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A Sophisticated, At-Home Wedding With Garden-Inspired Flair at a Private Residence in New Canaan, Connecticut

Rebecca Shaw (a producer at Brand Experience Agency) and James O’Callaghan (a senior associate at an investment firm) planned an elegant backyard affa

Rebecca Shaw (a producer at Brand Experience Agency) and James O’Callaghan (a senior associate at an investment firm) planned an elegant backyard affair with a palette of pale peach, sage green, mist, ivory and gray tones. Rebecca’s parents’ home in New Canaan, Connecticut, was the perfect place to tie the knot, offering a stunning natural backdrop for the monumental event and plenty of sentimental meaning as well. Rebecca and James met in high school in New Canaan and Rebecca’s parents said their “I do’s” 26 years earlier in the very same spot. “Words can hardly describe the feeling as I walked down the aisle toward the man of my dreams with my dad by my side, veil blowing in the breeze and the sun shinning through the trees behind us, all in my backyard. It was simply magical,” Rebecca says. The ceremony was held on the home’s expansive lawn early in the evening, with the couple fusing traditions from their Jewish and Christian faiths and sharing vows they’d written themselves under an opulent wedding arch draped in garden roses, eucalyptus and dahlias. Cocktail hour followed by the pool, where, set to the sound of smooth jazz, guests indulged in cocktails and small bites like gazpacho with mini grilled cheese, oysters on the half shell with grapefruit mignonette and watermelon, mint and cucumber skewers. Guests were whisked off to an open-air tent for a night of dinner and dancing. The planning team at Bellafare and the florists at Dragonfly worked their magic, to bring Rebecca and James’s vision for an elegant garden affair with a vintage, eclectic twist to life. It included lush, varied centerpieces of romantic blooms, carriage lanterns with old-world charm and wooden farm tables with warm, country flair. Wreaths of eucalyptus, garden roses and hydrangeas decorated the ceilings, heightening the evening’s intimate garden feel, while gold and silver accents introduced a luxe undertone to the evening. An 11-piece band, Eric Nicholas & One Love, got guests onto the dance floor with their lively energy and upbeat jams, while a photo booth stocked with playful props provided a fun way to remember the evening.

To show their out-of-town guests a little New Canaan hospitality, Rebecca and James put together welcome bags filled with sweets, snacks, a welcome guide and a wedding weekend survival kit filled with essentials like bottled water, ibuprofen and more.
To set the tone for the elegant affair in New Canaan, Connecticut, Rebecca and James had the designers at Sugar Paper create custom, classic invitations with gold script and ivory card stock with champagne trim. Letterpress detailing played up the stationery’s formal feel, while a heart motif and curly calligraphy added a subtle note of whimsy.
Drawing inspiration from the wedding’s fusion of laid-back and elegant styles, Rebecca opted for a simple, chic Kelly Faetanini gown. The silk chiffon dress featured a mermaid-style silhouette with a low-cut back and off-the-shoulder neckline, as well as fabric-covered buttons running down the back. “Words can hardly describe the feeling as I walked down the aisle toward the man of my dreams with my dad by my side, veil blowing in the breeze and the sun shinning through the trees behind us, all in my backyard. It was simply magical,” Rebecca says.
Rebecca had her bridesmaids wear the same gown: a floor-length, strapless style from Dessy Group in a cool, frost blue hue. The girls accessorized with gold diamond bracelets, a gift from Rebecca, and simple drop or stud earrings.
For Rebecca’s walk down the aisle, Dragonfly Events created a standout romantic bouquet filled with fresh white blooms and cool textured accents. The hand-tied arrangement featured roses, ranunculus, liasianthus, dusty miller, snowberry, eucalyptus and bay laurel, and was finished with a length of white silk ribbon.
To introduce an element of texture and depth to the reception decor, while playing up the wedding’s garden inspiration, Dragonfly Events created several centerpiece styles for the reception tables. Round tables boasted candle-centric centerpieces or large footed-bowl arrangements filled with hydrangeas, dahlias, roses, sage green foliage and succulents, while the long farm tables featured a series of glass vases filled with fall sedum, ranunculus, garden roses and dahlias, interspersed with lanterns and mercury glass candleholders.
Rebecca and James decided against a sweetheart table, but Dragonfly Events made sure their seats stood out: draped in cascading garlands of eucalyptus and whimsical bride and groom signs.
After a cocktail hour and dinner jam-packed with mouthwatering bites like watermelon, mint and cucumber tapas, shrimp and grits and mini short rib sliders, Rebecca and James served guests carrot cake with salted caramel and cream cheese buttercream and a tuxedo cake with strawberry preserves and buttercream. The cake had a regal air with gilded middle tiers and a cascade of fresh flowers and eucalyptus.
Bellafare and Dragonfly Events joined forces to help bring Rebecca and James’s vision for a elegant garden affair with a vintage, eclectic twist to life. They used a palette of soft gray, sage green, peach ivory and mist, carriage lanterns with old-world charm and wooden farm tables with warm, country flair.
Dragonfly Events truly outdid themselves when it came to the reception decor, creating lush wreaths of eucalyptus, garden roses, hypericum berries and hydrangeas to hang from the ceiling of the open-air tent at Rebecca's parents' home in New Canaan, Connecticut. Paired with dozens of lanterns, the suspended arrangements injected the decor with an element of romance and whimsy.
When it came to choosing a location to host their mid-September nuptials, Rebecca and James thought of no better place than their hometown, New Canaan, Connecticut. They tied the knot at Rebecca’s childhood home, where her own parents had exchanged vows 26 years earlier. The ceremony was held in the backyard early in the evening, with the couple fusing traditions from their Jewish and Christian faiths and sharing vows they’d written themselves.
Dragonfly Events left no detail overlooked, creating sophisticated, statement-making arrangements of eucalyptus, roses, hydrangeas and ranunculus displayed in stately stone urns for the escort-card table and ceremony aisles.
Cocktail hour took place poolside after the ceremony, where guests enjoyed the sounds of smooth jazz, while sampling an array of decadent bites like gazpacho with mini grilled cheese, oysters on the half shell with grapefruit mignonette and sushi-grade tuna with sliced jalapeno, avocado and soy ginger on rice crackers.
In addition to an 11-piece band that kept the party going late into the night, Rebecca and James had a photo booth at the reception where guests could get silly and strike a pose when they needed to rest their dancing feet.