As we reach the end (don’t worry we still have one more wedding to go) of another whopping wedding Wednesday, we thought we’d hit you with a good ol’ dose of DIY. I’m pretty sure Massachusetts has the best barns for that perfect rustic backdrop and this wedding by Lara Kimmerer brings charm and down-home goodness by the bucket full! It was certainly a labor of love but the result is something spectacular especially when you see the ecstatic looks on the faces of the darling bride and groom. This is only a snippet of this New England beauty so make sure you visit the full gallery to see even more!
From the Bride… When Burton and I got engaged it was a happy moment entangled in an intensely sad time in my life. My mother had just passed away from a horrible bout with lung cancer. As happy as I was I couldn’t imagine planning the wedding without her. Trying to find the dress without my Mom seemed like the saddest thing I could think of. So we just let ourselves enjoy our engagement until things felt stable enough to begin.
That day came about a year after her passing. We decided on a date in the fall (about 9 months away) and started in. We knew we wanted our wedding day to be totally ours. It needed to feel down home, comfortable and inclusive, our food to be fantastic and the guests to be our families and closest friends (150 people). Just like everyone else now a days we didn’t have much money. That fits our style, though. We set a tight budget for ourselves and fought tooth and nail to keep to it as closely as possible. In the planning there was a short list of details that really meant a lot to us and a long list of things that we could care less about. That helped us write the budget and kept us sane and focused in the circus that is wedding planning. We were going to do it our way. That turned out to be so important and made everything so special to us.
We settled on Codman Community Farm in Lincoln, MA, for the location because the space was beautiful, the people were laid back and the price was right. The farm is a working community farm that had weddings there before but had no staff to set up and take down the tables, chairs, decorations, etc. This was a REAL barn and we were going to set it up ourselves (chase a couple chickens out) and take it down the following day! But we knew it was the right place because whenever we went back to visit during the planning we just walked around beaming! It felt like home.
Our budget for catering was $5000 for everything (food, staff, etc.) and great food was one of our priorities. I feel strongly about food ethics so it meant a lot to me to try to have our food sourced locally. Most caterers won’t even start their ovens for that price never mind locally source things. With a lot of persistence I found a local-food-only personal chef on yelp.com that was excited to cook for 150 people and was willing to accept my budget. We REALLY, really lucked out. Through her we also bought 6 buckets of farmer’s market flowers for $25 a piece for our centerpieces and bouquets. Of course, we had to put all those things together before the wedding but that’s a great way to save a LOT of money. The flowers were amazing so it wasn’t hard.
We rented most of the tables, chairs and silverware but were able to borrow all the plates from a friend who collected a bunch of different china sets for her own wedding. It was a nice touch to have all the mix and match plates in the barn. We also bought and borrowed cases and cases of mason jars for the center pieces and for drinking glasses. It just went so well with the barn!
The biggest challenge for us was worrying about how the day was going to come together. We saved a lot of money on labor by doing everything ourselves – but then we had to do everything ourselves! So for peace of mind I scraped together a little money and hired one person willing to try to orchestrate the set-up and decorations. When the day came so many of our loved ones chipped in without blinking an eye or even being asked. They spent a crazy day and a half making the barn and the ceremony site look magical. They are the ones truly responsible for making the day beautiful. Our friends and family really went over and above and then showed up the day after to help clean it all up. Amazing. We spent our wedding day overwhelmed by everyone’s generosity of spirit and positive energy. That ended up being what it was all about in the end and that’s the lesson we will carry with us forever.
Wedding Photography: Lara Kimmerer / Flowers: Stillman’s Farm (Arranged by Bride, Groom & Emily Fazzina of Cuisine en Locale) / Event Design & Planning: Bride & Groom / Catering: Cuisine en Locale / Wedding Ceremony & Reception Location: Codman Community Farm / Wedding Dress: J. Crew via Once Wed / Makeup: The Bride / Wedding Officiant: Friend of the GroomJ.Crew is a member of our Look Book. For more information on how members are chosen, click here.