When Emmalee Bierly helped her brother plan a surprise winery trip for his anniversary, she had no idea she'd be the one surprised! On the way to the winery to meet up with their group, Emmalee and her then-boyfriend, Aaron Nye, got a call saying their room wasn't ready yet, so they stopped at Penn State for a tour of the stomping grounds where they first met. After, they checked into a quaint bed and breakfast, where Aaron proposed. They then celebrated with Emmalee’s family and friends (yet another surprise from Aaron).
After the perfect proposal, the college sweethearts decided to take their time wedding planning and spread it out over a two-year engagement. "We actually loved planning and finding vendors that were kind and really understood us and our vision for the wedding," says the bride. On September 24, 2016, the two finally said "I do" at Glen Foerd, a historic mansion on the Delaware River, and partied with 193 guests in a gorgeous tented reception that perfectly expressed their wedding style. "We called it 'natural vintage,' but it ended up feeling very eclectic," she says.
Lauren Fair Photography’s shots from the day will make you feel like you were part of the beautiful celebration—and make you want a "natural vintage" wedding of your own. Keep reading for more!
When bride Emmalee went dress shopping, she was seconds away from buying another gown, but then this Sarah Seven design caught her eye. “When I tried it on, I knew instantly it was the One," she remembers. "I felt comfortable but gorgeous and ethereal, and, most important, I looked like me!” The bride paired her romantic gown with a simple headpiece and veil for the ceremony, then switched into a more decadent (sparkly!) hair accessory for the reception.
Emmalee’s bouquet was just as stunning as her dress, thanks to florist Oleander Curated. The cascading arrangement featured an abundance of flowers in plum and deep-red hues, foliage and berries. A long ribbon tied it all together.
The bride’s eight attendants, wearing Jenny Yoo dresses in coordinating shades, carried unique, individualized bouquets. Each design incorporated elements from the bride’s bouquet in different ways, whether it was the colors, the flowers, or both.
The groom wore a slim-fit herringbone suit from Suit Supply, paired with brown shoes, a black tie, and a single rose boutonniere.
The couple thought of every detail for their ceremony, decorating the venue's main lawn with a welcome sign covered in greenery and an altar that was actually an oversize picture frame. They altar was dressed up with flowers in red hues to match the bride's bridal bouquet and the day's color scheme. For their guests, Emmalee and Aaron provided ceremony programs in the shape of festive flags and left bags of lavender on each chair for them to toss during the recessional song.
In an effort to personalize their ceremony, Emmalee and Aaron decided they wouldn't be the only ones reciting vows! “We asked our wedding guests to take a vow to always turn us back towards one another and support our love in a positive light,” she says. After officially saying "I do" with the support of their family and friends, the newlyweds made their way down the aisle and were showered with lavender.
Inside the reception tent, guests were greeted by a "Party Animal" sign and then found their names on escort cards that were attached to gold-painted mini animal figurines. Talk about a preview to a party-filled night!
Long wooden farm tables were draped with long garlands of greenery, while other tables were lined with gray runners. All were topped with gold votive candles, pops of burgundy and purple roses, and a table number in a vintage-looking silver holder.
Next to the bar, a window pane was calligraphed with lines of poetry to put the couple’s love front and center during the night's festivities.
Outside the reception tent, the couple set up a boho-chic seating area with a mix of upholstered chairs, vintage tables, and a marquee sign. And as a surprise to her groom, Emmalee organized a whiskey and cigar lounge too, complete with tastings during the reception.
Cassie Sciortino, a baker in New York City, made a semi-naked cake (with funfetti filling!) for the couple, adding an adorable bear topper as her final touch. “The cake was made by one of my oldest and dearest friends, Cassie Sciortino, who is a baker in New York,” Emmalee says. “She called me when we got engaged and asked if she could make our wedding cake for us!"
Once the party got going, the bride made one last change—into a chic white pantsuit for dancing. She and her 'maids also added flower crowns to their late-night look.
Looking back on the planning process, Emmalee has this advice for brides-to-be: "Make sure you really like your vendors. Personality counts! You will have to interact with them way more than you think, and it's important that you feel comfortable speaking freely with them and feel like they understand you.”
Ceremony & Reception Venue: Glen Foerd on the Delaware
Weekend Coordinator: Creative Eventology
Flowers: Oleander Curated
Bride's Dress: Sarah Seven
Bride's Shoes: Steve Madden
Bride's Jumpsuit: BHLDN
Groom's Attire: Suit Supply
Bridesmaids' Dresses: Jenny Yoo Collection
Engagement Ring: Marks-Jewelers
Wedding Bands: Golden Nugget Jewelry
Hair & Makeup: True Beauty Marks
Catering: Jamie Hollander Catering
Rentals: Maggpie Vintage Rentals
Signage: Paper and Pine Co.
Paper Products: Bliss Paper Boutique
Music: The Uptown Band
Photography: Lauren Fair Photography
Videography: Willow Tree Films