February 16, 2018

The Munger Barn at the Dudley Farm Museum, Guilford 

KVON Photography

The marriage of Megan Vokey and Dale Eldridge is a first for The Connecticut Bride. Connecticut Magazine published its first issue devoted to brides in the fall of 2002. In the 16 years since, we’ve featured hundreds of real Connecticut weddings and worked hard to provide timely advice and inspiration to thousands upon thousands of Connecticut brides. What then sets Megan and Dale apart? Well, the simple and delightfully romantic fact that we just so happened to introduce them.

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If the beaming couple you see before you looks familiar it is for good reason: Meg and Dale were models for a stylized Wild West wedding photo shoot we featured in the Spring/Summer 2017 issue of The Connecticut Bride — they even appeared on the cover.

Meg, who was recovering from a difficult breakup, was not looking for any sort of relationship the day the shoot took place in September 2016. Nonetheless, the self-proclaimed “country girl” from Ellington couldn’t seem to resist the cute guy who, she says, “looked like the perfect farm boy.”

The shoot, complete with cowboy hats and horses, wagon wheels and barn board, took place in the Munger Barn at the circa-1844 Dudley Farm Museum in Guilford, and “Dale flirted with me all day long,” laughs Meg, even fanning her with his Johnny Cash-style hat (nice one, dude). Meg’s father was on the set that day and “everyone kept coming up and telling him what a cute couple we would make,” Meg says. They were right. “We became best friends right off the bat,” reports Meg, began officially dating after six months, and before they knew it were engaged with a baby on the way. Where would they host their wedding? Dudley Farm, of course. “We knew we wanted to recreate the day [and way] we met,” Meg says. “It was perfect, so why not make it real this time?” When, just a few weeks after Dale popped the question, he suggested they go to Guilford Town Hall to get their marriage license squared away, Meg didn’t think much of it. It wasn’t until the town clerk informed them that they couldn’t get a license without filling in a specific date, and Dale said, “let’s just do it today,” that things began to get interesting — and fast.

Unbeknownst to the bewildered bride-to-be, Dale had enlisted the help of event planner Lisa Antonecchia, who had designed and styled the original Connecticut Bride country-western shoot, to plan a surprise wedding for Meg, which the new bride now describes as having been “absolutely crazy,” “absolutely perfect” and “my dream come true.”

There were vintage lanterns and crockery, delicate lace and smiling sunflowers decorating the barn, a handsome groom in a tall black hat and, yes, the bride wore her cowboy boots once again. There was even the original sign from the style shoot with the date that Megan and “Jackson” (Dale’s “name” for the purpose of the shoot) got hitched. This time, however, it was joined by a sign made by the bride’s father proclaiming “Today we become a family.”

Indeed, as you read this, Megan and Dale are the proud parents of a brand-new bouncing baby boy. His name is now Jackson (can you stand it?), and someday soon the little family hopes to have a farm to call their very own. Happy trails, friends!

justice of the peace/event planner  Lisa Antonecchia,  Creative Concepts by Lisa, Hamden 

florist  Forget Me Not Flower Shop, North Haven 

cupcakes  JCakes, North Branford

music  Ariana Strings, Southington

dress  David’s Bridal