Everything about this woodsy New Hampshire wedding makes me smile! From the beautiful purple and green palette and earthy locally grown florals to the cozy “wedding grove” in the woods where Adam and Michelle tied the knot. There is so much to love! These two were married this past August on Michelle’s family home at Cook Hill Farm in Alstead, NH where she grew up. They were inspired by the natural beauty of the area and wanted their wedding to play up the natural, earthy elements – even harvesting the moss from the woods, and incorporating food grown on the farm into the menu. Since the bride is from NH and the Groom from NC, they found ways to incorporate elements of Northern and Southern charm. A guitarist and fiddler serenaded the guests and provided an ethereal feel to the ceremony with beautiful renditions of classic Irish tunes. Thank you Erika Follansbee Photography for sharing these gorgeous images.
From the Bride…
Adam surprised me with a birthday trip to Shenandoah in May 2013, complete with horseback riding and a fancy dinner. We ventured off a few weekends later for our adventure. I unsuspectingly enjoyed a day full of visits to Luray Caverns, horseback riding through the forest, and a hike to Dark Hollow Falls, a beautiful water fall nestled in the woods.
We sat at the waterfall for quite some time, waiting for the other people around to clear out. Every so often Adam said “Let’s just wait a little longer” and I started to suspect something might be up. Finally, after I took some photos for group that spent about 15 minutes there, we were alone. Adam – not wanting the moment to pass – immediately began to ask me to marry him, and dropped to one knee. I can’t remember anything he said, but answered with an definite “Yes!” The walk back up out of the forest felt like an eternity – we were giddy and both shaking a little from all of the excitement!
We were inspired by the natural beauty of New Hampshire and natural, earthy elements. We started with the sailcloth tent and farm tables, and started adding in elements of things we liked – mercury glass, wood, moss, and candlelight. We tried to avoid the cliché interpretations of “country” and “rustic” and invented a special place and vibe all our own! We created a space for the wedding where none existed, literally mowing a field and creating a space in the woods for the event.
We DIY-ed our wedding to every last detail we could. For the ceremony, we picked a beautiful natural clearing in the forest which we named the Wedding Grove. With the help of my parents, we built log benches from trees on the property, created a walking path complete with a simple bridge, and played up the beauty of the woods with lace pennants and mercury glass lanterns. The A&M letters were hand-made in Indonesia, where I (Michelle) spent four months of the engagement for a work assignment. The napkins for the reception were sewn by my mother. The decorations on the tables were given a mercury glass treatment by my mother, and helped create the eclectic assortment of decor we were looking for. We repurposed old dresser drawers as shelves at the entrance of the ceremony site, and built the bar from old potato crates. My mother baked the cakes – a vanilla cake with lemon French buttercream, and chocolate cake with mocha French buttercream.
NH and NC fusion/Special details:
We had a very unique wedding toast of Krupnikas, a Lithuanian spiced honey liqueur made in Durham, NC by The Brothers Vilgalys (the Best Man is one of the brothers!). Our guests loved the departure from champagne and were searching out more to drink all night! We also tried to fuse their Northern and Southern heritages in one of our signature cocktails – the Nor’easter – which included Southern bourbon and maple syrup! Guests sipped the cocktails through paper straws decorated with a birch tree motif.
It was many of our guests’ first time to New Hampshire so they found ways to introduce them to its beauty! We set up a stargazing station and luckily had a beautiful night for people to look up in amazement at the brightness of the stars in rural NH. We served apple cider donuts along with the cake – a delicious treat that the Adam first experienced during his first trip to visit me in NH.
Adam’s cufflinks were personalized with maps. One showed the place they met – Irbid, Jordan (during a study abroad archaeological excavation), and the second Alstead, NH – where they were married. We also both love exploring their ancestry. To bring this mutual hobby into our wedding, we named the tables after our ancestors and included fun facts that we know about them from research or family stories.
Photographer: Erika Follansbee Photography / Floral Design: Lily Anderson (family friend) / Jewelry: BHLDN / Jewelry: CrystalAvenues / Etsy Designer: GillyFlowerGarters / Pre Ceremony Location: Halladay’s Harvest Barn Inn / Etsy Designer: KrumpetsDesigns / Tuxedo + Mens Attire: The Black Tux / Tuxedo and Mens Attire: The Tie Bar / Dress Designer: Watters / Bridesmaid Dresses: Weddington Way / Hair + Makeup: family friends Megan Zehr and Chelsey Croteau / Submitted via Two Bright Lights