View Posts By:




Rustic Chic Farm Museum Wedding with DIY Touches

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!

Rustic Venue

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.

Photography: Shaw Photography Co. | Coordination: Proud to Plan | Floral Design: Splints & Daisies | Wedding Dress: Theia Couture | Wedding Dress: Lovely Bridal Shop | Cake: The Frying Dutchman/College Town Bakeries LLC | Invitations: Kristen Lukiewski (Bride) | Bride's Shoes: Gilt Groupe | Engagement Ring: Anna Sheffield Bridal | Bridesmaids' Dresses: J.Crew | Catering: Harvey's Main Street BBQ | Hair: Luxe | DJ: Roger Campbell TopHat DJs | Groom's Attire: My Suit | Groomsmen's Attire: Joseph A. Bank | Wedding Venue: Landis Valley Museum | Bagpipes: Sean Gearhart, Charm City Piper | Bride's Earrings: Swarowski | Bridesmaids' Shawls: Xhilaration | Decorations: Kristen Lukiewski (Bride) | Escort Cards & Favors: Kristen Lukiewski (Bride) | Programs: Kristen Lukiewski (Bride) | Rehearsal Dinner Venue: The Montgomery House | Rentals: Eagle Rental | Seamstress: Eileen Clark | Shuttle: First Student Charter | Signage: Kristen Lukiewski (Bride) | Snacks And Baked Goods: Mary & Abbey Lukiewski (bride's Mother And Sister) | Weathered Wood "Mr" & "Mrs", "Cards" Signs: Fir + Forest | Wedding Ring (Bride): Ross Jewelers | Wedding Ring (Groom): Anya Weitzman

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here
Event Planning
Proud to Plan
View Portfolio
Rustic Chic Wedding at The Farm at Eagles Ridge

Despite living more than 7 hours apart during their engagement, this pharmacist pair did their best to plan every detail of their wedding at Farm At Eagles Ridge together. Drawing inspiration from a delicate color palette, their rustic vintage affair was filled with handmade touches. From nailing their touching vows to their patient place cardsHarper Parker Photography captured it here!

Rustic Venue

From Harper Parker Photography It was on a bench in Cape May, NJ, three and a half years after they first met, that Tyler proposed to Ashley. He pulled out a piece of paper from his pocket that had listed every place the couple had lived and visited since they met and his favorite memory from each place. Last on the list was Cape May, NJ… “the place where I asked you to spend the rest of your life with me. ” Ashley was so excited she forgot to say “yes!”.

Tyler and Ashley spent the majority of their engagement apart while she finished pharmacy school. Although the couple was more than 7 hours apart they did their best to plan every detail of the wedding together… aside from the flowers which the groom chose all on his own (and he is color blind!!!!).

Ashley has always loved light neutrals, pinks, peaches and cream colors. These colors became the inspiration point for their rustic/vintage theme. So many wonderfully beautiful and heartwarming details were woven into this couples’ big day from the handmade patch that Ashley created for the back of her father’s tie, to the beautiful handmade wooden box that the couple nailed their vows into. Both the bride and groom are pharmacists so the medicine bottles with guests (“patient”) names that served as place cards were inspired by the couples’ pharmacy background.

While every detail of this wedding was so beautiful to photograph the most beautiful part was the couples’ touching vows to each other. After saying their vows in front of a late afternoon sun-drenched pond, the couple placed their vows in a special wooden box and took turns nailing the lid closed before sealing their marriage with a kiss. It was one of the most beautiful ceremonies we have ever seen.

Photography: Harper Parker Photography | Videography: C & K Cinematography | Event Planning: Planned Perfection | Floral Design: Lincolnway Flower Shop | Wedding Dress: Matthew Christopher | Cake: Ady's Cake | Invitations: Wedding Paper Divas | Ceremony Venue: The Farm at Eagles Ridge | Reception Venue: The Farm at Eagles Ridge | Bridesmaids' Dresses: J.Crew | Catering: Accomac Events | Hair And Makeup: Luxe | DJ: The Fair Trade Band | Rentals: Treasured Rentals

Rustic Meets Elegant DIY Barn Wedding

I’m an absolute lover of barn weddings.  But a barn wedding completely DIYed by the beautiful bride? That’s an entirely new level of obsession.  Imagine fresh from the garden-esque florals from Savannah’s Garden, vibrant pink, yellow and aqua hues and a whole lot of barn-inspired pretty. See it all captured by Char Co. in the full gallery and the sweet film from Matthew J. Boyle below.


From the Bride… On a campus filled with over 21,000 students I spotted him freshman year, and couldn’t keep my eyes off him. And it might have remained a harmless crush if it weren’t for some courageous friends who were able to approach Dan and arrange a “per chance” meeting between us on the soccer field. A friendship and flame sparked on that field and four and a half years later (two of them long-distance) I accepted a tearful proposal on the very same field.

As I sit here and write this, with my husband asleep on the couch next to me, I truly realize what a journey it has been. We both wanted a relaxed but romantic setting where all of our friends and family would feel welcome and loved. I love rustic elegance, and was craving a barn wedding. We decided on Lancaster after walking into the Yellow Barn at the Landis Valley Museum. They flicked on the twinkling lights and that was it. I was in love. We were in love. It was absolutely enchanting.

We booked the venue for a Memorial Day weekend wedding and dove into planning. I started pinning and dreaming, sketching and stitching. With the exception of the twinkle lights, every decoration was brought in, most of them handmade by myself or my mother. The centerpieces were old books that my grandfather had gotten when he worked at Doubleday, binding books. The slabs of wood on other tables were from a down tree in my parents’ backyard that Dan cut, piece by piece. On top of these books and wood pieces were mason jars from my grandparents’ basement, which we use each year to can our family’s homemade sauce. Along the back of the barn hung twine with pictures of all the married couples in our families, over the word “love” which was made from cardboard letters and silk flowers. I made place cards on craft paper and hung them on old shutters outside the barn. My grandmother, 92 years young, painted a tree for our guests to “leaf” their thumbprint and sign their name, in lieu of a traditional guestbook. My mother baked our “naked” wedding cake, topped with fresh berries. She also made the whoopie pie favors for the guests; a signature dessert in the Lancaster area. My father and I made signs, pointing the guests toward the barn, out of old wooden pallets.

With every old and rustic touch, we matched it with something soft, simple, and elegant. I chose an A-line ivory dress with full skirt and lace details. I truly wanted the soft touch of sleeves or straps, so my mother created straps with alencon lace she bought on fabric row in Philadelphia. I paired this with some simple crocheted TOMS and a hairpin from BHLDN. My something old for the day hung around my neck, and close to my heart. The necklace is a lavalier with one simple diamond at the center. This necklace was made for my grandmother’s wedding day. When she was to be wed, her mother was too ill to attend the wedding, and as a special gift to her daughter had this necklace made with the diamond from her engagement ring. This way a part of her could be there with my grandmother. This necklace has been worn by every woman in my family on her wedding day, and will continue to be passed down through the generations.

Dan wore a fitted gray suit with simple black tie and boutonniere of berries and rosemary. My Bridesmaids wore simple, light dresses of pale blue from Anthropologie, contrasted by peach and coral bouquets. The ladies also wore white and peach floral robes for the morning preparations, which were sewn by my mother.

The day itself was like a dream. The chance of showers never came to be and we enjoyed a sunny 72 degree spring day! We were married in St. Anthony of Padua church, with its Old World feel of vaulted ceilings, fresco paintings, and marble. After an amazing (and tearful) Mass, we shared a short, tear-filled moment in solitude, before exiting the church into a sea of our family and friends and onto the trolley that awaited us.

We spent the rest of the evening eating, drinking, and dancing under the twinkle lights of the barn. The food from Rettew’s was incredible; the pulled pork and mushroom ravioli perfectly matched our “rustic but elegant” theme. The evening was magical, and perfectly captured by the ever-artistic and awe-inspiring Char Newswanger, who photographed our wedding. She joked that she and her team knew it was a good wedding because they both laughed and cried while editing the pictures.

The night was started by a surprise performance from my brother and friends who played and sang a compilation of my favorite songs, followed by a soft, sweet serenade from the groom himself…as if I hadn’t cried enough that day! With that as a start, we didn’t leave the dance floor for the rest of the night, thanks for Soundinmind Productions. The dance floor was packed and the guests spilled out of the barn onto the grass and the cool night air.

The day was truly magical, personal, and memory-filled. From taking pictures in the sheep pen, to crying my way down the aisle, and finally being able to look into the eyes of the one I love and call him husband; it was the most amazing day, and one that I so enjoyed watching come to fruition.

Photography: Char Co. | Videography: Matthew J. Boyle | Floral Design: Savannah's Garden | Ceremony Venue: Saint Anthony Of Padua | Reception Venue: Landis Valley Museum | Catering: Rettew's Catering | Makeup: The Garden Gate | Hair: Blush Style Studio | DJ: Soundinmind Productions | Transportation: Elite Coach