Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Summing up the Wedding Magic

The day after our wedding, I couldn't believe that it all went so well, as if it were too good to be true. After years of imagining my wedding and months obsessively planning it, everything had gone how I wanted it to. As I lay in bed quietly reflecting on things while I drifted off into a post-hangover nap, I realized that I really did get to have my dream wedding, which Evan later agreed with - and we are grateful to everyone who helped make that possible. 

We shared the beauty of Evan's family's farm with a wedding for 130 of our family and friends under a tent next to the barns and soybean fields. We really lucked out with the weather, which was perfect, with no chance of rain, removing stress from setup and allowing everyone to enjoy being outside. There weren't even mosquitos, which was a worry since they can be bad at the farm sometimes. Our wedding party was invited for the whole weekend, which meant I got to cook and host and spend extra time with our closest people, There were 10-30 people staying at the farm on any given night, including several people who took us up on our offer to camp. 

We consciously made ethical and sustainable choices, like serving locally sourced food and organic wine. Instead of cake, several guests contributed delicious homemade pies and cookies - Evan's and my favorite desserts, respectively. My mom showed off her florist skills by making beautiful wildflower-esque centerpieces and my bouquet, using flowers grown on a farm nearby and picked from her own gardens. The table numbers featured botanicals pressed by my sister, and my dad made directional signposts. Because it was a wedding at home, Evan's parents did a lot of work landscaping and mowing to prepare, and there was a lot to do that weekend, from from setting up secondary tents to putting out decor to hauling trash cans and coolers. I'm so grateful for how everyone pitched in to help set up - not just our wedding party, but also their significant others.

I felt beautiful in my great-aunt's wedding gown, and Evan was dashing in his custom-made suit. We tried to keep the wedding party outfits low-key - the bridesmaids wore whatever dress they wanted in blue, and the groomsmen all wore grayish suits. A friend did my hair, but other than that, everyone handled their own makeup and hair.

We had a pre-ceremony cocktail hour, which was important to us, and gave us the chance to mingle and say hi to everyone before the ceremony even began, instead of hiding out. Our ceremony was officiated by Evan's friend, who excellently read the personalized words and vows that Evan and I had carefully written.

As musicians, of course we had to have lots of music performed by friends and family, including jazz keyboard for our ceremony processional and recessional, a choir piece and an acoustic guitar duo during the ceremony, an acoustic indie rock trio during cocktail hour, and Evan and I performed an original song of mine. We also impressed with our best attempt at the foxtrot yet for our first dance to a live jazz duo.

From an event planning standpoint, nothing much went wrong. The day-of-set-up was done quickly and efficiently in the morning. Everything happened relatively on time. The DJ and caterer did their jobs well and executed the event according to my plans, so I was relieved that even though I didn't have a day-of-coordinator, I still didn't worry about details during the wedding.

All of the toasts were touching and unexpectedly funny. When nighttime fell, there was an impromptu sparkler party, as people twirled and danced with wands of light. I loved seeing our guests milling around and connecting against the beautiful backdrop of the fields during the day, and seeing the a pathway of magical lights leading from the house to the tent where people danced away at night. As we hoped, our awesome DJs had the dance floor packed. The dancing continued seamlessly into the after party, which then shifted to singing and chatting around a fire until 3 am. The next morning, my hangover held off so that I was able to make it to my own brunch, even though I have missed so many other wedding brunches.

More than one person told us it was one of the best weddings they had ever been to. When we left the farm on Monday, I felt sad to be leaving it all behind. Thanks to everyone who was there and shared it with us!

More details to come. Until then, you can see more photos on our photographer's blog (all photos above by Jenna Salvagin).

Caterer: Fig Tree Market & Catering, based in Riegelsville, PA
DJ: All Nighter Sounds (allnightersounds@gmail.com), based in Red Bank, NJ
Photographer: Jenna Salvagin, based in Brooklyn, NY
Rentals: Grand Rental Station based in Hackettstown, NJ
Alcohol: Total Wine in Union, NJ
Dessert: We supplemented guest desserts with pies from Mackey's Orchard, Belvidere, NJ
Flowers: By my mom and Little Big Flower Farm in Blairstown, NJ
Gown: My great aunt's gown from 1965, altered by Sandra Usherov in Brooklyn, NY
Groom's suit: Brooklyn Tailors, Brooklyn, NY
Rings: Marian Maurer via the Clay Pot in Brooklyn, NY and Leigh Jay Nacht Antique Rings in the diamond district in New York, NY
Wedding weekend coordination: Me!


  1. It was such a wonderful day! Congratulations to you both!

  2. Fabulous! I am so happy for you that everything went perfect and was so stunningly beautiful! Bravo. You look amazing in that dress. Your mom did a fantastic job on the flowers. Lovely lovely lovely. My favorite pic is the one of you and Evan dancing. Just gorgeous.

  3. Thanks for sharing! You look STUNNING and I'm so glad that you had such a magical day - you deserve all the love and happiness there is! xo

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