[section title=”The Planning”]
[field title=”Wedding Colors”]
For our color palette, I imagined everything to be extremely tonal and reflective of the spaces we were in at the B&B. We wanted to make sure everything truly felt like ‘summer in New England’. We leaned quite heavily on yellow, all tones of green, ivory, cream, a light blush and light mauve!
[field title=”Design / Vibe / Vision”]My overall design and vision for the day was that I wanted everything to be floral forward because as a designer and planner, all of my weddings are extremely floral heavy. And of course, because one of my first memories at the farm was picking wildflowers with Nathan’s grandmother and cousin that I am now very close with. From my dress, to the invitation suite and floral installations, I just wanted the entire barn and property to be adorned with flowers as they always make me SO HAPPY.
For the vibe of the entire day, it was really important to us to have everything feel extremely approachable. We wanted the formal and luxury feel of a wedding but we wanted everyone to feel as if they were at home, celebrating with their friends! [/field]
[field title=”Proposal Story”]
It was December of 2021 and we were prepping for Christmas Eve dinner at His & Hers Farm in Alstead, NH. Just like the year prior, the Gowen Family was also prepping for what I have always called and will now forever call “The Hallmark Christmas Sleigh Ride” that a neighbor does for us every year. The whole nine yards with the Belgian draft horses pulling the sleigh through the woods while it’s snowing and you’re drinking hot chocolate. I mean come on!! So I thought we were going along with the tradition and truly didn’t think anything of it. During our ride, we were going through a field that once used to be Gowen property and we all got off to take photos together. We started with everyone together first and then Nathan and I were prompted to take one of just us, which is nothing out of the ordinary! We were in between the two horses and I remember seeing him step to the side of me in my peripheral vision and I was just blissfully unaware of what he was doing, while petting this massive horse next to me. And next thing you know he has to call my name to get my attention and all I see is Nathan is on his knee and I am completely shocked and in utter disbelief!
[board_carousel title=”Getting Ready”]
[board_carousel title=”Bridal Portraits”]
[board_carousel title=”Flat Lays”]
[board_carousel title=”First Look”]
[section title=”The Fashion”]
[field title=”Wedding Gown”]
After trying on 20+ dresses, I knew the one that I tried on at a very spontaneous appointment with one of my best friends at Ladies Of Lineage was it! The dress was designed by Marchesa Notte and had all the qualities that I envisioned – a TON of floral appliqués, a natural fit, and a deep v neckline. I remember putting this dress on and looking at my bestie Eden and going “Oh no, oh no, oh no!!!! Eden I think this is the one!!!!” And she just sat there nodding her head, smiling, going “Yep!!! It is!!!!”
[field title=”Bridesmaid Dresses”]While we didn’t have formal bridesmaids standing at the ceremony altar with us, we did have both of our sisters and my three best friends get ready with me! They all had mismatched dresses that ranged from Reformation, Jenny Yoo and Antonio Melani. [/field]
[field title=”Groomsman Attire”]
Nathan got his suit custom made at Bruce Julian in Charlotte, North Carolina. Coincidentally, this is a family business of my best friend, Eden, who was with me when I tried on and ultimately picked my dress!
[board_carousel title=”Wedding Party”]
[board_carousel title=”Cocktail Hour”]
[section title=”The Details”]
[field title=”Food & Drink”]
Because we wanted the entire day to feel approachable for our guests, it was really important to us to have food that checked all of the ‘fun’ boxes. We had many passed hors d’oeuvres at cocktail hour that were some of our favorite things – ahi tuna skewers, bao buns, and my favorite hors d’oeuvre of all time from Cru Catering who is based in Charleston, the green tomato bruschetta with burrata. We also had custom linen tea towels made with our hors d’oeuvres on them for servers to wear during service! We had a station styled dinner where each chef attended location offered either New Hampshire maple chicken, local cod piccata and because Nathan is a pizza lover – we created a custom, wood fired pizza station where guests had options to create their own or enjoy one we created. Each had accompanied sides ranging from local, summer veggies to a three cheese mushroom pasta.
[field title=”Florals & Decor”]
Florals were the number one priority to me when it came to our particular design and aesthetic. My amazing floral designer, Lori DeNicola of Petaloso, traveled all the way from Charleston, SC to flower our day and I will be forever grateful for her and her amazing eye. One of the biggest parts of the design process for me was brainstorming with Lori and ultimately sharing my wishlist but also sharing that I wanted to give her creative freedom when it came to the floral installations. Forsythia is a native flower to New Hampshire so I knew that I wanted this suspended above the band & dance floor and to have touches of it all around the barn. Other than butterfly ranunculus, tulips are my next favorite bloom so I knew I wanted those installed and manipulated in many ways. We wanted to create a space that felt like flowers had exploded in the barn but in a very intentional way. Not one arrangement or install was the same! And the very first time I saw the barn was during our introduction into our first dance! Guest tables were placed around the exterior of the barn and adorned with tablescapes of custom china that were hand painted by Markey Mossman of Hatchcove Design. I had searched high and low for china that I loved and that I felt reflected the feel of our design, but especially our invitation as that truly set the scene for the entire weekend. Kelsey of Kelsey Malie Design created the most perfect watercolor lettering & floral suite I have ever seen!! I have also worked with Markey of Hatchcove Designs over the years on custom commissions for clients and I had a lightbulb moment one day to have her create custom dinner plates for us that had floral elements from our invitation suite. Each are different with their own nuances and have since been used in Nathan and I’s new home together.
[field title=”Wedding Cake”]
As a planner, my favorite part of any wedding day is to witness the moment of a private cake cutting. It is always the sweetest time for the bride and groom to check back in with one another, have a second to take it all in, cheers and then head back to the dance floor. So I wanted to make sure we had this moment too with of course a delectable cake! As a lover of all things sweet, I knew I wanted to lean into the summer feel and pick seasonal flavors for our cake. Our amazing baker, Molly of At Least There Will Be Cake, created the most exceptional ones for us – an earl grey cake with blackberry compote and fresh strawberry cake with vanilla bean buttercream.
[field title=”Readings, Ceremony Music, Reception Songs”]While we chose to forgo a bridal party, it was important to us to have readings from family members during the ceremony. Nathan’s brother, Will, who is in education in New Hampshire read an excerpt from “All I Really Need To Know I Learned in Kindergarten” and kept the entire crowd giggling throughout!
Music was the second most important thing to Nathan and I so we knew we wanted to create an ‘easy going’ feel for the ceremony with an acoustic guitar. Nathan grew up listening to James Taylor with his parents, so it was only fitting to have him and all other family process down to ‘Fire and Rain’. I grew up listening to Fleetwood Mac with my Dad in his workshop, so I knew I wanted to have ‘Dreams’ as the song we walked together down the aisle to. And lastly, all of our family & friends know that my favorite song of ALL time is September by Earth Wind & Fire, so naturally that was our upbeat, recessional song!
When Nathan and I first started dating and were traveling back and forth to see one another, one thing he would always do when he picked me up from the airport would be to have “Carolina In My Mind” by James Taylor playing. And when I was living in Charleston and he was in Fort Lauderdale, he would always tell me when we were apart that he always had ‘Carolina on his mind’. We grew to love this song so much and this ended up being our first dance song! [/field]
[field title=”Special Detail #1″]During our long distance relationship, Nathan and I would meet in different cities to spend time with one another. But the first big trip we took together was to what Nate called “The Farm”. He had told me hundreds of stories of how they would spend summers there, visiting his grandparents in the house that their family has been in since 1877. Gowen’s Tamarack Farm, which still produces maple syrup to this day, became our own little slice of heaven. In 2020, Nathan’s parents purchased a property right down the road from his grandparents and opened what is now His & Hers Farm, including Gowen’s Guest House. Wendy & Dean fully restored and updated the historic 1850’s farmhouse which now has four guest rooms and are designed to encompass the history of the property and to offer the quintessential New England ambiance. In tandem with opening the guest house, Wendy & Dean simultaneously restored and renovated an old dairy barn into an exceptional wedding venue. When Nathan and I would visit his parents in the summers starting in 2020, there was no doubt in our minds that one day we would get married here. [/field]
[field title=”Special Detail #2″]When we got engaged, we were in between two huge Belgian draft horses, Max & Mike. They are retired from formal work and currently reside in New Hampshire, leading the sleigh and wagon rides in town! We knew that we wanted both of them to be there on our wedding day as they were the icons from our engagement that everyone remembered. We held our ceremony across the street from the B&B, in a wild flower field along the Cold River. As Nathan and I were recessing down the aisle post ceremony and heading over to cocktail hour, we heard the quintessential clip clop of horses and looked up to Max & Mike come trotting down the hill to welcome us and our guests! It was impeccable timing to kick off the evening![/field]
[field title=”Special Detail #3″]
When thinking about creating my bridal bouquet, I always had it in my mind that I wanted this organic, natural look and feel to it. Lori with Petaloso and I made mock bouquets for me the summer before and while I absolutely adored them, something in my gut wasn’t saying 100% yes. As we got through the 2022 wedding season & started the 2023 spring season, I remembered encouraging some of my brides who wanted to do a petite, mono bloom bouquet to use all butterfly ranunculus, which have always been my personal favorite. And while none of them decided to do so, one day Lori looked at me and said “Well, why don’t you just do this because it seems like this is really what you love!?” And then that was that!
[board_carousel title=”Couple Portraits”]
Photography: Hannah Alyssa Photography | Cinematography: Dock House Digital | Event Design: Emma Ivey Events | Event Planning: Emma Ivey Events | Floral Design: Petaloso | Wedding Dress: Ladies Of Lineage | Cake: At Least, There Will Be Cake | Invitations: Kelsey Malie Design | Reception Venue: His & Hers Farm | Catering: The Porch Catering | Lighting: NE Holiday Lights | Band: Clockwork New England | Ceremony Music: David Ross | Beauty: Nicole Powers Hair | Beauty: Amanda McCarthy Beauty | Custom China: Hatchcove Design | Linens: Stradley Davidson Linen Collective | Rentals: Lakes Region Tent | Rentals: Peak Event Services