A Rustic-Chic Spring Wedding at the Barn at Gibbet Hill in Groton, Massachusetts


                    While most couples have at least year to plan their wedding, Lydia Garcia and Todd Coolidge had only three months. The pair had

While most couples have at least year to plan their wedding, Lydia Garcia and Todd Coolidge had only three months. The pair had always imagined exchanging vows at the Barn at Gibbet Hill, one of their favorite dinner spots, and not long after Todd popped the question, Lydia called to inquire about available dates. “When we got engaged, there was over a one-year wait for the location,” Lydia says. “But when I called a week later, a bride had canceled that morning and we were offered a spot—if we could pull off a wedding in 90 days.” With the help of Blissful Beginnings Wedding and Event Design, the couple planned a beautiful rustic-chic affair, rich in bright peach and coral hues and touches that spoke to the spring season. Susanne’s Weddings lit up the elegant post and beam barn with arrangements of cheerful gerbera daisies, garden roses and ranunculus, while handmade details like mason jar vases, mountain-themed table names and birch branch escort card holders played up the wedding’s country locale. Old photographs, community vows during the ceremony and a poster outlining the monumental moments in the couple’s relationship helped give the day a personal dimension, as did Lydia and Todd’s decision to teach guests how to salsa. “On Todd’s first trip to New York City, I took him to a family wedding, where he had to learn to dance salsa and merengue, given my Latin background,” Lydia says. “At our wedding, Todd and I gave everyone a quick dance lesson. The first song, all 168 people were on the dance floor doing the merengue with me and Todd. It was amazing!” Other elements that went over big with guests were the photo booth stocked with silly props and a late-night ice cream sundae bar, Todd’s only request. Some tips from Lydia and Todd: “It can be done in 90 days, but only if you have amazing friends and family to help. We got great recommendations for vendors from our friends, which was very helpful. Consider Etsy vendors for decor to make your wedding unique and personal. When you pick a photographer, pick people with whom you are comfortable and who can make you laugh. They make for better photos. And finally, if you have your heart set on a venue and you're flexible, always call to see if a cancelation has occurred. It got us our dream wedding.”

Todd and Lydia met on a ski trip through common friends. Since they both lived in New Hampshire, they became ski and snowboarding buddies, driving to the mountains together every weekend. After Lydia tore her ACL on the slopes, the pair had to find another way to enjoy each other’s company; cooking quickly became their activity of choice. “Todd would travel 45 minutes to pick me up, drive me to his house to cook and then drive me home again after dinner,” Lydia says. “We shared our first kiss after a homemade pizza, and life hasn’t been the same since.” After Lydia fully recovered, Todd popped the question on the peak of Mount Major after a beautiful snowy hike with their dog, Cara.
Custom-Designed Long Ceremony Programs
“As much as a marriage is of two people, it is also the celebration of one family,” Lydia says. “We had so many family members and dear friends travel from so far, so we wanted their participation in our ceremony.” The couple asked Todd’s sister to serve as their officiant and had community vows, which allowed their guests to participate in the proceedings by responding, “We do.” They also asked their parents to present their rings, a significant gesture to the pair who viewed their parents’ relationships as excellent examples of what marriage should be.
Assorted Floral Wedding Cupcakes
As a nod to the spring season, Lydia and Todd chose a palette of peach, coral and soft shades of gray. Their florist, Susanne’s Weddings, balanced out the bright and understated hues in cheerful arrangements of gerbera daisies, garden roses, ranunculus, spray roses, dusty miller, succulents and brunia berries.
Peach Peony and Rose Bridal Bouquet
Drawing inspiration from the Barn at Gibbet Hill’s post-and-beam architecture and natural setting, Lydia and Todd opted for a rustic-chic design scheme. “The inside of the barn was already so beautiful with its exposed beams and high ceilings that we just had to accessorize it,” Lydia says, “which was my favorite part of planning the wedding.” Bright blooms, mason jars, burlap accents and birch details were incorporated throughout, highlighting the country-inspired vibe of the elegant event space.
Lydia used her crafting skills for the reception at the Barn at Gibbet Hill in Groton, Massachusetts, creating lace-wrapped mason jar vases for Susanne’s Weddings's bright arrangements of spring-inspired blooms. A selection of Etsy artisans were also instrumental in bringing the day’s rustic-chic theme to life, like 4 Love and Polka Dots who made the birch-branch stands used to display the couple’s flower-embellished kraft paper escort cards.
Burlap Linens and Playful Custom Menus
Having met on the slopes, Todd and Lydia named their reception tables after their favorite ski spots. When creating their seating chart, the couple grouped their friends and family members together at tables where they had skied together or where they were from.
Potted Herb Wedding Favors
Lydia and Todd had visited the Barn at Gibbet Hill in Groton, Massachusetts, frequently for dinner and were big fans of its farm-to-table approach, elegant post-and-beam architecture and striking natural landscape. When choosing a venue for their wedding, the couple knew it was the perfect place. “We had always imagined getting married there, given the beautiful scenery, which matched our outdoorsy personalities,” Lydia says.
Strapless Lace Maggie Sottero Wedding Dress
One of the couple’s favorite decorative accents was a chalkboard sign that shared the story of their relationship. Lydia and Todd shared the many memorable and special moments throughout their relationship, a touching detail that added a personal dimension. They also displayed a selection of childhood photos on an antique wagon wheel hanging on the barn’s wall. “People really got a good laugh at the pictures of Todd and me on the men’s and ladies’ bathroom doors of when we were kids,” Lydia says.
Classic Gray Ring Bearer Suit
While Locomotion DJ kept the dance floor packed, Lydia and Todd’s photo booth saw plenty of action. The couple stocked the photo booth with crazy props, from horse heads to oversize glasses and bright feathery boas, allowing guests to let loose and get silly. “At the end of the night, the props were no longer in the photo booth, but on everyone on the dance floor,” Lydia says. “People were just dancing the night away with all the props on looking ridiculous and having a blast.”
Being from New York, with its abundance of top-notch cupcake shops, Lydia made sure there was a strong showing of the pint-size confection. In addition to six flavors of cupcakes, the couple also treated guests to a late-night sundae bar. “When Todd and I got engaged, he just wanted to go the courthouse and have Friendly's ice cream afterward to celebrate,” Lydia says. “Ice cream is the only thing he wanted out of the whole day, and he got it with a late-night sundae bar at the reception.”