When I was venue hunting for my own wedding, the Crane Estate at Castle Hill in Ipswich, Massachusetts just happened to be at the top of my list. It’s this massively gorgeous estate just outside of Boston and if nothing else, promises a total fairytale wedding. Well, I love, love, love what this particular couple did with their estate style wedding…infusing the formality with spunk, charm and fabulous color. Photographed beautifully by Heather Parker, this is one of those weddings where I would have killed to be a guest! Click here to see SO many more details including the most darling table numbers you’ve ever seen in your life.
Andrew and I currently live in Chicago, IL. I grew up outside Boston and Andrew grew up in the Chicago area. We met when we were both in college at Vanderbilt and continued on to live in Charlottesville, Virginia for 3 years while Andrew was in law school. We loved living in the south, but moved up to Chicago to be closer to family. Planning the wedding from half way across the country was difficult but we pulled it off!
I had dreamed about getting married at Castle Hill from when I was a little girl. When Andrew and I first got engaged we were living in Virginia and later in Chicago. I had sent my mom out to check out venues and luckily she loved Castle Hill as much as I did. I have always been drawn to bright summery colors, but Castle Hill is a pretty traditional venue, so we always had to keep in mind melding my bright colors with the look of the venue. We used bright pinks and greens coupled with navy blue to achieve a summery look. Our décor had a subtle nautical theme, with shells and coral prints on our paper and fabrics.
When I first started envisioning what our wedding would look like I knew I wanted to add lots of personal touches and I wanted to make a lot of things myself. Andrew and I tackled many DIY projects together and our families also pitched in to help. I wanted all of our décor to meld with Castle Hill for an “elegant casual seaside” look. I pulled inspiration from a variety of sources and pulled it all together by using coordinated paper products from Anna Griffin and the matching fabrics, also by Anna Griffin.
The biggest project we took on was the escort card pinwheels. We made each pinwheel by hand and they were a huge hit at the wedding. The pinwheels also made an appearance on the cake, those pinwheels were also made out of paper, just mini sized! Our other projects included-paper pomanders to decorate the aisles, pennant banner to decorate the bar and the lawn, drink stirrers, table numbers, menus, programs (which I hand printed with a gocco). We baked over 1000 cookies for a cookie buffet. Our mothers really came through for us and did a lot of sewing, making all of the table overlays, and the chuppah top.
A few days before the wedding as my mom and I were baking our final batches of cookies for favors, my Mom asked how many hours I thought I spent on making everything for the wedding, I couldn’t even take a guess. “Was it worth it?” she asked me. I replied that I would have to let her know after the wedding was over. Looking back I think all the work and details we put into the wedding made the whole evening the special event that it was. Everything that we and our families made was made with love and creativity.
Ceremony + Reception Venue: Crane Estate at Castle Hill, Ispwich, MA / Caterer: Swartz Catering / Officiant: Rabbi Judy Epstein and Father Bill Nesbit / Wedding Photographer: Heather Parker Photography / Wedding Band + Entertainment: The Return / Ceremony Music: Siman Entertainment / Wedding Florist: Bella Floral Design / Wedding Gown: Watters and Watters San Miguel / Bridal Boutique: Aisle Style, Elmhurst, IL / Custom wedding gown hanger: LilaFrances / Brides + Bridesmaid Shoes: Jack Rogers / Bridesmaid Dresses: Priscilla of Boston / Suits: JoS. A. Bank / Ties: Tux and Tulle (Etsy) / Invitations: Blush Design Studio / Day of Coordinator: Jennifer Potter, Dot your I’s / Table squares + overlays: Groom’s mother / Chuppah: BZ Sustainable Style, the Bride’s mother’s company / Brides Clutch: BZ Sustainable Style, the Bride’s mother’s company