I saved the best for last! It really is, as they say, ALL in the details, and any bride or event planner will be inspired by these creative ideas. The bride described the setting best as “elegant, artsy, simple, and natural.” This Connecticut farm wedding was a DIY labor of love that created a rustic chic elegance that a celebrity wedding planner would envy. From bride and groom to parents, siblings, and friends, everyone pitched in their collective creativity and talent to make this wedding magazine-worthy. The bride and groom noted that “having people help was a great way to celebrate them and to help them feel involved in the day.” I blogged earlier this month about Part I: the gorgeous farm setting and Part II: the big day, but it was truly the details that set this wedding apart.
The bride, Nell, is one of my oldest friends and has always had a wonderful sense of style. I knew the details would be thoughtful, beautiful, and creative. Using a color palette of turquoise and coral, Nell incorporated rustic, earthy elements inspired by the surrounding fields and barns. Burlap tablecloths were paired with splashy patterned napkins while farm flowers in tall glass jugs sat next to wrought iron lanterns and tall hurricanes with candles. I literally couldn’t put my camera down! Without further ado, here are the deets on the deets (that is, details on the details)…
Gorgeous doesn’t begin to describe it! The stunning bouquets and boutonnieres were the artistic work of Flore, while the rest of the reception tent was decorated with blooms straight from the surrounding farm under the careful hand and artistic eye of a close family friend, Sadelle. Tall glass bottles filled with fresh cut lilacs were placed on top of stacked wooden fruit crates, while antique pots filled with tumbling green vines and peachy yellow blooms graced the reception tables.
The bride shared her inspiration behind the flowers:
“We have so many talented people in our lives, so when they offered to help, we said yes! We wanted to use a few cut flowers from around the farm since so many beautiful spring flowers were in bloom. Andromeda and lilacs were perfect, and Sadelle planted all of the pots that decorated the tables for us. We wanted to use plants that guests could take home and enjoy throughout the summer, rather than tons of cuttings that would just be discarded. The begonias that came home with us bloomed in our garden for five months!”
II. HICKORY BRANCH CHANDELIERS
Now this was a labor of love! The couple chose a Sperry Tent (I had one at my wedding too!) which is elegant and natural looking on its own–regal white with natural bamboo poles. To personalize it, the bride used an old (and very creative) idea that she had, but knew the execution of her vision would be difficult.
From the bride–
“The hickory branches that hung from the tent were an idea that I had years ago, but I wasn’t sure how to take it from the idea phase to the completed phase, especially since it was a big DIY project. But everyone was so helpful in making the magic of what I envisioned actually come to be–I went out walking with my dad in the early spring before the trees budded. We scouted the property for the types of trees that would work well–strong enough to support themselves horizontally and full enough to look good with all the lights. It turns out hickory was perfect–and we had a few trees that needed pruning anyway!”
Once the branches were chosen and cut, the hard part began! The groom and his brother-in-law joined their engineering and handyman skills to hang the branches perfectly flat. The branches had to be covered in lights, then safely lifted and suspended 20 feet above the dance floor–not an easy task! It took a lot of trial and error–and most of an entire day–to hang them securely. But the bride was so happy to see her vision realized. They “went up to the tent on Wednesday night to have a first look of them aglow at night, and knew that they were perfect!”
III. SEATING CHART
The bride used an old barn door to make a simple display of each guest’s table assignment. Using rough edged paper, a gold pen, and her own lovely handwriting (a nice personal touch), she then hung each piece with an exposed nail. The papers were perfectly spaced out along the door without seeming overly designed. Guests then found their table numbers on a water jug at each table–paired with the same torn paper, gold writing, and a small burlap wrapping. So often I see complicated set-ups with multiple table names and individual place cards for each wedding guest–this was refreshing use of a found object, paper, nails, and actual table numbers. It fit perfectly with the artsy but simple theme. Click here for more inspiration on creative seating charts.
IV. AUTHENTIC FARM DÉCOR
Nell’s initial vision for her wedding design was “to celebrate all the natural beauty that the farm offered.” Farm/rustic barn weddings are popular and many people attempt to create rustic chic décor by renting farm accents, antiques, etc. and staging the scene. But this bride had full access to found objects all over their family farm–no faux rentals necessary!
The bride reveals that she “explored the family barns and dusted off old crates, barn doors, wagons, and even the cover to an old gas pump. Each one offered my dad the opportunity to fill us in on farm history and added interest to our wedding tent.” From a hand-drawn welcome sign nailed to a sawhorse, to the barn door nailed with table assignments, and the antique truck parked just outside of the tent, real farm details were infused everywhere. There was even a little green John Deere tractor on the dance floor for the tiniest guests to ride on! With the focus on these small farm objects, the tent was gorgeous and organic without feeling too contrived.
V. DESSERT TABLE
Everyone loves dessert. So you can’t go wrong with serving several treats at your wedding, rather than the usual (and often expensive but tasteless) wedding cake. I’ve heard of brides and grooms choosing alternatives to wedding cake–cupcakes, warm donuts, cookies and milk, or an ice cream sundae bar, but I’ve never seen a dessert table entirely created by the guests. It was pretty awesome. Nell shared that “the wedding was all about celebrating our family and friends and the love and support they’ve given us over the years.” As it turns out, the bride and groom have lots of talented bakers in their lives who offered to help. Taking them up on their offer, Nell bestowed the honor of baking their beautiful wedding cake to her uncle, and asked a group of friends to create their favorite desserts, which included profiteroles, cookies, brownies, and carrot cake. The homemade desserts were perfectly placed on the table with labels handwritten by the bride to add another personal touch. The dessert variety for guests was unique and delicious!
VI. PAPER SKY LANTERNS
The wedding weather was less than ideal, but the rain stopped soon after the sun went down, and guests emerged from the tent for a fun and gorgeous group activity–lighting and sending up paper sky lanterns. It was visually stunning as guests stood in the open field and sent glowing lanterns up into the sky. Each lantern took two or three people to light and send up, so it was also an exercise in teamwork! In lieu of fireworks, the groom’s brother purchased these the week of the wedding, and they ended up being a memorable (and much quieter) highlight!
VII. PHOTOGRAPHER FAVES
Lily Bulbs for each guest to take home and plant.
Left: Burlap ring pillow, tied with natural string. Right: Burlap wrapped bridal bouquet.
POPS OF COLOR:
Left: Coral and turquoise infusions throughout the tent, along with elegant stemware. Right: bright, casual floral groupings.
The food presentation was also natural, elegant, and full of bright color.
Designed by his friend’s company, Collared Greens, it fit perfectly with the color scheme and the groom’s love of fishing.
BRIDE’S SASH/BARN ARCHITECTURE-Both simple but stunning.
What to say about all of these amazing wedding details? Well done! The bride shared that “throughout the weekend, we were surrounded by overwhelming love, magic and beauty,” and part of that magic was the result of creating this gorgeous atmosphere to celebrate in with family and friends. I hope it provides inspiration to brides and grooms everywhere!
Wedding Dress–Monique Lhullier from The Plumed Serpent//Bridal Boots–Old Gringo//Bridal Hair–Erin at B-Hive Salon, Washington Depot, CT//Men’s+Ringbearer’s Ties–Collared Greens//Rehearsal Dinner Caterer–Pizza to the People by Cassandra Purdy//Wedding Caterer–Beth Blackletter, Executive Cuisine//Flowers:Bouquets and Boutonierres–Flore, Woodbury, CT//Flowers: Tables and Tent–Sidelle Nazzaro//Tent: Sperry//Rehearsal Dinner Band–Roosevelt Dime//Wedding Band: Joe D’Elia and the All Star Band//All Things Farm–Steve Solley//Hickory Branch Engineers–Andrew Stevenson and Joshua Feil