I had the pleasure of doing a beauty shoot a couple of weeks ago with a wonderful team. This is a little peek at one of the models from the day, Heather, and I'll have more photos to share with you soon!
Emily and Peter are great people. They’re the people that you meet that you immediately want to be best friends with. They smile easily, deal with problems in stride, are there for the people they care about, inspire beautiful toasts, and can rock a dance floor! On their wedding day and the rehearsal the day before, I saw how well they handled obstacles without letting it get them down or detract from the day. The day before their wedding, Peter was out golfing and was hit in the face with a golf ball. I can only imagine how much that hurt! But after a trip to the doctor for some stitches, they arrived at their rehearsal dinner ready for a great night. And on their wedding day a late bus pushed back their ceremony start time. I didn’t hear these two complain once! In fact, there was even a custom golf ball made that sat at their sweetheart table at their reception. How’s that for a sense of humor?
Aside from how much I like Emily and Peter as people, their wedding was also so beautiful with so many mentionable details that really added to the bright and fun feel of the day. There was a little fire truck that their ring bearer rode into their reception on, the 'Berkshires' book used as a guestbook, the vintage doors setup at the beginning of the ceremony aisle, lanterns hung from trees, farm tables and chairs decked out with floral arrangements, toys and games for the kids, an array of flip flops for dancing, and the most decadent ‘naked’ berry wedding cake! Of all of the details though, my favorite aspect of their wedding day was the history of the place where they actually said 'I do'. Their wedding was on a lake in the Berkshires at a family home that has seen a number of celebrations, including the start of Emily's brother's marriages, and that connection made it all that much more meaningful.
It was a gorgeous day and below is more about it all from Emily!
What were your top three favorite or most memorable moments from your wedding day?
Our one-year-old nephew was our ring bearer. After months of wondering whether or not we could get him down the aisle, he made it half way before being distracted by flower petals. My sister ended up carrying him the rest of the way, which gave us some amazing pictures to remember.
Our band, Uptown Swing, was top notch. People were on the dance floor from start to finish. Some of my favorite shots are the dancing pictures!
At the end of the reception, our guests formed an aisle with sparklers and we ran through underneath. We have some amazing pictures that really capture the joy and love we were both feeling.
Did anything go wrong or not as expected?
Pete got hit in the face with a golf ball the day before the wedding, so things definitely did not go as planned! Luckily, there was no significant damage, just a swollen lip and some stitches. We both still got to fully enjoy our wedding weekend. Plus, now we have a great story to tell!
What was special about your wedding venue?
We decided to get married at my family's lake house. The backyard had been the home to three successful family weddings prior to ours, so we knew it was going to be perfect!
What details from your wedding really stood out to you?
There were so many details that we had at our wedding that we loved. Our favorites were the door setup at the beginning of our aisle and the lanterns hanging in the trees. The flowers above the doorway were stunning, and the lanterns glowing in the nighttime were breathtaking. I felt like the backyard was turned into the set of a fairytale.
What is the best advice that you feel you could give to another couple getting married?
Don't sweat the small stuff! It will never go exactly as you planned, but it will still end up being perfect.
Would you recommend any of your wedding vendors to another couple?
Our vendors were all so amazing. I was blown away by the work of our florist, Garden Blossoms.
Maryanne Gillooly was absolutely phenomenal at putting together all of the decor elements, as well as the lighting for the tent.
Michael, Rebecca, Joan and all of the other amazing people at Savory Harvest Catering are truly wedding experts, and we would not have been able to put our wedding together without them. Everyone is still talking about how good the food was!
Our videographer, Ben Pliss, was so stress-free and relaxed. He did a wonderful job documenting the day for us and we will be watching that video for the rest of our lives.
And last, but certainly not least, Michelle was so much more than I could have hoped for in a wedding photographer. She is so gifted in her craft and skilled at organizing large groups, which was a true asset considering the size of our wedding party. We got all of the shots we wanted and more. I think every guest at our wedding was photographed multiple times. We will cherish these photos forever.
Wedding Ceremony and Reception at Family's Private Residence in the Berkshires
Caterer: Savory Harvest Catering
Florist: Garden Blossoms Florist in Pittsfield, Ma
Cake Artist (Baker): A.W. Confections
Music for Ceremony and Reception by the Band Uptown Swing
Furniture and Table Setting Rentals from Mahaiwe Tent & Party Rentals
Ceremony Decorations and Lighting Rentals from Maryanne Gillooly at Gilllooly Design
Videography by Ben Pliss Media
Ceremony Officiant: Ann ONeil
Wedding Gown by Romona Keveza from Wedding Salon of Manhasset in New York
Hair and Makeup by Christy & Co
Bridesmaid Dresses by Bill Levkoff
Groom and Groomsmen's Attire by Calvin Klein from Men's Wearhouse
With so many of their wedding guests coming from out of town, Emily and Peter welcomed them the night before their wedding with a Rehearsal Dinner in Lenox, Massachusetts. The Lenox Club in the Berkshires already has so much history and character, the building and grounds are just beautiful. And adding in simple, bright floral arrangements, a candy bar, and games for kids and adults augmented that space. Out on the lawn there was tic-tac-toe, frisbees, bubbles, oversized Jenga, corn hole, and croquet. Inside, live acoustic guitar music played by the bar while people caught up with each other over drinks.
Emily wanted to do something special for Peter at the party. Peter is a New York City Fireman. So, Emily orchestrated having a vintage fire truck arrive at the party. Completely surprising him! It was so fun to see both of their faces as the fire truck came around the bend! And it made for such a fun backdrop for photos too. After the sun set and the fire truck rolled out, a buffet of barbecue was set out for everyone with dessert, a 'Pi Bar', following later. There was a slideshow, prepared by Emily's sister, that had everyone laughing and crying after dinner. And the evening ended in the study where Emily and Peter gave each member of their wedding party personalized gifts.
Lexie loves parades. And leading up to their wedding, Mike and Lexie would joke about incorporating their own parade into the day. We all have those inside jokes with our partners.. but it's just something to joke about, right? Not this time!
Mike surprised Lexie with a Jurassic Park themed parade right at the end of their wedding ceremony. Just after they were officially pronounced husband and wife and had kissed, the doors to the barn at Stonover Farm flew open. A T-Rex holding a conductors wand walked out followed by staff members who quickly handed out balloons and inflatable dinosaurs to guests. Their musically talented friends and family were in on it too! As Lexie and Mike came down the aisle the 'band' stood, holding the instruments that had been tucked away beneath the benches, and started to play a lively song fit for a parade! Other guests were given noise makes before the ceremony to sound too.
Lexie's reaction was absolutely priceless! It was so incredible to watch. She burst out laughing and you could just feel all of the joy and love in that moment. You could see how happy Mike was to have been able to surprise Lexie with her very own wedding day parade. And as Lexie and Mike made their way toward cocktail hour, the T-Rex band conductor followed behind, leading their parade of wedding guests to cocktail hour!
Lexie and Michael's wedding day was the picture of Rustic Elegance with a lot of fun, personal elements add in. Michael started out the day at a nearby orchard, picking apples and buying cider donuts as a favor for their wedding guests. After these two were finished getting ready (they had so many beautiful details to photograph!) we setup their first look in front of the property. Michael read the note that Lexie had written for him just before she walked up to meet him. You could feel the love as these two saw each other and talked about their day so far. Lexie did a spin in her gown and Michael showed off his new cufflinks. Lexie had a touching 'First Look' with her father, and then the Best Man and Man of Honor met us so that we could take photos of them all together.
Their wedding ceremony followed, officiated by Michael's brother and with readings by his parents. Michael and Lexie wrote their own vows. They were personal and funny and just beautiful all at the right moments. There were two adorable 'ring bears' in charge for the wedding bands that delivered them on queue. And then the first kiss, you already read above what happened after that!
Their lively parade made its way to the lake where cocktail hour was setup. And while guests talked, drank, hugged, and laughed, we photographed Michael and Alexis with their families back in front of the barn. They had some time to talk with each other and even check out their reception space inside the barn with all of the flowers placed and candle glowing.
As the sun set, Lexie's father and brother both raised a glass to the newly weds for a toast, and dinner was served. It's worth noting that Mezze Catering & Events prepared food that was both delicious and matched the rustic setting of Stonover Farm. All of which was served family style and just felt right for this celebration. Following dinner, Michael's brother toasted the couple and then played the bagpipes for them as the music for their first dance. After that, live bluegrass music filled the barn and guests were swinging round and round!
Wedding Ceremony and Reception at Stonover Farm in Lenox, Ma
Catering and Planning: Mezze Catering & Events
Florist: Bloom Floral Design
Wedding Gown from Madeleine's Daughter Bridal Salon in Portsmouth, NH
Pre- Ceremony & Cocktail Hour Music: Carubia Brass Band and Dixie Land Jazz
Wedding Reception Band: The Lonely Heartstring Band
Wedding Cake: Austin Bayliss
Lighting Designer: Julie Seitel
Audio Engineer & Sound Equipment - Darren O'Brien from Encore Audio
Rentals from Classical Tents & Party Goods and New England Country Rentals
Bridal Accessories and Second Wedding Gown from from BHLD
Groom's Attire from 9tailors in Boston Ma
Best Man and Man of Honor's attire from Men's Wearhouse
Transportation: Dufour Bus Co.