Sweetwater Farm Wedding from Alison Conklin Photography
May 18, 2012
Mid Atlantic
Classic WeddingsRustic WeddingsOutdoor Weddings
Maybe my favorite thing in life is flipping through perfect photos from a fête that is established on so much chic personality I feel like I can smell the amazing flowers, feel the fresh breeze, and see the radient love. So today is a good day. A very good day, thanks to Alison Conklin Photography. She sent over a soiree so sweet my tooth aches. So romantic I've got goosebumps. So filled with personality I just feel like squeezing these little lovebirds. And so fantastic, I'll be in the gallery all day!

Click here to see the entire soiree in the gallery!

Craig and I got engaged after six years of dating. It was especially celebratory as we had been going through a hard time -- we had recently lost my only sister to a car accident, and my mom had been diagnosed with cancer two months before. Then, during our engagement period, Craig had to have unexpected major surgery, so the meaning and significance of our wedding day truly resonated with us when it arrived. It was incredible for us and our families to have something so happy to celebrate – the painful months had made it all the more sweet, and us all the more appreciative. We were overwhelmed with gratitude to have had such a special day.

When we first started planning, our primary wish was to have a wedding that would be reflective of us and be filled with meaning. We focused on things that impact the way people feel, instead of feeling like we needed to follow specific formats or traditions. It needed to be relaxed, unfussy, with a lot of natural beauty. We initially looked all over (literally) for a venue as I wanted a place that had the right "feel" versus a specific destination, until we read about Sweetwater Farm. As soon as we read the description with key Megan & Craig words such as "50 acres, fireplaces, porches, hammock, hiking trails, barn, vineyard, dogs" we knew it was a place that we needed to check out right away and our gut instinct was absolutely right. We loved that its just 30 miles from Philadelphia yet in an idyllic country setting – incredibly beautiful, and with gorgeous historical accommodations. We picked early May in the hopes of catching the peak spring blooms and nice, not too hot weather.

From there, we focused on picking vendors that had the right kind of "energy" --vendors who we would enjoy working with and who made making things easy on us a priority as we were sensitive to any additional stress. We were incredibly grateful to have found Melody to be our day-of coordinator and also to run with the event design. She's so thoughtful and caring in ways that are hard to describe in just a few words, but its clear she puts a lot of time and energy into the couples she works with. I had pretty strong views on how I wanted things to look as well as my theme, but she paired it down, made it cohesive, and give it a professional look.

I came up with our farmers market theme because the NYC Union Square farmers market in our neighborhood has long been one of Craig and my favorite activities, and I found many of the stands inspirational in their natural beauty. Melody and Nancy, completely embraced the idea, turned it into a full concept, and made it even better than I had hoped for. We didn’t have set wedding colors -- I instead picked a palette of soft, dusty colors. As it wasn’t a priority to me that my bridesmaids look exactly the same, I picked five different chiffon dresses and three colors from the same line so that each one could pick a dress that they felt good in.

As we also had our ceremony at Sweetwater, we had the opportunity to create our ceremony-- we selected the content piece by piece and asked our mothers do the readings. We picked a caterer that focused on using fresh seasonal ingredients, and a dedication to a greener way of doing business, two important things to us when it comes to food. For our wedding photos, we knew we wanted to work with Alison Conklin right away – we felt that her pictures captured moments, not people (portrait shots just aren’t our thing), and we really appreciated that we felt comfortable and relaxed with her and Geoff.

Craig and I are both music people and feel that it really sets the tone of an event, so it paid particular attention to our music choices to ensure they reflected our tastes and personal histories. One of our friends, the talented musician, Jon Divello, generously performed our ceremony music for us – even learning all six songs we wanted. Hearing him start to play "Til Kingdom Comes" by Coldplay as the wedding started was one of the most emotionally charged moments of that day for me. We had heard our reception band at a wedding last summer, loved their acoustic dinner set, and knew that they would play just the right mix of classic rock, songs we grew up to, and current hits.

it was also a priority to us that we incorporate my sister Bethany into our day -- she loved Craig and we firmly knew would be in full support of our wedding. She was still my maid of honor, and in a nod to her happy and upbeat personality, we did a dance tribute to her playing one of her favorite songs and asking everyone to join us on the dance floor for it. We also lit luminaries out front in a nod to those used as a symbol of light and inspiration at Relay for Life, a very meaningful charity to her.

All in all, we really did try to be thoughtful in every stinking little detail. It was everything we wanted, and most importantly it was a joyous day for us surrounded by those we love.

Photography: Alison Conklin Photography / Venue: Sweetwater Farm / Wedding Design + Coordination: Innovative Events / Floral Design: Nancy Saam Flowers / Caterer: 12th Street Catering / Band: Brick Park Entertainment / Officiant: Journeys of the Heart / Hair: Natalie Pagano / Makeup: Nina from Cheekadee Makeup Artists