There’s no point in hiding it; I’m absolutely obsessed with this beautiful Bride’s entire look. From that hair piece to the Elizabeth Fillmore dress found at Ceremony Boston, I’m swooning. And that bouquet by Petal Floral? The icing on one delicious cake. Lindsey Ocker was lucky enough to capture it all in person and this gallery is a Pinterest treat to us all as we enter the weekend ahead!
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From The Bride… Mark and I had been dating for six years and friends for eight when he proposed on top a mountain overlooking Frenchman’s Bay in Acadia National Park in Maine. Overjoyed, we celebrated over pumpkin beers in nearby Bar Harbor before getting on the phone to share the happy news with our family and friends. Contrary to most of the well-meaning advice we received we jumped right into wedding planning!
For a long time, I had had my heart set on a reception at the Crane Estate, a 2,100 acre property in Ipswich, Massachusetts. Growing up nearby, I spent my childhood exploring the adjacent beach and sandbars from the water on my parent’s little boat. When Mark and I started dating he quickly became a part of these adventures, so the place was special to him, too. With most of his family coming from South Carolina, I wanted to treat them to a true New England experience worthy of their trip. We knew the historic home on the Estate, the Great House, offers a panoramic view of rolling farmlands, pristine marshes, Crane Beach, and the Atlantic Ocean. The wild natural beauty of the setting contrasts perfectly with the stately house and its manicured landscaping to form the most romantic spot. We were thrilled to be able to book it for a Friday evening in September.
Taking inspiration from the venue, I knew I wanted a look that was clean and structured, but with a few elements of drama and nature. My sister and mother helped me find my beautiful Elizabeth Fillmore wedding dress at Ceremony in Boston. It was a perfect mix of architectural design and natural softness, made of a stiff floral lace accented by organza petals. I ordered a beautiful floral headpiece from Jannie Baltzer Couture Headpieces in Denmark. When it arrived it was more gorgeous than I could have imagined and came with the nicest note from Jannie. Of course, the most special touches were my veil and tulle jacket for church, which my mother sewed herself!
One of the sweetest parts of the day was being able to get ready with my bridesmaids and parents at the house I grew up in. Karla Patricia made us all look flawless and Lena of Hair that Moves did all eight of my bridesmaids’ hair before shaping mine into a gravity-defying top-knot, which stayed effortlessly in place all night. Before I knew it our trolley arrived to take my parents and us girls to our church in Newburyport, a nearby seaside town. Meanwhile, Mark and his groomsmen had gotten dressed nearby and walked to the church, where they were busy handing out our Crane Paper programs ordered through Invitations by Design, who had also helped me custom create our beautiful invitations.
As I waited outside the church with my father and sister, a group of children from the school next door stood watching at a respectful distance. They were so excited by the whole procession, so as we went inside to walk down the aisle I invited them to come closer and watch. Mark said later that his favorite part of the whole day was seeing me for the first time as the church doors opened, but that he didn’t know who all the little faces behind me belonged to! Joining him at the front of church, I felt so peaceful and happy. We were married in a lovely ceremony punctuated beautifully by classical music. Then it was time to head to the Crane Estate for the party!
My mother and I had done most of the reception planning together inspired by the idea of honoring the season and location. Mark and I took a history tour of the Great House, learning more about the story of the Crane family in order to get ideas. Like us, they loved boating, so we ordered nautical charts of coastal Cape Ann to display our escort cards. For cocktail hour we accented the back patio with brass lanterns, hurricane glasses, and gold rimmed oyster shells. When our guests arrived at the Crane Estate, they were greeted by a decadent raw bar displayed in an antique dory by Vinwood Caterers. Our signature cocktail, the “September Storm,” a nod to the rum-runners of Ipswich’s past, was passed as a string quartet played.
As the sun went down, we all went inside for a delicious dinner of prosciutto wrapped chicken and filet mignon with local fall produce. We asked Becca Olcott at Petal Floral Design to make the flowers seem as though they could have been picked wild from just outside the house. She surpassed every expectation I had with the most beautiful bouquets and arrangements of dahlias, clover, and amaranthus in creams, pinks, reds, and purple. Our awesome reception band, Search Party wowed everybody for two hours of dancing, and guests looking for a break helped themselves to cannoli-flavored cake. As the night came to an end, we sent our guests off with bags of salt-water taffy.
The day was truly perfect. Despite multiple locations and the need to move people from various hotels to church and then the venue, everything ran really smoothly, thanks to Ana of Northshore Weddings by Ana, who we hired to do day-of coordination. The weather, always unpredictable in New England, was bright and warm. Most importantly, Mark and I felt truly loved and supported as we got married, and were thankful to my parents for hosting a fabulous party to help celebrate and show our gratitude to all those that got us there. We are incredibly grateful for the beautiful photographs by Lindsey Ocker, and the video by Heirloom Pictures, both of which will make it a joy to reminisce about this wonderful day throughout our marriage.
Photography: Lindsey Ocker | Videography: Heirloom Pictures | Floral Design: Petal Floral Design | Wedding Dress: Elizabeth Filmore | Cake: The Topsfield Bake Shop | Invitations: Invitations by Design | Ceremony Venue: Immaculate Conception Parrish | Reception Venue: Crane Beach | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Kennedy Blue | Catering: Vinwood Caterers | Make-up: Karla Patricia | Hair: Hair That Moves | Band: Search Party | Bridal Boutique: Ceremony | Day-of Coordinator: Ana Stefanovich