It doesn't happen often, but I am at a loss for words for just how much I love this bride and this wedding captured by the darling Anna Sawin. You may know the bride as the voice behind the lovely blog Sparkle & Hay, but I am lucky enough to know her as a genuine friend and even had the honor of being there to see this beautiful day unfold. It was a wedding straight out of story book, with love oozing out of each and every detail thanks to the ever so talented Sarah of TRUE Event and the lineup of extraordinary vendors that helped bring the sparkle and hay to life. With drop dead gorgeous floral design by Hana Floral Design, could-not-be-more-perfect paper by Chocolate Creative Design and beauty by the lovelies at Jennie Fresa Beauty Library (just to name a few), it's hard to go wrong. We love love like this and couldn't be happier Miss Sparkle & Hay is now a Mrs. Need more? I don't blame you, so step on over to the full gallery for even more sparkle and hay!
From the darling Bride...Our story begins in Paris, in June of 2009, where Dan got down on bended knee and asked me to marry him in front of the Eiffel Tower. (Well, actually our story begins 6 years earlier on a college campus in Massachusetts, but this is the abridged version!). It is safe to say that when Dan & I became engaged I caught the wedding bug… bad. I truly enjoyed every moment of planning & designing our wedding with the intention that it should not only be beautiful, but filled with meaningful details in order to tell the “story of us”. Originally believing that I wanted a destination wedding (preferably a Villa in the Tuscan Hills or farmhouse in the countryside of France) the one thing I knew for sure was that I wanted to transport our guests to a different place, if only through the ambience of the party. This led to an interesting venue search as we began to comb the state of Connecticut for just the right place to say “I Do”. However, the moment we turned down the (slightly hidden) drive of Saltwater Farm Vineyard in Stonington, I knew this was going to be the place.
Pulling up it is as though you are transported to another place, and inside the meticulously revitalized space (I don't dare say renovated as so much of the building's authenticity has been preserved) a fantastic raw energy abounds. The vineyard was originally a WWII aircraft hangar, the interior a delight for the eyes with towering high ceiling, gorgeous exposed wooden beams and ceilings. The space comes as-is... and lends itself perfectly to personalization through colors, textures, linens, flowers, lighting, and all sorts of fabulous details. At the onset of the planning process to say I was all over the place with my design style is an understatement. There is no way that I could have achieved this destination wedding in Connecticut idea I had in my mind alone – it was the creative mind and amazing styling of planner/designer Sarah True of True Event who refined my vision to that of a Provençal Rustic Chic style and brought it to life. In a true collaborative effort, Sarah assembled a dream team of vendors to work on my special day, many of whom I would not have met without her, and am now so happy to call treasured friends.
Our perfectly Provençal rustic chic save the dates by Lucinda Wesson of Chocolate Creative Design were the first step to creating this special experience to share with our guests – a custom printed burlap pouch filled with lavender, a paper airplane (folded from the pages of a vintage French love poem book) cork from Saltwater Farm Vineyard, and piece of hay arrived at each of our soon-to-be guests homes. Followed by Fleur de Lis tea stained parchment invitations and a dance program reception card packaged in a kraft paper & Parisian map lined envelope with a vintage inspired RSVP postcard - that guests loved so much many called in their responses and asked to keep the cards! The day of the wedding could not have been more idyllic. We were greeted the morning of October 23 with beautiful sunshine and sparkling blue sky. Preparing for the big day while surrounded by my bridesmaids, mother, and mother-in-law was such fun! The lovely ladies of the Jennie Fresa Beauty Library worked their magic on us as we nibbled on our brunch, and I sipped my warm cup of starbucks (the one wedding gift I asked for from Dan). The smiling face of Yumiko Fletcher of Hana Floral Design delivering my drop-dead-GORGEOUS bouquet was all it took to send me into pure euphoria (mind you this is only at 10am). Always on cue, the only person whom I would want so close to me on that day (aside from Dan) Anna Sawin, of Anna Sawin Photography arrived just in time to catch me in this glorious moment (and snap a million photos of me running around the townhouse my parents had rented in the borough of Stonington exclaiming “I’m getting married - this is the best day of my life!”.) A demure, composed bride I was not – you could not have wiped that ear-to-ear smile off my face if you tried.
A Newport Trolley brought us to St. Mary Church in town, where our guests were streaming into the pews (which were perfectly anointed with small terra cotta pots wrapped in twine, filled with silver brunia berries, lavender, blush spray roses, herbs and greens). From that moment on the day began to fly, the girls were down the aisle in an instant, and then that moment that you wait for your entire life was upon me – my walk down the aisle. As I took my father’s arm it was all I could do to keep myself from running down the aisle and jumping into Dan’s arms, the moment I saw him there waiting for me I was overcome with excitement and just knew that all was right with the world. While my father was the one who walked me down the aisle it was very important to me that both he and my mother “give me away”, so she stood up and joined us as we reached the end of the aisle. We blinked back tears as my father lifted my veil and kissed me on the check, and then there was a slight blunder on our part as Dan & I were so excited to see each other that we kissed immediately there – before stepping onto the alter together. Needless to say, I was giddy through the entire ceremony and on cloud nine when we were pronounced husband and wife.
Arriving at the vineyard that sunny evening my dreams had already more than come true. Greeted at the entrance with a St. Germaine & Champagne cocktail (our signature drink) by Jeanette Holliday of Gourmet Galley Catering, I could not have imagined the breathtaking sight that awaited me inside. Sarah had transformed Saltwater Farm Vineyard into a place beyond my wildest dreams. A little bit vineyard, a touch of France, a sprinkling of shimmer, a hint of burlap and we were in another world. The tables, with a blush linen and burlap & lace edged runner, were covered with mercury glass votives, lace wrapped tea lights, and burlap and lace wrapped water bottles (which I made myself!). The centerpieces alternated per table; half had moss, lavender, and babys breathe filled wooden crates with a burlap covered wine bottle candelabra. The others had mercury glass pedestal vases filled with lavender, queen anne’s lace, chocolate cosmos, silver brunia, dusty miller, blush Juliet roses, Café au lait dahlias and rosemary. Carrying the invitation inspiration through, the table numbers and escort cards were recreations of vintage postcards representing places in the world which were meaningful to Dan & I. On the back of each we wrote a little note to our guests seated at each table thanking them for sharing in our special day. Another hit with our guests, we were thrilled when a week after the wedding we actually received one of the table number postcards back in the mail – with a note signed by the entire table expressing how much they had enjoyed themselves. As we took in the culmination of all of the amazing details coming together to create our big day we were spellbound. All of the countless hours of planning had paid off more than imaginable when Dan turned to me and said “Wow… I knew it was going to look good, but I had no clue it would be this amazing”.
Guest cocktailed on the bluestone patio which had been transformed into an outdoor lounge, enjoying the panoramic views of the vines and the long island sound with the live guitar duo J2AM playing some of our favorite songs in the background. The party moved inside as the sun began to set, and the room began to glow. The meal was flawless; the entrée, a tasting plate, featuring melt in your mouth short ribs and a hazelnut encrusted chicken which we still receive compliments on to this day. Hours of dancing followed, with guests taking a moment later in the night to help themselves to a drink at the hot beverage bar or make s’mores outside by the fire pit. Dan & I were able to escape for a few moments from time to time as well, which only allowed us to savor the day even more. Before I knew it the time for our send off had arrived and cheering guests showered us in dried lavender sprinkled from French printed paper cones. It was more than a dream come true.
Venue: Saltwater Farm Vineyard / Design and Coordination: Sarah True of TRUE Event / Photography: Anna Sawin Photography / Catering: Anna Lathrop and Jeanette Holliday of Gourmet Galley / Floral: Hana Floral Design / Paper: Chocolate Creative Design / Entertainment: Power Posse Productions & JA2M / Rentals: Rentals Unlimited / Transportation: Newport Trolley / Videography: Tim Ethier Video Productions / Beauty: Jennie Fresa Beauty Library / Dress: Augusta Jones from Kleinfeld New York / Bridesmaids: J.Crew / Bride & Groom Forks: Beach House Living / Guest Book: LovliDay / Bridesmaid and Bride's clutches: Oatmeal Lace Design / Hanger: LilaFrances