Courtney Wedding – Stonewall Farm, Keene, NH – New England Wedding Photographer

It was an honor to capture Andrew and Renee’s wedding day, which was the very definition of “Shabby Chic,” taking place at Stonewall Farm in Keene, NH. It was also just about as DIY as you can get, with most of the details personally crafted by the bride. As you’ll see below, Renee’s personal touch was on just about everything (seriously… I didn’t even know a bride could make half the things Renee created).

Stonewall Farm was the ideal setting for this farm-country celebration, with barnyard animals occasionally checking in to see what all the hubbub was about.

This handkerchief was a sentimental family heirloom.

Renee’s bridesmaids used a vintage button hook to put the finishing touches on this classic gown from Allure Couture.

Renee’s bridal accessories were just as classy as her dress.

Renee’s mom surprised her with a bracelet from Renee’s grandmother. You couldn’t ask for a more special “something borrowed.”

While the girls were getting ready, the guys gathered in a classroom at Stonewall Farm. I love the “Please clean up after playing” sign on the post.

Renee and Andrew shared a special “first look” before the ceremony.

There were so many great spots to take photos around the property, but one of my favorites was the stone wall that gave the farm its name.

It was fun having the occasional chicken photobomb in true farm fashion.

Renee & Andrew first met at the Courtney family’s farm stand so it was fitting to take a few pictures by the Stonewall farm stand 🙂

For something fun, Renee wanted to take some photos around the playset. Of course I loved this idea.

The bridge on the farmland was another of my favorite tranquil spots for photos.

Just before the ceremony, the bridesmaids assembled their delicate bouquets from Sarah Mustin Stockwell.

The above shot is another example of the many unique spots to take photos at Stonewall Farm. It was taken from the top of Stonewall’s authentic grain silo that has been transformed to a wooden spiral staircase!

On our way to the church, the bride and groom checked in to their hotel in downtown Keene, and showed their bridal party around the main street.

The beautiful bride and her maids stopping traffic in downtown Keene.

Keene was the filming location for the Robin Williams movie Jumanji, so we stopped by one of the famous landmarks from the movie, the Parrish Shoes mural.

The ceremony was held at St. Bernard’s Church.

The bride hand made gold and silver flowers adorning the back of every chair, and decorated the reception space with a classy vintage theme.

The couple gave maple syrup favors to their guests for a true taste of New Hampshire.

Renee came up with the idea of using vintage brooches on her table numbers and centerpieces. Another unique and chic touch.

The icing on the cake for this DIY queen (pun intended): Renee even baked and decorated her own wedding cakes!

She made carrot, pumpkin, and lemon layers for her guests to enjoy.

Once they had their fill of a delicious meal from Luca’s Culinary Journey Catering and the bride’s DIY cake, everyone got down to the dance floor, or went outside to enjoy the cigar bar and patio games.

To end their special day on a sweet note, the bride and groom shared a maple syrup shot with their guests.

Thank you so much Renee and Andrew for letting me capture your beautiful wedding!

Vendor Info

Bridal attire | Allure Couture (dress), Pamela Moore Bridals (veil), Butter (shoes)

Bridesmaid dresses | Each of the bridesmaids selected her own dress in a shade of teal – the co-maids of honor both wore dresses from Modcloth, and the bridesmaids wore J. Crew (two), Donna Morgan, and Jessica Simpson

Groom/groomsmen tuxes | Miller Bros.-Newton

Hair | Studio H Salon

Make-up | Bride: DIY, bridesmaids: Ulta

Florist | Sarah Mustin Stockwell

Ceremony | St. Bernard Church

Reception venue | Stonewall Farm

Caterer | Luca’s Culinary Journey Catering

Cake | DIY by bride

DJ | Kim Collins

Stationery and printed materials | DIY (design), catprint.com (printing)

Songs

introductions | Beyonce, Countdown

first dance | Patty Griffin, Heavenly Day

father/daughter | Josh Kelley, Mandolin Rain

mother/son | John Legend featuring the Stephens Family, It Don’t Have to Change

cake cutting | Ray LaMontagne, You Are the Best Thing

last dance | Darius Rucker, Wagon Wheel

Bride/Groom Questions

What was the most memorable moment of your day?

Renee: For me it was sitting up at the front of the church, after the priest had married us but before the ceremony had ended, just holding hands and whispering and looking out at all our friends and family, many of whom had traveled very long distances to celebrate with us. It was a really special moment.

Andrew: The first look. I had my back turned waiting for what felt like hours and I could hear flash bulbs clicking and murmurs from the wedding party behind me. I tried sneaking a peak in the camera lens reflection to no avail. I’ll never forget those moments – or the way Renee looked when I finally turned around.

What was your favorite detail?

Renee: I had originally ordered a few dozen vintage brooches and shoe clips to incorporate into our bouquets, but when I went to wire them, most of them were so fragile that it just wasn’t going to work. I wasn’t about to let all those brooches go to waste, so I brainstormed and came up with ways to use them in our table numbers and vases, and in the end, I think they really unified the decor. We even wound up using the last few as cake decorations at the last minute when we realized that the molded fondant brooches I had made looked really chintzy! Also, speaking of the cake, that wasn’t a detail per se, but I was really pleased with the outcome – it was a ton of work, and I’m sure a lot of people thought I was out of my mind for baking it myself, but I’m so glad I did!

Andrew: Two things: Our own logo and graphics that Renee designed soup to nuts for our invitations, table numbers, signs, menus, and other printed stuff; and our wedding cakes, also done by Renee.

Any advice for future brides/grooms?

Renee: I have two pieces of advice. The first is mostly for brides: set a time the day before the wedding, preferably before the rehearsal, when you are going to force yourself to stop stressing over details and just relax and have a good time. I more or less managed to do this; a clashing napkin-related incident briefly threatened my composure (lesson learned: the terms teal and turquoise are not interchangeable) but I passed it on to my mom to handle and everything turned out fine. The second is for brides and grooms: make sure that every so often throughout your ceremony and reception you take a few seconds together to just experience the moment with all your senses. The day flies by so fast, but by doing this we came away with these little mental movies we can always look back on and cherish.

Andrew: Embrace whatever nerves and butterflies come about and whatever little stresses might be present leading up to the event. Once you make those vows you’ll feel a unique happiness that I never even knew existed.

Funniest memory from your wedding day?

Renee: Our favors were miniature bottles of maple syrup, and several members of the New Hampshire-based contingent of our wedding party kept raising them for toasts. The Californians were skeptical, but I must say I’d rather take a shot of maple syrup than anything else! #maplewasted

Andrew: We were all on the dance floor at the end of the night and I was observing how cool my crew is with “Teach Me How to Dougie” playing when next thing I knew I was on Renee’s brother Nate’s shoulders. I never thought I’d know how it felt to be 12 feet 5 inches tall, but now I know.

If you could do it all over, would you change anything?

Renee: Well, I got stung by a bee while carrying decorations out to the car that morning, so I’d change that! Seriously though, it was a pretty perfect day – there’s really nothing I would change.

Andrew: No, but if I had a time machine I’d do it every weekend.

Where did you go on your honeymoon?

Renee: We went to Puerto Vallarta for a week and did pretty much nothing but eat drink, and be lazy! It was great.
Andrew: Puerto Vallarta. We love Mexico. We set out to learn if we could live on tacos, ceviche, and cerveza alone. ¡SI, SE PUEDE! We also met the most beautiful peacock named Pancho who might have inspired our next male pet’s name.

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