Heading to work is a whole lot more exciting when you have something — or rather, someone — to look forward to. Just ask Lina Fares and Andrew Rodale Norelli, who first met in their office in May of 2011. Fast-forward four years and you'd find the happy pair enjoying a sailing cruise to Greece's Schinoussa Island. There, on July 1, 2015, Andrew asked Lina to be his wife.
As the great-grandson of JI Rodale, one of the first advocates of a return to sustainable agriculture and organic farming in the United States, it's no surprise that Andrew and his bride-to-be knew they wanted to tie the knot on the groom's family farm in Allentown, Pennsylvania. "It's so picturesque and has been the venue for many of my family members' nuptials," Andrew says. With a venue so steeped in family history, it was easy to start planning their June 11, 2016, wedding — and even easier for Lina and Andrew to decide they wanted to infuse their day with pieces of their unique backgrounds. With the help of Mark Kintzel Design, the future Mr. and Mrs. imagined a classic celebration with plenty of bright elements inspired by their farm backdrop. Rebecca Yale Photography captured the breathtaking results, all seen below.
"Since the wedding was going to be outdoors, the hardest part of planning was worrying about the weather and making contingency plans," the couple says. In fact, in the 10 days leading up to the wedding, forecasts were predicting hail and thunderstorms, so Lina and Andrew were forced to make a last-minute decision to tent the ceremony and cocktail hour. Luckily, they tied the knot on a picture-perfect June day, surrounded by 130 of their closest friends and family. "The rain held off, but the tent was a welcome gift for our guests at the temperatures rose into the mid-90s."
Everyone was invited to the festivities with a punchy suite created by Fourteen-Forty, complete with a property map and poppy coral hues that were carried over into the big day itself. And, to ensure friends and family were comfortable throughout their stay in Pennsylvania, Lina and Andrew surprised guests with a package of their favorite goodies and wedding-necessities, like Cape Cod potato chips, Kind bars, organic mints, Advil, and stain remover.
Lina's lace Monique Lhuillier wedding dress was unfussy yet elegant, perfect for the couple's farm wedding. "I wanted something simple and understated for my jewelry, so I went with a Swarovski crystal bangle and earrings," she says. But when it came to picking her shoes, this bride knew she wanted her personality to shine, so she went with a fun coral pair from Stuart Weitzman.
Her bouquet of peonies, garden roses, astilbe, lisanthus, mountain laurel, and hypericum berries looked as if it could have been handpicked right from the property's gardens.
One of our favorite details from this bride's wedding day look? Her subtle something blue nail polish!
Andrew chose a custom slate blue suit from Michael Andrews Bespoke, which he paired with a pale yellow tie and a boutonniere of spray roses and mountain laurel.
Lina's bridesmaids wore bright coral dresses from J.Crew and carried romantic bouquets of peonies, roses, and astilbe.
As a gift for his groomsmen, Andrew purchased the Bonobos suit each guy wore on the big day. Like the groom, each attendant finished his look with a pink-and-green boutonniere.
One of the decisions the bride and groom are most happy they made was deciding to have a first look. "It broke the nerves," Lina says. "This way, we could share our special moments as well as get photos out of the way early."
Although the ceremony was initially set to take place in the open-air, there's no denying Lina and Andrew's greenery-covered plan B tent was absolutely breathtaking. Beneath it, arrangements of hydrangeas and eucalyptus marked the top of the aisle while lanterns and an installation of peonies, garden roses, ruscus, and berries served as the most beautiful backdrop for this couple's vows.
The pair wrote their own vows, but stuck to a traditional format. "We exchanged more personal messages in private on the morning of the wedding," they say. After Lina and Andrew were pronounced husband and wife, the newlyweds made their exit of Coldplay's "Viva la Vida" while guests showered them in fresh flower petals.
Cocktail hour was held in an uncovered greenhouse, where garlands of greenery were interspersed with café lights, creating an ultra-romantic, cozy space for drinks and light bites. There, the couple served up three signature drinks: Andrew's choice, the negroni, Lina's pick, a spicy passion fruit margarita, and the bride and groom's favorite, a guava mimosa. Guests enjoyed tapas-style snacks, including mini empanadas and lobster rolls, along with a full raw bar.
The party then moved into a sailcloth tent, and guests found their table assignments on a mirrored seating chart. Bare wooden tables and round ones topped with natural-colored linens were arranged across the lawn.
Gold compotes held bright mixes of roses, lisianthus, and greenery, adding a fun dose of color to the space. And to make sure the event felt elevated, the bride and groom chose additional metallic accents, like gilded flatware and table numbers.
"We both love to travel and come from diverse backgrounds, which we wanted to showcase throughout our wedding," Andrew says. "The food was a blend of cuisines from all of our travels, including Italian, Spanish, Greek, Dominican, and Lebanese, and was served family-style to bring everyone together for a special occasion."
This couple knew what they were doing when it came to picking fun extras for their reception. In addition to a custom Snapchat filter, the pair treated guests to a photo barn. Yes, you read that right: a photo barn. Guests posed for fun pictures in an antique car that was covered in greenery and bright flowers before leaving a copy of their snapshots for the newlyweds to enjoy.
After dinner, everyone dug into slices of the lemon wedding cake with raspberry filling. Before departing, guests grabbed a mini succulent favor, a nod to the wedding's natural backdrop.
Lina and Andrew, who will be honeymooning in New Zealand this December, have this advice for future couples: "Take a moment for yourselves during the day and savor it, each other, and everyone who came out to celebrate."
Ceremony & Reception Venue: Rodale Family Farm || Wedding Planner & Flowers: Mark Kintzel Design || Bride's Wedding Dress: Monique Lhuillier || Jewelry: Swarovski || Shoes: Stuart Weitzman || Hair & Makeup: Jackie Schneider Beauty || Bridesmaids' Dresses: J.Crew || Groom's Attire: Michael Andrews Bespoke || Groomsmen's Attire: Bonobos || Wedding Bands: Cartier || Invitations: Fourteen-Forty || Music: Montero Strings; Wesley Works || Catering: Cobblestone Catering || Cake: Katherine Sprules Cakes || Lighting: Tony Millross || Photo Booth: Designed by Mark Kintzel Design, shot by Big Laughs Photo Booth || Photographer: Rebecca Yale Photography