A Rustic Summer Wedding at the Barns at Wesleyan Hills in Middletown, Connecticut

For their wedding, Jessica Koziel (30 and a school administrator) and Joe Apicella (31 and an elementary school principal) planned a rustic affair that perfectly reflected their personalities and relationship. From arriving to the ceremony in a school bus to school-lunch-inspired late-night snacks—brown bags filled with peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and bags of chips—and embarrassing family photos, every detail served as a celebration of the couple’s relationship in a highly personalized and special way. Wanting a venue that was a little nontraditional, the couple turned to the Barns at Wesleyan Hills in Middletown, Connecticut, for all the day’s festivities. “As soon as we visited the site, we knew instantly that this was the ideal place for us,” Jessica says. “The Barns had a rustic and low-key vibe that suited us perfectly.” The day started with an outdoor ceremony set against a backdrop of perfectly manicured lawns, lush willow trees and a quaint pond, followed by a lively barn reception. A vibrant yellow and gray palette and fresh bunches of seasonal blooms by Fleur de Lys brought the rustic space to life, while DIY elements, brightly lit bistro lights and classic country-inspired elements like mason jars, burlap and chalkboards infused the Barns at Wesleyan Hills with romantic ambiance and personality. “Our favorite touch was the table numbers, which were framed quotes from famous poets and authors about love,” Jessica says. Dinner was served buffet style to maintain a relaxed vibe, each dish prepared with seasonal ingredients, much to guests’ delight. Jessica’s uncle pitched in delectable Funfetti-inspired cupcakes for dessert and Music in Motion kept guests out on the dance floor all night. “Our wedding day was filled with laughter and love, just like our life together,” Jessica says.