Today we share with you one of our favorite weddings ever, the wedding of our friends Sarah + Ryan. Paul and Sarah have known each other since they were little, and I’ve known Sarah for as long as I’ve known Paul, so it was amazing to be there, not only as friends to witness their marriage, but as their fotographers, capturing a really special day in the life of this beautiful couple. Sarah + Ryan are farmers and own a successful organic farm called Red Fire Farm. Their wedding was so personal, homemade and heartfelt. Almost everything about their wedding was DIY (do-it-yourself), and it was really amazing how their vision came together on their wedding day, with the help of friends and family. Ella, Sarah’s mum, made her daughter’s gorgeous wedding gown by hand with love. Ella and her friends (including Paul’s mom Paula) came together to hand stitch the pearls onto Sarah’s veil, and Ella even decorated a pair of darling ballet flats to adorn Sarah’s feet on her wedding day. Everything about this wedding was a labor of love, from the dress, to the growing and harvesting of the organic produce that was made into delicious cuisine and the lovely array of flowers arranged into bouquets for Sarah and decorating the tables in the barn celebration. The entire wedding took place at the couple’s farm, making it even more special.
Farmer Sarah shares with us about their beautiful, heart-felt, homegrown wedding:
“My husband Ryan Voiland and I run Red Fire Farm, a wonderful certified organic farm in Western Mass, where we grow all kinds of vegetables, flowers, some fruit, and eggs from pasture-raised chickens. Amidst the seasons of getting the CSA farm shares all harvested, and winter markets full of bounty, and our crews running smoothly, we weren’t sure if we’d have time to get married in any proper way. I thought at first we could just go to the courthouse and check it off our list, hahaha.
But then we got into thinking about getting married, what it really means to do, and we’d have really missed out if we took that fast track. Bit by bit as we imagined what we wanted, I unfolded from the get-it-over-with mindset to create something with my partner that really came from our hearts and spirits, as a way of sharing our many loves with our closest community. I’m glad to write about it, and share it with you.”
“I made a page about our flowers on our website. I’ve been reading about flower growing practices in other parts of the world lately, where the bulk of the flowers sold in our US stores and florists come from, and they are using chemicals that are toxic to the environment and workers in most of the production. I’d like to expand our flower sales and make it more of a real option for people to get local organic flowers. We also can pick custom orders of vegetables and some fruit for weddings and such. “
Stay tuned for Part 2 of Sarah + Ryan’s wedding, blooming tomorrow!
Sarah shares with us about the details that made their day so uniquely their own:
The Planner : DIY by Sarah and Ryan
The Dress : A gorgeous scoop back dress with a little bit of a train, made and designed by my mum. Veil had little fake pearls hand sewn all around the edge by my mum and my mother’s friends (who were extra moms to me growing up).
The Shoes : Cream-colored dance slippers, dyed and decorated by my mum.
The Hair Stylist : Shannon McCarthy, my Maid of Honor (though technically we didn’t have a set wedding party), we did a practice run at her house a little bit before the wedding.
The Makeup Artist : my friends Shannon and Nile, definitely needed a little help there, as I don’t wear makeup often!
The Jewelry : Cascading pearly earrings with shiny bits, bought by my grandmother online somewhere, they were perfect.
The Rings : Deirdre Cunningham, a jeweler friend I know from Stafford, CT made us simple silver bands. We got them a little loose, so it would be easy to put them on, as I had a totally irrational fear that I wouldn’t be able to get the ring on during the ceremony J. Now they are too loose!
The Groom’s Attire : rented tux from Men’s Wearhouse, came with socks, hehehe.
The Stationary : For the invitations, I found a border drawing online and designed the text inside of it in Photoshop, then printed the invitations at Collective Copies in Amherst on a light brown textured paper. That was a rush job! It was when the post office had those Love stamps that looked like playing cards, with man and woman stamps – those were my favorite part.
The Officiant : Bob Paquette, who’s the local host of WFCR Morning Edition on NPR, and also recommended to us by our DJ. Ryan listens to the radio pretty much all the time, so we thought Bob would be great, and he was very calm and wonderful! Now every time I hear him introduce Morning Edition, I smile.
The Reception Venue : We cleared out the back of our big old barn and decorated it with Christmas lights and origami ornaments.
The Floral Design : We grow all kinds of organic flowers in season, so we had our flower grower harvest buckets for us, and then Joanne Norris and Carol Norris, the aunt and mother of one of my best friends growing up, spent hours making bouquets for the tables and little boutonnières and all that the day before the wedding.
The Food : This was our favorite part! We did a local, seasonal meal with lots of our organic produce (Red Fire Farm), also featuring ingredients from some of our favorite farmer friends in the area. The main dish was a baked crepe with shiitake mushrooms from Wendell, MA, spinach, onions and a hard cheese from Hillman Farm. Hard Cider from West County Cider. Wine from a few places that we picked up on the Wine Trail in the Finger Lakes near Ithaca, NY during the summer – really fun! Our chefs were Isis Masoud, Devon Johnson, and Brendon Fitzgerald. They were wonderful!
The Cake : Cupcakes and cookies made by Devon Johnson
The Favors: Handmade chocolate truffles in a heart shape, with fillings made from our raspberries and mint. They came in individual boxes. Made by Heavenly Chocolates in Northampton, MA.
The Ceremony Music : Harpist at the ceremony, Sharon Rondeau, playing Pachelbel Canon (love it, looked for something unique for ever, and then gave in)
The Reception Music : Our favorite DJ from WMUA, Fern Spierer, also does DJing for events, and she was Awesome. She played music for the reception and also setup a microphone and speakers out in the field where we had our wedding (which is really important if you have an outdoor ceremony, so everyone can hear).
The Cinematographer : My brother’s friend offered to film, though we didn’t seek out to have a cinematographer. Arin Crumley, he did an amazing job.