Photography by Jocelyn Filley.
This is such a darling wedding with lots of beautiful details, but it’s the flowers that steal the show. (No surprise when the bride is a floral designer!) Just look at that vintage car trunk overflowing with summer florals, and wait until you hear the incredibly moving story behind them…
If you had your whole wedding day to do over again, is there anything you would do differently? I wouldn’t have forgotten my veil… I left it on my mom’s bed by accident and didn’t realize until after the ceremony!
Did you have a first look? Why or why not? Yes, mainly because we wanted to take photos together before the ceremony, but it turned out to be a special moment in and of itself. It sort of hit a reset button on all of the morning’s emotions and made us feel like “okay, let’s get this party started!”.
Jessie’s lush, natural bouquet and Phillip’s blush boutonniere are as beautiful as you would expect when the bride is a floral designer! Jessie told us “running Rountree Flowers, I have done hundreds of other couples’ weddings. For ours, I hired the most talented of my designer friends to execute my vision. After making my own story board, I designed and purchased vases and preordered all the flowers. After briefing my friends on my vision and setting them up to work at the house, I was able to essentially walk away and let them create what turned out to be beyond perfect decor.”
What advice do you have for other couples in the midst of planning a wedding? Being in the wedding business, I always urge brides (and their mothers) to hire a good wedding planner. Their experience and ability to spontaneously problem solve is well worth the cost – the more you trust them, the more they can support and give to you. Often they handle more behind the scenes for you than you’re ever aware of! // Follow your own rules, while being inclusive of certain things your parents feel are important (even if it drives you a little crazy!) // Remember to thank your friends and family for helping with the little things, well before the big day.
Why did you choose this location for your ceremony? The ceremony was on a large patio behind my mom’s house, overlooking a lake, which in Rhode Island is called a pond. We loved the simplicity of using the natural surroundings – water, gardens, sky – as our outdoor church. All the chairs were arranged to face the pond, with the house behind them. As a floral designer, I was tempted to build a dramatic structure for the ceremony, but opted just for simple flowers down the aisle.
Your ceremony in three words. Episcopal, simple, heart felt.
Who officiated your ceremony? How did you choose him/her? Reverend Jackie Kirby, who is the assistant chaplain from nearby St. George’s School.
How did you go about planning your ceremony? The ceremony was traditional Episcopalian, from the Book of Common Prayer. At first I was hesitant to accept such a fixed structure, but then I came to really like the ceremony as it is. Jackie’s homily and our readings made it feel very personal.
What were your ceremony readings? We included two readings. The first was from the Old Testament, Ecclesiastes 4:9-12. The second was from the New Testament, Colossians 3:12-17.
What was your favorite thing about your wedding ceremony? I loved having my niece and five nephews (in adorable coordinating outfits!) sitting nearby. I loved the close proximity of the guests and the familiar, beautiful setting. My favorite thing about it was feeling my relationship with Philip shift during that time into something even more special.
What were your vows like? We read traditional Episcopalian vows from the Book of Common Prayer.
Is there anything else that you’d like to share about your wedding ceremony? I was surprised by how emotional I was. I almost couldn’t speak while I was saying my vows!
Did you serve a signature cocktail? Yes, Old Fashioned (my favorite) served in small glass flasks, and Hummingbirds, a gin cocktail, in honor of my husband’s favorite spirit.
Why did you choose this location for your reception? The ceremony and reception were both at my family home in Rhode Island. It is one of the most beautiful places I know and I have always dreamt of marrying there. The ceremony and cocktail reception overlooked my mom’s gardens and the pond behind the house. After cocktails (in the courtyard/driveway by the front door) guests walked past a small fruit tree orchard, through a grass field, to the tent, which is surrounded by old stone walls and a wooden sheep fence.
Did you include any traditions in your wedding? My father, who passed away three years ago, had several classic cars. For my siblings’ weddings, he had either driven them in one of his cars or lent one to my brother for him to drive them. In his absence, we parked two of our favorites near the entrance to the tent and decorated them with garlands and flowers flowing out of the car trunks. I think he would have loved it.
Are there any DIY details you’d like to tell us about? The escort cards were pinned to a huge burlap bulletin board from Ballard Designs and hung under a grape arbor attached to the house – guests walked past it on the way from cocktails to reception.
How would you describe your reception? It was a summer tented wedding with a mix of casual home-inspired elements (linens, pillows, some farm tables, collection of white lanterns on the tables) and traditional formality (rosé champagne toast, lush flowers, seated three course dinner).
What inspired you when you were planning your wedding? Summertime on my Mom’s farm was really the inspiration. I wanted it to feel lush, with casual elegance. I wanted color, but nothing loud – all the colors fit with the surroundings.
What was your wedding menu? It was so good! First Course: Watermelon, Crumbled Feta, Pickled Red Onion, Niçoise Olives, Black Pepper-Lime Vinaigrette, // Second Course: Grilled Petite Fillet of Beef with Vintner’s Sauce and Truffle Foam // Third Course: Wild Mushroom Agnolotti // Side: Haricots Verts, Tomatoes & Braised Artichokes // Vegetarian Option: Asparagus and Ricotta Crespelle Morel Mushrooms and Fava Beans & Pea Shoot Salad
And about those great irate print linens? Jessie told us, “the fabric for the table runners on the farm tables and overlays on the rounds was handpicked by me at Gray Line Linen in NYC’s garment district, and I had a friend sew them for the tables.”
What was the best advice you received as a bride and groom? Not to eat from a raw bar at least 48 hours before the wedding day, in case we were unlucky and got a bad oyster!
What was your favorite moment or part of the reception? When we were announced as we walked into the tent for the first dance. It was so intense and fun to be applauded and surrounded by so many loved ones. It was such a moment of joy.
What was your first dance song? You Make My Dreams Come True by Hall and Oats.
What type of cake or dessert did you serve? A light and delicious lemon poppy seed cake by Madison Lee’s Cakes. Madison drove the cake up from New York and assembled it in my mom’s laundry room (which is the coolest room in the house.) She is amazing!