During their junior year of college at George Washington University, it wasn't quite Meg Cerullo that Erik Heil was after during a party — but he quickly realized he had set his sites on the wrong collegiate. "Erik was hitting on my friend and started talking about basketball," Meg says. "My friend stopped him to say, 'You want this one,' and bodily placed me in front of him. I was on the dance team at GW and performed at all the home basketball games, so I had gotten very involved and interested in all things basketball." Their list of mutual interests only grew and, seven years after their first introduction, Erik surprised Meg with a proposal while she was on vacation with friends in New York City. "I was out to dinner with a friend and we were sitting in an intimate table in the corner. She excused herself to take a call from her boss and when I looked up from my menu, there was Erik, all dressed up in a suit. I didn't realize he was proposing until he dropped to one knee."
Although the couple now calls Washington, D.C., home, they knew they wanted to tie the knot in New England. Meg, a Maine native, and Erik, who hails from Massachusetts, both wanted to get married closer to home and quickly decided on Marianmade Farm in Wiscasset, Maine. The working lavender and flower farm is nestled on the Sheepscot River, making the property a rustic-chic bride's dream. "The goal was to be as laid-back as possible," Meg says of the couple's style, but with the help of Sarah Goodwin at Daisies & Pearls, the bride and groom were able to achieve a pretty and put-together look that still felt relaxed and comfortable. The pair made it official on August 1, 2015, with 94 guests in attendance, including the bride's A-list maid of honor, Anna Kendrick. Read on to see how their day came to life, as photographed by Meredith Perdue.
While she says she was a laid back bride-to-be, Meg admits she didn't love planning her wedding. "It was challenging to do from afar and was so much harder than I anticipated," says the bride. "I swear, without Sarah, the wedding would never have happened. She was immensely helpful with every detail." With the help of their skilled planner, Meg and Erik settled on a gray and sea foam color palette, which paired well with the natural hues on the property rather than overwhelm it.
Meg was every bit the beautiful bride in her strapless Karen Willis Holmes wedding dress, but remembers finding that look took more effort than she anticipated. "It took me a long time. I was never gaga over any one dress," the bride says. "I am not a typical 'girly girl,' I work at a sport agency!" Unfortunately, her sales associate at the first salon she visited didn't understand her aesthetic, and the princess-inspired ball gown he put Meg in was a far cry from what she wanted. After what the bride describes as "many failed attempts" at shopping for her gown, she visited Love Couture Bridal with two of her bridesmaids and was resolved to buy her dress then and there. "Luckily, it was a great experience and it all worked out!"
The ruched bodice and tulle skirt made her dress feel romantic and understated, perfect for Meg's personality and her wedding venue. Her jewelry, however, was as special as could be. Meg's best friend and maid of honor, actress Anna Kendrick, surprised the bride with a full set of Harry Kotlar diamonds on loan from the jeweler. "I wore an incredible pair of earrings, bracelets, and rings for the rehearsal dinner and a different pair of drop earrings and a bracelet for the wedding," she says. "After the ceremony, I added a truly incredible necklace to change up my look for the reception. That's got to be the most incredible 'something borrowed' in history."
Her bouquet was handpicked — literally! — from the flower fields on the farm. Hydrangeas, fragrant lavender, garden roses, and greenery were combined in a knockout arrangement that fit perfectly with the vibe of the wedding.
Erik wore a three-piece tan suit for the couple's summer nuptials. "He'd never worn a suit with a vest before so it made it feel more wedding appropriate," Meg says. His red, white, and blue plaid tie was paired with a blue patterned pocket square and a globe thistle and wax flower boutonniere.
Meg's five bridesmaids wore knee-length strapless chiffon dresses from Donna Morgan in a pale seafoam hue. "I wanted the girls to be comfortable in something light that fit the venue," she says. "I fully admit that none of them will ever wear the dress again, but they looked amazing for the day!"
Erik's groomsmen wore gray blazers, white dress shirts, and blue pants, all purchased at Banana Republic. To coordinate with the groom, each accessorized with the same plaid pocket square. "We wanted them to fit in with the color scheme and remain a bit casual, which is why we decided against suits and ties," says the bride. But if her groom had it his way, their look would have been decidedly different. "Erik wanted ties but no jackets, so I had to remind him this wasn't a middle school dance."
Each 'maid carried a bouquet reminiscent of the bride's, all filled with garden roses, hydrangea, and ranunculus, as well as a few succulents. Erik's groomsmen wore the same boutonniere as the groom.
The ceremony was held on the lawn overlooking the river. There, the couple and their planner had arranged a gorgeous arbor that was decorated with clusters of local flowers and ferns. Benches were set out for guests and shepherds hooks with arrangements of blooms lined the aisle.
Since the bride is particularly close to her brother, she asked him to walk her down the aisle. "My mom and dad walked down together first since I knew my dad and I would get to have the special father-daughter dance," Meg says. "I attribute a lot of my personality to my brother, and having him give me away was one of my favorite parts of the day." One of the couple's favorite details from their wedding was the string quartet that performed during the ceremony and cocktail hour. As Meg made her entrance, the Boston String Quartet played "Drops of Jupiter" by Train.
The bride and groom chose not to write their own vows but did work together to create a ceremony that felt reflected in who they are as a couple. "We're not religious and it was important to us that there was no spiritual aspect to our ceremony because otherwise, it would feel fake to us," Meg says. Erik's childhood friend officiated the ceremony, making it all the more personal. After the newlyweds were pronounced husband and wife, they made their way back down the aisle as the string quartet performed "Marry You" by Bruno Mars.
Meg and Erik tackled a few DIY projects for their big day, including their escort card display. The groom repurposed two antique multi-paned windows by staining the wood and replacing glass with chicken wire. Meg then made origami hearts out of craft paper and stamped each intricately folded piece of paper with every guests' name and table number.
The lavender drying barn at Marianmade Farm was the ideal space for the couple's reception. Long wooden tables were decorated with runners made from gauzy white cheesecloth, created specifically for the wedding by Erik's mother. A mix of different sea green glass bottles held mixed arrangements of different flowers grown on the farm, including garden roses, sweet peas, dahlias, thistle, and hydrangeas.
Bamboo plates and hand-cut blue linen napkins (another project tackled by the mother of the groom!) made up each casual place setting. The couple decided on a casual — yet delicious! — dinner catered by a variety of different food trucks, including a mobile brick over pizza truck, which served up flatbread pizzas, sliders, meatballs, and toast points, and a lobster roll truck, which dished up three different varieties of the beloved New England sandwich and salads. "It was a great way to get people out of their seats and let everyone pick exactly what they wanted to eat," Meg says. "Everyone was able to move around and mingle."
In between bites, Erik's two best men and Meg's maid of honor offered speeches. "They all had absolutely amazing speeches that were a flawless balance of funny and sentimental," says Meg.
On top of their delicious dinner offerings, the couple also thought up two unique and delicious signature cocktails: A blueberry mojito and a lavender Collins. "Blueberries are a really big crop in Maine and the wedding was on a lavender farm, so they both felt very appropriate," she says. Needles to say, both cocktails were very popular with the couple's guests. For dessert, the couple skipped cake and brought in an ice cream truck instead. Guests enjoyed gourmet ice cream sandwiches like vanilla ice cream with chocolate chip cookies, peanut butter ice cream with chocolate cookies, and strawberry ice cream with sugar cookies, as well as root beer floats and Italian ice.
After dinner and dessert, the couple's photographer had them sneak away to the lavender fields for private photos. "It was a nice, quiet moment with Erik amongst all the craziness of the day," Meg says. The couple, who honeymooned in Nova Scotia and Maine, remind future couples to do exactly what they want. "We paid for the wedding ourselves, which was obviously a challenge, but it also meant that every single decision was up to the two of us," says the bride. "I strongly suggest that you do what you want to do for your wedding day."
Venue: Marianmade Farm
Wedding Planner & Day-Of Coordinator: Sarah Goodwin of Daisies & Pearls
Jewelry: Harry Kotlar
Hair & Makeup: Ariel Johnson
Bridesmaids' Dresses: Donna Morgan
Groom's Attire: Suit Supply
Groomsmen's Attire: Banana Republic
Engagement Ring & Wedding Bands: John Greenan & Sons
Flowers: Michelle Peele
Invitations: Magnet Street
Rentals: One Stop Event Rentals
Photographer: Meredith Perdue