Happy Friday everyone! I am so excited to share this West Virginia farm wedding with you today! I think it is so fun, gorgeous, and all around just really cool- I mean, the guests and the bride and groom CAMPED instead of staying in a hotel! And I love what photographer Meghan McSweeney of Meghan McSweeney Photography told us about this wedding…
From the photographer:
“Jenny and Luke are not your “ordinary” couple. She describes her new husband as a “n’er do well punk rock bike mechanic” and herself as a “French Ph.D. in Archaeology with a country side.”
The ceremony and reception took place at Jenny’s family farm. They were married by their Methodist minister neighbors, under a chuppah built by the carpenter who also custom built their geometric chandeliers. A bluegrass band played a variety Virginia Reels that set the perfect background for the “secular-yet-sacred” ceremony.
Flowers grown by the couple were arranged by Jenny’s cousin, a landscape architect. The containers were Jenny’s Granny’s, and 35 vintage embroidered tablecloths were used as overlays on rented blue linens and were one of the hottest conversation pieces of the evening. Except for the dessert, all of the food was fresh-from-the-ground local. Jenny isn’t a huge fan of sweets, so she had tiny fruit tartlets created instead. A dear friend made all of the bread including the beautiful “coronne” or traditional French wedding crown loaf, and still others brewed beer and created the specialty cocktails.
Jenny designed her own dress, which was sewn by friend, a master seamstress. The couple were married in a field, so she wanted a variation on a peasant’s sun bonnet, but also wanted to wear a veil. Her milliner, Ignatius Hats in Petersburg, let her draw her hat. It had 200-year-old French gross grain ribbon on the brim and iridescent peacock feathers, from Jenny’s own peacocks!
Jenny noted that all of the beds in the farmhouse are notoriously lumpy so since their guests were going to camp out, they decided they would as well. Her sister then created a gorgeous Bedouin honeymoon tent, complete with Persian rugs and a queen sized bed and antiques from the house.”
How fabulous and sweet is that! I just love when every detail means something to the bride and groom! But now, some gorgeous photos and a few words from the bride Jenny!
What (or who) helped you most in your planning process and/or on your wedding day?
I’m sure no one wants to hear this, but my background in event planning is what helped the most. Also my sister, who was a great sport about the really mundane details and my dear friend David Miller who was in charge of all the technical details that frighten me- power load and sound and generators and lighting and construction. Of course the guiding force the entire time was my Granny. It’s her farm and she’s worked for 40 years to create the magical kind of environment where our wedding could happen.
What was the most important thing to you when deciding who to work with for your wedding?
Aesthetics and taste. Did I think they had exquisite taste and aesthetics, were they professional, did I like them? Without feeling this, I couldn’t trust the people I worked with to just do their thing. But if I felt we shared an aesthetic, then I felt like I didn’t have to worry or micromanage a thing, I think it’s the foundation, along with professionalism, for trust, and trust is key if you want to eliminate stress.
What was your inspiration for your wedding details and/or design?
The site was my inspiration. I grew up on this farm and I wanted every detail of the wedding to echo the integrity, simplicity, and beauty of the place.
What was your favorite thing about your wedding?
Gathering friends from around the world, France, Brazil, UK, South Africa, to share our celebration, fireworks and bonfires and dancing all night, and involving dozens of friends and family in the event.
What is your best piece of advice for other brides?
Find a photographer you love and ask their advice and actually listen to it. Photographers, sometimes even more than wedding planners, really understand how your wedding will look, and what you’ll want to remember and what will seem important in hind site. The moments you choose to highlight with the photographer will also really force you to slow down and enjoy it.
Don’t put any sound equipment where it will end up in photos of your cake and your blush is on wrong, are just two examples of the great advice my photographer gave me-she was right!
Okay so I am still obsessing over all of Jenny’s details!! From her self-designed gown, to the handmade bread, and the chuppah made especially for them! I love seeing when couples infuse themselves into their wedding decor. So tell me- what details are you incorporating into your big day that are special to you in some way?