REAL STORIES: Lucinda & Scott’s Tented Wedding at Home, Sweet Home

January 29, 2010 ,
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For Cinda, there really was no other place like HOME for her wedding.  Getting married just steps away from her childhood bedroom, the orchard she used to play in and all the memories she holds dear, seemed to give her soul continuity and tradition.

Unfortunately, after months of careful planning, Cinda and Scott’s September wedding managed to land right in the eye-of-the-storm.  Not quite a hurricane, but as close as Mother Nature could muster.   As any event expert or seasoned party hostess will tell you, when planning an outdoor wedding you must hope for perfection personified but plan for potential disaster.  Or, perhaps better known as Plans A and B (not to mention Plans C-ZZZ and everything in between!).   Luckily, Cinda, Scott and their lovely families were willing and able to do whatever was required to make their outdoor celebration dry, comfortable and gracious for their guests.   Their hearts were clearly in the right place!  Take THAT Mother Nature! 

Luckily, the storm didn’t keep their guests or professionals away.  Particularly the photographer, Liz Banfield, who was flying in from Minnesota to shoot the wedding.  Liz was wonderfully calm, flexible and resourceful, finding whatever dry space she could within the house or at least within a short run!   Above, Cinda chose to carry a simple-but-elegant bridal bouquet of late summer color in hues of salmon, apricot and nectarine.

Originally, the ceremony was to take place in an orchard planted by the bride’s beloved but now-deceased father located on top of a hill overlooking the house.  The bridal party would gather for the Ketubah signing at the barn, then walk up a grassy path to the Chuppah placed in-the-round under the canopy of trees.  After the ceremony guests would wander down the hill to the pool and gardens for cocktails.  As the sun began to set, the bridal party would lead the 300 guests down a lantern-covered path to a stunning dinner tent artfully cut into the side of a field.   Then back to the pool they’d go for an after-hours lounge enjoyed long into the wee hours.  Beautiful.  Spiritual.  Intimate.  Vibrant.  [sigh].

Alas, Mother Nature had a different plan in mind.

Our Plan B now firmly in place, a large tent was added onto the dinner tent to house the ceremony, cocktail reception and after-hours.  From the moment guests arrived (and all but 2 people fought their way through the flooded country roads!)  guests were covered and sheltered from the storm.

The Ketubah signing took place on an antique table later to be used as their “sweetheart” table in the dinner tent.  As you can see, Cinda and Scott were radiant and “in the moment” without a care in the world!

The bridesmaids wore cocktail-length salmon gowns, strappy gold sandals and carried hand-tied bouquets of favorite garden blooms – roses, tea roses, astilbe, tulips and hydrangea.   As an emotional surprise for the bride and her family, branches from the trees in the orchard were cut and inserted into the urns placed down the aisle.  During the ceremony, Rabbi Max Hausen spoke about the orchard, its history, symbolism and meaning.  Needless to say, not a dry eye or unmoved heart was left in the room.

We placed a stunning floral arrangement in the foyer tent that included wide grand steps, gossamer drapes and antique furniture.  This event could not have happened without Ed Knight and his excellent tenting and flooring team at EventQuip.  The custom built floor (15 feet off the ground), steps, railings, ramps and dancefloor designed in our heads only materialized into reality with his collaboration.  (Not to mention his scaling of the tent at the height of the storm to find the source of a persistent leak over the dance floor.)

Vintage and antique elements mixed with modern accessories throughout.

The elegant dinner tent design included billowing ivory drapes, vintage-inspired tablecloths, weathered stone, iron and gilded surfaces, and home-style details.

Culinary Concepts’ clever menu and detailed service was incredible!  Locally grown late summer fruits and vegetables were used for an inspired seasonal menu. From the delicious blueberry martinis and abundant oyster bar for cocktails, to the seated roasted hen and lobster dinner with minted cucumber salad and roasted vegetables, to the mirrored mini-dessert stations and artisanal cheese display, the bride and groom’s love of gourmet food was celebrated throughout the event. 

The Papery of Philadelphia provided the salmon and milk-hued stationery suite beginning with the “Sitting in a Tree” Save the Dates!  The bride’s mother provided the inspired idea and The Papery brought in the illustration, rich papers and letterpress elements to pull it all together.  The end result was understated classic.

It’s these challenging and complex events that speak to our hearts as wedding planners and event designers; fueling our souls with untold reward and fulfillment.  We thank Cinda and Scott, as well as their families, for their trust and inspiration.