New England tea party wedding: Kendra + Matt

Categories   Real Weddings

When Kendra + Matt, photography duo, aka Summer Street Photography shared their wedding with us, we knew it was going to be striking. Kendra swears she was French in another life and Matt secretly wishes he lived in 1750, so deciding upon an experience that was akin to an old Jane Austen Novel or a rustic daydream was the easy part. Executing two events for their intimate guest list of 60 without breaking the bank – now that was the challenge. Thankfully, Kendra’s going to dish all her secrets on how she made it work (and there’s a lot of them so take note!). The good news: it’s all stuff you can start trying now.


I purchased my gown on ebay for over 75% off the retail price from a bride who had worn it to her wedding (no, it wasn’t a knock off!) which I ended up loving because it had a particular smell of someones home on it, which I shared with her and will always associate that smell with my dress and wedding. I ended up finding my veil at a local antique store for only $25.00 and it matched my gown exactly.


Because I had been following dozens of wedding blogs,  I entered as many contests and giveaways as I could, and we received the enormous blessing of free photography and videography from Chennergy and free bridesmaid dresses from Swoon, among smaller giveaway prizes like my garter and jewelry. We also planned to avoid the peek (read: most expensive) times of the week (hello weekday morning ceremony, goodbye Saturday afternoon time slot) and still had a June wedding for under 20K.





We used a local peony farm in Massachusetts for all 300 stems and planned our wedding date around peony season to both save money and support local farmers.


My husband and I practiced for a full year and made french macarons for our gurest’s tea cups and my Mother in Law helped fill them with buttercream the day before the wedding.



I collected and curated all of the vases, tea cups, decor and furniture from antique shops in both my husband and my hometowns in the midwest, as well as took advantage of local antique shows like Brimfield where we live now. To save on rentals, we hauled all our furniture from inside of our home.



Since the guest list was small and everyone would be traveling, we planned a friday morning garden ceremony at our favorite historic estate, followed by an afternoon tea party in the meadow nearby filled with lawn games, a harpist, a silhouette artist (in lieu of a traditional guestbook) and lots of laughter. We also wanted the opportunity to spend more time with our guests who had traveled far for our wedding so we decided to host a barn party on the evening of our wedding day at a neighboring community farm complete with homemade beer, an English country band, a photo booth and barbeque.


When the wedding day came, it was truly one of the happiest days of our lives and we’ll cherish the memory of it forever. Since I am lucky enough to photograph weddings for a living, I get the privilege of supporting other brides through their process and documenting it in a way that reflects their relationship. Three pieces of advice I will always give future brides are: 1. Hire a photographer that you love. You’ll have two things after your wedding: your husband and the photos. Everything else is a one time use only.  2. On the day of your wedding you can be NOTHING but the bride, so plan accordingly. If you do this you will be so much more present to enjoying every last inch of it. So many people say it goes by in a second but ours felt like a prolonged daydream that went on forever. It was heaven. 3. Enjoy life after the wedding (and if you can afford it, go on an amazing honeymoon to get you off to the right start!) They say love only gets sweeter with time and my hope is that when our generation is celebrating our 50th Wedding anniversaries that we are hosting gorgeous dinners with our nearest and dearest to celebrate love and family.

Congratulations Kendra + Matt!

Photography and Videography: Chennergy / Venues: The Codman Estate & Codman Community Farms / Catering: Tables of Content Catering & Blue Ribbon Barbecue / Day of coordination: Making Me Planning and Event Firm / Florist: Prairie Fair / Peonies: Bliss Farm Antiques / Styling: Prairie Fair / Music: Shelley Otis, Harp & Seven Times Salt / Bride’s Hair: Updos by Ann / Bridesmaid’s hair: Christine Gibson / Bride’s Makeup: Makeovers by Ligia / Bride’s dress: Scarlet by Monique Lhuillier / Bridesmaid dresses: Swoon / Parasols: Lace-Parasols / Shoes: J.Crew & vintage Boots (from my Mother-In-Law) / Hair accessories: Anthropologie / Grooms vest and tie: Kevin and Howlin / Calligraphy: The Left Handed Calligrapher / Officiant: Eric Holst / Silhouette artist: Victoria Belisle

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Social Love

dekalb wedding photography on Mar 14, 2012

How can we be the first to comment on this wedding? It's stunning! It literally feels like we stepped back in time for this one. Lovely work.

Lizelly on Mar 14, 2012

A lovely wedding indeed! ♥ My favorite part of the post, the beautiful sentiment by the bride at the end: " hope is that when our generation is celebrating our 50th Wedding anniversaries that we are hosting gorgeous dinners with our nearest and dearest to celebrate love and family." In this era where we are surrounded by such lovely Weddings, it is nice to think ahead and hope that the nuptials celebrated by this generation will endure the test of time of the actual marriage.

Phebe on Mar 14, 2012

Such a lovely /beautiful couple and wedding! Great work Kendra and Matt!

Claire Kloeden on Mar 14, 2012

That seating plan is genius! Stunning wedding, congrats guys!

Kendall Monroe on Mar 14, 2012

This wedding is beautiful! thank you for sharing, what an adorable couple!

Valerie on Mar 14, 2012

Ive admired the photos of your wedding before because we hired Dan for our wedding photography, he is- in one word- the greatest. They really captured your day perfectly :) Such a beautiful wedding.

Ariana on Mar 14, 2012

How brave and lucky to find such a beautiful dress on eBay! Gorgeous wedding.

Emily L on Mar 14, 2012

Gorgeous!!!! If you're looking to sell the dress (again) I'd be over the moon to wear it and live in the Boston area! It could be the sisterhood of the traveling dress...:)

Chocolate Fountain Hire - Hot Chocolates (Clayton) on Mar 15, 2012

Gorgeous dress... love the style of these pics. Very vintage :) oxox

Ly on Mar 15, 2012

Gorgeous, gorgeous wedding. I love the video as well! We were lucky enough to have Kendra and Matt photograph our wedding, and they are indeed as lovely as they seem in the pictures and video. xxx

Dulcima Faraway on Mar 15, 2012

Wow, what a beautiful wedding, my dress dress definately found a good home! x

Dulcima Faraway on Mar 15, 2012

so good I wrote it twice!

Dulcima Faraway on Mar 15, 2012

Here's our day - on Mar 15, 2012

WOW! Beautiful! Gorgeous dress!! I fell in love!

Julie on Mar 15, 2012

I am reminded of a little girl who loved tea parties, believed fairy tails came true, and who took serious all of the advice her lovely Grandmother gave her about Gracious living. As Kendra's Mother - I can tell you she turned her love of a tea party into an elegant affair, she found her prince Charming and her beauty, grace and style are reminiscent of a balanced combination of Grace Kelly and Audrey Hepburn. Congratulations Matthew and Kendra!

Jaclyn on Mar 15, 2012

Such a sweet, beautiful wedding! Love all of the special, unique details. Amazingly planned!

Bonnie on Mar 16, 2012

I absolutely love the vows you made to one another! Would you mind posting them? Fantastic!

Tim Duncan on Mar 18, 2012

I love the feel of this wedding! That photo of her looking in the mirror = love!

John Freeman on Mar 24, 2012

This post post created me believe. I will write something about this on my blog. …

Haleigh Haggerton on Mar 26, 2012

Gorgeous... I would love to know where you found the gold crown on your cake? Haleigh

Jen on Apr 4, 2012

I felt like I knew this couple from viewing the photos. It felt so...comforting if that is the word, and familiar, and personal. Also, I have to know where the escort cards are from!!

Kendra on Apr 23, 2012

Thanks for all of your lovely words about our wedding! To quickly answer your questions: @Emily L: While it would be cool to have a traveling dress, I'm not selling mine, but I know you can find that style used on Once Wed or @Bonnie: I don't have a written copy of our vows (my brother who married us wrote them) but if you listen to the video you can hear them. :) @Haleigh: The crown topper I found at an antique store. I had searched high and low, but I might suggest ebay to find a similar one. @Jen: The escort cards are from Austin Press ( and calligraphy-ed by Nicole from The Left Hand Calligrapher (

melanie peters on May 21, 2012

This entire wedding is so too adorable for words. It is so effortless and classy, I love all the decor. The venue is perfect also. And the couple looks so happy. This would be my perfect dream wedding.

Wohnmobil günstig mieten on Sep 12, 2012

Normally I do not read post on blogs, however I wish to say that this write-up very compelled me to take a look at and do so! Your writing taste has been surprised me. Thank you, very nice article.

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