Etiquette advises against dating your boss so, even though Jesse was merely an older student working at Peri's college's calling center, it took the couple six years, two graduations and many ski trips to move from coworkers to friends to something more.
In July of 2011, Jesse was in Europe for work, so Peri hopped on a plane to visit him for a vacation in Provence. They rented a VW bus and drove around the region, tasting wine and enjoying the scenery. On their last day, they had a picnic lunch in a lavender field, where Jesse proposed. Unbeknownst to Peri, a few weeks earlier he had flown from Washington to San Diego and back (all in one day!) to pick up the engagement ring.
This Northwest couple took the farm theme a step further, planning a wedding on a real working farm near Seattle that belongs to Peri's sister. Their authentic, natural wedding on August 11th, 2012, featured local vendors, a late-night bonfire, and lots of help from family and friends.
The invitations featured hand-drawn plants and leaves found around the farm.
Peri dressed up her lace Pronovias gown with her diamond engagement ring and a sparkling floral necklace from J.Crew "to add some glamour to our rustic-chic wedding," she says.
Both the bridesmaids and groomsmen were mismatched. The girls chose their own coral dresses, while the guys wore gray suits. "It looked more organic than having everyone in the exact same color," says Peri.
Peri and one of her bridesmaids hand-made the bouquets using white, pink and coral flowers like hydrangeas and cabbage roses. She wrapped them in pieces of tulle from her wedding gown. The groom and groomsmen's boutonnieres featured flowers and berries from around the farm. "Making the bouquets was fun, but in retrospect I'd rather have spent the day before the wedding at the spa!" Peri says. "I'd recommend doing as little as possible the day before your wedding so you can really kick back and enjoy the ride, rather than worrying about last-minute projects."
The ceremony took place beneath an old maple tree in the center of the farm. The couple had an open bar before the ceremony and were out greeting guests as they arrived. A few minutes before the ceremony, the coordinator had guests take a seat while the wedding party hid in Peri's sister's house. The entire group walked down the aisle together.
Peri and Jesse exchanged vows that they'd written together. "We started each line with 'Let's...', listing things like living in France and having a family," she says.
Jesse assembled a free-standing window and shutters, which were painted blue like the ones they'd seen in Provence when they got engaged. They used the shutters to display their guests' place cards. Strands of light and streamers decorated the open-air reception area.
The focus was really on the food, so table decorations were kept very simple. White linens were topped with brightly-hued bouquets of daisies. Table names were hand-made signs that the couple found laying around the farm. The menu incorporated one of the drawings used on Jesse and Peri's invitations.
Forgoing a traditional guest book, Jesse made a wooden jigsaw puzzle that Peri's mother painted. Guests were asked to leave messages for the bride and groom on the puzzle pieces, then put them in a box handmade by Jesse's father. On their first anniversary, the couple assembled the puzzle and read all of the messages their guests had left.
The wedding cake was made by a friend of Peri's. Almond cake was layered with fresh stone fruits and créme fraîche. "Unfortunately I didn't take the time to stop and eat much of the cake that night, so I had Abby make us another one a month later for my husband's birthday," says Peri.
Strings of lighting hung from the barn roof, lighting the reception as the sun set.
Peri was so glad that she and Jesse were able to marry on her sister's farm. "We had full access to the venue for months leading up to the wedding. The whole family pitched in to help get the farm ready," she says. "And we could stay up partying as late as we wanted! Several of our friends camped out under the stars after it was all over."
The couple's advice is to really identify what is important to you, and stick with that. She also recommends hiring someone to help. "I think hiring a professional to assist with planning and logistics, as well as day-of coordination, is a good idea and would have been worth the money. But we did alright without one!"
Ceremony & Reception Venue: Local Roots Farm || Day-Of Coordinator: A Friend of the Family || Bride's Wedding Dress: Pronovias, from A Princess Bride || Jewelry: J.Crew, and Kate Spade || Hair: Tonic Salon || Groom's Suit: Indochino || Engagement Ring: Custom Design by Robbins Brothers || Wedding Bands: Bride: Beverley K., Groom: His Grandfather || Florist: Flowers from Marigold and Mint || Invitations & Paper Goods: DIY, Illustrations by Rita Morris || Music: The Rolling Retreads || Catering: Foraged & Found || Cake: Abby's Hot Buns Bakery || Rentals: AA Party Rentals || Photography: O'Malley Photographers