At Hardy Farm, an Outdoorsy Couple Threw an Earthy-Yet-Elegant Wedding
Complete with an aww-worthy first dance featuring the groom's dad on vocals.
June 22, 2019
When Emma Weeks and Conor Walsh first became friends in 2008, Emma had “no inkling” that they’d someday end up together. They met at Connecticut College, where they ran in similar social circles, and were strictly pals—until they both attended a dance at the college’s student center their senior year. “We were just dancing together the entire time,” Emma recalls. “We were [both thinking], ‘Oh, wow this is kind of fun and feels right.'” So in the spring of 2011, they officially started dating. The two continued their relationship after graduation, but went their separate ways, living in different states during the summer and then traveling abroad throughout the fall. When they both returned stateside, they settled in New York City, where they eventually moved in together about two years later. “It was nice to move to the city and finally live in the same place again,” Emma says.
In the fall of 2017, the couple, Conor’s sister, and some of their friends visited Emma’s parents’ cabin in Lancaster, New Hampshire. At the time, neither Emma nor Conor was in a rush to walk down the aisle. “We said, ‘We love each other and we know we want to spend our lives together, but that will happen when it happens,'” Emma recalls. Little did she know Conor had actually been planning a proposal all the while. That weekend, the pair and their friends were crossing a field to reach a pond near the cabin when they decided to stop and enjoy the sunset. When Emma put her arm around Conor after someone suggested they take a photo together, she could feel his heart beating rapidly. “Of course that just made me really nervous, thinking ‘What is going on?'” Emma remembers. Right then, Conor got down on one knee. “I was very shocked, and very confused, but of course I said ‘Yes’ and was so excited,” she says.
Both big fans of the great outdoors, Emma and Conor sought out a wedding venue that would immerse them in nature. That search brought them to Maine, where they planned to eventually move after getting married. When they toured Hardy Farm, it “just felt like us,” Emma says. “We loved the setting, and liked that the farmhouse had a lot of charm and history.” On their big day, the bride and groom tied the knot in a rustic outdoor ceremony set among the trees, followed by a tented reception with dusty blue, green, gray, and champagne-hued décor that gave the affair an earthy but elevated look. After the party wound down, the pair and their loved ones ended the evening beside a bonfire, where they snacked on s’mores and laughed well into the night. “At first I thought, ‘Oh man, there’s going to be so many people and everyone’s going to be staring at us all day,'” Emma says. “But they were all close family and friends so it just felt like the best thing ever to have all these people we know and love in one place. It was pretty magical.”
A bridesmaid drove Emma to meet Conor, who was driven separately by his best man, for the couple’s first look at a field near Hardy Farm. “It was just the four of us and our photographer, and it was really nice,” Emma recalls. “It was the calm before the storm. Conor and I hadn’t seen each other all day, so we were able to get out some jitters and have our photographer tell us we didn’t look ridiculous.”
Emma discovered her ethereal Anais Anette wedding gown at Ceremony, in Boston, after trying on “a lot of dresses” at multiple stores, she says.”When I found my dress, it felt really simple and easy, and I felt like I could move around in it,” the bride adds. She and her bridesmaids carried high-texture bouquets featuring champagne roses, scabiosa, thistle, dried ferns, and pampas grass, among other blooms.
Before and after the couple’s ceremony, friends and family hopped inside “Lucy,” a 1967 camper turned photo booth from the Maine Photo Camper. Guests brought home one copy of their photos, and Emma and Conor kept the other in a photo book where their loved ones also left handwritten notes.
Emma and Conor asked their 150 guests to power off their cellphones before the ceremony. “We really wanted people to be present with us and not be watching us through their phones,” the bride explains.
The bride and groom’s woodland ceremony, officiated by Conor’s best man, took place under the venue’s altar, which florist Dutch Bloemen Winkel adorned with pampas grasses and fresh blooms. “It was stunning,” Emma says.
The couple’s rescue dog, Sadie, was also present for their wedding day and donned a floral collar for the occasion. “It was really important to us to have her be part of that moment with us,” Emma says. “We let her just roam around most of the day.”
“That was one of my favorite things,” the bride says of the custom seating chart created by A Family Affair of Maine and Chatty Press. “I wasn’t sure what it was going to look like, but on the day of, I thought, ‘This is incredible.'”
The reception tent featured both round and farm tables, which the couple topped with hyacinth chargers, gray-and-white striped napkins, candles, copper flatware, and free-flowing florals. For the farm tables, Emma and Conor also opted for blush plates and white milk-glass goblets.
The lovebirds dressed up the round tables with champagne-hued tablecloths, marble plates, and navy cut-glass goblets. “It was beautiful,” Emmaf says. “I was so happy with how it all came together.”
For the first dance, Conor’s dad Peter sang “Stand by Me.” “It was an added bonus having Conor’s dad sing the song for us, and it was a little strategic as well because he’s quite the showman and we were both a little stressed about [the first dance],” Emma says. “I think people were torn between watching us and watching him sing, so we were like, ‘Yes this perfect.'”
Since Conor isn’t a fan of cake and Emma says she enjoys all desserts, the couple opted to serve a selection of pies, including honey, mixed berry, and key-lime meringue pie, rather than wedding cake. “They were such a hit,” Emma says.
Band Soul City
Bride’s Dress Anais Anette, Ceremony
Bridesmaids’ Dresses Shona Joy
Caterer Dandelion Catering
Flowers Dutch Bloemen Winkel
Hair & Makeup Style Me Portland
Invitations Crum & Co., Etsy
Lighting Griffin & Griffin
Photographer Jamie Mercurio Photography
Planner A Family Affair of Maine
Rentals One Stop Event Rentals; A Family Affair of Maine
Seating Chart A Family Affair of Maine; Chatty Press
Transportation Custom Coach and Limousine
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