If I had ONE word to describe this New England wedding, it would be happy. Yes, of course. All of our weddings are happy. But this one ~ from Orchard Cove Photography ~ it’s just more happy. Filled with brilliant blues and apple greens, set in the spring in an idyllic New England town … it’s just more. Add to that a super-adorable couple and Amanda’s award-winning style … well, it all makes us pretty certain that you’ll leave here with a smile on your face!
I grew up in Vermont, so we had decided that it was a perfect location for our June wedding. We wanted a wedding ceremony location that was indoors, just in case it rained. The Old Round Church was perfect–right across the street from close family friend’s home–and we loved the history behind it and the fact that we would be able to visit the location in many years to come. The Old Round Church has such a beautiful, simple New England feel to it that we adore. It was nice that it didn’t need to be overly decorated to still be beautiful! We scouted out many venues for our reception and were so lucky to have found The Essex! The atrium at The Essex continued that simple style that the Old Round Church had. With wall to wall windows, the Atrium looked like a greenhouse and the twinkle lights from the rafters sealed the deal. What we fell in love with the most at The Essex was the location for the cocktail hour, which was held next to the Atrium in their patio/herb garden. This allowed for our guests to walk around the garden area and enjoy the culinary works of the kitchen that were all part of the Vermont Culinary Institute!
The décor for the wedding was meant to hold on to the simplicity of the Old Round Church and The Essex Atrium. If we had to categorize the wedding, I would say it would be casual-elegant style. Our favorite colors are blue and green, so we used navy blue and grass green as our main colors, which work so well off of each other. Originally, we couldn’t decide on a theme, but we fell in love with our “falling leaves” invitations and loved the idea of incorporating a leaf theme into the wedding. We utilized the leaf theme throughout the wedding and reception and pulled in green apples to complete the design. Green apple and leaves were used in the escort cards, table numbers, and cocktail hour decoration. Some elements of our reception were DIY, including the table numbers which were made out of apple stamps with the numbers in calligraphy by my sister Jane. The escort cards were green apples with two green cardstock leaves. In silver paint-pens, my father wrote out the guest names on the larger leaf and the table number on the smaller one. These leaves were pinned into the apple stem to make it look like real apple leaves!
With the atrium at The Essex being all white, we wanted to pull in our colors to make the room “pop” against the walls. We used navy blue, white, and green Chinese lanterns of different sizes to decorate the area above the dance floor. We also used navy blue tablecloths with white linens and green flowers to make the guest tables stand out. Our flowers were such a huge highlight of our wedding, which really pulled the reception together by bringing the more natural element into the room.
Above all else, we value family and traditions in our wedding. It was extremely important to us to incorporate these into both the wedding and reception. Brendan’s strong Irish heritage was used frequently in the wedding. Nancy from A Schoolhouse Garden put in Bells of Ireland into the bouquets and centerpieces to honor his heritage. In addition, we had Brendan’s mother read the Irish Blessing and we used a celtic oathing stone during our vows. The Celtic Oathing Stone was something we read about and thought that it would be a perfect addition to the wedding. It is said in Celtic tradition that when vows are said while holding the stone (usually a river stone) that they will be “set into stone”.
Our ceremony recessional was to the tune of Jerry’s Beaver Hat, a traditional Irish fiddle tune. We downplayed the Irish traditions in the reception with the exception of the last dance. It was extremely important to both of us to have “The Parting Glass” played as the last song of the reception. This song is a very old Irish song that was traditionally sung at the end of gatherings of family and friends. A fun note—it was actually the original Auld Lang Syne song! We felt that this song said everything that we wanted to say to our guestsabout togetherness, love, and the importance of close family and friends in our life. It was perfect.
On my side, my heritage is more of a melting pot. My details were inspired by my mother and the strong women on her side who were from Slovenia. To incorporate a little bit of blue into the bridal bouquet, I chose to have a few blossoms of Iris in there, which also were the flowers used in my mother’s wedding bouquet. I was extremely close to my Grandmother on my mother’s side. She had passed away in 2008 and I wanted to honor her memory and keep her close on my wedding day. I purchased a pin locket for my bouquet in which I placed a photograph of Grandma. It was pinned to the bouquet for the entirety of the wedding and it was amazing to be able to hold her memory in my hands as I walked down the aisle. My second cousin had found a pin owned by our Great-Grandmother in an old snuff jar and sent it to me on our wedding day. It was worn by our Great-Grandmother on her wedding day in 1910 and I was fortunate enough to continue that tradition one-hundred years later. I found a place for it and it was pinned inside my gown by my heart. Finally, I found a beautiful hand painted parasol that I fell in love with for the wedding. From Etsy.com the parasol was white and the word “love” was painted on the top. I felt that it would be amazing to have for photographs and it spoke to what the day was about—being in love.
Favorite parts of the day …
Becca – It is nearly impossible to choose my favorite part of the day. It’s amazing that everyone always says that your wedding day is the best day of your life—and it is SO true! If I had to choose one it would have to be dancing to the last song of the night, “The Parting Glass” a traditional Irish song that is played at the end of a joyous occasion. I think that was the moment that we were able to reflect on how amazing the whole day truly had been, and we were able to look back on all the other countless memories that were made that day.
Brendan – My most vivid memory has to be when Becca and I read the vows we had written to each other. I was very nervous about saying something so personal to a group of people that were so close to us. When it came time to say my vows, I had to resort to my notes in my pocket, and I began reading them out of order. That moment added a sense of humor to our ceremony, which was great because laughter is such an integral part of Becca and my relationship. When it came time to hear the vows that Becca had prepared, my nervousness melted away. The biggest surprise had to be when Becca sang “Here, There, and Everywhere” by the Beatles to me during the reception. It is one of our favorite songs, and I kept pushing to have our musicians play it during the ceremony, and Becca refused. I wasn’t sure why she didn’t want it played, but when she sang it in front of all of our family and friends it was a great moment.
One unexpected thing that happened…
During our first dance we had a truly unique and hilarious moment. While we were dancing to Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together”, Brendan’s grandfather decided to steal the stage from us. We couldn’t stop laughing as he danced around us making a scene for the whole room to experience. While the moment is a little bittersweet because it showed a bit of senility on his grandfather’s part, we were able to laugh through the moment and it ended up being some of the best photographs of the night. It will be nice to look back on that moment in years to come and remember not only our first dance, but also Brendan’s Grandfather having a blast dancing to Al Green too!
A few words of advice…
Plan in advance if you can and don’t procrastinate! If you get more done earlier in your engagement then you will be able to enjoy those last months a little more leading up to your wedding day. Also remember that no matter how much you plan in advance there will always be one or two details you missed…and it’s okay. If you have a lot of DIY details, make sure that you ask for help from friends, family, and your fiancé!
Also, your photographs are going to be the one thing that will capture the special moments from your wedding. In our opinion, the choice of your photographer is going to be the most important decision in the planning process. Do your research and make sure that their style fits yours. You won’t regret it when you see your photographs for the first time after your big day!
On the day of your wedding, drink some chamomile tea if you’re nervous and enjoy being around your closest friends and family. Make sure to take a moment to look up during dinner and take the entire reception in. Dance the night away and allow yourself to be okay when your hairdo falls out or if things don’t go perfectly. Do not take one moment for granted, as the night goes by in a flash!
Photographer: Orchard Cove Photography / Floral Designer: A Schoolhouse Garden / Cake Designer: The Essex – NECI / Caterer: The Essex – NECI / Invitations & Menus - 123print.com / Donation Cards & Save the Dates – Vista Print / Becca’s Dress – Paloma Blanca / Bridesmaid’s Dresses – Ann Taylor / Oathing Stone & Parasol – Etsy / DJ – Paul Pecor from Super Sounds
Ann Taylor is a member of our Look Book. For more information on how members are chosen, click here.