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Sweet + Stylish Backyard Wedding – Complete with Cowbells!

These two approached wedding planning with a goal in mind: prioritize what’s most important and don’t stress the rest. But that doesn’t mean they let the cutie factor fall by the wayside. From cowbells to ring after the “I do’s” to whiskey bars and fruit tarts, this backyard bash was filled with personal touches galore. Lauren Fair captured them all and we’re loving on all day long – more this way!

Colors
Seasons
Summer
Settings
Outdoor
Styles
Classic

From the Bride… Anyone who has attempted to plan a wedding knows that it is beyond intimidating and completely overwhelming. In an effort to prioritize, Michael and I sat down together and came up with the most important things that we wanted from our wedding, no matter what. This list saved us when it came to tough decisions that almost always revolved around money. We could look at this list and decide together that no, the more expensive chairs wouldn’t make our ceremony better, or no, the extra flowers weren’t as important as the ridiculously good band. This list helped save our sanity in the overflow of choices that is wedding planning.

Here was our list:
Involve as much family as possible
Make a big wedding feel tiny, personal and special
Have really, really good music
Spend the extra money on a fabulous photographer and videographer
Stick to the budget (we failed)
Spend time on the ceremony, it’s what the entire day is for

Family & Friends: I was given the advice early on that there are only two times in your life when you can have all of your favorite people in the world in the same place: at your wedding, and at your funeral. Since I don’t plan on being around for the latter, we knew that revolving this event around our loved ones, and including them in every way possible, was going to be what made our wedding feel so special.

My cousin played the ceremony music, a different cousin made our tiny sweet wedding cake, our aunts did the flowers, my great Uncle performed the ceremony, a dear family friend catered the event, another close friend drove all the way from NYC with all of the sound equipment, and my Herculean Mother acted as the event planning machine that pulled it all together. We were beyond lucky.

Making the big feel small: I come from a big family, so a tiny wedding was never in our cards. This didn’t change our desire for the day to feel special, and for every guest to feel like they were a crucial part of the celebration, because the truth is we wouldn’t have been there without them.

To pull this off we wanted people to feel comfortable. We made sure that during the outdoor ceremony there was plenty of water available, and handheld fans that people could grab. We over ordered on food and drink because what’s a party without an abundance of both?

We wanted dinner to feel like one giant dinner party, so we placed all of the tables close together, in various angles, and served the food family style. We put out large pitchers of sangria on every table that paired perfectly with our Spanish style meal.

Michael is a huge fan of whiskey, so post dinner we opened the whiskey bar and allowed people to taste some of our favorites that Michael personally selected.

For dessert we had a large table with different types of fruit tarts, and pies that people could grab on their way to the dance floor, or when they needed to take a break. Around 9:30, individual servings of local ice cream were passed around the dance floor as the perfect way to cool down after breaking a sweat.

The music: You can never, ever underestimate the power of good music. Our friends and family are the kind of people who like to dance, and we didn’t want to disappoint. Months later we are still hearing our guests talk about how wild and amazing the band was. You won’t regret the splurge.

Photography & Videography: We knew once the wedding was over, the photos and videos were all that we’d have left to remember the day. For us, paying extra for someone whose style we really, really loved was worth it. We made sure to tell both teams how important it was to capture the guests, not just the two of us, and they exceed every expectation.

Stick to the budget: Everyone’s situation is different, but we wanted to stick as closely to the budget as possible. Things happen, and unexpected expenses occur, but I’m really grateful that we spent what we did because every penny was worth it, and at the same time, that we didn’t spend anymore.

The ceremony: During the planning it was really easy to get sucked into the details of the bridesmaid dresses, or the type of lights to hang in the tent, or what flowers we would have where. We had to constantly remind ourselves that the point of the wedding was to get married, and that if we achieved that, the wedding would be a success.

We had my sister and Michael’s brother read a blessing that was read at my parent’s wedding. We had my Aunt read a poem that was written by my Grandmother. We chose music that meant something to us, and that family performed. We wrote our own vows. We created a list of what we loved most about one another and had our officiant, my great Uncle, read aloud. There were lots of tears, and lots of laughs, and to us it was perfect.

As a closing detail we ordered 50 cowbells that were handed out to guests. Michael and I got engaged on top of a Spanish mountain with the sound of grazing cows wearing cowbells in the distance. We figured there was no better way to start our marriage than to that sound, with the added cheers of our guests.

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Photography: Lauren Fair Photography | Cinematography: Visual Rose | Floral Design: Daniel Vaughn Designs (Large Arrangements) | Floral Design: Backyard Bouquets | Cake: Hope Woodhouse | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Lovely Bridal Shop | Makeup: Kelly Clark Makeup Artist | Hair: Viva Bella Salon | Band: The Night Life Band | Wedding Venue: Private Residence | Printed Designs + Paper Goods: Shannon Hovick (Bride) | Rentals: Best Event Rental | Tables + Chairs: Weir Event Rentals

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A Wedding at American’s First Organic Farm

When Andrew and Lina got engaged, there was no question where they’d tie the knot. The Rodale Organic Family Farm, Andrew’s family estate, was the ultimate backdrop for their summer wedding and they knew just how to dress up the details, giving their rustic celebration a modern spin. With incredible vendors like Cobblestone CateringJackie Schneider Beauty and Rebecca Yale Photography in the mix, every aspect of their big day was something special. More to see this way!

Colors
Seasons
Summer
Settings
Rustic

Andrew and Lina met at an advertising agency in 2011 where they both worked. They both still work in the advertising industry, Andrew on the technology side, and Lina on the planning and buying side.

They were married on Andrew’s family estate, The Rodale Organic Family Farm, a truly picturesque spot that has been the venue for many of Andrew’s family members nuptials. The Rodale family were pioneers in organic farming, and the family farm was the first organic farm in America, which is not far from the Rodale Institute, which continues to be at the forefront of organic farming practices. Guests were welcomed to the farm with gift bags featuring organic snacks and beverages along with copies of Women’s and Men’s Health Magazine, publications produced by the Rodale family. In keeping with the spirit of the farm, guests were each given a succulent to take home as a wedding favor.

Mark Kintzel, whose known the groom since he was a baby, designed the day with bright summer florals to compliment the beautiful farm setting with pops of pink, red, yellow and orange, which also carried through to the bridesmaids’ dresses and the bride’s shoes. Instead of a traditional photo booth, Mark decked out the groom’s great grandfather’s VW convertible with flowers and vintage suitcases, making for a fun and personal backdrop. Guests were given a copy of their photos to keep and another strip to paste in the guestbook. The bride and groom had a custom snapchat geo tag made for their guests to use during the wedding and collected all the snaps as a digital guestbook as well.

The farm is still a working farm, but the greenhouse was decommissioned and the glass removed to prevent snow cave-ins during the winter, which made for the perfect spot for cocktail hour. Cocktail hour took place in both the greenhouse and the sculpture garden next door and guests enjoyed 3 signature cocktails and oysters while Andrew’s uncle played the accordion. Andrew and Lina share a love of travel and food- he proposed on a hilltop in Greece- and come from diverse backgrounds, which they wanted to showcase throughout. The reception took place in a sailcloth tent and the dinner was a blend of cuisines from all of their travels (Italian, Spanish, Greek, Dominican and Lebanese) and was served family style to bring everyone together for the special occasion.

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Photography: Rebecca Yale Photography | Event Planning : Mark Kintzel Design | Wedding Dress: Monique Lhuillier | Cake: Katherine Sprules Cakes | Invitations: Fourteen-Forty | Bride's Shoes: Stuart Weitzmen | Rings: Cartier | Bridesmaids' Dresses: J.Crew | Catering: Cobblestone Catering | Hair + Makeup: JACKIE SCHNEIDER BEAUTY | Groom's Attire: Michael Andrews Bespoke | Groomsmen Suits: Bonobos | Photo Booth: Big Laughs Photo Booth

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A Wedding that Fully Embraces Spring

There is a reason Spring weddings are insanely popular and it has a lot to do with the crazy gorgeous flowers. And if you can land yourself a venue like the Farm at Eagle’s Ridge with flowering trees, well then consider yourself blessed by the wedding gods. These high school sweethearts fall squarely in that category and with the crafting of Oleander Floral & Events, their Spring floral infused barn wedding is one for the books. Sneak a peek at more of the romance through the lens of Lauren Fair Photography.

From the Bride…Jimmy and I are high school sweethearts, so when he proposed almost 9 years after our first date, we couldn’t wait to finally promise our lives to each other. We wanted our wedding to feel like a relaxed, effortless, romantic dinner party where all of our closest friends and family could gather and celebrate the love that we had built over the years.

When we first started looking at wedding venues, my only requirement was that the ceremony be outside. We came across the Farm at Eagle’s Ridge and the grounds blew me away. We knew pretty immediately that we wanted to be married there by the water. From then on, everything else fell into place.

We were intentional about working with inspiring, passionate, and just overall genuinely good people. We put a lot of trust into our vendors, which allowed us to keep the planning and wedding day as laid back as possible. Needless to say, we worked with some seriously incredible people. Lauren and Tim of Lauren Fair Photography captured our day with such ease and beauty. Cynthia at Oleander managed to create the bouquet & floral installation of my dreams, incorporating floral elements that I didn’t even know existed. The staff at Jimmy Duffy’s were incredible and so accommodating. Janelle from Janelle on Location made me feel beautiful, but more importantly, like me. Our amazing vendors allowed us to enjoy every second of our wedding day, and for that, we are forever grateful.

I have a handful of moments from our wedding day that I keep close to my heart, but one of my favorite moments was just after our ceremony ended. We had a minute or two to ourselves after the processional, and we held each other finally as husband and wife. My advice to other brides is to keep it simple and easy. Try not to overcomplicate and overthink. Oh and dance. Always dance under the stars with the one you love.

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Photography: Lauren Fair Photography | Coordinator: Fancy Peacock Events | Event Design: Oleander Floral & Events | Floral Design: Oleander Floral & Events | Wedding Dress: Sarah Seven | Cake: Couture Cakery | Reception Venue: The Farm at Eagles Ridge | Hair + Makeup: Janelle on Location | Groom's Attire: The Black Tux | Hair for Bridesmaids: Janelle on Location | Wedding Dress Boutique: Lovely Bridal Shop

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