Good afternoon and welcome back to the Blog this fine festive Monday. This morning I...
Today’s wedding is bringing some much needed sunshine into your lives. This gorgeous wedding from Pennsylvania is full of beautiful details; lots of yellows, blues and greens that really bring a wonderful sense of spring to these cold February days! The couple’s theme was Norwegian Spring and brought this to life by incorporating lots of birds, flowers, nests, moss and aspects of nature into their day. With a beautiful outdoor ceremony, the indoor reception is just amazing, with so many amazing flowers and stunning details (check out the bird themed escort cards) This wedding is simply stunning! The lovely couple are Amy and Havard who were married on 18th May on a beautiful Orchard in Audubon, Pennsylvania. Thanks to Julie at Sweetwater Portraits for the photos.
Built in 1762 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Mill Grove was the first American home of renowned artist, author and naturalist, John James Audubon. Between 1803 and 1806 Mill Grove and its surrounding fields and woodlands first inspired young Audubon’s passion for observing, painting and drawing birds. Today, the 175-acre estate serves as an educational center of the National Audubon Society, dedicated to connecting people with nature.
This wedding was inspired by the bride and groom’s love of nature, art and science with bits of Norwegian culture weaved throughout. Birds, well known for being monogamous animals, frequent travelers, and skilled at building nests make the perfect symbol of love, marriage and building a life together – especially for a couple so fond of traveling. Locating the wedding at John Audubon’s house was also a nod to the bride’s background in Animal Behavior and Art. The overall feel of the day was that of a Norwegian spring.
The wedding ceremony was held in the pear orchard on a gorgeous May day. Guests were greeted with lavender infused water, rosehip lemonade and minted iced tea as they gathered before the ceremony. The bride’s nephew, Benjamin, was the ring bearer. He carried a special pillow made of wood and birch. Just before the ceremony, the bride found an inchworm that she knew he’d be fascinated by and helped him hide it in the mossy pillow to go down the aisle with him. Her mother escorted the bride down the aisle to The Beatles “Here, There and Everywhere.” Before the bride and groom exchanged rings, the rings were passed to friends and family so they could warm them with their love and wishes for the couple. The bride’s brother recited “A Tin Wedding Whistle” by Ogden Nash. As the newly married couple retreated down the aisle to The Beatles “Good Day Sunshine”, guests waved wands wishing them well in their new life together.
Drinks and Details
Following the ceremony guests enjoyed cocktails and hors d’oeuvres in the rustic old stone barn. The couple created a signature drink of ginger beer, gin and lingonberry syrup for their guests. A beer tasting was also offered with beers selected by the groom and showcasing his homebrew. Birds trimmed out of maps and attached to clothespins to hold each guests escort cards identifying tables named for the couple’s favourite travel destinations (designed by the bride and created by the matron of honor, with display frame built by the groom).
For the reception, guests moved into the pavilion were they dined on their selection of Grilled Salmon with Mango Salsa, Jamaican Jerk Chicken, or Artichoke Strudel. For dessert, guests enjoyed delectable slices of lemon pound cake with lemon curd filling and buttercream icing. Individual portions of lavendar crème brulee, pistachio biscotti and chocolate truffles were also offered next to the coffee and cognac station. They were also offered aquavit (a traditional Norwegian spiced potato liquor) to accompany their dinners. After a lovely dinner with heartfelt toasts from friends and family the bride and groom kicked off the dance party as they dance to Wilco’s “You and I”. Most of the evening the DJ played a selection of favourites requested by the wedding party including a special request for Beastie Boys from the mother of the bride. The groom’s 87-year-old grandfather seemed to like it, as he was on the dance floor all evening.
The bride’s cream coloured bouquet was were made of peonies, lily of the valley, garden roses and touches of maidenhair fern. Bridesmaids carried bouquets of yellow roses, ranunculus and craspedia. The bride’s bouquet and groom’s boutonniere incorporated lily of the valley were wrapped in embroidered ribbon that they bought in Norway. Mason jars filled with wildflowers hung from chairs along the aisle. Centerpieces were comprised of a mixture of wildflowers in jars of all shapes collected by the bride and groom, maidenhair ferns in birch bark planters and naturalist style apothecary jars filled with moss and nesting materials. Wicker acorns dripping with moss were hung above the bridal party table.
DIY and Handmade Details
Throughout the reception a few Norwegian traditions were carried out: 1) When the guests (gently!) tapped their cutlery on the glasses the couple stood and kissed. 2) When guests banged their cutlery on the table, the couple stood on their chairs and kissed! 3) When the guests stomped their feet, the bride and groom crawled under the table to kiss. 4) Whenever the bride left the room all the female guests ran up and gave the groom a kiss on the cheek before the bride returned. Similarly when the groom left the room the male guests lined up to give the bride a kiss on the cheek.5) Songs are commonly sung at Norwegian weddings. To carry out this tradition guests were provided copies of a song from the groom’s hometown with a phonetic translation. Towards the end of the evening, the men from Kongsberg gathered on the dance floor to sing Kongsberg Drekkevise.