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Elegant Summer Wedding at the Commander’s Mansion

An elegant wedding amidst the beauty of an old mansion, complete with a gorgeous lace gown; is there anything prettier? Held at Boston’s Commander’s Mansion, this celebration had some fun surprises (penguin cake topper!) and with Anne Skidmore behind the lens, we don’t miss out on any special moments. These photos are the perfect example of why that creative elegance will never go out of style.


From Anne Skidmore Photography… There were so many elements to David & Ceridwen’s day that we loved. All the sweet details, a Boston wedding, the Commanders Mansion, a ceremony with sweet readings and music, a penguin theme, friends and family from around the world, and a simply stunning bride with her handsome groom were just a few! September 7th, 2013 was a lovely fall day and it graced us with a slight overcast, which for us, as photographers, creates beautiful even light to work with. Ceridwen and her bridesmaids dressed for the big day at the Commander’s Sheraton in the heart of Cambridge. At the Commanders Mansion, Ceridwen slipped into her classic lace wedding gown in the bridal suite, while Dave and his groomsmen straightened their bow ties in the gentlemen’s parlor. Dave and Ceridwen wanted to connect before the ceremony, but they didn’t want to see each other. Thus, we found a room where they could hold hands, however, a door stood between them. They talked to each other with their hands held tight, and calmed each others nerves. With a sweet and simple goodbye it was time to head to the ceremony in the mansion’s courtyard. Ceridwen’s mother and father walked her down the aisle, and Dave struggled to fight back his tears seeing her for the first time. We even caught him wiping a few of them away. There were several readings by family and friends, and a beautiful song by one of Ceridwen’s bridesmaid. The newlyweds sealed it with a kiss and walked down the cheering aisle. We walked all around the grounds for stunning portraits, and then it was celebration time! Live music, toasts, cake cutting, dancing, delicious food, and a couple of final dusk portraits filled the night. Thank you David and Ceridwen! And before we sign off, we want to quote a reading that Ceridwen’s stepfather read during the ceremony. We were smitten by it.

An excerpt from “Your Personal Penguin” by Sandra Boyton:
I want to be Your Personal Penguin/I want to walk right by your side/I want to be Your Personal Penguin/I want to travel with you far and wide
Wherever you go, I’ll go there too/Here and there and ev’rywhere/And always with you/I want to be Your Personal Penguin/Imagine me, Your Personal Penguin/I want to be Your Personal Penguin/From now on.

Photography: Anne Skidmore Photography | Floral Design: Laura Jean Floral & Event Design | Wedding Dress: Judd Waddell | Cake: Sweet Tooth Boston | Ceremony Venue: Commander's Mansion | Bridesmaid Dresses: J.Crew | Catering: Forklift Catering | Make-Up: Makeup Artistry by Liz | Hair: Special Event Beauty | Music Selection: Winiker Music | Wedding Coordinater: Ang Jandak | Wedding Rings: Tiffany & Co.

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Commander’s Mansion Wedding from Lisa Rigby Photography + Petalena

Lisa Rigby just made my day.  Like, filled it with so much LOVE and joy, I can barely find the words to describe all of the pretty.  So, if I appear to be a bumbling mess, I seriously apologize… but once you get lost in the bright pink hues, stop-you-in-your-tracks vintage details and downright happiness flowing from each and every glorious image, trust me, you’ll feel the exact same way.  It’s a Summertime masterpiece with a bundles of beautiful blooms by Petalena, the perfect dose of sweetness and a gallery chock-full of lovely.  Join me there for more.

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From the Bride… I was going for happy, vintage, American summertime! When I was a teenager, I used to watch Trading Spaces, and I remember one bit of advice from an interior designer on that show. She said something along the lines of you don’t have to try to force everything to match because chances are, if you pick things that you truly like, those things just have a way of looking great together. So, I was never stressed out about trying to match everything. I always liked the idea of a happy-go-lucky, vintage wedding, so that was the inspiration. I didn’t care if “vintage” was overdone — it’s just what we like! We’re not city people, but we happen to live in a city, so the BBQ dinner, cowboy boots and vintage-craziness were a small tip of the hat to the more rural life we’re hoping to have someday.

I hand-stamped the seating cards with gold ink, and tied a skeleton key to each one with burlap string. I got the skeleton key idea from seeing it on lots of Pinterest boards. The keys were collected from Ebay and Etsy. Joe punched out the corners on the all the seating tags once I started to get blisters doing it. What a guy! The favors were hanging glass crystals etched with silver designs, hung on ivory and aqua bakers’ twine. They were Christmas ornaments from Sundance. Joe asked me to marry him at Christmas time, and I thought it would be sort of a cute hint at his proposal. I, with help from my mom, dad and sister, hand-covered each favor box with printed paper, wrapped each box with mismatching but similarly-colored washi tape and tied little thank you tags (hand-stamped) to the boxes with the same twine. I first saw some paper boutonnieres on Martha Stewart’s website and thought it was a cute idea. All of the corsage and boutonniere designs were my own — each one was different depending on the person it were being made for! I also designed and made the invitations. The envelopes and envelope liners were bought at Paper Source. The ivory paper was thick watercolor paper. After making the invitation suite designs on my computer, I sent the files to Anna-Mae of Village Impressions, who converted them into clear cling stamps. I hand-painted the peach and turquoise lantern “glow” on each invitation and reception card, and then stamped each one with clear embossing powder. They were each embossed with ultra-fine black embossing powder using a heat gun, then each was glued with pH-neutral bookmaking glue to the backing paper. The designs had to be stamped and embossed separately from the text. Once they were glued and the paper bands were made, my mom hand-addressed the inner and outer envelopes, we stuffed and sealed them and sent them off! It was a lot more work than I’d anticipated, and if I could go back in time, this is the one thing I’d never want to do again. Between the designing and the actual constructing of the invitations, it took about two months to finish, and it was just as expensive as if I’d had them printed.

The tables, gold chairs, and ivory place settings were rented from Taylor Rental in Haverhill. I designed the tables myself. The ivory linens were from Smarty Had a Party. The burlap runners were custom made by Teresa White of Straightstitch. During the year before the wedding, I collected lots of antique hand-embroidered tablecloths and mismatching tea-saucers from about 100 Etsy and Ebay sellers. The gold, pink, and turquoise mercury glass votive holders were bought all over the place. Some of the milk bottles and glass jars used for the Petalena’s table arrangements were literally found on the sidewalk near our apartment. We placed them back on the sidewalk after the wedding, and they were gone within hours.

Photography: Lisa Rigby Photography / Ceremony: MIT Chapel in Cambridge, Massachusetts / Reception: Commander’s Mansion in Watertown, Massachusetts /  Floral Design: Petalena / Boutonnieres: DIY / Boutonniere Supplies: 32NorthSupplies + FreshlyFallenDesigns / Wedding Invitations: DIY / Envelopes + Liners: Paper Source / Custom Invitation Stamp for Embossing: Village Impressions / Christmas Ornament Favors: Sundance / Favor Boxes: DIY / Tables, Chairs + Place Settings: Taylor Rental / Linens: Smarty Had a Party / Table Runners: StraightStitch / Lanterns: Paper Lantern Store + Luna Bazaar / Lantern Set-Up: Sandy + Len of DesignLight / Wedding Dress: Christos “Julianna” / Bride’s Boots: Frye “Carson” via Amazon / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: J.Crew “Evie” / Bridesmaids’ Necklaces: Ballandchain / Bride’s + Bridesmaids’ Clutches: MlleBagatelles / Groom’s Suit: Banana Republic / Groom’s Shirt: Calvin Klein / Groom’s Shoes: Bostonian via Macy’s / Engagement Ring + Groom’s Wedding Ring: DeScenza Diamonds / Bride’s Wedding Ring: Vintage via eBay

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Boston Wedding at Commander’s Mansion by Click Imagery

The most important detail of any wedding is the celebration of love and devotion that two people have for one another.  So when a little rain, or an entire hurricane, heads your way there’s no need to panic because at the end of the day you’ll still be married to your true love.  Of course, it also helps to have an extraordinary team of vendors like this one who magically made this English garden party-inspired wedding by Click Imagery a reality despite Hurricane Irene.  It captures the romantic, sweet love that one finds in Pride and Prejudice or Jane Eyre and I am just smitten.  See it all in the full gallery!

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From the Bride… They say rain on your wedding day is good luck, so what does a hurricane on your wedding day mean?

Mike proposed to me at our favorite beach in Gloucester, Massachusetts. We stumbled upon Good Harbor Beach years back during one of our trips to Gloucester for fresh seafood at The Causeway. Ever since we adopted our beloved dog, Roscoe, we love going back to Good Harbor to let him play and run around in the sand. Needless to say, Roscoe was with us the day we got engaged. Being half British, I have been exposed to and developed a love for period pieces such as Pride and Prejudice from a very young age, which shaped my vision for an English garden wedding. Our venue, a historical mansion called the Commander’s Mansion and its beautiful grounds, fit this vision perfectly.

I loved the entire planning process, which I attribute largely to our fabulous vendors who were all just amazing to work with. One of the highlights for us was designing the centerpieces. Mike and I visited antique stores to find antique/vintage glass vases for the flowers so each would be unique. I worked closely with a dear friend of ours to design the floral arrangements, which she constructed for us as a wedding gift. Another planning highlight was picking out our place settings, which consisted of mismatched pieces of English-inspired china and vintage glassware. It was little touches like this that added to our English garden ambiance. Of course the fascinators my British female family members were wearing helped too.

As our wedding day, August 27, 2011, approached, Hurricane Irene decided to make her way up the east coast. One would think that torrential rain on the day of your English garden-inspired wedding would put a bit of a damper on the day. Fortunately, my amazing vendors seamlessly made last minute changes, which luckily only entailed moving the outdoor ceremony underneath the tent. Our amazingly talented photographers were even able to make the rain disappear in many of our photos, along with managing to make it beautiful in others. As soon as we heard the string duet begin playing, we put the rain behind us and lost ourselves in our very personalized wedding ceremony, which very fittingly included a water ceremony. It was amazing to be surrounded by friends, family, and our dog. Roscoe was an integral part of our wedding day, as he was the star of many of the photos, along with being the best ring bearer around. He even celebrated with us as we were pronounced husband and wife, letting out a woof while everyone else applauded. After the ceremony, the cocktail hour proceeded inside the beautiful mansion, followed by the reception under the beautiful (and dry) marquee. In a way, Hurricane Irene united our guests as they stayed underneath the tent and celebrated with us all night. Our wedding day was perfect (and certainly unforgettable), hurricane and all.

Wedding Photography: Click Imagery / Wedding Venue: Commander’s Mansion in Watertown, Massachusetts / Wedding Coordination: EFD Creative / Floral Design: Busy Bee Florist / Centerpieces: Tricia Medas / Officiant: Reverend LisaAnn Donegan / Catering: Green Olive Catering / Wedding Cake: Susan Berejik / Beer + Wine: D&L Liquors / Ceremony Music: Riverview Chamber Players / Cocktail Hour Music: Joe McMahon Trio / DJ: DJ Monster Carl / Transportation: Local Motion of Boston / Wedding Dress: Melissa Sweet for Priscilla of Boston (Now Closed) via Vows / Veil: Custom / Hair: Andrea Walters / Makeup: Michel Krump

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