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English Garden Party Inspired Wedding at Crane Estate

I’ll always be a fan of pretty photos (and this gallery from Hello Love Photography is chock full of them) but when I come upon a Bride whose story is so well told that I feel like I know her and her Groom, well, it doesn’t get much better than that. Brighter Lights Media captured this love live and with Mayflour Confections and White Label DJs, a good time is guaranteed. Make your Tuesday better right here!

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Fall
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Estate

From the beautiful Bride… Playful, wholesome, personal – those are the three words I used as inspiration while designing our wedding day on September 28th, 2014 at The Crane Estate in Ipswich, Massachusetts.

Walt and I met in college, and although I was a geography major and he a theater major, we share a love for art, history, mysterious things, and Michael Jackson music. Before our engagement last August in Paris, we spent two weeks exploring the Scottish and English countryside. We both have deep roots from that area, and were so awestruck by the classic gorgeousness – the rolling hills endlessly dotted with sheep, the warm people, the ancient ruins, the lush gardens. We knew our dream for our wedding day would be to combine the feeling of that place with the beauty of New England’s coastline for some of our favorite people in the world (minus the sheep, unfortunately).

We chose to have our ceremony and reception at The Crane Estate for several reasons. The winding drive there through the marshes and past grazing horses definitely echoed our drives through the UK countryside. The historic house and knockout view – complete with rolling lawns, sunken gardens, and the Atlantic Ocean – were something both Walt and I knew we wanted our guests to experience and enjoy. Most importantly though, the beach at Crane is where I played while growing up, where we take our dog, Bella, to run in the winter, as well as the first place I ever flew a plane (a life dream and first anniversary gift from Walt), so it had also become quite personal to us over the years. We had found our place.

Although the Estate itself is quite grand and even somewhat imposing, our vision for the day was a simple and sincere old-fashioned daytime family affair. Over the months of planning, sticking to that vision despite the grandeur of Crane became a fun puzzle.

First and foremost, we wanted our guests to feel completely comfortable – as though they had arrived at a friend’s home for a relaxed garden party – so we decided that as they entered through the majestic house to the lawn where the ceremony would be held, the first things they would see, hear, taste, and feel would be: ocean, acoustic guitar, basil-infused lemonade, and sunshine.

One of our favorite aspects of Crane are two massive, stone griffins that guard either side of the rear terrace. They were gifts given to the original owner of the Estate from his employees, so naturally, we had to dress those two up a bit for the occasion! Erica Gregory of Lilac and Lily Floral Design draped gorgeous green garland around their necks, as well as around the cake and sweetheart tables. She worked with us to create the feel of a typical English garden with soft arrangements of garden roses and greenery, fragrant potted lavender and other herbs, as well as large potted ferns.

While we wanted our day to be inspired by both our heritage and love of all things English and Scottish, we did our best to be subtle while infusing that into our decor. Bits of tartan ribbon could be found throughout (including bows on the back of my shoes), and our naked Victoria Sponge Cake baked by Mayflour Confections was every bit as delicious as the ones we devoured in teashops across the pond.

To create a more intimate vibe, we chose to forego a large bridal party, and instead had our closest family and friends participate in other ways. My mother served as my matron of honor and Walt’s best friend from college was his best man. My five nieces -whose ages range from 10 to 24 – were our gorgeous flower girls, complete with hand-tied floral crowns and ethereal ivory chiffon dresses. The youngest walked down the aisle in the traditional style, while the older girls handed out programs and cones filled with rose petals for post-nuptial tossing. My four nephews served as ring bearers. The youngest two carried our wedding bands down the aisle and the older assisted with the Ring Warming Ceremony led by my sister, Hayley. It was important to us that every guest there felt that they were an active part of our beginning, so having them each take a moment to hold our rings and put their well wishes into the gold is truly a treasured moment.

As Walt waited patiently in his handsome plaid Ted Baker London suit, I walked down the aisle escorted by my oldest brother carrying a bouquet of delicate roses, fresh lavender, white Scottish heather (for good luck!), dusty miller, and ranunculus wrapped in an ivory ribbon and a gold locket which held a picture of my late father. To complement my ivory silk Kelly Faetanini ‘Genevieve’ dress, I also wore the pearl earrings my father had given my mother for Christmas before he passed away when I was seven.

After officially becoming Mr. and Mrs, the day continued with our wholesome, laid-back theme. Lawn games, lounge furniture dotted with pretty floral throw pillows handmade by my mother, and fun parasols to shield the (surprisingly strong) late September sun put people in a playful mood. Our amazing friend Jesse Ciarmataro lovingly played his guitar, and before long there were children running and dancing everywhere while our guests soaked up some rays and indulged. We opted for a fun brunch-inspired menu featuring a bubbly bar with assorted fresh fruit purees, ‘Old Cuban’ signature cocktails, miniature pancake muffins, lobster rolls, yogurt parfaits, crepes (a little nod to our Parisian engagement!), and frittatas.

Walt and his friends are avid Dungeons and Dragons players, so as a surprise to him, I ordered navy blue dragon-shaped escort cards exclusively for that select group. Also, rather than seat everyone with only their friends, we did our best to thoughtfully mix people up. As an icebreaker of sorts, I had our stationer type up tented cards for their tables pointing out what everyone had in common and to hopefully get them talking. For instance, one card said, “Two of you have run Tough Mudders” and another said “Three of you are yoga teachers” – it was really fun to see what interests and experiences people from totally separate pieces of our lives share. We finished off the decor with framed pictures of our pets, family members who were no longer with us, as well as a personalized watercolor map of Ipswich.

After two heartfelt speeches by Walt’s best man and my brother, we had our first dance, and then our guests joined us on the dance floor for an impromptu ‘Thriller’ flash mob attempt. As the merriment continued, everyone cooled off with frozen espresso drinks made by the wonderful Espresso Dave. Hiring him was one of the last additions we made to our wedding plans, but we are so glad we did. An espresso cart is the perfect way to keep a dance party going!

As the afternoon was coming to a close, we both went off and changed into our going away outfits for our last dance. We were headed to Hawaii the very next morning, and as a surprise, my family bought us leis to wear as we swayed to Jack Johnson’s song “Lucky.” A traditional London cab waited for us outside, and as we walked out of the house, a husband and wife bagpiper duo played as we said our goodbyes and left to begin our adventure as husband and wife.

Handcrafting this wedding was one of the greatest joys of my life thus far. As a woman whose father passed away at such a young age, planning a wedding was challenging… something I can honestly say I’ve actually dreaded for a long time. However, when creating this day I truly tried to honor his spirit and embrace life. I worked hard to create a day that not only Walt and I would enjoy as a couple, but that would also give our most beloved family and friends a wonderful love-fueled afternoon to remember.

Not being a stereotypically thin bride myself, I will admit the pressure of gown shopping was not the most enjoyable aspect of the wedding planning experience for me. I waited until the last minute to look, and it was painful to try on samples that in no way fit… there were most definitely some tears happening. After visiting several salons, I found the team at Allegria Bridal, and I am thrilled to say I felt so unbelievably beautiful on my wedding day because of them. The gown I chose was fashion-forward despite being made in a larger size. It was light, had an amazing twirl factor, and the unique peplum detail echoed the waves of the ocean. I didn’t want to take it off!

Photography: Hello Love Photography | Cinematography: Brighter Lights Media | Event Design: Bride | Floral Design: Lilac And Lily Floral Design And Event Styling | Cake: Mayflour Confections | Bride's Shoes: Milk And Honey | Engagement Ring: Brilliant Earth | Catering: Fireside Catering | DJ : Ryan Durkin Of White Label DJs | Groom's Attire: Ted Baker London | Wedding Venue: The Crane Estate | Bridal Boutique: Allegria Bridal | Bride's Hair: Abby D'Orsi | Bride's Hair Comb: Anna Marguerite | Guitarist: Jesse Ciarmataro | Invitations, Chalkboards & Signage: Fleuri Post | Lawn Games: Etsy | London Cab: London Livery | Older Flower Girl Dresses: J. Crew | Parasols: Luna Bazaar | Place Cards: Jonni Paper Goods | Ring Bearer Attire: J. Crew | Wedding Map: Laura Lavender | Wedding Rings: One Stone New York | Younger Flower Girl Dress: Gowns by Ginny

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Rustic Summer Wedding at the Barn at the Crane Estate

It’s our lucky Friday, with not one, but two Joyelle West wonders. We loved on this elegant Rhode Island manor wedding this morning and now we’re crushing hard on this Crane Estate beauty. Held at their Italian-style barn, this celebration was bursting with rich jewel tones, reminding me why I so adore autumn weddings. This gorgeous gallery isn’t one to be missed!

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Summer
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Barn
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Rustic

From Joyelle West… Brittany and Brandon had a timeless black and white wedding at the Barn at the Crane Estate in Ipswich, MA. Their ceremony was in the field that was the vegetable garden in the early 1900s, and the reception was in the Italian-style barn. I was in love with the beautiful old garden, the sweeping grounds, and the light we had that day.

From The Bride… My mom and I picked all the décor, we have similar style and she knows exactly what I like so we work really well together. Many things were found on Etsy, my mom found my something blue (a pin with two cats and a blue moon) as well as the antique French mailbox for cards, which were two of my favorite elements!

The chocolate cake was decorated with stars. My cousin Jamie’s girlfriend Krista baked the macaroons, she had never baked for an event before and did such an amazing job, they were delicious and she is such a sweetheart for taking on such a big first job!

Melinda has been my hairdresser for years and I wouldn’t trust anyone else with my hair for my wedding. My loose and pretty hairstyle worked so well with my hairpiece and perfectly complemented my beautiful strapless gown. My hair and my makeup, which I did myself, as well as the cat pin on my bouquet and my perfectly witchy pointy black suede kitten heeled Mary-Janes made me still feel like myself which was important.

Shelley made up the most gorgeous arrangements, especially the urns, which were lined with moss and were part of the garden ceremony and then were moved down to either side of the barn doors. The colors of the flowers were peach, pink, burgundy and white with accents of silver dusty miller and eucalyptus. My bouquet included Coral Charm peonies, Juliet garden roses, jasmine, burgundy ranunculus and silver dusty miller. Shelley designed it so it would mirror my headpiece.

Brandon and I made sure we sat down and ate delicious food together and spent most of the night dancing with each other, which is always our favorite part of weddings. We ended the night with Shout by Lulu, it is one of my favorite songs, I just love her energy and her voice and was so happy that so many people joined us on the dance floor for a happy energetic song before we said our goodbyes. We had perfect weather and an amazing night and Joyelle captured it all beautifully with her stunning photography style!

My advice to other brides would be look at other people’s weddings for ideas but make sure you stay true to your own personal style, surround yourself with people you love and blot your face during the reception (Shiseido Pureness Blotting Paper is the best!) Also, don’t have three martinis the night before your wedding if you only had sushi for dinner and (super cliché) marry your best friend!

Photography: Joyelle West | Flowers: Bow Street Flowers | Wedding Dress: Oscar De La Renta | Cakes: Flour Bakery | Shoes: Prada | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Alexandra Grecco | Hair : Melinda Brandt And Kerri Marland | Wedding Venue: The Barn At The Crane Estate | Cake Topper Stars: BHLDN | Flowergirl & Ringbearer Accessories: J.Crew | Groom’s Suit: J.Crew | Hairpiece: Twigs And Honey

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Romantic Winter Wedding

As gorgeous as they are romantic, here at SMP we love winter weddings. Especially when said affair includes Casey Durgin and Blissful Beginnings behind the scenes. A snowy gem complete with New England elements makes the perfect inviting winter escape. A culmination of all things cozy and we’re only getting started, see the gallery for much more!

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Seasons
Winter
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Country Club

From the beautiful Bride… This romantic winter wedding following a snow storm features a design palette of white flowers, lace, burnished silver, mercury glass and lots of candles. The space was transformed into a warm & inviting winter escape.

My husband and I both grew up in New Hampshire, but we’ve made the North Shore of Massachusetts our home. We decided to get married in January at St. Mary’s in Danvers, MA, and celebrate our marriage nearby, at Ipswich Country Club. We chose to get married in the winter for a variety of reasons – from wanting our wedding to be just a bit “different,” to needing to getting married during a time period when I could take enough time off from work and school (Dan works in software sales, and I work in marketing and take MBA courses at night in Boston) for both a wedding and a honeymoon someplace warm.

When my husband and I started planning our wedding – we chose to prioritize several key components – a location that had charm and plenty of room for dancing, good people to work with, delicious food, and the opportunity to celebrate with our closest family and friends. In terms of our wedding design and decorations – I wanted our wedding to look classic with touches of vintage.

We knew we were taking a bit of a risk by having our wedding in January in New England — and sure enough, we were hit with a snowstorm just two days before our wedding. When the snow started to come down the Thursday before our Saturday wedding, I literally had 10 minutes to pick up my dress (with the help of my amazing maid-of-honor and her husband, who came to the rescue in their large, four-wheel drive vehicle) before the shop closed for business due to snow. We were nervous about how the snowstorm would affect travel for our guests and parking at the church – but as luck would have it, the storm stopped before the wedding rehearsal and we had beautiful snow covering everything for the wedding day.

When we look back now at our wedding day – we are so happy with all the decisions that we made. We had an amazing day with our wonderful family and friends, and are so thankful for all of the people who helped and supported us along the way.

Photography: Casey Durgin Photography | Wedding Planner: Blissful Beginnings Wedding And Event Design | Florist: Flora Ventures | Wedding Dress: Allure Bridals | Cake: Wild Orchid Bakery | Church: Saint Mary's | Bridesmaids' Dresses: David's Bridal | Hair & Makeup: Vero Salon & Spa | DJ: Get Down Tonight | Groomsmen's Attire: Men's Wearhouse | Country Club: Ipswich Country Club

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
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Multicultural Wedding at the Crane Estate

I love it when a couple incorporates their heritage throughout their wedding day. Accenting the natural beauty of the Crane Estate, this cultural affair was seamlessly planned by True Event and captured by Leila Brewster with no shortage of Petal Floral Design blooms. Capers Catering kept guests energized while The Beat Train Productions serenaded into the night. More right here!

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Summer
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Estate
From Caitlin at True Event… Working on this gorgeous wedding gave us the opportunity to get to know one of the most amazing couples we’ve met and work with an extraordinary team of vendors at a stunning venue which made the whole day come together perfectly for Sonia and Andrew. With cultural elements brought into the ceremony and reception, this wedding was one that we will remember forever. No detail was missed and all of those details were tied together seamlessly helping to create the most stunning ambiance at this sophisticated and whimsical wedding. The traditional Indian attire for the wedding party was a unique and cultural element that was brought in thanks to Sonia and Andrew’s stunning taste and vision for their wedding. The greenery placed throughout the decor of the wedding, including the moss for the escort card table, the beautiful floral arrangement and design, as well as the moss chandeliers hanging throughout the tent, were aspects of the design that added to the elegance of the event and played perfectly towards the color palette of greens, blush tones, whites and gold accents. Sonia and Andrew’s wedding is one that True Event thoroughly enjoyed designing and coordinating and will never forget – all thanks to the beautiful couple!

Photography: Leila Brewster | Florist: Petal Floral Design | Wedding Cake: Jenny's Wedding Cake | Ceremony Venue: Crane Estate | Reception Venue: Crane Estate | Catering: Capers Catering | Makeup: Dani Wagener | Hair: Lindsay Griffin Boston Hair Stylist + CO | Lighting: Ryan Designs | DJ: The Beat Train Productions | Rabbi: Sam Seicol | Limousine: Blacktie Limo | Transportation: Crystal Transportation | Event Design & Coordination: True Event | Music: Don Ngatia | Paper: Patti Murphy | Photo Booth: First Mate | Rentals: Peterson Party Center | Spanish Guitarist: Jose Allende | Tent: Seacoast Tent Rental

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here
Elegant Summer Wedding at Crane Estate

With a fiancé from the North Shore, I’m one of the lucky ones who knows just how gorgeous that area is. And at Crane Estate, overlooking the shining sea, it’s a bride-to-be’s dream. This elegant affair was the perfect match for the stunning Estate and Jillian Mitchell was there to snap up every detail of the day. Join me in the full gallery and good luck not falling in love with every inch of this beauty.

Colors
Seasons
Summer
Settings
Estate
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Elegant

From Jillian Mitchell… Andrea (Fifi) and Patrick knew that they wanted to throw a bash full of grandeur and it was nothing short of that when they decided on the insanely beautiful Crane Estate in Ipswich, MA. It’s now a state park, but for years was a mansion of the rich and famous with parties thrown every weekend.

From the Bride… The Crane Estate is a place we visit often to take in the most beautiful views the North Shore has to offer. We will bring our children there on our anniversary and show them how for one day we were Royalty. Since the ocean is such a large part of who we are the simple white and beachy theme was a no-brainer and I think it kept the day light and fun. The details of the twine and whale napkin rings, sand dollar bracelets on the girls, little pops of peach roses sprinkled below the massive white hydrangea, and candle light everywhere all came together exactly as I had pictured it months before.

Photography: Jillian Mitchell | Floral Design: Lilac And Lily Floral Designs | Wedding Dress: Pronovias | Invitations: Made By Groom | Ceremony Venue: Crane Estate | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Jcrew | Groom's Attire: J. Crew | Groomsmen's Attire: J. Crew | Getting Ready Attire: Etsy: Silk And More | Wedding Rings: M.K. Benatti Jewelers