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Bright + Cheery New England Spring Wedding

June means wedding season, and wedding season means peonies (which just so happen to be my very favorite flower). So it’s no surprise that I love this wedding with the bride’s bouquet of fluffy white peonies and the buttery yellow and soft blush color scheme that plays up The Commons 1854’s French-inspired ballroom. Add in a sweet couple and photographs by Ruth Eileen Photography, and you have everything needed for a beautiful wedding. See it all here.

Colors
Seasons
Spring
Settings
Event Venue

From the Bride… When I met Jonathan, I knew he was the other part of me, my perfect counterpart and that our wedding would reflect the romantic part of us we had discovered in one another. While we love modern art and technology we have a certain timelessness that shapes who we are as a couple. We both stand strong on our spiritual beliefs and trust in a love that is pure, holy and dignified. When we started planning our wedding, we knew the look and feel would reflect these virtues that we live our life by as well. We wanted to pick colors that were bright and simple, resembling the redemption that we felt on our wedding day.

Pastel yellow floor length bridesmaid dresses, Chantilly lace gown, fluffy white peonies, baby’s breath, bow ties and blush accents were added to our wedding palette with such ease. Both our church ceremony and reception locations were modeled after designs from the 1800’s and we LOVED that it represents our home in New England that is full of history, culture and class. There were white high arches, wooden pews and stainless glass in the church I grew up in that created the reverence we wanted for a worship service.

The Commons 1854 was designed after a French era with the ballroom including crystal chandeliers, sleek wooden floors, gold and white crown molding- we loved the clean and classic look it provided. Guests were stunned by the structure of the building and more than satisfied with their decadent menu. Tall skinny glass vases of baby’s breath looked perfect in the beautiful ballroom with scripture verses we created for each table, reflecting our love for God. Jonathan not only designed the table cards, but the seating chart and all the wedding invitations as well (he is a graphic designer). We had fun working together to pick out the content, the wording and the color schemes of all the print work. It turned out better than we imagined and we were grateful that we had our hands in every detail in the end. We had so much fun and everyone danced the night away! We enjoyed a lot of Spanish music and crazy dancing! The pictures reflect the pure joy, love, and complete bliss we felt that day.

Photography: Ruth Eileen | Event Design: Mount Harvest | Floral Design: Wedding Flowers By Annette | Wedding Dress: Allure Bridals | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Bill Levkoff | Makeup: Alice Upton | Hair: Salon On Haven | DJ: Paul Brogna | Venue: The Commons 1854

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Rustic Elegance at Willowdale Estate

New England is filled to the gills with venues that radiate rustic charm, there’s no doubt about that. But one of my absolute faves, which happens to be a hop, skip and jump away—hands down, Willowdale Estate. So today’s gem from Erin McGinn is quite a treat. From the Bride’s gorgeous woven bun to the burgundy dotted blooms from Dogwood Floral Design, this stunning gallery will surely put a little pep in your Monday step.

Colors
Seasons
Fall
Settings
Estate
Styles
Rustic

From the beautiful Bride…I had always envisioned getting married on the water, so when Andrew and I got engaged I assumed we’d get married at a beach destination down the Cape or in Newport or Maine. We came across Willowdale Estate on The Knot (I had never heard of it before) but since it was on the way to a couple other venues we were interested in, we figured it was worth a shot. When we got there we were so impressed – it had just the right balance of rustic charm and elegance. The grounds and garden courtyard are gorgeous, and the estate itself with its craftsman style is just so unique and so New England. Plus my dad grew up in Newburyport right down the road, and every year my extended family goes there for a big family reunion – so that area certainly has special meaning for my family. It’s hard to explain but Willowdale just felt very “us.” While I needed a little convincing to get over my beachside vision, but Andrew knew instantly this was the perfect place for us to get married – and now I whole-heartedly agree.

Our theme for the wedding is “Rustic Romance” – essentially rustic touches (like kraft paper, burlap, white pumpkins) with romantic colors and textures (lots of lace, ivory, soft peach, blush and greenery). In terms of inspiration, I got most of my ideas from Pinterest and Style Me Pretty. I also have about 30 wedding magazines. My mom was a huge help with all of the DIY projects – she is a retired art teacher and did all the calligraphy on the invitations, escort cards, table numbers, and chalkboard signage. I’m big on details so little things like designing a wedding logo with our initials, stamping it on all of our gift/welcome bag hangtags, and using the same font on all of our printed materials/signage is one of my favorite small touches that I think tied everything together.

My favorite part of our wedding day was the ceremony. It was held in Willowdale Estate’s outdoor courtyard, with the stone exterior of the estate as the backdrop. We were incredibly fortunate with the weather – it was a gorgeous 80 degree late September day, the sun was shining, the flowers were still in bloom – Indian Summer could not have hit at a more perfect time! Leading up to the ceremony I thought I would be a ball of nerves (so many eyes looking at us, what if I tripped?!) but seeing all of our family and friends, all in one place and celebrating us – it made me the happiest I’ve ever been. We designed the the ceremony to be short, sweet, and personal – and laughed the entire time.

The reception was just as I envisioned it would be – a warm autumn evening beneath a beautiful sperry cloth tent adorned with long farm tables and lit by strings of twinkle lights – and the best dance party I’ve ever been to.

Willowdale Estate will always hold a special place in my heart. It is such a magical, quaint, and unique place to get married. We would not have changed a thing about our day.

Photography: Erin McGinn | Floral Design: Dogwood Floral Design | Wedding Dress: Romona Keveza | Wedding Dress: Cristina's Bridal | Cake: Frederick's Pastries | Invitations: Elli | Reception Venue: Willowdale Estate | Shoes: Badgley Mischka | Bridesmaids Dresses: Jim Hjelm | Makeup: Dawna Kraft | Hair: Tracey Castrichini | Lighting: Ryan Designs | Favors: Whoopie Wagon | Transportation: McGinn Bus | Bride's Earrings: M Flynn | Limo: Michael's Limo | Music: Sweet Tooth And The Sugar Babies | Photobooth: Shutter Booth

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
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These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
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Rustic Autumn Wedding At The Willowdale Estate

Any wedding at the Willowdale Estate is going to be full of rustic, New England beauty. But Becky and Sam’s wedding fulfilled every expectation tenfold.  It’s also pretty fail-safe when your other vendors are people like florist Michele Bernard and the Wedding Paper Divas. The couple from A Guy + A Girl Photography also worked their magic, so make sure to take in all of  the autumnal loveliness here.

Colors
Seasons
Fall
Settings
Estate
Styles
Romance

From A Guy and a Girl PhotographyFor a chilly October day, it was as cozy as could be within the Willowdale Estate. Becky + Sam’s wedding was a very special celebration, not only for the happy couple but for both of their families as well; many of them traveling from not only New England but as far away as Russia. Becky + Sam braved the chilly air to walk around the estate for a few pictures. They snuggled in the forest, surrounded by extra tall pines and smooched under umbrellas in the field. Their reception was one of the wildest dance parties of 2013.

Photography: A Guy + A Girl Photography | Videography: I Do Films | Floral Design: Michele Bernard | Wedding Gown: Monique Lhuillier | Invitations: Wedding Paper Divas | Wedding Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Bridesmaids Dresses: Amsale | Makeup: Michelle Mcgrath | Hair: Jessie Heroux | Lighting: Illumination Designs | Band: International String Trio | Band: Kahootz | Grooms Attire: John Varvatos | Venue: Willowdale Estate | Chuppah: Kolbo | Dessert: Topsfield Bakery | Floor: Peterson Party Center

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here
These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
For membership information, click here
Fun-Loving Backyard Wedding

We love fun couples! Just take a look at this bride who aptly describes her backyard wedding as a “New England backyard cookout crossed with a Downton Abbey-style tea party.” You can see tell how all the little touches perfectly play up their personalities, vintage princess cut dresses, faux moustaches and all! Their friends at Vitae Weddings even traveled all the way from California to capture the event.


Colors
Seasons
Fall
Settings
Al Fresco

From the Bride… Like a lot of couples that get engaged, one of us didn’t really know what was going on (me), and one of us was so focused on the proposal that he didn’t actually think about the wedding (Jesse). When we started talking about the wedding, the very first thing we discussed was our mutual (and long-held independent) desire to have a backyard wedding. I don’t remember the exact conversation but it went something like this: “I’ve always wanted a backyard wedding.” “Me too!” -End of conversation. Luckily, most of our planning was just as easy. One thing Jesse really wanted was to throw a really great party-and have a kick-ass band. I wasn’t sold on the whole wedding band thing, but I dutifully followed Jesse to these small private showcases with 3-4 other couples. All I can say is that it’s really weird to watch a sweat-drenched front man belt out “Mustang Sally” to an audience of six. I had always envisioned a barefoot bluegrass band, but Jesse was set on having a horn section. We ended up finding a local funk band: Big Ol’ Dirty Bucket that had the right not-cheesy-to-horn ratio that worked for both of us. I’m glad Jesse convinced me.

The only other really difficult part was our photographers. We had a short list of people we knew locally whose style we liked. As professional photographers ourselves, there was a pretty high bar. In a short time we exhausted the list, whether they were booked, or there were contract issues. We asked for recommendations from other friends who had gotten married recently, and exhausted the second list. We discussed not hiring a photographer-there’s going to be enough photographers there right? I don’t remember exactly how the conversation came up, but Jesse was talking with a friend he knew from school in California. She mentioned she was starting to shoot weddings. Well we booked Vitae Weddings shortly thereafter. It seemed crazy to fly our photographers from California when we know the New England area has an abundance of talent, but it really worked out great. The photos speak for themselves. Callie and Stacie did an amazing job of capturing the fun of the day from the very start, Callie documenting Jesse’s groomsmen throwing him in the Atlantic Ocean before getting dressed, and Stacie coming with me and my bridesmaids to our hair appointment, which was not nearly as entertaining, I’m sure! They stuck with us the whole day, from waking up to walking down the aisle of course, and also some amazing shots of partying and dancing. My dad even said to me later, “Those two girls were the hardest working people in the room!” We were so happy when we saw the photos – they really managed to capture the fun and the feeling of the whole day, as well as the incredible happiness we both felt.

On our wedding day, we really tried to relax and enjoy the day, as many friends had wisely advised us. It turns out we did just enough planning to do just that. The event took place in Jesse’s mom’s backyard… Well actually it stretched across three yards, luckily the neighbors were obliging and we held the ceremony in one neighbor’s yard, with a beautiful garden as a backdrop.

Being in the photography/wedding business we were able to gather around us a lot of friends who work in the industry. The food and event planning was put together by Chive Events in Beverly, MA. They throw gorgeous, locally sourced events that we had attended in the past, and knew they would be perfect. We told them we wanted a traditional New England backyard cookout crossed with a Downton Abbey style tea party! And they ran with it. For a time Jesse actually wanted a cookout. He was convinced we could get a bunch of hotdogs and hamburgers and set a few friends up on a big grill. That’s probably the only thing I put my foot down on. Our flowers were by Foret Design Studio in Somerville, MA. They also totally got the vibe. I gave them a loose color palette, and basically said to do whatever they thought was best. They did not disappoint! Our friend T.J. from Cape Ann Brewery poured a specially made-for-us beer, and Bennett from Downriver Ice Cream made us our own specially flavored ice cream (and also provided his large collection of bowties for the groom and his groomsmen). I love to bake, and had originally planned on baking enough pies for all of our guests in lieu of a cake, but Jesse convinced me to abandon that idea about a week before our big day. Thankfully, Petsi Pies in Somerville makes the loveliest pies, even on short notice. 

Photography: Vitae Weddings | Coordination: Chive Events | Floral Design: Foret Design Studio | Wedding Dress: Aria From Vows | Invitations: James Wienberg | Rings: Vince Hawley | Bridesmaids Dresses: Nordstrom | Bridesmaids Dresses: Modcloth | Bridesmaids Dresses: J. Crew | Catering: Chive Events | Hair: Bow Beauty Salon | Band: Big Ol' Dirty Bucket Band | Groom's Shoes: Bobby From Boston | Grooms Attire: Indochino | Beer: Cape Ann Brewing Co. | Bridal Shoes: Modcloth | Dessert: Petsi Pies | Dessert: Downriver Ice Cream | Spirits: Ryan And Wood Distilleries | Tent: Sperry Tents

Rustic New England Wedding

Ease and effortlessness are achieved only after a great deal of effort. Which is why when we come across a wedding as beautiful and considered as this, we take a moment to appreciate the finer details, like bridesmaids bouquets of succulents perfectly hued to the pink and grey color scheme. The wife/husband duo from Grazier Photography agree, and were lucky enough to be there to capture the event.

Colors
Seasons
Summer
Settings
Estate
Styles
Rustic

From Grazier Photography… Our favorite weddings are the ones where the couple gets a standing ovation when they exit the ceremony. Portia and Matt’s wedding was dreamy. We fell in love with these two long before their wedding day, and their celebration just cinched the deal. Portia added thoughtful and beautiful design elements at every turn – always imbued with meaning, natural beauty, and a sense of truth and authenticity. Everything was lovely but not overdone, tangible, and tied together with my new favorite Italian word ‘sprezzatura': (Miriam Webster: ‘perfect conduct or performance of something (as an artistic endeavor) without apparent effort.’ They were good looking and they dressed sharp. But more important than decor or looks, they lived in the moment, savoring each part of the day with a profound sense of joy. Their relaxed and superbly happy attitude was infectious, and really drove home to my hubbie Matt and I as we worked that THIS is why we love to photograph weddings.

 

From the bride… Matt and I wanted a wedding venue and vendors that would highlight the natural beauty of the area and show our friends and family (many of whom had never visited New England) why we love living here.  When we visited the Willowdale Estate in Bradley Palmer State Park, we knew it would be the perfect location. It was elegant while still reflecting our easy-going attitude and love of the outdoors. We felt like ourselves there and knew our guests would feel welcomed and relaxed.

We didn’t want to compete with the natural beauty of the site so we opted for décor and flowers that reflected the area such as potted herbs, topiaries, and seasonal flowers. New England Country Rentals provided gorgeous farm tables, reclaimed wooden church pews, and chalkboards for the ceremony program and seating assignments.

Our good friend was kind enough to marry us, and our parents (who each share 35+ years of marriage!), siblings and closest friends stood beside us, which made our ceremony personal and intimate. We also made sure to include our dog “Georgia” as our “flower girl” -dressed in a fantastic flower collar made by E.H. Floral.

Our dinner was served station style and featured local/seasonal produce. This gave the evening a more relaxed feel and allowed guests to spend more time on the dance floor (celebrating National Dance Day!) District 21 kept the party going all night- seeing Matt’s grandparents dancing the night away with us was one of our favorite (and most inspiring) moments of the evening.  And just in case anyone is wondering how many bridesmaids can fit into the Grazier Photobooth….. the answer is 9…. trust me!

Photography: Grazier Photography | Flowers: Emily Herzig | Rings: DePrisco Jewelers | Rings: Ginsberg Jewelers | Bridesmaids Dresses: Diane Von Furstenberg | Bridesmaids Dresses: Joanna August | Makeup: Dianna Quagenti | Hair: Eric Charles, Will Charles Salon | Groom's Attire: Hugo Boss | Ceremony Music: David Newsam | Transportation: Michael's Limousine And Transportation | Bride's Attire: Monique Lhuillier | Chalkboard Calligraphy: Dear Rose Studio | Cufflinks: Waxwing Jewelry | Furniture: New England Country Rentals | Music: District 21 | Popcorn Favors: Iowa Popcorn Company | Table Numbers: Sixpense Press | Willowdale Estate: Willowdale Estate

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here
These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
For membership information, click here