These Grooms Emphasized the Importance of Good Eating at Their Farm Wedding in Ohio
The original plan for the wedding was to go big. As in, really big. "My initial vision was the greatest dinner party for all of my friends and family," says Dylan of the feast he and his fiancé Nathan planned to throw for nearly 300 of their family and friends. The farm owners met at college in 2008, got engaged 10 years later, and then jumped headfirst into planning a food-focused fête on a friend's bucolic property. "I pretty much had the menu and wine pairings planned by the autumn of 2018," Dylan says. "But I quickly realized that to entertain that many people to the level that I had envisioned would be way out of our budget—both financially and beyond the output of our small farm, as we planned to grow a majority of the food for the menu."
So they slashed the guest list to 35 (just immediate family and some friends) and set the date for September 29, 2019, at Warwick Farm in Mount Vernon, Ohio. And they didn't budge on the things they found most important: "Our non-negotiables were that the music had to be live, the food had to be sourced within 50 miles or ideally from our farm, floral design, and excellent wines," Dylan says. To tie their pastoral vision together, they worked in a farm-friendly palette of rich greens, burnished golds, tarnished burgundy, cream, linen, and hints of blush pink.
And after the couple exchanged vows, the multi-course (there were seven wine-paired courses before cheese and dessert) feast began. In the end, it wasn't the party they originally envisioned—it was better. "Honestly, because some of our family is very religious and conservative, it was beyond moving to have them come and celebrate us and our wedding," Dylan says. "I felt a little nervous about how the event was going to be received by some, but my fears were unfounded, and we felt very loved."
Using Dylan's mom's watercolor artwork as an inspiration, Script One Four designed a custom stationery suite brimming with buds that would also appear as décor on the couple's wedding day.
Dylan fell hard for Warwick Farm when he first visited it for an antique and garden sale. "It is the most idyllic, English cottage-style estate in America," Dylan says. "I loved that the farm was truly a working farm—dirt and weeds, included. The relative close proximity to where I grew up didn't hurt, either."
Dressed to Impress
Instead of a first look, Dylan and Nathan opted to get ready together while sipping Champagne. "It felt right, because we've been getting ready together for 10 years," Nathan says. "It was calming and intimate and perfect for us."
Nathan wore a blue Express suit because his husband-to-be already owned one. "We bought opposites for future occasions," he says. He finished the look with a small farm-grown boutonnière and a pocket square from his grandmother.
Shades of Gray
Dylan admits that fashion wasn't their first—or even second—priority. "Being thrifty, I wanted a suit I could wear again for another formal event," he says. "A tuxedo didn't feel right with our rural, midwestern upbringings, so a ready-to-wear, three piece suit from Express fit the bill perfectly." He also wore a vintage handkerchief from his grandmother as a pocket square.
The couple wanted the ceremony décor to be simple and natural, so they started with Black African sorghum from their heirloom farm, which gave an architectural element to the design, then added cardoon leaves, hydrangea, and zinnias for texture and color. Squash finished the look.
Sips First, Vows Second
Dylan and Nathan decided to throw their cocktail hour before the ceremony so that guests could mingle and have a few bites. Two sparkling wines and beer were on offer, and an appetizer table displayed herb gougeres, heirloom tomato skewers with mozzarella, and melon wrapped in prosciutto.
Each of the grooms' parents walked them down the aisle. To decide who would go first, they flipped a coin. (Nathan won.)
We Are Family
During the ceremony, the couples' parents surrounded them to give them a blessing. "Our parents love and accept us for who we are and warmly embrace our love for each other," Nathan says.
Hug It Out
The pair gave their minister free rein over the ceremony, but they did have one request: to recite the seven vows of marriage in the Hindu tradition. After they were pronounced husbands for life, they kissed—and gave each other a huge hug.
Dylan and Nathan shared happy tears while they walked back up the aisle to the Newlywed Game theme song.
Into the Greenhouse
The ensuing celebration unfolded inside a greenhouse on the property.
Other than a naturally-dyed table runner from The Lesser Bear, candle sticks, and some bud vases, most of the florals—a mix of smilax vine, hydrangea, dahlias, zinnias, amaranth, and dogwood branches—hung overhead to leave room on tables for wine bottles and food.
The rustic tables and chairs—comprised of distressed bare wood—contributed to the rustic vibe of the celebration.
The Chill Zone
During the reception, cozy furniture from The Rural Society offered guests a respite from the dance floor.
A Multi-Course Menu
"From the get-go, I wanted to do a traditional coursed Italian-style feast, because I come from an Italian family, and food is super important," Dylan says.
Compliments to the Chef
The couple's chef friends put together a seven-ish course menu that started with antipasti, included a midway sorbetto dish, and ended with coffee and a digestivo bar.
A goat cheese tart with local buckwheat honey and heirloom carrots made the rounds as part of the antipasti course.
Naturally, each dish was paired with wine chosen by the couple, and the lineup included what Dylan calls "one of the greatest German Rieslings ever made."
What a Night
For their first dance, the couple asked their musicians to learn Kylie Minogue's "On a Night Like This."
Instead of traditional wedding cake, the pair opted for a range of tarts and galettes, including a Barlett pear frangipane with brown butter glaze.
Light Up the Sky
At the end of the night, guests shot tiny fireworks into the night sky.
Photography, The Jacksons
Venue, The Rural Society at Warwick Farm
Event Design and Flowers, Old Slate Farm
Catering, Anthony Schulz; Abby Cole; Casey Stoughton (cake)
Officiant, Anthony Taylor
Stationery, Script One Four
Music, Jillian Caudill and Ricky Mitchell
Rentals, Aiden + Grace
Table Napkins, Blooming Grove Apron Co.
Twine, The Lesser Bear