Ready to plan your wedding but don’t know where to start? Begin with the basics. Consider all five senses, then connect them to our wonderful New England resources and traditions. Linking the senses to your wedding creates a memorable experience that your guests will be talking about long after you say, “I do.”
Photo by Jay Cassario from Twisted Oaks Studio
Sight is the easiest sense to design around. The best way to weave New England into the visuals of your wedding is by choosing a venue that highlights the backdrop you want.
Having a summer wedding? Why not get married on the beach? Of the six New England states, only Vermont doesn’t border the ocean. It’s easy to find a spot in Maine, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Rhode Island or Massachusetts with sand and sun. Of course, the ocean makes a beautiful backdrop for your wedding no matter what the season, but it may be more enjoyable during warmer weather.
If you’re getting married in the fall, take advantage of New England’s magnificent foliage. Peak times for “leaf peepers” start in the North and work their way down the states. Find a venue in Maine, New Hampshire or Vermont if your wedding is the last week of September through the first couple weeks of October. The last half of October offers the best shot at brilliant foliage in Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts. An outdoor wedding surrounded by vivid reds, yellows, and vibrant oranges, is a New England experience that your guests will remember.
Winter weddings are a wonderland in the New England snow. And spring can come and go before you realize it but take advantage of one of the many flower festivals if you want something bright and lighthearted.
Photo: Simply Perfect Photography
The setting also provides the sound of your ceremony. Beach weddings feature waves crashing or gently rolling onto the shore and the squall of seagulls circling overhead. Getting married amidst the foliage showcases the sound of the wind, whispering through the leaves.
Music contributes to the sounds of the ceremony, as well. Most weddings have tunes playing softly in the background until the bride has entered. Music by the Boston Pops Orchestra gives an authentic New England sound and artists such as James Taylor, The Carpenters, and Michael Bolton are all musicians with New England connections, and recordings that are wedding-appropriate!
Florals by Golden Gate Studio
Incorporate smell into your ceremony with flowers. Line the aisle with fresh floral arrangements and their fragrance will waft up to your guests' noses as they are seated. Use those same flowers for the bouquet and boutonnieres to spread the aroma even farther. In keeping with the New England theme, use native plants and flowers in your ceremony. Some great choices include New England aster, white water lilies, and bluets, also known as Quaker ladies.
Dish by Pepper's Artful Events
What would a New England wedding be without seafood? With so many choices, there’s something for everyone. Lobster, in some form, will be on most menus. Oyster bars are popular. Shrimp and scallops are good choices. Don’t forget clam chowder, fish chowder, and baked cod. How about hosting a clambake following the ceremony. In Vermont, go for a gourmet mac and cheese followed by a cider donut or maple cookies!
Photo by Mat Brown from Pexels
Climate plays a role in how you and your guests feel on your wedding day. Does the wind on your skin make you chilly, or is it a relief from the heat? At some outdoor weddings, blankets are provided, as even New England summers can be cool. The texture of the blanket should be soft and comfortable.
At barn weddings, wood, straw and clay materials lend themselves to the sense of touch. Table cloths and runners may be thick, woven material like natural burlap or tweed.
A beach wedding provides a great opportunity for you and your guests to enjoy the feel of the sand. Have everyone go barefoot and save their shoes for the reception!
And, of course, the right bridal gown is begging you to touch it (ask the bride first!). Yards of soft tulle and lace. Chiffon that billows in the breeze. Delicate silk, flowing behind in a long train. The right mix of textures creates an unforgettable day of celebration.
We use our senses to enjoy life and experience things. By incorporating all five in your wedding design, you're guaranteeing a day your guests will never forget.
Written by Cory Peters. Cory Peters is a wedding photographer who does her best work at outdoor venues. She’s photographed couples tying the knot on the ski slopes in Colorado and in the Everglades in Florida.