Family is important to Annie Starke and Marc Albu—so much that they chose to include their loved ones in their engagement, wedding planning, and, ultimately, their wedding day. For starters, the college sweethearts—she's an actress and daughter of Glenn Close; he's a management consultant—got engaged on Annie's grandfather's beloved boat, the Zula, at her father's home in Brookhaven, New York, on August 19, 2016. "The Zula has been in my family for almost 100 years, and my dad is the third generation to live in Brookhaven," Annie says.
"The setting was absolutely perfect, and after Marc popped the question, he surprised me by inviting his immediate family to Brookhaven for lobsters and champagne. It was an amazing experience."
For their wedding on June 30, 2018, the couple looked to another familial place—this time, to Annie's childhood home in Bedford Hills, New York. "We knew right away that we'd love to get married at Beanfield," she says. "Beanfield has been incredibly special to both of us, my parents, and our many family friends throughout the years. It's a communal home-base for our beloved masses, so to speak, and we couldn't imagine our wedding taking place anywhere else." The couple, along with David Stark of David Stark Design & Production, were inspired by the home itself as they dreamed up a "bohemian BBQ" vision.
"The 'profoundness' of Beanfield, meaning its communal importance and staggering natural beauty, served as the central inspiration for David, Marc, and I during our whole planning process," says the bride. "We didn't want anything fussy—just simple, country-inspired chic, with an emphasis on the June season."
"The dress search was actually the scariest part of wedding planning, in my opinion," Annie admits. "I was struggling to find something—anything!" That is, until she spotted her dream dress on Monique Lhuillier's Instagram feed during bridal Fashion Week. After doing some research, she discovered that the gown would be at a trunk show in Los Angeles that weekend (serendipitous, right?!) and made an appointment. "I tried it on and knew right away that I had found my dress," she says of the long-sleeved lace design.
"It was as simple as that! One and done."
On the wedding day itself, the bride slipped into the V-neck dress with the help of her bridesmaids and mother. "Getting dressed and ready to go with our ride-or-die bridesmaids and groomsmen was an afternoon we'll never forget," she says.
Annie's bridesmaids were decked out in an assortment of flowery frocks by Zimmermann. To add to the day's floral-centric aesthetic, each carried a coral and white bouquet of peonies, garden roses, Queen Anne’s lace, and ranunculus.
The women in Annie's bridal party wore delicate floral crowns, furthering the romantic, whimsical feeling of the design.
Annie chose to incorporate family heirlooms into her bridal look by wearing her mother's diamond studs and a few pieces from her great-grandmother. She embraced the floral theme by carrying a vibrant bouquet of peonies and wearing a flower crown in lieu of a veil. She also styled her hair in an updo courtesy of family friend (and adopted uncle!) Martial Cornville. "He was the hair guru on the big day, and his participation is something I'll always treasure," she says.
The bride shared a special moment with her mother just before walking down the aisle.
The ceremony took place on the estate's grounds, beneath a pair of apple trees overlooking a wooded glen. Guests were welcomed with programs featuring an illustration of the special trees that framed the setting. The booklets later doubled as escort cards.
A floral arch of foliage, white delphinium, garden roses, Queen Anne’s lace, and interwoven vines created a focal point at the ceremony.
Joshua Bell, a Grammy award-winning violinist, provided music during the ceremony. The bride walked down the aisle with her father, John Starke, as a string quartet played and her mother looked on.
Annie and Marc exchanged vows in a ceremony that their planner describes as "soulful."
Following the ceremony, the newlyweds went on an adventure with their wedding party (and their dog!) to take sunset portraits in fields adorned with wildflowers. "As a nod to my dad's family history in Brookhaven, and to replenish the property's natural virtue, my mom arranged for wildflowers to be planted throughout both fields," describes the bride. "They blanketed the entire acreage with beautiful, almost Pollock-esque flora and herbage."
Meanwhile, guests enjoyed cocktail hour back at Beanfield, where they sipped on three signature cocktails: a Negroni, an Aperol spritz, and a Dark and Stormy.
The couple was surrounded by 268 loved ones, including celebrity guests such as Rose Byrne, Bobby Cannavale, Paul Shaffer, Kick Kennedy, Rumer Willis, Tallulah Willis, and Robert Kennedy Jr.
Without a doubt, the night's menu was a focal point for Annie and Marc, who are "avid—if not crazy obsessed—foodies and cooks." To wow their guests, they took a quite literal take on their "bohemian BBQ" theme by hiring Fireroasted Catering to cook everything (including beef, fish, and vegetables) on an open flame. "Tom and his talented team are truly geniuses, and they take immense pride in what they do," Annie says. "Frankly, it was an honor to have them cook for our reception, and it was an honor and a joy to feast on their creations."
The dinner tent was nestled alongside the property's glorious, wildflower-filled field. Inside, the space was decorated with twinkly lights and long dining tables that created a "feeling of one, giant family table."
Each table was dressed with simple white linens, glowing candles, and still life-inspired floral arrangements of wildflowers from the surrounding field.
There was no dance floor—guests instead kicked off their shoes and danced barefoot in the grass. (And strings of old-fashioned bulbs and hundreds of lanterns were added to further enhance the grassy setting.)
"Several of our very talented friends were nice enough to perform some musical numbers for us, so the reception was like an amazing concert consisting of our favorite people," recalls the bride. "The band absolutely brought the house down, and we felt so lucky to be surrounded by such love and jubilant energy."
Looking back on their wedding day, Annie says it was absolutely perfect—except for maybe the sweltering June heat. "It was an insanely hot and humid day, but we didn't care," she says. "We partied and perspired the night away!"
Wedding Planner & Floral Design: David Stark Design & Production || Officiant: John B. Allen || Bride's Dress: Monique Lhuillier || Bride's Hair: Martial Cornville || Bride's Makeup: Alexandra Urvois || Bridesmaids' Hair: Rick Caroto || Bridesmaids' Makeup: Diane Manzaneres || Bridesmaids' Dresses: Zimmermann || Groom's Suit: Suit Supply || Groom's Shoes: Del Toro || Invitation Illustration: The VanNutts || Paper Products: Press New York || Calligraphy: Jennifer King Calligraphy || Music: John McCarthy, Joshua Bell, Jonny Rosch and Friends || DJ: Clark Winter || Catering: Fire Roasted Catering || Cake: La Tulipe || Rentals: Party Rental LTD.