It Doesn’t Get More Enchanting Than This Winter Wedding at the Preserve at Chocorua
Former prom dates outfitted a rustic maple sugar shack with chandeliers and draping.
February 16, 2019
The Preserve at Chocorua
Tamworth, New Hampshire
One could say Leah Potter and Jason Halsted’s journey to the aisle was more of a marathon than a sprint. The two met around 2010, when they were both on their high school’s track team. Leah had a boyfriend at the time, but the two became good friends their junior year. Their relationship remained platonic until the spring of their senior year, when Jason asked a newly single Leah to prom. “It was really fun,” she says. “We went with all out our track friends. I think I still have the corsage he gave me.” They dated through the summer, and before they headed to college in the fall they sat down for a talk. “Neither of us wanted to end things even though long-distance felt like it wouldn’t really work,” Leah recalls. So while she attended Tufts and Jason headed to Brown, they decided to give it a shot. Despite its challenges, dating long-distance for four years ended up being just what the two needed. “It gave us time to make our own friends and do our own thing while also having this nice support system,” Leah says.
After graduating from college, the two moved to New York City together, where Leah entered grad school and Jason started a job in finance. In June 2018, the couple planned for a weekend picnic in Central Park. After dining al fresco, Leah wanted to stop at a nearby bookstore. Jason, however, said he had to head home to get some work done and sent her off by herself. About an hour later, Leah’s phone rang. “[Jason said], ‘Are you coming home anytime soon?'” Leah remembers. When she got back to their apartment, her hands were full, so she knocked on the door. When Jason opened the door Leah spotted balloons and candles scattered around their home, plus photos of the two together throughout the years displayed on the dining table. “He made a little speech about how we made a lot of memories in the past and couldn’t wait to make new ones in the future,” Leah says. Then Jason got down on one knee. Leah said yes—and cried. “He knew I was going to cry, I knew I was going to cry,” the bride says with a laugh. “It was perfect.”
Since the couple didn’t want to have a long engagement and are big fans of winter, they landed on a February 2019 wedding date. Plus, no one they knew had ever gotten married in February, and the two “thought it would look magical—like a snowglobe,” Leah says. When they toured the Preserve at Chocorua in New Hampshire, the couple was “in awe,” the bride recalls. Months later, on the eve of their celebration, snow began to fall, and the pair woke up on their wedding day to their winter wonderland vision come to life. “It was perfect. Just beautiful and picturesque and awesome,” Leah says.
“It felt like it fit me and my sister cried when she saw it, so I [thought], ‘Well that’s it,'” Leah says of her lace Maggie Sottero bridal gown, which she accessorized to the nines for her chilly, winter wedding day.
Since purple is her favorite color, Leah requested mauve blooms for her bouquet, which also featured a succulent. “It was so pretty,” the bride says. “It was heavier than I expected, but it was really gorgeous.”
The couple’s ceremony, officiated by one of Jason’s former college roommates, Carter, took place in the Sap House, a rustic maple sugar shack at the Preserve at Chocorua. They dressed up the interior of the chandelier-filled structure with drapery and garlands.
Leah and her mom got the idea for the couple’s seating chart display on Pinterest. They printed out the signs themselves, and enlisted florist Judy Bourgeois of Flora Fauna to create a colorful focal point in the upper left corner.
With the help of planner Melanie Voros, Leah and Jason sourced globe-shaped chandeliers from Griffin & Griffin, which Bourgeois filled with free-flowing florals. “We told her to run with it. It was such a cool fixture of the space that she could really play up,” Leah says.
For their tablescapes, Leah and Jason requested simple floral arrangements that would match the bridal party’s bouquets with shades of deep purple, green, pink, and white.
Leah and Jason cut into a chocolate cake with vanilla buttercream at their reception. “We wanted a clean look [for the cake],” the bride says. “Then our florist put flowers on it, which made it look really fun and festive as well.” Since they opted for a small cake, however, guests at the party dined on cupcakes from White Mountain Cupcakery instead.
The bride and groom sent their friends and family home with chocolate chip cookies baked by their caterer. “Everybody had a ways to drive, so we wanted to make sure everyone was warm, cozy, and had something to eat on a chilly winter night,” Leah says.
Leah and Jason had their first dance to “Then” by Brad Paisley, a song they listened to on the radio frequently when they first started dating. “It somehow just became our song,” Leah says. “We knew from the time we ever really started talking about getting married that it was the song we were going to dance to at our wedding.”
Bride’s Dress Maggie Sottero, Angela’s Bridal
Caterer The White Apron
Cupcakes White Mountain Cupcakery
DJ Get Down Tonight Entertainment
Flowers Flora Fauna
Hair Hair That Moves
Lighting and Draping Griffin & Griffin
Makeup Joya Beauty
Photographer Brea McDonald Photography
Planner Blissful Beginnings Wedding & Event Design
Rentals Peak Event Services
Transportation Grace Limousine & Shuttle
Videographer SP Films
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