A Country-Chic Wedding on a New Jersey Farm
Katy and Andrew
It's quite surprising that Andrew Drexel Allen and Kathryn Ainsworth Long never crossed paths prior to their first meeting. Andrew, who works in wealth management, and Katy, who worked on Wall Street, might have bonded over their somewhat common careers. However, it was their love for wine that tied them together. Katy was studying wine at nights at the American Sommelier Academy, when she was set up on a blind date in New York City in November 2014. The lucky guy? Andrew, whose family is in the wine business. "We met for dinner on a Saturday night at Café Boulud and geeked out over our mutual love of all things food and wine," Katy recalls.
The couple dated for a year and a half before a family tragedy spurred Andrew to propose—Katy's stepfather was diagnosed with melanoma. Wanting to get his blessings before he passed on, Andrew proposed to Katy in her childhood home in Atlanta, allowing her "Pops" to share in their special occasion.
Following the engagement, Katy quit her corporate life and moved out to the country where Andrew owns Dunwalke Farm in the bucolic hills of Somerset County, New Jersey. Now, they both help manage the family farm that includes livestock and hay, and are involved in his family's wine businesses too.
The couple didn't have to look too far for a wedding venue—their dream location just happened to be their home! The groom's great-grandfather purchased the property in the 1920s, five generations followed. Yet, Katy and Andrew were the first to be married on-site. The wedding also allowed the couple to have fun renovating the barns and getting the house ready for their big day. On May 7, 2016, in front of 145 of their closest loved ones, Katy and Andrew said their "I do's." Aiming for a "foodie farm" wedding, Katy and Andrew put a lot of emphasis on creating a rustic theme, topped off with great cuisine.
The Stationery Suite
The property is located just an hour west of Manhattan and provided the rustic backdrop for their big day. On getting married right on their own land, Katy says, "How easy to roll out of bed and step into the wedding!"
Katy knew she wanted a strapless lace dress, befitting the romantic mood of a country wedding. After trying on ten gowns, the bride immediately knew when she tried on "the one." She paired the mermaid-style Mira Zwillinger number with simple, nude Stuart Weitzman sandals and her mother's long, lace-trimmed veil from the 1970s. She also borrowed a pair of sapphire earrings from one of her bridesmaids—"Sapphire is my birthstone and they also matched my wedding band of sapphire and diamonds," the bride explains.
Working with the groom's family jeweler, Zwikker and Zacher, the pair opted for simplicity—a yellow gold band for him and a platinum one for her, complete with hidden engravings. Katy actually got two wedding bands; an antique one of sapphire and diamonds too.
The Bridal Party
The couple loves preppy fashion and Andrew and his groomsmen channeled country club class in custom Windsor Custom shirts with their initials embroidered on the sleeve paired with white Vineyard Vines khaki pants. Keeping in theme with the color palette of pale pinks, greens, and white, the men finished off their look with navy blazers and custom pink Vineyard Vines ties with the Dunwalke Farm cow logo on the tie repeated in green.
The Flower People
The wedding also had little helpers in the form of six flower people; Andrew's five nephew and nieces as well as his own son, Lucien.
The Custom Archway
Katy and Andrew were married under an archway constructed of cedar wood found on the property. Their florist (and Andrew's cousin) Lilee Fell Flowers adorned the arch with gardenias (the bride's favorite), allowing the sweet scent to linger in the air as guests witnessed the couple's union while also taking in the view of the rolling hills.
It had been raining all week but the weather let up for their big day. "The clouds parted as we stepped under our wooden archway and the sun came out. It was magical and a moment we'll never forget," the bride recalls. The couple stuck to traditional vows and Katy had her sisters-in-law as readers.
Homage to the bride's late stepfather's Scottish ancestry, Katy's brother, Harrison played "Highland Cathedral" on the bagpipes. "It was a tribute to Pops who could not be there with us the day of the wedding but was surely smiling down from heaven," Katy says of the special moment.
Following the ceremony, the couple posed for pictures taken by Ulysses Photography at their favorite view of the whole property—right on the back terrace, where they had exchanged vows.
A Stellar Beverage Menu
The cocktail reception took place on the back terrace, complete with folksy music playing in the background and a roaring fire pit. Guests were served the couple's favorite drink and signature cocktail of the night, the Southside and rosé champagne. Andrew is part owner of Domaine Clarence Dillon and the bride and groom are also brand ambassadors for his brother's California wine venture, Carte Blanche Wines and it was only befitting that a selection of family wines: the Carte Blanche Pinot Noir 2012 and Carte Blanche Chardonnay 2012 were also on hand for guests to sample during cocktail hour while the Clarendelle Rouge 2009 and Clarendelle Blanc 2014 were served during the reception.
The couple worked with Peter Callahan on the menu and everyone was treated to about a dozen of the caterer's signature savory hors d'oeuvres, like caviar on edible cracker spoons and blinis served with a mini vodka shot. The duo also served their own Dunwalke beef throughout the night and Katy, who's from Georgia, was sure to incorporate a few Southern elements in the menu—her grandfather's cornbread recipe and cheese grits.
Amidst the food and drinks, guests could also have a go at the cornhole boards, complete with the property's signature logo.
The Escort Cards
The simple and elegant wedding escort cards were printed on eggshell paper, accompanied by black calligraphy and the Dunwalke Farm illustration.
A tent was set up over the courtyard and decorated with fairy lights, creating a dream-like feel. In keeping with the color palette and the country-chic theme, there were a mix of round tables with pale pink tablecloths and farm tables with lace runners, finished off with cross-backed wooden chairs with pale pink cushions.
Lilee Fell combined pale pink peonies, white and green hydrangeas, and roses in varying pewter antique vases. To add to the soft, idyllic mood, candles in alternating heights also shared the spotlight.
The First Dance
The couple had their first dance as Mr. and Mrs. to Ronan Keating's "When You Say Nothing At All" in the renovated dairy barn that was dressed up with bistro lights.
To commemorate the momentous occasion, the couple hired International Fireworks, who do the Fourth of July show at their local country club, to light up the night sky.
After the fireworks went off in the sky, the couple also had a sparkly sendoff on-ground with guests holding up sparklers as Andrew whisked his bride off in their getaway car.
Photography, Ulysses Photography
Location, Dunwalke Farm
Event planning, Aribella Events
Catering, Peter Callahan Catering
Flowers, Lilee Fell Flowers
Stationery and Calligraphy, Pickett's Press
Cake, inspired by Caroline's Cakes
Music, Troy Curtis Entertainment
Bride's gown, Mira Zwillinger
Bride's shoes, Stuart Weitzman
Hair, Express Yourself Salon
Makeup, John Barrett Salon
Bridesmaids' dresses, Intermix
Flower Girl dresses, Bella Bridesmaids
Lighting, Eggsotic Events
Transportation, My Limo