A Romantic Backyard Wedding at the Groom's Family Home in Upstate New York

Lauren and Leigh made it official in an intimate party at a property they could visit for years to come

Updated 01/05/17
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Photo by Caroline Petters of Katie Osgood Photography

Lauren Petty first met Leigh Salem through mutual friends in New York City in July of 2012. The two hit if off, and just one week later, they continued the fun on their first date, and their romance blossomed over the next few years. When Leigh heard that a blizzard was on its way to New York in January of 2015, he saw it as the perfect opportunity to plan an intimate proposal. He grabbed supplies for a blueberry pancake breakfast (complete with champagne, of course!), and the next morning Lauren woke up to snow outside, breakfast in bed, and Leigh on one knee.

With the desire to tie the knot somewhere intimate, this couple decided to have both the ceremony and venue at Leigh’s mom and stepdad’s house in Germantown, New York, on October 17, 2015. The couple enlisted help from friends and family (along with a day-of coordinator) to create a fun dance party in a relaxed and meaningful setting. Take a look at the photos, by Caroline Petters of Katie Osgood Photography, below.

Photo by Caroline Petters of Katie Osgood Photography
Photo by Caroline Petters of Katie Osgood Photography

When Lauren went shopping for her wedding dress, her final choice surprised her. “I went in looking for one type of dress and left with the complete opposite,” she says. In the end, she felt like a better version of herself in the timeless V-neck gown with short sleeves and intricate beaded details by Theia. She kept the rest of her look simple with drop earrings, silver sandals, and a lush bouquet of dahlias, ranunculus, anemones, garden roses, and greenery.

Photo by Caroline Petters of Katie Osgood Photography

Leigh wore a tailored navy suit paired with brown shoes, a custom leather belt, and an indigo tie. As a final touch, the groom added a pocket square to his jacket, which Lauren had embroidered with their wedding date.

Photo by Caroline Petters of Katie Osgood Photography
Photo by Caroline Petters of Katie Osgood Photography
Photo by Caroline Petters of Katie Osgood Photography

With mountain views and golden trees surrounding the ceremony space, this couple was able to keep the décor clean and simple. They had an altar with two pedestal arrangements with vibrant florals, greenery, and branches on either side of the aisle. Since Lauren and Leigh often sneak the children’s book I Like You into each other’s luggage when one of them has to travel for work, it was only fitting that a passage from the book was read during their ceremony. Lauren’s uncle also sang “Till There Was You”, a Beatles song her Nana used to sing.

Photo by Caroline Petters of Katie Osgood Photography
Photo by Caroline Petters of Katie Osgood Photography

Once the ceremony came to a close, guests picked up enamel cups with personal notes inside from the newlyweds. “We loved the idea that the cocktail cups would be with our guests throughout the night as well as in their homes and kitchens for years to come,” Lauren says. Guests filled them up at the bar with one of the couple’s two signature cocktails: The Bee’s Knees, a mix of bourbon, honey, and lemon, or The Out of Towner, mezcal, shrubs, and chili liquor. Lauren and Leigh had their good friend, blues guitarist, Tito Deler, play during the cocktail hour.

Photo by Caroline Petters of Katie Osgood Photography
Photo by Caroline Petters of Katie Osgood Photography

The reception took place in a large tent on the property, with string lights and candles adding to the intimate, celebratory feeling of the night. Guests sat at long farm style tables dressed with simple linen runners for a family style farm-to-table dinner.

Photo by Caroline Petters of Katie Osgood Photography
Photo by Caroline Petters of Katie Osgood Photography
Photo by Caroline Petters of Katie Osgood Photography

Locally-sourced, in-season flowers were placed in vases along the tables for a pop of vibrant color. Elegant printed menus sat atop checkered linen napkins and simple white round plates.

Photo by Caroline Petters of Katie Osgood Photography; Cake by Momofuku Milk Bar
Photo by Caroline Petters of Katie Osgood Photography

For dessert, Lauren and Leigh served their favorite confetti cake from Momofuku Milk Bar in New York City and offered an assortment of cookies and small desserts.

Photo by Caroline Petters of Katie Osgood Photography

Guests danced the night away before joining the newlyweds for a campfire. “Leigh and I both love dancing and it was so much fun looking around at everyone dancing all night and singing along, there was so much mingling and merriment,” Lauren recalls.

Lauren reminds brides-to-be to slow down on the wedding day. “My piece of advice would be to definitely take a few minutes alone on the day, just the two of you to take it all in together. The whole day flies by and it’s so great to look back and remember those sweet moments.”

Ceremony & Reception Venue: Private residence || Bride's Wedding Dress: Theia, purchased at Lovely Bride || Shoes: Aerin || Hair: Brides by Benedetti || Makeup: Amy Chin || Flowers: One & Supp || Music: New York String Ensemble; Love Junkies || Catering: Some Things Fishy Catering || Cake: Momofuku Milk Bar || Rentals: Rhinebeck Rentals; All Season Party Rentals || Photographer: Caroline Petters of Katie Osgood Photography

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