Summer just happens to be my favorite season of them all. There is nothing more magical than those few months where the weather is warm, and the activities are plentiful – particularly in New England. This shoot from Forevercandid Photography at Willowdale Estate perfectly celebrates the fact we are still knee deep in all summer’s glory, and does so with style. Beautiful blooms from Table and Tulip, pretty paper from Wicked Bride, the gorgeous gown from Bella Sera Bridal and delicious desserts from The Topsfield Bakeshop and Cookie Creatives by Jennifer - I’m talking to you. It’s summer prettiness at its finest, and you can see it all right here.

Our inspiration was all about the journey of taking your own current milestone affair and adding it to the legacy of a New England landmark mansion’s festive history. The venue induced a historic and graceful vibe, such that we wanted to enhance it with the charm of the past, while honoring the beauty of the present. In the multi-garden property, at the one and only Willowdale Estate, built in 1901, the exquisite calmness, authentic age and whimsical beauty evoked our interest in creating an ambiance that would be cherished, evolving and sophisticated.

Garlands of greenery lined our tabletop down the center of our burlap runner to call attention to the center of the table in an understated way. Our use of garlands in our centerpiece is a great example of how you can exclusively use greenery and make a visual impact, without using an abundant amount of flowers. The green also made a fresh, current vibe while it helped cut down on some costly floral bills that couples would appreciate. The large angular glass terrarium-style lantern was used as our focal point, essentially framing the sheer beauty of nature. With the centerpiece being translucent, the complete visual setting created a dynamic feel to the tablescape. We incorporated mini plants into our escort cards, having potted succulents as a natural favor to take home. In order to add some additional volume to the table, we added the appeal of real pheasant feathers standing straight up out of each succulent place-card setting. This helped tie in the theme of nature to other parts of the table all while the gorgeousness of the feather’s pattern took the visual appeal to another level.

With the location’s stonework and outdoor splendor, we made sure to emphasize on the beauty of nature by including re-purposed wood, natural tree slabs, tons of plants, florals, and an emphasis on birds and feathers displayed in the ceremony, on the style of the bride, throughout the table top items, the stationery items, and reception spaces.

An additional important aspect to our theme of celebrating the now but cherishing the past, just like the ever evolving nature we witness every day, our goal was to communicate the loveliness of gifting our guests with treasures of history: and continuing on with them as of that moment onward. Their main favors to take home would enable them the opportunity to foster history’s timepieces, while combining its destiny into the guest’s very own life-journey. Those special favors were original vintage cameras, unique in size, color and shape, embarking in a new path in real time with each of the guests to cherish forevermore. We also wanted to show brides how easy it could be to use strategically placed items and props in their wedding in order to communicate a theme without needing to go overboard with decorations.

To add some pops of color, in lieu of celebrating love and marriage in the summer, we had adorned cookies of various shapes, sizes, colors and styles customized and placed on each plate of our place settings: mostly emphasizing LOVE for outlining the day. The color didn’t end there as we mix and matched glassware with hints of green and blue to saturate and compliment the earth’s natural color scheme, topped with vintage striped straws in a strong pink just to be fun and open with color. The menus were meant to show topnotch details by using letterpress card-stock, gold shimmery sparkled backings, soft naturally patterned bird’s feathers, happy summer text colors, and whimsy text. The menu piece tied in all of our looks into one which made the table complete. We felt that a little bit of sparkle would go a long way, and it did exactly that. To continue our gold metallic touch, we used gold silverware and gold rimmed dish chargers made of glass allowing guests to see the raw exposed natural wood of the dining table. As we felt that mixing natural elements with metallics would simply complement each other over and over again, we also mix and matched the color of our dining chairs to bring that eye-popping perspective to the table from any angle. To celebrate the current trends, our bride painted her toes and fingernails with the primary popping colors we used which were closer to an aqua and pinky peach color. This was an act of reminding couples that weddings can always be fun when still creating an elegant setting. To take that mix and match concept one more level without going over the top, we took two very neutral napkins and we mix and matched them at every other place-setting to continue with establishing dimension and acting as a finish to the table.

The dessert table was important that we extended our theme almost one notch higher, by positioning it in a romantic setting, which was the initial objective. Then hanging a birdcage over the table, adorning the cage in a romantic wild look, using solid slabs of wood to display our custom desserts mixed in with gold dessert stands, and adding an extra large focal point with the cake’s very thick tree stump, the dessert table was a finale. We had personalized desserts with the last name’s initialed on it and we continued to keep the variety of popping colors consistent To add to that mix and match feel we took the same blue and green glassware along with some metallic candle holders, flipped them upside down and used them as the actual holders, or stands, for some smaller wooden tree stumps we worked with. Florals, feathers, a sign celebrating love and a variety of greens made this sweet table a center-stage.

We want to encourage couples to have fun with details and give your guests something unique to remember about that special day. For this wedding theme, our vintage camera favors added that final touch to our story by inevitably adding a few extra layers of depth to the event: where guests were given unusual items to play with while at the table, the pieces were automatically conversation starters for the newly acquainted, and they even acted as a prop for guests to use in wedding pictures! We want to encourage couples to feel free to add meaningful aspects to their décor; even if only the two of you realize the symbolism, it will be another special something that you can share on this wonderful day. It can even simply be by incorporating a flower or plant that means something special to you as a couple. We also brought this aspect to life with our potted succulent escort cards, since succulents are plants that represent endurance and longevity, these were beautiful hidden meanings to be surrounded by. They are also undeniably adorable and are a great whimsical earthy-glam keepsake guests can take home. The other example of meaningful detail that we incorporated was that we had vintage looking postcards of our venue’s property made, and used those pieces as the RSVP cards from the formal invitation set, and the postcards are then intended to become keepsakes for the couple upon receipt from all the guests sending them back.

Fun right!? Enjoy your wedding planning!

Photography: Forevercandid Photography | Venue: Willowdale Estate | Floral design: Table and Tulip | Wedding Coordination: Blue Ivy | Rentals: Peterson Party Center |Invitations, Menus + Escort Cards: Wicked Bride | Sign: Sierra Knot | Desserts: The Topsfield Bakeshop | Cookie Favors: Cookie Creatives by Jennifer | Decor props: Mad Props Boston | Wedding Dress: Bella Sera Bridal | Suit: Russo Tux Shop and Limousine | Hair: Shannon White of Lifestyles Salon | Makeup: Nancy Gorman of Makeup by Nancy | Bride’s Hair Piece: Veiled Beauty

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