Michaela & Josh married on a September day at Star Farm Blueberries in Galway, New York. The wedding was full of DIY elements and personal touches. Michaela is a personal trainer and yoga teacher, and Josh is a potter, and crafted ceramics for the flowers for the tables and mugs for every guest!
You may have seen this published in Simply Saratoga.
“I wanted our wedding to feel really true and personal to us – I really don’t like a lot of the traditional parts of weddings and didn’t want to feel obligated to conform to them. So we kind took the general structure of a wedding day, and only included the pieces that felt right, then filled in the rest with parts of our personalities and relationship that felt important. We did almost all the wedding DIY, which was a ton of work but I wanted the aesthetic to feel curated and intentional. Josh and I both really love spending time in nature, so it was important to me that most of our decorations came from nature or had an organic feeling to them. I actually spent the entire year collecting twigs on my daily dog walks on the trails to use in the wreaths we made, I found birch logs on those dog walks (and carried them with me), my mom used a hand saw to make slits in them to display the name and table settings. Because our wedding was DIY, every detail came from either our creation of the hands of a loved one, which made it all the more special. Josh’s pottery was on every table, filled with flowers that his mom and my bridesmaids spent hours turning into beautiful bouquets, my mom hand painted all the signs and my best friend did all the paper products. Another thing that was a big part of our wedding was the food! I studied nutrition and spent a couple years working in a kitchen, a big part of our relationship is built around spending time together creating nourish and homemade meals. I’m also extremely passionate about sustainability in the food system, so supporting local farmers and having really well done food was on the top of our priority list. Luckily we found the most amazing “seed to table” catering team (shout out to Farmstead Catering!) who grow nearly all the ingredients used for their menus at their farm in the Adirondacks and make everything from scratch. We incorporated the food into the theme of our wedding by having them cook right out in the field where everyone could see and smell the food as it was being prepared. We also wanted the meal served family style so that it felt like eating dinner together as a community. As far stuff like color & visual themes go – I personally love dark and moody tones so I tried to incorporate some of that while keeping a sense of romance and whimsy woven through. I think the moody tones came out most in the flowers and the whimsy came out in things like the arch, the tulle, and all the hand made items. “
“We wanted to get married outside, and have a place where we could have an epic dance party after. We also had a fairly limited budget for the wedding and quite honestly devoted most of it to the catering and photos – the important stuff! After a lot of searching and not finding anywhere that fit our demands, my dad reached out to Chuck and JoAnn, who are old friends of both my parents. He had heard through the grapevine that they were hoping to start hosting weddings on their property and we ended up being their first one! It allowed us all the things we wanted – to be close to home, have an outdoor wedding, a barn for dancing and we were even allowed to have some friends camp in the field. Since we were the first wedding at Star Farm Blueberries there a lot of work went into getting it ready both on our end and for Chuck and JoAnn. It was certainly not the easiest way of going about it, but we loved the freedom it gave us to put our vision into reality.
The first look and private vows were definitely the most emotional moment of the day! A lot had happened between when Josh and I saw each other last and the moment of the first look. Our wedding was completely DIY and were had left a lot unfinished and in the hands of the caterers when we left the venue for a pre-wedding picnic we had planned as an opportunity to spend more time with people traveling far to celebrate with us. Josh and I split ways after the picnic – I had loose ends to tie up for the bridesmaids getting ready in the morning, Josh was spending the night with the groomsmen at a friends cabin. I was pretty stressed out because we had run out of time and our venue wasn’t done! What I found out around 10 pm that evening was that Josh and the groomsmen had gone back to the venue to make sure everything was completed in the way we had envisioned. I learned about this from our caterer who sent me a video of the guys wrapping tulle and flowers around the tent posts, hanging wreaths in the barn, making sure all the tables were lined up just right with a caption “the guys are crushing it!”. It was one of those moments where I was just filled with so much gratitude for Josh and our community who were going through so much effort to make sure our wedding day was perfect, and they were damn sneaky about it! I would have never known they were there if I hadn’t gotten that text. Even though it was only maybe 15 hours since we’d last seen each other, when we had our first look it felt like we had so much to catch up on, so much to thank him for and it was just this moment of knowing. Getting to spend some quiet, grounded time together, catching up and speaking our vows privately before being around everyone else and doing it publicly was so important and special.
Some moments that really stand out in my memory were the smaller things. I sat down to write my vows onto paper and then Marisa (my MOH) sat down next to me to work on her speech, Kelli landed next to Marisa to finalize her ceremony reading. Onnalea, my sister sat next to me a few moments after that to write her speech. Next thing I know the four of us are gathered together at the table, quietly putting some of our most tender feelings onto paper. Another favorite moment was when you went to set up the first look with Josh. You drove down the hill and brought him to the field, all the bridesmaids went onto the balcony to watch as he walked out (and as you guys rearranged the chairs!). I stood behind them watching my best friends all giddy and hugging as my (almost) husband got ready to see me for the first time on our wedding day. I got to watch all my favorite people and see their happiness, nerves, and excitement almost as if from the outside but also right there with them. It was kind of an out of body experience.” – Michaela & Josh
I asked Michaela and Josh what advice they would offer couples planning a wedding.
“Get really clear on the stuff that matters to you as a couple, be understanding if that doesn’t always align with what your family wants and be willing to compromise, within reason. Remember that this is a celebration of your love and try not to let all of the work feel like a chore – even though sometimes it can definitely be overwhelming. In the end only a few things matter – that you both love each other, people have food, beverages and a place to gather and celebrate. Let everything else feel like exciting extras. People aren’t going to notice all the things you think they will, so don’t let yourself get bogged down in the details. And – maybe, be realistic about the amount of DIY you put on your plate. We may have been a little optimistic and could have probably made our lives a lot easier in many ways. That being said, looking around and seeing all the pieces that came from our creativity and hard work did make it feel all the more special.”
You might recognize Kelli from Ian & Kelli’s Backyard Carlton, NY Wedding.
At the last minute, they moved their floral arch into the tent to adjust for the weather.
“The vases that I made are a tradition Korean form called a ‘moon jar’. They are carefully thrown as two separate bowls with the same diameter. One bowl gets flipped over and then they are attached lip to lip. I feel that vessel making directly relates back to our own humanity. A pot can have; a foot, a belly, a neck, shoulders and a lip. The moon jars that I made for our wedding represent Michaela and I coming together to be greater than the sum of our parts. I purposely left the seam visible on each moon jar to accentuate the connection point. Attached lip to lip and on the Harvest Moon.” – Josh
”Julia was such a calm, kind and grounding presence on our wedding day. She handled all the hiccups with ease and grace. You were there for all the important shots, but somehow kept your presence almost unknown. As a camera shy person, I never felt uncomfortable with Julia taking my picture because she blended beautifully into the background. Julia is so fun to talk with – Josh and I had a blast taking our couples shots! Julia has an eye for the details and capture the tone and emotion of the day beautifully. We love our photos so much, I’ve looked at them almost weekly since we got them.” – Michaela & Josh
Photographer: Julia Luckett Photography // Venue: Star Farm Blueberries // Caterer: Farmstead Catering // Tent: Supply Wagon Rentals // Wedding Invitations: Sidekick Creative // Wedding Favors: Josh Smith Ceramics // Officiant: Will Taylor // Hair & Make Up Stylist: Alicia Jaques // Rings: Mene, Inbar Alezraki // Boutique: Something Bleu Bridal // Shoes: Chinese Laundry