A Vibrant, Rustic Wedding at the Sussex County Fairgrounds in Augusta, New Jersey

Kate Drago (28 and a digital art director) and Mike Martyniuk (28 and a digital media specialist) pulled off a vibrant yet relaxed event at the Conservatory at the Sussex County Fairgrounds for their summer wedding in Augusta, New Jersey. “The Sussex County Fairgrounds is the location where the Sussex County Fair is held every summer and is where the two of us have spent many summertime dates over the years,” Kate says. “When we went to see the Conservatory, it just felt right, since we already had so many great memories tied to that location.” Since they got married on the summer solstice, the couple opted for a palette of bright hues, including plum and eggplant styled alongside light olive tones. “We wanted the day to feel warm, relaxed and centered on our family and friends,” Kate says. They are both outdoors enthusiasts, so paying tribute to nature was essential for Kate and Mike, and organic elements, such as fresh herbs, wildflowers, olive leaves, seasonal fruits and wooden accents were woven throughout. The ceremony took place in an open-air barn on the fairgrounds. Panels of airy linen and a chandelier draped in brilliant green foliage gave the expansive space a note of whimsy and an ethereal flair. After exchanging vows, guests showered the newlyweds in dried olive leaves, then headed to the conservatory for dinner and dancing. Oleander Floral brought the beauty of the outdoors in, transforming the Conservatory into an inviting romantic scene, with bundles of roses, olive leaves, eucalyptus, amaranth, lavender and more bringing the neutral linens and classic place settings to life. Votive candles housed in gold mercury-glass vases cast a warm glow over the tables, creating a sense of intimacy and ambiance. “Oleander also hung market lights over our dance floor by anchoring four gorgeous birch tree trunks in each corner. It turned out wonderfully, and our guests loved them,” Kate says. The menu paid tribute to the season with dishes such as Cajun grilled chicken with honey-mango salsa and summer vegetable ravioli tempting guests' taste buds at every turn. A Funfetti cake kept with the event’s lighthearted spirit, while classic oldies and late-night snacks ensured a high-energy atmosphere all night. A tip from Kate: “Look at unconventional venues. Not everything needs to be all-inclusive—our wedding really benefited from having multiple moving pieces and aspects that came from a variety of vendors.” —Libby MacCarthy