Snapshot from a September wedding in the early seventies.
What better place for a fall wedding than on the groom’s family’s 150-year old pumpkin farm! From the red barn ceremony backdrop, to the dahlias grown by a friend, Jessica and Wallis’s Colorado wedding is rustic and sweet and we know you’re going to love it!
“We wanted to highlight the natural ease and warmth that people feel when they come to the farm,” share the couple. “We wanted to accentuate that in our wedding and celebration.”
“Coming from advertising, Wallis created all of the chalkboard signs, along with our invitations which were a combination of letterpress and screen print. Each invitation was hand printed and pressed. Our flowers were grown by a friend who grew dahlias.”
“Our wedding was held on our family farm. The Osborn family has been on the farm for over 150 years, and the farm’s main crop is pumpkins and Wallis grew up selling pumpkins. The farm opens the last weekend in September or first weekend in October, so a fall wedding was really important. We wanted the ceremony to be personal and informal and not too over-thought, and we wanted our friends and family to feel like they too were at home.”
Your ceremony in three words. Simple, Casual, Personal.
Who officiated your ceremony? Jessica’s Uncle Howie. We wanted someone who knew us both well and who would be able to keep the ceremony casual and secular.
What was your ceremony music? Processional music was performed by like acoustic guitars and local characters. We had them dress as they felt comfortable, blue jeans and flannel. We chose “If Not For You” by Bob Dylan for the Processional (which Wallis’s parents played at their own wedding), and “Everybody’s Talkin'” by Harry Nilsson for the Recessional (because Jess grew up listening to it with her parents).
What were your vows like? Because we wanted to keep the ceremony simple, we had our officiant say our vows and we agreed. Our belief was that our commitment to each other shouldn’t be evaluated on the length of public announcement; it was and is strong, without spectacle.
“From start to finish, our wedding was about celebrating our lives together. With Jess’s family coming from Boston, our shared lives in Chicago in advertising, and Wallis’s family from Colorado, this, for many, was the first time meeting everyone, and we wanted it all to feel like one big party.”
What was your favorite moment or part of the reception? The photo booth. It brought everyone together and captured some really wonderful moments. Jess especially loved the photos with her mom and dad.
What was your wedding menu? BBQ!
What type of cake or dessert did you serve? Cupcakes and pumpkin pie (after all, we were on a pumpkin farm).
Are there any DIY details you’d like to tell us about? In addition to the invitations and signs that Wallis designed, and the flowers that a friend grew, we also created a beer garden and we pulled hops from the farm to decorate the tables.
What was the best advice you received as a bride? It’s the imperfections that will make the day perfect. Jess’s uncle who performed the ceremony told us that. It couldn’t have been more true. Our families bonded together setting up the tables and tent decorations and while we were getting dressed, they put their own special touch on the table settings and decorations.
What advice do you have for other couples in the midst of planning a wedding? Make sure that you keep your mind open to new ideas from your parents. Set up a Pinterest board where your family and friends can see and add to your wedding ideas and inspiration. Our families made sure that we kept true to our roots.
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Colorado Barn Wedding at Osborn Farm by Danielle Defiore15 April 2015
There’s something inherently elegant about winter weddings, don’t you think? Kathleen and Josh tied the knot in January, and from the bride’s gauzy long-sleeved gown to the lush floral decorations, it will have you seriously considering a cold-weather wedding.
“My something old was my mother’s veil,” says the bride. “And as a present to my mom, I got us matching gold chain bracelets with pearls on them to wear on the wedding day from a local jewelry designer, Elizabeth Adams of Ex Voto.”
With marbled envelope liners and a custom drawing of the wedding venue (plus address calligraphy by the bride), Kathleen and Josh’s wedding invitations set the tone for an elegant winter wedding at The Clubhouse in Birmingham.
“We loved the dramatic staircase of The Clubhouse and since we weren’t getting married in a church I wanted that to be the focal point. We only had seating for immediate family and all the rest of our guests hovered around. I was very nervous about it at first but it turned into such an intimate and personal experience with our guests being so close and I wouldn’t have had it any other way! Our florist, Holly Carlisle of Rosegolden, nailed it with the dramatic staircase, and our wonderful wedding planner, Mariée Ami, perfectly coordinated our wedding party coming down the staircase with those long dresses and flowers!”
Your ceremony in three words. Intimate, old world, romantic.
Who officiated your ceremony? A Methodist minister and a family friend, which made it so special. My mom is also a Methodist minister and officiates countless weddings, but my sisters and I have always said we want our mother to actually be “the mother of the bride” on our wedding day so it was nice to have her do that.
Did you include any traditions in your ceremony? Our ceremony was fairly traditional. We both grew up in traditional churches and liked keeping the ceremony that way, especially since it was not held in a church.
What was your ceremony music? My Father is from Nashville but our family grew up in Pennsylvania so my dad always made it a point to implement some “Southern traditions” in us. He loves the Tennessee Waltz, and although it’s actually a sad song (most country songs are!) I knew we had to have it played since we used a mandolin and guitar player for the ceremony music. I didn’t tell my dad they would be playing it for the prelude, and while we were standing together waiting to go down the stairs, they began playing it and he got very emotional – a very special moment. We played Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring for our mothers and the bridesmaids, Pachelbel’s Canon in D for the bridal processional, and Mendelssohn’s Wedding March for the recessional.
What were your ceremony readings? Since we had minimal seating we didn’t want to extend the ceremony too long, so we decided not to include any readings.
What was your favorite thing about your wedding ceremony? How intimate it felt – it was like no one else but Josh and I were up there but you still felt the warmth and support of all our friends and family around us since it was smaller and we were so close together! And I love the photos walking down that staircase!
Why did you choose this location for your wedding? We wanted a warm atmosphere that wouldn’t need a whole lot of decorating. I grew up in a 1907 Victorian house and I guess I’ve just always had a soft spot for old historic homes. There was something so timeless and beautiful about The Clubhouse with its dramatic staircase, fireplaces, wood panelling, patterned tiles and deep front porch.
“The house was really the beginning of our inspiration. Since it was an old house we kept with a smaller band, a pianist and guitar player – but you would have thought it was a ten person brass band the way everyone danced! The piano music fit with the atmosphere and they played all the classics. I wanted the look of the reception to feel like the house did in its heyday. The bridesmaids wore long tulle dresses and the decor accents in the built ins around the fireplace were mostly antique pieces from our family – and I added in some custom pillows around the bay window. We served a champagne cocktail and blood orange Old Fashioned cocktails to fit!”
How would you describe your reception? So much dancing, fancy, delicious food and cocktails, furs, beautiful flowers and more dancing!
First Dance: “Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You”
Father / Daughter Dance: “You Are So Beautiful”
Mother / Son Dance: “Wonderful World”
Mini Truffled Grilled Cheese: Porcini Duxelles, Crispy Ham, Tarragon and Persimmon Butter / Seasonal Flatbread with Fig Mostarda, Cambozola, Sausage, Arugula, Pecan and Preserved Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette / Beef Sliders Two Ways: “Philly” with Peppers, Onions and Provolone, “Southern” with Conecuh Pimento Cheese and Bacon / Smoked Chicken with White BBQ Sauce, Sherry and Caramelized Brussels Sprouts and Muscadine Brown Butter / Short Ribs and Grits with Wilted Spinach and Wild Mushroom / Truffled Sweet Potato fries with Rosemary Ketchup
What type of cake or dessert did you serve? We have so many great local sweets in Birmingham that we couldn’t decide on just one thing! I wanted everything to be very seasonal for winter, so we had a small cake from one of my favorite bakeries, Dreamcakes: white velvet cake with peppermint cream cheese frosting; macarons from Magic City Macarons: cranberry mascarpone, maple bourbon and vanilla; salted chocolate chip cookies from our favorite local coffee shop; and for the grooms cake, “Baby Bites” from Pastry Arts: turtle, chocolate peanut butter and Italian cream pie flavors.
Please tell us about any other special details or moments from your reception. We used my great-grandmother’s mirror to write the menu on (of course we made sure it would come off afterwards!) and we also had wedding photo from both our parents and grandparents in the built-in shelves around the fireplace. // I’m lucky to not only marry a wonderful guy but also into his great family. Josh’s mom knew I wanted all the bridesmaids to have fur stoles to wear and she found one for each girl! My uncle, who is an artist, drew the sketch of the venue that we used on the invitation and frosted cups, which was so special to me.
What was your favorite moment or part of the reception? Just dancing with Josh and all our family and friends. It was also fun to see all of our family and friends from all over come together and have fun. Josh is from a small town in south Alabama and to watch them mesh with my mom’s family from Philadelphia was very fun. I think the northerners were pleasantly surprised to see how nice Birmingham was! Josh’s side always knows how to have a good time too and they can bring a good time anywhere. I’m also a Tennessee graduate and my Dad’s family from Nashville are all big UT fans, so when the band played “Rocky Top” I thought the dance floor would cave in from the excitement!
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Alabama Winter Wedding from Spindle Photography14 April 2015
Another beautiful wedding at Lowndes Grove in South Carolina! It’s easy to see why Sarah and Phil chose this historic venue to celebrate their big day, from its waterfront views to the grand lawn. We especially love the gorgeous garland ceremony backdrop, the chicken wire escort card display, and the dramatic four tier wedding cake. And that they included their pup in the day!
Sarah’s dress was a hybrid: “I combined an Anne Barge dress with Amsale sleeves!” She also had a very special something old: “My father gave me the most beautiful sapphire and diamond ring the week of the wedding – a family heirloom.”
“We had our ceremony on the front lawn at Lowndes Grove. We knew we wanted to have our ceremony in front of their amazing trees, and it was an almost surreal scene. The sun was directly behind us and in pictures looked like it was shining between us. We could not have dreamed up a more perfect setting.”
Your ceremony in three words. Modern, Playful, Idyllic.
How did you go about planning your ceremony? We knew we wanted our ceremony to reflect us as a couple. Our officiant, Christy Loftin, was so helpful in helping us craft a ceremony that was reflective of our personalities. She provided us with a number of templates and we ended up using a combination of the templates.
Did you include any traditions in your ceremony? We kept our music traditional and had traditional vows.
Family – Sheep May Safely Graze, Bach
Processional – Canon in D, Pachelbel
Bride Processional – Trumpet Voluntary, Jeremiah Clarke
Recessional – I’m Yours, Jason Mraz
What were your ceremony readings? ‘Captain Corelli’s Mandolin’ by Louis de Bernieres.
What was your favorite thing about your wedding ceremony? We were able to include our golden retriever, Jack! He walked down the aisle beside one of the groomsmen. He was such a trooper and had the cutest floral wreath (which we were thrilled he didn’t attempt to eat!).
“We wanted our reception to be classic and fun, and for everyone to have a great time. The sun was setting right over the water as we sat down to eat dinner, and it was utterly dreamlike – the best first dinner we could have asked for as husband and wife.”
What inspired you when you were planning your wedding? We knew we wanted to focus on the setting and have lots of soft lighting and greenery. We chose a clear top tent and bistro lights so that we could still see the beautiful trees.
Please tell us about any other special details or moments from your reception. I love Jo Malone candles and adore the Peonies and Blush Suede scent. We scattered the candles throughout the venue and now whenever I smell that fragrance I’m reminded of our wedding day!
What was the best advice you received as a bride? One of my best friend’s husbands stopped us right before we were introduced at our reception and told us to try and take mental snapshots of everything we wanted to remember. It was such sweet advice and really helped us to stop and be thankful for each moment – it helped us slow everything down, and we don’t feel like the night went by too fast at all.
What advice do you have for other couples in the midst of planning a wedding? Don’t get swept up in looking at thousands of blogs in the month or two leading up to your wedding. It’s so fun to look at blogs throughout the planning process, but once you have a vision and an understanding of what you want your day to look like, stop looking!
Is there anything else that helps tell the story of your wedding? We used Dog Tired as a wedding nanny for our dog. They were amazing – they took care of Jack all weekend. They took him to the rehearsal and then made sure he was tired (she played with him all morning!) so he would be calm for the wedding. They watched him while we took pictures, then we were able to have him in some pictures, and then they took him home after the wedding. Definitely worth the investment – even if just for the peace of mind.
What was your signature cocktail? We had champagne and St. Germain with lavender sprigs. It was perfect!
What was your wedding menu? We had a three-course seated meal that we wanted to reflect our transition from the North to the South. We were both raised in New England (we met at boarding school in New Hampshire) and both went to college and graduate school in the South. Our first course was a lobster duo of lobster bisque and a mini lobster roll. Our second course was an arugula salad with cranberries and walnuts. Our third course was filet and grilled shrimp with gouda grits, cognac cream, maque choux, and chorizo gravy. We also had the most amazing late night snacks – mini chocolate shakes, chicken sandwiches, and the cutest chicken and waffles!
What type of cake or dessert did you serve? Our cake was white chocolate and chocolate. We also had a layer with chocolate and peanut butter. We actually didn’t get to eat our cake other than when we fed it to each other – our one regret!
What was your first dance song? Our first dance was “Crazy Love” by Van Morrison. Our father/daughter dance was to “Sittin’ On the Dock of the Bay” by Otis Redding. My father and I used to sing this song all the time growing up. It was just perfect. Phil and his mother danced to James Taylor’s “How Sweet It Is”.
What was your favorite moment or part of the reception? There were so many great moments, it’s tough to pick one. I think our favorites would be the fathers’ toast, cutting the cake, then dancing with all our friends and family the rest of the night. The band was terrific and played songs that had the whole reception having a great time dancing. I think most people will remember Phil’s performance to AC/DC’s You Shook Me All Night Long. The band got him up on stage and he went wild, lip synching the entire song.