Doyle + Justin July 3, 2010
I am over the moon for this amazing wildflower lakefront wedding in New Hampshire. Not only do I love all of the details: the canoe, the local maple syrup, and the face painting, Doyle serves up some of the very best hindsight advice. She advises to make sure to hire a beverage manager who can stay sober (Yikes!) To not worry about getting too emotional (it's an emotional day and crying is a-ok); And to make sure to build in down time to recover after the wedding. Thanks so much to Doyle for sharing her story, and thanks to Allana Taranto of Ars Magna Studio for submitting this lovely mountain wedding.
- The Couple created a moving ceremony filled with references to different faiths and marriage equality.
- They chose a ceremony site full of meaning. It took place on land that the bride played on when she was a child.
- They took a canoe ride to enter into the reception.
- All the decor was lovingly handcrafted by the couple and their friends.
- Their invitation was 3-D and crafty-gorgeous.
- The band gave a salsa lesson to everyone.
- Give a bit of local flavor for guests favors, such as a bit of local maple syrup
- Offer face painting for kids at the reception
Real Hindsight Advice from the Bride
Justin and I were married on the foothills of Mount Kearsarge in my hometown, Andover, New Hampshire. I grew up wandering through these hills, spending endless summers on this lake, and playing "wedding" in this outdoor chapel with my neighbors, playmates and our dogs and ponies. The Lodge where the reception was held was the place where we held the memorial service for my mother 10 years ago. So this was a very special location, and a powerful place to gather our families and community for the ceremony.
We incorporated many traditions that have inspired us, including (my) Catholic tradition of making an offering of flowers to the Virgin Mary, honoring our mothers with a unity chalice lighting in (J's) Unitarian Universalist tradition. We also had a reading from the Yoga tradition ("The Radiance Sutras"), sang a country love song to each other, and danced the night away with an amazing salsa band. It was pretty eclectic and totally us!
Our over all theme was the "Enchanted Forest" and so we blended earthiness and fantasy – like local wildflowers grown by my friend on her organic farm in regal glass vases, and a birch bark box for wedding cards surrounded by candlelight chandeliers. We had a great caterer who was totally solid, and used local, organic ingredients to create an Italian feast. The first dances were super nostalgic. Everything was so magical and meaningful. It was totally romantic and totally worth it!
Three things you wish you had done?
- A sober beverage manager — either hire someone, or get someone totally reliable to handle organizing and pouring drinks!
- Tighter management on the formals — We're missing some people in our pictures and that's a huge bummer.
- Connecting with each person – We didn't have a receiving line or go table to table, because we thought it would be contrived and we wanted to be in the moment. But there were people who came who we never got to even connect with because there were so many people and everything was such a blur. There's a good reason for those rituals!
Three things you wish you hadn't done?
- We got one too many kegs of beer, but that wasn't too big of a problem!
- Our tall flute vases with cascading flowers were beautiful…but in the tent outside one of them blew in a breeze over and shattered.
- Delegation – We tried to pick up the cake, the programs, and sound system on our way up to NH, resulting in mega stress and making us late for our rehearsal! Clear the decks for the ever of the wedding…get a massage and a manicure and that's IT!
Three things you wish you hadn't worried about?
- Slideshow – We wanted to have one but never made it happen and in the end nobody noticed or cared.
- The small stuff – getting salt in the salt shakers and how many teaspoons were needed.
- Missing my Mom – I lost my mother 10 years ago, and I was afraid of breaking down in tears on my wedding day. And of course, I did…more than once…and I let it come up and it was OK! I missed her, but we honored her in so many ways, and I was supported and held in the love of my family and friends, and so it was actually very healing. The day was so joyous and powerful that I moved through it with grace, and I knew that she was with me in spirit.
What is your very best hindsight advice?
- Its' your canvas! Your wedding is such a wonderful opportunity to express yourselves, and to honor the people, traditions and values that have shaped your lives. Its a chance to really channel your creativity and collaborate with your partner to create one of the most meaningful events of your lifetimes. So be open, get inspired, and have fun with it!
- Remember that when you're engaged, its a really special time in your relationship that is not just about planning the wedding! Its about affirming your commitment, envisioning your life together, and talking through what you want your marriage to be like. A lot of that stuff can come up in the planning process – Dig in!
- After the wedding, I was totally exhausted. My #1 advice is to build in some serious down-time after the wedding. Even if you can't go on your honeymoon right away, take a couple days, just you and your partner, to settle, sleep and revel in what just happened with no schedule, and no socializing. Seriously.
Photographer: Ars Magna Studio
Caterer: Delicata Catering
Floral Designer: Two Mountain Farm
Reception Venue: Bluewater Farm
Dress Designer: Allure Bridals
Band: Combo Sabroso
Ceremony Location: Bluewater Farm
Makeup Artist: Skin By Rebecca
Submitted through Two Bright Lights