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New England Nautical meets West Coast Whimsical Inspiration

What would summer be without a great beach party or, in this instance, a pretty seaside wedding? Crafted by The Little ThingsSweet Annie Floral Design, and imagery by Ruth Eileen, this inspiration pulls the essence of the West Coast and the East Coast and blends them into a nautical meets whimsical affair by the sea. It’s a land where lobsta dinners and floral laden bicycles go hand in hand.

From Ruth Eileen PhotographyThe theme for this shoot was “New England Nautical meets West Coast Whimsical,” and the idea behind it was to take a classic New England fete and infuse it with some west coast flair! We envisioned our couple eloping and celebrating with a simple but stellar reception a deux, one that they could pull off themselves without too much effort. We began by brainstorming which New England elements we’d include: a lobster bake, nautical rope, the groom in a preppy bowtie, oysters and anchors, and some classic New England florals: coral charm peonies, anemones, and hydrangea. Then, we decided on our West Coast elements: a bohemian-style pallet table, air plants, ferns, and (of course!) a custom beach cruiser! With the vision in mind and design plan in place, we assembled an amazing team of collaborators who really took to the vision and brought this shoot to life! Anna and Caitlin from Paper Moss designed custom menus, elopement announcements, and drink stirrers to commemorate the day. Bethany and Sean from Shindig events provided individual lobster bake pots (and New England clam chowder served in mini mason jars!), Katie from Sweet Annie Floral Design created the stunning bouquet and centerpiece, and stuffed the groom’s pocket with looser, fresh florals for a fun twist on a boutonniere. Shara from Chickadee Hill Cakes designed the beautiful cakes, and our bride Shayna, in her stunning BHLDN gown, was made beautiful by Tara ad TADA Makeup and outfitted with a nautical Porcelain and Stone handmade porcelain and gold chain-link necklace. Laura from Laura Hooper Calligraphy so beautifully penned this JFK quote onto our piece of navy blue Irish linen: “All of us have, in our veins, the exact same percentage of salt in our blood that exists in the ocean and therefore, we all have salt in our blood, in our sweat, in our tears. We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea, whether it is to sail or watch it, we are going back from whence we came.” Our couple rode off into the sunset on their beach cruiser that Alexis from The Little Things scooped off of Craigslist and customized in white and gold for the shoot. Alexis and Katie wired florals to the cruiser’s spokes (and learned a lesson in patience along the way!), and Katie filled the basket to the brim with the most beautiful flowers. Ruthie from Ruth Eileen Photography captured the day perfectly, and on film, to boot!

Photography: Ruth Eileen | Event Design: The Little Things | Floral Design: Sweet Annie Floral Design | Wedding Dress: BHLDN | Cake: Chickadee Hill Cakes | Invitations: Paper Moss | Jewelry: Porcelain And Stone | Catering: Shindig Events | Calligraphy: Laura Hooper Calligraphy | Hair & Make Up: TADA Makeup | Venue: Beach

BHLDN is a member of our Look Book. For more information on how members are chosen, click here. Laura Hooper Calligraphy, Paper Moss and Ruth Eileen Photography are members of our Little Black Book. Find out how members are chosen by visiting our FAQ page.
Laura Hooper Calligraphy

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Paper Moss

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Heartwarming Garden Wedding

What can I say about this wedding other than that it is utterly perfect?  The kind of perfect where a laid-back vibe and all sorts of pretty join forces in a party that is all about celebrating one seriously awesome duo (the bride happens to be a crazy cool officiant) and their amazing friends and family.  It’s heartwarming to the max, lovelies.  See it all captured by Chattman Photography right here.

Colors
Seasons
Summer
Settings
Garden

From the Bride… I’ve worked in the wedding industry for many years and know how monotonous weddings can get, but as an ordained Interfaith minister, helping couples to craft one-of-a-kind wedding ceremonies, I also know the best a wedding can be.

Every single detail of our wedding reflected us, and most of it we did ourselves and with the help of family and friends; from the invitations I designed (licensing the work of a local artist) to the flowers we bought by the bucket from a local farm for my mother-in-law to arrange. We were even lucky enough to be friends with our amazing photographer, Joanna Chattman, and with Carla Caruso Jewelry, who made my pearl and diamond necklace and earring set as well as our wedding bands.

Our ceremony was truly the heart of our wedding and many, many guests told us afterward it was the most beautiful they’d ever witnessed. Whitney Acres, a local farm, let us use one of their fields for our ceremony, haying it just before our wedding so the air smelled fresh and summery. My brothers assembled our wedding arch there, which now stands in our front yard.

Everyone loved the blessing ribbons. It gave our guests something to do before the ceremony began and included them in physically creating the sacred space by hanging their ribbon on lines strung from either side of the wedding arch. We felt surrounded by their love and blessings during the entire ceremony, and we moved them with us to the reception tent, too. (Plus they made a great backdrop!) Now they’re decorating our baby’s room (due mid-April!). 

Both sets of our grandparents have passed away and my father died when I was 10, so honoring family, ancestors and lineage was really important to us. We asked family members to bring photographs of these loved ones, which we then arranged along a stone wall near the entrance to the field. Guests told us they spent a lot of time lingering over the photographs, reminiscing and guessing who was who. My first tears of the day were shed as we paused there on our entrance. 

We also wanted to include a special ritual in the ceremony to honor our lost loved ones. We asked our parents to come up, one at a time, and say the names of their parents, ringing a singing bowl after each name. My stepfather said my father’s parents’ names, and my brother said the name of our own father. I know many couples are worried about feeling too emotional at their wedding, but, aside from our vows, the ancestor ritual was the most powerful part of the ceremony. Many, many guests were moved to tears (as was I), and many spoke to me afterward about how much they loved this ritual in particular.

Alexander and I decided not to have a wedding party, so we felt it was important to include our brothers and sister in the ceremony. We chose readings for each of them that we knew would be meaningful to them, too. (I’m happy to share which poems/readings we chose!) We also asked one of Alexander’s oldest friends, a musician, to play one of our favorite songs just before we took our wedding vows.

Though we got ready separately (by the way, my dress zipper broke and I had to be sewn in at the last minute!), it was really wonderful to make the long walk to the ceremony together. I treasure those moments we had alone, and then our hearts leaping at sight of all our cherished friends and family gathered for us. We had the children following us with bubbles, which was a great activity for them and made for some wonderful pictures, too!

It was also really important that we stood together during the ceremony, not separated between the officiant as is traditional. I loved holding hands and feeling really connected throughout the ceremony. We had our friend/officiant stand aside while we took our vows and exchanged rings so that it really felt like we married each other.

Our reception was at The Curtis House, a short walk from the ceremony site. Gloria Pacosa, owner of The Curtis House, was also our event coordinator (that’s her sewing me into the dress!). We rented antique mismatched china and silverware from her, as well as vintage water pitchers and salt and pepper shakers. The tables were very homey and eclectic, yet elegant. We hung all the lanterns and string lights and made all the bouquets using vases I’d spent a year collecting from thrift shops. My mother also spent a year collecting antique brass candlesticks for the tables, and also making the homemade jam we gave as wedding favors (boy, were those a huge hit with our guests!).

My husband’s family is Greek so we served Greek white wine and our food was Greek-Mediterranean – simple, fresh and summery. A friend also made a special batch of “A & H Love” hard cider. Our biggest splurge was probably the band, but since we love to dance it seemed well worth the expense. The 5-piece jazz/soul group was assembled by local musician friend Jon Fisher and featured New Orleans vocalist Samirah Evans. They rocked the house, and dancing alone to “At Last” was definitely a highlight of the whole day.

A wedding is one of the greatest opportunities you’ll ever have to publicly express who you are. So celebrate it! Exploit it! Take full advantage of the chance to have one day in your life be about being who you really are with those you really love. What an extraordinary opportunity.

Photography: Chattman Photography | Event Planning: Gloriosa & Co. | Flowers: Sunset Farm | Ceremony Venue: Whitney Acres Farm | Reception Venue: The Curtis House | Bride's Shoes: BCBGeneration "Barca" | Catering: The Electric Cocktail Party | Groom's Attire: Tallia | Ceremony : Grace Ceremonies | Invitation Artwork: Kristen DeFontes | Music: Jon Fisher & Samirah Evans | Wedding Bands & Jewelry: Carla Caruso Jewelry | Wedding Dress "Athena": Wtoo By Watters

Watters is a member of our Look Book. For more information on how members are chosen, click here.
Whimsical Barn Wedding at Gibbet Hill

One evergreen piece of advice I read over and over is to know your priorities. Really reflect, choose, commit. For this pair, number one was passionate vendors and yummy, locally sourced, food (I mean, the bride founded Nella Pasta). The result, besides total bliss, was one pretty-as-can-be rustic dream wedding, thanks to help from Mstarr Event Design and Megan Braemore Photography‘s lens. See it all here.  


Colors
Seasons
Summer
Settings
BarnOutdoor

 

From the Bride… Jordan and I met during our freshman year of high school and instantly formed a friendship. After 14 years filled with on and off romance, and one adorable puppy later, we finally decided to tie the knot!

We instantly fell in love with The Barn at Gibbet Hill. We wanted a rustic and romantic wedding that truly captured our love story. We always envisioned an outdoor ceremony with an indoor reception at the same location. It had the rustic New England charm we were looking for complete with castle ruins, a rolling countryside and an elegant barn. Most importantly, we wanted a sustainable meal sourced with local and seasonal ingredients. Overall, our goal was to have a truly unforgettable wedding not only for ourselves but for all our family and friends.

We truly enjoyed the wedding planning process. We did a lot of online research to pick our vendors and logged some serious hours on our iPad’s! After scouring websites, blogs, and reviews I knew I wanted a team with a similar entrepreneurial spirit to myself. I started my own food company, Nella Pasta, 5 years ago and I understand the passion it takes to pursue your dream. It was important to us that each of our vendors loved what they did and were actively pursuing their passion because it only makes the end product that much more special. In the end, it was exactly that. Each vendor played a key role in the success of the day bringing their true talents to make our day perfect! We are so thankful for each of them.

With such a beautiful backdrop, we decided to keep our color palette light and neutral with slight pops of color. We wanted a truly romantic and rustic touch so the centerpieces alternated between tiered candles on gold rustic wood and stunning florals. When it was time for the ceremony, the guests were shuttled up to the top of the hill and enjoyed wooden signs we had placed along the ride up with cute sayings that read one thing on the way up and something else on the way down.

We wanted to keep some things traditional so we did not do a first look. Instead, we embraced the anticipation of seeing one another for the first time as I walked down the aisle. We built up the moment not only for ourselves but for all our family and friends. Our bridal party consisted of our closest family and friends from childhood, high school, college, our siblings, and even my mother who stood as my matron of honor. I was a flower girl in my parents wedding so I knew I wanted my mom to also play dual roles in my wedding and stand proudly by my side.

The morning of the wedding, the girls and I enjoyed a mimosa bar and delicious breakfast treats, and we sipped and snacked while getting our hair and makeup done. The boys had it easy by playing 9 holes at a local golf course in Groton!

My advice to all is to just enjoy the process and have fun with it! And of course, take in every second of your wedding day because it goes by quick. But if you have a great team to document the day, it will always be unforgettable!

From Mstarr Event Design… I had been itching for some clients to get married at The Barn at Gibbet Hill. Enter the super sweet Rachel and Jordan who have actually known each other since high school. Rachel is the owner of Nella Pasta, makers of (yummy!) pasta using local and seasonal ingredients so we knew that organic elements would be a major component on the design front. Among other details, that translated to herb escort cards and favors (grown locally by one of Rachel’s colleagues), one heck of a head table with a barn board top  and a lush floral runner, sage accents at the place settings, and reclaimed wood and  candle centerpieces on half of the guest tables.

Gibbet Hill is a truly idyllic setting, particularly its grounds. Rachel and Jordan chose to do the ceremony in the ruins of General William Bancroft’s castle. not everyone chooses this spot, and while it requires transportation for guests (provided by the venue, of course!), let me tell you…it. is. worth. it. You’re transported to what feels like the Irish countryside and that drive up and down the hill was complete with grazing cows brought in specifically for the ceremony and custom wood signs Rachel commissioned from a vendor on Etsy.

We kept the decor simple,  enhancing all that the venue, and time of year, had to offer. My most favorite being were the terra cotta pots for the herbs that we gold leafed. Everything is better with gold, no?

Photography: Megan Braemore Photography | Videography: Chris Walsh Productions | Floral Design: Petal Floral Design | Invitations: Studio Slomo | Bridesmaids Dresses: Dessy | Bridesmaids Dresses: Jovani | Band: Now And Forevers | Bridal Gown: Paloma Blanca | Bridal Shoes: Christian Louboutin | Bridesmaids' Robes: Silk And More On Etsy | Ceremony + Reception: The Barn At Gibbet Hill | Design, Styling + Day-of Paper Goodies: Mstarr Event Design | Escort Card + Mr & Mrs Wood Sign Calligraphy: Laura Hooper Calligraphy | Escort Card Tags: Tasteful Tatters | Hair + Makeup: Danielle Keefe Artistry | Rentals: New England Country Rentals | Ribbon: Frou Frou Chic | Wood Signage: Rak Design On Etsy

Alfred Sung, Dessy Collection and Dessy Flower Girls are members of our Look Book. For more information on how members are chosen, click here. Laura Hooper Calligraphy, Petal Floral Design and mStarr event design are members of our Little Black Book. Find out how members are chosen by visiting our FAQ page.
Laura Hooper Calligraphy

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Petal Floral Design

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mStarr Event Design

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