Lauren & Justin’s Waterfront DIY Wedding

Trends come and go but sentimental details, the things that have true meaning in a couple’s life, are what make a wedding truly special. Lauren and Justin’s Connecticut wedding was full of  DIY details created with the help of very special family members. The result is a beautiful wedding day full of love, laughter, and style.

From the Lauren:

We really wanted to let the natural beauty of Harkness shine through on our wedding day. In our minds, we wanted the styles to be simple yet elegant – just like Harkness. I’ve been going to Harkness since I was a little girl, and I never get tired of the beautiful views across the lawn out to the ocean. That view became the inspiration for the blue and green color scheme of the wedding. I designed the save the dates and invitations from scratch, working closely with Paper Source to ensure that everything would work together. My mom beautifully wrote our save the dates by hand and I hand painted each one with water colors in a gradient from blue to green. When it came to our invitations, I wanted to incorporate Crane paper as a tribute to the many years that my Grandmother worked for Crane and Co. Our invitation card was printed on Crane paper and our enclosure cards were printed on Paper Source paper, which were then hand painted. One night, I sat around the kitchen table with my Mom and Grandma and we cut out all of the envelope liners and attached them to the envelopes. My Grandma was quality control and even sent a couple to the reject pile that weren’t quite up to par. Shortly after, she passed away, which makes that time together all the more special and more meaningful that she was honored with our invitations.

Instead of doing all the flowers, I decided that we would create bridal party bouquets. Carol Mann from Brambles and Bittersweet took charge of the rest of the flowers- and what an incredible display she created! I wanted my bridesmaids to have their own personalized bouquets. The day before the wedding, my bridesmaids and I picked green Hydrangeas from my Mom’s garden, which we would all have in our bouquets. Centerpieces for the dining tables consisted of collections of vintage bottles, antique glass insulators, and mason jars with glowing candles to add to the ambiance. Carol Mann completed the look by filling each glass bottle with a single stem of flowers creating a simple, yet beautiful display. Antique fishnet floats, handmade glass ornaments, seashells and starfish, sea glass, sea fans, vintage prints, and flickering candles adorned the mantles and bookcases throughout the mansion.

I had hoped that both of my Grandmothers would be well enough to attend our wedding and be our flower girls. Unfortunately, neither could physically be there. So I wrapped my bouquet with a white and blue doily from my Dad’s mom and added a bracelet from my Mom’s mom (who recently passed) for a little bit of sparkle. They were both there in spirit, walking me down the aisle with my flowers.

Over the years, my Godmother had given me a number of beautiful pearls for birthdays and other special occasions, with the intent of one day making them into a necklace. My mom had a collection of various loose vintage pearls and we purchased some fresh water pearls to add some contrast to the round pearls. My mom and I spent a few nights stringing together the 3 different strands of pearls and twisted the 3 strands so they were intertwined.

The Bar: My Grandmother, who passed away in May, was always up for a good time with family and friends. She would have loved this wedding. In her honor, we named the bar after her: “Helen’s Bar, Home of warm friends, cold drinks, and good times”. We decorated the bar with purple flowers – her favorite. My mom handwrote the sign for the bar displaying our signature drinks, including a drink named after each of our dogs – Maizie and Joe.

Guest Book: I was in search of an idea for a non-traditional guest book, since I didn’t want something that would be stashed away in a box, never to be seen again. I found a couple of small dead trees from a local nursery and thought they would be perfect to hang paper cranes on. We asked our guests to write their name and a wish on a crane, which we plan to string together as a garland and hang in our home – as a piece of art and as a remembrance of our wedding day.

Favors: The majority of our guests were traveling some distance to attend our wedding. We wanted to give them a favor that would act as a goodie bag for their travels home. It was also really important to us to use locally sourced products that had some sort of significance to us. Each gable box was wrapped in decorative paper and stuffed with sea salt kettle corn, a lobster lollipop, sea salt caramels (all from Volante Farms in Needham, MA) and salt water taffy from Old Port Candy Co. in Portland, ME.

From Justin:

I wanted to give Lauren something really special as an engagement ring. I also knew that she didn’t want something traditional and “blingy”, so I had the good sense to talk to her about what she liked and disliked. I consulted a friend about ring making classes and talked with her about the ring I wanted to make. Unfortunately, I also discovered that crafting a ring from start to finish could take several months, especially for a complete novice like me. So I did the next best thing – I found an independent designer in NYC – Katrina LaPenne – whose rings were exactly what I had hoped to make for Lauren. I loved that they were unconventional and subtle, yet elegant and stunning (just like the woman I intended to marry.) Even though the wedding is over, I’m still planning to make Lauren that special ring someday.

Lauren & Justin
Thoughtful Waterfront DIY Wedding at Eolia Manion
Eolia Mansion at Harkness State Park, Connecticut
Event Date: August, 2014


Photographer:  Katie Slater Photography//Caterer: A Thyme to Cook//Musicians:Allyn Donath//Floral Designer:Brambles and Bittersweet//Makeup Artist: Dana Bartone & Co. Salon andSpa//Reception Venue: Eolia Mansion at Harkness State Park//Ring Designer:Katrina LaPenne//Invitation Designer: Paper Source//Other:Raspberry Knoll Farm//Equipment Rentals: Ryan Designs//DJ: Spin Enterprise//Groomsman Attire:The Tie Bar//Dress Designer:Watters//Submitted via Two Bright Lights

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