This Couple's Farm Wedding Perfectly Blended Rustic and Modern Aesthetics
Jenna and Andrew grew up 10 minutes away from each other and attended rival high schools, but didn't get to know one another until November 2019, when they connected through a social networking site. "On his Bumble profile, he bragged about having once blocked Steph Curry's shot during a high school basketball game," Jenna says. "I instantly knew he must have grown up in Charlotte, as our school used to play Steph as well." When the pair found out they had some mutual friends, they decided to get together—and the rest is history.
In August 2020, Andrew popped the question in the backyard of their new home after enjoying dinner together at one of their favorite restaurants. "I got down on one knee and told her I had a question to ask her," he says. "She said yes and luckily the whole thing was caught on a Nest Cam that Jenna had set up to watch the critters in the backyard." The couple spent about 18 months planning their December 4, 2021, wedding at Blackberry Farm in Walland, Tenn. (They invited 130 guests and recommended that their loved ones get vaccinated and test negative ahead of their nuptials.) Aside from the couple's videographer, who had to back out at the last minute due to the pandemic, the couple felt lucky that their wedding date fell at a time when guests could travel fairly easily.
With help from the team at Blackberry Farm—and their wedding planner Jennifer Laraia—the couple pulled off their vision of a timeless, classic, not too over-the-top, unique event. They opted for a color palette of cream, pine, sage, and evergreen with accents of peach, light pink, and dusty mauve. The party's design echoed and reinforced the bucolic locales surroundings: Their outdoor ceremony—decorated simply, so it didn't compete with the terrain—was complete with mountain views, and the floral installations, which resembled clouds in the open sky, stole the show at their reception.
Handmade Works of Art
Jenna, Andrew, and their planner, Jennifer, worked with Karla, of Written Word Calligraphy, to design their save-the-dates, invitation, and day-of paper from scratch. The nude main envelope featured taupe hand calligraphy and was lined with a digital painting of the venue; their invitation was printed on handmade paper with gold foil printing. The couple also had a green velvet details booklet featuring an olive leaf custom monogram. Everything was tied together with an antique gold velvet ribbon and finished with a wax seal and a vellum overlay.
The couple offered welcome bags to their attendees with personalized items like sports memorabilia and chess sets based on the duo's shared memories. Included booklets featured the watercolor painting of the boathouse at Blackberry Farm, which was first seen on the invitations' envelope liners. All guests were given wool blankets from Scotland—embroidered with a sketch of the rocking chairs at their wedding venue—as a nod to Andrew's time at St. Andrews University. They also received hot cocoa mix and blackberry jam sourced from the farm.
Dad Was Right
Jenna wore a silk Monique Lhullier wedding dress with long sleeves, a drop waist, and a tulle skirt with magnolia embroidery details. She flew out to New York City with her parents to visit the Monique Lhullier flagship store; her best friend joined via Zoom. The last ball gown she tried on ended up being the one. "I never would have guessed that this was the dress I was going to pick out," Jenna says. "I wanted a simple gown and left with anything but." Funnily enough, when her dad walked into the store, he quietly pointed out the dress to Jenna's mom—and predicted it would be her choice. "He ended up being right," the bride says.
Jenna paired her gown with a cathedral-length veil, also by Monique Lhullier. She donned her mother's diamond necklace, a tennis bracelet, and dangle earrings that were a big-day gift. The finishing touch? Ivory leather Valentino boots. "We did get married on a farm after all," Jenna says.
Jenna held an asymmetrical bouquet of blooms of peonies, English garden roses, and sweetheart roses, complete with seasonal greenery. "I pretty much left this totally up to the florist—my only input was that I didn't want anything too structured," the bride says.
The Wedding Party
Jenna had one bridesmaid: Her maid of honor, Iris, her friend of 20 years. Stylist Arden Rucho chose Iris' champagne Amsale off-the-shoulder column dress—and Andrew's groomsmen's dark gray suit, too. The couple had two flower girls, who are daughters of a close family friend.
The couple's 18-month-old nephew Benjamin was their ring bearer, wearing a matching navy tuxedo. "He threw a mini tantrum facedown on the floor just minutes before the procession started, but he pulled it together just in time and did great," Andrew says.
Jenna and Andrew shared their first look at the Yallarhammer Pavilion; an open-air space by a creek on the edge of the property. "I was just trying to stay calm and even-keeled all day so I could remember as much as possible," Jenna says. "I knew that if I started crying then, I'd be a mess for the rest of the day!" Andrew remembers Jenna worrying that her dress would be too over-the-top. "It was all nonsense," Andrew says. "Jenna looked amazing, and the dress was perfect."
A Warm Welcome
As guests arrived, they enjoyed passed Champagne, hot drinks, and various liquors.
The couple's ceremony took place on the back lawn of the Main House overlooking the mountains. Black bentwood chairs framed the winding aisle, facing an all-white rounded floral arch. "I loved the idea of a winding aisle. I think it sort of symbolized our journey to finding each other," Jenna says. "It was really dramatic, because I didn't see Andrew until I came around the curve towards the end of the aisle, which felt special."
The walkway was lined with rustic arrangements of white florals and greenery in varying heights; they were made to look as if they grew from the ground.
Programs, emblazoned with the same illustration from the invitations' envelope liners, detailed the ceremony's order of events.
The Dog's Moment
Jenna and Andrew's shih tzu, George, stole the show in a navy tuxedo; he walked down the aisle with Iris and promptly marked his territory when he got to the end (creating quite the moment of levity at the start of the service).
Here Comes the Bride
Andrew processed into the space to a live string version of "Can You Feel the Love Tonight" from The Lion King. Jenna's father, Steve, walked her down the aisle to the theme song from Father of the Bride. "Andrew's favorite movie growing up was The Lion King, so his choice was both sweet and cheeky—just like him," Jenna says. "For me, Father of the Bride was always one of my favorite movies; the tune was so perfect and cinematic."
Reading Their Vows
The couple's family friend, Dede, was their officiant. "We fell in love in her house in Maine on a snowy December weekend and it only felt right to have her marry us," Andrew says. Ahead of their wedding, Dede asked the couple some questions, which helped her curate the service. The maid of honor also read a prayer.
Cocktail Hour on the Patio
During the couple's cocktail hour, guests enjoyed live music and signature cocktails. The duo offered the "Blackberry Bumpkin," a blackberry-infused vodka drink with raspberry, cranberry, Cointreau, and lime. They also served the "Barn Old-Fashioned," a whisky cocktail with house demerara syrup and bitters.
The selection of passed appetizers included ham and onion tarts, rice fritters with black-eyed pea hummus, and smoked trout rillette on house-made chips. The couple took most of their family photos at their welcome dinner the night before, so they were able to spend time with their guests during the interlude.
The reception space featured whimsical hanging flower installations above the center table and on a tiered chandelier. Jenna and Andrew chose dark green velvet tablecloths to make a statement; they were paired with the black bentwood chairs used for the ceremony.
Place settings were aglow with gold-rimmed white plates accented with a green olive leaf pattern. The green velvet menus were gold foil printed, and the place cards featured gold calligraphy on tented handmade paper—detailed with the wax seal used on their invitation suite. The centerpieces spanned the full length of the rectangular tables and were embellished with votives, pillar candles, grapes, figs, and pears.
Slide Into a Booth
Guests sat at a mix of tables—including in booth-style sections, which brought a cozy vibe to dinner.
Dinner began with a salad of mixed lettuces, garden herbs, sunflower seeds, and crispy buckwheat. Then came a roasted sweet potato soup with sage and pecans, which was a major crowd-pleaser. For the main meal, guests chose one of three potential entrées: steak with smoked beets and a horseradish bearnaise; chicken with roasted potatoes, wild mushrooms, and broccolini; or a North Carolina trout dish with spinach, mushrooms, and Marcona almonds. Apples and cream and wedding cake were served for dessert—and each plate was paired with a pre-selected wine.
The couple set up a Champagne tower on a round glass table; an organic flower installation was wrapped around the base.
The Bride's Second Look
Post-dinner dancing took place in Bramble Hall, where drapery and over 30 floating flower installations hung from the ceiling to soften the space and mimic clouds. The couple appreciated how this transformed the very same room they hosted their welcome party in the night prior.
Jenna changed into a draped V-neck dark green velvet dress with long sleeves for an evening spent on the dance floor. "I loved that it was green so I could blend in with everyone else while dancing!" she says.
Food with Flair
The couple's three-tiered wedding cake was classic and clean. The layers featured an almond pound cake with vanilla buttercream, a lemon cake with raspberry filling, and a chocolate cake with vanilla buttercream icing. Late-night snacks included mini patty melt sliders, grilled pimento cheese sandwiches, mini glazed donuts, cookies, and French fries.
To couples planning their wedding days, Andrew has this advice: "Be advised: No one reads the website (or the save-the-dates, or the invitations)." But don't worry if things don't go to plan, Jenna adds. "The unexpected moments ended up being some of our favorite parts of the wedding."
Photography, Natalie Watson, Ashley Hoskins
Venue and Catering, Blackberry Farm
Cake, Magpies Bakery
Wedding Planning and Event Design, Jennifer Laraia
Videographer, Anchor Heart
Flowers, Amy Osaba
Invitations and Paper Products, Written Word Calligraphy
Bride's Gown, Monique Lhuillier
Bride's Accessories, Monique Lhuillier veil; Valentino shoes; Diamonds Direct Charlotte jewelry
Bride's Hair and Makeup, Ashley and Megan, Claire Balest
Bride's Attendant, The Stylish Bride
Groom's, Groomsman's, and Bridesmaid's Styling, Arden Rucho
Bridesmaid Dress, Amsale
Engagement Ring and Wedding Bands, Susie Saltzman
Guest Book, Michelle Skiba
Music, Melodious Strings; Party on the Moon
Rentals, The Ark; Mayker Events; McCabe Co.
Lighting, Bandit Lites
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