Jane & Eric might both have PhDs, but the vision for their wedding was “burning man meets elegant glamping”. Awesome right?! The couple started their planning process with a tried and true Pinterest board, and shared that they wanted their day to feel “personal, jubilant, and full of free expression!” Some of the early words they used to describe their vision were: maximalist, camp (not camping), and Met Gala meets Burning Man. We are loving all of this!!
With Rebecca Thorpe of Copper Cricket Events at the helm in planning the wedding and floral design by Eloquence – Jane & Eric’s unique vision came to life! Virginie Carolina captured all the magic the day provided… Let’s have a look at their unique day!
Getting Ready for the Big Day
Champagne is the best way to start off a wedding day! This bridal party looks adorable in their matching bridal pajamas!
We just LOVE a two-piece wedding dress!! Jane shared with us a bit more about finding her dream dress:
“Eric and I both enjoy being a bit experimental with fashion, and I had worked as a fashion model full-time for a year in my early 20s, so I knew from the start I wanted a nontraditional wedding dress. However, at first I had no specific vision beyond that. I went to BHLDN and tried on a bunch of very different dresses, to get a sense of what shapes I liked etc. I also went to one very high-end bridal boutique, to get a sense of what I would get if I spent more or less money on my dress. In the end, I was drawn to many dresses made by Willowby by Watters (which BHLDN carries some of), which has a bohemian vibe. I looked online and saw the two-piece dress I ended up getting on the Willowby by Watters website– the Yuzu top and Grove skirt– and it really spoke to me, but nowhere on the east coast seemed to carry it. Bliss Bridal, a boutique in Cheshire, CT, was able to special order it for me to try on, and it was perfect. It surprises me that I found my wedding dress partially online, because I normally hate online shopping! One salesperson cautioned me, “you need to be marrying a rockstar to get away with a dress like that.” Damn right.”
Way too cute! If you’re looking for more flower girl inspiration, we’ve found some of the cutest dresses for the little ones!
This dress is simply stunning. Those lace details, oh my!
Processional: Wildest Dreams by Taylor Swift & Here Comes The Sun by The Beatles
Recessional: God Only Knows by The Beach Boys
First Dance: Started with "Latch" the acoustic version by Sam Smith, and then "Latch" by Disclosure and Sam Smith
Jane’s godmother Olubunmi officiated the wedding, with a highly personalized script including Nigerian proverbs. The couple wrote their own vows, which they each heard for the first time at the ceremony. J + E used the ceremony to express their feelings and philosophy on marriage to each other, rather than rely on generic or scripted “romance” motifs.
“Reflecting on the experience of standing in front of our family and friends exchanging vows, the whole experience was very moving.”
During the ceremony, the officiant Olubunmi joked that Eric had successfully “manifested” the woman of his dreams: “a model with a PhD!”
Husband and wife! Look at those happy smiles!
The entire event was in the backyard of Jane’s family home in Connecticut, which is a 19th century historic farmhouse. They wanted their ceremony to feel heartfelt and true to their romantic experience, but also wanted the reception to be super upbeat and festive.
“Since we didn’t change locations – we just moved from one paddock to another – we used colors to differentiate the ceremony and the reception. For the ceremony, the entire wedding party wore white and cream colors. But for the reception, we and the bridesmaids and groomsmen all changed into colorful, loud, festive suits and dresses. All the groomsmens’ crazy patterned suits were made by Opposuits.”
“Due to COVID and travel difficulties, we held the bachelor and bachelorette parties the night before the rehearsal dinner, and had relatively limited time to hang out with our bridal parties. To maximize bonding and party time during the wedding, and minimize transportation, we had the whole bridal party (us included) stay in large canvas glamping tents set up in another field in Jane’s parent’s backyard. The tents had comfy beds, side tables, and even little accoutrements. Friday night we went to sleep to some howling coyotes and were woken up Saturday by chirping birds. Food trucks brought freshly cooked breakfast sandwiches on Saturday and Sunday.”
These ladies look stunning! Loving the white bridesmaid dress look? We have more inspiration for you!
These two look so in love! The fact their big day took place at the bride’s family home makes their day even more special!
Eric’s ceremony suit was a custom suit by Suit Supply – don’t they look perfect together?!
It’s Party Time!
“At each juncture in wedding planning, we chose merriment over tradition. Perhaps no one contributed more to this than our band, Hudson Horns, who led the procession from cocktail hour to the reception with an inviting parade to the dance floor, and brought infectious dance-y energy playing everything from hip hop to punk rock. There were two surprise numbers where the Maid of Honor joined the band on-stage to jam on her saxophone – “I Want You Back” by Jackson Five and “I Feel Good” by James Brown. Multiple people said they had never seen a dance floor fill faster than at our wedding!”
“We really wanted organic discovery be an aspect of the wedding experience. We love experiential theater (like “Sleep No More” and “Meowwolf”) and drew inspiration from that. We tried to keep signage and announcements to a minimum, so it felt like things were evolving naturally. For example, we never wanted our guests to feel pushed to dance before they felt ready, just because an MC instructed them to do so.“
This gorgeous ethereal cake is by Nine Cakes who absolutely nailed the aesthetic the couple was going for!
Costume Changes for All
After changing into the party clothes (the wedding party also had a couple-approved costume change), Jane & Eric shared an elaborately choreographed dance that will not be soon forgotten. Jane later shared “I will dance ecstatically with you when times are good, and hold you close when times are rough.”
Love the idea of a reception dress? We do too and found 19 fun looks!
Jane got her reception dress designed by Mat’souri through the online retailer on independent European designers named Wolf & Badger – she had seen the dress a while before and used the outfit change for the reception as an excuse to get it. Eric’s reception suit was a black sequin suit by this awesome Nashville designer that often makes clothes for country music stars called Any Old Iron.
Jane grew up dancing ballet and ran the modern dance company when an undergrad at Harvard. As a result, she was excited to have a choreographed first dance and father-daughter dance.
“Our friend Patrick, a professional actor/dancer, designed the choreography and helped us rehearse. The first dance had a “fake out”– it started slow and romantic with the acoustic version of “Latch” by Sam Smith, and then suddenly picked up tempo to something between an 80’s aerobics class and latin music video set to the remix of “Latch” by Disclosure/Sam Smith. The father-daughter dance was much more of a tearjerker (to “Tiny Dancer” by Elton John– Jane’s mom’s choice), allowing the father of the bride to show off his athletic prowess by performing some lifts that harkened back to his on-stage participation in 10-year-old Jane’s Nutcracker recitals.”
Requiring our guests to dress in subdued, neutral colors so that our photographs would fit a certain aesthetic was the antithesis to our vision. We encouraged everyone to wear *that* outfit!
Jane: Entering the reception after changing into my pink gown and finding Eric in the sea of people on the dance floor wearing his black sequin tuxedo, under the umbrellas, and then the dance floor clearing while we kissed for us to start our first dance. That was a magical moment!
Eric: Jane laughing during the ceremony because I looked so visibly relieved when she said "I do!"
Jane: Weddings have so many different variables that some things inevitably go a little bit wrong or different than you expected. Worry about stuff before the wedding, but once you get to the actual event, make a pact with yourself to let it go and just enjoy that moment. Other people can pick up the slack, and none of the guests will notice the mistakes anyway!
Also: put the money in the band!!
Eric: Don't do anything just because "that's the way it's done." The best parties are organic and develop a life of their own. And it's one of the only times in your life where all of your favorite people are together and celebrating life-- take advantage of that. Show them how grateful you are to them.
The couple lastly shares, that they weren’t afraid to break tradition, but they wanted there to be a meaning or reason behind all the choices they made. The intention certainly came through! Congrats to Jane + Eric!
photography: Virginie Carolina // venue name: Private Home, Weston, CT, USA // planning: Rebecca Thorpe of Copper Cricket Events // florals: Floral Design by Eloquence // wedding dress: Willowby by Watters // wedding dress boutique: Bliss Bridal // hair stylist: Damali Bridal // makeup artist: Damali Bridal // paper goods: Social Alchemy // cake: Nine Cakes // music: Hudson Horns // Photographer Rep: PairWed Co.