Happiness is a Gorgeous Garden Celebration in the Sunshine
March 2, 2017
New England
Classic WeddingsEstate WeddingsSummer Weddings
Classic New England looks a little something like this pretty celebration. A summer affair under a sail tent with the prettiest florals by Orly Khon Floral, planning by Tangorra Wedding Planning, all the gorgeous paper goods you could possibly imagine by Cheree Berry Paper + The Left Handed Calligrapher and lots of stunning images too. Pore through this day captured by Lisa Rigby Photography along with a film by Brighter Lights Media too.
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From the Bride...Pat and I began dating in college in Massachusetts, which is also where I am from originally. Even though our jobs have now taken us to Washington, DC, we knew that we wanted to get married back in my home state, where we first met. Selecting a venue took little to no time: both my parents and my Godmother got married at the Lyman Estate, a historic New England mansion. Seeing their strong partnerships, we figured that making our commitment to each other in the same spot would bring us good luck!

We envisioned the day being a casual, yet elegant, summertime garden party for our closest friends and family to relax, “eat, drink, and be merry,” and dance the night away! The estate is such a beautiful space for a wedding celebration, given its expansive lawn, gardens, and greenhouses. We wanted our guests to enjoy all that the Lyman Estate had to offer, which is why we hosted both the ceremony and reception at the mansion, just in different spots throughout the estate as the night went on: the ceremony was outdoors on the lawn, with the greenery as a backdrop; cocktail hour was held on the lawn and on the veranda of the house as the sun was starting to go down; we brought in a Sperry tent with a floor and bistro lights for dinner and toasts; and for the rest of the night, we went inside the ballroom of the mansion for dessert and dancing. Luckily for us, with a lot of the evening planned for outdoors, the weather was absolutely spectacular! Pat and I joked that the two songs we picked for the entrance and recessional, "Here Comes the Sun" and "It's a Beautiful Day", which were also printed in our programs, would have been very ironic had it rained! While we did have a very good Plan B, I was so thrilled we didn’t have to use it.

My favorite details from the wedding were the ones that felt uniquely “us” and are personal to our story: the venue’s significance to my family, having Pat’s Uncle officiate the wedding, hearing my freshman year roommate – who saw our love just beginning – give one of our readings, eating dinner with “Mr. & Mrs.” forks, the Bride and Groom wreaths on our chairs at dinner (to bring the garden to the tent!), putting crab cakes on the menu as a nod to Pat’s Maryland upbringing, serving funfetti cupcakes (I used to make Pat funfetti cupcakes constantly in college), passing little ice cream cones for dessert (so that no one had to leave the dance floor – we really didn’t want anyone to leave!), wearing my grandmother’s sapphire and diamond ring on my right hand, having the lace from my mom’s veil at her wedding wrapped around my bouquet, Pat giving a groom’s toast as a surprise to guests after dinner (he gives fantastic speeches at other people’s weddings, so it felt appropriate for him to give one at ours!), the list goes on…

I don’t know if I could come up with only one favorite moment, but my favorite memories are both big and small: helping my bridesmaids put on their dresses and figuring out how to style them (we left it until the last minute!), my mom zipping me into my dress, having our first look and spending time just the two of us in the Lyman Estate’s greenhouse and walking the grounds, reading Pat’s note to me before our wedding (a tearjerker!), not being able to get Pat’s wedding ring over his big knuckle at the ceremony, taking photos with our college and grad school friends, all of the wonderful wedding toasts, dancing up a storm!, and perhaps my favorite, singing with the band!

The feeling I remember most on the day is just pure joy and love – as you can see from the photos, I could not stop laughing or smiling. Guests told me later that I was the happiest bride they’ve ever seen. To which I responded, “What’s not to be happy about?!”



My biggest piece of advice to brides is to just enjoy and relish every single part of the journey! Even if planning is stressful at times, at the end of the day, your wedding is about you and your husband, and all of the people you love all in one place! (And how often does that happen in life?) Try to take in every second, because it really does go by so quickly!