High school sweethearts that met at softball practice, Amanda and Brenna, and hosted a queer garden cocktail wedding in Boston.
Tell us about the proposal.
Amanda proposed to Brenna on New Years’ Day 2020 in Hawaii. We took a trip to visit two of our great friends.
On New Year’s Eve, when Brenna was in the shower, Amanda snuck into our friend’s room to tell them about her plan. They helped her pick the most beautiful sunset spot to walk to and got champagne, fresh leis, and a confetti cannon. We walked to the place on New Year’s Day, and Amanda popped the question.
The scenery was beautiful, and our friends being there made it much sweeter!
How long was your engagement?
We got engaged in January 2020, and we all know what happened in March. We erroneously thought that we should plan our wedding while we were quarantined at home. Though we were able to have a lot of conversations about the big picture, we could not book anything in good faith with the pandemic.
A year later, in January of 2021, things were feeling a little better, and we were hoping to be able to get married that summer. Brenna found Scotland Fields on Instagram. We went and visited in February and booked it on the spot for July 31, 2021.
We were engaged for about a year and a half.
Tell us about the DIY projects that brought your wedding to life.
We DIY-ed a lot for our wedding, and the hexagon arbor that Amanda had built blew over and broke in the wind at our rehearsal dinner on Friday night. So Amanda went into “Fix It Mode” and luckily had all her tools, glue, and clamps to put it back together. We ended up having her uncle bring us ground stakes to help us wire it to the ground and keep that from happening again!
What was the inspiration behind the vibe of your wedding?
We really were just so excited to bring all of our friends together. After a hard few years, everyone had gone through something, and it felt like such a good moment to celebrate not only our love but others who got married, had kids, changed careers, etc.
It was as if we put the rest of the world on pause for a weekend and just were all present together.
Our vibe was a queer garden cocktail party.
Being in a queer relationship, we both really felt the weight of what it means to get married. It felt radical, and we wanted to ensure we celebrated our queerness. So we chose a muted rainbow and natural color palette. Our tables were all colors instead of numbers, and we printed colored menus and sourced vintage glassware from local antique stores. We had a croquet set out in the field, and it made us so happy to see all our friends outside playing together and having fun.
We also had a 50-person guest limit due to the pandemic, but we loved the small size and the fact that both of us knew each of our guests personally.
Talk to us about your experience finding the perfect outfits.
Amanda and I are very down-to-earth people, and though it was our wedding, we generally don’t love attention. Neither of us would ever go for a traditional wedding suit/dress. Amanda was drawn to separates from the beginning, and her outfit was the second option she tried at BHLDN. She looked stunning.
I had a little bit of a more challenging time. I’m a smaller person but have a more androgynous style. Due to my size, I can’t wear/fit into menswear, though it is often what I gravitate towards. So I seek out more masculine styles of women’s wear. I love fashion, so we headed to Newbury St. in Boston and went to Valentino for inspiration. A fantastic worker pointed me to Brunello Cucinelli, where I found my white pants. I immediately fell in love with them—another excellent stylist at Brunello Cucinelli who told me to look into Veronica Beard and Adriano Goldschmied. I actually found my top on ThredUp, a second-hand website! I love the masculine collar paired with the feminine lace. It was perfect!
Talk to us about the wedding day!
We just had so much fun seeing everything come together. We got ready together and had Brenna’s sister, her partner, and our two other friends staying in the house with us (along with 11 others in the other house on-site!), who were also getting ready at the same time. Our Moms both stopped by to get their hair done, and it was nice to see them. Our hairdresser is our good friend Mia who was also a wedding guest. We really involved our whole community and loved being surrounded by them the entire day. Ashleigh, our coordinator, did so much work setting up the barn and cocktail hour area; she was terrific.
We took couples photos before the ceremony to ensure we had time to enjoy cocktail hour with our people. We had our ceremony officiated by our good friend Rex, who owned a local antique store and used to be a regular at a restaurant Amanda worked at. It was the perfect, sweet ceremony, we wrote our own vows, and I made Amanda cry (which doesn’t happen often). We took family photos afterward and then headed to cocktail hour.
Coming down the hill together, seeing everyone playing corn hole, croquet, and Jenga all looking so sharp, and then they all cheered for us as we walked towards them was so cute and lovely. Our reception was in the big white barn where my sister Rachel gave the sweetest speech, and we danced the night away. Our after-party was s’mores roasting outside by the fire and finishing up all the booze!
What are your favorite moments?
We had the sweetest moment when we were taking photos before our ceremony. Our Dj also sings and plays guitar, so he was doing a soundcheck while we were walking around the property, and it just felt like something out of a movie, like we had a soundtrack to our day.
One of my good friends came up to Amanda and me about halfway through our reception, and he told us about something he and his wife did at their wedding. They went outside and watched the party happen through the windows. He told us how wonderful it was to see all your friends in one place and suggested we did the same. So Amanda and I got dessert and then headed up to the balcony in the barn. We stood there and watched all our friends dance, laugh, sing, and have such a good time. It was such a sweet moment, and I highly recommend it! The day goes by so fast and is such a whirlwind, and it was so lovely to take a moment to be present and really take it all in.
On our way home on Sunday, as Amanda and I were pulling out of the property to head to the beach, I lost it. I just started crying. I was so sad it was over, so happy it happened, and honestly in shock and awe that it all came together. That day we started a list of all our favorite moments so that we could remember all the little things. From our friend using her jumpsuit belt as a limbo pole, to seeing a fireball shoot across the sky, to our friends throwing us in the air at the reception, and our friend announcing she was pregnant, we had so many beautiful moments to remember!
What does marriage mean to you?
Oooh, this is such a good question. Growing up queer, Amanda and I were not the stereotypical little girls who dreamed of walking down the aisle in a big, beautiful ball gown with a veil and all the traditional garb. Neither one of us really thought much about this day at all. We knew we wanted to BE married, but the idea of GETTING married wasn’t something we thought about. Not to mention the whole “marriage being federally illegal for LGBTQ+ couples until 2013” thing…So now, being married feels so radical. It feels important like we are constantly making a statement about who we are and what we believe in.
Advice for other couples planning a wedding?
Be yourselves. This is YOUR day. Do what will make you feel comfortable. Also, don’t be afraid to keep it simple. Venues and coordinators are SO MUCH HELP. Let them help! It’s what you’re paying them for! And ask for help! People are going to celebrate you. If you need someone to put a bin full of stuff in their car because you have no room, ask!
Anything you are glad you did? Or wish you didn’t do?
We are so glad we paired down our guest list. It helped us really have the party we wanted and one that we could also enjoy—renting a venue for three days. If we could have afforded to stay for more, we would’ve! It was so lovely to be able to house 24 of our guests between the two houses on the property. Our friend groups got to mingle; it was a once-in-a-lifetime weekend.
A buffet! I think we felt like doing a buffet would be an eyesore or feel “cheap,” but our food was SO GOOD, and we didn’t think twice about it afterward. It saved us money, and sure a plated meal is always nice, but it ultimately didn’t matter to us.
The last thing is just to remember to slow down. I know everyone says this, but just as you’re running from place to place, remember to stop, look around, have fun, and enjoy the moment.
Photography by Hope Allison Photography
Catering & Desserts The White Apron
Cinematographer Shutter and Sound
Decorative Elements One Stop Event Rentals
Dress Boutique BHLDN
Engagement Rings Gabriella Kiss, Lola Brooks
Entertainment Isaiah Bennett
Florist Solstice Herb Farm Maine
Hair Mia Carbone
Makeup Jennifer Opeka
Officiant Rex Connell- friend
Planner | Stylist Free Spirits Mobile Bar
Shoes ASOS, Steve Madden
Signage Rachel Morrissey
Stationery Rifle Paper Co.
Suit Designer Adriano Goldschmeid, Brunello Cucinelli
Venue Scotland Fields