A Vintage-Inspired Barn Wedding Woodstock, Connecticut

Lauren and Jack

Michelle Gardella Photography

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.

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The Fashions

Michelle Gardella Photography

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.

Jack sported a J.Crew suit and necktie from The Tie Bar.

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The Bridal Party

Michelle Gardella Photography

Bridesmaids wore Jenny Yoo dresses, and the bride carried complementary bouquets of roses, sweet peas, veronica, dusty miller, scabiosa, button mums, thistle, allium, and astrantia, designed by Lauren and created by Allison Britt from Garden Gate Florist.

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The Programs

Michelle Gardella Photography

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.

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The Ceremony

Michelle Gardella Photography

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.

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The Recessional

Michelle Gardella Photography

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.

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A Special Snapshot

Michelle Gardella Photography

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."

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Signature Sips

Michelle Gardella Photography

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.

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Cool Decor

Michelle Gardella Photography

Lauren rented a vintage mini Ferris wheel from the Bergdorf Goodman prop warehouse to continue the theme through to the cocktail hour and reception.

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Thematic Touches

Michelle Gardella Photography

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.

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The Reception

Michelle Gardella Photography

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."

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The Snacks

Michelle Gardella Photography

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.

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Painted with Love

Michelle Gardella Photography

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.

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The Sweets

Michelle Gardella Photography

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.

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The First Dance

Michelle Gardella Photography

The newlyweds chose "At Last" by Etta James for their first dance song. Their pup, Rita, got in on the action, too.

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The Photo Booth

Michelle Gardella Photography

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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The Favors

Michelle Gardella Photography

Each of the 80 guests went home with a mug sporting their first initial. Tags rubber-stamped with "Marci Beaucoup, Lauren and Jack" and a hot-air balloon were the finishing touch.

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Photography: Michelle Gardella
Event planning, stationery, and event design: Lauren Caron
Flowers: Garden Gate
Florist cake: Something Sweet by Michelle
Rentals: CT Rental Center
Hair: Sarah Audrey Salon
Makeup: Tara Swagger Aesthetics

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