Michele Burgess & Gregory Cohen

South Farms, Morris  | May 27, 2017  | L’Amour Fou

Michele Burgess had a specific goal in mind when planning her May 27, 2017, wedding to Gregory Cohen at South Farms in Morris. “I wanted our guests to enter the property and feel like they’d walked into a dream,” Michele says. To accomplish this, she drew inspiration from the South of France, a region she’d “fallen in love with” on a recent visit.

“I’m a city girl with a country side to me,” says the product development director for Oribe Hair Care in New York City. “I love the South of France because it has that rustic, old feel to it, but is still polished and elegant.” Michele, whose parents live in Litchfield, had also “always pictured the Litchfield Hills as the backdrop to my wedding,” so when Greg (the handsome real estate broker she met while apartment hunting back in 2014) proposed, she discovered that South Farms, a 150-acre, fourth-generation family farm turned chic destination venue, was everything she’d hoped for.

It started with the horses. Michele and Greg were to be married in an open field facing the rolling greens of the countryside. Her vision was to have two white horses grazing in the background, floral garlands around their necks. It took phone calls to some 20 local farms, but the bride got her horses. “There was such a serenity about having them there,” Michele says. Pink peonies, both “fluffy and romantic,” were the focus of whimsical bouquets and arrangements by Sarah Worden Natural Design in Litchfield, which were accented with potted herbs in tribute to Michele’s mother, the gardener of the family.

Event planner Sarah Taggart of A Polished Plan in Southington helped to arrange vintage Parisian-style lounge furniture outside the barn so that guests could sit back and take in the scenery. Escort cards tied around sachets of lavender (more echoes of France) later guided guests to farm tables with charmingly mismatched antique chairs for a barn reception where the focus was on farm-to-table cuisine.

“I love to cook, and both my parents are very involved in the local food community,” explains Michele (whose dad founded Litchfield Hills Farm Fresh Market in 2007), and so “we wanted to keep everything as hyper-local as possible.” Instead of giving the foodies a menu of dishes to select from, chef/caterer Brandon Scimeca of Hunt & Harvest in New York gave them a list of ingredients guided by the season, and after discussing likes and dislikes, “created a bespoke menu just for us,” says the happy bride. Even the favors, custom chocolates created by Kimberly Thorn of Thorncrest Farm & Milk House Chocolates in Goshen, were farm fresh.

Looking back, the interfaith ceremony itself, officiated by a family friend/minister who had once baptized the bride and a rabbi to honor Greg’s Jewish heritage, was for Michele the most meaningful part of the day. “It was all about being in the moment and knowing that we were surrounded by everyone we love,” Michele says. “Greg is such a good man to go through life with. I know it’s going to be a great journey.”

Officiants  Beth Johnson and Rabbi Eric Polokoff

Planner Sarah Taggart/A Polished Plan, Southington

Dress designer  Martina Liana (with custom straps added)

Dress/headpiece boutique  Elegance by Roya Bridal Atelier, Virginia

Shoes Badgley Mischka

Music  The John Schmitt Band, New York

Caterer  Brandon Scimeca/Hunt & Harvest, New York

Bartender  The Mobile Pub, Watertown

Florist  Sarah Worden Natural Design, Litchfield

Makeup  Nam Vo

Hair  Ronnie Stam & Dean Lunniss

Invitations  Chick Invitations & Design, Pennsylvania

Chocolates  Kimberly Thorn, Thorncrest Farm & Milk House Chocolates, Goshen

Escort card sachets  The Artsy Hippie via etsy.com

Transportation  First Student

Vintage furniture rentals  Gather & Lounge Specialty Rentals and Design, Bridgeport

Rentals  Party Rental Ltd.

Horses  Whispering Woods Ranch, Harwinton

Signs and card box  Sweet Carolina Collective, North Carolina

Ketubah  Little Loon Papercuts via etsy.com