Rustic Fall Wedding at Gedney Farm

Real Weddings
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Photo: Belathée Photography

Courtney and Terence met as recent college graduates while working at CitySquash, a not-for-profit after-school enrichment program located in The Bronx. As program mentors, the pair put in long hours tutoring, coaching, planning field trips, and reflecting on the lives of their students. Their shared passion for their program slowly turned into a romantic interest in one another, and after six months as coworkers, Courtney and Terence finally had their first date. Over the next year and a half, the pair traveled overseas and across the country together. In August of 2009 they found themselves in Utah on a week-long hiking trip. It was on the last day of the trip that Courtney uncovered Terence's plot to propose atop Angel's Landing in Zion National Park. 14 months later, the New York couple were married at Gedney Farm in Massachusetts in front of 150 family and friends, including the entire CitySquash staff and a handful of their former students. Dorothée and Annabel of Belathée Photography captured the day, which included several DIY details and late night grilled cheese sandwiches.

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Photo: Belathée Photography

The couple fell hard for the natural charm of Gedney Farm in the fall and let the colors already visible in nature dictate their wedding decor. "We were looking for a farm setting within driving distance from New York City," explained the bride of the turn-of-the-century Berkshire property. "We also wanted a venue that had a unique and pretty place to have the ceremony indoors." Trees were brought indoors to play up the rustic setting and tables were draped with beige burlap cloth. Pewter acorns, a souvenir from their first trip to the farm, served as the inspiration for their out-of-town bags. "We first bought them when we went to the Berkshires to look at venues and they are meant to symbolize longevity," explained Courtney. "We then ordered more for the gift bags." Each gift bag also included a t-shirt, pencil, snacks, and crossword. "The t-shirts were given out the morning of the wedding when we did a 5k road race with all of our guests," said Courtney, "and my father is an avid crossword puzzler, so he made the puzzle for the gift bag."
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Photo: Belathée Photography

The couple recited traditional wedding vows and performed a Chinese tea ceremony. "The tea served is a sweet tea meant to bring sweetness in the union," explained the bride. "Inside each cup is a red date and two lotus seeds meant to bring fertility (which must have worked as we are expecting a son right around our second anniversary this October!)"

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Photo: Belathée Photography

Cocktail hour was held just outside of the barn where the ceremony and reception took place. Guests nibbled on lamb chops while a bluegrass band played in the background. Individual photos of the bride and groom with each guests served as escort cards, which were displayed on a clothesline. "This was probably our biggest challenge to pull off," explained Courtney, "and we worked with our invitation designer, Paper + Cup Design, to do so."

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Photo: Belathée Photography

The bride wore a lace wedding dress by Amsale. "I liked that it looked like a dress I would wear normally," she said, "but it was just a much fancier version of it." Courtney's two bridesmaids wore chiffon dresses, also by Amsale, in French blue. The groom donned a Ralph Lauren suit and Hermés tie.

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Photo: Belathée Photography

"Because I am tall, I wanted a big bouquet," explained Courtney. "I also wanted a traditional round shape, but I didn't want it to look too manicured." Crocus Hale constructed a "just picked" arrangement of white Nerines, Queen Anne's Lace, white Ranunculus, white garden roses, Scabiosa and Lisianthus.

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Photo: Belathée Photography

Courtney and Terrence wanted their reception to take on a elegant yet rustic feel. "There were very few big flower arrangements," explained the bride. "There were also tall candles on most tables."

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Photo: Belathée Photography

A second set of escort cards was placed on a table in the reception space so that guests could write a personal note the the bride and groom. Courtney and Terrence made their entrance to "Here Comes the Sun" and immediately cut their wedding cake, apple, pumpkin and blueberry pies, so that, as Courtney explained, "we wouldn't have to interrupt the dancing later."

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Photo: Belathée Photography

"We started in the pitch dark and were one of only a handful of hikers on the trail," recalled Courtney of the hike she and Terence took the day they got engaged. "The hike was extremely difficult. We held onto chains and ropes that were in place to help hikers, and I complained that it was too dangerous and recommended numerous times that we go back. Terence, with the ring in his pocket, encouraged me to persevere. At the top of the mountain, the views were incredible and we sat in the dawn light and took pictures. Terence asked me to go in a bag to get a granola bar and I pulled out a handful of pictures of Terence with my family, who was all giving the thumbs up. (Proof that they had given us their blessing!) I had no idea what was going on (although I should have since my father used the same tactic when he proposed to my mother.)"

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Photo: Belathée Photography

Venue & Catering: Gedney Farm, New Marlborough, MA || Stationery: Paper + Cup Design || Florist: Crocus Hale || Reception Music: Dexter Lake Club Band || Bride's Dress: Amsale || Bridesmaid Dresses: Amsale || Photography: Belathée Photography

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

—Anne-Marie Scali

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