A Rustic Vermont Wedding with a Farm-to-Table Menu

Noa Griffel Photography

Entrepreneurs Liza and Simon met backstage at a Lupe Fiasco rap concert. Liza, the chief executive officer of branding agency Apartment One, had just wrapped up the star's two-year creative campaign—Simon had scaled Mt. Kilimanjaro with him. "A quick conversation and an invitation to go antiquing in Red Hook led to an epic dinner," Liza recalls. "And the rest is history."

Five months later as Liza prepared for bed (after "a silly, giggly moment that may have involved a small water fight in the bathroom," she admits), Simon popped the question. "Simon stops me in the middle of the living room and says that there is no better moment than one that emulates us," Liza recalls. She later discovered Simon had concocted several elaborate proposal plans—not the least of which involved a mariachi band and bar takeover—but "when the day came for him to pick up the ring, he just couldn't wait," Liza says. He proposed just five hours later.

Photos: Ben Alsop Photography

For their June 23, 2012 wedding, Liza and Simon chose the theme Rooted In Love. "Brooklyn meets Vermont with a dose of New York City," Liza, who lives in Brooklyn with Simon, embellishes. "Antique meets modern. Warm, beautiful, handcrafted, artisanal, vibrant-yet-earthy. Lots of love in all the details."

The Barnard Inn brought their theme to life with its farm-to-table food and gorgeous grounds. "It was almost too good to be true!" says the bride. "As an homage to our theme, as well as our love for community and shared meals, we asked our guests to submit their favorite recipes, which we compiled into a cookbook for all to enjoy." The couple stashed the books inside custom welcome bags—designed by the bride, of course, and her partner at Apartment One—that awaited guests at their hotels.

Photo: Noa Griffel Photography

Surrounding the ceremony space, hundreds of paper cranes hung from trees, a gift from a longtime friend of the bride. "In addition, we also wrote our own Ketubah, which was etched in cherry wood," Liza says.

Just before the bride walked down the aisle with her mother and cousin, two flower girls sprinkled daisies in the grass. But it was perhaps the ring bearer and bride's 10-year-old cousin who drew the crowd's attention. "Evan made his step to the altar extra special by kneeling down like a young knight," Liza recalls. "So sweet!"

© Meredith Truax
© Meredith Truax

Photo: Noa Griffel Photography

The couple built a traditional Jewish chuppah from four fruit trees they purchased locally and plan to replant in the spring. "Each tree was knitter bombed up the trunk," the bride says. At the top, a muslin canopy—hand-painted with the words "All You Need Is Love" by the bride's mother—was hung.

The couple chose not to have a traditional bridal party. Instead, they asked their closest friends and family to read seven blessings, known as the sheva brachot, to the crowd of 107 guests. "Instead of the the traditional blessings, we selected seven seeds that we want to plant for our marriage and journey ahead, individually and as a family," Liza says.

Photo: Noa Griffel Photography

Liza fell for her luxuriously-layered J. Crew gown the first time she saw it online. "Something in me knew it was the one," the bride explains. "I loved it's qualities—elegant, romantic, modern and a little vintage, as well as the quality of the silk organza material and the modern take on the ruffles." She paired it with Dolce Vita wedges, which were "perfect for the grass and country grounds."

The bride always knew she'd have calla lilies in her bouquet. With the help of Valley Flower Company, "we struck a really nice balance between the the different shades of purple callas and other textural flowers and sprigs of mint to create an earthy, elegant, beautiful and absolutely perfect bouquet," she says.

Photo: Ben Alsop Photography

"We worked with a wonderful wedding coordinator named Kate Dawson, who happens to have gone to the same high school as my husband," Liza says. In addition to keeping the couple on track with Google calendars and to-do lists, "we loved the idea of the wine bottle guest book she suggested," Liza says. "We emptied wine bottles and made custom labels for our anniversaries. Our guests wrote notes to us and stuffed them in the wine bottles, which we'll crack open and read on our upcoming anniversaries."

Photo: Noa Griffel Photography

The couple also had a thumbprint tree guest book, painted by a friend, and calendars on which guests were encouraged to note their birthdays, anniversaries and other special dates.

Photo: Noa Griffel Photography

Guests found escort cards hung by twine inside two handcrafted wood frames. "We designed seating cards for each table that featured 12 different vegetable illustrations created for our [wedding] website and collateral," says Liza. The couple hired New York City designer Bonnie Clas to create each illustration.

Photo: Noa Griffel Photography

Beneath the reception tent—a "sailcloth tent with rich, wooden beams and rustic lamps to offer soft light into the evening," Liza describes—tables were richly adorned with flax linens, reclaimed wood, votive candles, and mismatched containers filled with flowers and root vegetables. "Actual vegetables such as radish, carrots, tomatoes, beets and artichokes were used in the flower arrangements and on the tablescapes," Liza explains.

More vegetables joined those already on the table at dinner time, as the couple served up slow-roasted root vegetables and beef and salmon topped with tomatoes and spinach. "Everything was so delicious and locally grown," Liza says.

Photo: Noa Griffel Photography

Even though the couple's wedding was held on the longest day of the year (the sun didn't set until nearly 9 p.m.), "everyone danced for hours, non-stop," Liza says. "A fun, unexpected moment came about just as the band was taking a break and our trusty iPad had run out of power. My husband, an admitted Disney song lover, took hold of the mic and started to sing 'A Whole New World,' at which point I joined in for an surprise duet for all to enjoy!"

—Jillian Kramer

Wedding Team

Venue: The Barnard Inn

Coordination: Kate Dawson

Stationery: Apartment One

Illustrations: Bonnie Clas

Floral Design: Valley Flower Company

Bride's Dress: J. Crew

Suit: Jil Sander

Hair: Finishing Touch

Rentals: Rain or Shine Tent and Events

Gift Bag (printing): Bag Masters

Cookbook (printing): Lulu

Linens: The Linen Shop at Occasions

Caterer: The Barnard Inn

Music: Mixtape Cover Band

Videographer: Mo Scarpelli

Wedding Coordinator: Kate Dawson Events

Photography: Noa Griffel Photography

Still-Life Photography: Ben Alsop Photography

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