July 2019

July 18, 2019

Photo by Melissa Ortendahl Photography

You know those amazing love stories that couples share, where they tell you how one simple yet crucially important occurrence led to another whole series of events that dramatically hinged on timing and luck? As the story goes on, so does the synergy, and the stars align magically. Passion with a dash of blind faith come together to create an inspiring fairytale that is destined to last a lifetime. You’ve heard stories like that, right? Well, that’s pretty much what happened when newlyweds Babe and Christina Predella discovered Oakholm Farm, a centuries-old working blueberry, raspberry, and pick-your-own Christmas tree farm in Brookfield, Massachusetts. Owned and operated by the Jeppson’s, a prominent local family, for more than 90 years, the farm had seen better days when Babe and Christina stumbled upon it. But through the disrepair, this young couple saw its potential, felt its positive energy, and with laser-like focus, they had a crystal clear vision for what their lives could be like, living there and hosting weddings and special events on a newly renovated Oakholm Farm.

Photo by Brooke Ellen

You see, this love story is about a place. A romantic spot full of authenticity, natural beauty, and charm. It’s a place that can be a part of your love story, too!

Photo by Brooke Ellen

Photo by Shawn Kelley Photo

Oakholm Farm is considered by many to be the gem of Brookfield, a rural community located just six miles from Sturbridge, Massachusetts. The farm is situated on 115 acres of picture-perfect land with 500 square feet of beautiful lake frontage on Lake Quaboag, where bald eagles are often spotted. The proprietors have managed to use the historic elements of the farm to present classic vignettes and features in a stylish and timely way, which makes for jaw-dropping photo opportunities all over the property. In a nod to the life the farm once knew, there are lots of Jeppson family touches, paying homage to the previous owners and the happy lives they lived here.

“The farm does all the work. I don’t ever have to sell it,” said Christina Predella, co-owner and events coordinator. “We’ve been given this beautiful centuries-old canvas that reminds me of a historic European farm. Our mission is to take this land and its structures, and most importantly, keep it as a place of love respect, fun, celebration, peace, and relaxation. It’s a place for nourishment of the soul and a place where families can come together to create lifelong memories.”

Photo by Brooke Ellen

Predella was previously a teacher, and in recent years, had become a successful wedding coordinator for another local farm. Her husband owns his own landscaping company, and his talents are apparent across the property. Together with their families, the Predellas have created a truly unique experience here.

First-time visitors to Oakholm Farm usually gather at the Big House, as it is called. This is not like any farmhouse you’ve seen before; it’s an immaculate and stately six-bedroom slate-roofed manse, tastefully renovated inside and covered in lovely ivy outside and surrounded by perennial gardens. It’s available to brides and grooms for their wedding weekend, and it comes complete with a courtyard, elegantly decorated rooms, and grand entertainment spaces, perfect for getting ready for the ceremony or continuing the celebration after the reception.

Photos by Brooke Ellen

A short stroll from the Big House takes you by the lake, where you’ll find a guest cottage with a pool. This spot is just right for showers and smaller events, and it also serves as a bridal party meet-up spot or the perfect place for the groom and his groomsmen to get ready for the big day. It’s a lovely open-concept cottage with a living room, bathroom, kitchen, and relaxing porch. Just behind the cottage is the hayfield where the magic happens. This is where the 50-x-90-foot tent goes, which seats up to 200 guests comfortably. There is also the option of renting an alternative tent that allows for up to 300 guests with a dance floor and bar.

Photo by Melissa Ortendahl Photography

Photo by Shawn Kelley Photo

The Predellas recommend preferred vendors from a list of tried-and-true local caterers, bakers, and more, and some couples have even had their reception catered by food trucks. Did we mention that Oakholm Farm also serves as a brewery? In the near future, it will be open to the public in one of the antique barns on the property, but currently, brides and grooms can have a brew truck pull up outside the tent at their reception. They are currently brewing 15 recipes of beer and ale on the premises, and couples can select 12 varieties to have on tap at their reception. It’s truly an amazing and delicious option, uncommon to most wedding venues.

Photo by Melissa Ortendahl Photography

With an eye for details, an appreciation for history, and a finger on the pulse of today’s trends, the owners of this unique property are providing more than an exceptional wedding and events venue; they’re creating an unmatched experience. If unique, stunning, and memorable are the goals for your wedding day, Oakholm Farm should be at the top of your list!

Photo by Shawn Kelley Photo

For more information:

Oakholm Farm Estate

80 Lake Road

Brookfield, MA 01506




July 16, 2019

Mantra Samui Resort

Tucked away in the jungle overlooking Bophut beach, Mantra Samui Resort gives couples a tropical backdrop for their nuptials, without the sandy implications. The resort’s alfresco terrace above the pool area can be converted into a ceremony location, replete with tropical flowers and stunning views over the Gulf of Thailand. Two types of wedding packages are available. The Thai ceremony includes a water blessing by holy monks and a traditional long drum procession with silver and gold gate passing. Prices are affordable starting from THB 80,000 (USD 2,500), inclusive of planning services with wedding planner, the ceremony, flowers, a romantic private rooftop dinner, the bride’s hair and make up, spa treatment for two, wedding cake and bottle of champagne, couples breakfast, and airport transfers. Western style weddings are performed by a priest and include a similar array of services with rates beginning at THB 70,000 (USD 2,200) The property can accommodate up to 38 guests for a wedding.

Photos courtesy of Mantra Samui Resort

The Anam Cam Ranh

Since the Anam celebrated its own grand opening in April 2017, it has played host to intimate and large wedding ceremonies on a vast lawn overlooking a pristine stretch of beach. For weddings, the resort sets up an arch festooned in fresh flowers as well as aisle decorations and chairs against a backdrop featuring turquoise waters and dramatic headlands. With more than 300 sunny days a year on average in Cam Ranh, chances are it will be clear blue skies on the big day. The resort’s planners take care of the all-important wedding cake, sparkling wine, and an MC for a cocktail reception and dinner with the option of a large formal dining event in the resort’s elegant ballroom. A myriad of settings across the Anam including reflecting pools and cobblestone pathways also make for striking wedding photo backdrops. For more information visit this link.

Photos courtesy of Anam Cam Ranh

Palace Hotel Tokyo

Set in the heart of Tokyo’s Maranouchi district, with sweeping views of the surrounding Imperial Palace gardens, planning a wedding at Palace Hotel Tokyo is easy. The hotel has six different wedding venues – two ceremony venues, including a Japanese Shinto Shrine and a beautiful chapel featuring a thin archway of hand-woven metal rods, as well as four ballrooms. The hotel also offers a bespoke ‘Vera Wang Wedding Package,’ which includes a gown from the Vera Wang Bridal boutique in Ginza in addition to catering, a wedding cake, beauty stylists, in-house photographer, floral arrangements, and accommodation in a hotel suite.

Photos courtesy of Palace Hotel Tokyo

Grand Hyatt Taipei

Located in downtown Taipei, the iconic Grand Hyatt Taipei is one of Asia’s top choices for a destination wedding. The 850-room property offers 11 wedding venues, including an elegant Grand Ballroom, designed by the renowned New York-based interior designer, Tony Chi, which can cater to 1,200 guests. For newlyweds looking to make a dramatic entrance, a special runway carpet can be rolled out that creates a dazzling crystal effect using the latest special-effects equipment. The property even boasts a private helipad where couples can pose for wedding snaps with the hotel’s famous neighbor, Taipei 101. Meanwhile, a team of in-house wedding planners, floral designers, and top chefs will work with the couple to create their perfect day. For more information, please visit this link.

Photos courtesy of Grand Hyatt Taipei

Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi

Located in Hanoi’s scenic French Quarter, the Metropole has long been a prime venue for nuptials and photo shoots. The historic hotel’s ‘Legendary Wedding Package’ bundles a range of customizable packages together with the services of a personal wedding planner. Three venues within the hotel – La Veranda, Le Balcon and Thang Long Hall – can be tailored to the bride and groom’s wishes, as can a French or Vietnamese menu for the dinner reception. The property’s in-house jazz band, spa vouchers, bespoke gifts for guests and other options are incorporated into the various packages, including accommodation in the hotel’s most luxurious quarters for the couple on their wedding night. Newlyweds looking for a nostalgic escape can book the very same suite where Charlie Chaplin and Paulette Goddard stayed during their honeymoon in 1936.

Photos courtesy of Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi

Chedi Club Tanah Gajah Ubud

Renowned Indonesian architect and interior designer Hendra Hadiprana built Tanah Gajah for his own family. The Hadipranas celebrated intimate weddings at the Balinese garden pavilion watched over by stone ganeshas, hosted colourful cocktail parties at The Bird Lounge alongside the private aviary, held dinners at a restaurant pavilion surrounded by iconic rice paddies and grander gatherings in the grassy amphitheatre surrounded by tropical foliage. Today, after conversion from a private estate to one of Bali’s most acclaimed boutique hotels, guests follow in the Hadipranas’ footsteps. The Chedi Club is currently offering three different wedding packages -- Garden Bliss, the White Wedding and Balinese Heavenly Unity Wedding -- and customizes five different venues on property for events that can accommodate between 10 and 100 people. For more information, visit this link.

Photos courtesy of Chedi Club

Banyan Tree Samui

A team of onsite wedding planners, or Romance Concierges, caters to every whim for couples who dream of getting hitched on a tropical white-sand beach. The resort is totally secluded within a private palm-fringed bay, and guests will have the added luxury of staying in magnificent hillside villas, each with its own infinity pool and 24-hour butler service. This resort specializes not only in white weddings on the beachfront, but Thai Buddhist ceremonies where groom and bride are dressed in traditional Siamese robes. For more information, visit this link.

Photos courtesy of Banyan Tree Samui

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