“At the touch of love everyone becomes a poet.” – Plato
“At the touch of love everyone becomes a poet.” – Plato
Are you ready for summer, because we are! Ina and Zack’s wedding on a friend’s organic farm is sure to whet your appetite for barbecue and camping and dancing under the stars…
What inspired you when you were planning your wedding? The amount of wedding-related resources available to couples is overwhelming. It can be paralyzing. Most people seem to stockpile a mountain of ideas first and then piece together their vision from their favorite parts. Our best ideas came from introspection first and deciding what we wanted before setting out to find inspiration.
Why did you choose this location for your ceremony? We wanted a casual, outdoor setting that was beautiful and would allow us to party throughout the night. We specifically wanted a venue that could handle both events without a fuss so our guests could enjoy themselves. A childhood friend’s family owns an incredible organic farm near her hometown – it was the perfect blend of scenery, delicious local food and no curfew! Full Belly Farms exceeded every expectation. The farm’s magnificent walnut-tree orchard provided shade during the day and let us see the stars as we celebrated through the night.
What was the best advice you received as a bride? Hey! What about the groom!? Make it yours. Keep it fun.
What advice do you have for other couples in the midst of planning a wedding? Recruit your friends to participate in the planning and even the wedding itself. It may seem like an imposition, but people enjoy contributing to the success of a great party. Aside from that, prioritize the photography. Besides the rings and certificate, your photos are the only things of substance you get to keep.
“Our approach to the entire wedding was to only include elements that were important to us. No expectations, traditions or conventions were included if we could not connect with them. The ceremony reflected that.”
Your ceremony in three words. Sincere, Comfortable, Festive.
Who officiated your ceremony? We knew instantly that we wanted our friend Beau to officiate. He’s genuine, well-spoken and absolutely hilarious. He’s also incredibly generous. Beau flew half-way around the world to join us before jumping back on another international flight the next day. We could not be more grateful. He was amazing.
Did you include any traditions in your ceremony? Nope. That’s not for us.
What was your ceremony music? Another great friend, Michael, graced us with his incredible guitar talents. He played a wonderful rendition of Led Zeppelin’s Bron-Yr-Aur.
What were your ceremony readings? Our close friend, Gabe, shared a secular passage from Kurt Vonnegut’s book A Man Without a Country. Essentially, it summed up our feelings: “If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is.” Her delivery was perfect.
What were your vows like? Honest, unconventional, not fluffy, but meaningful. We first shared our vows with each other the morning of the wedding privately. It relieved some of the pressure so that we could actually enjoy the ceremony.
What was your favorite thing about your wedding ceremony? We loved that our close friends participated in every aspect. It was real and relaxed.
“How would I describe our reception? The largest party we have ever thrown!”
What was your first dance song? Father/daughter or mother/son dance? “You Are the Best Thing” by Ray LaMontagne.
What was your wedding menu? Our menu was hand-crafted by the incredibly talented and flexible team at Full Belly Farms built mainly on the produce they grow on their farm. Local, fresh, in-season and immensely delicious.
Please tell us about any other special details or moments from your reception. Most of our guests camped on the farm with us. People literally danced to their heart’s content, walked a few hundred yards down a candle-lit pathway to a cozy tent under the stars and fell asleep.
What was your favorite moment or part of the reception? We bought the largest box of the longest duration sparklers we could legally buy. The childlike joy on everyone’s faces as we all ran through the orchard was priceless.
If you had it to do over again, is there anything you would do differently? Can we do it again? Please tell us we can! Even after a few small hiccups we would not change a thing.
Bridesmaids in Harlem, 1962.
Lindsey and Jack first found out about Houston Station when they attended a friend’s wedding there, and it seemed like the perfect place to hold their January wedding. Exposed brick walls, high ceilings, and large windows provided a flexible canvas and unique backdrop for their celebration.
Lindsey’s bridesmaids wore pale pink dresses and carried bouquets that contrasted deep burgundy flowers against blush and cream.
Did you include any other traditions in your wedding? Jack’s family is Korean, and they gave me a traditional hanbok, a traditional Korean wedding gown. Jack’s mother also wore a traditional hanbok.
“Jack and I had been to Houston Station for a friend’s wedding early in our relationship. It’s beautiful, with good character, and we were happy to return for our own wedding.”
Your ceremony in three words. Traditional, classic, energetic.
What was your ceremony music? A variety of traditional hymns and meaningful songs to us sung by friends, the Running Roots, comprised by Hillary McBride and Brett Rutledge.
What were your ceremony readings? Traditional passages we chose from the Bible as well as a hand written monologue from friends of the bride. We said traditional vows.
What was your favorite thing about your wedding ceremony? The closeness. Despite having a large guest list, our ceremony felt so intimate.
What was the best advice you received as a bride? Don’t sweat the details, it will all come together!
What advice do you have for other couples in the midst of planning a wedding? Don’t lose sight of one another in the midst of the craziness! Go on dates, and have whole days where you don’t talk about wedding things.
“Our reception was at the same place as the ceremony, they just flipped it during cocktail hour, a feature we loved. We wanted there to be plenty of good food and for everyone to have a great time!”
How would you describe your reception? An energetic celebration!
What type of cake or dessert did you serve? The wedding cake was an almond naked cake. The groom’s cake was a Nutella banana cake in the shape of a shirt and bow tie.
What was your first dance song? Our first dance was a cover of “Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing” by Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors.
What was your favorite moment or part of the reception? Everyone having so much fun!
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We just love all the unique elements in Dana and Ben’s wedding that come together for an event that’s romantic and chic, rustic and modern, elegant and fun all at once. From the gorgeous invitation suite to the rustic chuppah (made by the groom!) to the use of deep, dramatic blue, you’re bound to find inspiration here.
The navy blue and white invitation suite hinted at the colors and motifs guests would find at the wedding, including deep blue drapes and ikat linens.
Dana’s bridesmaids wore barely blush dresses and all the ladies carried bouquets of pale pink and white flowers.
The bride’s Lazaro gown featured lace and a ruffled skirt and train.
“We are both from the DC area and knew we wanted a mini-destination wedding – somewhere people could come for the weekend, but that was relatively convenient and easy to get to. We had an idea of the type of venue we wanted (slightly rustic) but we also wanted a nice resort to serve as our home base. Working with Keswick Hall and Castle Hill worked out perfectly and accomplished all of our goals. The loft at Castle Hill which we used for the ceremony was perfect because it provided a romantic candlelit setting for the ceremony.”
Your ceremony in three words. Traditional, personal, gorgeous.
How did you go about planning your ceremony? It was a fairly easy process. We knew we wanted an acoustic guitar with a vocalist so we choose the songs for that and the reading relatively early on. We also knew that Ben was going to build the chuppah and how we wanted it to look. For the rest of the details about the aesthetics of the room we worked with Kate and Jamie (our wedding planners from Simply Chic Events) and then let our Rabbi lead the way in terms of the substance of the ceremony.
What was your ceremony music?
Processional: Here Comes the Sun by The Beatles
Bride’s Processional: Crazy Love by Van Morrison/Ray Charles
Recessional: Accidentally in Love by The Counting Crows
What were your ceremony readings? A passage from Captain Corelli’s Mandolin.
Who officiated your ceremony? Dana’s first cousin-in-law is a Rabbi and we loved having that personal touch so we knew we would use him.
Did you include any traditions in your ceremony? Yes – we had a chuppah, did the traditional cups of wine for a Jewish ceremony and Ben broke the glass.
What was your favorite thing about your wedding ceremony? The acoustic guitar and vocalist – I love that we did music with lyrics that we choose for the ceremony. I also loved the candlelit feel of the room during the ceremony.
“How would I describe our reception? The space was gorgeous and the reception was one big, really fun dance party!”
Why did you choose this location for your reception? We loved how gorgeous the grounds of Castle Hill are and how big and beautiful the barn is – the wall of windows and large barn doors provide lots of natural light and the wood beams give you a great base to work with but also allowed us to bring a lot of stuff in and really make it our own. We had a vision of how we wanted the wedding to look and feel, and then surrounded ourselves with great people who were able to help us make it happen.
Did you have a signature cocktail? We offered sparkling cider (made at our venue) and “Ben’s Bourbon Bar” with a variety of favorite bourbons.
“The barn was already beautiful, and with the help of our planners we adorned with drapes, romantic flowers, farm tables, chandeliers and lounge furniture to create exactly the feeling we wanted.”
The rich blue drapes and Deco-inspired chandeliers created an elegant contrast against the rustic venue. Long white farm tables were a perfect balance of rustic and elegant.
What was your wedding menu? We offered passed hors d’oeuvres, a raw bar, and a Mediterranean station during cocktails, a two course plated dinner, an after-dinner sweets station, and a late night brick over pizza truck (Blue Ridge Pizza Co.).
What type of cake or dessert did you serve? We had a small cake for cutting and a large sweets display. We wanted our guests to be able to sample lots of treats instead of offering only traditional wedding cake.
Please tell us about any other special details or moments from your reception. The late night brick oven pizza truck was a unique and special detail.
What was your first dance song? Our first dance was Wonderful Tonight by Eric Clapton. Our father/daughter dance was Landslide by Fleetwood Mac.
What was your favorite moment or part of the reception? It’s so hard to pick just one! I think being on the dance floor with everyone that we both love was the best part.
What was the best advice you received as a bride? To try to slow down and take it all in because the day will go by so quickly and be over before you know it.
What advice do you have for other couples in the midst of planning a wedding? Enjoy the planning process! It’s such a fun and exciting time and it goes by so quickly. Hire vendors that you trust and everything will fall into place.
If you had it to do over again, is there anything you would do differently? Not a thing.