Things I love about this wedding: the bride’s twinkly, divine and non-traditional dress; the chilled out barbecue vibe; the dancing, smiles and laughter that you can hear as you look through the photos; oh, and the venue used to be a Christmas tree farm. You heard me right on that last one. So, so cool!
Beth met Jim, a friend of her sister’s, over a game of water balloon war in the park with her friends.
Jim was there and there was instantly something in his smile. We talked while walking from the park to go get a drink with the group. It took weeks of chance encounters while spending time with my sister until we spent a night alone.
After a party that we attended with our group of friends we went out for a night of dancing and then stayed awake until 7 am talking and eating tomatoes off the vine on my sister’s porch.
Jim proposed to me at the top of Camel’s Hump, one of the Green Mountains in Vermont. We were supposed to hike it almost a year earlier for a friend’s wedding, but it was raining so we passed. Coincidentally, it was also raining the day we got engaged. Jim proposed on one knee with a piece of dental floss wrapped around the ring so it didn’t fly off, which is a good thing because there were high winds and low visibility at the summit! It was the first mountain I ever hiked and almost did not make it to the top. He knew me well enough to bring a PBR beer to celebrate with instead of champagne.
Both our ceremony and reception were at Summit Hill Farm – a property that Jim’s grandfather bought in the 1950s, which was used as a Christmas tree farm. There’s no longer a Christmas tree farm there, but rather just a hunting cabin. We’ve spent many weekends there by ourselves and with friends, and it’s grown to be our little escape from the city. We picked the venue for two reasons: one, because we wanted to have the wedding somewhere that was a part of us rather than somewhere we would just rent and never go to again, and two, when we were first thinking about marriage, we were at the farm on a leek picking expedition when we made vows that some day on a mountain we would get married and that this meant a commitment starting that day to treasure and protect each other in the way that married couples do (just without the rings). We did get married on the top of the property, which we consider to be a mini-mountain.
The Special Details
When we planned our wedding we wanted to include as many of our friends in the process as possible. We were married by one of our best friends and our florist, musicians and baker were also close friends. We had a hay ride to get the guests to the top of the mountain but requested that they walked down to the reception site with us to the song “Big Parade” by The Lumineers. It was our own Big Parade for our big day.
With a chicken barbecue, lawn games, a bonfire and campout we knew that we would set an environment for everyone to relax and have the best time possible. The best part is that we were able to share the love of the family property with our friends and we are able to go back to the property and relive our day as often as we like.
The DIY and the Thrift
- The mason jars that held the flowers for our table settings were handed down to me from my grandmother. She had passed away in March and it was difficult to not have her there for the big day.
- The cigar box that the rings were carried down the aisle in was my grandfather’s. He passed away when I was five, but somehow in those five years was a huge part of my life.
- We made the signage ourselves.
- One of my best friends drove up a week early and dug us horseshoe pits.
- One of our bridesmaids was the make-up artist.
It’s clichéd, but really take time for yourself on your wedding day. Our wedding was so casual, yet very well planned (spreadsheets and itineraries for everyone!), but still somehow I feel like I missed out on things. We didn’t cut a cake but did pies instead, and I didn’t even get to try any because it was all gone by the time I would’ve gotten a chance to.
First dance – California Stars by Wilco and Billy Bragg. Jim and I met two weeks before he left for two months to hike a section of the Pacific Crest Trail. For most of the time we were unable to communicate besides through letters and pay phones. The night before he left, I told him that we had to slow dance on his rooftop and this was the song he chose. It became a song that we listened to while he was on the west coast and I was on the east coast.
Walking down the aisle – Wagon Wheel sung by Adam Blair and Bill Smith, friends of the groom.
Photography – Shaw Photography Co.
Venue – Summit Hill Farm Friendship, NY
Bride – Adrianna Papell dress; Nadri earrings
Groom – Bureau suit and shirt; Otis James Nashville tie; Steve Madden shoes
Groomsmen and maid of honour – J. Crew
Bridesmaids – Express; Target; Bon Ton; Francesca’s; Kate Spade earrings
Ring bearer – Children’s Place
Flowers – Sylvatica
Food and drink – Chiavetta’s Chicken; A Fiesta of Food; Public Espresso and Coffee
All the Pictures