James and Zhenya dated for five years in San Francisco, New York, and Skype calls between the two. But no city united them like Canaan, New York, where the two spent countless hours gardening, exploring, and de-stressing at their country house in the mountains. They decided to get hitched during an early-spring ride to the Berkshires, and they knew they wanted to get married there, where they first fell in love.
The two foodies (and would-be mixologists — they met when Zhenya was tending bar at a party and James tried his hand at mixing drinks!) also knew they wanted to highlight their love for farm-fresh food, herbs, and inventive cocktails.
They found everything they loved at Hancock Shaker Village, a living museum in a Massachusetts Shaker community complete with a spectacular, 200-year-old round barn, working farm, and roaming livestock that is just a short ride away from their upstate New York home. The result? A timeless country affair filled with plenty of fresh produce, flowers, and more than a little room for fun. Check out Elena Zhukova's photos of their bash below!
In lieu of an official wedding party, James and Zhenya asked seven of their closest male friends to be ushers, and seven female friends to choose readings for their Jewish ceremony.
James and Zhenya walked down the aisle together to a classical medley, recited identical vows they'd written themselves, and walked out together to "Somewhere Over the Rainbow."
Hancock Shaker Village had never hosted a wedding before, but with the help of Lyndsey Hamilton events, James and Zhenya were able to make their dream barn affair a reality without sacrificing a thing. The venue even let livestock roam the grounds before the ceremony; two baby lambs were the belles of the ball!
James and Zhenya wanted their guests to be prepared to party all night long and still wake up for brunch the next day, so they stocked their custom-printed welcome bags with herbed almonds, Emergen-C and pain relievers — just in case!
Between rounds on the dance floor, guests tucked into a family-style meal of lamb and herb stew, mushroom risotto, pork belly, and cod. The barn was filled with grey-clothed round tables, decorated with arrangements of sage, herbs, and local flowers.
The dance floor of Hancock Shaker Village's large barn was packed all night long, the couple says. They didn't plan on doing a first dance song, but when DJ Gary Ames played Bruno Mars' "I Think I Wanna Marry You," the two knew they had to take the floor.
The best part of the wedding for James and Zhenya? "Looking at our guests from under the chuppah and seeing that remarkable scene from that perspective," they said. "There was so much love, support, and joy at every moment."
Ceremony and Reception Venue: Hancock Shaker Village || Wedding Planner: Lyndsey Hamilton Events || Grooms' Suits: J.Crew || Florist: Crocus Hale Flowers || Invitations & Paper Goods: Maple and Belmont || Catering: SoMa Catering || Ceremony Music: Karen Marie || Reception Music: DJ Gary Ames || Rehearsal Dinner: The Wheatleigh || Photography: Elena Zhukova Photography
Did you love this farm wedding? Then watch another rustic bash at a barn in Washington in the video below!