Kristin & David: A Casual, Country-style Soiree in Lahaska

by Allison Micarelli

An overly ambitious bride-to-be, Kristin finished her MBA program at Columbia University to graduate just three days before her wedding. But having planned every day for the previous 16 months, Kristin was fully prepared and stress-free as she walked down the aisle.

THE BRIDE Kristin Passantino, 29
THE GROOM David Harp, 30
THE SCENE A country wedding held in Lahaska

Kristin and David's wedding began with a champagne-and-strawberries reception on a lawn by a lake. The bride and her attendants arrived at the scene by a horse-drawn carriage, and shortly thereafter, they led a procession up to the historic stone barn at Foxbriar Farm.

The ceremony took place under an arbor made of willow branches and flowers and swathed in ribbon; a carpet of orange rose petals created a dainty path for the bride. Guests sat in a horseshoe formation around the couple and faced a waterfall and lake where unrepentantly, two white swans were bathing.

Cocktails and dancing to a seven-piece band followed inside the barn, while dinner was held under a giant white tent that was carpeted and lighted with silver chandeliers.

Dinner tables were adorned with herbal centerpieces -- rough-hewn wooden boxes (made by David and Kristin's father) filled with eight small pots of herbs. Each table featured its own herb and was named accordingly, for example "Rosemary" or "Peppermint."

Guests dined on fancy selections including lobster ravioli, blackened beef with oregano vinaigrette, and oysters and clams on the half shell, all from various stations. To help the couple choose the wines for their wedding, the Passantinos hosted a wine-tasting party a month before the big event. What they decided on: Joseph Phelps Red Pastiche, Michele Chiarlo Barbera D'Asti, San Pietro Pinot Grigio, and Prosecco Zardetto sparkling wine.

The beer selection included Harp, of course. And to top things off, a "gentlemen's lounge" for smoking and socializing included brandies and ports.

"We wanted to enjoy every second of our wedding, so we did not want to leave the party early," says Kristin. "Instead, we stayed 'til the end and then piled into a party bus with our friends to visit one of our favorite watering holes -- The Inn of the Hawke in Lambertville, New Jersey."

The group of about 25 revelers, including the wedding party and their dates, Kristin's parents, and the bride and groom in full wedding attire, stayed at the Hawke until the last call at 2 a.m. "The whole day was very festive and casual," Kristin remarks, "with an almost magical energy about it."

-- Allison Micarelli
Photography © Marie Labbancz

For the ingredients that make up this wedding, see right-hand column of this page.

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