Samantha + Ben’s wedding planning goal was to create a super-personal special occasion that felt laid back and elevated at the same time. The couple knew they wanted to avoid concerns about big guest lists or a ton of planning and complications on their wedding day. Keeping things small was much more their speed and allowed them to focus on elements that were most important to them. Like wedding day fashion!
To pull off this classy gathering of only the closest family, Samantha, Ben, and planners from The Little Planner turned to Samantha’s sister who lives at Lord Hill, the Connecticut estate where Samantha’s sister’s husband grew up. (Fun fact: those two were ALSO married at Lord Hill back in 2014!)
Photographer Rachel from Wild Arrow nailed it when she said the estate’s grounds were “giving MAJOR Secret Garden vibes.” Samantha + Ben said “I do” in an outdoor ceremony officiated by Samatha’s sister and then took the party into the property’s Italianate house built in the 1870’s for a glorious candlelit dinner.
Let’s take a look at photographer Rachel’s stunning photos of this upscale-yet-intimate Connecticut wedding day!
Samantha has a self-professed “very unique style” and absolutely loves fashion. She tried dress shopping at more traditional bridal boutiques but ran into nothing but dead ends and unwelcoming attitudes. At one bridal salon she even had her wallet stolen!! So she ditched the bad vibes and went shopping with her sister on Madison Avenue in NYC. After a busy weekend in and out of countless stores, Samantha knew that nothing else had come close to this ruffled, laser-cut and printed gown she’d tried on at Zimmerman. We love this high-fashion take on feminine and floral!
“When I thought about what I wanted to wear for my wedding, my mantra was ‘I want people to say, wow that is so cool. I would never wear that but it’s amazing,'” says bride Samantha. “As an added bonus, it was extremely comfortable and flowy. No need for Spanx on my wedding day!”
These two kept the elevated looks coming with Ben’s gorgeous bespoke tan-and-white suit by J. Mueser. The black bowtie and loafers are nonstop elegance.
Check out this similar look from Reiss if you’re crazy about Ben’s double-breasted tan blazer like we are.
The mind behind that beautiful eucalyptus-filled bouquet and the rest of the day’s florals? Samantha’s amazing sister!
The first look was a really special and unexpectedly my favorite time of the day. It was nice to have a moment of calm with just each other before the ceremony and allow us both to connect, defray our nerves, and be present with each other to soak in the gravity of the day. We also got some of our favorite photos during the first look! Also reading of the vows, we wrote custom vows to each other, so hearing those for the first time was extremely touching and special.
Definitely take a look at our breakdown of 32 puff sleeve wedding dresses you’re gonna love if Samantha’s bridal silhouette is speaking to you.
Sneak a peek of Samantha’s powder blue Aquazzura wedding shoes!
Samantha is proof that wedding dresses absolutely do not have to be all-white. Take a look at our favorite wedding dresses with a pop of color!
Samantha did her own makeup for the big day, and photographer Rachel even jumped in to help with hair!
These two kept things super-small, only inviting close family to help them tie the knot. If a short guest list sounds like the right move for you too, take a peek at our tips on how to plan an intimate wedding.
Samantha + Ben got married during stormy Atlantic hurricane season, but things stayed dry!! And the overcast skies added to the moody vibe of the whole day.
Some thoughts from photographer Rachel: “This wedding day reminded me that a wedding day can be done whatever way feels right for the couple. There’s no right or wrong way to plan a wedding. The most important thing is celebrating love, and the journey that the couple has been on together.”
Samantha + Ben rounded out their intimate day with a feast inside Samantha’s sister’s beautiful 19th century home.
Catering for Samantha + Ben’s wedding dinner came courtesy of Chef Paul Barron.
Congratulations, Samantha + Ben, on your upscale and intimate wedding day! GWS wishes you all the very best!
photography: Wild Arrow Photography // venue name: Lord Hill CT, Lyme, CT, USA // planning: The Little Planner // wedding dress: Zimmermann // bride's shoes: Aquazzura // bride's ring: Try Hitched // groom attire: Custom J. Mueser // groom's ring: Try Hitched // catering: Chef Paul Barron