming up the details of what would make a perfect beginning to the rest of our lives together. We wanted a day full of profound meaning and thoughts on love, life, and partnership…but we also wanted people to come and just have fun with us and celebrate the love of family and friendship, the feeling of being alive, and the joy of laughter. To us, this meant keeping things as intimate as possible, even with having around 150 guests, and honoring our roots – our respect for the environment and love of the outdoors. So, we kept our wedding party limited to our immediate families; we skipped big introductions, a receiving line, and a first dance entrance in favor of all-inclusive Jewish dancing, complete with some bluegrass and country tunes thrown in for good measure; we had people sit at banquet tables (so much easier to converse!); and our fantastic caterer helped us plan a dinner to be served “family-style” so people would get to know each other and relax over what hopefully felt like a big family dinner.
Also, we involved people as much as possible in ways that would honor their talents and their relationships to us. A friend of ours crafted our chuppah out of our old clothing – a literal interweaving of our lives together. Another friend of ours did the calligraphy on our escort cards and stamped them with the table letters. Family members recited our “Sheva Brachot” during the ceremony. And a few people even gave us little performances during the reception.
Furthermore, in an effort to support our local farmers and food system, as well as reduce unnecessary waste, rather than strictly flower-based centerpieces, we asked our amazing florist to create centerpieces made out of local fruits, vegetables, and herbs, and construct them in a way that would allow people to pick from and eat the centerpieces throughout the reception – by the end of the night, people had taken apples, pears, mushrooms, and gourds from the centerpieces, and we still had enough left over to make a big batch of applesauce to keep our wedding sweetness going after the day itself was over. Also, in honor of our autumnal festival, instead of a big formal cake, we served pies and hot chocolate (from Taza Chocolate, an awesome local chocolate company that we know and love) for dessert.
All in all, it felt like a group effort and a real festival of love – exactly what we hoped for. Each of our vendors was incredibly fun to work with and they all contributed to making our day everything that we wanted it to be and more. By the end of the day, both of us felt filled to the brim with joy and excitement for a beautiful future together, and we feel so lucky that our official life together began in this way.
Photography: Carla Ten Eyck Photography (with Mike Romano and Anna Sawin) / Catering: Gourmet Galley / Floral: Datura, A Modern Garden / Video: Buzz Media / Dress: Rivini by the Plumed Serpent of Westport CT / Venue: Eolia Mansion at Harkness Memorial Park, Waterford CT / Rabbi: Jeremy Weiderhorn / Band: Bon Musique / DJ: Eric Visa