My Wedding at Birch Wood Vineyards


Hi Guys! It’s been a while since I’ve updated with a blog post. It’s just crazy how quickly time flies! I am so happy that summer has unofficially started (really once June hits, I consider it to be summer!) Wedding season is in full swing so I’ve had less time on my hands to update my blog. I’m also now writing a guest blog for WeddingReports.com so if you guys are itching to see what I’ve been up to or for some planning tips, make sure to check out my posts there (http://www.weddingreports.com/ct-wedding-blog/)

Anyways, I’ve been looking forward to sharing some details and images from my own wedding day! I got my photo gallery back from my photographers last week and am so excited to share (shout out to Focus Photography in Portland, ME for being so wonderful!) It was great reliving the day and seeing pictures they captured that I didn’t even know about.

Getting married in April in New Hampshire is always a risky move as Mother Nature is so unpredictable. We were blessed with a 56-degree sunny day and I was ecstatic as I was really hoping for an outdoor ceremony. We got married at Birch Wood Vineyards (for my New Hampshire brides, check them out -the venue is beautiful and the staff was absolutely amazing to work with). I chose this venue as I wanted a rustic style but preferred to be at a full-service venue that offered modern updates. Birch Woods checked all these boxes. I also love wine so it was great to be able to integrate that element into my theme (check out my wine bottle centerpieces!)




Our wedding weekend began with our rehearsal dinner at Tuscan Kitchen in Salem, NH. In keeping with our wine theme, we booked The Wine Cellar. The restaurant offered various private dining spaces but when we saw this one, it was an easy choice. The room can accommodate up to 50 guests, we had about 30 for dinner and it was very comfortable. The dining spaces come with a 4-hour rental so we opted to invite just immediate family and bridal party for dinner from 6pm-8pm and then we opened it up to all of our out of guests for a welcome reception from 8pm-10pm. It was a beautiful way to kick off our weekend and all of our guests raved about the ambiance and the quality of the food and service.


I did my best to get a good night sleep but I was just SO excited. For any of you who know me, it shouldn’t surprise you that I was up at 6am and opted to hit the gym for a morning wedding day workout! Nothing gets me going like a good sweat session and obviously I wanted to feel my absolute best!

My girls (and man of honor!) and I headed over to Birch Woods around 9am to start hair and makeup. You guys – the bridal suite here is absolutely stunning. They have built-in professional hair and makeup chairs, a light and airy feel, large bathroom with full length mirrors and they set up fruit platters, champagne and juices for you to start the day off right! I used Joanne McDonough from Joya Beauty (based in Dover, NH) and Trisha Bodwell from Blank Canvas Salon in Londonderry, NH for my beauty services. All my vendors are listed at the bottom of this post. Both ladies were a dream to work with and totally nailed the style I wanted.



John and I opted to do a First Look before the ceremony. If you’re on the fence about doing a First Look – take a look at my previous blog post about why I love them. I am SO glad we did one. It gave us some time to be alone and just talk and be with each other before everyone arrived. It was a great way to ease some of our nerves and be free to express every emotion we were feeling. We wrote each other letters which we read during our First Look. We recited traditional vows during the ceremony so this was our version of incorporating something more personal into our day. Both of us would agree that the First Look did not take away from the magical moment of walking down the aisle.


We did a few additional extended family group photos during the first 15 minutes of cocktail hour but after that, we were able to relax and enjoy seeing our friends and family.

We kicked off our reception with something more “out of the box” than your usual bridal party introductions. John and his groomsmen put together a simple choreographed dance to ZZ Top’s “Sharp Dressed Man” and the crowd loved it! I made my way into the reception during the chorus when they sing “and every girl’s crazy ‘bout a sharp dressed man” and John gave me a spin and a dip. It was a perfect way to get the party started and a complete reflection on our style.


Everyone’s style and vision for their wedding day is different. What we really wanted was a fun atmosphere with great music, great food and great memories being made. Our DJ (thank you Ron Furr of Entertainment Specialists) nailed the playlist I was looking for. We had guests of all ages at the wedding and I wanted to make sure that the music was liked by all and everyone was dancing. I did a previous blog post about my wedding playlist – check it out if you want to see the music I played!

To say that I had my dream wedding would be an understatement. It was surreal to finally have the vision I had been crafting for 18 months be brought to life. Everything about the day was perfect – the weather, the food, the décor, the people, the team of vendors that made it all happen, and of course, my husband.


Thank you to the AMAZING team of vendors who worked with me throughout the process and truly surpassed all of my expectations! For more photos of our wedding, take a look at my gallery page!

Venue: Birch Wood Vineyards

DJ: Rob Furr of Entertainment Specialists

Photobooth: Entertainment Specialists

Photography: Focus Photography

Make-up: Joanne McDonough of Joya Beauty

Hair: Trisha Bodwell from Blank Canvas Salon

Cake: Chickadee Hill Cakes

Transportation: Black Tie Limousine

Florals: Ford Flower Co.

Dress: Madeline Gardner from Marry and Tux Bridal

Groom’s Attire: Men's Wearhouse

Rehearsal Dinner: Tuscan Kitchen, Salem, NH

Thanks for reading and check back soon for my next post! Happy Planning!

Love,

Alyssa


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