Today we bring to you the 3rd part of Sarah + Ryan’s farm wedding, with more images of the stroll through the fields to the getaway vintage car, and their joyous barn reception celebration! Sarah + Ryan’s family and friends came together to decorate and transform the big barn into a cozy, beautiful place to celebrate a wedding. The big wooden beams had strings of origami cranes hanging from them and the tables were adorned with mason jars full of fresh cut bouquets grown by Red Fire Farm. The organic vegetarian feast including produce grown on the farm and prepared by chefs brought in by Sarah + Ryan. As everyone enjoyed the cuisine, there were several heartfelt toasts given by family members, and emotions were running high. The celebration continued on into the evening with lively music and good ole’ fashioned heel-kicking dancing! A good time was enjoyed by all, and it was such a delight to be part of!
Farmer Sarah shares with us about the food of the their wedding, which was an important part of their celebration.
“Planning our wedding started with the food, naturally, because we are farmers. It was the easiest part! So the wedding had to happen at the peak of vegetable season, when everything is ripe on the vines, when all the options are on the table.
The opening up started with the menu. It was easy to think about the dream meal. And very hard to say no to any of our favorite vegetables! Everything we grow has charms and delicious potential, and we had to whittle it down to our favorites, finding ways to showcase their best features in ways that would be somewhat simple to prepare and serve. I figured I’d share our menu with you, with little notes about what everything meant to us. Hopefully it could be an inspiration for things to include in your wedding!
I think weddings, in many of their facets, are a celebration of community, and an affirming of community. For us it was very important to source the parts of our wedding from people and farms that we care about. In so many ways this is strengthening.
A Menu with Commentary
You can generally assume that any produce mentioned came from our farm (Red Fire Farm in Granby, MA)!
In the field before the wedding begins, bowls of watermelon slices and baskets of husk cherries, also some iced herbal tea. Watermelon is possibly my number one favorite food. You really haven’t touched the pinnacle of watermelon until you taste some of the varieties we grow, like Little Baby Flower, Peace, and Gold Flower. The Husk Cherry (or Ground Cherry, as Ryan insists they are called) is a little golden fruit that is unknown to the general public, but totally enchanted me my first year of being a farmer when I grew them to try. The cherry-tomato-sized fruits come in a papery husk like tomatillos, and you unwrap them like a present. They taste sweet and a little like pineapple. Everyone should have a chance to meet this fruit. (I agree Sarah–can’t wait for them to be in season again so I can get some from you… Love, Krystal : )
A Rainbow of Cherry Tomatoes, wrapped in basil leaves, with mozzarella. This is a farmer snack, walking by, picking a handful of cherry tomatoes, and a handful of basil and making little wrapped bites – no cheese in the field, but in the dream world there would be.
Apple Wedges with Winter Squash Puree and Walnuts. Ryan loves apples, and we had to find somewhere to have winter squash, as part of the idea is to feed people all the vegetables we love.
Colored Pepper Slices with Hummus. Ripe peppers are one of the jewels of summer that are so easy to eat raw, just as they are.
Heirloom Tomato Soup with Fresh Shell Beans. Shell beans have amazing depths of flavor, and they’re special, something people rarely eat, so we wanted to feature them. Tomatoes are our signature crop, with our annual Red Fire Farm Tomato Festival and tasting of over 100 tomato varieties, so we needed to include them. Tomatoes had a terrible season in 2009, with a widespread disease called late blight decimating the crop. When September came and there were few tomatoes, we changed the soup base to winter squash. Luckily the cherry tomatoes were still going somewhat. If you’re planning a seasonal menu, there will likely be a change or two to make!
Ryan grew up in his parent’s bakery, an early business of theirs, and we have some deep respect and love for good bread. There is one bakery I know of around here that makes bread that fills my whole imagination of what bread can be, and then takes it further. They do it with organic flour, and often local flour. The Hungry Ghost made bread for us, as Ryan’s dad (a brilliant baker) was very busy with helping set up the wedding!
Main Course with Sides and Salads
Green Beans with Cajun Remoulade Sauce. With this dish, we were aiming to get at this fair-food we had at the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival, an event we love to go to together. We grow special varieties of beans for our Pick Your Own patch, one of which is Maxibel – with delicious flavor – which we chose for this dish.
Beet Salad with Chevre. Chioggia candy-striped beets, Red beets, and Gold beets, so colorful, with chevre from Hillman Farm, one of the best local goat cheese makers.
Green Salad with Flowers. Salad is one of our specialties at home and as farmers, and we grow Nasturtium blossoms and some other edible flowers that are so pretty in a simple salad. Our farmer friends from Ithaca brought clamshells of edible flowers for us to use on anything, so we did it up with the desserts too.
Radicchio with Caramelized Onions, Cheddar Cheese and a Balsamic Sauce. This is my favorite way to eat radicchio, because the sweet onions and cheese complement the bitter edge, a combination Ryan and I found on a date to a swank restaurant
Roasted Potatoes, Roots and Herbs (Classic)
Baked Shiitake Mushroom and Spinach Crepes. Ryan has featured crepes like these in a few special meals throughout our time together, and we thought they were delicious and special, and perfect for the main dish at our wedding. With Hillman Farm hard goat cheese – which is local and blissful.
Handmade Heart-shaped Chocolates, with our raspberries and mint made into two different chocolate truffle fillings, set out on the tables in individual boxes. We sell to natural food stores, and one of them has a chocolate shop, and they know how to employ high quality ingredients. They took our raspberries and mint and ran with it. Cornucopia Foods and Heavenly Chocolates, in Northampton, MA.
Tea in many teapots, all sorts of teas. My grandmother is British, and if you ever hang out with my mom, it’s always tea time. I love tea! We got people to bring their teapots and favorite teas to the party, and filled them up. Coffee from Pierce Brothers, a local roasting company with Fair Trade, organic coffees.
West County Cider. Hard cider made in Western MA.
Wines from the Finger Lakes Wine Trail. My uncle and some farming friends live in the Ithaca, NY area, and we went out to visit in the summer and selected wines – highly recommend doing this :).
So that was the food! Funny thing is, when we got to the reception, we were so blissed out and full of energy, wanting to be with people, distracted, looking at everything, etc. that we couldn’t eat much, though our plates were full and beautiful. We didn’t save anything aside, and were so busy the next day that we never really tasted it all. It was fine. I would say though that it would be a fun idea to have your chef set aside a package of some of everything at serving time to eat later on, the next day, whenever you get a chance. Also we did a sweetheart table, where we sat by ourselves, which felt a little odd and separate, and we think being at a big table with family would be more fun.”
Sarah + Ryan, it was such an honor to be there with you guys on such a happy day in your lives, and we hope you will cherish these images for many generations.
Congratulations to you both and we wish you a life filled with joy and contentment.
Love, your friends, Krystal & Paul
In case you are curious, 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.