Five years ago this week, we had the immense honor and distinct pleasure of working with Sophie and Lance on their gorgeous country wedding. Still to this day, we look back fondly on their “epic” wedding as one of the most moving celebrations we have planned. Sophie and Lance’s joie de vivre made the collaboration crazy fun, infinitely enjoyable and thorougly rewarding. Their zest for life was contagious and we wish them a Happy Anniversary!
Photos courtesy of Philippe Cheng.
Although they’re normally traveling the world chasing sun, surf and snow, Sophie and Lance chose to marry close to home at the beautiful Big Bend Farm in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania. Named after a curve in the Brandywine River running alongside the estate, George “Frolic” Weymouth’s 250 year old country farm was the perfect setting for their outdoor celebration. The butterfly garden, vegetable garden, corn fields, horse barns and tree-lined paths are absolutely breathtaking! Acres and acres of rolling green hills covered with endless miles of carriage trails continue to intrigue and amaze all who are lucky enough to be invited to this private paradise.
As the official portraitist for Prince Philip of England, Weymouth visited many English country estates over the years and admired their private chapels. Thus inspired, he built his own private chapel at Big Bend. A truly magical place tucked into the trees at the top of a hill, the Chapel is a small, elegant structure made of stone and wood, with doorways and window frames open to the elements. The bridal party and immediate families were seated on existing wooden benches inside the Chapel and their 150 guests were offered seating outside on bentwood chairs. As they awaited the bridal party’s arrival, guests enjoyed the whimsical country sound of traditional American folk ballads by Fred’s Mobile Homes. Sophie and Lance, as well as their parents and bridal party, were driven up to the Chapel in Frolic’s extensive collection of the country’s finest four-n-hand horse carriages.
Sophie wore an incredible biased cut ivory Very Wang gown and adorned her hair with a few pheasant feathers woven into her hair with tortoise shell combs. She carried a bouquet of loosely gathered garden flowers, leaves, berries and pheasant feathers.
The stone manor house at Big Bend is filled with tortoises: tortoise figures in the rug, on the walls, gates, plaques and stationery. Weymouth explained that his property is closely associated with the Native American Indian tribes James Fenimore Cooper wrote about in The Last of the Mohicans. The Indians apparently regarded the local tortoises found along the Brandywine River as protectors and lucky charms. Sophie loved the symbolism herself and chose to use a tortoise motif on the wedding papers designed by Two Paperdolls, including deckled-edged save the dates, welcome signs, ceremony programs, menu cards and ivory hemstitched linen cocktail napkins. One of the day’s many thoughtful elements, a personal favorite of the couple’s wedding planner, Melissa Paul, was the ceremony program. Designed using rich cotton paper, small letterpressed booklets were tied together with brown leather cording and placed in an casual bunder in one of our old grapevine baskets. We styled the programs, as well as multiple non-alcoholic beverages in vintage glass dispensers, with our eclectic mix of old country furniture, stools and baskets in casual settings at the large iron gates leading down to the Chapel.
Five years ago, the organic way of life wasn’t as prevalent as it is today. The “green movement” was just a whisper for most, particularly in social celebrations and the event industry. But Sophie and Lance were ahead of the curve when they requested an organic and locally-grown menu from Peter Callahan of Callahan Catering. The entire menu not only used locally-grown produce, whole grain breads, farm raised guinea hens and organic cheeses, but Peter also found organic wines that paired with each portion of the meal. The cocktail reception in the Butterfly Garden included an extensive caviar bar, over-the-top raw bar and scroppinos made to order. Guests wandered the gardens, sampling delicious foods and tasty beverages, to the romantic sound of Argentinian guitarist, Alex Fox.
As their wedding favors, Sophie and Lance offered guests small bottles of honey purchased from a local beekeeper. Vanessa Kreckel from Two Paperdolls dressed up the bottles with custom-designed labels and tags. We, of course, styled the bottles on our salvaged farm tables in the “living room” we created in the tents used for the party.
After an incredible fireworks show high over the farm’s corn fields, and in true global style, the celebration continued until 6:00am with the energetic-yet-smooth spinning of DJ Seth Gold. We wish Sophie and Lance many more years of blissful, adventurous marriage!