It has taken me a year to finally share our wedding here on Crunchy Radish and our one year anniversary seemed like the perfect time to do so. A part of the delay had to do with the post-wedding blues - yes they really do exist, and I struggled for some time to be able to look back and reflect on the special day. The rest of it had to do with the desire or lack there of to share the intimacy of our celebration and carefully tread the line of private vs shared. I hope our pictures bring you inspiration and a smile, as they now do for me.
After months of searching, we found the perfect setting at White Gate Farm in East Lyme, Connecticut. The organic farm is situated on a beautiful, expansive lake and has acres of green fields. Nearby, shoreline towns like Mystic, Niantic, and Essex, gave guests plenty of options for activities and places to dine.
Selecting a venue with no real infrastructure was appealing in the sense that it offered us a blank canvas to truly allow our vision to unfold, but also created a multitude of challenges due to the need for multiple vendors. Our wedding coordinator Josh Chalmers of Earth 2 Events made the process as seamless as possible and truly made our dreams a reality.
All the pictures you see here (unless noted) where shot by the amazing and talented Sas of Sasithon Photography. She and her assistant Justin, were a pleasure to work with.
I knew that I wanted to include as much of the property as possible, which logistically meant transferring guests from one side of the farm to another. In addition, I wanted to have a distinct contrast of the rustic nature of the farm with elegance. Our guests knew they were coming to a farm, but we wanted to surprise them by integrating a sense of refinement and sophistication with the raw natural beauty of the property. In order to do so, we had to strike a balance of embracing country elements with clean linens, lots of candlelight, and lush and romantic florals.
It poured on our Wedding Day, but in retrospect, it created an intimacy during our ceremony that could not have been obtained otherwise. Our ceremony was lakeside under a birch wood and white floral chuppah. Yumiko Fletcher and her team at Hana Floral Design created an organic yet elegant arrangement of jasmine vine, and ivory, white, and peach flowers that accent the natural rawness of the wood. To create an elegant countryside feel, vintage terra cotta pots of varying shapes and sizes were filled with different herbs and moss and were placed on cocktail tables. Miniature pots filled with spray roses, freesia, and fresh lavender also dotted the white linen covered tables, creating a refined elegance within the cocktail tent. Hor d'ourves were arranged in a lush, feast style manner, including a giant wheel of cheese, multiple dips, and tons of vegetables.
From day one we knew that we wanted a Sperry Tent. Its grandeur and elegance was the ideal fit. The gorgeous wooden poles and sweeping ivory sail cloth panels offered refinement with a touch of New England rusticness. To compliment the tent we opted for white washed wood floors, bistro lights, and a clustering of white Asian lanterns over the dance floor.
Reclaimed wood tables were paired with ivory cushioned walnut chiavari chairs to continue the rustic elegant theme. Mismatched vintage inspired floral plates created a refined rustic elegance for our family style dinner.
Hana Floral Design went above and beyond with their elaborate whimsical yet polished centerpieces and bouquets. The arrangements were truly show stopping and added an ethereal elegance and understated beauty to the event. We wanted bright hues to balance out the dim luster of the candlelight and ivory tenting. Orange, peach, blush, and white colored ranunculus, anemones, dahlias, garden and spray roses were combined with jasmine vine and eucalyptus.
Our star planner Josh repurposed wooden crates and filled them with moss and babies breath for our place card table. Escort cards featuring vegetables were propped up with wooden sticks "growing" out of greens and flowers.
All of the paper products were custom created by my dear friend Stacey Hennessy at Pink Apple, Inc. Stacey drew our cherry blossom themed invitations, printed our programs on wooden paper, and custom created our logo as well as designing vegetable signs which replaced table numbers.
One of our groomsmen and Andrew's best friend, Micah Belamarich, designed tote bags picturing our dog Henry, so he was there in spirit. The tote bags served as gift bags, which guests received at their hotels. The bags contained, Andrew mother’s signature granola (aka granola crack) as well as Andrew’s brothers spin on spicy chex mix. We also gave guest’s water, a bag of our favorite coffee, Brooklyn Roasting Company, electrolyte packets for the morning after, and a pamphlet with area recommendations and a list of events.
At dusk, school buses were used to transport our guests across the field to our big tent. We wanted guests to feel as if they were getting on a "magic school bus" and whisked away to an unknown destination. The rain subsided just as guests were arriving for dinner. After disembarking the buses, guests walked down a path lined with hurricane candles. The farm’s stone walls were also peppered with votives twinkling in the twilight.
Food was one of the most important elements to our wedding and I knew that our guests would have high expectations for what was served. We wanted to focus on seasonality, utilize White Gate Farm's produce and highlight local purveyors. A Thyme to Cook did just that in customizing a deliciously seasonal menu that pleased all types of palates. For dessert we wanted both cake and pies. Zest bakery produced an incredible assortment of pies using local fruits, and replicated my mother in law’s signature carrot cake recipe for our wedding cake. Zest also baked moist and miniature oatmeal raisin cookies to be served with shot glasses of milk.
Without Josh Chalmers’ style, determination, and dedication there is no way that our wedding could have turned out anywhere close to as incredible as it did. Josh makes it happen! His attention to detail, calm demeanor, problem solving, and professional attitude took a great deal of stress out of wedding planning. He is the BEST!
After the final dance, our guests were swept away to the Old Lyme Inn for our after party complete with a fire pit, dancing, burgers, and fries.
I highly recommended all my vendors. They were perfect.
A huge thank you to our friends and families for making our day as special as it could have possibly been.
Miranda and Andrew