Rustic Chic Farm Museum Wedding with DIY Touches
April 24, 2015
Mid Atlantic
Classic WeddingsRusticRustic Weddings
If you're considering a farm wedding for your upcoming nuptials, it's time to start taking notes! With the help of Proud To Plan and captured by Shaw Photography Co., this DIY wedding mixes family tradition with rustic florals & pale pink touches. The bride wearing Theia from Lovely Bride in Philadelphia and jewelry from Anna Sheffield looked radiant with a simple floral crown and elegant makeup. From a naked cakes to string lights, be sure to check out every detail here!
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From the beautiful Bride... More than anything, Mike and I wanted a wedding that was true to us — something that best represented our family traditions, our spiritual beliefs, our trust and faith in each other, our skills and passions, and our love of family and friends (and food and drink!).

Mike proposed on October 4, 2013 on our apartment building's rooftop. That night, I arrived home expecting an empty apartment--and instead found a candlelit message spelled out in Bananagrams tiles, telling me to step out onto the roof. There Mike was waiting with the ring (inside a wooden container he made by hollowing out a tree branch) and a bottle of wine. The ring features a vintage rose cut diamond in a custom rose gold setting by Anna Sheffield.

We live in Brooklyn, NY, and our families are in Allentown, PA, and Wilmington, DE. We wanted an outdoor fall wedding to take advantage of the great autumn colors and the crisp weather — we both run warm! We settled on Lancaster, PA because it is equidistant from both of our families, is on an Amtrak line from New York, and has a great many beautiful farms. We found our ideal ceremony and reception venue there at the Landis Valley Village & Farm Museum. Landis Valley is a living museum with a quirky history: the original farmstead was run by two eccentric bachelor brothers whose collection of Pennsylvania Dutch folk art and farm implements is the largest in America. Our reception was in the yellow barn they originally built to display a portion of their collection.

Planning the reception was hard work, but we really struggled to write the right ceremony. We wanted it to reflect our own values and beliefs while honoring our family traditions — not always the easiest thing. After many discussions and just a little bit of family drama, we settled on a Quaker-inspired self-uniting marriage that incorporated readings from our friends and elements of Ukrainian and Catholic tradition, like receiving a blessing from a priest before the ceremony and later tying our hands together with a cloth embroidered by Mike's late grandmother. The readings were composed of lines our guests had written to us on our RSVP cards; we had asked them to offer a few words of wisdom about love when they replied. Our favorite: "Love is giving someone half of your sandwich... and not regretting that you gave away half your sandwich."

As guests left the school buses they arrived on, they were greeted by a bagpiper — another tradition, this time from our shared past at Carnegie Mellon, where every major event is commemorated with Scottish pipes. As guests made their way to the courtyard behind the barn, we greeted them with snacks and soft drinks. Welcoming our friends and family as they arrived was one of the best decisions we made. It not only made us really feel a part of the day, but also helped dissipate some of our nervous energy. I don't love standing in front of large groups of people, and this helped me feel more comfortable.

After the ceremony, which was brief, and concluded just as dusk fell, we signed our marriage license and got our first drinks. In addition to beer and wine, we made two special cocktails: a homemade spicy margarita made with jalapeno-infused tequila (for me) and rye whiskey mixed with cask sarsaparilla (for Mike). We also had my sister's homemade ranch pretzels and a couple of small mountains of cheese and veggies. Later, at dinner, we served buffet-style pit barbecue. The cakes (we had five different small cakes) were made by a family friend who is a baker in Kutztown, PA, and we filled out the dessert tables with cookies made by my family. At the end of the evening we invited guests to fill takeout boxes with leftover desserts.

We took our cue on decorations from the venue itself: rustic but elegant. Mike and I met because we were editors of rival literary journals in college, so escort cards I put together were attached to pencils that we stood up in an old card catalog, and every place setting was identified with a notebook with each guest's name hand-calligraphed onto a tag. Everything was casual but considered; we didn't want anything to feel "fancy," but rather just to feel authentically "us" while also being a little more refined than we usually are. For instance, Mike and my dad spent an afternoon collecting "good-looking" leaves and spray-painting them copper and gold; we made table-number centerpieces out of vintage bottles we had collected, branches from my backyard, and rough-cut wooden rounds chain-sawed by my dad from trees in my parents' backyard. We used long banquet style tables that we connected with vines.

After cocktails, my dad welcomed everyone to the reception, Mike's sister introduced the wedding party, and Mike's grandfather asked a blessing, as he does at all family meals. After everyone had gotten their food (or their first plate of it, anyway) my sisters and Mike's brother gave toasts. Then we had a surprise speech from Mike's old boss, which prompted Mike to get up and get a thing or two off his chest. It was beautiful. Then, dancing: In an effort to quell some of the nervousness about being up in front of people, we tried to do our first dance a few songs in and without anyone noticing, but that didn't work — everyone noticed we were finally dancing, and made room for us to be the only ones on the dance floor. Soon we were hot and sweaty and needed to step outside for some fresh air. There, we had a bonfire along with another dessert, homemade marshmallows for s'mores.

We worried about all kinds of things before the wedding. But on the day itself, everything ran smoothly. It was definitely because of our awesome vendors — we really couldn't have chosen more creative and professional people. We have to single out Proud to Plan, our day-of coordinators. Mike's sister-in-law swore by them, and her gift to us was their services. We were skeptical that we'd need any help, but I take it all back! I am certain that the event went more smoothly, and that we enjoyed it so much more, because of their incredible foresight and poise.