Real Wedding: Abigail Jensen and Gregory Friedle

Stephen Lamb Photography

Abigail Jensen and Gregory Friedle are both big fans of bluegrass. So much so that they chose a folk band called the Thread City Frog Kickers (a student ensemble based at Eastern Connecticut State University they discovered at a farmers’ market) to play old-time bluegrass music for their Oct. 5, 2014, ceremony and reception at The Golden Lamb Buttery in Brooklyn.

Yes, “it was a nontraditional choice,” acknowledges Abby, but one that spoke to this quiet pair. “Bluegrass has a nostalgic feel,” explains Abby. “It brings you to a time and place that’s simpler and homey. Casual. Comfortable.” Just what the couple hoped their wedding day would be.

Picture-perfect Golden Lamb Buttery at Hillandale Farms is set in a big ol’ red barn filled to its exposed rafters with antiques, memorabilia and family treasures from its original proprietors, The Booth Family. As soon as the prospective newlyweds saw it, “We fell completely in love,” says Abby.  Since “it was important to us to have really good food,” the choice made even more sense given the restaurant’s reputation (52 years in the making) for extraordinary farm-to-table cuisine. “The kitchen may be tiny, but they make magic out of there,” says Abby.

Cocktails were served at noon, and the 1 p.m. ceremony beneath blue sky and a canopy of fall colors was followed by an elegant late lunch for 80 guests. The luminous bride walked down the aisle in a timeless Maggie Sottero lace gown with a pale gold satin underlay from Mariella Creations in Rocky Hill, the same salon at which her mom bought her own gown 30 years earlier.

There was a hayride around some of Hillandale’s 1,000 acres of open pastures, rambling stone walls, pond and woodlands. “We live in one of the most beautiful places in the world,” says Abby, so why not take advantage? Country-loving guests played cornhole with boards Abby and her dad made for her big day.

Greg’s nephew Connor, who at just 13 is already a huge fan of TLC’s “Cake Boss,” made the wedding cake — a “blue velvet” confection to match their color scheme of navy, orange and white. Abby herself made farm-fresh strawberry, blueberry and peach jelly to serve as favors.

For their first dance, the couple’s friend Ray, a classically trained composer, even wrote Abby and Greg their very own bluegrass-style waltz as a wedding gift.

As they danced, “we were surrounded by love,” says Abby. “It was absolutely the perfect day for us.”

venue: Golden Lamb Buttery, Brooklyn

photographer: Stephen Lamb Photography

dress designer: Maggie Sottero

bridal salon: Mariella Creations, Rocky Hill

hair: Acure Eco Salon, West Hartford

flowers: Stop & Shop, West Hartford

cake: Connor, 13, nephew

suits: Jos. A. Bank

bridesmaid dresses: Macy's

music: (cocktail hour & ceremony) Matthew Lister; (reception) Thread City Frog Kickers

(This article was originally published on a different platform. Some formatting changes may have occurred.)

This article appeared in the Fall/Winter 2015 issue of The Connecticut Bride

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