Think About It….
You’ve been dreaming of this moment forever and now it’s here. You want it to be special and reflect your personality and that means something different to each one of our couples.
We absolutely love what we do! Josias River Farm keeps us connected to the land, which we have made our living from over most of our adult lives. We have a natural and deep respect for earth’s resources, and we believe our couples do too. So why not take a minute to see how you can make your wedding more earth-friendly.
I was inspired to write this as I watched Meghan and Steven plan their wedding. They wanted to make it their own but, they also wanted to conserve earth’s resources and their own also. They came up with some clever ideas.
Meghan’s wedding ring was made by a friend using gems from family jewelry. Bracelets, rings and earring that either weren’t being worn any more or had a few stones missing here and there.
Table runners were made of cheesecloth. Arranged down the table with flowers and glassware, it was perfect and a wonderful conversation starter. It looked perfect! Cheesecloth can be bought in bulk and has endless uses after the big day.
Not plastic. Cocktails were served in mason jars. A Hydration Bar didn’t include water bottles but, beautiful glass urns were filled with ice-cold water and fresh lemon and herbs.
The father-of-the groom loves his local thrift shop and was able to borrow vintage silverware and tea cups for the day.
For wedding favors they sent guests home with a packet of sunflower seeds and a note thanking them for being part of their special day.
Here a few other ideas to ponder…
Picking the Right Location – We’ve owned two other farms prior to coming to this pristine, 20-acre, 1750 Maine farm, now called Josias River Farm. Its architecture is timeless, and it’s surrounded by the beauty of nature. But, when you own a property such as this, you never feel like you really “own” it. For a brief period of time you are its stewards. It’s our job to respect its history and preserve it for the next generation. We love the opportunity but, it comes with a price and it’s because of couples like you that we can continue to care for this exquisite property. By hosting weddings and other special events, we are able to preserve it for years to come.
Decor – Mother Nature has you covered on this one. You’ve got natural beauty all around you with stonewalls, split-rail fences, gorgeous gardens and a magician forest. A few thoughtful well-placed accents here and there is all you really need here and you’ll eliminate mountains of cardboard and plastic packaging. See photo sent by email on 1/23 of chair setup.
Beer, Wine and Spirits – At Josias River Farm you have the option to purchase your own alcohol. Here’s a few ideas to keep in mind. Purchase in Bulk- Think kegs. Support local breweries, vineyards and distilleries. If you are going to use bottles and cans, we will be glad to recycle them for you. Mason jars for cocktails?
Flowers – Most of our flowers in the U.S. come from South America so obviously that creates a little more carbon. So why not choose a local farm. We have several in our area, Omniflora, Broadturn Farm and Kindred Earth Farm. Omniflora will provide you with buckets of flowers for your wedding and you can make up your arrangements right here at the farm. Broadturn and Kindred Earth can provide you with buckets of blooms also or they can create your centerpieces and arrangements for you.
Here’s another idea…. How about centerpieces or favors that are plantable? Annuals, herbs, evergreen seedling, succulents would all work beautifully. I’ve even seen organic tomato plants. I’m sure your guests would love to take them home.
The ideas are endless for making your wedding memorable. So as you are planning your dream wedding take a minute to ponder how you can make it a little more earth-friendly. Small, simple ideas can make all the difference!
It was a big one and boy was it fun!
I’m not sure there was one picture that was taken that didn’t have Kayla and Nick as well as their friends and family smiling from ear to ear. I’m sure by the end of the night that their grinning cheeks hurt more than their dancing feet.
Here’s little bit about Kayla and Dick….. Kayla grew up in Andover, Ma.. When it was time to go to college, she chose Gonzaga University in Oregon where she met Nick and many of the guests who were present at their wedding. It wasn’t until a week before their wedding that we actually met Kayla and Nick. They were both happy and low key, and you could tell nothing was going to stop them from having the time of their life on their wedding day.
When we sit down with our couples, we always ask them, “What is most important to you in planning your wedding?” It’s an important question and almost all our couple say, “We just want everyone to have fun.”
So, if you want to have a fun wedding, here are a few tips:
1.Keep your guest comfortable and moving.
This starts with the venue. It’s so much nicer for your guest to be able to get up and move around. We have many beautiful spaces around the farm. We encourage guests to walk around the property, to stroll through the gardens and even take a hike down to the Josias River that runs through the property. Some people aren’t crazy about big crowds but they enjoy having an intimate conversation with a new found friend. JRF is perfect for that.
Keeping your guests comfortable also means being gracious. The Walsh’s and the Momolo’s were so welcoming. There wasn’t a guest that didn’t feel welcome and with 200 people, that’s not easy. They loved connecting with their guests and it showed.
2. Make sure there is plenty of food.
Kayla’s dad, Tom owns a café in Andover, Ma called the Village Market. We were a little skeptical in the beginning since it’s unusual for the parents of the bride to caterer their daughter’s wedding. It’s a huge undertaking but Tom and his crew did and AMAZING job not only with the food but also with the presentation. I would highly recommend them to anyone!
3. Add some unexpected entertainment.
It could be as simple as setting up some lawn games or you can get a little more creative if you like. Poke around the internet and you can get plenty of inspiration.
4. Get them out on the dance floor as soon as possible.
We always love listening to the speeches during the reception but, keep them to short and sweet if possible because the real fun begins with dancing. As soon as the first dance is over you want to get everyone up on the dance floor. A good DJ or Band knows exactly how to do get your guest moving.
5. How about a late-night snack?
By the end of the night your guest will have burned a few calories on the dance floor. It’s always nice to send them on their way with a late-night snack. It could be a simple as having a few extra cookies or brownies around or setting up a donut bar. One of our favorite weddings had an ice cream truck arrive at the end of the night.
The best weddings are always those where the couple keeps their guests in mind. Keep them moving and comfortable, have a few surprises here and there and make sure there’s plenty of food and libation to help them dance the night away.
Without these vendors, the wedding wouldn’t have been possible:
Caterer:Village Market, Andover, Ma.
Music: DJ Dan, Scarborough, Maine
Transportation, Ogunquit Trolley
Servers and Bar: @silvertieserversboston
Wedding Coordinator: @withoutahitch
Caroline and Jenna’s wedding will be one of first weddings in 2020 at Josias River Farm. They make their home in Florida and because of that neither of them has ever actually been to JRF. They will not be disappointed! Their wedding day is just about the time our gardens start to pop with color and the air is filled with the special smells that only spring brings. It’s surely is a time of new beginnings!
Jenna proposed by sending Caroline on a scavenger hunt of places in Jacksonville, Florida, a city that had been significant while they were dating. The final stop was the Friendship Fountain on the St. John’s River in downtown Jacksonville. Jenna was waiting with the ring and popped the question as their family and friends sailed up. The newly engaged couple joined them for a sunrise cruise with appetizers and cocktails to celebrate this magical moment in their lives! How cool is that!
Their dreams for the future….” To positively impact the loves of loved ones, to build a loving family and home and to travel the world.” Sounds perfect don’t you think?
On their wedding day they are most excited about having their family and friends in one beautiful place ( Maine) to celebrate their marriage with good food, good drink and good jams. And that is sure to happen especially since @theblacktiecompany with be providing the good food and drink, @themusicmandjservice will be providing the jam and @caseydurginphoto will be capturing every moment!
Your wedding day is yours and it should reflect you! You don’t have to have a wedding where you invite all your second cousins and aunt and uncles you haven’t seen since the last wedding. If having your close family members and your dearest friends is what you want to do, then you should it. Personally, I cringe when I hear of weddings with 300+ guests. At most venues that means you’ll spend around 60 seconds with each guest.
I think Christina Friedrichsen the founder of IntimateWedding.com, said it perfectly: “No matter where you are in your wedding planning journey, my biggest hope for you is that you make your wedding an expression of who you are, right now. If you’re brave enough to break with convention and wave your rebel flag, you just might find that under all that tulle and satin, planning your wedding (or elopement!) is really just a fun little badass adventure –perfectly suited to girls who prefer muddy boots over Jimmy Choo.”
Josias River Farm is beautiful and intimate venue and it’s the perfect setting to host a small wedding as two families become one. So maybe you don’t want to orchestrate a big event or maybe you have a small family or maybe it just not you, whatever the reason, check out our “Love Affair” package on our website.
No matter whether the guest list is 20 or 200 couples choose Josias River Farm because it a beautiful backdrop for a wedding with its timeless architecture and pristine landscape. They have the opportunity and flexibility to create a wedding day that reflects their personalities. So whether you are a muddy boot or a Jimmy Choo kind of girl, JRF is the perfect venue for your special day.
Photos by Rodeo & Co Photography and Katelyn Mallett Photography.
We would like to introduce you to Toni and Mike.
Toni and Mike are always smiling! They came to look at Josias River Farm in the fall of 2019 and instantly feel in love with the venue. A day later they were booking. Toni’s family although from Massachusetts spent their summers in Wells, Maine, not to far from the farm. Toni and Mike’s and relationship started almost 8 years ago at Bowdoin College where they went to school. Maine to both of them is their home away from home and so it was only natural that they wanted to return here to get married in the seacoast area. We wish them the best of luck as Mike finishes law school and Toni get settled in her new practice.
Thanks to all the vendors who made this wedding so special!
Photographer -Jen Burton Photography @jenburton_photography
Tent and Rentals- Exeter Tents @exetertents
Music- D. J. Dan Dibiase
Food- Nancy’s Catering
images by Nystedt Photography
images by Casey Durgin Photography
images by Sara Elizabeth Photography
June 2018 – Brittany & Mike
images by Erika Follensbee Photography