Today we’re getting the week off to a pretty start with a sweet Connecticut wedding in one of our favourite venues in New England.
We featured this venue and this photographer before, so we’re really excited to return to such gorgeous spot for another beautiful wedding day.
Kerry Ann and Tyler’s guests came from near and far, with an ode to the travellers with Spanish and Irish touches, a ride on an old-timey train, and even a special moment for an absent maid of honour/new mom on Skype.
A romantic, personalised wedding, that put the guests first, hop aboard the swoon-train, and take a look at Kerry Ann and Tyler’s beautiful big day…
Our Love Story
After about 10 years of dating, Tyler proposed atop a medieval tower overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and San Sebastian Spain. I’ve attached some photos of the stunning views.
Words to describe it? Historic, riverfront, Dreamy, Vintage, Lace! All Aboard… Sorry, hard to summarize in only three!
What a weekend it was. We had three nights at The Griswold Inn in Essex and had our rehearsal dinner Friday night (two nights prior to wedding) We wanted to have a day in between the rehearsal and wedding.
On Saturday we organized a train and boat excursion on the Connecticut River which was lovely. The weather was perfect and the views were breathtaking.
The Pre-Wedding Prep
Sunday morning started early with hair and make-up as we were doing a first look with Jessica at 1 pm.
My girls and I readied in the bridal suite room of the Griswold Inn across from the main inn. We had a connecting room with one of my bridesmaids so we could really spread out!
My maid of honor gave birth only two weeks before the wedding in Albuquerque, NM so she attended the ceremony via Skype (in her Amsale dress too).
The flowers were so perfect. Allison at Ashleigh’s Garden does such beautiful work for such a bargain.
We used garden spray roses, majolica roses and my favorite: Dusty millers in my bouquet and Tyler’s boutonniere.
The girls and groomsmen had peegee hydrangeas, roses and dusty millers. Bouquets were all wrapped in ivory silk with silk buttons.
Amy also during prep time was able to go outside and locate some perfect flowers to add to my hair as we forgot about that item!
Her vintage-inspired photography stood out amongst the 20 other photographers that I researched. We spoke briefly on the phone about 10 months before the wedding.
I was unsure about my budget at that time so she invited us to her home for snacks, drinks and a chat to see if it was a fit. Tyler and I felt so comfortable being around her immediately. We stayed for a few hours chatting and chasing her two cats around.
We decided to do an engagement shoot as well to get us a little more comfortable in front of a camera seeing that we had zero experience with being photographed. We insisted that her husband Chris join in on the engagement session and had a blast.
We’ve become good friends ever since and are so thankful to have found them. I felt that connection with all of our vendors and truly miss corresponding with each and everyone of them.
We were so lucky to meet such great people along the way who made the whole planning portion enjoyable and aided in it running so smoothly.
I borrowed beautiful vintage earrings from my brother’s girlfriend Emma Summerton and purchased a vintage clutch and necklace to match from Etsy.
The bridesmaids wore a beautiful long “ink” Amsale dress with a peplum and gold shoes of their choice. I purchased their vintage style necklaces and earrings from Etsy as well.
I had two nieces as flower girls. Instead of flower girl dresses, we dressed them as ballerinas with everything bought at their local dance store. They can definitely wear their tutus and leotards and ballet slippers again since they both dance!
One theme we liked was the “All Aboard” excitement with riding the antique steam train after the ceremony to the reception. (Our Save the Date was a vintage train ticket).
We had the ceremony in a field at the train station.
Our friend Chloe Caillet played Yann Tiersen on the keyboard for us (think of the French movie “Amelie” music) during the ceremony.
Tyler’s sister Beth read a Pablo Neruda poem called “Perhaps Not To Be is to Be Without Your Being”.
Beer and Cava was served as our guests boarded the train. It was one of the hottest days of the month and rain was threatening all day long.<
Shortly after we arrived to The Lace Factory, it downpoured. Thankfully Mother Nature waited for us to get indoors!
I would have to say that my favorite moments were seeing all the different people from our lives come together for either the long weekend or just the day of.
I loved seeing strangers talking to each other and then thinking, wow yes that connection makes sense, they should be friends!
Tyler was looking most forward to the train ride. I believe that this is what stood out most for all of our guests as well. A very unique transportation to a equally unique venue.
The Decor & Details
Our colors were charcoal and aubergine for outfits but the reception was mostly neutrals (white, ivory and black).
I guess vintage would definitely be a style used due to the antique steam train, the industrial style of the Lace Factory and the simplicity of everything.
The centerpieces consisted of dark bronze or black lanterns along with Goodwill purchased (over 100!) small sherry type glasses for my vases which were filled with similar flowers to the bouquets. We had ivory table cloths with white napkins.
Amy Champagne added mercury votives as well to the centerpieces. Amy also supplied some of the great decor including the antler candle holders, the ampersand, the arrow and the vintage pile of suitcases.
She set up the whole ceremony with her stainless lanterns at each row end and distributed the flower petals down center aisle supplied by Asheigh’s Garden.
Our favors were done by Ashleigh’s Garden, little bottles with flower buds that were also used as escort cards. Allison has the most beautiful handwriting and it was her gift to us to handwrite everyone’s names and table assignments!
We also gave out matchbooks that said “Tyler & Kerry Ann: A Perfect Match”
There wasn’t much decorating needed at The Lace Factory as it is so stunning “as is”. There are three walls of enormous windows will old brick and peeling paint.
We had them hang a few curtain type panels behind the sweetheart table and set up a lounge set near the bar with some more sheer curtains. I copied old family photos, past and present photos to hang by threads of lace. I loved how people really took their time entering the reception while they enjoyed perusing the pictures.
I bought a vintage suitcase from Etsy and lined it with different widths and shades of pink, ivory and white lace for cards to be placed in.
We set out a small basket next to this for “wedding advice for the bride and groom”. Some great advice, some dirty, some funny, some silly. What a pleasure to read through after the weekend was over.
Sangria and Spanish wines were added to the normal bar menu. We liked adding some Spanish flare to everything since we were engaged there and had several people travel from Spain to our wedding (hence the cava being served earlier).
It was a formal sit down dinner with paella as a vegetarian option (more Spanish! and I’m vegetarian along with at least 20 other people that day)
We chose not to do introductions, cake cutting or bouquet tossing. We felt like we were the center of attention enough that day and really wanted to focus on spending time with our guests that traveled long and far.
We did sit at a sweet heart table though but not for very long!
The Music & Speeches
Our first dance was “You and Me” by Penny & The Quarters.
The father-daughter dance was Roy Orbison (my dad’s all time favorite to which all music is measured against) “In Dreams” and Tyler and his mother Eileen danced to “Stand By Me” by Ben E. King.
The best man George Kingsley gave a great speech and read an Irish poem (very appropriate since we had a cousin travel from Ireland to attend), followed by my college friend Katie Kelly (more Irish) who is a stand up comedian and had us all laughing with a lot of charm as well.
Dawn Albon, another bridesmaid did a reading at the reception because her 10 year old daughter wrote us a poem about love called “together forever”. It was beautiful and heartfelt and unbelievable that is was written by a 10 year old.
Advice for Other Couples
My advice to other couples is to enjoy the planning stages. I see people get so upset and stressed and crying constantly. I really tried to make the most of it and enjoy every aspect.
I made friends with all of our vendors and laughed a lot. I loved the field trips with my three local bridesmaids. They came with me to the florist, hair and make up trials, dress shopping, dress alterations, etc. I don’t know what I would have done without them.
It’s funny how you start off your planning thinking that you can do all these things yourself. I thought I would have a friend do music from a phone or iPod, have a friend take photos, maybe even do our own flowers? Boy did that change.
If I took on any of those tasks above and beyond all the other planning, I wouldn’t have enjoyed the morning getting ready with my girls. It was nice to sit back, relax, sip on cava and have Amy Champagne and Jessica to really help with the coordinating.
Try to really have very little to do on the actual wedding day. The guys get ready quick so they can handle a few tasks but I didn’t want to burden them with much to do either.
The day flies by so fast, you don’t want to spend it working running around. Spend those precious moments with the people you love and who helped make it happen and who will be a part of the rest of your life together.
Isn’t it lovely? I really liked Kerry Ann’s advice on delegating tasks to the professionals for your big day. (Also, how gorgeous were her Hey Lady shoes!)
Thanks so much to Jessica of Brigham & Co Photography, and of course the wonderful Kerry Ann and Tyler for sharing their sweet Connecticut wedding with us.
Be inspired with more beautiful real weddings.