Are you ready for our final BEST WEDDING OF 2017?! We’re so excited to see this Summer Solstice wedding photographed by Cappy Hotchkiss coming in at number 10. Let’s just say this outdoor New York wedding gave us all the feels! See what we mean below—and be sure to check back next week to see all of our favorite details from 2017!
I honestly can’t think when I last had so much trouble deciding which images from a real wedding to share with you, because every single one is just so beautiful! Samantha absolutely radiates happiness in every stunning shot by Cappy Hotchkiss. I think my absolute favorites are from the end of their ceremony – seriously, it’s pure joy, captured on film. And that’s what we love most this wedding – it’s not about spending a ton of money on the details, it’s about the love story.
These bridal party photos remind me of Sofia Coppola’s The Virgin Suicides. So dreamy and beautiful!
Did you include any other traditions in your wedding? Yes! I love the ‘something old, something new’ tradition. I borrowed a beautiful, vintage beaded clutch that was my grandmother’s. My something new was my dress, something blue was a little bow on my garter. (Another tradition we incorporated was the garter removal – far too embarrassingly funny not to do!)
Your ceremony in three words. Beautiful, emotional, sincere.
What was your ceremony music? Processional: Summer Solstice, Kalena Kai / Bridal Processional: The Landing Beacon, Buckethead / Recessional: Jailhouse Rock, Elvis Presley.
Why did you choose this location? We fell head over heels for Pioneer Farm at first sight. Hundreds of acres of rolling hills, farm houses, airstreams, a picturesque stone pool perfect for the cocktail hour. Sold!
How did you go about planning your ceremony? Our day of planner, Tatiana Jones of Whimsy Weddings, was able to help with those details. She is an absolute dream.
Who officiated your ceremony? How did you choose him/her? Tadd’s best friend, Chris Wayne – he has known both of us since high school, where Tadd and I first met (I was a freshman, he was a senior). Having a good friend officiate the ceremony added a layer of depth that was unlike any wedding I had ever been to.
What were your ceremony readings? Taylor Trauth, my best friend of 20 years, read a touching piece called The Art of a Good Marriage by Wilferd Arlan Peterson.
What were your vows like? We each felt very strong about writing our own vows – I was a little nervous to share something so personal in front of all of my family and friends, but looking into Tadd’s eyes made those preconceived worries dissipate.
What was your favorite thing about your wedding ceremony? The moment we said “I do” – I’ve never been more overcome with pure happiness.
What advice do you have for other couples in the midst of planning a wedding? I highly recommend hiring a day of coordinator to help the day go smoothly. It lessens the pressure on everyone involved!!
Do you have any budget tips for other brides? We had to be very budget conscious with this wedding because it was important to us to have some money to buy a house after all was said and done. Get thrifty! Don’t be afraid of the Dollar Store. We used craft paper on top of table clothes which gave the tables a farm house feel. Fifty Flowers is a fab site that sells flowers at wholesale price.
How would you describe your reception? Both Tadd and I agreed that wanted an outdoor, laid back, fun wedding with a primary focus on good food, good wine & good music. Tadd’s dad is a guitar player so the music was a heavy hitter for us – everyone danced all night long!
What inspired you when you were planning your wedding? I had done pretty extensive research finding the right venue (that was close in proximity to NYC) which was no easy feat on a tight budget. Tadd and I knew we wanted the property to have lodging on site for the wedding party so we could really make the most of this special weekend. I kept the décor to a minimum – the gorgeous surrounding scenery really set the stage. Tatiana of Whimsy Weddings ran with my inspiration photos and created the most beautiful bouquets and centerpieces of white anemones, dahlias, roses, and freesia with sprays of green from Italian ruscus and dusty miller.
Are there any DIY details you’d like to tell us about? I’m a big fan of DIY and arts ‘n’ crafts, although I did not want the décor to look kitschy. My favorite DIY element was a large greenery wreath that my mom & aunt made which was then hung from the center of the tent over the dance floor. My parents live in South Carolina where their trees are covered in this gorgeous, ethereal Spanish Moss. We started by layering that that over a wire hoop then bulked it up by added some faux ivy and other greens. We then finished off the piece with romantic filament string lights. It turned out insanely beautiful! We donated it to the farm for future couples to hopefully enjoy (and hey, six-foot wreaths are a little tricky to store in NYC apartments!)
What was your wedding menu? Artisan bread, mixed field greens (with pears, cranberries, crumbled goat cheese & walnuts tossed in a balsamic vinaigrette) // Marinated green beans, layered grilled asparagus // Twice stuffed baby potatoes, filled with cheddar cheese, sour cream, bacon and scallions // Rigatoni with a tomato and Genovese pesto // Parmesan crusted chicken, sauced with artichokes, tomatoes, fresh herbs and chicken stock // Whole roasted pork loin (carved tableside), rubbed with fresh rosemary, served with a natural pan gravy.
What type of cake or dessert did you serve?
Assorted pies served a la mode: Apple and Pear with Crumb Topping, Strawberry Rhubarb, Banana Toffee, Mixed Berry, Key Lime.
What was the best advice you received as a bride? ENJOY IT! It’ll be over before you know it. Also – don’t worry about the things you cannot control… what will be, will be (thanks Mama!)
If you had it to do over again, is there anything you would do differently? Not a thing – honestly. It was truly the happiest day of our lives… even with the rain showers! Silver lining: the mist made for pretty stunning photos.
What was your first dance song? Father/daughter or mother/son dance? First Dance: Tupelo Honey, Van Morrison // Father and daughter: Carolina In My Mind, James Taylor // Mother and son: From Hank to Hendrix, Neil Young.
What was your favorite moment or part of the reception? After our first dance as husband and wife, both Tadd and I inadvertently stopped and looked out at our smiling guests and I felt the most profound feeling of love, warmth and affection I have felt to date – a moment I will never forget.
What was your favorite moment from the day? I suppose this isn’t technically a moment from the day of, but when I woke up the next morning after we got married, Tadd’s hand was resting on his chest, his ring caught the morning sun, and in that moment, my heart was so full that it felt like it may burst.