August 2019

August 16, 2019

Ariane and Steven Kladas

September 8, 2018

Bloom Meadows

Williamstown, MA

Photos by The Root and Bud

Arriane Aktarian and Steven Kladas were married on September 8, 2018, at Bloom Meadows in Williamstown, Massachusetts. Steve and I met the day after I moved home from college. We were working together at a local restaurant. We quickly became friends and started dating shortly after.

Steve proposed on our five-year anniversary of dating. We were staying overnight in Newport to celebrate, and he surprised me by cancelling the hotel reservations I had and upgrading our accommodations to Hotel Viking. I thought he was joking at first when we pulled into the driveway; the place was so gorgeous. He planned to propose on the roof deck, but he was afraid I would notice the box in his pocket, so he waited until we got back to our room to change for dinner. We went to dinner after the proposal and I was so excited that I didn’t even realize I was holding the menu upside down.

We started planning almost immediately and picked a date two years away. We only went to see one venue—Bloom Meadows. At the time, it was still in the construction phase, and we made our decision based on blue prints and renderings. As an exhibit designer, my clients trust my renderings and drawings to make decisions from, so I figured I could do the same. We live in Central Mass and have family and friends from Vermont and New York. Bloom Meadows was the perfect middle point for everyone to travel to and the perfect venue for the vision we had of our wedding. It’s charming and intimate and nestled on a gorgeous piece of land in the Berkshires.

Being a designer, I was hands on with a lot of the details. I designed every piece of my invitation suite and all the day-of signage and stationery. I worked with the Laughing Owl Press in Kane, Pennsylvania, to create letterpress invitations and RSVP cards. I went with a clean black font and white paper. We wrapped the invitations in vellum and tied them with black hemp. Elevation3d, the company I work for, was kind enough to produce custom acrylic table numbers, signage, and a seating chart. I am Cuban and my husband is Greek, so we gave a nod to our cultures by labeling certain elements in Spanish, Greek, and English.

We chose the Hudson Cake Studio in Hudson Valley, New York, to make the cake. With our busy schedules, we couldn’t make it out there for a tasting so Kerri, the owner, sent us mason jars filled with cake samples. She was so accommodating and great to work with.

Steve picked up his tuxedo a few days before the wedding, and when he went to try it on, one sleeve was significantly longer than the other. We’re convinced they tailored the same sleeve twice!

We were able to get into the venue a couple days before the wedding, so we could assemble the tablescapes and interior decor. We used vases, table runners, and brass candlesticks to create a unique and edgy bohemian look. We did our best to use flowers and decorations that would last past the wedding day. We incorporated the wedding favors into the the place settings and used them as place cards. The table florals were made up of air plants, pampas grass, and ivory roses in contemporary bud vases.

I knew I wouldn’t have time to do everything myself so, for personal flowers and ceremony decor, I worked with Melissa from Poppytree Floral Designs in West Sand Lake, New York, and Weathered Wood in Troy, New York. We went back and forth with inspiration boards and sketches to create the perfect mix of florals and natural elements. Melissa truly brought those ideas to life. We went with a limited color palette for the event, so our bouquets were made up of mostly natural elements like pheasant feathers, pampas grass, and cotton stems. We added a giant ivory king protea to my bouquet. These elements carried over to the ceremony backdrop, which was a circular weathered wood structure, and the adornment for our Angel Chair—our way of remembering family members who are no longer with us.

The bouquets and color palette looked fabulous against the bridesmaids’ black gowns. My attendants picked out their own gowns, allowing them to find something that was flattering to their figures and true to their personalities.

We really wanted to create a unique experience, so we decided to go with open-flame catering. They started roasting chicken and a leg of beef at 10:00 am. As guests arrived, there was a pleasant trail of smoke rising from the meadow and a wonderful aroma. The guests were offered lemon and cucumber infused water as they took their seats for the ceremony. When we were exchanging rings, I accidently grabbed Steve’s right hand and tried to put the ring on it. Then I took his left hand and couldn’t get the ring on that one either! At that point everyone was laughing, and Steve ended up putting on his own ring.

Everything was held at the same location, so it was a smooth transition from the ceremony to cocktail hour and into the barn for dinner and dancing. The buffet-style dinner was set up outside, giving it an interactive feel and allowing guests to get up and move around. They left the fire crackling, adding to the ambiance. The King of Hearts Band played during the ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception; they got everyone on the dance floor! We wanted to make sure our guests had everything they needed the entire night, so we offered flip-flops for tired feet, late-night sandwiches, and even a ride back to Jiminy Peak in a big yellow school bus.

Root and Bud, our photographers and Josh Ayantola from Ayan5 Media, our videographer, took full advantage of Bloom Meadow’s beautiful seventy-acre setting. We walked through the meadow and through the woods for our first look. There were crickets everywhere! I joked, “If you see me wiggling around on the altar, it’s because one of these crickets jumped into my dress.” Shortly after, I went to use the ladies room and sure enough, I found a huge black cricket in my dress! I came out of the bathroom yelling, not realizing my family and the wedding party were out there waiting for me.

August 7, 2019

Stephanie Roselli and Alvin Qiriazi were married on August 25, 2018, at Butternut Farm Golf Club in Stow, Massachusetts.

Photos by Thompson Photography Group

On the last day of summer vacation in 2008, before returning to Johnson & Wales in Rhode Island for her senior year, Stephanie spent some time with her two best friends from high school who worked at Roche Bros. They asked their co-worker, Alvin, to come along, and they all went to Legacy Place in Dedham. Stephanie and Alvin didn’t interact much at first, but when they stopped to take a picture on the big L.L. Bean boot, they began to talk and ended up hitting it off. Alvin found Stephanie on Facebook and sent her a message, asking her for her number. They remained friends while Stephanie finished college, and they started dating in 2012. Stephanie remembered, “I actually thought he liked my friend back in the day, but it turned out he liked me!”

On a trip to England to visit one of Stephanie’s cousins in 2017, the couple became engaged. While they were on a family outing to Brighton Pier, Stephanie’s cousin Angela said that her daughter, Siena, had something to tell everyone, but first, they all needed to be blindfolded. When Angela gave them the cue to take off their blindfolds, there was Alvin down on one knee. “I was so shocked and happy. I honestly thought my cousin was pregnant again and she was doing a gender reveal of some sort,” said Stephanie. Alvin devised the ring box out of an L.L. Bean boot—he got a keychain and put the ring in there and proposed with that. It was an extra sweet touch, bringing them back to when they first met.

Alvin and Stephanie took a year and a half to plan the wedding, getting both families involved in a lot of the DIY. They looked at a lot of venues, but when Stephanie saw Butternut Farm on The Knot website, she knew they had to check it out. Once they visited, they realized that this venue, with its beautiful outdoor green space and ballroom, was just what they wanted. “Erin and Hope were so great to work with—so accommodating and helpful and always willing to answer questions.” The color palette was Rustic Pink, and the decor had lots of wood accents with burlap and lace. Pink has always been Stephanie’s favorite color, and the hue complemented the wood accents nicely. Since Alvin and Stephanie are both foodies, they wanted to incorporate cuisine from both of their cultures; Alvin is from Albania, and Stephanie’s family is Italian-American. A small set of oil and vinegar cruets made the perfect favor for everyone. There were also bonbonieres (boxes containing candy) with limoncello-flavored almonds. Limoncello is a staple holiday after-dinner drink in Stephanie’s family, so it was only fitting to include it somehow.

For the centerpieces, they decorated mason jars with burlap and lace around the middle and a pink ribbon around the top before handing the jars off to the florist who added soft pink roses and baby’s breath. The centerpieces alternated between the flower jars and a glass jar full of twinkly lights. Because Butternut Farm has such beautiful greenery, they kept the ceremony decor simple with a flower archway that matched the bouquets and centerpieces. Frugal Flowers created bouquets for the bridesmaids with light pink roses and baby’s breath wrapped with burlap. The bride’s bouquet was the same, but with a touch of purple. Alvin made the wood board for the seating chart, then they incorporated more twine and burlap, and strung it onto the wood board.

The food was chosen to cater to a wide range of tastes. For cocktail hour, there was a stationary antipasto table and Mediterranean platters to represent both of their cultures. Dinner was a choice of maple-glazed salmon or prime rib, and the vegetarian choice was butternut squash raviolis. The white cake from Montilio’s was brushed with Grand Marnier and filled with whipped strawberry creme. The cake decoration was simple and elegant and, of course, pink, with ruffled edges. There was a cake topper of the bride pulling the groom—a comic touch in honor of the couple’s shared sense of humor. They also happen to both love s’mores, so they had Montilio’s make them s’more jars. Around each jar it said S’more Lovin’. Stephanie was grateful for the bakery’s flexibility, gushing, “These jars were custom, and they had no problem doing them. Both the cake and the jars came out great—just the way we imagined—and it all tasted delicious as well.”

When Stephanie went looking for a dress, she wanted sleeves and lace, but not flower lace, and she wanted it to be form fitting. Jessica at Camila’s in Arlington picked out five dresses of that description, and Stephanie like all five of them, but she was able to narrow it down to one. “I picked my dress because It suited me. It was exactly my style with lace, straps, and a low back.” Stephanie knew she wanted her bridesmaids to have dresses with a lace top to complement her dress, but the exact shade of pink was difficult to match. They found what they were looking for at David’s Bridal.

The groom and his attendants went to Men’s Warehouse and got navy suits. The groomsmen wore pink ties and pocket squares and Alvin wore a white tie with a pink pocket square.

Scott Arrington from Murray Hill Talent provided the entertainment. “He did a great job and worked with us on all of our requests.” The couple surprised their guests by hiring Albanian dancers to start off the reception. When the DJ announced the dancers and they came out on the dance floor, Stephanie and Alvin enjoyed seeing everyone’s surprised expressions. “It was a great way to start off the night because it got everyone ready to dance and brought in Alvin’s culture.” And because Stephanie has an obsession with donuts, Alvin made a donut wall with donuts from Linda’s Donuts in Belmont, MA, which, naturally, was a big hit with the guests.

Stephanie advises future brides and grooms to “enjoy the process and all of the hard work you put into it because the day goes by fast!”

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