When it came their big day, these longtime loves wanted the focus on family. From their courtyard first look to the family photos filling frames, every moment held meaning. Oleander Floral & Events planned a masterpiece overflowing with lush opulence and seasonal fare, while Lauren Fair filled gallery with images reminiscent of a Golden Age painting.
From the beautiful Bride…Joe and I were married on November 15, 2014 at Trinity Episcopal Church in Solebury, PA. Our reception was at HollyHedge Estate in New Hope, PA.
Joe is originally from California, but I grew up in New Jersey – about 15 minutes away from the wedding site. After we started dating, it immediately became a tradition for us to visit New Hope whenever we came to visit my parents for wine tastings and walks down by the Delaware River.
When we first met with our floral & events designer, Oleander Floral & Events, my mother and I immediately knew that Cynthia was the only person for the job. The goal for the reception was for the entry way to look like a Dutch Master’s painting, and for the reception to feel like a celebratory European hunting banquet – lush, opulent, elegant. We wanted to play into the venue’s history – it was founded in the early 1700s, and the original stone barn where we had our cocktail hour is a beautiful piece of history and architecture. Cynthia hit it out of the park – our guests literally gasped when they entered the reception space to pick up their escort cards (which were boxes of 2 flavors of locally made truffles – yum!).
Lauren & Tim of Lauren Fair Photography captured nothing of short absolute magic with their cameras – from the “first look” in the old courtyard, to the stunning images from the field behind HollyHedge, to the structural beauty of the church – our wedding would not have been the same without them. They quite simply are unparalleled in their skills and talents, and they are amazing people who felt more like friends than wedding photographers.
It was very important for our fall wedding to be seasonal without being a cliche. One of the ways we wanted to do this was through food- from pumpkin & pear soup, to butternut squash ravioli, to our pumpkin spice & cream cheese wedding cake with sugared apples. We relied heavily on candle & fire light as well, which added a warm atmosphere to the entire space.
When we discussing the planning of our wedding, both Joe and I felt strongly about doing a “first look.” Initially, Joe was against the idea – but he realized that it would mean being able to enjoy cocktail hour and would let us be present for all our wedding events (versus missing cocktails to take photographs). Participating in cocktail hour was a priority for us, because we wanted to maximize time with our guests, half of whom had flown across the country to celebrate with the two of us. We didn’t want to be absent – it’s hard enough on your wedding day to spend time with everyone took part without missing part of the reception. Looking back, neither of us would change a thing. Having a “first look” allowed us to get nervous energy out before the ceremony. It also gave us time alone (with Lauren & Tim) to take the time to appreciate one another, and also allowed all of our wedding party to enjoy the entire day. One of Joe’s concerns with doing pictures before the ceremony was that he wouldn’t get the same impact when the doors opened and my dad walked me down the aisle. He told me afterward that nothing could have prepared him for that moment – despite being together for a few hours before church, he said he was overcome with emotion when I appeared at the doorway and he felt like he’d never seen me before. The look on his face is something I’ll never forget – it was the best moment of my life.
Joe and I met and started dating in 2011. I work as a television producer in New York City, and he’s getting a PhD from Cornell University in Biomedical Engineering – to say that we are opposites would be an understatement! I’m convinced that two people have never laughed so hard or loved as deeply as we have. Our first dance was “Come Rain or Come Shine,” by Ray Charles.
The day of the wedding started with the bridesmaids, my mother, and me getting ready in the bridal suite at HollyHedge. My bridesmaids & matron of honor are my 4 best friends from undergrad – we all met the first week of college freshman year at Bucknell University. The women wore J.Crew bridesmaids dresses with Ross Simons ruby & pearl-drop earrings with camel colored cashmere wraps to keep out the November chill. My dress was a Rivini bridal gown, and I covered myself with my grandmother’s white mink stole (she had recently passed and we were very close).
Family touches played a large role in our wedding day. Joe used his late father’s band as his wedding ring, and I used my grandmother’s wedding band as mine. The sixpence in my shoe was the same one that my mother used at her wedding, and we hand-painted the frames which held family photographs on the shelves surrounding the bar in the old barn. Additionally, my “something blue” was a custom label with the date in my wedding gown, and my “something borrowed” was a pair of pearl and white topaz earrings that are my mother’s.
The incorporation of family elements and feelings of warm intimacy were incredibly important to Joe and me – for us, the wedding was just as much about celebrating the love we have for our family and friends as it was about celebrating our marriage.
Photography: Lauren Fair Photography | Floral Design: Oleander Floral & Events | Invitations: Wedding Paper Divas | Ceremony Venue: Trinity Episcopal Church | Reception Venue: HollyHedge Estate | Bridesmaids' Dresses: J.Crew | Make-Up: Kimberly Felicetta | Hair: Crystal & Company | DJ: Synergetic Sounds & Lighting | Groom's Attire: J.Crew | Groomsmen Attire: J.Crew (Pocket Squares & Ties) | Groomsmen Attire: Men's Wearhouse (Calvin Klein) | Catering & Cake: HollyHedge Estate | Cocktail Hour Entertainment: Elegant Ensembles (String Trio) | Escort Cards/Favors: Tom Sciascia | Wedding Dress & Accessories: Exquisite Bride