There aren’t many people who just have that “certain something.” A knack for doing it all - and making it look effortless. Erica is one of those gifted women, and we have the incredible fortune to call her a member of our team.

When trying to describe Erica these are the words and phrases that came to mind…hard working, loyal, well-spoken, an incredible community activist, classic, just an all-around good person. If you’ve met Erica you know what we’re talking about!

A resident of Tamworth - Erica stays engaged in the community by serving on as many boards and committees as time will allow, and maintains her role as Program Director at the Chocorua Community Church. Lastly Erica is also is the owner and operator of Eb’s Kitchen - a gluten free specialty bakery.

We sat down with Erica for a short Q&A - we hope you enjoy getting to know this integral part of our Preserve team a little better!

Name: Erica Boynton

Title: Venue Coordinator/Community Event Liaison

Role at The Preserve: Facilitate events for wedding couples and local community groups

What you love most about your work at The Preserve: Meeting new people and witnessing the lasting connections they make with each and the property

Hobbies: Cooking, gardening, reading

Favorite Color: Navy blue

Favorite Flower: Wildflowers

Favorite Season: Summer!!

What is your Vision for the future of the property: To help create an oasis where visitors connect with the history of the property and its past role as a summer resort and working farm. Future development of interpretive gardens, trails and events that focus on the natural beauty of the estate and its historic value will encourage this connection.

Dream Travel Destination? Scotland


Sean and Andi (Andrea) packed The Preserve with their closest friends and family and took full advantage of a long celebration weekend that kicked off with a square dance, and wrapped up with a laid-back BBQ dinner! This September 1st wedding walked the line between summer and fall so perfectly with a classic color palette and a Squam Lake ceremony. Anne Skidmore captured the beauty of the day flawlessly as you will see. We can’t thank Sean & Andi enough for sharing their experience about planning a destination wedding, and for those planning a Squam Lake ceremony there are some fantastic tips! Enjoy this spectacular East Coast classic wedding and view the full gallery here. Be sure and catch the full length video at the end of this post.


What were your thoughts on the new barn and tent?

We LOVED the new barn. Obviously, we loved the old barn as well, but the new barn had such a similar feel to the old one, except that it streamlined many of the potential issues. It was great to have four bathrooms and the bar set up and catering set up were obviously much more streamlined than they would have been in the old barn. The tent itself is a truly a stunning addition to the property. We also can't even begin to count the number of compliments we got from our guests about the beauty of the barn!


Your wedding evoked a very classic and timeless feel, was that what you were going for?  

I wanted it to feel intentional and natural at the same time. We didn't really want to go overboard with anything, but we also wanted to make sure our bases were covered. I think our primary focus was making sure that everyone felt really welcomed and comfortable at our wedding, because again, we felt a little extra having a destination wedding. Pretty much everything came out feeling exactly how I imagined though, so I guess, yes!, I did want a classic and timeless feel :)


The “First Look” with your dad...can you elaborate on that? So so sweet! 

I don't think either of us expected to react so emotionally. Like I said, Squam and RDC have always been something that my Dad and I have shared a deep affinity for (more so than probably the rest of our family) and I think that added a layer of emotion to that moment. It wasn't actually expected -- he was walking in and everyone decided it should be a first look, so they made me go around the corner and hide. It meant a lot to both of us to share Squam with so many friends and family, and to bring such a big piece of our family tradition into Sean's and my wedding.


Tell us about your ties to Squam Lake and why the ceremony was so special? 

Squam Lake has been my favorite place since I was a child.  My family has been coming to Squam Lake since my dad was a kid, and I came up every summer growing up with my dad (and grandparents and cousins). My brother and I were both baptized on Church Island by Rev. Campbell Lovett, who was one of the two officiants at our wedding. The other officiant was my godmother/aunt Cindy, who happens to be a Deacon in the Episcopal church, so it was really special to carry that forward. My dad and I have a tradition of swimming from Rockywold Deephaven Camps (where the bridal party got ready) to Church Island every summer. Sean also grew up spending a lot of time at lakes, so when I first brought him to Squam a few years ago, he fell in love with it as well, and could recognize how special of a place it is. From the day we got engaged we knew we wanted to get married on Squam. I have so many memories from my childhood at Squam and on Church Island, and I love that now Sean and I have begun to make our own memories in such a special place.


We love the sunglasses? What a great idea - and so much fun! 

That was kind of both of our idea (with a little nudge from my brother)! We just thought they'd be fun. We didn't really want to do "favors" per say, but we wanted to make sure we provided as much as possible to make our guests comfortable in an environment that was very new to many of our guests. We also provided tubes of sunblock and bug spray, flip flops for those who might accidentally wear heels to the island (which is prohibited) and blankets in case it got cold.


That dessert display…drool worthy! Tell us about that deliciousness….

Well, that had a lot to do with Lisa!! She is such a visionary. We knew going into it that we'd want a number of cakes, because we wanted to do some kind of crazy flavors, and we figured we'd give folks an option. She also has such a wide array of flavors and ideas, we definitely couldn't have decided on just one or two. Plus, I love cake....everyone knows it. We had to go big! We asked her to put Kira on the main cake, because we'd seen a photo somewhere of a dog digging up the cake, and we thought it was hilarious. We did the main cake with tiers so that we could keep the tradition of freezing the top tier for a year (we probably should have thought through the size of the cake though...RIP freezer space :). Then Lisa helped us come up with what the rest of the display would look like, helped us hone our many desired flavors down to a few that would pair nicely together etc. The one I never got to try was that root beer bundt...easily the most popular of the options!


Favorite part of the weekend? 

Oh man, that's a tough one. Honestly, I think for me it was being able to share such a special place with everyone we loved. The Preserve was large enough that we were able to be really inclusive with our guest list, and it meant that so many wonderful people from so many corners of our lives (and the world!) made the trip to the mountains to be a part of our wedding. Having the property for three days allowed us so many opportunities to see everyone, which was really important to us after friends and family took so much time to travel the distance to see us. I think my most favorite moments (aside from getting married on my favorite island) were the amazing dance floor, the after party on the patio with Ken and the pizza, and the bbq the next day.

I loved that we could just drag the big green couch from whichever part of the Preserve we were taking advantage of, and have a comfy place to congregate no matter where the critical mass of people were. Sean's favorite part was probably the Sunday BBQ. We had so much help from our friends and family, and it was a very organic, natural (kind of messy, and very us) way to close out the weekend with our loved ones. 


What did you enjoy most about The Preserve as a venue?

Being able to truly host our family and friends in such a beautiful corner of the world. Having the Preserve for three days allowed us opportunities to see everyone and to celebrate in a range of ways that made it really feel like we covered all of our bases. It gave us opportunities to see everyone in a range of different capacities, and actually catch up with a lot of our guests, which we wouldn't have been able to do if we hadn't been able to all hang around the house all weekend. I also felt like I was in such good hands with Mary and Ed. They are so hands off and unintrusive, but seemed to pop up always at the exact right time to help with things or to answer questions like the fairy godparents of weddings! The Preserve is also just so beautiful and relaxing, so just walking around was a vacation in and of itself. 


Hair & Makeup: Sarah & Co Designs

Shoes: (were these your something blue?): Klub Nico

They were one of my "something blues" - I also wore my grandmother's aquamarine earrings and a sapphire ring that belongs to Sean's grandmother.

Dress: BHLDN

Bridesmaids Dresses: Shop Revelry

Photography: Anne Skidmore

Flowers: Moonset Farms

We LOVED Jackie!! Sleeper favorite vendor. Who would have thought we'd get so excited about flowers?!

Wedding Film: S | P Films

Stationary: Minted - Save the Dates, Little Ivy Paper Company - Invitations & Programs. Andi did the menus and table cards herself.

Catering: White Mountain Cider Co. - Dinner, White Mountain Catering - Late Night Pizza. BBQ Shak for Friday's BBQ did everything else!

Desserts: Cakes for All Seasons

DJ: Jeff Erwin

Coordination: Doting & Details



As Winter is coming to an end here on The Preserve, we are slowly creeping towards one of our favorite seasons Spring! As the snow begins to melt away, the rolling hills begin to brighten with the tide of Spring, we can’t help but get excited during this season of rebirth. Wildflower buds will begin to sprout, trees will begin to blossom, and the sky with all its blue brightness sets the perfect scene for a visit to The Preserve.


As we make the shift into the new season, it is always a bustling time of year for all sorts of activities. With the warmer weather we start to see hikers and adventure seekers again, Maple Syrup production is is full swing, and you can feel the excitement in the air.


This spring we continue with our ‘Souper Club” on April 15th as well as a few other exciting events. Our TVC meeting (Tamworth Visitors Council) meeting will be held Tuesday April 2nd at 5:30PM. We encourage community members and business owners to attend. Please RSVP to if you are interested in attending the event.

Our annual Tamworth Wet Paint - Plein Air Painting Festival will begin on April 29th and run through May 5th. We have artists coming from all across the country from Texas, to Ohio, to Maine and everywhere in between. See the full calendar of events here.

The Preserve at Chocorua Farmhouse - George Van Hook

The Preserve at Chocorua Farmhouse - George Van Hook



There was not a more appropriate season for these two to tie the knot than fall. The coziest season of the year packed with warmth and full of vibrant color. That’s exactly how we would describe this couple. Cozy, welcoming, joyful, full of vibrancy and life. Lauren and Patrick wed on an exquisite fall day that won’t soon be forgotten.

Custom Rose’ bottles from Whippletree Winery welcomed guests as they arrived for the weekend.

Custom Rose’ bottles from Whippletree Winery welcomed guests as they arrived for the weekend.

This couple above all else wanted their weekend to be not about them, but about the relationships they had cultivated along the road that lead them to say “I DO.” Lauren said “it was just about bringing everyone together, it was a destination for everyone including us. We wanted everyone to have a total sensory experience. Experience how much we loved The Preserve, loved everyone there, our love of good seasonal foods, craft beer and cocktails; we wanted all who were there to ‘feel the gratitude!’”  

These two food and beverage industry movers and shakers pulled out all stops when it came to food, beverage, and entertaining. Patrick brewed all the beer for the entire weekend celebration. Talk about an undertaking! Lauren worked closely with the gals of Whippletree winery here in Tamworth to create three wines for their welcome baskets, one that showcased Lauren and Patrick on the label, and the other two their precious pups Toby and Hazel. Completely adorable!

Their cocktails were perfectly curated by one of Lauren’s best friends who is of course a cutting edge mixologist. Her ode to the couple in cocktail form included heart shaped lemon peel and rose gold edible glitter.  

Friday night was a showstopper in itself.  One of their closest friends Chef Daniel Gursha (who just happens to be hot on the Boston culinary scene) curated an entire rehearsal dinner based on the couples favorite foods. From oysters, to lobster tail, aged steaks, fresh produce, chef Daniel showed his love for Lauren and Patrick through his culinary skills.  

Photo collage that included family, friends, relatives, and lots of fantastic memories.

Photo collage that included family, friends, relatives, and lots of fantastic memories.

Friday night was all about enjoying good food, good cocktails, and each others company.

Friday night was all about enjoying good food, good cocktails, and each others company.

We did a little quick-fire Q&A with Lauren here is what she had to say…

Where did you get that incredible fur coat?

“It was Grandma Pearl’s fur coat.” We think it’s pretty much amazing!

Best part about Harvest Moon Catering?

“Harvest Moon was fantastic, nothing but wonderful feedback. We loved getting to see the actual food, how it’s made and carefully prepared, and all the love goes into it.”

What food style did you opt for?

Seated salad, and family style with several beautifully presented platters for dinner.

Favorite part of the day?

“First and foremost was the ceremony. All the build-up to one big moment was just wow! Being in that moment surrounded by everyone and their love was really special.”

Lauren and Patrick said their own vows and had an interactive ceremony. They wanted people to be engaged and to be part of the moment. Throughout the ceremony they asked questions like how long have you been married? What’s the key to marriage? The answer was compromise if you were wondering. The vows were not just about Patrick and Lauren, they were about all the people in their lives that got them to where they are today.

Favorite reception elements?

“How our photo booth came together, it was ‘cute’ a little bit kitschy, not perfect, but perfect the way it ended up! My nieces and nephews had the opportunity to enjoy the photo booth as well, taking the camera around to guest and getting all sorts of goofy fun snapshots.”

Where did you find your dress?

“Davids Bridal.”


If you could do it all over again would you give your future self any advice?

“I would say not to rush into selecting vendors. Trust your gut on how you feel about connecting with different vendors. Work with people you genuinely like  – and whose philosophy you connect with.”

“Also as an events person myself I thought I wouldn’t need help with the planning aspect. So wrong! Hire a planner! Megan of Willow Tree Events was so wonderful. She did full planning and coordination. Having someone to bounce ideas off from, someone to give advice, and help with all of the other emotional pieces of planning was so valuable.”

If you could recap your wedding weekend in a sentence what would that sentence be?

“A collaboration of the people that love us!”

What feeling or vibe were you hoping to achieve?

“Well we could just imagine how it all would come together and knew it would be a collaborative effort. We wanted everyone to feel like family. By the end of the weekend we wanted all who were there to know why they were there, and to feel the love. Really it was all about bringing everyone together so they could know why they were so incredibly important to us.”


Lauren and Patricks vendor team is listed at the end of this post, and these beautiful images are courtesy of Alyssa Hitchcock of Lovely Bones Studio. We asked her thoughts on the weekend and here’s what she had to say…also you can view the full gallery here.

"Lauren and Patrick had a very clear vision of what they wanted their wedding day to be. They brought it ALL to life with the absolute best team of vendors! I am so honored to be among them. They started by partying with a bonfire, Groom-made beer and so many friends and family ringing their wedding weekend by the bonfire! I could tell immediately that they were going to have one of the most fun and enjoyable weddings and in the most perfect setting of The Preserve at Chocorua. The morning of their wedding was so calm and beautiful. Their set up was truly just as amazing as they are down to every detail and intimate moment. I have thought about this quite a bit and I cannot choose a favorite moment of the day, it was all filled with so much happiness. I'm so grateful to have photographed their wedding and capture their memories. Thank you Lauren and Patrick for throwing one beautiful bad-ass celebration! Wishing a lifetime of happiness to this remarkable couple!"



Catering - Harvest Moon

Bartending - On the Rocks

Planning - Willow Tree Events - Megan Thompson 

Florals - Apotheca - Alyssa & Ricky

Photos - Lovely Bones Photography

Dessert - Cider Bellies 

Beats - La Bella and the Beat - Jay La Bella

Rentals - Lakes Region Tent and Events 

Make up - Cara Raskin

Hair - Mallory Patterson 

Rehearsal dinner - Daniel Gursha

Hospitality & Bar Specialist - Hannah Welans founder of Hanewel Hospitality 

Wine - Whippletree Winery 

Calligraphist - Natalie Chaves 

Jewelry - Passed onto me by her Nana Ruth who is no longer with us. My mom and Patrick worked with Harry's Jewelers to create the perfect ring with her stone as the focal point. “She is my hero! I lived with her growing up and have countless memories of her and my Papa. I wish they could have joined us. But I know they were with us surrounding us with love.”

Fur coat - Grandma Pearl

Wedding dress - David's bridal bought by my Grandma Linda who flew from FL to help me pick out my dress 

JP - Jane Roth 


“On the death of a friend, we should consider that the fates through confidence have devolved on us the task of a double living, that we have henceforth to fulfill the promise of our friend's life also, in our own, to the world.”
― Henry David Thoreau


It is with a heavy heart that we pen this important dedication. We lost one of our most beautiful friends to the insidious disease of cancer, as so many of us have. There are days we miss her so much it’s hard to believe she’s gone.

Many of you have met Marcia here at The Preserve. She was the first one to fly the door open to greet you with a big hello and a hug, as if you were a best friend she hadn’t seen in a while. Marcia “aka Mem” poured her heart and soul into her work here at The Preserve. She encouraged us all to be a little better and to be the very best versions of ourselves. Words like patient, generous, compassionate, and kind perfectly describe all the things she was to everyone.

She was a “maker” before the term was even in fashion. She crafted all the window treatments you see on the property, as well as styled many rooms with her beautiful touch. Before the days of The Preserve Marcia accompanied Mary on many trips all over the country assisting with design. She was always ready for a good road trip, no questions asked. She gladly held the conversation – she was never at a loss for words, or shying away from sharing her opinion. Her honesty and quick wit were often a breath of fresh air. Those moments with her were most precious and were so often filled with laughter and happiness.

Mem taught us all many important things about life that we felt compelled to share with all of you.


First…definitely, ALWAYS ALWAYS eat dessert first!

Second, that you are never too old or too young to change and take big chances.

Third, always start your day feeling joyous and fortunate.

Marcia’s kindness and generosity lives on in her beautiful family and in all of us who were lucky enough to know her.




Winter at The Preserve sparkles with excitement, it’s a season where we slow down, gather near to one another, and take a moment to pause before the newness of spring is upon us. The beauty of winter can be seen all around us, from the shimmering rooftops covered in snow, to the warm crackling bonfires, winter here is truly a season to savor.


We are looking forward to some special winter weddings this season, and we can think of nothing more romantic than a fresh blanket of snow to set the mood.

Our “Souper Club” is also in full swing every second Monday of each month and hope you will join us. Come sip soup, bring your favorite wine, and find warm company and conversation.

However you choose to spend your time this winter we hope you soak up every little snowflake, and enjoy some unhurried time with the ones you love.


Yesterday we had an impromptu visit from a true Preserve Legacy, Miss Katherine Ann Hayford Melanson. Hearing her speak of days spent on the farm as a young child was such a joy and privilege. Like coffee and conversation with an old friend this visit was good for the soul!

So what did we learn about Miss Katherine? Well…she was born in 1934 and called The Preserve (then known as Hayford in the Fields) home for most of her life until she wed Mr. Lawrence Melanson.

Her Great Grandfather Nathaniel Hayford was the founder of this glorious property and was the true visionary behind it all. He built the majority of the buildings you see on the site today as well as the original barn which then housed livestock and animals. Her role on the farm/property was waiting tables in the seasons when they welcomed guests, and tending to the farm animals.

Katherine’s room is now know as the Hayford, which is one of our favorite rooms in the original portion of the farmhouse. Her fondest memory as a child was harnessing up her St. Bernard in the winter and he would pull her around in a sled.

Thank you Katherine for sharing your cherished stories and memories with us, you were truly part of a unique and extraordinary generation and we hope to be telling similar stories well into our golden years.


Sometimes setting the Thanksgiving table seems more difficult than preparing the meal, we all want our holiday tables to make a lasting impression on our guests. We hope that our tips will make everyone feel extra special. Cheers, and here’s wishing you a very Happy Thanksgiving!


Relaxed Classic

Keep it clean and classic, yet warm and inviting. Start with a great foundation of a beautiful wood table. From there layer it on. Linen place mats, chargers, china, silver, glassware, etc. A collective mix of china, silver, and glassware is often times just as beautiful - if not more beautiful than a perfect set, it also helps created that curated look.

Opulent Organic

Plates and vessels with imperfect edges in earthy tones paired with glistening gold flatware make for the perfect place setting juxtaposition. Don’t overthink it too much, and don’t be afraid to mix your color palette.


Refined Rustic

Bring the mood down to earth by using a rustic well loved table and set of chairs. A family heirloom possibly? The more it’s been used and loved on the better! Rich tones with a splash of black will instantly punch up the wow factor while still keeping it cool and slightly edgy.


Tall candlesticks, a low sprawling garland, a focal centerpiece…mix and match several elements for a finished look.


The most important element in our opinion. If you do nothing else at all be sure to make guest feel extra special with a custom favor or place card. We love these quick and easy ideas.



The kids settings should be easy and fun. Keep the colors light, bright, and cheery to help create a playful mood. Select materials that are unbreakable or reusable and that can also be recycled. Add games and crafts to keep them entertained!

Image: Southern Living

Image: Southern Living

Image: Country Living

Image: Country Living


The White Mountains and the Lakes Region are starting to come alive with those familiar brilliant hues we all have come to love during this time of year. Leaf peeping is a given during the month of October but there are also many fall attractions and happenings throughout the month. Here is a round up of some of the must do’s this fall in and around Tamworth.


A must do in the fall! Fryeburg Fair has grown to become Maine's largest agricultural fair complete with six days of harness racing, a farm museum second to none, the world's largest steer and oxen show and a reputation known throughout North America. Live entertainment, the classic fair food, and attractions and rides for kids of all ages.


The Sandwich Fair held annually on Columbus Day Weekend (thats this 6-8th this year) is another big agricultural fair right in our backyard of North Sandwich. This year they’ve added a 4-H dog show, so for all you dog lovers out there be sure to catch this spectacle. Special events include an antique parade, Oxen pulling, rides, and don’t forget all that yummy food!



Get lost in their biggest corn maze yet, sink your teeth into a fresh hot donut from the Cider Bellies truck, select just the perfect pumpkin for carving, the list goes on! You could easily spend a full afternoon with friends and family exploring and adventuring on the farm. Be sure to check out Farm Fest and The Great Pumpkin Drop. For a full list of events click here.

Corn Maze a Moulton Farm | A 250th celebration of Meredith, NH

Corn Maze a Moulton Farm | A 250th celebration of Meredith, NH



Come our and support Arts Council Tamworth, they will be hosting Cheick Hamala Diabate.

“At the intersect of West African storytelling, poetry and music, oral history and performance, Cheick Hamala Diabate is king of the ngoni–a plucked West African lute and precursor to the banjo–and a griot, a West African storyteller/poet.”

Friday October 12th at 7:30PM - choose your own ticket price. Event details here.



Live like a local and head to Tamworth center. Cozy up with a good book and one of their deliciously hand crafted beverages. Fall at its finest!

Photo Credit: Tamworth Distillery

Photo Credit: Tamworth Distillery



A glowing pumpkin trail sure to delight all ages. Take the trek up to Littleton NH to take in the sights, sounds, and events of the 7th annual Gathering of Jack-O-Lanterns. More than 500 lanterns will be lit along the Ammonousuc River. Events begin on Friday and continue throughout the weekend. See the full schedule of events on the chamber website.



Take the ultimate New Hampshire fall foliage drive. 30 miles of winding roads through some of NH best leaf-peeping sites, a must do every fall.


So thats our fall round up, with some hidden gems for you to explore, some local current events, and of course some tried and true “touristy” things that we all must indulge in this time of year. Happy Fall Y’all!


When the first day of fall hits there’s a shift. We can break out the cozy sweaters, embrace the pumpkin spice flavor that seems to be everywhere, and start to enjoy all things fall like pumpkins, apple picking, and lets not forget the apple cider donuts! Thats why on the blog today (the first day of fall) we have one of our most glorious fall weddings to share with you.

There are literally endless reasons to feature this wedding, from the color palette, to the decor, it was an intimate and oh so romantic weekend. Kelsey a designer and owner of Kelsey Donahue Designs poured her heart and soul into every little detail of the weekend and it shows. She and Ben literally grew their own wedding flowers, how amazing is that? Not only were the details absolutely stunning, but the way this couple utilized the property to create a one of a kind experience was ingenious! Read on for more about gorgeous fall weekend, and check out the not one but TWO full galleries here and here. If you’ve “fallen in love” with the look and feel of this memorable fall wedding you should definitely reach out to Kelsey as she has ventured into the event styling and design world, you couldn’t be in better hands than with a bride thats been married at our property and has a discerning eye for design. Enjoy all the fall loveliness!


How did you come up with such a wonderful weekend itinerary? Can you give us an overview?

We wanted our weekend to be about spending time with the people in our life who had come from near and far. So we tried to keep the itinerary simple in order to allow for people to enjoy the space, the property and the company of each other. 

Thursday our parents hosted a small Italian dinner with lasagna and salads, that way people could arrive and get settled at their own pace. We had time to see everyone and be present.

By Friday, all the guests (38 people) had arrived and had the morning and afternoon to themselves. For lunch, I was able to sneak away and take my "bridesmaids" to The Lyceum before we started getting ready. This was a nice time to get off property and enjoy some calm before the ceremony. The boys stayed back and played some yard games and BBQ'd. Friday night we had a Chef (Kimball Packard and his Wife Neysa) come and prepare a seated dinner for our small group following the ceremony. It was so nice and intimate.

Saturday was purely a party. While we know this is different, this allowed Ben and I more time with Guests to catch up and thank them for coming. We didn't have to cram the wedding ceremony and reception into a 6-8 hour window in one day. We could just let loose and enjoy everyone's company. We had 200 guests, no seating plan, an open bar and a Pizza truck (Stoked Pizza) for dinner. It was perfect!


How many guests attended the intimate sap house ceremony? 

We had an intimate 38 person ceremony on Friday night in the Sap house, we did it just as the sun was going down so it was sparkly, warm and cozy. Perfect for fall. Creating the small space for Ben and I made it less intimidating as we said our vows, and so special. We had a solo musician (Chris White) who filled the space perfectly with acoustic guitar and song. It was just how we imagined.


Where did you draw your inspiration from? 

Honestly, a great place to start is to think of all the weddings you have attended in the past, Ben and I have had the honor of attending so many of our friends and families weddings and celebrations. We started with what we liked and maybe what we might have done differently according to our personal taste. From there, we found inspiration in the space itself, the colors of the season and just scouring pinterest, bridal magazines, blogs and the bridal closet at The Preserve! 


Dresses - stunning! Where were they were from? How did you decide on what to wear when?

My dress was made up of many separates, and designers. With a 2 day event, (Ceremony on Friday night, and Reception on Saturday) I wanted to get the most out of my outfit, by switching it up I was able to enjoy all the parts of the day/night comfortably. 

The common piece no matter the day was a blush skirt designed by Carol Hannah. I was able to mix up my look with 3 different tops. For the Ceremony, I had a more traditional white, long sleeve, lace bodice by Theia. For Saturday's reception, I switched it up to a more simple Carol Hannah white silk tank. Once the dancing started, I actually changed one more time, I found a short, tutu skirt at Target for $20, and had a white crop top designed by Sarah Seven. I was fit for dancing by 9pm!


Tell us about the Grooms Attire 

Both Ben's Friday and Saturday outfits were from Joseph's in Portland Maine. Ben didn't want to wear a traditional suit, so chose to mix it up with two different sport coats with colors that matched the overall theme of the wedding weekend. 


Bridesmaids Attire 

We didn't do the traditional Bridesmaid/Groomsman attire. Since our actual ceremony was so small, we didn't have anyone but our flower girl and ring bearer walk down the aisle with us. However, I did want to be sure that I got ready with, and had pictures with the girls who would have made up my bridal party. Since I wasn't involving them in the ceremony, I felt bad forcing them to go out and buy the same dress, so instead I gave them a color theme and let them buy what they wanted. That way in photos we were coordinated enough and they all felt special. 



When Ben and I were discussing flowers for our wedding, I actually thought it might be worth it to try to grow our own! Maybe crazy, but I have been gardening more and more and really wanted to try to grow Dahlias, after I saw the price of cut stems at the florist. So, come May before our wedding, we ordered 25 dahlia tubers of all colors, planted them and cared for them until we cut them all! By October we had 6 Home Depot buckets full of beautiful, home grown blooms to bring up to The Preserve with us! While this isn't for everyone, this saved us so much money on flowers. We were able to supplement with a few other types of flowers, and our coordinator was able to incorporate them throughout the vases, and my bouquet. This was truly a labor of love, but it was worth it to us. 

On top of fresh flowers, we also created paper flowers to help take so much weight off the fresh flowers. As part of our decor, we created large paper flowers to include around the Barn as decor. This helped fill some empty space, create fun photo opportunities and add pops of bright fall colors to the space. 


Coming up on your anniversary what parts of the weekend do you reminisce about the most? 

We loved the space and amount of time The Preserve provided us to connect with our loved ones. There are not many times in life you get to have 4 days of family and friends together in one place. Your wedding goes so quickly no matter how long you have, but we felt by having that time we were able to actually catch-up with people and enjoy their company. The Preserve forces you to slow down, take it in and just be present in the moment (even if you're the Bride and Groom), that is something most of us take for granted.

After 1 year, we can truly reflect back and say we have so many wonderful memories. We felt so grateful to be a little part of the history of the original barn on the property and our hearts broke the day we learned it burned down. Being sad about your venue...this is proof that you become a part of the family when you have your event at The Preserve. Mary, Ed and Sam have taught us all about rising out of the ashes. In this short year, they have come back better and more beautiful than ever. Old or new barn, The Preserve will always be a piece of our life and we can't wait to see how it grows over the years



Photographer | Abby Lorenz Photography

Catering | The Farmstand B&B | Stoked Pizza Truck

Brides Dress | Carol Hannah | Theia | Sarah Seven

Grooms Attire | Joseph’s Portland Maine

Florals | The Bride

Event Design & Styling | Kelsey Donahue Designs

Paper Goods | Kelsey Donahue Designs


This wonderful and adventurous couple just celebrated their “I DO’s” in August. We have their love story from engagement to the big day. Be sure to read about the many ways they incorporated personalized details throughout the day to reflect who they are as a couple. Enjoy the full album here. Congrats Liz & Kanoa thank you for letting us be part of your beautiful story, and thank you for being part of The Preserve legacy.

Tell us a bit about your engagement.

Kanoa and I got engaged on the top of Grand Targhee Mountain in Wyoming. We had been skiing all day and it was one of those beautiful, blue bird sky days with almost no one else on the mountain. At the summit of Grand Targhee there is a beautiful view of the Teton mountain range. I had stopped to take a photo, and Kanoa suggested maybe I remove my skis. But being my independent self, I said no way - I can do this without taking them off. While I was taking a panoramic photo, I was oblivious to the fact that Kanoa had gotten down on one knee next to me! Also, I had no idea that Kanoa had pulled out the ring earlier in the day only to snap a shot of me in the foreground with the ring in his hand! It was a magical day!

“Engaged with a view!” How amazing is this?

“Engaged with a view!” How amazing is this?

You both seemed so relaxed and joyful on the big day, what are some tips you can give others about feeling relaxed on the big day?

Plan ahead and delegate. I had spent hours making sure that all of my vendors knew the exact plan for the day, and I had specifically delegated certain tasks that needed to be completed on my wedding day to family and friends. I also highly recommend a day-of wedding coordinator. She was able to handle any questions, set up flowers and decor that we couldn't do prior to the wedding day and show vendors where to set up. Kanoa and I also made a detailed timeline and shared with our vendors and bridal party so we knew we would be right on time. Kanoa and I just sat back and enjoyed every moment of the day!

A relaxed bride is a happy bride!

A relaxed bride is a happy bride!

We loved your overall theme and look, how did you decide on incorporating the mountains and such beautiful natural colors with the pops of blue?

I tried to stay true to who Kanoa and I are as a couple. We both love nature and wanted to use that as our main inspiration. We chose soft greens, whites, golds, blues and subtle pinks because they are true to the outdoors we are surrounded with every day. Also, I grew up adoring hydrangeas so incorporating the blue hydrangeas felt right! We ended up creating a mountain range for our place cards which we cut out of wood, painted white peaks, and wrote in which mountain (table) each guest was sitting at. We chose mountains in three states that were important to us - Kanoa from Vermont, I am from Massachusetts and we live in New Hampshire. My dad built us beautiful summit signs for each table made from wood from my parents back yard. For the guest favors, we chose candy from my favorite candy shop I grew up going to on summer vacations.


You were one of the first weddings in the new Barn, what were your thoughts on the new space? 

The new barn is stunning. First of all, the beautiful large glass front doors create a dramatic entrance into the space. I love how the front area in the barn can still be separated off for cocktail hour with huge old barn doors. The bar is the perfect size and in a great location for guests to access it for a drink. We also loved how there are more bathrooms in the barn! When you enter into the main part of the barn, its hard not to have your breath taken away. From the large planked floor boards, to the stars that light up in the pergola, there is something very special about the space. There is a lot of natural light which set a beautiful scene for the evening. Also, we loved that the whole space has AC which came in handy for our August wedding. The barn is the perfect combination of new and old.  


Favorite part of the weekend? 

I really can't choose just one, but my favorite three would be our ceremony outside under the breathtaking old trees surrounded by everyone who we love. Second would be dancing the night away with our amazing band, The Lisa Love Experience. And third, the amazing luau and lei ceremony we had for our rehearsal dinner on the property Friday night.


How did you incorporate Hawaiian traditions?

Kanoas mothers side of the family are from Hawaiian decent and Kanoa spent several years living in Hawaii growing up. We wanted to incorporate this into our wedding and we decided that hosting a traditional luau pig roast rehearsal dinner would be the right way to go. We had a caterer come and cook the pig on site and brought traditional Luau sides. We set up the luau down in the tent where we had space to have a dance floor for our Hula dance lessons taught by Kanoas mom. We had a lei exchange ceremony with real leis which had been flown in from Hawaii that morning. The lei ceremony is traditionally is performed during the wedding ceremony to symbolize eternal love and respect. Leis were also given to our parents, grandparents and bridal party to demonstrate love, respect and gratitude. Our fathers received kukui nut leis, mothers and grandmothers double strands of white and purple orchids, the bridesmaids single purple orchid leis, groomsmen received banana leaf leis, Kanoa had a banana leaf and orchid lei, lastly, I received a double white orchid lei. There wasn't a dry eye in the group at the end of the ceremony! Such a special memory.


Advice for future couples?

Plan plan plan! Make sure you are not responsible for anything other than getting married on the day of your wedding! Also, get a videographer! The day flies by and you will be able to look back on your videos for years to come. Lastly, stay true to who you are. Create a day that is everything special to you!



Photographer | Kristen Phelps

Dress, Veil, Grooms Suit | Madeleine’s Daughter Portsmouth, NH

Bridesmaids Dresses | David’s Bridal

Groomsmen Vests | Banana Republic

Flowers | Whole Foods Bedford, NH

Cake | Ampersand Bakery

Catering | The Common Man

Hair | Melissa Scott Hair

Makeup | Makeup New England Kelly Ford

Videographer | Films by Iris

Band | Lisa Love Experience

Transportation | First Student

Event Rentals | Showcase Event Rentals

Rehearsal Dinner Catering | Well Dressed Hog


Happy Labor Day Weekend, this weekend as we all know signals the "unofficial" end of summer. So what better way to say farewell to summer than with a classic New England fête complete with wooden boats, Nantucket Reds, billowing tents, and a classic barn?

Kelley and Ben's wedding was awash with bright bold hues and vibrant pops of navy blue. They so flawlessly incorporated their love of all things nature, with a bold and joyful twist. 

Their weekend incorporated festivities for friends and family from near and far. Nightly bands and gatherings, a piano player on the front lawn during Sunday brunch, it was a complete sensory experience for guests! 

Enjoy these wonderfully captured images from Annie at A Time to Keep Photography. The full album here



Photographer: A Time to Keep Photography                                                                              Venue: The Preserve At Chocorua
Ceremony: Chocorua Island Chapel
Venue Tent: Sperry Tents Seacoast
Catering: Elevens Kinetic Provisions 
Band: The Shakes
Florist: Rachel Cole Grows
Bar: On The Rocks Bartending and Event Services                                                                              Dress: Anthropologie BHLDN
Hair: Bonnie Rachael Hair
Makeup: Lashes by Haley
Ties: DAZI


A weather vanewind vane, or weathercock is an instrument for showing the direction of the wind. It is typically used as an architectural ornament to the highest point of a building. The word vane comes from the Old English word fana meaning "flag".

Although partly functional, weather vanes are generally decorative, often featuring the traditional cockerel design with letters indicating the points of the compass. Other common motifs include ships, arrows, horses, and in our case our daily mantra around here "BELIEVE!" To say this architectural piece was a serendipitous discovery would be an understatement. 

This weather vane was much less about determining the direction of the wind, and more about a promise, a premise, a mantra! 

Just one week after the barn fire, with embers still on the ground, before we even knew how or when we would break ground on a new barn, Ed happened to stumble upon this gem at Farrin's Country Auctions in Randolph, Maine. It was just one of those pieces that spoke to us. We knew somehow, someway that a new beautiful barn would rise like a phoenix from the ashes, and that "believe" was going to be a daily affirmation we would tell the community, our couples, ourselves.

David Little of Winnipesaukee Forge took this piece of art from 1897 originally from from Dresden, Maine and restored it to its former historic glory, much as we are trying to do with The Preserve. It was even signed by the original artist, and David himself signed the piece after the restoration because he knew what a significant piece of artwork and history this was and will continue to be.

We all gathered around at the base of the barn on the day the weathervane was placed. Robert Tibbitts of Tibbits Building was the brave soul that so cautiously and carefully placed her atop the cupola. We captured a few moments on video and will cherish this significant moment forever. Thank you to all who were a part of such a meaningful "topping off" of this beautiful barn. 

David Little & Bryan Comestance showing off their work.

David Little & Bryan Comestance showing off their work.



We have a pretty as can be Spring wedding on deck for you with plenty of fantastically elegant blooms, high style, and lots of smiles! Jenn & Tim's wedding weekend kicked off our 2018 season, and boy did they kick the season off on a high note. We can't thank them and their families enough for their continued support and sticking with us as we rebuild the barn...but as you will see there is nothing quite like a spring wedding under the beauty of an airy big top! Enjoy a few highlights from the talented Jessie Wyman Photography - and view the full album HERE.



The Preserve at Chocorua TIMBERPEG frame complete. Note the tree at the far end. 

The Preserve at Chocorua TIMBERPEG frame complete. Note the tree at the far end. 

What is that tree doing at the top of our construction site? In building, especially timber structures the topping out ceremony (sometimes referred to as topping off) is done when the very last beam is put into place. 

The practice of "topping out" a new building can be traced to the ancient Scandinavian religious rite of placing a tree atop a new building to appease the tree-dwelling spirits displaced in its construction. Over time the tradition has become more of a way to give thanks and show respect to the earth for it's valuable resources.

On a snowy day in April a small sapling was placed at the very tip top of our structure - 36 feet high  to be exact. We celebrated, rejoiced, and gave thanks to the incredible forest these Western Fir beams were sourced from! 


We hope that you will follow along on this journey of rebuiling and renewal. Follow and "like" us on Facebook and Instagram to get the latest updates on our progress. Social media links below.



The first signs of spring have arrived here at The Preserve, and you know what that means? Wedding season has begun. With that we give you this June wedding that was delicate and timeless in its beauty. The focus for Mike and Alana was on their 200+ wedding guests as well their sweet well behaved fur baby Alton.

Fresh food by the Common Man, light cocktails, and a jammin' band made their guest experience perfection. Read a little about their once in a lifetime "lovefest" straight from the bride and groom themselves. See the full gallery here, and check out their wedding video at the end of this post, go get the tissues...that first look gives us all the feels. 


How DID YOU fIND The Preserve? 

Facebook! A girl I went to college with (& was friends with on Facebook) posted about the new venue. 

Why did you and Mike connect with The Preserve? 

It was important to us to have a place that we could 'take over' for the weekend if that makes sense - that was ours to share with our family & friends & not have to worry about sharing space with other events/weddings going on. The property was gorgeous & gave us a beautiful canvas to really make our own. The barn was large enough to fit the over 200 people we were planning to have at the wedding - & the fact that we could have our beloved fur baby, Alton, with us all weekend running around the large property, sealed the deal!


Was youR weekend different from other weddings you have attended and why? 

It was such a warm, welcoming weekend from start to finish - & I think our guests picked up on that. We actually still get approached by people who attended telling us that it was the most beautiful wedding - down to the last detail - but so laid back & welcoming at the same time. Which is EXACTLY the feeling we wanted everyone to have. 
You could feel the love in the air the entire weekend, between us (the bride & groom), between our guests & us - between everyone. It was a lovefest!


The property slowly transformed from the time you booked until your big day, what was most surprising when you arrived? 

That pavilion! The pavilion on the side of the barn was a pleasant surprise when we went for our last site visit before the wedding. We loved it so much that we decided to host our rehearsal dinner & welcome party underneath it - with marshmellows & all the fixings for s'mores to roast over the fire!


What was the overall feeling you wanted to create during the weekend? Do you feel you succeeded? 

Oh gosh, if I had a dollar for every-time I told our planner I wanted the vibe of our wedding to be 'rustic luxe' or 'rustic elegant', I could have paid for the entire wedding with that :) Mike & I both really wanted it to be in a barn, but still feel classic, elegant and light. Between the hanging votives throughout the barn, the candles in the centerpieces/throughout the venue & the whites/blushes we incorporated via the flowers, draping & other details, I think we definitely succeeded!

If you could do anything different would you? 

Stressing about such minor details! I'm fairly certain no one noticed that we walked in at the :34 second mark of our introduction song :)

Wedding Vendors

Wedding Dress |  Willowby Waters

Bridesmaids Attire | The Dessy Collection in Blush

Bridesmaids Robes Silk and More shop on Etsy |

Groom Attire | Tom James

Groomsmen Ties | Vineyard Vines 

Brides Jewelry |  Etsy Four Threads': 

Caterer | The Common Man

Florist | Free Range Floral

Photographer | Eric Snyder Weddings

Videography | ARA Wedding Films


Spring weddings means warmer temperatures, vivid blooms, and the addition of light & airy event decor. We're suckers for anything clean, chic, and a littler modern. "Clearly" these acrylic event decor pieces will add just the right unexpected and elegant touch to your wedding day vision. Whats even better? Several of these examples are DIY friendly, so get to your nearest hardware store for some acrylic pieces, and get decorating! 



Image Via: @stylemepretty 

Image Via: @stylemepretty 


Table Numbers available  here

Table Numbers available here


Image Via: @stylemepretty 

Image Via: @stylemepretty 


Image Via: The Overwhelmed Bride

Image Via: The Overwhelmed Bride


Image Via: Etsy

Image Via: Etsy


Image Via: Saffron Avenue

Image Via: Saffron Avenue


We have been waiting to share this wedding on the blog & website for a while now, but Lisa and Andrea have been enjoying the adventures of life such as honeymoon, a big move to Maine, and then oh yeah that little thing called the Bomb Cyclone! We finally had the opportunity to reconnect to recap the weekend.

This wedding was spectacular on so many levels, but the deep personal connection between the couple and their guests was oh so obvious! We will never tire of a good laid back, authentic wedding that truly reflects the couple and their union. These two joyful ladies created a warm and welcoming weekend escape that their family and friends won't soon forget. They were the first couple to sign their marriage license during the ceremony, and the setup was absolute perfection! Take a look at some snapshots as seen through the eyes of Channing Johnson; their photographer...and check out the full album on our site here! 

Read on for some thoughts from Lisa & Andrea. 

"We received endless compliments from our guests about the venue. From the onsite rehearsal dinner cookout through the reception, people were at ease and in awe of the space. It makes a huge difference knowing you don't have to set up and take down everything in one day and I think our guests picked up that we were relaxed and stress-free because of that. I could go on and on." 

"You, Mary and Ed were incredibly supportive throughout he entire process. I never felt bad reaching out or that I was inconveniencing you in any way, which is important when planning a wedding remotely."

"Having access to the venue was crucial and we loved having the unique experience of seeing The Preserve evolve. I know it personally made me feel more connected to the property."



If you are anything like us this time of year is a blur. The hosting, the celebrating, the shopping, the wrapping, and oh yeah the decorating! If you are in need of some quick last minute decor inspiration to impress those guests look no further. It doesn't take much to make your home look perfectly polished for the holidays! Cheers! 


It doesn't take much to make your front porch look festive. Use what you've got such as a a sled, skates, a sign, anything winter related could work. Use greenery or even a tree to set the stage, lights not required! We love a good natural tree. 



Have some extra ornaments lying around? Toss them in unique vessels, clear vases, wood boxes, trays, bowls, the list goes on. It's quick, easy, and adds a bright and shiny touch to any room. 



A warm fireplace and a glowing tree go a long way in setting the mood. 



Create a warm and cozy holiday look with accent pillows, and a basket of blankets. Your guests will appreciate the seasonal and warm accent decor. Happy Holidays from The Preserve!