Captured brilliantly through Lara Kimmerer’s lens and meticulously designed by Ashley Burk of Eventfully Ash, Jessica and Peter’s East Coast wedding was a beautiful study in combining the best of many worlds. One part vintage, one part rustic, and one part elegant, this affair was all kinds of wonderful. Even the setting itself—a sprawling saltwater farm overlooking Mount Hope and Narragansett Bay in Bristol, Rhode Island—had many different layers, evoking both the bucolic charm of a well-appointed farmstead and the entrancing romance of the sea.
No detail was overlooked, from the stunning floral designs, which featured lush pink garden roses laced with dusty miller foliage, Queen Anne’s lace, and delicate baby’s breath, to the eclectic tabletop décor, including antique hurricane lamps and heirloom silver goblets used by Jessica’s parents at their own wedding long ago. Jessica, whose greatest love next to Peter is horses, also found unique ways to tastefully incorporate these graceful creatures into her wedding day, such as by using discarded horseshoes for escort cards. “My event designer and I spent weeks collecting more than 120 old horseshoes,” Jessica recalled. “They were awesome, even though I was worried the rust might rub off on our guests’ clothing and hands. As if they had read my mind, my dad and my twin brother spent the whole day before the wedding polishing the horseshoes with some weird machine. Seriously. They were shining old horseshoes well into the night!”
The best part? Jessica and Peter were the winners of a photography and event design contest that Lara and Ashley held at the end of last year. “Winning the contest meant so much to us,” Jessica said. “It would have been strange not having Lara and her husband there to capture our big day. Peter and I got to know them in the months leading up to the wedding, but it felt like we had known them for years. There was something familiar and comfortable—and wonderful—about them that made the whole experience that much more special.”
Q + A with Jessica
How did you choose your venue?
After we got engaged, we started looking for venues and photographers. I had my heart set on a summer wedding, which gave us less than a year to get everything together.
Mount Hope Farm was the perfect venue for our rustic/vintage/elegant wedding. We couldn’t have asked for more. We love the ocean, and I love horses, so we wanted to get married on a farm by the ocean. And we wanted an outdoor wedding so that our guests could just hang out and enjoy the beautiful summer weather in each other’s company. (We didn’t want our guests to be tied to the dance floor, the bar, or their tables). What’s more, Peter went to college down the street and had never even heard of Mount Hope Farm. He really liked the idea of getting married in his college town. If you know where to look, you can actually see parts of the campus from Mount Hope’s waterfront.
The sea also has significance for my family. My father loves the ocean as much as anyone—he’s a sailor—and I was named Jessica Marina. I put a tiny sailboat charm on his boutonniere and gave him vintage horse head cufflinks.
Can you tell us a little bit about the details of your wedding?
Family is really important to me, so instead of having a maid of honor, my three brothers were my men of honor. Peter’s brother was his best man.
Our officiant, Matt, is like a brother to me, and he’s one of the coolest people I know! Our mothers were friends when they were pregnant .We grew up together, and Matt was one of my first friends to meet Peter. Anyone else marrying us wouldn’t have meant as much.
I wanted the wedding to reflect us. I don’t know how I pulled it off while working a full-time job and moving into a new apartment, but I put effort into every little detail, and I wanted Peter to be a part of everything. This was our big day, and I wanted our guests to see “J & P” reflected in all the details.
My bridesmaids wore sea-glass green dresses, a reflection of our love for the ocean. Plus, I enjoy collecting sea glass, and I love the color of it.
Supporting local vendors and farmers was important to us, so we incorporated produce and herbs from Mount Hope into our wedding menu. We wanted our guests to have delicious food, so we went with Pranzi Catering. And we chose a florist from our hometown instead of going with someone from the Bristol, Rhode Island area. Karen from Dandelions was amazing! I couldn’t have envisioned more perfect floral arrangements!
Peter and I met in NYC. On one of our first dates, I took him all over the city and showed him some of my favorite places. One of them was Magnolia Bakery. I love their cupcakes! We brought NYC to our wedding by having cupcakes instead of cake, including red velvet cupcakes, Peter’s favorite.
My “something blue” was a vintage turquoise bracelet given to me by one of my brothers. My “something borrowed” was my mother’s pearl necklace. My “something old” was my grandmother’s hand-embroidered seafoam green handkerchief. I pinned it under my dress so she could be with me as I was walking down the aisle. My bridal shoes were seafoam green, but I changed into my ancient and overly used cowgirl boots so that I could take advantage of roaming around Mount Hope with Peter.
My next love after Peter is horses! I needed to incorporate my love for these creatures into the wedding somehow, but I didn’t want horses to be everywhere. I decided to use old horseshoes as escort cards. My event designer and I spent weeks collecting more than 120 horseshoes. They were vintage-y and rustic. They were awesome, even though I was worried the rust might rub off on our guests’ clothes and hands. As if they had read my mind, my dad and my twin brother spent the whole day before the wedding polishing the horseshoes with some weird machine. Seriously. They were shining old horseshoes well into the night!
My mother made my garter belt, which had a small horseshoe charm on it. To stick with our vintage/rustic theme, we wanted all the decorations and flower containers to be different and unique. I gathered antique/vintage items from my mother and used what I had in my own collection, but there were several weekends spent collecting the rest of the decorations. We handpicked all the tabletop decorations. On our sweetheart table, we had two silver goblets that my parents used at their wedding, horse head hurricane lamps that my sister-in-law gave me, my grandmother’s antique mirror, antique bottles, and other knickknacks that represented our lives in NYC and Boston. We wanted to honor our family members, so we displayed photos of as many couples from our families as we could—photos from their wedding days. It was a wonderful tribute. I found an antique ladder and displayed some of the family photos on the ladder to symbolize (only to us) all the steps (up) that Peter and I had taken to get to our wedding day.
It took a lot of time to figure out all the decorations for the tent and Cove Cabin, where the cocktail reception was held, but it was worth it. I wanted to incorporate more of Peter—and surprise him on our big day. One of his favorite bands is Metallica (who he’s seen in concert more than a dozen times). Instead of walking down the aisle to a traditional wedding song, the wedding party walked down the aisle to Pachelbel’s Canon in D, and I walked down the aisle to an all-string version of Metallica’s “Nothing Else Matters.” A family friend and musician/composer helped prepare the song. It was amazing. I couldn’t stop crying as I got closer and closer to Peter. I surprised him—and everyone—big time.
We also had the best photographer, Lara Kimmerer. I stumbled upon her page in my search for a wedding photographer, and—long story short—Peter and I won a photography contest and got to have the amazing Lara (and her awesome husband, Peter) shoot our wedding! Right after we got engaged, Peter got laid off. It was a difficult engagement because of that; we even thought of postponing the wedding! Winning the contest meant so much to us. It would have been strange not having Lara and Peter there to capture our big day. (My) Peter and I got to know them in the months leading up to the wedding, but it felt like we had known them for years. There was something familiar and comfortable—and wonderful—about them that made the whole experience that much more special. If we weren’t lucky enough to have Peter and Lara, we also had help from wedding designer and coordinator extraordinaire Ashley Burk! She was essential in helping me organize my thoughts and ideas. Her execution was perfect. She made our dream wedding a reality.
Is there anything else you’d like to share about your wedding day?
What can I say about our most perfect day? It wasn’t perfect because we had everything we wanted or because everything was just as we had planned. It was perfect because we had everything we needed: each other and our closest family members and friends. Everything else was a major bonus.
This wedding was submitted via Two Bright Lights.