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A Chic Vogue-Inspired Wedding at The Mount in the Berkshires

New England charm meets refined elegance at this gorgeous wedding planned by the beautiful bride herself (umm, impressive!) It was the most perfect Spring day in the Berkshires for Kelsey and Nate to tie the knot. They exchanged vows in a garden setting under an arbor teeming with greenery and light pink fleurs. A bride after our own heart, she carried a bouquet lush with fluffy peonies arranged by Garden Blossoms Florist. Guests dined al fresco style at a single banquet table in between rows of manicured trees. See all the sun-soaked details of the day, perfectly captured by Amanda K Photography

HOW WE MET

From the Bride and Groom… Nate and I met through work. I started working for a dental distributor after college and he had been there for a few years prior. Initially, we started out as just really great friends. Looking back, I think that was the best foundation for our relationship. After months went by, we began to date and the relationship evolved. Eventually, I ended up leaving my job and started my own swim and resort wear company, Lee Merritt. I got the name from Nate’s middle name Lee and mine, Merritt. Nate is now the director of business development for a dental firm. Together, we live in Austin, Texas with our two French Bulldogs, Vincent & Jules.

LOCATION

Many people know right away where they would want to get married but for us, that wasn’t the case. We had friends and family coming from all over the globe so we were up for anything. Nate is half Colombian and his family primarily lives in Bogota so we had originally considered hosting the celebration in Colombia. We visited several venues in Cartagena but ended up deciding that as much as we loved the romantic city, we wanted something one, a little more centrally located for our guests and two, a little cooler. Since neither of us were keen on a beach wedding, the search continued. I ended up coming across a historic mansion called The Mount located in the heart of The Berkshires by chance. As I scrolled through photos of the beautiful mansion that once was novelist’s Edith Wharton’s residence, I instantly fell in love. We went to visit the Berkshires in early October just in time to catch the fall foliage. 

The area is filled with so much history you can just feel it. While we were there we came across another historic site called Chesterwood. This was the old summer home and studio of Daniel Chester French, the sculptor best known for the Lincoln Memorial. Behind his studio lies a garden with a blooming aisle of the most amazing hydrangea trees in late summer and gorgeous pink and white peonies in the spring. Both locations were so magical that we decided to have the ceremony at Chesterwood and the reception at The Mount. What I loved most about this location was that it was a place most guests would never have experienced otherwise. We rented out the charming Kemble Inn to host our Bridal Party for the weekend. Having us all under one roof was so much fun. Nate and his family hosted our rehearsal dinner at the incredible Wheatleigh Hotel just a few miles away in Stockbridge.

PLANNING

We visited the Berkshires once more before the big day in early spring to meet with vendors and have our tastings. We laughed about how the scenery looked completely different each time we visited and weren’t entirely sure what it would look like come June – “We’re not in Texas anymore!” Once I had the location picked out, making decisions became a lot easier. I’m proud to say I planned the wedding myself with lots of help from my mother. (Cheers to all the wedding planners out there, wow!) None of the venues were turn key so it was a lot of work but seeing it all come to fruition was the ultimate reward. I remember sitting at dinner and looking down the 130 foot dinner table at all of our friends and family enjoying themselves and just taking it all in. Nate and I know how rare and special it is to get all of our loved ones in the same place at the same time and are so grateful to have had such a magical night. With the entire weekend being planned outside, we were so happy to have gotten such beautiful weather!

DRESS

Per my usual, the attire was of highest priority. After trying on countless gowns, I had nearly lost hope when I stumbled upon Nardos, a custom couture bridal designer from Dallas, Texas. Nardos and I clicked immediately and she was able to help me achieve the perfect style for our big day by taking certain elements from a few of my favorite dresses I had tried on previously and combining them into one cohesive look. She nailed it. One of my favorite features was the detachable train. This allowed for a more dramatic look for the ceremony that turned into a slimming silhouette for the reception.

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Photography: Amanda K Photography | Floral Design: Garden Blossoms Florist | Gown : Nardos Design, Dallas Texas | Invitations: Minted | Ceremony Venue: Chesterwood | Reception Venue: The Mount | Shoes: Vera Wang | Catering: Savory Harvest Catering | Make-up: Karrie Welch | Hair: Michelle Anne Hair Design | Calligraphy: Paper Party Designs | Band: Those Guys Band | Earrings : Kenneth J Lane | Rehearsal Dinner : Wheatleigh | Rehearsal Dress : Self Portrait Studio - Azaelea Red Dress | Rentals: Peak Event Services | Video : Jes Rowe

New England Wedding Inspired by Pride & Prejudice

Can we just take a sec to bow down for this dress (designed by the bride herself)? Talk about twirl-worthy! It was the perfect number for this fete inspired by Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice, fitting for Aisha and Wes who are fond of history and literature. From the charming venue to the striking bridal captures by Sophie Kaye, the entire day is the definition of timeless.

From Sophie KayeSet against a stunning historical backdrop, Aisha and Wes wed surrounded by family and friends at The Mount in The Berkshires. The former home of American author Edith Wharton was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1971 and features splendid architecture, picturesque views, beautiful grounds and enchanting gardens. Wes and Aisha both knew that they wanted to get married in the tranquility of the country, not in the bustling city, and thus began their search for venues in New England. They both love the beautiful scenery, open landscapes, crisp weather and elegance New England has to offer. Wes spent his childhood creating family memories throughout New England. Passing many a weekend sailing the Cape with his late grandfather.

The ceremony took place outdoors in the French garden, while the reception and dinner was held in the house and the veranda. The couple danced the night away in an intimate soiree with their closest family and friends.

Aisha and Wes knew they wanted a beautiful, timeless, romantic wedding and were inspired by the Pride and Prejudice Film starring Keira Knightly. Aisha created a vision board with neo classical/Edwardian architectural elements, soft pastels, golden light, frosty greens, a stunning long sleeve wedding dress, and soft and ethereal bridesmaid ensembles.

Wes and Aisha fell in love with The Mount upon their initial visit to the historic estate. They are both fond of history and literature [Wes minored in history at Washington & Lee] and felt it was the perfect venue to celebrate their marriage. The newlywed couple resides in Gramercy Park neighborhood, NYC, with their senior Chihuahua, Jonah. Wes grew up in Chappaqua, NY, and attended college at Washington & Lee, and works in the energy sector as the chief financial officer for a NH based firm, specializing in renewable energy. Aisha grew up in The Netherlands, and moved to the states with her family, where she attended high school, and afterwards went to study at the Fashion Institute of Technology. She currently works as a woman’s wear designer.

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Photographer: Sophie Kaye Photography | Planner: Inspired Occasions | Florist: douglas koch | Wedding Dress: New York Bride & Groom | Shoes: Badgley Mishka | Jewelry: Friman & Stein | Bridesmaids' Dresses: ASOS | Catering: Albany Seasons Catering | Groomsmen Attire: Stubbs And Wootton | Wedding Venue: The Mount | Brides Headpiece: Vintage | Invitation Suite: Wedding Paper Divas | Rentals: Classical Tents

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Sparkly Silver Dresses + Old Mansions Are Our New Wedding Favorites

How have I lived in Massachusetts for almost a decade and not known about this gorgeous estate in my own backyard!? The Mount is what I like to refer to as the perfect wedding venue – beyond beautiful but never taking away from the blushing Bride. EFD Creative – Event Planning & Design orchestrated this special celebration and Ruth Eileen captured it all for our Vault galleries. Get ready to get ideas aplenty – and don’t miss The Harris Company’s film below!

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From EFD Creative – Event Planning & DesignOne of our favorite locations is the Berkshires, which is why we were so thrilled to be part of Isabella and Marcus’s wedding in Lenox, Massachusetts. The celebration took place in the original home of American author Edith Wharton. The historic mansion, known as The Mount was personally designed by the renowned author. The romantic and sweeping grounds offer a picturesque view from the patio of the 1900’s style country home. The couple’s ceremony and cocktail reception were set within the property’s perfectly manicured gardens and their guests were treated to an exquisite dinner on the patio. Friends and family danced the night away inside the mansion. The excitement and love that was present on the couple’s wedding day was palpable. Their wedding was one of our most memorable events of the summer!

From the Bride… Marcus and I met and fell in love in Boston when he was at Harvard and I was at Wellesley. We both grew up out in the country so we knew we wanted our wedding set somewhere surrounded by nature. After hearing about The Mount, on a lark we drove out to the Berkshires to see it for ourselves. Winding through the majestic woods as the great estate came into view, we knew we had found magic! From the gorgeous house set above rolling hills to the stairs cascading down to the shaded, formal lime walk, we felt like we had entered another world. The historical significance of Edith Wharton (renowned designer and first woman awarded a Pulitzer Prize in fiction) went perfectly with the theme I had in mind: powerful and elegant.

Finding my dress at first seemed impossible – nothing was quite right. At a madhouse trunk show of a favorite designer, Sottero-Midgley, I was ready to give up in despair when one of the designers offered to help. Instead of telling her what I wanted the dress to look like, I did my best to describe how I wanted to feel in it – and that I didn’t want it to overwhelm or be overly feminine. She went away and came back a few minutes later with what turned out to be the perfect dress. A priority for the bridesmaid dresses was that we wanted the bridesmaids to love them. The silver-sequined Sorella Vita dresses were a huge hit that matched the elegance and glamour of the estate and were the perfect counterpoint to my crystal-covered gown.

The overall palette ended up being a lot like my wardrobe: charcoal gray, silver, white, and blue. The blue was added through beautiful woven tablecloth linens, candle tapers, cocktail hour flowers, and ribbons. The flowers and flower girl dress added a touch of peach and warmth. Food tasting was by far the best experience of all the planning, and Mezze was amazing. They put on a phenomenal spread for us and even agreed to do mini tomato soup and grilled cheese appetizers. My biggest regret on the wedding day was that Marcus and I were too busy to eat much of the food, but the guests raved about it!

I worked closely with my mom on design decisions, trusting her to help turn my vision into reality. We had the good fortune to work with great vendors every step of the way. We found photographer Ruth Eileen on Style Me Pretty! We love her luminous, humble style. She was a joy to work with and we treasure the photos she captured. Singer Veronika Jokel was another favorite with her gorgeous voice and genuine friendliness – everyone loved her! Edna Dratch-Parker of EFD Creative, Crocus Hale Flowers, Julie Seitel Lighting, and Linda Stripp with Mezze Catering were consummate professionals. Videographers Harris and Company – a husband and wife team – were fantastic. And our hero among the vendors was Kasie Blanchette of EFD Creative. We could not have survived the process without her and we credit her for making sure that everything was in place for the day to unfold smoothly.

One of my favorite moments was right after the ceremony when Marcus and I went up to the house to have a moment alone before heading to the cocktail hour. What I wanted most from this day was for it to be powerfully full of meaning, and it was when we were alone for the first time as a married couple that I was able to let go of all the “doing” and experience the “being.” All the details and planning had been done to create an experience, and we were able to take a deep breath and take in the meaning of the day. The feedback from guests was that in spite of the glamour of the location, the wedding had a simplicity and seamlessness that allowed people to totally enjoy themselves. And we did too – it was a great day to be married and one I will never forget.

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Photography: Ruth Eileen Photography | Videography: The Harris Company | Event Planning: EFD Creative - Event Planning & Design | Floral Design: Crocus Hale | Cake: Bean Counter Bakery | Invitations: Minted | Catering: Mezze Catering + Events | Lighting: Seitel Lighting | Favors: Little Match Girl | Transportation: Abbott's Limousine & Livery Service | Transportation: Transport The People Limos | Wedding Venue: The Mount | Beauty: SEVEN salon.spa | Music: Veronica Jokel Music | Rentals: Rentals Unlimited | Rentals: Classical Tents

Why a Fall Wedding in New England is EVERYTHING

What’s better than a local wedding filled with heart? How about a local New England wedding complete with First Mate Photo behind the lens. Now that dear readers is how you make the best even better. Add in a lovely gown from Ceremony Boston, makeup by Makeup Artistry by Liz and  Wilson Stevens Productions serenading the celebration and you’ve got the makings of a masterpiece. See it all in The Vault!

From The Bride…Scott and I met through mutual friends in Boston, and we had been together for nearly 5 years when we married. It was the day before my 30th birthday when Scott proposed in our first home together in Beacon Hill.

We planned for an October celebration, as there really is no better time of year to enjoy the beauty of the Berkshires. (Scott also convinced me that the Fall was perfect tux weather!)

The ceremony took place at Saint Ann’s in downtown Lenox, a small town nestled in the heart of the Berkshires. It holds a special place in my heart as my parents married in the same church nearly 35 years earlier.

Our reception was held at Cranwell’s Tudor-style mansion, the centerpiece of the 380 acre estate. Many of our guests stayed on the property in the guest rooms located throughout the resort, which made for a weekend celebration. Our after party was even held at a tavern located on the property!

In planning our wedding, we kept things true to our style, favoring details and personal touches that were inspired by the area’s natural beauty and history. My florist, Krissy Price of Pollen Floral Design helped me play out my ideas with her creativity and use of seasonal blooms (and fruit!). Our day was beautifully and authentically captured by our photographer, Rebecca Hansen of First Mate. In the end, it was perfect.

Photography: First Mate Photography Co. | Floral Design: Pollen Floral Design | Wedding Dress: Ceremony | Cake: Patisserie Lenox | Ceremony Venue: St. Ann Church | Reception Venue: Cranwell Resort, Spa and Golf Club | Bridesmaids' Dresses: J.Crew | Catering: Cranwell Resort, Spa and Golf Club | Makeup: Makeup Artistry by Liz | Hair: Stacey Kuehn | Band: Wilson Stevens

Timeless + Elegant Spring Massachusetts Wedding

For this expat couple living in Saõ Paulo, The Mount, Edith Wharton’s former home in the Lenox, Massachusetts, was the ideal location for their wedding—halfway between family in New York and Massachusetts and an intimate feel. And, with classic touches infused with Portuguese and Brazilian traditions and vendors like ReadyLuck and Mezze, it was a perfect wedding. See it all here.


From The Bride…At the time of our wedding my husband (Justin) and I were living as expats in São Paulo, Brazil. Our families, however, are from New York and Massachusetts.

One of the many connections we share are memories of growing up in New England, going to the beach and mountains, and enjoying the four seasons. We also share a love of Spanish and Portuguese language and culture, and of travel. Justin and his family are of Portuguese heritage, and both of us have spent time in Iberia and South America for work and study.

For our wedding venue we wanted a location that would be a feasible meeting point for our families in New England, and for our friends traveling from afar. Our ideal was to find somewhere that would showcase the natural beauty of New England in the Springtime, as well as provide an elegant atmosphere and comfortable accommodations for all our guests.

We chose The Mount in Lenox, Massachusetts as our venue for many reasons. Firstly, it is located in the beautiful Berkshire Mountains exactly on the border of New York and Massachusetts. The estate, which was designed and owned by author Edith Wharton, takes inspiration in European and American architecture and offers a unique mix of untamed natural beauty and old-world elegance. And to seal our decision, my family spent many summers and holidays in the area, making it familiar and special for me to return for our wedding.

Readyluck Photography was recommended to me by a family friend. When I reviewed their artists and the work, I was enchanted by their romantic and almost magical style of photography. The way they capture lighting and play with compositions is really beautiful. Lindsay Hite is an accomplished member of the Readyluck team and we were so lucky to work with her. Beyond her talent as a photographer, she is a very organized professional and a lovely person with a gentle manner. Everyone in my family enjoyed working with her on our wedding day.

Mezze Catering serves delicious locally farmed foods, and creates amazing wedding catering experiences by offering full-service wedding coordination. Dawn Van Ness was my hero for the wedding. She led me through every choice and option, every deadline and timeline, and she stayed on top of each delivery item, special need, etc. which helped make the day a success. She also asked her baker to custom design our cake which was made with Dulce de Leche, my husband’s favorite sweet.

Lisa Brown – Dreamy Floral independently runs her own flower business from her home in Lenox, Massachusetts, and creates beautiful works. I chose Lisa because she can do everything a high-end florist can do and more, and is very approachable and flexible. Unlike some high-end wedding florists, Lisa was willing to work within a fixed budget, and did not pressure us to do more than we wanted. She was very creative with our wishes to add some latin accents and Palm trees to the decor, and we loved our bouquets, table garlands.

I loved the intimacy of the wedding, the way that the wedding venue became our “home” for the evening and a place we could entertain our closest friends and family in comfort. The Mount is definitely beautiful and grand but not intimidatingly proportioned. The many little rooms and dining terrace held our party of 120 people well, and brought a feeling of closeness and community. I also loved how the home is open to guests, and everyone could roam inside and outside at their pleasure. Although it was an exciting day with lots of activity, there were many relaxed moments as well where time slowed down just a little and we could breathe in the moment.

I also loved how we were able to merge some Portuguese and Brazilian traditions into the wedding day, such as a spread of colorfully wrapped Brazilian desserts called Brigadeiros, palm trees and vintage cigar box accents, diverse music and musicians, and our special dulce de leche cake.


Photography: Readyluck | Floral Design: Lisa Brown - Dreamy Flower | Wedding Dress: Marisa Bridals | Catering: Mezze Catering + Events | Venue: The Mount

Traditional + Romantic Berkshire Wedding

I can spot a New England wedding from a mile away. Whether it’s a seaside soiree at the cape, a Vermont barn wedding or a traditional Berkshire affair like this beauty from Heather Waraksa. And lovelies, this one is sure to have you wrapped around it’s little finger if classic is your jam. From the sophisticated invites by Ceci New York to the stunning arrangements from Sayles Livingston Flowers, make sure to peruse every ounce of goodness this gallery has to offer.

From the Bride… We met in 2007, working together as the two most junior professionals in a small, 14-person group inside of a big bank. We started dating, and tried, very poorly, to keep our relationship under wraps. As we would learn later, everyone knew the entire time, but they let us keep up the charade that we were just work colleagues.

After six years of dating, Dave decided to pop the question in Paris where we had taken our first vacation together. I was suspicious as Dave walked me all around the city. That evening when we were getting ready to go to dinner, Dave took me out on the room’s balcony (I was partially made-up with my hair still in a towel) and proposed. It was perfect.

What made the wedding special and unique was that it had the feeling of a destination wedding even though it was only a few hours from New York City. The hotel is located in the old New England town of Lenox in the Berkshires, but it was built in the style of a 16th century Florentine Palazzo. Guests felt transported to a remote Italian villa but with less travel time and all the comforts of home.

We are both whiskey lovers and decided to personalize guest gift bags with a bottle of bitters, which included Dave’s own “fall manhattan” recipe. At the reception’s after-party, guests enjoyed my manhattan cocktail from an engraved “Geenberg” whiskey barrel.

The most memorable part of the day was after the ceremony but before cocktail hour when we had a small window of time to ourselves to just enjoy the moment. The feeling after being announced married was indescribable and for us to be able to enjoy the emotions together and not be rushed off to other duties was incredibly special.

Photography: Heather Waraksa | Event Planning: In Any Event | Floral Design: Sayles Livingston Design | Wedding Dress: Monique Lhuillier | Stationery: Ceci New York | Catering: Wheatleigh | Makeup: MakeupNV | Hair: Nikki Avanzino | Lighting: Exquisite Events | Band: Hal Prince | Tuxedo: Seize Sur Vingt | Ceremony Music: Vogue Music Events | Venue: Wheatleigh | Tent: Classical Tents | Cufflinks: Jason Ascher | Earrings: Lux Bond and Greene | Film Processing: Richard Photo Lab | Linens And Rentals: Rentals Unlimited | Paper Goods: Invitations By Ana

These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
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Sweet Monday Photography + A Discount!

In the world of drop-dead gorgeous images, Sweet Monday Photography reigns supreme.  Think soft, light-filled captures that are as romantic as they are stunning and you are most definitely on the right track. So when it comes to soaking in the pretty, we’re all about devoting a day to Sweet Monday’s latest masterpiece… a shoot that is chock-full of outdoor beauty and spring-filled happy.

Known for their love of nature and ability to capture those special moments you didn’t even realize were happening, Sweet Monday Photography is endlessly inspired by the New England landscape… and it shows in every moment of this gorgeous styled shoot set against the stunning Mount in the Berkshires. Picture classic meets modern details and colorful blooms with a touch of traditional lovely and a splash of bohemian charm.  It’s all sorts of seriously stunning, lovelies… and it’s just what we’ve come to expect from Sweet Monday Photography.

Whether you’re looking to capture your love against a golden autumn backdrop, or snuggled up with the snow twinkling in the background, Sweet Monday’s talented team of photogs will most definitely preserve those special moments that you will cherish for always.  Contact them now to start your journey to beautiful photography.  You can thank us later, loves.

Promotion

What: Sweet Monday Photography is offering 20% off any of their standard wedding photography Collections for weddings with either the ceremony or reception taking place outdoors in 2016 or 2017!

How: Interested couples just need to mention this post when inquiring about Sweet Monday’s availability on their wedding date via the contact form on their website. Discount is not applicable for custom Collections, but may be applied to any of the standard packages.  The discount will be honored a total of 10 times on a first come, first served basis.  Click here for more info!

Photography: Sweet Monday Photography | Event Design: LoLo Event Design | Floral Design: Poppy Floral | Wedding Dress: Flair Bridesmaid Boutique | Invitations: Lynn Graham Designs | Jewelry: Ore Jewelry by Sophie Hughes | Makeup Artist: Making Faces Weddings | Hair Stylist: Love Notes by June | Calligraphy: Pier Gustafson | Suit: The Black Tux | Ceremony & Reception Venue: The Mount | Desserts: Tatte Bakery | Models: Model Club Inc. | Rentals: Peterson Party Center

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Vibrant Gustav Klimt Wedding Inspiration

I was first introduced to Gustav Klimt during college art history classes and haven’t forgotten about him since, and this styled shoot by Sixpence For Your Shoe was the most gorgeous reminder of what a fan I am of his enchanting work. Eric Foley photographed every intricate detail, from Coral Pheasant’s stationery suite to Azalea Floral Design’s beautiful blooms. Fall in love with art all over again right here!

From Sixpence For Your Shoe… Inspired by the vibrant colors, golden tones and the sensual portrayal of love, our styled shoot based on Gustav Klimt came together through a layering of textures, colors, elements and ideas reminiscent of the artist and his glorious paintings.

We immediately set our eyes on Edith Wharton’s home, The Mount, as the style of the art nouveau movement lends itself so well to the venue’s architecture and gardens. Given that Klimt’s subjects were primarily the female, we chose to represent this concept with a same sex couple. Both gorgeous brides were styled by Everthine Bridal Boutique and wore gowns that were so different and yet so complementary to each other. We loved how the Jenny Packham Lina with soft draping yet sexy plunging neckline played with Anna Campbell Genevieve, with its graceful fitting and exquisite beaded detailing. Intricate golden jewelry from Aquinnah added a touch of glamour.

We chose the 1902 stable location for our tablescape, captivated by the European exterior and rustic interior. A black antique table was dressed with a richly detailed golden linen, the most delicious turquoise china, a wild floral garland and artistic candle stands. Azalea designed a stunning cascade of flowers suspended from above to re-create Klimt’s melting of colors. One favorite detail is the “Life is short, Eat dessert first” tags for the truffles at each place setting, a playful nod to all those that dive into their favors as soon as they are seated, along with a bit erotic love as illustrated through chocolate.

When it came to designing the stationery suite, our genius designer Coral Pheasant was most inspired by the luxe china and Klimt’s art. The scallop border on the invitation is evocative of the china pattern and the loose and languid font that felt like it was penned by the artist himself. A painterly floral liner adds softness to the suite. The stamps were arranged them in the lower corner allowing the address to span across the top; an unexpected element that brings whimsy to the design.

The cake featured a decadent red frosting with gold leaf accent. And saving the best of last, watercolor truffles on a wooden painter’s palette.

Photography: Eric Foley Photography | Event Design: Sixpence For Your Shoe | Floral Design: Azalea Floral Design | Stationery: Coral Pheasant Stationery + Design | Jewelry: Aquinnah Jewelry | Hair & Makeup: Simply Gorgeous By Erin | Bridal Boutique: Everthine Bridal Boutique | Linens: Nuage Designs | Location: The Mount | Rentals: Party Rental Ltd. | Robes: Plum Pretty Sugar | Sweets: Taste By Spellbound

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Elegant Fall Berkshires Estate Wedding at the Mount

A classic affair never fails to put me in my happy place. There is something about that timeless style that just seems to strike a cord, and this beauty from Sweet Monday is filled with all the reasons why. A royalty-worthy reception, a gorgeous couple, and too many pretty details to miss – perusing this gallery should be on the tippy top of your to-do list today. See more here


From Sweet Monday PhotographyKarin Tanabe and Craig Fischer were married at The Mount, Edith Wharton’s estate in the Berkshires this past October. Karin is a novelist herself, and it meant a great deal to her to get married someplace with such literary history. She wanted a wedding that felt personal and that she crafted herself (she taught herself calligraphy so that she could address all her invitations and paper goods for the wedding), but without the typical DIY feel and we think she pulled it off beautifully. The wedding was pure elegance and so fitting for the gorgeous venue.

Photography: Sweet Monday Photography | Floral Design: Cassandra Redel Special Events | Cake: Royal Icings | Catering: Mezze Catering + Events | Hair And Make Up: SEVEN salon.spa | Officiant: Grace Ceremonies | Ceremony And Reception: The Mount

Traditional Wedding at The Mount

I’ve always had a soft spot for historic homes – I could literally spend a week straight touring majestic mansions across the country.  But give me a jaw-droppingly beautiful historic home like The Mount and pair it with a stunning meets traditional affair like this one planned by Christine Wheat Special Events and, well… happiness ensues, my friends.  See it all captured by Elario Photography right here.

From Elario Photography… I am so excited to share this wedding with you! This one was a stunner on all levels. It rained all day and it didn’t effect the couple one bit! Sara and Eddie were the perfect bride and groom, so humble and in love. The ceremony took place at Our Lady of Victory in Troy, New York. We then headed to The Mount in Lenox, Massachusetts. As we drove in my jaw dropped. The drive in was gorgeous. Everything was so GREEN from all the rain and then I saw the front of Edith Wharton’s Home, WOW! This place was built in 1902 and really is just amazing. Not only was the outside pristine, the inside was, as well. We opted to do the majority of shooting indoors because of the rain and I couldn’’t be happier with the results. Sara and Eddie were the kind of couple you need on a day like this. They were down to shoot outside, rain or shine, so we did for a little bit before cocktail hour began. The reception details were absolutely beautiful. Among the beautiful flowers were details Sara worked extremely hard on. Menu signage, seating charts and personalized scrolls for each guest at their seat. Nothing was overlooked.

From the Bride… Ed proposed to me in front of the Bryant Park fountain in New York City  – up until the day I married him, it was the best day of my life! With its casual cafe tables and manicured gardens, Bryant Park becomes this romantic escape in the middle of Manhattan. Musicians and artists roam the pathways while delicious meals and drinks are served within ivy covered terraces. This set the scene for our wedding day; casually elegant, romantic and artistic!

To us, the ceremony was the most important part of the day. Where we could choose each scripture, hymn and prayer that was used. Once we decided to have it at Ed’s church in Troy, NY, finding the venue was the next step. Where could we find a space like no other that eludes the three characteristics we found in the place that had become so important to us!? The Mount in Lenox, MA (Edith Wharton’s home) was love at first sight. From the moment you enter the grounds and travel down this windy driveway you will be in AWE. But, my breath was really taken away when The Mount appears behind the trees. The gardens are what attracted us, but with rain in the forecast we were able to take in the true glory inside of Wharton’s estate. (But, sneak outside for a few shots in the rain!)

We focused on our family and friends when designing the day; setting the tone from the beginning with our stationery. Soft colors in our Save the Date photo and an elegant twist on the classic invitation suite by adding painted gold edges. I also did all the address calligraphy by hand and created a painted version of the tree lined walkway at The Mount (the Lime Walk – which became a reoccurring theme). That piece of art was incorporated into the Welcome Bags on custom stickers, welcome envelope, the wedding program, and a custom scroll at each place setting (I had the best time making all of these details come to life!).

For the bridal party, Ed and I chose each of the gifts. He chose monogrammed belts, a black bow tie and socks for the gents. For the ladies, I chose pearl earrings in macaron boxes (I’m a sucker for Laduree), robes and custom flutes. Kaitlin and Jacqueline (from Strut Spalontique) brought a sense of cohesiveness to the ladies mix and matched dresses by keeping the beauty similar. Along with the matching earrings and bouquets! (I let all the ladies choose their own dress within a champagne/cream/blush color palette!)  To keep everything running smoothly, we had Christine and her dream team there to coordinate. I HIGHLY recommend having a day of coordinator!

After the ceremony, trolleys shuttled everyone to and from The Mount; allowing each person to take in the incredible surroundings. The Rosamund Trio was there to lend a musical touch during cocktail hour as well as, Giavana, our live painter, to give them another perspective of the main house (since cocktail hour was moved inside, they couldn’t see the back of the home from the garden). For a more personal touch, I drew drink menus, a main menu, a dessert menu and seating arrangements for our guests (all on antique family mirrors and frames). Our florist, Kris Ann, and her team transformed the terrace for dinner (even with the rain walls down!). We chose three different table settings with three different linens and center pieces (all neutral whites and creams with greenery and candles); it was all very textural. I personalized place card tags and connected them to each scroll using the same ribbon I cut for the programs and welcome bags. I brought the gardens on to the terrace by creating table numbers made from moss and attached them to mirrors. We had our musical genius, DJ Sam, there for hilarious introductions (add Avicii and the Harlem Shake together) and during dinner to create a casual cafe feel playing French cafe music who then made the flawless transition to one massive dance party! The first dances, the toasts and the cake cutting all happened on the dance floor. Joe Elario Photography (JP, Joe and Hayden) and Nuvue Cinema (John and Will) were with us every step of the way that day, capturing the most incredible moments and doing it with ease. We had the best time and would do it over and over again if we could!

Photography: Elario Photography Inc. | Cinematography: NuVue Cinema | Event Planning: Christine A. Wheat Special Events Firm | Flowers: Fleurtacious Designs | Dress: Amsale | Ceremony Location: Our Lady Of Victory, Troy, NY | Reception Location: The Mount | Shoes: Valentino | Invitation Design: The Bride | Invitation Printing: Crane & Co.

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Early Summer Wedding in the Berkshires

There are few settings more fitting to dedicate your life to someone than a grand estate with majestic hills gently unfolding into the horizon. Add in billowing canopies, a graceful color palate of subdue grays, purples, pinks, and an heirloom wedding ring, and that my friends is what dream weddings are made of. Thanks to Grazier Photography you can witness the entrancing nuptials below.

From Grazier Photography... We really enjoyed the time we spent with Rebecca and David. From the silliness at their engagement session to the constant smiles and loud laughs at their wedding, being around these two just makes a person feel good. Rebecca and David were married at The Wheatleigh Hotel in Lenox, MA on a gorgeous early summer day. Rebecca’s fabulous makeup by the talented Katrina Hess was perfect and Rebecca looked gorgeous from beginning to end. We were joined by the amazing Crocus Hale who decorated the venue with a pallet only she could devise – some of the floral elements were foraged in the White Mountains that morning. After portraits, David’s father and grandfather surprised him with a special gift of a family ring that has been handed down for generations. It was a very moving moment and I love the photo of the grandfather holding David’s hand after the ring was passed on.

Photography: Grazier Photography | Floral Design: Crocus Hale | Makeup: Katrina Hess | DJ: JTD Productions, Inc. Professional DJ Services | Hotel: Wheatleigh

Stonover Farm Bed and Breakfast Wedding

There’s just no denying it – this wedding is pure perfection.  Pure perfection thought up by a beautiful (+ creative) bride and one seriously talented group of New England vendors.  Think Atheneum CreativeMezze CateringDaughter of Design and Search Party (just to name a few), all coming together to create a rustic chic meets uber-romantic kind of day.  Oh, and the gallery captured by Ashley O’Dell Photography?  Simply amazing.  Join me there for all of the pretty.

And a little something special from David Bettencourt?  Yes, please.

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From the Bride… Phil and I met in high school, almost exactly twenty years before our wedding day — though it took an online dating site to finally get us to go out years later. After waiting almost twenty years, we wasted very little time before deciding we wanted to spend the rest of our lives together.

I work as a theatre director and producer, so the moment we got engaged (okay, maybe even before) I threw myself into wedding planning like I was putting together my biggest production ever. Phil took to calling it “Kate’s greatest show in four acts.”

We are both lucky enough to have brilliant, gorgeous, articulate younger sisters who we asked to co-officiate. We loved working with them to plan our ceremony, and the result proved so personal and unique—we were even able to maintain all of the Jewish traditions that we found meaningful.

We found Stonover Farm very early on and immediately knew it was the perfect setting for our wedding. I had gotten to know the Berkshires having worked for many summers at the Williamstown Theatre Festival. And being a deep lover of food and restaurants, I had become a devoted customer of the wonderful Mezze Bistro in Williamstown… so when we found out they were the preferred caterer for Stonover Farm, it seemed like fate. Dawn, our coordinator from Mezze, introduced us to the astonishing Crocus Hale for flowers and the genius Julie Seitel for lighting – and together we created something of a progressive party. The ceremony took place on the ramp of Stonover’s beautifully restored 19th century barn, cocktails were by the duck pond, then across the road to a sailcloth tent for dinner, then back to the barn for dessert and dancing, and finally to a bonfire out on the grass for s’mores and late night snacks.

Probably the most unexpected part of the wedding came later in the night when it was supposedly time to throw the bouquet. 14 months before the wedding, Phil proposed by reciting one of our favorite poems – Kite, by Rives – to me from memory. I wanted to find a creative way of returning the sentiment, and so I convinced my friends who write musicals to compose a song for me to sing to Phil at the reception. I’ve never really kept a secret from him before, but behind his back I recruited all the bridesmaids and groomsmen to back me up, and we were able to surprise him with a gift that was truly memorable – an original song called “Just So You Know.”

I will admit that there were a few moments over the course of the planning that I wondered why we hadn’t just saved the stress and money and eloped, but spending that weekend surrounded by the people in the world that mean the most to us, celebrating our love and enjoying each other… it was the happiest I had ever felt.

Photography: Ashley O'Dell Photography | Videography: David Bettencourt | Event Planning: Daughter of Design | Floral Design: Crocus Hale | Wedding Dress: Monique Lhuillier | Cake: A.W. Confections | Ceremony Venue: Stonover Farm Bed & Breakfast | Reception Venue: Stonover Farm Bed & Breakfast | Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Bridesmaids Dresses: Amsale | Catering: Mezze Catering + Events | Makeup: Virginia Bradley Linzee | Hair: Styles On B | Calligraphy: Meant To Be Calligraphy | Lighting: Seitel Lighting | Ketubah: Ketubah Graphia | Musicians: Wilson Stevens | Paper Designs: Atheneum Creative | Rentals: Classical Tents

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Berkshires Wedding at The Mount from Christopher Duggan

This is one of those crazy cool weddings where tradition meets romance meets all kinds of awesome.  A wedding which happens to be set against one of the prettiest backdrops I have ever laid my eyes upon (The Mount) and mixes lush blooms from Crocus Hale with a classically stunning Pronovias gown and all kinds of amazing moments between two sweeties who are so in love, it’s palpable.  And don’t even get me started on the beautiful images captured by Christopher Duggan.  Because this gallery?  It’s beyond mesmerizing.  Join me there for all of the pretty.

From the Bride… We knew we wanted to have the ceremony and reception someplace completely unique and special to us. We thought of every place you could imagine. Finally it came down to either a Chinese restaurant in NYC, a mountain top in Jackson Hole, or if we were very lucky, The Mount in the Berkshires. We had no idea if they even did weddings, but Zach remembers being young and spending his summers in Otis, Massachusetts hanging out in the trees after dark and watching Shakespeare in the Park when it used to be at The Mount. After a few emails with the exceptionally cool Ross Jolly (The Mount’s Manager and Director of Special Events) we made a trip from NYC to Lenox to check out the vibe on the grounds. It was late January and Ross had to meet us at the top of the driveway as the road to the house was completely iced over. Everything was covered in three feet of snow and yet we could feel that this was our place. Ross led us all over the gardens, snow in everyone’s boots, noses frozen. It was magnificent.

We left The Mount that day knowing we had to have it there. Having been living in Prague the year prior, and having only gotten engaged on the last day of October, we didn’t have much time to plan our May 18th wedding. The thought of planning for more than six months didn’t appeal to either of us, so we dove right in and got extremely lucky with the availability of all of our vendors. Between Ross at The Mount, Dawn at Mezze Catering and Crocus Hale for the flowers, we knew we could pull off a beautiful and unique wedding weekend for our friends and family who would all be traveling many miles from California, London and various parts of the East Coast. What we didn’t expect, was how completely amazing and moving the entire evening would be. There was something special in the air that night, something bigger than weddings, and even bigger than romance itself. It left us feeling tremendous love for everyone who came before and would come after us.

Some other highlights of the weekend were:

The speeches, obviously always a highlight, were especially right on that evening. My younger sister, the maid of honor who is so tiny (barely 5 feet) stood on a chair next to me for her speech. It was so endearing.

The best man’s speech was long anticipated (he’s a former speechwriter for Madeline Albright) and Luke did not disappoint. He secretly gathered five of our friends to stand up and recite part of Shakespeare’s sonnets to close out his loving words.

My father, who was telling me all weekend how nervous he was to speak in front of the crowd, changed his speech up the morning of the wedding when an email from my mother’s first grade class came in with all kinds of advice for Zach and I. It was a tearjerker and no one will ever forget it.

Crocus Hale, the florist made me the most perfect flower crown of white roses. I wore it until 4 o’clock in the morning and didn’t want to take it off. She is perfection and everything she touched was sensationally beautiful.

Christopher and his second shooter Cherylynn were absolutely wonderful. From the beginning of the process to the very end Christopher was the most professional and easy-going person to work with (tough combo to come across)! He was extremely organized and got all the shots we requested (including hundreds more we didn’t even know we wanted until we saw them). Never obtrusive, and always a gentle presence.

Having everyone stay at the inn next to the grounds was the perfect way to introduce everyone to the beautiful gardens of The Mount, and we encouraged everyone to take hikes and nature walks in the days leading up to the ceremony.

The Mount is also the perfect location because you can keep leading the guests further and further into the house so that everything is revealed in due time. The ceremony was in the flower garden, the cocktail hour was in the stone garden, the dinner was on the terrace and got to be a real dinner. Not eat/dance/eat/talk. It was a candlelit dinner party before the dance party – exactly what we do when we entertain at home!

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Photography: Christopher Duggan | Invitation Design: William Arthur | Musicians: Rosamund Trio | Invitation Design: Kate’s Paperie | Catering: Mezze Catering | Flowers: Crocus Hale | Veil: Bridal Veil Falls | DJ: JTD Productions | Dress: Pronovias

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Lenox, Massachusetts Wedding from Ebersole Photography

Jess is near and dear to our hearts for so many reasons. She’s one of the warmest, sweetest ladies on the planet and her talent and creativity know no boundaries. Now infuse that spirit and all around awesomeness into her very own wedding day to her beloved and the result is total, unabashed magic with a big, whopping side of do-it-yourself details. Captured by Ebersole Photography, this is just the kind of affair we crave around here; spirited and full of love. Have a look at the gallery for even more and if you missed it, get to know Jess and get cozy with some of the DIYs from the day (here, here and here)!

From Jess…Michael grew up in Adams, MA and I grew up in Lenox, MA (a couple towns over), so when we started planning our wedding we knew wanted to get married in the Berkshires. As soon as we saw the Lenox Club, we knew we had found the right place. It’s a classic New England estate, built in 1860, with a beautiful sense of history and the feel of a sprawling Berkshire summer. We were ready to move in, but settled for renting it out for the weekend!

My favorite part of planning was creating all the small details they tell you not to worry over! I might have stressed out over them a little too much, but they have become some of my favorite mementos of the wedding. I designed our invitations and used vintage postcards of Lenox and Adams for the RSVP cards. I loved picking out the vintage stamps- I even found a stamp commemorating Poland’s millenium to represent Michael’s heritage! For our ceremony programs, I drew portraits of everyone involved in the ceremony and tied them all together in a little story of how the ceremony was going to go. I really took my time on those because I wanted everyone who was involved in our wedding to know how important their support was to us. One of my bridesmaids and my mother helped me make my veil, which was such a nice way spend time getting ready for the wedding- and a much easier project than you would think. My mother has been wanting to make my wedding cake since I was 12 or so, and we had SO much fun designing it and taste-testing until we hit just the right flavor of almond buttercream!

I think for both of us, the best part of the day was the ceremony. We didn’t do a first look, so seeing each other’s faces as I walked down the aisle was so special. Standing there, holding hands and feeling all the love and support around us in that room was an amazing feeling. Our pastor had us write letters to each other before the ceremony that we gave to her without showing each other, and then she read them as part of the ceremony. That turned out to be the hit of the wedding- not only was it so great to hear each other’s words for both of us, but our guests could not stop talking about how meaningful that made the ceremony for them. Sharing that much of ourselves with everyone there made it such an intimate experience.  Immediately after the ceremony, we ran up to the balcony of the church to steal five minutes alone, connect with each other, and savor the awesomeness of being newlyweds!

We got so lucky and had beautiful, sunny, 75 weather, so cocktails were on the wide porch and lawns of the Lenox Club. When guests arrived at their seats they found little cards with instructions to write us a note as our guestbook. Waking up to a whole basket full of sweet, hilarious, heartfelt, crazy notes from all our loved ones the next morning was so amazing!  We had an easy-going, delicious barbecue buffet (Mike’s favorite!) and spent the whole night talking, laughing, and dancing with our nearest & dearest- we couldn’t have asked for a better day!

One last detail- we spent our honeymoon in Italy (and Poland, and Austria), and as a nod to an Italian tradition, we got a vintage padlock engraved with our wedding date. When we arrived in Rome, we hung on it on the Ponte S’Angelo, and now we’ll always have something of ours to look for when we go back!

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Photography: Ebersole Photography | Day of Coordination: Tara Consolati | Floral Design: Groom’s Aunt | Ceremony Venue: Church on the Hill | Reception Venue: The Lenox Club | Invitations + Programs: Designed + Illustrated by the Bride | Catering: Savory Harvest Catering | Rentals: Classical Tents | DJ: Girard Brothers DJ Service | Wedding Cake: Bride’s Mother | Wedding Dress: Dabra by Enzoani | Veil: Made by the Bride + Mother of the Bride | Earrings: BHLDN | Shoes: Badgley Mischka | Bridesmaid’s Dresses: Lord & Taylor

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Lenox Wedding at The Elm Court Estate from Photography by KLC

This wedding plays out like the prettiest of dreams. A dream we get to see come to life through the oh-so-talented lens of Photography by KLC, and a dream that was made reality by this stunning Bride and her lovely family and friends. It’s picture perfect in every sense of the word, and you can see it all right here.

From Photography by KLCShannon & Ken were joined by their family and friends In the Berkshires of Massachusetts at the gorgeous Elm Court Estate. The sprawling estate was once owned by the Vanderbilt family and was their “summer cottage.” The estate was largely abandoned and fell into disrepair before being recently renovated. The antique details of the estate were a perfect compliment to Shannon and Ken’s elegant wedding.

This event was truly a labor or love, with Shannon’s stepfather doing all the cooking, Shannon’s family and friends acting as event planners (and table setters and furniture movers!), Ken designing the programs, door tags, and menus, and Shannon’s artistic vision driving the over-all look of the event.

The wedding was on the smaller side, around 95 guests, and the focus was on the couple, their love, and their wonderful families. Ken’s family is from Belgium and they welcomed their guests with guest bags filled with Belgian treats (yes, waffles were involved) while Shannon’s grandmother kept the all the guests laughing all night.

Shannon’s details were understated and elegant – simple jewelry, a gorgeous form-fitting dress, and a color scheme of blush pink, white, and cream and that perfectly fit in with the natural beauty of the estate and the surrounding countryside. It truly was a beautiful day.

Photography: Photography by KLC | Floral Design: Garden Blossoms Florist | Wedding Dress: Essense of Australia | Bakery: Soma Catering | Invitations: Yours Truly | Entertainment: DJ Jay Free | Wedding Venue: The Elm Court Estate | Bridal Boutique: Bella Sera Bridal | Hair+Makeup: SEVEN salon.spa | Waitstaff: VIP Hospitality

Elm Court Wedding by Lisa Rigby Photography

We’re approaching serious fairytale territory with this Lenox wedding.  This lucky couple enjoyed not only the gorgeous floral and foliage that goes along with a fall wedding but also perfect sunshine during their October wedding weekend.  The combination of a beyond elegant setting, amazing details and sweet-as-can-be moments captured by Lisa Rigby Photography is setting the romance bar for another fabulous week here at SMP Massachusetts!  See it all in the full gallery!

Click here for the FULL wedding!

The couple wanted to put their fingerprints on this wedding from start to finish. It began with the search for the venue. Growing up in the area, you would think the bride suggested this dramatic location, but it took the groom’s diligence in research to realize this historical cottage had recently been restored after 50 years of vandalism and neglect. The home is still in the Vanderbilt family and became the inspiration for the theme. They wanted an autumn wedding to enjoy the vivid fall foliage, but Mother Nature had other plans in store. The abnormally wet summer and warm autumn that occurred in 2011 muted those colors, but had one very special surprise in store for the bride and groom. October 8, 2011 in Lenox, Massachusetts, was 75 degrees and sunny when it normally averages highs in the 50’s. All of Columbus Day weekend, in fact, felt more like Labor Day weekend. The bride and groom credit that stroke of fortune to the grandparents whom couldn’t be with us in body but definitely were there in spirit.

The estate was rented from Friday morning until Sunday afternoon, and we had our bridal party and close family members stay with us on site. Elm Court is 70,000 square feet, so there was more than enough room to accommodate 30 guests. The rest of the guests either lived locally or rented rooms at local B&Bs. That was also one of the goals of the weekend — to have our guests experience all that Lenox and the Berkshires have to offer.

The bride and groom took weeks of dance lessons to learn the waltz and after all that prep, there was a “wardrobe malfunction” during the dance at the reception. The brooch on her new Manolo’s broke off. That, in retrospect, was the only hiccup the day would bring. The food was excellent thanks to Castle Street Catering, and DJ Kahn set the stage with big band music during cocktail hour-and-a-half, crooners during dinner and dance music late into the night. It was all perfectly captured by Lisa Rigby of Lisa Rigby Photography. It took over a year of planning, one caterer change and interviews with dozens of vendors, but they truly had the wedding of their dreams.

Wedding Photography: Lisa Rigby Photography / Wedding Venue: Elm Court Estate in Lenox, Massachusetts / Floral Design: Fleurtacious Designs / Wedding Coordination: Lynn Wheeler /  Catering: Castle Street Café / DJ: Constantine Ptohos a.k.a. DJ Kahn / String Trio: Bel Canto Chamber Players / Rentals: Mahaiwe Tent & Party Rentals / Valet: Abbott’s Limousine & Livery Service / Wedding Dress: Maggie Sottero / Bride’s Shoes: Manolo Blahnik / Hair + Makeup: Seven Salon & Spa

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Wheatleigh Wedding by Christian Oth Studio

Everyday we open up the submissions like it’s a pretty package – anxious to see what’s inside. It never disappoints, but sometimes it produces so much pretty we can’t contain our squeals. This Berkshires beauty by Shawn Connell and Rob Northway of Christian Oth Studio definitely produced those squeals. Because it is gorgeous, it is timeless and the Groom even sent in a description! I melt every time when that happens. From the hundreds of origami birds the couple folded together to waltzing to the song the Groom created especially for their proposal – this couple really enjoyed the planning process, and boy did it show. You can see all the lovely in the full gallery!

Click here to see the entire gallery of images!

From the Bride…Kenji and I really enjoyed the wedding planning process.  We worked together on everything and we both greatly appreciated everyone who helped us – our wonderful and loving family and friends and our very talented and extremely knowledgeable vendors.  We wanted to incorporate aspects of our different heritages into the wedding: Norwegian, Japanese, Irish, and Italian.  As well as personal touches, such as the motif we designed – two letter K’s, one reversed, together forming a butterfly.  Our florist, Crocus Hale, was just wonderful, and worked closely with us to transform our ideas into an elegant and timeless wedding design that represented us as a couple while enhancing the architecture and decor of the Wheatleigh.  Kenji and I spent numerous hours at Paper Trail, a chic little shop in the village of Rhinebeck, NY.  Serine and her staff helped us choose our invitations, the various paper goods and ribbons we used, and welcome gift bags.  With all of the detail in our wedding we decided to have two photographers.  We were very happy with this decision as it relaxed the photography schedule for the “getting ready” pictures and pre-ceremony portraits, provided different perspectives during the ceremony and other key moments, and provided enough coverage for lots of fun, candid shots of the guests, and special attention to all of the details.  Shawn Connell and Rob Northway from Christian Oth Studios were an absolute delight to work with, and we are in love with all of the precious memories they expertly captured.

The weather was just perfect to hold our ceremony outside on the terrace.  My dad walked me down the aisle while the string quartet played Pachelbel’s Canon in D.  Kenji was looking so handsome and the moment took my breath away.  Our guests looked just exquisite in black tie dress, the mountain view backdrop added to the drama, and the ceremony flowers of hydrangea and orchids complemented the scene perfectly.  Kenji and I wrote our own ceremony, so personal and meaningful to us, and had our very dear friend, Keith, officiate.  We included a handfasting ceremony to honor my Irish heritage, as well as a traditional Japanese saké ceremony, using a saké set given to Kenji by his family in Japan.  My godmother read “An Irish Blessing”, and another spiritual reading was done by Kenji’s godfather.  Our close friend, Alex Neyman, captured the priceless moments with his artist’s pencil.  We said our vows, exchanged rings, and with the power of the State of Massachusetts bestowed upon Keith for that day… We Were Married!

The Wheatleigh dining room was decorated beautifully.  Tables were draped with white floor-length linens and topped with taupe, silk dupioni overlays.  The floral centerpieces consisted of hydrangea, garden roses, dahlias, orchids, and hanging amaranthus in muted autumn colors.  Votive candles, some in mercury glass, illuminated the tables as the sun set behind the mountains.  We designed the menus with our butterfly motif to also serve as place cards by folding a calligraphed band around the menu.  We had fun with the menu for Kenji’s two year old nephew by replacing the text with cute pictures.  The string ensemble played beautifully, and emotional and entertaining speeches were given as we enjoyed a delicious five course meal with special wine pairings.  It was an amazing culinary experience created by Chef Jeffery Thompson and the Wheatleigh staff.

After dinner, everyone returned to the candle-lit Great Hall where we cut our wedding cake.  A scrumptious three-tiered cake decorated with Swiss dots and handmade sugar orchids – two tiers of almond chiffon cake layered with marscapone cream and raspberry preserves, and one tier of chocolate chiffon layered with chocolate mousse and raspberry preserves.  We shared our first bite of cake and it was now time for our first dance, a waltz to the song Kenji created for his wedding proposal.  Kenji’s voice teacher, Machan Taylor, had altered the timing to a waltz meter, and also sang the vocals. Kenji played the violin part, and Kathie, my matron of honor, played the flute part that gave the music an ethereal quality.  It was all professionally arranged and mixed by Pete Levin. It was so beautiful and something we will treasure forever.  In the months prior to the wedding, our dance teacher, Linda Rowland, taught us the waltz and worked with us to choreograph our first dance.  With our dance shoes on, the music started and I was so nervous.  Kenji was calm and confident as we floated across the dance floor underneath our origami cranes.  I tear up just thinking about it!

From the Groom…Kelly is beyond a dream come true, and our wedding was a metaphor for this.  Every detail, finely sculpted, was a result of Kelly’s wonderful touch, and her ability to work well with everyone, including me.  I cannot even say that the process was difficult – long, yes, effortful, yes.  But joyous, always.  Even folding 1000 paper cranes over the course of months was a task that we took up together, with each other in our hearts and the results in our hands.  Our wedding celebration was the culmination of months of planning and perseverance, and the fact that it reflected such joy in its loving details is a testament to the bond we were making, and continue to make strong.  For our guests, I hope we were able to transport them to another time, another place, one where things were beautiful and wonderful, one that provided a state of true enjoyment, if not blissfulness.  But I hope they then had the further realization that in fact this was not some alternate life, but actual reality, brought about by Kelly’s fantastic creativity and organizational abilities, crystallizing in the here and now.  I remember when I first saw Kelly on our day, preparing to walk down the aisle to join me.  She was radiant, and I myself had the realization that this was in fact happening!  Right there and then!  And to me!  This was the wonderful reality we had brought about, composed like a song, reviewed many times on how it might be, but the full emotional impact only being known on opening night.  The music, the flowers, the candles, the food, the cake, thousands of tiny and meticulously chosen elements, all worked harmoniously together to create our event in a beautiful venue.  And when the party was over, what remained were wonderful memories, for us and for our guests.  The farewell brunch had many smiles – it was as if we were all checking back in to make sure that it was not all a fleeting dream.  For me, it was all a dream come true, that remains to this day – every day I look at Kelly and remember the day I married her, and have the same realization that this beautiful life we share is continually made real by us, and made stronger and more joyful with each day that passes.  I am honored to add my strength to her grace, my tenacity to her creativity, my love to her light.  She is my butterfly, her flight is one of beauty and will.  And my life now, just as this paragraph, begins and ends with Kelly.

Venue: Wheatleigh / Wedding Photography: Shawn Connell + Rob Northway of Christian Oth Studio / Floral Design: Crocus Hale / String Ensemble: Art Strings / Band: The Stingers Band / Voice Teacher + Music Composer: Machan Taylor / Musical Arrangement: Pete Levin / Dance Teacher: Linda Rowland / Artist: Alex Neyman / Wedding Dress: Monique Lhuillier via Mark Ingram Bridal Atelier / Bridesmaid Dress: Badgley Mischka / Undergarments: Bra Tenders / Groom’s Tuxedo: Armani / Pearl Earrings: Mikimoto / Engagement Ring: Custom / Wedding Band: Tiffany & Co. / Bride’s Shoes: Grace with Soul Mates / Bride + Groom’s Dance Shoes: World Tone Dance / Parasol: Lace Parasols / Hair: Glenda Connors / Make-up: Sarah of SEVEN salon.spa / Invitations: Elum via Paper Trail / Paper Goods: Paper Trail / Calligraphy: Rita / Custom Wine Corks: Jelinek Cork Group / Wedding Favors: L.A. Burdick Chocolate / Wedding Dress Preservation: J Scheer & Co.

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Cranwell Resort and Golf Club Wedding by Kiss The Bride Films

I had some serious chill action happening as I watched this exquisite video by Kiss the Bride Films.  Not only is the cinematography absolutely breathtaking but the reading, the music and the sweet-as-can-be couple make such a beautiful and touching combination.  And the details, oh the details, they are absolutely as divine as the film itself from the birch elements to the gorgeous flowers!

Click here to see the entire gallery of images!

From Kiss The Bride FilmsThe celebration was all about rustic elegance — a view of the mountains, a birchwood chuppah assembled by the mother of the bride and draped with ivy and honeysuckle, bouquets of lavender and cascades of pure white orchids.The incredibly affectionate couple laughed throughout the simplified modern Jewish ceremony, which was marked by moments of beautiful intimacy.

Afterwards, guests sipped cocktails as the sun set behind the pines. At the reception, decadent desserts boasted the couples’ monogram (and caricatures!) on a table appropriately marked “Love is Sweet”. Kiss the Bride Films was so excited to work with the talented photographer Jen Huang. Her professionalism, positivity and sense of fun made her the perfect partner. Jackie and Brandon were a dream to film — and with two cinematographers, we were able to capture their love story from every gorgeous angle.

Wedding Photography: Jen Huang Photography / Wedding Cinematography: Kiss The Bride Films / Ceremony + Reception Location: Cranwell Resort and Golf Club

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