A Moody, Gothic-Inspired Wedding in a Vermont Birch Grove
Maxine Lopez-Keough met Jiwan Noah Singh, more commonly known as Noah, while studying at Sarah Lawrence College. Shortly after, they kicked off a two-year-long long-distance relationship. Determined to build a future together (in the same place!), the pair decided to uproot their lives in New York and Boston to move to Key West, Florida, where they started a real estate and hospitality business together.
Seven years later, Noah went shopping for an engagement ring—and 30 minutes after that, in the home the pair spent five years renovating, he popped the question. "That was as long as I could stand it before asking her to marry me," he says of the whirlwind moment.
They spent a year planning their moody Vermont wedding, which took place at Noah's family farm over Labor Day weekend in 2018. With the help of the team at Storied Events, the couple brought their big-day vision—dramatic celebration with theatrical, celestial, and gothic influences—to life. To achieve this unique aesthetic, Maxine and Noah also opted for a dark color palette, which was predominantly comprised of charcoal and evergreen shades. The bride's ensemble, however, acted like a light in the darkness; her golden-flecked wedding dress, which she accessorized with a gold-and-crystal crown, threw sunbeams during the evening celebration. Her shimmering look was one of the big-day details their 365 guests remember most.
The bride describes the vibe as, "lush, moody, and uncompromisingly non-traditional." Complete with classic cuisine, dancing under the stars, and an epic fireworks show to close out the festivities, the event was ultimately a reflection of the unique couple, themselves.
A Family Venue
While Maxine and Noah both have family estates in Vermont, they split their time between Key West and Boston. Hosting their wedding at Noah's family's property meant that most guests would be traveling, so the wedding weekend turned into an extended vacation for many of their loved ones. It was important to the couple to choose a location that reflected who they are as a couple, so the South Woodstock, Vermont, venue, which allowed for an almost fully outdoor wedding, was the perfect fit.
Maxine knew from the start that she wouldn't end up in a traditional wedding dress, and ultimately selected the "Nala" gown by One Day Bridal, which was handmade in Australia over seven months. "By far the most common thing people mention when reminiscing about our wedding is how the dress sparkled as I walked toward the altar, backlit by the sunset," the bride says. "It honestly felt like an heirloom from the moment I tried it on!" The gown featured bell sleeves, a full circle skirt, mirrored tulle and a hand-made gold leather belt.
Crowns Are the Best Accessories
The Leather Jacket
Maxine also had a custom white leather motorcycle created for the wedding weekend; it was complete with hand-painting by Laurén Bienvenue, who Maxine found on Etsy. "Laurén absolutely nailed it—she understood the vibe of our wedding intrinsically," Maxine says. The gold-studded jacket featured a floral skull with the words "Til Death" on the back.
The bride's bouquet featured black calla lilies and a touch of greenery, which fit the gothic theme.
The First Look
The couple shared their first look next to a stream that runs across the property. "When you've been together for almost a decade you think you've become completely comfortable with one another, so I was actually surprised at how nervous and excited I was!" Maxine says of the poignant moment.
Noah worked with a tailor to make three wedding-weekend suits, incorporating tropical-print linings in all of them to represent Key West. For the ceremony, he wore a black shawl collar tuxedo.
Maxine wanted the outdoor ceremony to give an ethereal vibe, or as she put it, "No florals, just the purity of the outdoors, really unadorned." Guests gathered in the property's birch grove, where they were surrounded by hills and trees wrapped in twinkle lights as they watched Maxine and Noah's secular ceremony.
As a string arrangement of Rick Ross's "Aston Martin Music" played, Maxine walked down the majority of the aisle independently "to show that I was coming to the marriage as my own person," she says. But both of her parents walked her down the last stretch. "I'm an only child, so it felt right to have them both there by my side, like they've been my whole life."
Writing your own vows isn't always easy, and this groom ended up drawing as a means of gathering inspiration. "I was working on and reworking my vows for weeks and weeks, then re-wrote them by hand again a couple of times before the ceremony," Noah says. "I was frustrated for a moment and drew a couple of astronauts, feathers, and a crystal. I ended up going completely off script when we actually got to the ceremony."
Dozens of white candles in clear glass hurricane holders were displayed on the ceremony platform. Since Maxine and Noah had their ceremony later than most, the candles made a statement as the night grew dark.
A combination of long rectangular tables and round tables were placed underneath a clear tent that was covered in twinkle lights, hanging moss, and branches. The pair hired DJ Luis to keep guests dancing throughout the night.
Centerpieces included lots of dark purple orchids, tropical pitcher plants, ranunculus, poppies, and hanging moss, in tune with the magical forest feel of the day. Fruits, including figs and grapes, also made an appearance throughout the reception's décor.
Katie Fischer Design created the matte black menus, which were printed with moon phases and personalized with each guest's name in san serif type. Dinner was catered by The Catered Affair and featured a choice of seared garlic-rosemary chicken with parmesan polenta, roasted cod with heirloom tomato and native corn risotto, and wild mushroom risotto with charred carrot.
The long wooden tables were set without linens and displayed tall black taper candles in glass hurricanes. The round tables were topped with forest green fabric rented from BBJ Linen. The couple's planning team at Storied Events designed and executed a branch installation for the round tables with help from their florist, Valley Floral Co.
The First Dance
The couple shared their first dance to Phil Collins' "In the Air Tonight." "I think we both acted out the drum solo during the dance," Maxine remembers, "I challenge anyone to resist doing so when they hear that song."
Maxine and Noah had three wedding cakes—all from Lael Cakes
in Brooklyn. "I have Celiac Disease, so I'm used to never getting to eat baked goods or feeling super safe in restaurants," Maxine says. "Emily from Lael made me three wedding cakes, tiny donuts, and little pies—all these incredible things that are usually off limits!"
At the suggestion of their planners, Maxine and Noah ended the night with a fireworks show—but almost forgot to book it. "The fireworks display was perhaps the most extra, over-the-top part of the whole wedding, and it came as a wonderful surprise," the bride says. The couple later jetted off on their honeymoon to Scotland and England, where they flew Harris hawks, drank Scotch, and ate unforgettable food.
Photography, Lindsey Roman Photography
Event planning, Storied Events
Day-of paper and hand drawing, Katie Fischer Cohen
Bride's dress, One Day Bridal
Bride's shoes, Sam Edelman
Bride's crown, Amaroq Design
Bride's jacket, Laurén Bienvenue
Hair & Makeup, Ria St. Pierre of Salon Ruelle
Flowers, Valley Floral Co.
Catering, The Catered Affair
Cakes, Lael Cakes
Music, DJ Luis
Tent, Rain or Shine Tent and Events Company