When this bride’s high school sweetheart popped the question, her secret girlhood fantasies of getting married at Riverside Farm were all systems go. The two put their heart’s and soul’s into a beautiful wedding that was rustic, yet oh so beautifully chic, casual, yet fabulously classic, and warm, welcoming, and absolutely heartwarming. Second only to the love they share, Jenny Moloney Photography and her camera created a gallery that is filled with one of the best things of the day – the amazing images.
Seriously, we would be rude not to share this adorbs film from Paperweight Films. WAY cute.
Mike and I first fell in love at the age of 17. We were seniors in high school which meant that our time living in the same place was limited. Mike followed his dreams to Colorado and I followed mine to New York City. When the reality came that the distance would be too much for us to sustain a relationship for four years, we were heartbroken. During those college years, though, we stayed in touch, checking in on each other and occasionally visiting each other. It wasn’t until after college, though, when Mike had moved to Portland, Oregon (even further away!) to pursue his career and I began my teaching career in Brooklyn, that we decided that no matter how far apart we were from each other, we had to give our relationship another try. We traveled across the country to see each other whenever we had the chance. When Mike had a career opportunity that required him to move to Las Vegas, we continued the practice of blissful visits followed by devastating goodbyes. Finally, in December of 2008, Mike gave me the best Christmas present I’ve ever received: he told me he was moving to New York. He quit his job and moved to New York so that we could be together. We moved in together a year later and adopted our precious puppy, Digby a few months after that. Almost exactly a year later, Mike took me to a cliff that looks over our hometown, the place where it all began, and asked me to marry him.
About an hour after Mike and I got engaged we were celebrating with our parents and my dad said, “So, should I call Riverside Farm?” We had spent many ski seasons up in the mountains around Riverside Farm and when we’d drive by the venue to get to the ski slopes I would admire the barns and covered bridge from the road. It was a known fact that I had fantasies of getting married there. Once we took a tour of the property and met the folks who ran it, we knew that this was where we had to get married. Family and friends are the most important to us and Riverside Farm was a place where we could spend time together throughout the entire weekend.
When we got down to planning the details we knew we wanted our wedding to feel like us. That meant calling upon the talents of our family and friends to help with the DIY projects. My maid of honor illustrated and designed our invitation and our friend helped us design and print all of our paper products. As a first grade teacher, I really wanted to bring all 26 of my students to our wedding… but sadly I could not. So, I incorporated their illustrations in our ceremony program. We asked many of our family members and friends to decorate a wedding flag which I then sewed (again with the help of friends) into a banner which was hung at the entrance to the barn. There were many, many hours spent with friends in our Brooklyn apartment folding cootie catchers, hand writing escort cards, sewing together the wedding flags, tying string around our invitations. These crafting sessions were some of the best moments leading up to our wedding. We are eternally grateful for the talents of our friends.
Our ceremony was a true collaborative effort. It was officiated by our close friend who is also a rabbi and included a performance of Crazy Love by Van Morrison sung by one of my bridesmaids and accompanied by our rabbi. Our parents read us a blessing and Mike’s sister read a poem. Our dog, Digby, served as the ring bearer and miraculously performed his duties flawlessly. Because it was a non-denominational wedding, we did not have a specific structure or format to go off of. Matt, our officiant, helped us compile the elements that made the ceremony truly about us and our commitment to each other. We chose to each write a letter to each other that we read during our ceremony and we selected three shared vows that we each said aloud at the end of the letter. Hearing Mike spill his heart to me in front of our family and friends was the most incredible feeling I’ve ever had.
For the reception, our florist and the folks at Riverside Farm did an incredible job of pulling all of our DIY creations together in a way that was well beyond my expectations. As I walked into the barn to dance our first dance (performed by a friend), I remember looking at the hanging chandeliers, the wildflowers on the tables, and being completely blown away. The vision I had described to all of the vendors had been executed to perfection. When we made our food selections, we really wanted to focus on cocktail hour and hors d’oeuvres. We were thrilled with the food and even did the unthinkable: we both ate our entire entrees. We had also chosen to forgo the traditional wedding cake for a dessert stand featuring mini tartlets, cupcakes and most importantly: donuts!
Our band also blew it out of the water. I haven’t been to many wedding where the dance floor is completely packed before we even sit down to dinner, but ours was. In fact, had the band not asked us to sit, I think we might have forgotten about dinner. Mike and I danced every single song as did most of our guests! It was just impossible not to. The night ended with our guests lining up on the bridge outside of the barn with sparklers in hand. As we ran through the crowd of our cheering wedding guests we could not have been happier.
A bit of advice from one bride (and groom) to another: We selected our vendors based on both their talents and their character. We are convinced that everyone we worked with are both the best at what they do and the kindest, coolest folks around! When you are planning a wedding, there are a lot of phone calls with the people you work with. Whether it was our photographer trekking through tall grass in her skirt to get that perfect shot or the caterer making our coveted donuts, we really felt like the people who we hired went above and beyond their standard job description. By the end of the wedding we felt like we had become friends with many of our vendors!
Photography: Jenny Moloney Photography / Cinematography: Paperweight Films / Venue: Riverside Farm / Catering and Linens: Occasions Catering / Flowers: Trish Hegewald at Pittsfield Garden Center / Hair: Sarah Crowley of Finish Touch / Makeup: Cynthea Hausman of Cynthea’s Spa / Officiant: Rabbi Matthew Soffer / Invitations and paper: Phoebe Woerner and Darlina Goldak / Dress: Modern Trousseau / Bride’s Shoes: Kate Spade / Groom’s Suit: Michael Andrews Bespoke / Jewelry: Avroc International, Charm & Chain / Groomsmen Suits: J.Crew / Shuttle Service: Gramps Shuttle