Spirit & Essence of Yosemite National Park Infused Into Rustic Red Lion Inn Massachusetts Wedding

Points for creativity & inspiration right out of the gate!  Jessica & Andrew Seraphin have a special place in their heart for the mountainous regions of the west coast, Yosemite National Park to be precise.  As they begin the planning process their first inclination was to have a destination wedding among the towering peaks of the Sierra Mountains in California but soon realized doing so would eliminate some of their guest lists, a tender concern for them.  Instead of feeling defeated, Jessica & Andrew infused the spirit, essence, & country like style of Yosemite into their Massachusetts fete, ultimate landing on the The Red Lion Inn which was the perfect place to bring it all to life!  Covet worthy wedding photographer Zac Wolf Photography, carefully captured each memory, even artfully snapping moments that had a true mountain feel bringing the couple’s infusion of Yosemite full circle!  Keeping true to the outdoorsy country spirit, flowers were stems of wildflower like blooms, thick cut wood slices graced the tables while bandannas served as napkins & homemade apple butter gifts that Jessica herself, along with her bridesmaids, crafted for the guests!  Andrew certainly got into his country like role though giving his attire a chic New England twist in a well fitted suit finished with a sizable western-style silver belt buckle!  If you didn’t know that the couple were married just outside of Boston, you would easily think that their fete took place someplace out west with a mountain range not far behind.  Jessica & Andrew’s day is a gorgeous reminder that sometimes you don’t have to go to the destination, you can bring it to you!

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Novella of the Bride…

Wedding Buzzwords ~ DIY, Rustic, Yosemite, Romantic, Crafty, Festive, Heartfelt, Outdoorsy, Intimate, Spring, Western, Yellow, Sweet, & Personal

I grew up in Upstate, NY and had been living in the Boston area for 2 years when I met Andrew.  Andrew grew up in Norfolk, MA (outside of Boston) and was living in Chicago when we met at a music industry function in NYC in October of 2007.  We knew of each other professionally and hit it off over a few meetups during this conference.  He happened to be visiting his family in MA the following weekend so we hung out, got to know each other some more, and watched the Red Sox win the 2007 World Series together.  A few months later, Andrew not only ended up coming back to MA, but getting a job with the company I worked for.  We kept our office romance a secret for a few months until a weekend trip to FL where we both had to leave early outed us (neither of us work there now).  Over the course of our relationship, we’ve become best friends and adventure co-pilots, traveling together, seeking out new experiences in the most beautiful places.  We were engaged during a roadtrip from San Diego to San Francisco that took us through Sequoia, Kings Canyon and Yosemite National Parks.  For us, nothing makes us more happy then to get outside and experience the world’s natural beauty together. When we returned from Yosemite, Andrew stayed up all night making a video slide show of our trip to show our families.  At the end was actual video footage he shot of him proposing, and that is how we shared the news to all of our friends.  The slideshow was set to a song by Chuck Ragan, the artist whose song we used for our first dance as well.

Andrew and I wanted something close to where we live so that all of our out of town family could see why we enjoy living in Coastal, MA so much, but wanted something rustic as well, which didn’t leave a ton of options.  It was really important to us that the room felt like us and didn’t feel like a generic white ballroom or golf course. When we first looked at the barn at the Red Lion Inn, we fell in love.  It reminded us so much of the Ahwanee Hotel in Yosemite National Park (where we ate after getting engaged). We looked at a few other locations but I couldn’t picture the day anywhere else – it was the perfect setting to combine our love for all things outdoorsy/rustic and while giving our guests a taste of quaint, coastal New England.

Our overall theme was for us to bring Yosemite National Park to Boston.  We were engaged in Yosemite a year to the day we got married (engaged May 5, 2012) and felt that our experience in the park really spoke to us as a couple and what we value in life. We had debated a destination wedding in the park and ultimately decided to get married closer to home, so it became our mission to bring the magic of Yosemite to the South Shore of MA.  Each of our tables were named (instead of numbered) after a place in the park we visited, including our table, Sentinel Dome, which is the very location Andrew proposed. Our apple butter favors had tags on them with photos from our trip and as part of the favors we made a donation to the Yosemite Conservancy.  We tried to incorporate as many outdoorsy/rustic elements (tree slabs, wildflowers, tree branch candle holders, burlap, bluegrass band) in order to give the day the same feeling we had exactly one year before. Even Andrew’s wedding band has a tree bark pattern engraved in it!  We also encorporated some rustic/western elements with the bluegrass band and Andrew had a western-style silver belt buckle with the letter S on it (for Seraphin).

A Little Help From Their Friends ~ As a majority of the décor at our wedding was handmade, we had tons of help from friends and family.  My bridesmaids and I spent a weekend cooking homemade apple butter that would serve as our favors.  They and my mother in law also helped decorate them with cloth and ribbons.  My MIL made two large silk floral arrangements that were used on the stairwell behind us during the ceremony.  My father and step-mother made a custom bird house that was used as a card box.  My step-father and mother made wood slabs and wood candle holders for each table as decor, as well as a custom made fence post piece to hang our table assignments from.  During the ceremony, we encorporated as many family members as possible, with both of my parents giving me away, my step-father and father-in-law presenting our rings (in custom made boxes) and my step-mother presenting our handfasting cord.  My MIL also made boutineers for all groomsmen/fathers etc, each that had an photo representing their personality that my husband and I picked out.  I made all of the bouquets for the bridesmaids and mothers.

Bride’s Favorite Moment: “My most favorite moment was during the ceremony when we read our vows to each other.  We used this amazing Justice of the Peace who gave us the freedom to really personalize every aspect of the ceremony.  We each wrote our own vows and kept them a secret from each other until that moment.  It ended up being much more emotional than I had anticipated, not just for us giving the vows, but for all of our friends and family there.  To hear all of our friends and family laugh and cry along with us was an amazing feeling, I felt like we were letting them in on one of the most intimate and private moments of our entire lives.”

Parting Advice ~ Hiring our band, Chasing Blue, was one of the best decisions we made.  They are some of the most talented musicians we have ever known and our guests loved them.  They performed at both the ceremony and the reception, including learning three songs for our first dance and our dances with our parents (two of the songs were by our favorite artist, Chuck Ragan).  They brought an element and feeling to that day that a traditional band could not have done and it tied the theme together and made it feel like us. Our photobooth, The Danger Booth, was so much fun for our guests and created some memories and photos that we will treasure for our entire life.

Vendor Love

Venue: The Red Lion Inn | Wedding Dress: Justin Alexander  | Bridesmaid Dresses: Alfred Angelo  | Shoes: LuLu Townsend  | Hair + Makeup: Dahlia Salon  | Groom’s Attire: Tommy Hilfiger  | Invitations: Andrew Seraphin {groom}  | Music: Chasing Blue {Band}, Jon Strader {DJ}  | LightingThe Red Lion Inn | Rentals: The Danger Booth {photobooth}  | Florist: Bumble Bee Landing  | CatererThe Red Lion Inn | Baker: Konditor Meister | Photographer: Zac Wolf Photography

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  1. Christie O. {Mountainside Bride}

    I love this! It just goes to show that you don;t have to be in the mountains to carry them in your heart. What a special fete!

  1. Best Mountain Weddings | February 2014 on March 4th, 2014 at 9:21 am