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Rustic romance

Sarah and Jason chose the relaxed surroundings of the great outdoors to make their lifelong promises

Sarah and Jason – in the beginning

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When Jason stepped in to take up a room in Sarah’s college houseshare, it was the start of something much more special than a roommate relationship. “As a group of college girls, we were all about having a handsome guy move in with us!” says Sarah. “Our relationship started a few months after we met.” Eight years later, and Sarah woke up at home one day to a big smile and a big question. “I loved how simple and ‘us’ the proposal was: we’re not about frilly, corny stuff, so it was perfect.” And just over a year later, the couple said ‘I do’ in a similarly unfussy way, al fresco at a farm in New Hampshire, USA.

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Photography: Simply Bloom (simplybloomphotography.com)

Words by Sarah Kershaw

Sarah and Jason – the venue

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The couple were joined by 150 guests, who watched them say their vows in an outdoor ceremony at Toad Hill Farm on 21 August. “I found the farm online,” says Sarah, “but my mother was pretty hesitant until the moment we set foot on the property and were in awe of how beautiful it was.” The couple stood in a circle of petals to symbolise an altar, and Sarah’s dad crafted a bench from the family’s first front door for them to sit on, as her sister serenaded the wedding party.

Sarah and Jason – the look

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Sarah and Jason had two watchwords while planning the look and feel of the wedding: simple and natural. “I love creams, blushes, shell pinks and antique whites together,” says Sarah, who worked these colours into the natural palette of the wild surroundings for a rustic theme with a vintage feel.

Sarah and Jason – the dress

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“I wanted a fairly non-traditional dress and was surprised that I ended up choosing such a fancy gown,” says Sarah of her beautifully floaty Amy Michelson gown, sourced online. “I loved the backless crossover design.” Teamed with a pair of cork wedges, all it needed in the way of accessories was a kitschy vintage bike for the photos!

Sarah and Jason – all the pretty dresses

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Sarah asked all her best girls to choose their own dresses, and they obliged with designs from J.Crew and Anthropologie, all of which toned in with the neutral palette…

Sarah and Jason – wrapped up in love

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…and were complemented by the handmade shawls that Sarah gifted them: “It can get very chilly in the mountains of New Hampshire, even in summer!” she says.

Sarah and Jason – suits him

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Jason went for just the right level of formality in his charcoal-coloured J.Crew suit and a cool vintage Fifties tie. 

Sarah and Jason – rustic florals

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All the bridal party needed to complete their simple-but-stylish ensembles were the perfect flowers by Emily Herzig. The bridal bouquet was a beautiful trailing design of white and green wildflowers.

Sarah and Jason – the reception

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The couple echoed the bridal bouquet with the centrepieces, which included glass jars of white and green just-picked blooms. Table numbers were made from birch logs, cut by Sarah’s father.

Sarah and Jason – the details

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The bride and her sisters made the paper hearts, looping book pages and fixing together.

Sarah and Jason – the details

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Favours were jars of honey, covered in vintage cloth by Sarah and her sisters, and decorated with a label thanking guests for coming. Each guest found their seat with the help of simple escort cards, strung along the fencing outside the marquee from Sperry Tents.

Sarah and Jason – showered with pretty

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After the ceremony, the guests showered Sarah and Jason with lavender and sage picked in Utah (where the couple live) as a reminder of the place where they’ve spent most of their time. The celebratory moment kicked off the reception in style, as the party moved to the marquee for the evening’s celebrations.

Sarah and Jason – sign your name

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Guests wrote messages and wishes for the couple in a book printed with a drawing of a toad, to reflect the venue’s unusual name. The outdoors-themed stationery also complemented the birch tree on the couple’s invitations, drawn by Jason.

Sarah and Jason – happy endings

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After dinner, which included a delicious dessert of homemade fruit pies and tarts, the High Range Band struck up the chords to the couple’s first dance, country song Wagon Wheel by Old Crow Medicine Show. “My family are big on dancing, so we had a blast!” remembers Sarah. “We just wanted the reception to be as fun as possible – and it was!”

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