The Coziest Christmas Wedding at Home
December 22, 2016
New England
Classic WeddingsRusticBackyard
There's something absolutely magical about Christmas in New England. Just look at Abby and Aidan's wedding planned by 42 North with festive blooms by Foret Design Studio. They married at home, in Abby's parents' barn, and HENRY + MAC photographed the images they'll cherish forever.
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From the Bride... To be honest, planning our wedding was easier than I thought it would be (I know, not what everyone in the midst of planning wants to hear). The reason it was easy is that we focused on what was most important to us and then hired a wonderful team of vendors (most of whom were friends as well) that made it all happen. Aidan and I decided quite quickly after getting engaged that we wanted a small wedding that felt more like a wonderful, intimate dinner party than a big, lavish wedding. We wanted our wedding to be an evening that gathered our closest friends and family and gave us the opportunity to thank them for loving and supporting us. We hoped our wedding would feel very personal so getting married at my parents’ home seemed like a natural choice. Getting married at home, coupled without desire for a short engagement, meant that we would be getting married in my parents’ barn in December, right before Christmas.

Our first call after deciding on the when and where was to our photographer, Dana. I’m not exaggerating when I say we would have changed our wedding date had Dana not been available. When you get married you literally spend all day about three feet away from your photographer. You will spend more time with this person than with your spouse that day. Dana has a wonderful energy and enthusiasm that is contagious. On top of that she is wildly talented. She is so talented that we now collaborate on all of the photography for my company.

Our next priority after photography was food and beverage. After years of working in food related businesses (including my own) I had made friends with a wonderful crew of talented chefs, bartenders and purveyors. Ben Elliott from Saltbox Farm was a natural fit for us since his food is incredible, he sources from his own farm whenever possible and he has done many events at my parents’ home over the years. Given that we were putting such a focus on the food we didn’t want the wine and cocktails to feel like an afterthought, as they do at so many weddings. Our friends TJ and Hadley Douglas from The Urban Grape helped us select all of the wines (and were guests at the wedding) and Andrew Fatato of Flask & Funnel created a perfect cocktail menu for us.

We actually hired our wonderful planners Francie and Britt from 42 North after we had already selected a number of our vendors when I realized (admittedly a little late in the game) that given that I own a retail business I was getting married smack dab in the middle of our busiest season and would have no time to manage all of the details, vendors, schedules, etc. necessary to pull off a wedding at home. After Francie and Britt came on board we never had to worry about another detail. It was like magic!

My mother is a master gardener by trade so flowers were obviously going to play an important role as well. The ladies of Foret Design took on a herculean task of taking my limited direction of “I want it to feel holiday adjacent” and my mother’s extensive collection of rare antique tussie mussie holders and creating a cohesive floral design. They did a brilliant job.

The only part of wedding planning that did cause any stress was wedding dress shopping. I went to three bridal salons in Boston and it would not be an understatement to say that I hated it. I had seen most of the dresses online before, none of them felt special or interesting, I didn’t see a single one that was close to what I was looking for and I found the high-pressure sales tactics distasteful. Thank goodness I found Daniel Faucher. Daniel has been making couture wedding dresses and special occasion dresses in Boston for years. He is a genius and every time we met to sketch, select lace or have a fitting was an absolute delight. Having a dress that has been especially designed for you and literally built for your body is a rare treat but if it is within your budget and you can find the right person to work with I think it is so worthwhile.

If I can give brides three pieces of wedding planning advice it would be the following: 1) Think long and hard about how you want your wedding to feel for your guests. So many decisions will come from that. 2) Work with local vendors and small shops who’s owners you know whenever possible. You will be supporting businesses in your backyard, the service will be far superior and it will be much easier to meet, coordinate and make changes. 3) Sneak off for a minute with your spouse after you get married. My husband and I snuck into the main house right after the ceremony, ate chicken nuggets off my nieces and nephews plates in the kitchen and had a glass of wine. It might have been our favorite memory of the night.