Elisabeth & Peter’s Wedding at Stonover Farm
Elisabeth and Peter tied the knot in a beautiful traditional Jewish ceremony in the barn at Stonover Farm on an early fall evening.
Though Elisabeth had her heart set on an outdoor wedding, the Berkshires in September can be cool, and the fine mist was coalescing into rain as the hour of sundown approached. Rather than getting married outside in natural light with Stonover’s beautiful barn door as their backdrop, Elisabeth and Peter decided at the last moment to hold the ceremony inside the warm barn and avoid the drizzle. We quickly made adjustments and the processional began…
We placed the chuppah just inside the barn with the doors thrown open behind the scenic burlap curtain so that their backdrop was the changing greens and blues of the field outside the barn as night fell–the next best thing to getting married outside. Theatrical lekos with foliage gobos and light amber gels provided the warm sunlight on the ceremony that nature did not.
Elisabeth’s mother crocheted a beautiful tallis that formed a glowing canopy above the radiant couple and their parents and rabbi. The highlights I created cast beautiful shadows on the burlap curtain, showing off the tallis’s intricate knotwork.
To give their wedding’s design a personal flair, Elisabeth and Peter wanted some sort of bold stroke with a modern feel as opposed to a more traditional visual centerpiece such as a chandelier. While researching ideas in the modern art world I hit upon an image of an installation by Felix Gonzales-Torres that felt perfect for their style, and Elisabeth agreed happily. So, as the signature gesture of their lighting design, I created a waterfall of bistro lights in the center of the barn that would feel like stars above their ceremony and dance floor, inspired by the work of this great 20th century lighting artist.
The hora was a joyous, all-hands-on-deck celebration. It began in a whirlwind and Peter and Elisabeth were flying through the air before my camera was ready for them, but their wonderful photographer Karen Wise was right there on cue to capture the moment as they were hoisted by their friends:
I managed to catch one great photo of each set of parents:
I filled the barn with swags of bistro lights that brought out the warmth of the barn boards and gave the whole barn some sparkle, and downlit each guest table with a soft glow of warm light to give the flowers and guests focus and definition.
I highlighted the bridal table more boldly so that Peter and Elisabeth would look gorgeous and be the visual center of attention throughout dinner and the toasts offered to them by Peter’s best man, Elisabeth’s maid of honor, and her father.
As the after-dinner dancing got started I lowered the lights on the guest tables to a romantic glow and flooded the dance floor with saturated colors, improvising different looks throughout the night to match the mood set by the band with each new song.
The grassy area outside the art gallery on the lower level of the barn, filled with guests during the cocktail hour a few hours earlier, became a quiet, placid place to take a break from dancing, make a call, have a smoke, or just enjoy the night air.
Elisabeth and Peter were an absolute joy to work with, and I know the deep joy that they so obviously find in each other will serve them well throughout a lifetime of love.
My deep thanks to Karen Wise for the use of her fantastic photos.
Catering and Event Planning by Mezze Catering
Flowers by Crocus Hale
Lighting Design by Julie Seitel of Seitel Lighting LLC
Photography by Karen Wise