New England is filled to the gills with venues that radiate rustic charm, there’s no doubt about that. But one of my absolute faves, which happens to be a hop, skip and jump away—hands down, Willowdale Estate. So today’s gem from Erin McGinn is quite a treat. From the Bride’s gorgeous woven bun to the burgundy dotted blooms from Dogwood Floral Design, this stunning gallery will surely put a little pep in your Monday step.
From the beautiful Bride…I had always envisioned getting married on the water, so when Andrew and I got engaged I assumed we’d get married at a beach destination down the Cape or in Newport or Maine. We came across Willowdale Estate on The Knot (I had never heard of it before) but since it was on the way to a couple other venues we were interested in, we figured it was worth a shot. When we got there we were so impressed – it had just the right balance of rustic charm and elegance. The grounds and garden courtyard are gorgeous, and the estate itself with its craftsman style is just so unique and so New England. Plus my dad grew up in Newburyport right down the road, and every year my extended family goes there for a big family reunion – so that area certainly has special meaning for my family. It’s hard to explain but Willowdale just felt very “us.” While I needed a little convincing to get over my beachside vision, but Andrew knew instantly this was the perfect place for us to get married – and now I whole-heartedly agree.
Our theme for the wedding is “Rustic Romance” – essentially rustic touches (like kraft paper, burlap, white pumpkins) with romantic colors and textures (lots of lace, ivory, soft peach, blush and greenery). In terms of inspiration, I got most of my ideas from Pinterest and Style Me Pretty. I also have about 30 wedding magazines. My mom was a huge help with all of the DIY projects – she is a retired art teacher and did all the calligraphy on the invitations, escort cards, table numbers, and chalkboard signage. I’m big on details so little things like designing a wedding logo with our initials, stamping it on all of our gift/welcome bag hangtags, and using the same font on all of our printed materials/signage is one of my favorite small touches that I think tied everything together.
My favorite part of our wedding day was the ceremony. It was held in Willowdale Estate’s outdoor courtyard, with the stone exterior of the estate as the backdrop. We were incredibly fortunate with the weather – it was a gorgeous 80 degree late September day, the sun was shining, the flowers were still in bloom – Indian Summer could not have hit at a more perfect time! Leading up to the ceremony I thought I would be a ball of nerves (so many eyes looking at us, what if I tripped?!) but seeing all of our family and friends, all in one place and celebrating us – it made me the happiest I’ve ever been. We designed the the ceremony to be short, sweet, and personal – and laughed the entire time.
The reception was just as I envisioned it would be – a warm autumn evening beneath a beautiful sperry cloth tent adorned with long farm tables and lit by strings of twinkle lights – and the best dance party I’ve ever been to.
Willowdale Estate will always hold a special place in my heart. It is such a magical, quaint, and unique place to get married. We would not have changed a thing about our day.
Bride's Earrings: M Flynn | Bridesmaids Dresses: Jim Hjelm | Cake: Frederick's Pastries | Favors: Whoopie Wagon | Floral Design: Dogwood Floral Design | Hair: Tracey Castrichini | Invitations: Elli | Lighting: Ryan Designs | Limo: Michael's Limo | Makeup: Dawna Kraft | Music: Sweet Tooth And The Sugar Babies | Photobooth: Shutter Booth | Photography: Erin McGinn | Reception Venue: Willowdale Estate | Shoes: Badgley Mischka | Transportation: McGinn Bus | Wedding Dress: Cristina's Bridal | Wedding Dress: Romona Keveza