Sarah and Eric chose an outdoor wedding in May for the blooming flowers and beautiful trees. Instead, Boston got the worst winter they’ve ever had with more than 3 feet of snow on the ground! To their surprise—and luck—the snow melted, the sun came out, and they had the greatest day of their lives. We love the warmth and joy this wedding brings, and we know you will too!
What was the best advice you received as a bride? Be present! This includes during the wedding planning process, up until you walk down the aisle. It is so easy to get lost in all of the planning, but I always tried to bring it back to where I was, and spend quality time with my love, even if it was labeling envelopes.
Do you have any budget tips for other brides? My advice is to pick the 2-3 vendors that matter most to you, and allocate your costs with those in mind. Also, don’t be scared to negotiate! This doesn’t always mean a dollar discount, but it can mean a “value-add” like a complimentary engagement session, free delivery, etc. These things can add up, and all you need to do is ask.
What advice do you have for other couples in the midst of planning a wedding? Use spreadsheets, use the tabs, and stay organized! My husband is a master Excel user, and this was our home base for wedding planning. Also, stay true to you. There are many people who have opinions about what you should do. Be graceful in how you handle these comments, but always remember that the decision in between you and your significant other.
Sarah wore the blush Tamsin gown from BHLDN, and carried bright a whimsical bouquet of bright flowers, citrus, and fern which beautifully popped against her dress.
“I’m a west coast girl who grew up on a citrus and avocado grove in Southern California. After moving to Boston and falling in love with a handsome New Englander, I knew I wanted our wedding to exude a west coast vibe amid a quintessential New England venue. Enter the John H. Pierce House, a cheery estate home in Lincoln, a couple miles down the road from where Eric was born and raised. This venue has charming victorian features, but is also a blank canvas for the DIY bride, allowing me to truly carry out my vision. That vision included citrus, and a lot of it! I chose a blush and gray palette, so that the orange citrus could pop against wedding party attire, as well as the decor.”
How did you go about planning your ceremony? My childhood pastor from when I grew up in California was able to fly in to do the ceremony. He coached us through designing the ceremony.
Your ceremony in three words. Cheery, romantic and fun
What was your ceremony music?
Bridal Entrance: “Moon River” There is something about this song that is so hopeful and romantic. Once I imagined walking toward Eric with this instrumental music in the background, I couldn’t get anything else out of my head.
Processional: “Canon in D” by Panchelbel
Recessional: “Viva la Vida”
What were your ceremony readings? We chose readings from Ecclesiastes and from The Alchemist. The Alchemist is one of my favorite books, and this part spoke to both of us:
“When he looked into her eyes, he learned the most important part of the language that all the world spoke – the language that everyone on earth was capable of understanding in their heart. It was love. Something older than humanity, more ancient than the desert. What the boy felt at that moment was that he was in the presence of the only woman in his life, and that, with no need for words, she recognized the same thing. Because when you know the language, it’s easy to understand that someone in the world awaits you, whether it’s in the middle of the desert or in some great city. And when two such people encounter each other, the past and the future become unimportant. There is only that moment, and the incredible certainty that everything under the sun has been written by one hand only. It is the hand that evokes love, and creates a twin soul for every person in the world. Without such love, one’s dreams would have no meaning.”
What were your vows like? We chose traditional vows. One thing that was important to us was that we share words with each other before we said our vows. The words were short, but personal, and was a great way to add a level of intimacy to the ceremony. This was special, and definitely a memorable part of the day for us.
What was your favorite thing about your wedding ceremony? Looking down the aisle and seeing my soon-to-be husband. I’m a wedding photographer, so I understand the pros and cons to doing a first look. For me, it was important to not do a first look and share that intense eye contact as I walked toward him to start our life together. That was unreal!
“Our reception was magical and uplifting. Our guests told us that it was beautiful, but also relaxed and fun—which is exactly what we wanted.”
Did you include any other traditions in your wedding? As a photographer, it was important for me to showcase all of the older wedding photos from both sides of the family. It’s beautiful to see the beginning stages of family, and it served as a reminder to everyone what weddings are all about—the love and the start of a family and future.
What inspired you when you were planning your wedding? West coast meets east coast. To bring a west coast vibe to this traditional east coast venue, I brought in citrus, a throwback to my childhood. I was especially drawn to kumquat trees, and incorporated them around the venue, including on large whiskey barrels where the placecards were. We chose to make our signature cocktail a blood orange mojito, and even sent guests away with muddlers adorned with our signature drink recipe. Our friends and family use these muddlers all the time!
What was your wedding menu? The menu focused on summer-geared food including a summer salad with citrus, fresh vegetables and a selection of meats.
Did you have a signature cocktail? To tie in with the citrus theme, we chose a blood orange mojito.
Are there any DIY details you’d like to tell us about? One of the highlights from the decor were the vintage brass candlesticks with tall taper candles. I hand-sourced all of the candlesticks, and I think they really helped tell the New England side of the wedding story. I also sourced all of the vintage glass vases used as centerpieces. These were set on a terra cotta pot saucer to weave in that west coast feel.
What type of cake or dessert did you serve? Our dessert table featured traditional New England whoopie pies, and west coast-style churros. If you are from the east coast, this was likely your first time eating a churro. If you are from the west coast, the whoopie pie was a treat! The cake was a beautiful, rustic carrot cake—it was delicious.
What was your first dance song? Father/daughter or mother/son dance?
First dance: “The Way You Look Tonight”
Father/daughter: “Vienna” by Billy Joel. This song sums up what my father has been telling me my whole life—slow down, and enjoy the ride.
Mother/son: “My Wish” by Rascal Flatts
What was your favorite moment or part of the reception? When we started into our first dance, and they announced that instead of the planned first dance song, they would play the song Eric wrote and composed for me, especially for the wedding. I’ll never forget that moment. I hope one day, if we have a daughter, she will dance with her father to that very song. After all, weddings are all about family and that beautiful dance we call life.