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