Kate and Arlen grew up hiking in the Adirondacks and the White Mountains, so when they began planning their August 22, 2015, wedding, they knew it would be in the North Country. Says Kate, "We fell in love when we first saw St. Matthew's Chapel in Sugar Hill, New Hampshire, as well as the Forest Society's Rocks Estate. Everything was just perfect."
The couple's wedding was almost completely DIY, though they did such an amazing job with the details you probably won't believe it! From arranging their own flowers to hand-crafting their birch candle holders, the wedding was truly a labor of love. "We really wanted to focus on our marriage over the wedding, and this was the perfect way to do it," says the bride. From amazing consignment finds to skills you'd never imagine possible with Costco flowers, you have to see this gorgeous Northeast wedding, photographed by Rodeo & Co. Photography!
The find of the century might be Kate's Modern Trousseau wedding dress, a strapless ball skirt that she topped with a bustier and custom lace jacket. "The skirt, top, and jacket are all from The Bridal Garden, a non-profit in New York that sells donated, gently-used gowns and donates the proceeds to education for disadvantaged children," says the bride.
She carried a lush bouquet of garden roses, seeded eucalyptus, thistles, and dusty miller — sourced from Costco and Fifty Flowers and arranged by the bride herself!
The finishing touch was Kate's flowing veil, which belonged to her great-grandmother and was first worn at her wedding over 100 years ago in 1915.
Arlen wore a J.Crew tuxedo for the celebration, which focused on two families becoming one.
Kate's bridesmaids wore blush gowns she found on Etsy, paired with bouquets the bride and her 'maids arranged before the big day. The blush garden roses were the perfect match for their dresses! Arlen's groomsmen rented tuxedos from Men's Wearhouse.
The ring bearer carried a pillow that was used in Kate's grandparents' wedding, while both the flower girl and the bride carried Kate's grandmother's handkerchiefs.
The pair wrote their ceremony, which invited guests to participate and respond, with the help of two pastors. As the newlyweds exited the church, everyone tossed bird seed over the happy couple.
At the Rocks Estate, tables were arranged beneath a tent strung with café lights. Escort cards were attached to gold-painted zoo animal figurines, lending a playful feel to the more formal event.
The long tables were topped with arrangements of roses and greenery, including evergreen branches collected from around the property. Candles were placed in birch candlesticks, which were handmade by Kate's father. "He used birch from our yard, and stamped every one of them," she says.
While the wedding took place in August, the menu was decidedly a holiday one: "Catering was done by a local turkey farm, so we served Thanksgiving dinner!" Kate reveals. Guests were thrilled with the locally-raised turkey, served alongside classic sides like butternut squash and whipped potatoes.
This crafty bride and groom even made their wedding cake themselves! (Check out that fondant work!) They topped it off with fresh flowers and vintage cake toppers.
The newlyweds kicked off the party with a dance to "Into the Mystic" by Van Morrison before friends and family flooded the dance floor. Advises the bride, "Keep the focus on what matters. It's easy to focus on the details, but it's really about your marriage."
Ceremony Venue: St. Matthew's Chapel || Reception Venue: The Rocks Estate || Bride's Wedding Dress: Modern Trousseau, from The Bridal Garden || Shoes: LK Bennett || Bridesmaids' Dresses: Etsy || Groom's Attire: J.Crew || Groomsmen's Attire: Men's Wearhouse || Flowers: Costco, Fifty Flowers || Invitations & Paper Goods: 3 Egg Designs, CatPrint || Catering: Hart's Turkey Farm || Rentals: Lakes Region Tent & Event || Videographer: Wedit || Photographer: Rodeo & Co. Photography
Can't get enough of this beautiful celebration? Then check out another couple's gorgeous outdoor wedding in the video below.