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 Meats...mom did everything else!

Desserts: Cakes for All Seasons

DJ: Jeff Erwin

Coordination: Doting & Details