A Rustic Summer Wedding
in the Berkshires

Real Weddings
late summer outdoor wedding

Photo: Charlotte Jenks Lewis

On the morning of their wedding, Leah and Zeke were picking wildflowers in the fields adjacent to their wedding venue, Race Brook Lodge, a 200-year-old bed and breakfast at the foot of the Taconic Mountains in the Berkshires, Massachusetts. Seventy-eight of their closest friends and family would soon gather for an outdoor wedding ceremony held in front of a large tree and officiated by the couple's friend. Traditional pre-wedding jitters didn't seem to come into play for the pair at all. "We really wanted our wedding to be fun for our guests and for us," explained Leah. "We had a vision of how great it would be to have everyone just lounging around the property, in the pool, hammocks, the lodge, around a campfire or going for hikes, and it ended up being exactly what we imagined!"

The bride wore a strapless silk-shantung Jenny Yoo wedding dress, which she purchased at the Jenny Yoo flagship boutique in New York City. "I wanted something that felt bridal but was simple," she said. "It was pretty and fun to wear."

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Photo: Charlotte Jenks Lewis

Leah did her own makeup, and her sister—who was also her bridesmaid—and a friend did her hair.

pink mother of the bride dress flower girl dress

Photo: Charlotte Jenks Lewis

"We didn't actually intend to have a flower girl," Leah said, "but my cousin's daughter, Georgia, just got up during the ceremony and joined us!"

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Photo: Charlotte Jenks Lewis

When it came to their wedding vows, the couple stuck with tradition and decided not to pen their own, although many other elements throughout their ceremony and reception were handmade. The groom's mother grew many of the flowers that were used in the bride's bouquet and as centerpieces. "We just wanted the colors to celebrate the season," explained Leah. The couple used mason jars tied with string and filled with flowers to decorate the aisle as well.

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Photo: Charlotte Jenks Lewis

The groom's wedding band belonged to Leah's grandfather, and the diamond in her engagement ring was passed down from Zeke's family. His suit was by Hugo Boss.

bride and groom rustic wedding

Photo: Charlotte Jenks Lewis

After the outdoor ceremony, guests headed up a hill for an outdoor cocktail hour. It was important to Leah and Zeke that their wedding menu incorporate locally grown ingredients. Guests enjoyed a first course of local heirloom tomatoes with fresh mozzarella, basil, extra virgin olive oil, and balsamic vinegar. The two main courses consisted of pan-roasted organic salmon with tomato oil and grilled quail with balsamic-roasted figs. Sweet corn and arugula risotto and sauteed farm-fresh green beans accompanied each entrée.

rustic outdoor wedding berkshires wedding centerpieces wildflowers

Photo: Charlotte Jenks Lewis

"We made the table numbers and the signs ourselves," said Leah, who lives in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. "The paper was something we saw on a chocolate bar from Mast Brothers, a neighborhood chocolate factory, and we were able to find it at a local paper supply store."

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Photo: Charlotte Jenks Lewis

"Zeke and I have always known each other," said Leah of her high school beau-turned-groom. "We went to the same school in the same small town in Maine and have been together ever since." Even still, Zeke's proposal, which came on the first snowy day in December 2010, took Leah a bit by surprise. "We went on a long drive out to the country. At the end of the drive Zeke got out and called me over. I thought he just wanted to show me something, but then I saw that he was proposing. It was great."

rustic barn wedding berkshires

Photo: Charlotte Jenks Lewis

Venue & Catering: Race Brook Lodge || Bride's dress: Jenny Yoo || Bride's wedding band: Doyle & Doyle || Bridesmaid dress: Max and Cleo || Mother of the Bride dress: Tadashi Shoji || Flower girl dress: Marmellata || Groom's suit: Hugo Boss || Photography: Charlotte Jenks Lewis

Visit our Real Wedding Gallery to find more rustic wedding inspiration.

—Anne-Marie Scali

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