This Brooklyn Couple Had a Fairy-Tale Affair at the Crane Estate

The bride always romanticized a European garden wedding—which is why the ceremony took place in the estate's Italian Garden.

Photo by Justina Bilodeau

When Michael Rickert began tutoring fellow undergraduate student Christina Nanfeldt in calculus at George Washington University, their connection quickly added up to romance. Christina, who grew up in the Back Bay, remembers being drawn to Michael initially for his decisive problem-solving with math, “but then it bled into other parts of life,” she says. Eight years later, when Michael jetted her off to the Hamptons and proposed on the beach at sunset, her decision to say yes was easy. So, too, was opting to say “I do” at the sprawling Castle Hill on the Crane Estate in Ipswich. “I’ve always romanticized a European garden wedding,” the bride says, and the property’s lush grounds and sweeping vistas filled the bill. The couple, who live in Brooklyn, hosted about 125 guests on their big day, with the ceremony in the Italian garden, cocktail hour on a lawn overlooking the Atlantic, dinner in a tent adjacent to the hilltop Stuart-style mansion, and a night of dancing in the ballroom for a fairy-tale affair.

Photo by Justina Bilodeau


The bride says she wanted florals “pretty much anywhere you could put them,” which included her bouquet of dahlias and garden roses, green blooms surrounding the altar, and a rainbow of petals littering the aisle.

Photo by Justina Bilodeau


Christina paired her strapless Michelle Roth gown with a sheer veil that boasted sewn-in flowers.

Photo by Justina Bilodeau


The stationery featured watercolor illustrations of the estate, Boston Public Garden, and Boston Public Library by Samantha Sullentrup of Public House Co.

Photo by Justina Bilodeau

Photo by Justina Bilodeau


A mix of round and rectangular tables—topped with hemstitch linen or lace tablecloths, taper candles, and Dutch masters–inspired flower and fruit arrangements—made the dinner feel as if “you’re at a home,” the bride says.

Photo by Justina Bilodeau


Cradling the place cards on the escort table were hand-painted oyster shells, which guests took home in silk pouches.

Photo by Justina Bilodeau


Friend of the groom Fraser Churchill crooned an acoustic ballad, “Masterpiece,” that he had written for the newlyweds’ first dance. “It was like going to a concert,” Michael recalls.

Photo by Justina Bilodeau


The four-tier buttercream cake competed with locally made fudge and shortbreads, plus a gelato bar.


Band One Step Ahead by Wilson Stevens
Bride’s Ceremony Dress Michelle Roth
Bride’s Reception Dress Bronx and Banco
Cake Jenny’s Wedding Cakes
Caterer Fireside Catering
Event Design Ann Mila Design
Event Execution Heidi Price Design
Flowers Table & Tulip
Groom’s Tux Suitsupply
Hair/Makeup Love Notes by June
Invitations Cardinal & Straw
Rentals BBJ La Tavola; Nüage Designs; Party Rental; Peak Event Services; Tommy Wholesale Products
Videographer The Drakes

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