The wedding of Greg + Melissa took place at Sweetwater Farm which is situated in Glen Mills, PA on 50 acres off a quiet country road in the Brandywine Valley just outside of Philadelphia. The stone mansion was built in 1734 and has been restored to its' Quaker Farmhouse tradition. The ceremony took place on the back lawn followed by serenaded sounds of Appalachian fiddle tunes and jazz of Marc Silver & The Stonethrowers.
Many of the elements of the wedding were handmade and created by the couple along with her talented family members and friends. Photographs at the wedding were taken by Vantage Pictures. Melissa explains:
"I made my fascinator from vintage milinary snippets found in antique shops. My dress by Marisa.
We had my sister's peacock feather headpiece made by an artist from etsy, Mikiye http://www.etsy.com/shop/Mikiye.
My sister's teal dress was from banana republic--we had it shortened to the knees from floor length. My niece Megan wore a dress and headband I made her after we struggled for months to find something that existed only in my mind."
We had a farmer drop off 65 hay bails for ceremony seating. Friends arranged them into rows around the beautiful old tree behind the bed and breakfast, and we recruited all the kids to cover the hay with cut up plaid woolen blankets.
The boy's and men's outfits were all mix and match with loose color and texture suggestions involving tweed and corduroy, mustard yellow and all shades of brown. We were shooting for a casual country aesthetic.
Two days before our wedding we filled our pickup truck with buckets of mix and match flowers that florist George Baker gathered from the market. Dear friends (Kohli, Ania and Marilena) spent the morning of the wedding filling and arranging the vintage tins and toy trucks I had collected from flea markets and antique shops throughout the year. These amazing friends also made the bouquets and boutineers-- primarily using natural cotton, fresh yarrow, crespedia (billy balls), and chamomile. My sister, Aimee, assembled the vine and natural cotton wreath to welcome guests through the front door, and my dad carved the table numbers into the small orange gourds.
My mother's husband inflated all the giant weather balloons with rented helium tanks and the help of his son the night before the ceremony. Then my friends hot glued textured paper circles down the strings. We hung our own twinkly lights throughout the tent and provided sparklers for each guest.
I hosted 2 crafternoons to solicit help from all the amazing talent of my family and friends... We felted small balls and collected fallen acorn caps to assemble the felt acorns. They adorned the favors (photo booth strip picture frames). We put together the sparkler cards for each place setting, and assembled s'mores packages for the fire pit. The overnight guests' gift baskets were old fruit crates outfitted with fake mustaches, Philly soft pretzels wrapped in custom printed vellum sleeves by Bird & Banner http://birdandbanner.com/pretzel-bags/ and other sundries.
My brother in law, Mike and friend JP cut a fallen limb into mini tree stumps for the name place setting flags (top photo). Unfortunately the limb I found ended up being an extremely hard wood-- they broke about 10 blades cutting through it!
Greg and I worked on all our mailings together. I designed the save the dates and invitations, while Greg designed the printed bits. Another dear friend, Elizabeth, helped us cut, fold and sew each invitation. We sealed them with initial stamped wax and I wrapped them in kraft and waxed papers and sewed them closed for mailing.
Our baker friend, Rebecca Michaels Torpie created an amazing assortment of cupcakes in exchange for some interior design work I did for her shoppe:http://www.dailycandy.com/philadelphia/article/75517/Flying-Monkey-Deuce-Bakery-Opens
We decorated the dessert table with a bunch of vintage bride & groom cake toppers gathered from years of antiquing.
Sweetwater has since remodeled their old barn into a gorgeous event space. Our wedding was one of the last outdoor tented events they would allow. We hope to have an anniversary party there in 8 years. Having all our friends and family stay with us the entire weekend really extended our celebration. We hosted a rehearsal dinner barbecue on the back patio the night before our wedding which really set the laid back rustic tone for the weekend. We carved pumpkins to place around the property and watched movies projected onto the patio wall.
We were so fortunate to be able to share the joy of wedding planning with our family and friends, as the creative preparations were as much a part of the experience for us as the ceremony itself was.