September 23, 2017 at Sterling National Country Club
Kevin and I met through mutual friends on Facebook. Kevin trekked over one afternoon during a snowstorm in December 2013 to plow out the house where I lived. He asked me to take a ride with him and we spent the next five hours riding around in the snow. I knew he was the one almost immediately but there could be no doubt when, in 2014, my dad had a heart attack and was diagnosed with esophageal cancer shortly thereafter. Throughout this ordeal, Kevin was my rock, my shoulder to cry on, and my best friend.
After my dad passed away in June 2015, Kevin asked my mother and went to the cemetery to ask my dad for permission to marry me. Kevin had been given his mother’s engagement ring, and my mom gave him a ring from my dad, so he had a new ring made combining the two. On the Saturday after Thanksgiving, my brother had a bonfire in his yard, and about thirty of our closest friends were there. At one point, my brother got up to make a speech, thanking everyone for their love and support during our dad’s illness. When he finished his speech, he turned it over to Kevin and the bright lights came on. Suddenly Kevin was on one knee with ring in hand. Naturally, I said yes! My brother set off some fireworks and everyone cheered.
We started planning right away and set a date far enough in advance so we would have time to save and have everything we hoped for. I knew that I wanted a rustic country feel, and I wanted everyone to be comfortable and to have a great time. I wanted a party!
We looked around at venues and nothing caught my eye until we came up the driveway to the Sterling National Country Club. One look at their grounds—the gazebo and water features, the ballroom, the bridal suite—and I knew it was where I wanted to say “I do.” Everyone there, from Jeff, the general manager down to the wait staff, made it so easy. When we went to the tasting, it was difficult to decide because everything was amazing. We ended up offering chicken chausseur and pork tenderloin with an eggplant vegetarian option. It was all cooked and served to perfection.
My first purchase after setting the wedding date was my wedding gown. I went to Marry and Tux in Nashua, NH, and I only had to try on three gowns before I found the one I wanted—an ivory strapless Cara Mia lace ball gown with a corset and medium-length train. Before having my gown altered, I had two hearts cut out of my dad’s favorite blue shirt and asked the seamstress to cover them in lace from my grandmother’s wedding gown. She sewed one of the hearts to my train where it was visible the whole day; I put the other one inside my dress to keep next to my heart.
For the centerpieces, I filled pint mason jars with fairy lights and wrapped jute around the covers and filled quart mason jars with blue hydrangeas and baby’s breath. We painted the table numbers on 7" lengths of trees, which had the tops cut at an angle. The trees were from the woods where Kevin grew up, which happened to be the land was in my dad’s family for almost 100 years, so my dad grew up there, too. I originally wanted lace and burlap table runners, but Jeff proposed round mirrors instead, which pulled it all together and looked amazing. For the favors, we ordered cozies and had chocolates made by Stewart’s Chocolates in Holden in the shape of cowboy boots.
We found the bridesmaids’ dresses at David’s Bridal. The long, navy blue dresses had lace at the top and a slit up the front which showed off the cowboy boots. I carried a bouquet of sunflowers, wheat, and greens wrapped in burlap, and my maid of honor and my bridesmaids carried smaller versions of my bouquet. The flower girl wore a lace and tulle navy blue dress with cowgirl boots and carried a tiny version of our bouquets. The men wore sand colored vests with ivory shirts and navy blue ties from Bonardi’s Formal Wear in Worcester. All the men wore dark blue jeans and cowboy boots.
We decorated the gazebo with sunflowers, and hung mason jars with sunflowers from the aisle chairs every fourth row. We had water bottles with personalized event labels—a great call since it is was sunny and almost 90 degrees that day. Two local craftspeople made me a beautiful wooden sign for the seat where my dad would have sat. We also set up a “memory” table in the bar area where we displayed photos from the weddings of our grandparents and great-grandparents, as well as a photo of my late uncle.
Our cake was made by Elena at Baked in Holden. We had four tiers with carrot, red velvet, chocolate, and vanilla cake. Each layer was wrapped with lace and burlap, and there was a willow tree figurine on top. We had a DJ and a videographer and photographer.
The whole day was a continual series of happy memories; there’s not one thing I would change. Sterling National Country Club was a great choice because it was convenient for all our guests to have everything in one place. The staff members were incredibly accommodating, friendly, and eager to please, which left me with the feeling that nothing less than perfect was acceptable.
The only advice that I would give to future couples is to make sure to give yourself enough time to plan exactly what you want. Two years seemed like a long time at first, but the time just flew by.
Ceremony and Reception Site:
Sterling National Country Club
Photographer: Meghan-Rose Photography