A Vintage-Inspired Barn Wedding Woodstock, Connecticut
Lauren and Jack
Together for nearly a decade, Lauren Gries and Jack Caron, the visual presentation manager at Bergdorf Goodman and carpenter-cum-computer animator, ventured back to the bride's childhood home in the Connecticut countryside to become husband and wife. The intimate June 1, 2013, nuptials were fashioned in a whimsical way that evoked both vintage carnivals and French provincial style, capturing the late 1930s and early 1940s the couple finds captivating.
Lauren chose a Sarah Seven golden lace gown from Everthine Bride paired with a Badgley Mischka belt, Kate Spade New York shoes, BHLDN earrings, a Tiffany & Co. necklace, and Gilded Shadows veil. Her hair was coifed with victory rolls for a retro updo.
The Bridal Party
The creative duo crafted most of the details and decor themselves. Lauren designed the programs and paired them with muslin pouches of dried lavender to shower over the couple at the conclusion of the ceremony.
Lauren's brother, Nathaniel, led the ceremony, with the justice of the peace reading the pronouncement of the marriage. The customized service included readings of the poems "The Life That I Have" by Leo Marks, Edmund O'Neill's "Marriage Joins Two People in the Circle of Its Love," and "The Life That I Have" by Heidi Kinsella.
The ceremony took place in front of a stately pergola, initially built by Lauren's father and a family friend. After some damage from a hurricane, Jack and Lauren's dad rebuilt the structure, set amidst a clearing in the English-style gardens, so it could be used for the wedding day.
A close friend performed "The First Day of My Life," by Bright Eyes, as the couple walked up the aisle as Mr. and Mrs. Caron, showered with dried lavender tossed by loved ones.
A Special Snapshot
While taking portraits, Lauren and Jack's photographer, Michelle Gardella, grabbed a handful of petals from the eastern snowball bushes they were posing in front of and gave them to the bride with instructions to blow them from the palms of her hand. The spur-of-the-moment shot resulted in this photo, which the bride calls "simply magical."
His and hers cocktails were on offer. Le Madame Caron, Damask rose-infused vodka, elderflower syrup, fresh-squeezed lemon, and cassis, for the ladies, and the Unionized Jack, Jack Daniel's whiskey blended with Assam black tea, ginger, Connecticut maple syrup, and fresh-squeezed limes, for the gents.
Lauren rented a vintage mini Ferris wheel from the Bergdorf Goodman prop warehouse to continue the theme through to the cocktail hour and reception.
Petite hot air balloons from Authentic Models were given a wash of paint to make them a bit more antique in style. They were hung from the ceiling throughout the reception space.
Lauren also crafted pennant flags, which hung alongside strands of bistro lights in the refurbished Victorian carriage barn on her parent's property. The festive room was the site for the vegetarian feast, which was peppered with dishes inspired by both French cuisine and Carnival fare. "We treated the barn as a restaurant or lounge of sorts," Lauren said. "Dividing the space into a main eating area, a dancing area, seating spot, and bar, which was designed and built by Jack."
The duo spotted a popcorn cart on One King's Lane and jumped at the opportunity to have the old-fashioned popper at their fete.
Painted with Love
A hand-painted banner mural was another touch by the bride. "We really focused on the visual details, as we all wanted this event to have a sense of permanence," Lauren said.
An ombre fondant-covered cake was built of a top tier inspired by a circus drum and lower layers decorated with piped and beaded swags and trims. A hugging bear topper added to the look.
The First Dance
The newlyweds chose "At Last" by Etta James for their first dance song. Their pup, Rita, got in on the action, too.
The Photo Booth
Lauren and her father painted a large roll of canvas with yellow-and-white stripes to serve as the photo-booth backdrop. Circus-style props, such as top hats, animal masks, and magician accessories were on hand. Even the brother of the bride's terrier, Moira, got her picture taken.
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