Happy Friday, everybody! To celebrate, we’re treating you to the ultimate authentic rustic American wedding.
In typical ‘Smashing The Glass’ style, Sara and Justin didn’t want a cookie-cutter wedding and chose a blank canvas venue (a working horse farm) and filled it with stunning chandeliers, decadent dà©cor and so much love. The juxtaposition of a colourful, yet vintage-looking chuppah against the rustic dark wood of the barn is truly a sight to behold.
Their Jewish wedding was captured in all its glory by photographer Gary Nevitt, including the bride’s epic cowboy (girl) boots – we have serious boot envy over here – and the stunning floral and mossy details, put together by Tonia of Aribella Events.
It also always strikes us how many Jewish weddings are filled with precious family heirlooms passed down through the generations. Sara and Justin’s wedding was no exception, with beautiful relics that even survived the Holocaust. This solemn tribute to our collective history can seem odd to some, but it says so much about the Jewish soul – the ability to commemorate our difficult past in a way that somehow makes the celebration feel all the more necessary in the present.
Over to Sara for the full story on her and Justin’s special day.
How we met
Sara, the bride: Justin and I met through a mutual friend, Jill. We were the only two Jewish friends she had, so she figured we would be a good fit! I was in graduate school at Syracuse University for broadcast journalism and Justin was a sports reporter an hour away at a small station. Jill was my classmate and interned at Justin’s TV station on the weekends.
Justin and I hit it off immediately and the rest is history! We were long distance for a while, and would meet halfway in Scranton, Pennsylvania on the weekends. We would stay at a local Hampton Inn and go see the Tommy Guns Band play music. Hampton Hotels corporate got wind of our story and featured us in a promotional video, in which we also got engaged! Tommy Guns Band wrote us our wedding song and played it at our engagement.
A rustic farm venue
We were married at a working horse farm in Cochranville, Pennsylvania called The Stables at Fox Crossing. Justin, my husband, and I dreamed of having a horse farm wedding, but every rustic wedding venue we visited seemed extremely commercial and like a “wedding factory.”
We wanted a space that was truly unique. We wanted guests to feel as if they were attending a wedding at someone’s personal residence, not at a commercial banquet facility. Our wedding planner, Tonia of Aribella Events, found this farm for us, and the owners generously allowed us to use it as our venue.
A rustic, vintage and elegant theme
Our theme was definitely rustic, vintage and elegant with a splash of ‘a day at the horse races.’ My husband works in the horse racing industry, and racing is a huge passion of his, so we wanted to incorporate horses at our wedding.
We are also both huge country music fans, so we wanted to have the rustic, ‘country’ feel to our wedding.
Rustic horseshoe invitations
Tonia handled the design of our invitation. It was somewhat in the style of a ticket that was strung together by twine. We also incorporated horseshoes on the invitation to continue with the horse theme.
An off-the-rack Enzoani gown
I am the worst and most indecisive shopper ever! I purchased my dress from The Sample Rack in Philadelphia. They sell sample designer dresses at discounted rates and you purchase off the rack. My dress was Enzoani.
I really didn’t have an “a-ha” moment when it came to the dress, I just decided it would be the one! I also had a short reception dress from BCBG. I wore my dresses with Dan Post off-white cowboy boots!
Meaningful family accessories
I wore my mother’s veil and vintage pearls that were my mum’s as well. My engagement ring was my maternal grandmother’s. She remarried after my grandfather died and told my mum to save her engagement ring that my grandfather gave her for me. My great-grandfather was a jeweller, and he made the engagement ring.
The handsome groom
Bridesmaids in J. Crew
I had four bridesmaids. They each wore J. Crew navy chiffon dresses in the style of their choice. By chance, they each wore a different neckline, which I thought was great! Their outfits blended in nicely, as our groomsmen also wore blue shirts.
A vintage Chuppah design
The Chuppah was lace tablecloth that belonged to my mum’s family. It was from the 1920s or ’30s. My grandmother cried when she saw it!
Our family-filled ceremony
We had many special touches! We had pictures of our deceased grandparents under the Chuppah with us, our kiddush cup was my family’s that was hidden during the Holocaust (my paternal grandparents are survivors) and was recovered by maids and returned to my family after the war and we had family members and friends read the seven blessings.
I think my favourite part of the ceremony was when Justin dipped me at the end for the kiss!
A country music knees up
Our wedding was about 98% country music (much to my father’s chagrin)! Our bridal party walked in to American Honey by Lady Antebellum, I walked in to To Know Love by Little Big Town. Our ceremony/cocktail hour band was 3 West.
Our reception band was the Tommy Guns Band. They actually wrote an original song for us called Halfway Home and that was our first dance song. We also did a bridal party line dance to Good Time by Alan Jackson.
Our fabulous photographer
Gary Nevitt was our photographer and did an amazing job! We did not have a videographer.
A naked carrot cake
Our caterer, Provence Catering made the cake. It was a carrot cake with a cream cheese butter cream. The cake was naked!
A charitable favours alternative
In lieu of favors we donated to a horse rescue organisation.
My mum is super crafty and made all of the flower girls baskets and the pearl belt that I wore. Justin also spent the morning at a horse racing track and rode a horse!
Advice to brides and groom currently planning their wedding
I think hiring a planner is key! The wedding is stressful as it is, adding planning to the mix was the best investment.
Sara & Justin’s little white book
Planning, Floral Design and Stationery – Aribella Events
Photography – Gary Nevitt Photography
Venue – The Stables at Fox Crossing
Bride’s dress – Enzoani purchased at The Sample Rack
Bride’s boots – Dan Post
Groom’s attire – ASOS, Jos. A. Bank, Kinloch Anderson and Frye boots
Bridesmaids – J. Crew
Make-up – Kristen Stengel
Bands – 3 West and Tommy Guns Band
Caterer and Cake – Provence Catering
Ketubah — Ketubah.com
Rentals – Something Different and Forget Me Not Vintage Rentals
Linens – Total Table
Lighting – Eventions
Tent – EventQuip
Transportation – Secrets Limousine