A Farm Wedding Filled with Personalized, Eclectic Touches
Nate and Jesse
Nathan Allen, a producer, and Jesse Juriga, a creative director, first met online through an LGBT political action site. Following this, their first in-person encounter was at a bar in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, where the pair showed up wearing the same outfit: black and red plaid shirts with jeans. Matching outfits aside, the two immediately hit it off and hung out every single day after for four months straight.
"Soon after we met, I mentioned to Nate that I would like to be the one to propose," explains Jesse (on the left), "however, as Nate does, he had other plans." After five years of dating, Nate surprised Jesse with a proposal on a Nantucket beach. Of course, Jesse said yes, but then five months later proposed to Nate (again) while on a trip to Switzerland.
Wanting their wedding to feel personal, the couple opted to celebrate at Nate's family's farm in Lyme, New Hampshire. On September 5th, 2015, Nate and Jesse exchanged their vows in front of 170 guests at the lake view property. With the help of their friends, family, and event planner, Lydia Bailey, the duo had a weekend full of eclectic details and meaningful memories.
The Stationery Suite
To personalize their invitations, Nate and Jesse collaborated on the design, which included a painted and drawn map of the town of Lyme, complete with directions and a weekend itinerary. "Making the invitations helped us figure out what we wanted for the entire wedding. We wanted something casual," says Jesse, "So I hand drew it all, but it felt like it needed some special elements, so we worked in gold plating on some of the illustration." Blue Jaye Press printed the stationery suite, which was coincidentally sent out the same week the Supreme Court passed their ruling in favor of same sex marriage. Many guests received their invitations the same day the decision was made—which read inside "Jesse and Nate invite you to celebrate as they join the previously exclusive club of marriage".
The family farm overlooks a small lake and provided the quiet and charming ambience the pair wanted for their wedding.
Getting Ready Together
"Frankly, I think we got ready together because I needed the support," explains Jesse, "I was so nervous, and I'm pretty much useless without Nathan. I would have showed up half-dressed, wearing the wrong shoes, or something."
"We originally bought navy tuxedos and got them home and tried them on but they didn't feel like us. We are t-shirt and jeans guys, so we took it down a level and ended up doing suits to keep things a touch more casual," says Nate.
"Nate and I decided to walk into the ceremony together. That was symbolic for us. Nobody was giving us away, we'd been together for five years. This was us, doing this for each other in front of the people we love," says Jesse (on the right), "The feeling of walking over the hill into the ceremony was probably one of the most spiritual and loving moments I've ever had. It was overwhelming and something we will look back on with joy for our entire lives."
Nate and Jesse walked down the aisle to Bob Dylan's "Shelter from The Storm" before exchanging personal vows. "I had been writing my vows for a year everyday on the subway to work," says Jesse, "I think by the end of the year I had like five pages of reasons why I loved Nate."
Fleetwood Mac's "Everywhere" played as Nate and Jesse joyously recessed, hand-in-hand, with their golden retriever, Henry, by their side.
The Cocktail Hour
Live music played as guests enjoyed food and drinks behind the barn during cocktail hour.
The couple repurposed the bar that Nate's brother had created and used for his own wedding to suit their theme, decorating it with greenery and flowers.
The Signature Drinks
Guests chose from a variety of drinks, including "The Sweet Nathan", a sparkling vodka drink with rosemary and club soda, and "The Feisty Jesse", a whiskey ginger with lime—which also happened to fit the grooms' personalities perfectly.
The reception took place under a sailcloth tent, complete with round walnut farm tables and a dance floor. "The tent was the only thing I could kind of imagine before the wedding," says Jesse, "I could see it perfectly on the lawn there, so when it finally went up a few days before the wedding, it was a great moment!"
The Escort Cards
Handmade escort cards created by the couple's friend Mindy Liu were placed on a barn door, hanging with some twine.
Emily Herzig used pops of color and lush greenery to create the natural centerpieces, which adorned tables along with candles and antique pieces that Jesse hunted down at various flea markets and antique shows. "I think I had close to 500 pieces," he says, "I got into the idea of antique brass, metal and copper but I wanted no two pieces to be the same." Mindy Lui created the table numbers, which were drawn with simple, gold ink.
The Personalized Details
"We love old pictures, and we had this idea that we wanted to find a classic photo of every guest at the wedding and have it at their table. Not just any photo, but ones that stand out in our memories; the childhood ones, the ones from holidays, the priceless ones,” explains Jesse. After a lengthy search, the pair was able to incorporate each guest's photo into the table décor, making guests feel appreciated and included.
The carrot cake was created by Nate's sister-in-law, who topped it off with a custom cake topper from Lovebirds Goods.
Photography, Sasithon Photography of The Wedding Artists Collective
Location, The Allen Farm
Event planning, Lydia Bailey Charmed Places
Catering, Cloud 9 Caterers
Flowers, Emily Herzig Floral Studio
Stationery, Blue Jaye Press
Calligraphy, Mindy Liu
Music, Oh La La Band
Rentals, New England Country Rentals; Vermont Tent Company
Grooms' suits, J.Crew
Grooms' accessories, Cole Haan (shoes); J.Crew (ties); Shinola (Nate's watch); Rolex (Jesse's watch); KikaNY (suspenders)
Wedding bands, Cartier
Lighting, Vermont Tent Company
Cake Topper, Lovebirds Goods