I’m such a fan of restaurant wedding receptions – especially when they follow such a lovely, intimate garden ceremony as with Valerie and Jeff’s New York City wedding. The pair aimed to create a warm, romantic feeling for their wedding, and from the looks of it, I’d say they succeeded. Some favorite details from their wedding are the lantern favors, calligraphy love quotes, and candlelit dinner.

SEE THE GALLERY FOR MORE PHOTOS FROM THIS NEW YORK CITY WEDDING FROM CHRISTINA SZCZUPAK.

Christina Szczupak | Snippet & Ink Christina Szczupak | Snippet & Ink

 

The Ceremony

“Reading our vows in an intimate garden directly in the middle of New York City was amazing,” says Valerie. “A true romantic oasis in the middle of the chaos!”

 

Christina Szczupak | Snippet & Ink Christina Szczupak | Snippet & Ink
Christina Szczupak | Snippet & Ink Christina Szczupak | Snippet & Ink
Christina Szczupak | Snippet & Ink Christina Szczupak | Snippet & Ink

 

Your ceremony in three words.  Romantic, Nostalgic, Spiritual

What was your favorite moment or part of the day?  The ceremony was our favorite part of the day! The garden speaks for itself and is beautifully manicured with a variety of flowers and cobblestone walkways. Our floral and event designer created a handmade altar out of tree branches and covered it with fabrics and flowers. She also added green moss covered lanterns for an English garden-inspired feel. Our ceremony was definitely non­-traditional and we incorporated favorite poems and inspirational readings. We also prepared our own vows and shared them while being accompanied by a violin and guitar duo. The moment was insanely romantic.

 

Christina Szczupak | Snippet & Ink Christina Szczupak | Snippet & Ink

 

Valerie shares why this is her favorite photo: “This photo was taken after the ceremony in the back of One if By Land, Two if By Sea. The restaurant has an intimate garden with brick walls and green vines growing up the wall. We were married, more relaxed, and could peek inside at our guests and see the beautiful reception space all set­up. Plus I love how he’s looking at me!”

 

Christina Szczupak | Snippet & Ink Christina Szczupak | Snippet & Ink

 

The Reception

“Our wedding was inspired by Nature and Poetry. We wanted to take our guests from an intimate garden setting on the busy streets of New York City to a classic venue where they would feel almost transported back in time, and we wanted our guests to feel like they were attending a dinner party versus a standard wedding reception.”

 

Christina Szczupak | Snippet & Ink Christina Szczupak | Snippet & Ink

 

Why did you choose this location for your wedding?  We wanted to create a balance of soft colors, romantic lighting, garden scenery, and vintage details with a touch of history. We found the perfect location in the west village of New York City – Jefferson Market Garden for the ceremony and One if by Land, Two if by Sea for the reception. Both spaces tell an incredible story and we felt instantly connected to them.
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Please tell us about any special details from your wedding.  Our vision was to bring a cozy, warm, and nostalgic feeling to the wedding reception, so we took a lot of time to plan decorations. Candlesticks, tea lights, and lanterns were spread throughout the venue to create a beautiful glow and add warmth to the space. We are both passionate about poetry and asked our calligrapher to prepare hand written quotes on parchment paper which were thoughtfully placed around the nooks and crannies of the old colonial. The tables were arranged with hand written quotes and a mix of vintage antique silver vases that included florals and greenery like garden roses, dusty miller, and eucalyptus. The cocktail hour space was also extremely meaningful to us and included portraits, family photos, heirlooms, and a painting handmade by the father of the bride.

 

Christina Szczupak | Snippet & Ink Christina Szczupak | Snippet & Ink
Christina Szczupak | Snippet & Ink Christina Szczupak | Snippet & Ink
Christina Szczupak | Snippet & Ink Christina Szczupak | Snippet & Ink

 

What was the best advice you received as a bride?  A friend told me to stop all my planning a week before the wedding and just let go and have faith that everything will work out. Try to relax and enjoy this moment to the fullest, because it goes by so fast! Jeff and I also secretly promised to squeeze hands throughout the night to keep coming back to the present moment!
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What advice do you have for other couples in the midst of planning a wedding?  Surround yourself with amazing and reliable vendors. Your vendors are a major part of your support system during the many months of wedding planning. Listen to your instincts and use vendors that you feel comfortable with, but also who you trust professionally to bring your vision to life.

Is there anything else that helps tell the story of your wedding?  In the end, we were married and everyone was so happy to share the day with us. We created the intimate wedding of our dreams and topped it all off with the Wafel and Dinges Truck at the end of the evening!

 

Christina Szczupak | Snippet & Ink Christina Szczupak | Snippet & Ink
Christina Szczupak | Snippet & Ink Christina Szczupak | Snippet & Ink
Christina Szczupak | Snippet & Ink Christina Szczupak | Snippet & Ink
Christina Szczupak | Snippet & Ink Christina Szczupak | Snippet & Ink

 

Jeff shares why this is his favorite photo: “The entire day was memorable, but cutting our cake was the moment we finally could simply laugh out loud and be silly together. We laughed as if no one was watching!”

 

Christina Szczupak | Snippet & Ink Christina Szczupak | Snippet & Ink
Photography: Christina Szczupak / Venue, Band: One if by Land, Two if by Sea in New York, New York / Event Planner: Accessory To The Bride / Floral Design: Raven Hollow Guild Inc. / Calligraphy: Molly Amoroso / Stationery Printing: Picture Perfect Printing / Dress: Demetrios / Suit: Hugo Boss / DJ: Hart to Hart Entertainment / Waffle Truck: Wafel and Dinges
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  • New York Restaurant Wedding by Christina Szczupak

    6 November 2014
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    Is it just me or are Portland weddings super fun? They seem to have some of the most playful and thoughtful details. Favorite moments from Anya and Casey’s wedding: the DIY ribbon curtain ceremony backdrop, the understated centerpieces, and the postcard guest book. Also, if you’re looking for inspiration for a non-religious, personalized wedding ceremony, check out Anya and Casey’s right here!

    SEE THE GALLERY FOR EVEN MORE PHOTOS FROM THIS PLAYFUL PORTLAND WEDDING BY JAMIE JONES.

    Jamie Jones | Snippet & Ink Jamie Jones | Snippet & Ink
    Jamie Jones | Snippet & Ink Jamie Jones | Snippet & Ink

     

    From the bride: “Rather than picking wedding colors or having an overall theme, we tried very hard to just focus on the things we liked and my own decorating instincts. And I’m so glad we did! We ended up with a wedding that was so “us.” We had such a great time gathering the small details and really making the day our own. We had amazing food, gorgeous flowers, colorful stationary, seersucker napkins, medicine bottles, an awesome dance party, personalized touches and so much more. While I did worry that my vision was going to be a little random, I trusted myself and it all came together in the end. It was absolutely perfect!”

     

    Jamie Jones | Snippet & Ink Jamie Jones | Snippet & Ink

     

    The Ceremony

    “My favorite thing about the wedding ceremony was walking down the aisle and then looking out at all of our guests. There is no way to describe the love and joy I felt standing up there and seeing all of our friends and families look back at us with love and support. It was indescribable.”

     

    Jamie Jones | Snippet & Ink Jamie Jones | Snippet & Ink
    Jamie Jones | Snippet & Ink Jamie Jones | Snippet & Ink
    Jamie Jones | Snippet & Ink Jamie Jones | Snippet & Ink

     

    Your ceremony in three words.  Thoughtful, Personal, Loving.

    Why did you choose this venue for your ceremony?  Our ceremony was in the same location as the reception. The venue was large enough to accommodate both and I loved the convenience of having the reception and ceremony at the same place.

    How did you go about planning your ceremony?  I wanted our ceremony to be meaningful but I also didn’t want it to be too long. I looked at several templates online and received a few additional templates from our officiant. The templates were good guides but they weren’t quite personal enough. I decided the best way for me to achieve the personal touches I was looking for was to write the ceremony myself. I decided to enlist help from our parents because they have both been married for over 40 years. We had them write a few “words of wisdom” and incorporated their words into our ceremony. It was a really lovely and personal touch and meant a lot to both Casey and me. We also picked two readings and had our sisters read them. We really wanted our family involved in the whole process, and it ended up being perfect. The vows we repeated at the ceremony were very traditional. I liked the history and significance behind the traditional vows.

     

    Jamie Jones | Snippet & Ink Jamie Jones | Snippet & Ink
    Jamie Jones | Snippet & Ink Jamie Jones | Snippet & Ink

     

    Who officiated your wedding?  Casey and I thought a lot about who we wanted to marry us. We took the ceremony very seriously and wanted others to do the same. The officiant can really set the tone for the whole ceremony. We eventually decided that having a judge perform the ceremony was the perfect choice. Casey and I are both attorneys so having a judge made sense, but a judge also provided our ceremony the integrity we wanted.

    Ceremony Music:
    Processional #1: “Going to the Chapel” by The Dixie Cups
    Processional #2: “Love and Happiness” by Al Green
    Bride Processional: “Carries On” by Edward Sharpe
    Recessional: “Forever Young” by Bob Dylan

    READ ANYA AND CASEY’S FULL WEDDING CEREMONY RIGHT HERE.

     

    Jamie Jones | Snippet & Ink Jamie Jones | Snippet & Ink
    Jamie Jones | Snippet & Ink Jamie Jones | Snippet & Ink

     

    The Reception

    “Casey and I spent a lot of time finding the perfect venue for our reception and ceremony,” says Anya. “We knew from the beginning that we wanted to celebrate our big day with all of our friends and family, which meant we would be planning a big wedding. While we knew we needed a large venue, we didn’t want to sacrifice the character we were looking for. We focused on what we liked and knew we wanted something, modern, urban and a bit industrial. So we searched for the perfect open warehouse-type space that we could make completely our own. It was also important to us that the space have large windows so we could showcase all the beauty Portland has to offer in the spring as well as provide the space with a lot of natural light.”

     

    Jamie Jones | Snippet & Ink Jamie Jones | Snippet & Ink

     

    How would you describe your reception?  Our reception was overwhelmingly joyful and happy.

    What inspired you when you were planning your wedding?  The venue was the first thing we planned for our wedding so it really set the stage for the rest of the wedding planning process. Because the space was so open, it was important to us that it did not feel cold or too impersonal. We still wanted it to feel romantic and welcoming. In order to achieve the vision we were looking for, we brought in a lot of lighting, including market lighting overhead and up-lighting on the beams. This made for the perfect atmosphere for our friends and family to dance the night away.

     

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    Jamie Jones | Snippet & Ink Jamie Jones | Snippet & Ink

     

    Are there any DIY details you’d like to tell us about?  We had some very important DIY elements to our wedding. My mom is an amazing seamstress and decorator. She was instrumental in helping me bring all of my ideas to life in a cohesive manner. In addition to helping us plan the wedding, she also hand-made 225 seersucker napkins for the tables, and she was the inspiration and brilliance behind the gorgeous 12- foot ribbon backdrop for our ceremony. Also, Casey and I spent 9 months collecting over 150 vintage blue and green medicine bottles for the reception. We had a great time! And it was a fun way to add a our own personal touch to the wedding. While the flowers and lighting transformed the space, it was the personal details and touches of the handmade napkins, vintage medicine bottles, handmade ribbon backdrop, personalized favors and matches that really made the day perfect.

    What about your guest book?  The “guest book” is something we spent a lot of thought and time on. Casey and I collect old postcards from all of our travels and we wanted to somehow incorporate our travels and this tradition into our wedding day. Rather than choosing a traditional guestbook, we decided to put together a postcard guestbook where guests could pick a postcard and share a memory with us or give us a little advice on the back of the postcard. This was such a fun addition to the day! We focused on choosing postcards from where our guests would be traveling from or had once lived. As we expected, our guests chose their favorite state and shared many hilarious stories and memories with us. We now have so many postcards with written memories from our wedding day!

     

    Jamie Jones | Snippet & Ink Jamie Jones | Snippet & Ink
    Jamie Jones | Snippet & Ink Jamie Jones | Snippet & Ink
    Jamie Jones | Snippet & Ink Jamie Jones | Snippet & Ink

     

    Tell us about your father/daughter dance.  The father/daughter dance was very important to me. Not long after Casey and I got engaged, my father had a heart attack and had to undergo emergency heart surgery. The road to recovery was tough and emotional. Only a couple of weeks prior to the wedding he was back in the hospital with some heart complications. I wanted a song that actually meant something to my dad and family. There is no one song that reminds me more of my childhood or my father than “Take Me Home Country Roads” by John Denver, and it’s my dad’s favorite song. I kept the song a surprise until we were out on the dance floor. When the song started playing, my dad’s face lit up. We both sang the words to the entire song and the crowd joined in clapping and singing along with us. It was a really amazing moment. It was the perfect song for us to dance to.

    Mother/Son Dance:  “Mama Tried” by Merle Haggard

    Menu:  salad: arugula and spinach salad with strawberries, gorgonzola cheese, toasted walnuts and shallot vinaigrette // first course: gemelli pasta salad with asparagus, feta, fresh peas, meyer lemon and olive oil // entrée: alder smoke-grilled salmon drizzled with fennel aioli, fresh dill and lemon slices / grilled flank steak with fresh citrus gremolata // sides: smashed red potatoes with crème fraiche / asparagus, green beans, shaved fennel, peas with dijon vinaigrette

    Signature Cocktail:  The end of May can be pretty warm and we wanted our guests to having something refreshing to drink, so in addition to beer and wine, we also served small glass bottles of lemon Pellegrino. We paired the bottles with colorful striped paper straws, so they were both delicious and fun table decorations.

     

    Jamie Jones | Snippet & Ink Jamie Jones | Snippet & Ink
    Jamie Jones | Snippet & Ink Jamie Jones | Snippet & Ink
    Jamie Jones | Snippet & Ink Jamie Jones | Snippet & Ink

     

    Do you have any budget tips for other brides?  Don’t forget about the costs of the smaller details! It is easy to forget about all of the little things you have to spend on a wedding like menus, vases, personal touches, gifts for the wedding party, etc. But those costs can really add up.

    Are there any other special details we should know about?  The flowers were absolutely gorgeous! I wanted very natural looking flowers that would help bring out the beauty of the space while also adding height to the tables because the ceilings were so tall. Casey and I love succulents! My florist focused on adding elements of succulents throughout the space, the groomsmen’s boutonnières and my bouquet while my mother and aunts went to local flower growers and collected hundreds and hundreds of peonies, spirea, scabiosa cacausic, mock orange flowers and roses. The result was breathtaking!

     

    Jamie Jones | Snippet & Ink Jamie Jones | Snippet & Ink
    Jamie Jones | Snippet & Ink Jamie Jones | Snippet & Ink

     

    What was the best advice you received as a bride?  The best advice I received as a bride was to relax and take the time to really enjoy the day. It’s easy to get caught up in making sure every detail is in the right place because of all the planning that has gone into the day.

    What advice do you have for other couples in the midst of planning a wedding?  My advice to other couples in the midst of planning a wedding is to trust your own instincts and never lose sight of the most important part of the day: getting married!

    If you had it to do over again, is there anything you would do differently?  If I had to do it over again, I would push back the start of the wedding by about an hour or so. We started the wedding at 5 and I wish we had started a little later. This would have allowed for a little more time for pictures before the wedding and to enjoy getting ready with my bridesmaids and mom.

    What was your favorite part of the day?  One of my favorite moments of the whole reception was when the DJ announced us as husband and wife and we rejoined our guests. We walked out to “Crazy In Love” by Jay Z and Beyonce. Everyone was cheering and clapping and giving us high-fives. It also set the tone for the amazing dance party that would occur later in the evening. It was one of those moments that is forever etched in my memory. Sheer joy is the best way to describe it.

     

    Jamie Jones | Snippet & Ink Jamie Jones | Snippet & Ink
    Jamie Jones | Snippet & Ink Jamie Jones | Snippet & Ink
    Photography: Jamie Jones / Event Planning: Pearl & Roses / Venue: Sandbox Studio / Officiant: The Honorable Eric Bergstorm / Dress: Wtoo / Shoes: Kate Spade / Earrings, Groom’s Shoes: Nordstrom / Bracelet, Bridesmaid Dresses, Suit, Tie, Pocket Square: J. Crew / Veil: Bridal Exclusives / Stationery: Cheer Up Cherup / Table Numbers: Little Arrow Studio / Menu: The Green Kangaroo / Floral Design: By the Bunch, Kenyon Growers, Inc. / Hair: Au Salon / Makeup: Meghan Stoll / Rentals: Barclay Rentals, Hollywood Lighting / DJ: DJ Clint Kuper / Catering: The Lamb’s Table / Cake: Lamb’s Bakery /
    SEE THE FULL GALLERY
  • Playful Portland Wedding from Jamie Jones

    5 November 2014
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    Though they didn’t meet until they were both living in New York City after graduating college, Courtney and Oliver both attended University of Virginia as undergrads, so it made sense when they chose to tie the knot at Pippin Hill in Charlottesville. The day was timeless and elegant, with nods to their alma mater throughout.

    SEE THE GALLERY FOR EVEN MORE IMAGES FROM THIS CLASSIC VIRGINIA WEDDING FROM ELISA BRICKER.

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    The Ceremony

    “Seeing Oliver for the first time that day (since we adhered to the other tradition of not seeing each other until the ceremony), and exchanging our vows was the most amazing part of the day.” says Courtney. “It was completely surreal, since it had rained cats and dogs in the hours leading up to the ceremony, but the sky cleared up just 30 minutes before our ceremony had to start. Right when we began exchanging our vows, the clouds parted and the sun came out. Several of our guests described it as a pretty surreal moment as well, and one even described the sun coming out as God using a spotlight on us.”

     

    Elisa Bricker | Snippet & Ink Elisa Bricker | Snippet & Ink
    Elisa Bricker | Snippet & Ink Elisa Bricker | Snippet & Ink
    Elisa Bricker | Snippet & Ink Elisa Bricker | Snippet & Ink

     

    Your ceremony in three words.  Modern, Idyllic, Energetic.

    Why did you choose this location for your wedding?  I grew up in Virginia so I knew I wanted to get married in my home state, but what made the decision a shoe-in from an early stage in our courtship was that both Oliver and I went to the University of Virginia as undergrads. We were three years apart so we didn’t actually meet until we were both living up in New York City, but our mutual love for UVA and the ‘hoos acted as an instant magnet. Throughout our dating years, we’d go back to Charlottesville for basketball and football games, so we just knew that Charlottesville was the place. The month before Oliver popped the question, we had gone down to Charlottesville to visit several vineyards around the area, so it made the decision that much easier once we were officially engaged! As soon as we saw Pippin Hill the first time, we just knew that was the place we wanted to get married. It takes your breath away.

     

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    Who officiated your ceremony?  Randy Singer officiated our wedding. He was my pastor at Trinity Church in Virginia Beach where my father was an Elder, but he’s also an author, a lawyer and a professor. I truly don’t know when the guy sleeps, but his accomplishments and overall character are truly humbling, and we were so honored to have him marry us.

    Did you include any traditions in your ceremony?  Randy gave a traditional homily, and we exchanged traditional vows as well.

    Ceremony music: (played by a string quartet)
    Prelude: Brandenburg Concerto by Bach
    Seating of the Mothers: Ave Maria by Schubert
    Processional, Bridal Party: Divertimento by Mozart
    Processional, Bride: Canon in D by Pachelbel
    Recessional: La Rejouissance by Handel

    Readings:  Psalm 36:5-9 and Colossians 3:12-15.

     

    Elisa Bricker | Snippet & Ink Elisa Bricker | Snippet & Ink
    Elisa Bricker | Snippet & Ink Elisa Bricker | Snippet & Ink
    Elisa Bricker | Snippet & Ink Elisa Bricker | Snippet & Ink

     

    The Reception

    How would you describe your reception?  Modern farmhouse meets Southern hospitality.

    What inspired you when you were planning your wedding?  Fortunately Charlottesville and the Blue Ridge Mountains are an idyllic backdrop as it is, so we didn’t have to do much décor-wise. We’re self-proclaimed foodies, so one of the most important elements (other than the scenery) was the food.

     

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    Elisa Bricker | Snippet & Ink Elisa Bricker | Snippet & Ink

     

    First dance song:  So Happy Together” by The Turtles

    Father/Daughter Dance:  God Only Knows” by The Beach Boys - I grew up going to Beach Boys concerts together with my dad and I feel like my entire childhood could be set against a Beach Boys album.

    Menu: 
    Passed Hors d’Oeuvres: Cantaloupe and Crispy speck / Wagyu Beef Coin / Spanish Pork Belly / Crispy Chesapeake Oyster / Yellowfin Tuna Medallion // First Course: Virginia Beef Carpaccio // Main Course: Chesapeake Bay Crab Cake with Fried Green Tomato and Radish and Silver Corn Salad / Dry Aged New York Strip Loin // Late-Night Snack: Hand-Cut French Fries with Shaved Parmesan and Herbs

    What type of cake or dessert did you serve?  Kathy from Favorite Cakes is a true confectionary genius. Our main wedding cake had our monogram, and I had also asked her to make a cake celebrating that the UVA men’s basketball team won the ACC championship, so that was a little surprise for Oliver on the day of.

     

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    Did you include any other traditions in your wedding?  We did the something old, something new bit, and I also had two sixpence in my shoes (one in each) as I’m told that’s good luck. I also had a blue garter that Oliver put around a football and threw to his groomsmen right after the ceremony, which provided some fun pictures!

    Are there any DIY details you’d like to tell us about?  One of our close family friends made beautiful ‘His’ and ‘Hers’ signs with ribbons in our wedding colors that were draped over the backs of our seats at dinner. My dad handmade fans that we placed on each guest’s seat for the ceremony, since we knew June in Charlottesville could mean sweltering heat. Oliver collects matchboxes, so my mom also created and ordered custom matchboxes with our initials and wedding date in UVA colors (orange and navy blue). She also set up an extensive candy bar with all types of our favorite candies (we both have quite the sweet tooth) for guests to fill bags and take home with them.

    What was the best advice you received as a bride?  The only thing that truly matters is that you’re marrying the love of your life, so don’t get caught up with the small stuff.

    What advice do you have for other couples in the midst of planning a wedding?  I’m certainly a big planner and I don’t like surprises, so I’d say the more you can do upfront instead of waiting until the last minute is the way to go. Also, think about ways you can repurpose things over the course of the wedding weekend to cut down on costs, and this is especially true for flowers. We had our rehearsal dinner at Farmington Country Club and had two gorgeous flower arrangements that flanked the fireplace in the dining room. We ended up reusing the arrangements to flank both sides of the ceremony seating at Pippin Hill the next day.

    If you had it to do over again, is there anything you would do differently?  I would have considered hiring a videographer.

    What was your favorite moment or part of the reception?  It’s difficult to pick just one, but I think we’d say listening to the heartfelt speeches. And the dance moves once the band fired up, of course.

     

    Elisa Bricker | Snippet & Ink Elisa Bricker | Snippet & Ink
    Photography: Elisa Bricker / Venue: Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyard in Charlottesville, Virginia / Event Planning & Design, Coordination: Mallory Joyce / Officiant: Randy Singer / Dress: Enzoani / Shoes: Christian Louboutin / Bridesmaid Dresses: Amsale in ‘Bellini’ / Groom’s Suit, Groomsmen Attire: Beecroft and Bull / Bow Ties: Collared Greens / Floral Design: Southern Blooms / Hair: Lora Kelley / Makeup: Lisa Moore for Lora Kelley / Ceremony Music: Encore / Reception Music: The Adrian Duke Project / Cake, Dessert: Favorite Cakes
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  • Elegant Virginia Wedding from Elisa Bricker

    3 November 2014
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    When we started asking brides and grooms for more information about their weddings, with the hope of offering even more inspiration to our dear readers, I was a little afraid that no one would want to take the time to share so much! I have been pleasantly surprised by all of the amazing stories we’ve received, like this thoughtful wedding from Maura and Aidan. Not only did they share tons of information about their planning and the day, they also shared their full budget breakdown and wedding ceremony! Get ready to be inspired to create a beautiful, meaningful wedding day…

    SEE THE GALLERY FOR EVEN MORE IMAGES FROM THIS RUSTIC FALL WEDDING BY LARA KIMMERER.

    Lara Kimmerer | Snippet & Ink Lara Kimmerer | Snippet & Ink

     

    The Venue

    “We wanted to get married in Western Massachusetts, where Aidan grew up. We also were interested in having a barn wedding on a farm with historic, beautiful buildings. We also liked the idea of having multiple locations all within one venue, such as the apple orchard, farmhouse, barn, and patio. We knew that we wanted a very big wedding and it was difficult to find a farm with all of these elements. Quonquont Farm had all of the things we were looking for, and as soon as we saw it we knew we wanted to get married there.”

     

    Lara Kimmerer | Snippet & Ink Lara Kimmerer | Snippet & Ink
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    The Ceremony

    “We wanted to incorporate some of the wonderful traditions of a Jewish wedding ceremony,” share Maura and Aidan. “We had a lovely and intimate Ketubah (Jewish marriage contract) signing in the farmhouse with a small circle of close friends and family who surrounded us as we signed the document that formally married us according to Jewish law. Our officiant, Ben, in his wonderful way said to the folks in the room, ‘Shh, don’t tell the others but this is the real wedding!’ It was incredibly special and emotional for all of us, especially since the words on the Ketubah were so wonderful.”

     

    Lara Kimmerer | Snippet & Ink Lara Kimmerer | Snippet & Ink
    Lara Kimmerer | Snippet & Ink Lara Kimmerer | Snippet & Ink

     

    Your ceremony in three words.  Personal, Emotional, Hand-crafted.

    How did you go about planning your wedding ceremony?  Maura’s cousin, Ben, officiated our wedding, and we worked with him to craft a ceremony that felt meaningful to us. Ben is insightful and compassionate while maintaining levity and humor, and he has a unique way of connecting people and bringing them together. We knew he would be wonderful to work with. We also worked with a local rabbi in Boston who helped advise us on our wedding and preparing for marriage. It felt important to bring in traditional Jewish wedding elements, while honoring people in both of our families and connecting with each other.  Our ceremony involved several objects of significance to both of us, including a chuppah that was handmade by Aidan’s mother, a tallis that was given to Aidan on the day he converted to Judaism, a prayer book that was handed down from Maura’s relatives, and a kiddush cup that Maura and Aidan purchased together.

     

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    What was your favorite thing about your wedding ceremony?  Surprisingly being indoors at the last minute wound up being so wonderful. The day was muggy and buggy and threatening to storm, and the barn was beautiful – and air-conditioned. Beyond the sheer comfort of this last-minute decision, the barn had been completely set up for just the dinner reception, not for a seated ceremony. Orchestrated by our amazing day-of coordinator, Jen, and venue manager, Jenelle, all of the guests chipped in to move the room around to fill the space with seating. By the time we walked down the aisle, less than 30 minutes later, the room was filled with this wonderful energy and feeling of real community. There was a point in the ceremony, just after our vows, where we turned to face our guests for them to affirm our commitment to one another and their commitment to stand by us to support our marriage. Looking through the room at this wonderful array of our community of friends and family was simply perfection.

     

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    Ceremony music:
    Processional: “Kneel Before Him” by Chris Thile
    Recessional: All I Want Is You” by Barry Louis Polisar

    What were your ceremony readings?  No readings, but we revamped the seven blessings tradition. Each prayer was recited in Hebrew by our officiant, and then a close friend or family member shared a blessing in English that they had written for us, wishing us a marriage filled with: Stewardship, Balance, Partnership, Nourishment, Friendship, Adventure, and Learning. We hadn’t heard the words that people had written before they were said aloud during the ceremony and it was an incredibly touching and intimate experience.

    What were your vows like?  We each wrote our own vows. There was no real formula except that we began by affirming our love for one another. We didn’t rehearse them, so we heard each others’ words for the first time under the chuppah.

    READ MAURA AND AIDAN’S FULL WEDDING CEREMONY RIGHT HERE.

     

    Lara Kimmerer | Snippet & Ink Lara Kimmerer | Snippet & Ink
    Lara Kimmerer | Snippet & Ink Lara Kimmerer | Snippet & Ink

     

    Is there anything else that you’d like to share about your wedding ceremony?  There’s a wonderful Jewish wedding custom that right after the ceremony, the couple sneaks off to enjoy their first moments of marriage privately by sharing a small meal. Having the wonderful interlude in the midst of the hubbub of this crazy-amazing day was an incredible treat. We shared some delicious snacks and popped open a bottle of champagne to celebrate during our private little picnic in the middle of the orchard. It was really magical to spend a few quiet moments just the two of us.

     

    Lara Kimmerer | Snippet & Ink Lara Kimmerer | Snippet & Ink
    Lara Kimmerer | Snippet & Ink Lara Kimmerer | Snippet & Ink

     

    The Reception

    “We thought a lot about just how special it is to have all of the important people in each of our lives together to witness and celebrate our commitment to one another. We really wanted it to feel like a celebration of love and of our communities coming together. We’re lucky to have so many incredibly talented people among our friends and family so we didn’t have to look far to accomplish a ‘do-it-OURselves’ wedding – a far more collective version of DIY. Our wedding was really and truly a team effort with almost every guest lending a hand in some way to make the day a reality. From lending skills as a floral designer, to arriving early the morning of the wedding to help us set the tables, to serving as an amateur (if amazingly natural) emcee/DJ for the night, to baking a pie to share, we had so many people involved in one way or another. To us, that was really special.”

     

    Lara Kimmerer | Snippet & Ink Lara Kimmerer | Snippet & Ink
    Lara Kimmerer | Snippet & Ink Lara Kimmerer | Snippet & Ink

     

    Your reception in three words. Hand-crafted, Playful, Lively.

    What inspired you when you were planning your wedding?  We were super inspired by the naked beauty of the spaces at Quonquont Farm. We had the farmhouse to get ready, the gorgeous early fall apple orchard for pictures, a lovely patio for cocktail hour and the beautiful restored dairy barn for the ceremony and reception. The “bones” of all of these spaces were breathtaking and all our decor choices were intended to showcase the architecture in its wonderful simplicity.

    Did you include any traditions in your wedding?  We did include something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue. For something old, we each held embroidered handkerchiefs hand-sewn by Maura’s great-grandmother throughout our day. For something new, Maura had a new lace headpiece and Aidan had a new yarmulke. For something borrowed, Maura wore pearl earrings from her aunt. And for something blue, Aidan’s father drove him to the farm in his vintage restored 1940 Ford Truck, painted in Bahama Blue.

    Are there any DIY details you’d like to tell us about?  Oh, so many! It all began with our Save the Date, a stop-motion animation made with Bananagrams, and continued through the whole wedding! Aidan designed several large rubber stamps that we used to hand print our invitations. Aidan’s mom sewed our chuppah, which she is in the process of making into a quilt for us, and she also cut and hemmed beautiful cloth napkins. We made bags for the kids in attendance (each contained a personalized coloring and activity book, bubbles, crayons, farm animal tattoos, and handmade pinwheels). Maura’s aunt has long-adored family collection of kooky salt shakers which she passed on to us in the lead up to the wedding and we carefully selected a shakers to place on each of the tables. And all the beer – finding used bottles which was quite the group effort, removing labels and sanitizing, and then on to the fun part of brewing the beer and Aidan putting his graphic design skills to work creating amazing “limited edition” labels. Not to mention the flowers, favors, mismatched silverware, pie buffet…

     

    Lara Kimmerer | Snippet & Ink Lara Kimmerer | Snippet & Ink
    Lara Kimmerer | Snippet & Ink Lara Kimmerer | Snippet & Ink

     

    What was your favorite moment or part of the reception?  We both agree that our favorite moment of the reception was at the end of the Hora, which is a dance where the couple is raised above the guests on chairs. After the dance ends, there is a Jewish tradition where the couple is entertained by the guests. Picture a large crowd surrounding the couple, and every few seconds one of the guests spontaneously juggles, does a crazy dance move, or performs a magic trick! And the entire time, loud, fast music is playing and people are laughing and clapping. It all happened so fast that it was a blur, but we’ll never forget it.

    First Dance Song: “One Voice” by The Wailin’ Jennys. During the last verse we invited all the couples who celebrate an anniversary around ours to join us on the dance floor. We didn’t have a father/daughter or mother/son dance per se, but we had a wonderful special performance that took its place. Our fathers are both musicians and they played together – Aidan’s dad on guitar, Maura’s on mandolin. They played “To the Love of My Life” by Jay Ungar.

     

    Lara Kimmerer | Snippet & Ink Lara Kimmerer | Snippet & Ink
    Lara Kimmerer | Snippet & Ink Lara Kimmerer | Snippet & Ink

     

    Did you have a signature cocktail?  We brewed all of our own beer for the wedding, and designed custom labels for each type of beer. We had four types of beer (Barnhouse Brown, 1940 Ford I.P.A., Lovebird Lager, and Orchard Red Ale), and a friend also brewed two signature non-alcoholic drinks: a delicious ginger beer and root beer.

    Tell us about the food served at your wedding?  Having really flavorful, locally-sourced appetizers and dinner was really important to us, especially Maura who works to promote local, sustainable food systems. We had a beautiful menu featuring seasonal produce available in Massachusetts and honored our farmers by listing them on a chalkboard along the buffet line.

    What about dessert?  In addition to a small cake for a ceremonial cake cutting (and to freeze for a one year anniversary treat), a group of our guests put together a gorgeous spread of potluck pies from our guests for dessert. Maura’s best friend Leigh compiled a book of all the recipes and gave it to us for our one year anniversary. Highlights included Salted Honey Pie, Blueberry Peach Pie, Whole Wheat Triple Berry Pie and Bourbon Pecan Chocolate Pie. Not that we got to taste any of them, we were far too busy having fun to take a break! We’re baking our way through the cookbook as a way to relive the wonderful day.

    Any other details?  From the locally-sourced food to the use of compostable materials, we’re proud to say that our wedding was very close to being zero waste!

    What was the best advice you received as a bride (as a couple)?  In the throes of planning, when I was concerned about ensuring that everyone will have a good time, someone finally mentioned that people will have a good time – as long as you’re happy and there’s enough food!

    What advice do you have for other couples in the midst of planning a wedding?  Have a day-of wedding coordinator, no matter how DIY your wedding is.  This could be someone you hire, we had a friend who’s done a bunch of event planning and really loves it.  We comped her hotel room and paid for her travel to the wedding.  She was amazing! Just make sure it’s a friend who’ll enjoy this role. (If it’s a friend, make sure it’s someone who’ll embrace and enjoy this duty and build in time/space for them to experience the wedding for themselves too!)

    If you had it to do over again, is there anything you would do differently?  Not stress about the weather so much! We had a good rain plan in place, and in the end, it was so much better that we ended up inside, so we really didn’t need to spend so much time in the week leading up to the wedding worrying about whether or not the ceremony could be held outdoors.

     

    Lara Kimmerer | Snippet & Ink Lara Kimmerer | Snippet & Ink
    Lara Kimmerer | Snippet & Ink Lara Kimmerer | Snippet & Ink

     

    Is there anything else that helps tell the story of your wedding?  As we were thinking of starting our own little family, we really felt like we wanted to share a name that we both felt connected to and we happened upon the name Ackerman which felt right from the start! On the most basic level Ackerman is an amalgam of Aidan’s patrilinial name (Acker) and my matrilinial name (Feldman). Honoring both sides of our new family and the lineage of both our mothers and our fathers feels very powerful to us. / Ackerman has a meaning that rings true for both of us. Literally, Acker comes from the German for “field” or “acre,” thus Ackerman has the connotation of caretaker or steward of the land which jives well with each of our life’s work (Maura’s in agriculture and Aidan’s in landscape architecture). / Finally, Ackerman has a decidedly Jewish ring to it which feels good as we approach building a Jewish home and life together. Choosing a shared Jewish last name will also serve as a reminder of the choice we have made to embrace Judaism.

    Photography: Lara Kimmerer / Venue: Quonquont Farm in Whately, Massachusetts / Event Planning, Design, Coordination: the couple, Jennifer Lawrence  / Dress: LulaKate / Ceremony Shoes: Kiss & Tell / Reception Shoes: Miz Mooz / Suit: Macy’s / Floral Design: Eliza Gray Gardens / Rentals: Northhampton Rental / Catering: Heirloom Catering / Ketubah: Urban Collective / Cake: King Arthur Flour
    SEE THE FULL GALLERY
  • Quonquont Farm Wedding by Lara Kimmerer

    29 October 2014
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    Jordan and Taylor were wed on the bride’s grandparents’ farm – an easy choice of venue once you see these photos from Mandy Busby. The bride’s lush oversize bouquet, the charming stationery suite, the Southern tradition of burying a bottle of bourbon to ward of rain… so much inspiration in this sweet home Alabama wedding!

    SEE THE GALLERY FOR EVEN MORE PHOTOS FROM THIS ROMANTIC FARM WEDDING FROM MANDY BUSBY.

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    Mandy Busby | Snippet & Ink Mandy Busby | Snippet & Ink
    Mandy Busby | Snippet & Ink Mandy Busby | Snippet & Ink
    Mandy Busby | Snippet & Ink Mandy Busby | Snippet & Ink

     

    The stationery suite by Signora e Mare featured calligraphy in rich brown ink on cream white paper.

     

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    Mandy Busby | Snippet & Ink Mandy Busby | Snippet & Ink

     

    The Ceremony

    “Taylor and I chose to have our wedding at my grandparents’ farm right outside of Gadsden, Alabama,” says Jordan. “Once we knew that getting married at the farm was even a possibility, it was such an easy decision. Their farm has always been such a special place to me. I’ve grown up celebrating birthday parties and many other things at the farm, so it felt very natural to celebrate our wedding there, too. It was such an amazing feeling to have all of our closest family and friends there with us on our big day.”

     

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    Mandy Busby | Snippet & Ink Mandy Busby | Snippet & Ink
    Mandy Busby | Snippet & Ink Mandy Busby | Snippet & Ink
    Mandy Busby | Snippet & Ink Mandy Busby | Snippet & Ink

     

    Your ceremony in three words.  Peaceful, Sweet, Joyous.

    What was your favorite thing about your wedding ceremony?  Taking Communion with Taylor as our first act of marriage was a very special moment during our wedding ceremony. It was such a great way to reflect on the importance of the day and how we want to honor Christ throughout our marriage. Another memorable moment of our ceremony was when a group of birds flew directly over us. It made me really thankful that we decided to have an outdoor wedding to showcase the beauty of nature on the farm!

    What was your favorite moment or part of the day?  There were so many wonderful things about our wedding day that it’s terribly difficult to narrow down to just one favorite. One of the moments that we often look back on was immediately following the ceremony when our wedding party surrounded us as we toasted a glass of Prosecco in celebration of our marriage. We can’t think of a more fun occasion and sense of togetherness than what we received in that moment.

     

     

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    Mandy Busby | Snippet & Ink Mandy Busby | Snippet & Ink
    Mandy Busby | Snippet & Ink Mandy Busby | Snippet & Ink

     

    The Reception

    “Taylor and I were most inspired by the farm and by the overall atmosphere we wanted to create for our wedding. We felt very strongly about having it feel simple and laid back while still maintaining a sense of elegance, and for our guests to feel relaxed and comfortable. We also wanted everything to feel as though it was a natural extension of the farm, so we chose details that felt organic and pastoral.”

     

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    Mandy Busby | Snippet & Ink Mandy Busby | Snippet & Ink
    Mandy Busby | Snippet & Ink Mandy Busby | Snippet & Ink

     

    Signature Drink:  “Hoppily Ever After” home brew IPA
    Cake: Strawberry and Vanilla Cake with Buttercream Frosting
    First Dance Song:  “Into the Mystic” by Van Morrison

    Did you include any traditions in your wedding?  While our wedding was in an unconventional setting, we didn’t stray too far from the good ole Southern wedding traditions. Perhaps, the most southern of them all was burying a bottle of bourbon a month before the wedding to ward off rain on our big day!

    Please tell us about any special details from your wedding.  Our amazing wedding planner, Ginny Au, did a phenomenal job of incorporating natural elements of the farm into the decorations. She foraged plants the day before the wedding and found a gorgeous vine that was used inside of the barn. It was so wonderful to have a piece of the farm incorporated into the decor of the wedding to go along with the stunning floral arrangements done by our florist, Katie McDaniel of Cloth of Gold. Another very special, personal detail was wearing my late grandmother’s dinner ring as my something old. It meant a lot to me to be able wear something that reminded me of her and my late grandfather (her husband) since they weren’t able to be there in person.

    What was the best advice you received as a bride?  The best advice I received was to take the time to really enjoy every moment of the day and to avoid getting wrapped up in the hustle and bustle of everything, because it really does go by so quickly. Those special moments that I made a conscious effort to soak in will always bring back such sweet memories. I can vividly remember the feeling I had when I was walking down to where our ceremony took place, and being so excited to marry my best friend and grateful that everyone we loved the most was there to celebrate with us! It was truly the best.

    What advice do you have for other couples in the midst of planning a wedding?  Try not to get stressed out. I know, I know… easier said than done, but I absolutely promise everything will be worth it in the end. It is truly the best day of your life, and no matter what little stresses come up along the way, they will seem insignificant when you are surrounded by your family and friends celebrating your marriage. It’s a wonderful time!

     

    Mandy Busby | Snippet & Ink Mandy Busby | Snippet & Ink
    Photography: Mandy Busby / Event Planning & Design: Ginny Au / Venue: Private Farm in Gadsden, Alabama / Dress: Francesca Miranda via White Dresses Boutique / Shoes: Kate Spade / Earrings: White Dresses Boutique / Suit: Indochino / Bridesmaid Dresses, Groom’s Tie: J. Crew / Groomsmen Attire: Jos A Bank / Stationery, Artwork, Calligraphy: Signora e Mare / Envelopes: Script Merchant Calligraphy and Design / Floral Design: Cloth of Gold / Rentals: Top Notch Rentals / Music: Will and Jeanetter Hightower, The Carmonas / Catering: Kathy G. Catering / Cake: Diane Steward, Rainbow Manor Wedding Chapel
    SEE THE FULL GALLERY
  • Romantic Alabama Farm Wedding by Mandy Busby

    27 October 2014
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