Samantha and Joe Berkshires wedding

A Baby's Breath-Filled Wedding in The Berkshires

Planned by Willow Hill.

On a very cold night in January 2017, Samantha Carnall and Joe Sicilian had their first date in downtown Boston: dinner and a nightcap at the bar next door. “Even though it was a Monday, we didn't want the night to end,” Samantha remembers. “After the date, Joe excitedly woke his neighbor and friend to boldly foreshadow that I would be joining their summer share house that August.” His prediction proved accurate; a relationship was forged.  

“On another cold night, in November 2020 on a walk to dinner, Joe stopped me along the Boston Harbor Hotel waterfront and got down on one knee,” Samantha says. “My sister, brother-in-law, and parents were waiting at our dinner destination with Champagne, oysters, and flowers. It couldn't have been a happier celebration!” 

Engaged mid-pandemic, their wedding planning journey was full of unknowns from the get-go, but “we were committed to making a 2021 wedding date happen, regardless of being able to celebrate with 25 or 250 guests,” Samantha says. “That realization helped us be more flexible and roll with the punches throughout the planning process as regulations shifted.” In the end, the couple hosted 170 guests.

“The Berkshires stood out as a dream destination that was basically in our backyard,” Samantha says of their venue search. “Beautiful, old-world properties in the area are endless, and their gardens are extensive.” The couple fell in love with Chesterwood Studio, which offered multiple spaces to flow their evening throughout. “We moved from the ceremony in front of Daniel Chester French’s historic home, to cocktail hour in the studio garden, to dinner and dancing under a tent on the expansive lawn,” Samantha says. “Joe’s parents have recently relocated to Washington D.C., and we’ve visited the Lincoln Memorial together several times, so it was serendipitous that Daniel Chester French was the sculptor of the memorial. There are replicas located around his property-turned-museum.” 

The couple said “I do” as originally planned on September 18, 2021. Keep scrolling to see all the lovely details, planned by Sophia Morton at Willow Hill and photographed by Amanda K. Photography.

modern garden invitation suite

Photo by Amanda K. Photography

As both an event stylist and interior designer, Sophia Morton brought great creativity to the planning process. “We worked closely with Sophia to create a vision that was centered around a formal and modern take on a garden wedding, inspired by the area and venue,” Samantha says. “We chose to incorporate deep green velvet details and all-white delicate yet sculptural florals to achieve the perfect aesthetic.”

bride gets into wedding dress

Photo by Amanda K. Photography

“Natural and airy” was Samantha’s beauty vision. “My goal was to look like myself. I decided to keep my hair up in a simple low bun so as to not distract from the gown.”

bride's sister and mom help her into dress

Photo by Amanda K. Photography

bride walks down staircase

Photo by Amanda K. Photography

It didn’t take much searching to find the dress of her dreams. “I always knew I wanted a long-sleeved wedding dress, but also loved the idea of having two looks in one,” Samantha says. “I went straight to Monique Lhuillier and found my dream dress with a removable lace jacket on the first try.”

“I kept it simple accessories-wise,” she adds. “I opted for simple white satin Manolos, pearl and diamond studs by Mizuki, and a signet ring on my right hand that was a gift from my great-grandmother and grandmother when I was in grade school.”

groom in tuxedo

Photo by Amanda K. Photography

Joe looked classic in a custom black tuxedo by Cad & The Dandy. “We exchanged wedding gifts early and I gifted Joe silver cufflinks for the big day,” Samantha says. “He also wore a vintage silver watch with a black face that went perfectly with the tux.”

bride walks out for first look

Photo by Amanda K. Photography

bride and groom's first look

Photo by Amanda K. Photography

bride and groom portrait

Photo by Amanda K. Photography

As a couple, we don’t love to be the center of attention. So, it was really important for us to have a few moments prior to the ceremony to see each other and take it all in,” Samantha says. “The first look allowed us extra time to connect as a couple and just process how amazing it was and lucky we were.”

groom and groomsmen

Photo by Amanda K. Photography

bride with her bridesmaids

Photo by Amanda K. Photography

“I’ve always loved Brock Collection’s signature muted pastel palettes and microfloral prints, and used that as inspiration for the mix-and-match style of my bridesmaids,” Samantha says. “Each woman chose their own gown within the framework, and it ended up working better than I ever could have imagined! My maid of honor and sister anchored the group with a structured blue Markarian dress.” Petite baby's breath bouquets looked chic without distracting from the pattern.

bride and groom get in a vintage Bentley

Photo by Amanda K. Photography

ceremony setup outside historic home

Photo by Amanda K. Photography

baby's breath ceremony arch

Photo by Amanda K. Photography

The couple rode together in a vintage Bentley for the short drive to the ceremony location, the front lawn of sculptor Daniel Chester French’s historic home. “We kept decor simple with a sculptural baby's breath arch and white wildflowers sprinkled along the aisle,” Samantha describes. 

bride walks down the aisle with her parents

Photo by Amanda K. Photography

They chose their favorite songs—“Here Comes the Sun” and “Can’t Help Falling in Love”—and had a string trio perform them for the ceremony processionals. Samantha’s mother and father accompanied her down the aisle. 

bride and groom exchange vows

Photo by Amanda K. Photography

newlyweds recess down aisle

Photo by Amanda K. Photography

One of Samantha’s bridesmaids, Courtney Herrera, officiated the sweet ceremony. “We customized the script and our vows to incorporate special tidbits to us as a couple,” Samantha says. “Joe’s mother, Shirley, recited a poem called ‘Love is an Adventure’ by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, which we hoped would represent our marriage.”

bride and groom enter cocktail hour

Photo by Amanda K. Photography

maid of honor with a signature cocktail

Photo by Amanda K. Photography

charcuterie at cocktail hour

Photo by Amanda K. Photography

Miniature versions of some of the couple’s favorite dishes—steak frites, scallops, and fresh ceviche tacos—were served during cocktail hour, alongside a pair of signature cocktails. “The first was a ‘CRUcumber,’ a cucumber martini replica of one of our favorite cocktails from CRU in Nantucket,” Samantha says. “Sophia had the idea to clip a baby’s breath sprig to the coup glasses we served this in and it was the perfect accent!” The second offering was a spicy margarita with jalapeno-infused tequila.

seed packets as escort cards

Photo by Amanda K. Photography

seed packets as escort cards

Photo by Amanda K. Photography

Chic seed packets by Emily Rose Ink were arranged in a bed of baby’s breath and served as both escort cards and take-home favors, a nod to the growth and blooming love a marriage symbolizes. 

sailcloth reception tent

Photo by Amanda K. Photography

reception setup under tent

Photo by Amanda K. Photography

long head table

Photo by Amanda K. Photography

The reception came to life underneath a sailcloth tent on the lawn. An extra-long head table that seated 48 guests served as a focal point, adorned with dahlias, cosmos, Queen Anne’s lace, clematis, and butterfly ranunculus in shades of white. “Erin from Forêt Flowers + Styling created a large baby’s breath ‘cloud’ over Joe and my place setting,” Samantha says. “Each place setting featured delicate geometric glassware, lace-patterned white plates, and a linen napkin loosely tied with the same green velvet ribbon used throughout the weekend.” Finally, rattan lighting and greenery-wrapped tent poles cemented the garden theme.

place setting on bare farm table

Photo by Amanda K. Photography

“We wanted to mirror the season and some of Joe and my favorite dishes. It was also important to us to use as many local ingredients as possible, seeing as New England has such wonderful local farms,” Samantha says. Forklift Catering served up a seasonal apple and goat cheese salad, salmon, and short rib.

bride and groom's first dance

Photo by Amanda K. Photography

Fun fact: We decided our first dance song on our fifth date.

bride and groom walk through field

Photo by Amanda K. Photography

Samantha removed her gown’s lace jacket for the first dance. “Fun fact: We decided our first dance song on our fifth date,” Samantha recalls. “Back then we were joking around, playing each other songs on Spotify while we cooked dinner, and Joe played ‘Unchained Melody’ and said how he’s always thought it would be a special first dance song. It was settled then!” Dancing on the white dance floor below their wedding tent “was a full circle moment and very special to us,” she says. 

bride in shorter reception dress

Photo by Amanda K. Photography

Later in the night, Samantha changed into an Alex Perry minidress to take on the dance floor.

bride and groom pour Champagne down a tower

Photo by Amanda K. Photography

“My grandmother started a family tradition to pop jumbo Champagne bottles at big life events, which are all prominently displayed in our family’s summer home, starting with my parent’s wedding more than 30 years ago,” Samantha says. During his speech, the bride’s dad introduced a Balthazar-sized bottle of Veuve Clicquot and, late-night, the newlyweds hoisted it over a tower of coup glasses to the tune of Frankie Valli’s “December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night).” The newlyweds share, “It was a highlight to keep the tradition alive!”

Wedding Team

Venue Chesterwood Studio

Wedding Planner Willow Hill 

Bridal Designer Ceremony: Monique Lhuillier; Reception: Alex Perry

Bride’s Jewelry Mizuki

Bride’s Shoes Manolo Blahnik
Bride’s Hair
The Story of Hair
Bride’s Makeup Beauty by Cassandra
Bridesmaids’ Dresses LoveShackFancy; Markarian; Needle & Thread; Self-Portrait 

Mother of the Bride’s Dress Self-Portrait 

Groom’s Attire Cad & The Dandy 

Groomsmen’s Attire The Black Tux 

Floral Designer Forêt Flowers + Styling

Invitations Momental Designs 

Escort Cards Emily Rose Ink

Music Sound Society Band

Catering Forklift Catering 

Rentals Kadeema; Peak Event Services

Lighting and Draping Drape Art Designs 

Transportation Grace Limousine and Shuttle 

Accommodations Blantyre 

Videographer Josh Bernales
Photographer Amanda K. Photography

Related Stories