A Whimsical Rustic Wedding at The Barns at Wesleyan Hills in Middletown, Connecticut

For Lisa Siggie (35, a stay at home mom) and Jay Stankiewicz (37, a corporate communications professional), their relationship has always been fun and

For Lisa Siggie (35, a stay at home mom) and Jay Stankiewicz (37, a corporate communications professional), their relationship has always been fun and spontaneous, so it makes sense that their engagement and wedding celebrated their whimsical personalities.“We met in Stamford, Connecticut, after college through a mutual friend,” Lisa says. “We were friends for a couple of years before we ever dated. One night while we were out with friends at The Playwright Irish Pub & Restaurant, Jay handed me a coaster with his phone number on it and the words “Take a chance.” We started dating soon after that night, but only for a few months. We broke up and each took different paths for a while. We both moved around the country: Jay to Seattle and Chicago and I to New York City, Portland and back to Connecticut. We remained friends for years and then life brought us back together around 2008 while Jay was living in Chicago and I in Connecticut. We did the long distance thing for a while and then Jay moved back to Connecticut and we moved in together in November of 2011. Then, Jay proposed to me at a surprise engagement party in May of 2012. I thought we were meeting my mom for lunch, but to my surprise, when we got to the restaurant we walked into a room filled with our closest friends and family. I had no idea what was going on and was very confused to see all of these super-excited faces staring at me. I turned around to find Jay down on his knee proposing! I couldn’t stop crying.”And when they started wedding planning, Lisa and Jay only visited one venue and knew it was the one.“I had just been looking around online and found The Barns at Wesleyan Hills,” Lisa says. “We went to go check it out in August and fell in love with it. It was the only venue we looked at and when we visited, they only had two free days left for the entire year so we booked it right then and there. The Barn is an historic barn in Middletown and the environment is rustic, yet elegant. Our ceremony was held on the lawn in front of the barn surrounded by weeping willows -- although they were pretty bare in April -- and overlooked a beautiful pond and picturesque bridge.”Lisa and Jay’s self-described “laid back, fun and rustic-chic” wedding didn’t have a specific theme or style, because they wanted their wedding day to truly reflect who they are as a couple. However, they ended up having a color palette of neutral colors, soft, romantic purples, light pinks and mint green accents. “I think the entire day really reflected both Jay and I, our love for each other and our quirky personalities,” Lisa says. “We wanted the day to be fun for everyone and it was. All of our guests stayed at the same hotel and we did have quite a bit of out-of-town guests attending. We made welcome bags for everyone with plenty of snacks and an itinerary of the weekend’s events. After the reception, we had a late night snack of pizza and wings arranged back at the hotel and the next day we had a breakfast for everyone.”

"Jay worked with a jeweler to design my engagement ring," Lisa says. "It’s an absolutely beautiful round-cut diamond set in a micro pave diamond cushion-shaped halo on a skinny micro pave diamond platinum band."
Bride Getting Makeup Done
Outdoor Ceremony Chalkboard Program
"We had a pre-ceremony beverage station set up with brewed sweet tea and fresh-squeezed lemonade paired with fruit infused water," Lisa says. "Our cocktail hour was held in a tent adjacent to the barn and the reception was held in the actual barn. All aspects of the wedding were rustic, a little fancy and certainly fun!"
Bride, Groom Kiss During Outdoor Ceremony
"My groom and his groomsmen all wore subtle pin striped tuxedos with silver and gray ties and a vest and periwinkle-hued pocket squares," Lisa says. "They all had on fun argyle black, gray and purple socks too."
"My bridesmaids all wore dresses from J. Crew," Lisa says. "I picked out the color and fabric and let them each choose their own dress. They all wore nude heels and some little accent of purple jewelry and eggplant-colored silk wraps for the ceremony."
"I also wore purple Converse sneakers with the word 'bride' stitched down the back of them, which made it that much more perfect and totally me," Lisa says. "We really just wanted to wear what we felt  comfortable in and wanted to have a little bit of fun with the accessories, like our purple sneakers and argyle socks."rn
"Dinner was a sit-down meal with steak, chicken and vegetarian options," Lisa says. "Nothing super fancy, but dessert was fun!" Guests ate at round tables with simple and pretty place settings.
"We also made homemade granola in mason jars as our favors, which doubled as our place cards," Lisa says. "Guests really enjoyed having a yummy treat to eat on their way home the day after the wedding."
"Picking the flowers were probably the most stressful part of planning for me," Lisa says. "I just wanted them to be pretty and romantic looking -- and rustic as well, of course. The dinner table centerpieces were a simple combination of hydrangea and kale! I loved the kale but it was hard to source in April so we had to mix it up."
Besides a two-tier wedding cake decorated with purple flowers, Lisa and Jay decided to offer fun Little Debbie snack treats on their dessert table as well, keeping with the rustic and whimsical theme.
Little Debbie Chocolate Donuts
Romantic Lighting and Lantern Reception