Guests who arrived at Alex Ochman and Robin Bruzga's wedding, held at her family's 270-year-old, 100-acre farm in Dunbarton, New Hampshire, weren't forced to hoe and weed. But they were expected to earn their keep: Hours before the ceremony, the mom of Alex's best friend, Jeff Kirk, was filling pink and green balloons with helium for tent decorations, while Alex's niece, the flower girl, wandered the property gathering petals that she would later strew down the aisle.
The collaborative effort carried through to the ceremony. As the couple stood in front of a rustic well house, Jeff officiated and various family members read Buddhist prayers, Bible passages, and quotes from The Little Prince. During the reception, guests were encouraged to take turns creating playlists on the couple's laptop. “It was a totally home-grown wedding,” says Alex, 27. But no one did more heavy lifting than the bride and groom as they prepared for the event a year in advance. Robin, 28, designed the invitations, hand-stamped escort cards and made paper bouquets and boutonnieres for the wedding party. Alex was responsible for the sound system, brewing nine varieties of beer and creating the centerpieces. “People thought we had some big wedding planner,” he says. “I still have friends saying, 'Who did this part of the wedding?' 'Who did that part?'” And the work continues: Alex is now taking orders from friends who want him to brew beer for their weddings, too. —Anna Jane Grossman
Games People Play: While waiting for the ceremony to begin, guests were invited to take part in an impromptu game of horseshoes.
From the Heart: In lieu of favors, the couple made a donation in each guest's name to the American Cancer Society to honor the groom's late mother.
Hot Wheels: Guests got to ride in style—coming and going. School buses gave everyone a blast from their past en route to the wedding; limos offered a taste of the luxe life at the end of the night.
Who Needs Bartenders?: In a nod to the couple's wedding colors, the groomsmen mixed pink pomegranate martinis and green melon mojitos.
Jos. A. Bank, JosBank.com
Bouquets, Boutonnieres and Escort Cards
Paper Source, paper-source.com
Jacques Pastries, jacquespastries.com
BKB Photography, bkbphoto.com