The ethereal summer setting of a family farm nestled in the foothills of the Berkshires of western Massachusetts was the perfect venue for Morgan and Daniel’s romantic, homegrown wedding. Friends and family played a role in so many parts of the planning and execution of this wedding, from the stationery and florals to the cake and music. Even their wedding officiant was a close personal friend who helped shaped and personalize their ceremony and vows. This is an elegant fête under the stars you will not want to miss!
Morgan + Daniel | June 22, 2013 | Mill River, Massachusetts | Dress Listing: Amsale, Bali
The whole wedding was a fantastic, collaborative group project involving our friends and family. We staged the ceremony on my cousins’ landscaped stone patio overlooking a hay field with a spectacular view of woods and the Berkshire mountains. The ceremony was a production, including an extended processional accompanied by the mischievous harmony of David Byrne songs played by the groom’s cover band.
My bridesmaids wore a range of dresses and accessories in peachy-corals, including watermelon, blush-rose, pink prosecco, and champagne. We included readings from the Bible, Shakespeare, and the writer Louis de Bernières. Our friend Kim married us with a personal address, as our guests looked on with a spectacular view of hayfields that met the forest at the base of the Berkshire mountains and late afternoon sky beyond.
The reception was a feast and an outdoor party that unfolded in the late-staying light of the solstice. We set up a big tent next to my cousin Liz’s pumpkin patch. She and her husband Don spent loads of time preparing their property to host the event—it was a huge gift. There were paper bag lanterns lighting the way to the tucked-away toilets and fruit trees draped in Christmas lights.
There was lots of summery grilled food, locally brewed beer and refreshing rosé. We had a funky, bluesy band that got everyone dancing. Our friends made the delicious homemade wedding cake, the party favors, and the bunting in the tent. Dan made a late-night playlist and set up laser lights for a raucous finale. A big, full strawberry moon added to the dreamy fairy-castle feeling of the tent that lingered on into the wee hours.
Morgan’s Dress Search
I had planned for a designer-friend to make my dress, and had some silhouette and material ideas in mind. I knew the dress would play a critical role in the overall aesthetic we wanted to create, and I was also inspired by the history of theatricality in weddings – I knew I wanted a real gown. Dan and I wanted to create a ceremony that was unique to us and full of meaning.
The original plan for the dress didn’t end up working out though, so I had to change my course of action. (As with all things in life, adjustments and course-changes happen in wedding planning too!) My bridesmaids were super supportive and made a few appointments at local bridal salons as a starting point. This was really helpful and gave me an idea of what styles were available and which designers I liked. Amsale stood out to me as a company. I admire that everything is designed and made in NYC, and each dress is constructed by a single seamstress, rather than on an assembly line–I value the pride, care and individuality inherent in that process.
There was a different, more modern style by Amsale that made me feel like a princess when I tried it on, and while I was mulling over a decision, I poked around online to see if I could find a sample. That’s how I stumbled upon The White Dress by the Shore. I made the trip to Connecticut and had an amazing experience trying on dresses in their sunny upstairs room. Amsale Bali was the unexpected front-runner! The color palette is romantic and the silhouette is both timeless and sexy. There is a mythical, fairytale quality to this dress that captures what I was trying to cultivate for our wedding. It was the perfect aesthetic keystone.
How Morgan Felt in Her Wedding Dress
Happy, graceful, beautiful
Why Morgan Decided to Sell Her Wedding Dress
There are a couple of reasons. First, the experience of wearing such a special gown should be shared! I enjoy taking care of beautiful things, but I also believe in sharing beauty–it’s not as good when boxed up. Second, Dan and I are mapping out a plan to move towards the next phase of our marriage, and recouping some of what I invested in this dress would be very helpful.
Wedding Dress: Amsale, Bali | Photography: Studio Foto | Ceremony Venue: Private Residence | Reception Venue: Private Residence | Catering: Route 7 Grill | Bridal Party Bouquet Floral Design: Kristine Emprino and Wild & Cultivated Farm | Boutonnières and Centerpieces: by the Bridesmaids | Cake: Marissa Grace Desmond | Bridal Shoes: J. Crew | Menswear: Hugo Boss | Tie: Paul Smith | Bridal Jewelry: Jane Diaz | Wedding Bands: Leo Carroll Jewelers | Stationery: DIY with Watercolors by Hariet Dixon