One Couple's Relaxed Wedding Weekend in Buzzard's Bay, MA

Real Weddings

In 2008, Jennifer Bates and Nathan Whipple both enlisted the Internet to help them find love, and help it did. "We met on," Jen remembers. "Our first date was on December 26th, the second was on the 27th, and the third was on the 28th. Can you tell we were having fun?" That algorithm worked its magic and, on October 4th, 2012, Jen and Nathan headed to Mendocino, California, for a wedding — and came back to plan a wedding of their own! "Nathan always joked that he'd propose by giving me a t-shirt that said 'I'm gonna marry Nathan Whipple," says Jen. "So when I got the feeling he'd propose soon, I got a t-shirt that said 'I do, I do, I do' on the front and 'The Future Mrs. Nathan Whipple' on the back." When, at sunset, Nathan opened a bottle of champagne and popped the question, Jen ran into their hotel room, then reappeared moments later wearing her t-shirt. If that's not a "yes," we don't know what is!

The couple got right to it, planning their wedding for just a year later, on October 5th, 2013. They went the non-traditional route, renting Overbrook House in Buzzard's Bay, Massachusetts, so they could host their guests for a creative, comfortable weekend full of New England charm.

Keep reading to see all the beautiful details, photographed by Mattie's Studio!

Jen always wanted a dress with a low back, so her sister, Katie, made an appointment at a salon that fit the bride's style. What did she end up with? A slip gown with lace-appliquéd straps by Elizabeth Fillmore. She carried a vibrant bouquet that included a red dahlias, white roses, and curled ferns. Nathan's four-year-old nephew, Sam, was the ring bearer. "He was smiling from ear to ear when he brought the rings up," says Jen. The couple wrote their own ceremony, which was performed by a close friend of the couple. Nathan's family has been in the cranberry farming industry for decades, so it's no surprise that the couple included the decidedly New England fruit in their farm-to-table celebration. The signature cocktail was "The Baby Maker," a spin on the Hemingway Daiquiri. They used a tree design for their thumbprint guest book. Jen's sister, Katie, also served as the wedding planner, organizing details and executing all of the day-of details. "She's tremendously gifted, and our wedding wouldn't have been as unique and exceptional without her," says Jen.

The reception took place at rustic farm tables beneath a Sperry tent. Simple centerpieces included arrangements of dahlias and roses and boxes of ferns, succulents, and mushrooms, both surrounded by moss. "We sourced some of the elements from the nearby woods that morning," says Jen. The Kraft paper menu outlined the evening's dinner, including a wood-roasted pig and fresh local vegetables.

Smoke & Pickles roasted a whole pig, as well as local cod and vegetables.

Instead of a traditional wedding cake, Jen and Nathan served a selection of treats from Boston's Flour Bakery, where Jen is the Director of Operations, including homemade Oreos and cupcakes. The reception was "open mic," with family members and guests standing up to toast the newlyweds. "Nathan's best friend told the story of how we met, but managed to include aliens and space travel," Jen laughs.

The pair honeymooned in Jamaica for 10 days of aged rum, jerk chicken, and time on the beach. "We treated Katie and her boyfriend to a 5-day 'buddymoon' at the beginning of our trip," says the bride. "It's the least we could do for all their hard work."

So how did Jen and Nathan end up with a wedding that was so relaxed and carefree? "We focused on the things we really cared about, and let other things just fall into place," she says. "And, of course, we hired Katie!"

Ceremony & Reception Venue: Overbrook House || Bride's Wedding Dress: Elizabeth Fillmore || Shoes: Plenty by Tracy Reese || Hair & Makeup: Sonya Manning of Aveda || Groom's Attire: Paul Smith, Banana Republic || Wedding Bands: Laura Preshong || Florist: Roanne Robbins of Honeyhive Studio || Invitations & Paper Goods: Minted, Paper Source || Music: Torey Harding, Victor Hernandez || Catering: Smoke & Pickles || Dessert: Flour Bakery || Rentals: New England Country Rentals || Favors: Mini cranberry-apple pies from Flour Bakery || Photography: Mattie's Studio

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