Michelle and Dave opted to have an “unplugged ceremony.” Being a relatively new and modern term, it means checking your camera and phone at the door with the goal of obtaining complete mind body presence. At first glance, that may sound like complete lunacy. Constant filming and documentation of every aspect of our lives has become engraved into our culture, and the thought of rubbing against that norm sparks fear in the hearts of most of Generation X. But in actuality, Michelle and Dave’s ceremony created a uniquely calm atmosphere fitting of the mythology here at Bishop Farm.
Dave’s face brimmed with love as he looked deeply into the eyes of his new bride and as they left the alter, a trail of bubbles followed symbolizing hopes of fertility and wealth for the new couple. The guests marveled as Dave and Michelle took their first steps as man and wife. The two seemed to fit together so effortlessly which begged the question of how they first met.
The story is a familiar one. They were each out with friends one night, and Dave prompted Michelle for a date. At first, she refused to give him her number thinking he’d never actually call. As the night progressed and Dave amped up the charm, she finally gave in. He called fairly soon after their encounter and left a voicemail. Nervous and obviously swooning, he decided it was necessary to spell his first and last name out on the machine. His endearing voicemail must have done the trick because not only did she go out with him, she married him. All of you single gentlemen out there, take note.
Congratulations Dave and Michelle. You did it. Thank you for letting us here at Bishop Farm be apart of your wedding.
Set at the very picturesque Bishop Farm, Eliza and Brent’s wedding was picked out of an eco-friendly fairy tale. Wanting to leave a small footprint but also not wanting to degrade the experience with a wedding dress made of recycled protest signs, Brent and Eliza sought an ecological yet practical venue. Luckily, they happened to find a rustic, solar powered oasis, tucked sweetly away in the White Mountains.
The day of the wedding was characteristic of its couple-warm and vibrant. Eliza was a vision of beauty wearing a vintage-inspired, natural waisted, scalloped-lace gown with soft peach, pearlized shoes. Her smile and laughter were infectious and when walking down the isle, Brent looked as if, despite all the planning, he was taken totally and happily by surprise.
After a ceremony full of laughter and sentimental tears, everyone gathered round for a few games of beanbag and horseshoes. Temporary tattoos with “McWoo” written on them were comically passed around to the guests and keeping with Eliza and Brent’s eco-friendly theme, ball jars were given so guests could write their name and drink out of them the entire evening.
All and all, the day went seamlessly thanks to Designer Emily B., Photographers Katie and Max Bittle, and the very talented staff at Bishop Farm. Congratulations to Eliza and Brent and in the wise words of John Lennon, “All you need is love.”
Well, it’s finally upon us- the final days of the wedding season. I am about to head back to Chicago and thought I would write a post about the epic White Mountains and a few of the hikes that I have done this summer and fall.
In the past, I had always gone west when seeking adventure. To the Beartooths of Montana, the Alaska Range in Denali park, and The Tetons of Wyoming. I had never explored the Appalachians or had any inclination to- despite all I had heard about the AT. I had no idea what to expect when I arrived, which is generally a perfect situation for having your expectations blown out of the water.
The White Mountains, with their vast and exceptionally well-maintained trails, dramatic weather changes, and steep, rocky ridges will forever remain in mind. There is so much to do and see in the Whites- and I am already excited to return and explore them further.
Crawford Notch State Park
The first hike I went on when I got out here was in Crawford Notch State Park. I hiked up Crawford Path toward the Mitzpah Spring Hut and then over to the summit of Mt. Jackson. From there, I hiked the Webster Cliff Trail to Mt. Webster and had lunch on the steep cliff side overlooking the valley. From Mt. Webster I headed down the Webster-Jackson Trail back to rt 302 where I had parked on the other side of Saco Lake. What a great loop hike! It was about 8 miles long with good amounts of climbing, waterfalls, great visibility and warm sunshine on my shoulders. The trail was busy with happy AT hikers and locals eager to get out on that perfect August afternoon.
Franconia Notch State Park
The Franconia Ridge loop hike is probably the best day hike in the area and is only 20 minutes from Bishop Farm. I was lucky enough to do it on another perfect New Hampshire day. It’s a loop hike that starts and ends at the lafayette campground off of rt. 93. I started the loop on the Old Bridal Path up to the AMC Greenleaf hut. From the hut, I took the Greenleaf Trail to Mt. Lafayette and then the Franconia Ridge Trail along the ridge line to Mt. Lincoln. and then down Falling Waters Trail to back to Lafayette Campground. This is an incredible hike- the view from the ridge line is truly epic and the 360 views last for about a mile and a half as you walk from one peak to the next. The hike down Falling Waters is incredibly beautiful too, with birch trees all the way down with beautiful red and blue undertones of the wet wood under the peeling bark. About half way between the ridge and the campground, there is a huge waterfall (hence the name of the trail) which I sat beside while I ate a grapefruit and did some bird watching for over an hour. I would highly recommend the Franconia Ridge Loop to any visitor with a day to spend out in the woods. The hike is considered a “difficult” 9 miles and includes some steep climbs and a lot of rock-hopping and would not be suitable for children- but if you are in hiking shape and want a lot of bang for your buck as far as time spent hiking and quality of view, do yourself a favor and check out Franconia Ridge. Be sure to bring extra layers, food, and water- the weather can change dramatically up on the ridge with high winds and very low temperatures so be prepared!
The last big hike I did out here was with my boyfriend, Joe who was visiting me from Chicago. Joe is a photographer (check out his site here!) so we got some really wonderful shots of our AMAZING trip. We did a 19 mile backpack trip in 2 days starting at the Zealand Trailhead off of rt. 302 in White Mountain National Forest, through the Pemi Wilderness, and ending at Lincoln Woods Visitor Center near Lincoln-Woodstock. We had a friend leave a car for us at the Visitor Center and she did the hike in the opposite way and took our car when she arrived at Zealand.
From 302, we took Zealand road to the trailhead and took Zealand Trail up to Zealand Falls hut. From the hut, we headed up Twinway to Mt. Guyot and the Guyot tentsite where we camped out for the night. It was a beautiful day- with a great ridge walk around Mt. Guyot where we were surrounded by hip-high trees stunted by the high winds. Strangely, however, even in early October, we had hardly any wind and incredibly mild temperatures for the duration of our trip- it was amazing. Guyot tentsite was empty on this night, which apparently is almost as rare as perfect weather. As a result we were able to stay in the lean-to cabin which included an east-facing porch and two log chairs, creating the most perfect place in the world to watch the sunrise while sipping hot Intelligentsia coffee (which Joe brought all the way from Chicago) and snuggling warmly in our sleeping bags.
Rising with the sun enabled us to get an early start on our second day of backpacking, which was certainly a plus. We made it to the top of Mt. Bond by 8am with perhaps 100 miles of visibility in every direction- If only I could start every day like that. From Mt. Bond, we hiked the Bondcliff Trail to Mt. Bondcliff and down until we hit the Lincolnwoods trail which was a flat and calm end of an otherwise very steep and dramatic 2 day trek. The trip really was perfect, we hit the tail end of fall foliage, had warm weather, no wind, and a car waiting for us at our end site- I could recommend it more highly. We were pooped when we got to our friend’s car- and I can’t imagine how much more exhausted we would have been had we been battling high winds, sleet, snow, or any of the other factors so common in the alpine zone of the Whites. Even so, I would do it again in a heartbeat. It was an awesome way to end the season out here in New England, a trip I will never forget. I LOVE THE WHITE MOUNTAINS!!!!!!
Sometimes you only need an instant to watch two people interact to understand that their connection is incredible. Nicki and Andrew had that- and we could see it from the moment they arrived. The two of them could not stop looking at each other, laughing, touching, agreeing on everything, and trusting one another completely. It was awesome. Andrew and Nicki met online a few years ago and Andrew has since become a partner to Nicki and a father to Nicki’s son, Ethan. The three of them made a remarkable team and I’ve got no doubt that their marriage will only make them more solid.
The couple got married on September 21st, the official first day of fall and it was really the first weekend that felt like fall; something in the air had changed, the sky looked different, the trees were turning. What an incredible time to get married, in the moments between Summer and Autumn, when after months of care free fun in the sun, late nights, and non-stop activity one begins to look forward to the quiet, crisp, and nurturing time of the year, looks forward to spending cozy nights with loved ones, and is no longer interested in missing out out on anything. This seasonal transition seems much like the transition into marriage, and I can guarantee that Nicki, Andrew, and Ethan are having a lovely fall.
The theme of Nicki and Andrew’s wedding was trees, with a fantastic birch bark cake, and tables identified by different regional species. The couple took a lot of photos among the trees, with their bridal party clad in cowboy boots and holding adorable yellow bouquets. The ceremony was very sweet, with a memorable “knot-tying” ritual where Nicki tied a special knot in Andrew’s tie. The cocktail hour and reception were wonderfully celebratory and personal. After the parent dances, Andrew got out his guitar and sang a song with his bride to their son, Ethan. This was a huge crowd pleaser and the two of them sounded really great together, which was hardly a surprise to anyone. The couple then did their cut into their Birch cake and guests helped themselves to s’mores on the deck for dessert. It really was a perfect fall wedding, we loved having Nicki and Andrew and their family and friends here at The Farm.
On the weekend of Saturday, September 14 we were blessed with an incredible group that came to celebrate the wedding of Sheena and Adam. For this wedding, only friends and siblings stayed at Bishop Farm which inspired a festive energy around property. All guests clearly had a lot of celebrating to do and a lot of love for the bride and groom. The bridal party stands out in my mind as being one of the largest, and liveliest I’ve ever seen. S+A had 17 bridesmaids and groomsmen who stood arm in arm in couples on either side of the bride and groom during the ceremony mixed men and women. I was touched by their apparent bond and found out during the reception that this group of friends, especially the groom’s side, have been friends since childhood, spend tons of time together, and take epic vacations . Such a great group of friends and family.
On the morning of the wedding, the best man, Adam’s brother Corey conducted a not-so-subtle wake up call to all cottages and rooms in the farm-house using his handy mega phone then promptly started making bloody mary’s in his pajamas. Getting the party started and making the most of the incredible day- every best man’s duty. Everyone loved Corey, weather or not they realized it at 7:45am after a late night around the bon fire. The day was festive and happy from that point on. The women all got their hair and make-up done at Fresh Salon in Littleton while the guys, for the second day in a row, drank beer and held fooseball tournaments in their make-shift “he-man women hater’s club” in the basement of the barn.
The milkhouse ceremony was soon upon us and was a memorable display of adoration and commitment. Their officiant, Monya Tober has a strong spiritual presence and was able to delicately master the serious and celebratory nature that is committing to a lifelong partner. Cocktail hour on the deck followed the ceremony with signature cocktails, beer, and wine. Everyone enjoyed watching the wedding party the entire group do a shot (in digital photo and liquid form) in front of the old cattle barn with their photographer, the incredibly talented, Peter Bissell, who is a friend of the couple. Everything all weekend felt light, celebratory, and easy and that energy passed from the wedding party to their guests to us at the farm, it was truly lovely.
When the barn doors opened for the reception, the entire bridal party performed a choreographed dance for those in attendance. All the girls, including Sheena, were wearing cowboy boots, and in my experience, something about cowboy boots just makes you feel like a better dancer, these ladies were obviously of the same opinion as many did not get off the dance floor for the rest of the evening. Adam provided another highlight of the evening when he surprised is bride with a song he sang karaoke-style and left not a dry eye in the building. This couple was epic, their love for one another so apparent and the joy they spread was undeniable. Congrats you two, may you continue to raise the standards those around you.
New England and Old England came together last weekend, August 31 for the wedding of Eden and Duncan. The couple met a few years ago at the wedding of their mutual friends, Duncan had been a groomsman in that wedding and he and Eden flirted, danced, drank gin and tonics and the rest was history. The wedding where they met was also held in a New England Barn and was between another British man who had been taken by an American woman. That’s just the beginning of the beautiful repetitive nature prevalent in Eden and Duncan’s relationship and wedding. The couple was married in front of a crowd of about 80 close friends and family members, mostly from the UK and California and the group meshed beautifully. Perhaps the fact that Eden and Duncan met at a wedding themselves kept everyone open to the possibilities that can come from a gathering as intimate as this.
Eden and Duncan were married in the field on an overcast, Old England-like day. It drizzled all afternoon and let up just in time for the wedding ceremony to take place under a deep, cloudy sky. It seemed as though the universe had been preparing for and truly nurturing these two coming together. Leslie, Eden’s father directed the ceremony flawlessly. He was an excellent choice for an Officiant, partly because of his calm nature, his spiritual presence and his clear, gentile voice, but also because he had married Eden’s mother under such similar circumstances, it was nothing less than fateful that he be up there with them. You see, this wedding was partly a celebration of the couple’s love but was also the formation of a new family; Duncan, Eden and Eden’s delightful daughter, 7-year-old Isabella. Bella also played a large role in the ceremony, jumping into Duncan’s arms to receive a gift from her parents. What is so amazing is that Leslie married Eden’s mother when Eden was the same age as Bella, and Eden jumped into her new father’s arms and was given a gift in that ceremony over 30 years ago.
It was pure magic watching this all unfold in front of us, the balance and repetition of the event inspired each and every person in attendance. It was truly a union to celebrate- and the celebration was a whole lot of fun. The reception was quite memorable , with the classic decor that Eden put together, including mis-matched antique china and vintage hardcover books stacked in the center of tables and stenciled with table numbers. After dinner, black English tea was served in intricate tea cups, and as a matter of fact, I haven’t stopped drinking black English tea since this group left Bishop Farm. Eden and Duncan’s union was powerful and left a lasting impression, we were thrilled to have been a part of it.
On August 24, Victoria and Bobby wed under a birch arbor on a sunny day in the field. Their ceremony was sweet, celebratory, and light-hearted. Victoria was positively radiant really, one of the most beautiful brides I have ever seen. I will never forget her dress, it was magnificent. Actually, everything about their wedding was breath-taking; the decorations were elegant, the tables, in ivory and white were adorned with home-made runners in gold chevron patterns topped with charming apothecary bottles and antique lanterns. The lighting was so inviting as well, V+B decided to string white cafe lights every six feet across the width of the barn, which had never been done before and created an intimate atmosphere. The final and most memorable touch, however, were the incredible flowers brought to us by Emily Herzig Floral Studio. It seemed like there were flowers everywhere; in Victoria’s hair, upon the wedding cake, all over the arbor and wedding aisle and on and over the head wedding party table. They were truly perfect for the event, in peaches and whites that matched the decorations perfectly It was truly magical in that barn.
The wedding was a blast, largely due to DJ Greg Sowa who provided an excellent introduction to the wedding party and curated the evening effortlessly. I really enjoyed looking up at him in the DJ booth singing and dancing along to the songs he played with a huge smile on his face- it’s always great to see someone who has truly found their calling. The food, catered all the way from Maine’s Foster’s Clambake was also incredible. The hired the fantastic Jackie Nagle of J Harper Photography to document the whole evening, she clearly did a fantastic job! It was easy to see how much work and attention to detail went into the planning of the magnificent event. Everything went so smoothly and the happy couple smiled brightly through the evening among their closest friends and family. Thank you to Victoria and Bobby for finding one another, for finding us and all of the fantastic vendor you included on your wedding day. Thank your for bringing your lovely friends and families here to stay with us and for celebrating at Bishop Farm. All photos by J Harper Photography.
This is how I tried to sum up the magic that we all felt at Cat and Dave’s wedding while reflecting with the Salters. Families on both the bride and groom’s side were so incredibly solid in their love for one another and appreciative of the quality time they were all spending with eachother. Cat and Dave’s friends behaved like family, and although it seemed to us at The Farm that the entire group was thick as thieves when they arrived, I think the weekend made them closer. I knew I was going to get attached to these people at their rehearsal dinner, catered by MacDaddy’s (so delicious!). As the sun started to set, immediate family and the wedding party viewed a wonderful video that Dave made as a surprise for his bride-to-be. The video consisted of home movies from his own childhood and Cat’s- proof that they really haven’t changed much and were perhaps destined to be together. There were more current videos as well, memories they made together that highlighted Cat’s magnetism, silliness, and bold nature and Dave’s focused, genuine, adoration for his girl. This video and the incredible speeches Dave and Cat made to their bridesmaids, groomsmen and their parents had everyone on an emotional high. From that night Annie, Heather, Maggie, Dan, and I knew we had a special group and were excited to take care of them and give them the wedding weekend they deserved.
It was truly wonderful to watch Cat and Dave’s families interact. Cat and Dave have been dating for just under a decade so their families have had some time to get to know each other. Their mothers especially seemed like they’d known each other forever, Dave’s sister, Stacy and Cat’s brother, Jon only added to their explosive dynamic. It’s just one of the reasons to celebrate a marriage- the combining of two families, at once very separate from each other and now, through a series of precise circumstances and a summer study abroad trip to England, Cat and Dave’s family are united. I feel so fortunate to have seen some of the first few of the surplus of memories these families will share through their lives together.
Cat and Dave’s ceremony was warm, friendly, and down to earth. Cat’s family friend’s, Jed and Carol married them in the field under a handmade Huppah (a Jewish alter that symbolizes the newlywed’s home together) with a perfect mix of tradition and personal touches. I thought it was such a neat twist to the traditional wedding to have a happily married couple conduct the ceremony together, and they did a fabulous job. Jed and Carol were obviously close to the group (how could they not be!?) and stayed on the dance floor until the end of the night celebrating the love that filled the barn. Everything about Cat and Dave’s wedding was memorable. Quality relationships clearly mean a lot to these guys. Thank you to Cat and Dave for choosing Bishop Farm, for feeling so comfortable here, and for treating us like family. We will not forget it.
Last Saturday, August 10, we had the pleasure of hosting Chris, Courtney, and their fantastic guests at Bishop Farm. Their wedding took place in front of the Milk House on a perfect 75 degree day. Courtney strolled down the aisle looking beautiful and relaxed and so ready to be married. Everyone in attendance could certainly concur that this couple was a perfect match. The bridesmaids looked country-chic in their different-styles of navy blue dresses with small green accents that reflected their personalities yet united them all. After the ceremony the guests enjoyed a cocktail hour with cheese, fruit and shrimp cocktail on our patio to await the beginning of the reception which was kicked off with a dramatic opening of the barn door. Courtney’s sister, Jen read an incredible poem she wrote for the newly weds and Chris’s brother, Jon gave a heartfelt speech about his relationship with his brother, watching him grow up and find such an incredible partner in Courtney. The barn was filled with so much warmth and love that the rest of the evening was guaranteed to be no less than perfect.
As dinner, catered by White Mountain Chalet wrapped up the band started to set up and a huge game of whiffle ball began just outside of the barn as the sun set across the property. This was a first for Bishop Farm, and it was so great to see everyone enjoying the absolutely incredible weather which grew cooler steadily as the sun set and the dancing began to heat things up. Chris and Courtney hired Orange Crush, an 80’s tribute band for their wedding and they were fantastic!
We could tell this group was special from the moment they started to arrive on Friday to set up the barn and get ready for their rehearsal dinner, which was catered by MacDaddy’s Rollin’ Smoke BBQ. Everyone was so warm, down to earth, and excited for Chris and Courtney. You can really tell a lot about someone from the friends they keep and Chris and Courtney’s authenticity and kindness was reflected in each of their guests. Thanks to the newly weds for choosing to spend their big day here with us!!!