Stephanie + Josh | Church of the Annunciation | Buffalo Trace Wedding
When I was just a wee little girl, Stephanie came to my parent's newly purchased farm riding on the side of her Dad's tractor to spread some lime. I was just a baby then, so much has changed in our lives since, but not the sweet charm of their kind family. Stephanie walked down the aisle on the arm of her father giggling and beaming the whole way, while the reception featured everything from beef to cakes made by the family. (If you ever get the chance to have some chocolate zuchinni bread, it's totally amazing + the way to my heart. One loaf dropped by the shop from time to time keeps the Quarles at the top of my favorite folks list.)
They used the family punch bowl - it had made an appearance at her grandmother's wedding, her parent's wedding and now her own. Needless to say, it's been around. The array of cakes that included strawberry shortcake, italian creme, red velvet, hummingbird and several more were all served on glasswear from her grandmothers. Mrs. Quarles made all of the cakes. She had been trying them out for weeks around town. Our office was lucky to taste test a chocolate raspberry and lemon marscapone - so, so yummy. But with all the cake practicing, there was still a flop in the cake plan that left the girls running to the store at 11:30 the night before for a remake.
During the ingredients run, Stephanie continued to work on the table florals with a family friend and her mother. They cut blooms from her mother, aunt and nanny's gardens to fill the mason jars that decorated Buffalo Trace that evening. Barnetts Baking Company helped source the balance of the local produce that was served at the reception on a variety of blue dinner plates. I loved so much the charm that the mix of plates and the unique menu provided. In my world of weekly weddings, there is so much character in a bowl of spinach topped with local strawberries and poppyseed dressing alongside some mac n' cheese and farm raised beef (though I don't partake in the beef eating).
A little tip for my brides out there: choose a menu that fits you, not just because it's what everyone else does or because it's easy - choose your favorites and add something to the mix that your guests will be glad to nosh on. The Quarles more than did that. They worked hard to source all the ingredients from their own farm or other local farms. Even Stephanie's and the girls' bouquets were made by a farmer's market friend as well as the boys' flowers. Love that. And they were just what Stephanie wanted. Pale peonies and white hydrangea.
My favorite part of the whole story, I can't quite phrase better than Stephanie did in a note to me: "We became engaged in May of 2009 in Boston at the Botanical Gardens at Boston Common. I was very surprised and might be the only person in the world who asked him if he knew what he was getting into and he responded with ' that's what your Dad asked.' Needless to say he was sure. He wanted me to make sure I added a note about how he proposed in a suit and green Nike running shoes. He says that's the best part of the story and that he still had those shoes packed away somewhere."
If you ever get to meet Mr. Quarles, this will all make perfect sense. I am sure there is a process anyone who thinks of marrying his daughters goes through from the minute they walk in the front door of their home. We stopped at their farm between the ceremony and reception to take photographs on the farm. When I chose the most accessible field to shoot in, he quickly jumped from his car and commented on my choosing the most weedy field possible. It was then that we hopped in our cars and he took our caravan down a long, dirt road - through cow pastures - to a field of grass overlooking a golden field. I'm sure you'll see that everything was beautiful and I hope you understand how 'Quarles' and perfect the wedding was. Enjoy!