Oh Sheela and Joe. Where do I begin with one of the sweetest, most genuine couples out there? Thinking about their wedding at The Barn at Walnut Hill just makes me get all warm and fuzzy – they were just SO incredibly pleasant. They are one of those couples that you’re just drawn to due to their caring demeanor’s, great senses of humor and infectious smiles. You can tell just by looking at them that they both realize they hit the jackpot when they met each other.In fact, Sheela remarks upon meeting Joe: “The first thing I noticed about Joe was his smile. I have a thing for great smiles and his was just so warm and friendly, making me instantly feel comfortable with him.. I also kind of loved his casual sense of sarcasm, which is kind of an odd thing to love, but it also really helped put me at ease and laugh. I’ve said this before and it’s weird to say, but it always felt like I was supposed to be meeting him in that moment. It felt so immediately comfortable, it was almost like we already knew each other. I’ve never felt that way meeting anyone else, ever, in my life, and I know I never will. I felt this weird sense of confidence that we’d keep getting to know each other and something really good would come of it.”And what was Joe’s first impression of Sheela? He says “the first time I met Sheela I felt like I was the funniest person in the world. For the record, I am the furthest thing from that, but the first thing I noticed and was attracted to about Sheela was her great laugh. It was so genuine and when you combined that with her amazing, beautiful smile, it made me feel so comfortable and at ease, which is completely uncommon for any first meeting, and especially for me. For whatever reason (I think it was fate), it felt like we had known each other for years. That is the type of chemistry that I know I will never feel again, and I’m very happy about that. I remember telling my best friend the next day about our encounter, feeling almost certain that something special would come from this and that I wouldn’t have to worry about dating anyone but Sheela ever again.”As if they couldn’t get any cuter; Joe shared with us the great care and tremendous planning that went into proposing to Sheela, which included making her a special dinner served on their NYC balcony of scallops with brown butter and rosemary (what?!), a nice bottle of rosé, and a custom pair of earrings made just for Sheela (SWOON!). After giving her the custom earrings Joe explains that “What she didn’t know was that I still had a little bag in my pocket that contained the ring. In order to not seem obvious, I told her I had to use the bathroom, which would allow me the opportunity to take the ring out of the bag. Once I got back outside to the balcony and sat down, I started telling her the story of how the earrings were made. I told her that the earrings were actually made using her mom’s engagement ring band, and then proceeded (trembling in fear that I would drop the ring off the balcony) to pull out the remainder of the ring (the diamond) on a newly mounted setting and asked her to marry me. She was of course in shock, but ultimately said ‘yes’ (phew!).”And so the journey of planning their wedding began. They ultimately decided to get married at the Barn at Walnut Hill, which we all know is absolutely stunning year round but has an extra something special at the onset of summer. Thru the lens of brilliant photographer Emily Delamater, the soon-to-be bride and groom shared an intimate first look prior to the ceremony.Can we also take a look at the back of Sheela’s dress please? Simple and stunning!Sheela also had a first look with her father! Absolutely precious.Sheela and Joe wanted someone who really knew them to officiate their ceremony. As Joe described process of selecting an officiant, “Sheela is incredibly close to her aunt (Mary) so she was always a person we thought would be a good fit but we decided on asking both (her aunt and uncle, Eddie) as we truly valued their marriage. They have been married for 59 years and it’s so apparent that they are as much in love now than they were the day they got married. Who better to bless us with a happy and healthy future together, then? It will always be something we look back at fondly and we know they feel the same.”The ceremony was beautifully crafted, with many of Joe and Sheela’s family and friends taking special roles, from reading excerpts from beloved stories (The Velveteen Rabbit is a personal favorite of mine too!), to incorporating Hindu tradition of exchanging blessed fresh floral Jasmine garlands and the pouring of turmeric stained rice from two vessels to one, symbolizing their union. I wish I could describe the beauty and amazing scent throughout the sanctuary!Gorgeous flowers were EVERYWHERE at this wedding – from the white and green beauties decorating the arbor to Sheela’s massively wild bouquet and the lush greenery and sweet smelling lavender adorning the tables, Broadturn Farm certainly made the entire day a fragrant and dreamy one.Our in house calligrapher crafted the most detailed of seating charts, right down to the silverware and votive cups on the table drawings on our vintage schoolhouse chalkboard, beautifully framed by our handmade striped barn curtains. The two long communal tables were very important to Sheela and Joe. They were very mindful of the functionality to encourage sharing and discussion, while also incorporating many thoughtful details from the scent of fresh herbs, copious amounts of candlelight and a gorgeous letterpress menu card was designed by none other than Gus & Ruby, paired with a hand lettered place card by Megan Fahy. All of the wedding stationery was cohesive from the save the date to this stunning place setting display.Gorgeous string lights in various sizes and patterns adorned the barn bays over the tables in a lace pattern giving the room a thoughtful and graceful appearance thanks to The Event Light Pros.Did I mention that Sheela is a food writer for Epicurious? DREAM job. Sheela and Joe wanted their wedding to feel like a giant dinner party with their closest friends and family – and hiring Piccolo to take on this vision was a home run. Each course was also carefully paired with the perfect Italian wines.To this day guests still remark on how incredible the food was. Sheela and Joe even said they ate way more at their own wedding than they have at any other wedding!Piccolo also provided a stellar bar service, crafting these gorgeous Thyme French 75’s for her, and Back Forty’s for him.The first course consisted of Handmade Orecchiette Pasta, Basil Pesto, Grape Tomatoes and Fava Beans.Local Summer Vegetables with Salsa VerdeRoasted Grass-Fed Strip Loin with Brown Butter and Thyme, and Confit Maine Potatoes “Cacio e Pepe”. Guests also enjoyed Slow-Baked North Atlantic Cod with Charred Lemon and Sicilian Oregano.I mean how gorgeous is this presentation?! Everything was so fresh, thoughtfully prepared and delicious. The dinner ended with fresh and tasty mini panna cottas with a strawberry rhubarb compote (!!) And can you get a load of this precious cake? It is absolutely adorable. More of this all the time, please.Two beautiful cakes were made by Ilma and Damien: Citrus Olive Oil Cake and Chocolate Hazelnut Cake, both encased with Vanilla Buttercream.After the culinary masterpiece that was dinner, guests took to the dance floor where they boogied to Freestyle – a rocking band out of Boston – for the remainder of the evening.After their magical wedding Sheela and Joe took off to Sicily and Portugal for their honeymoon for a mix of relaxation and exploration. They visited Florence, Rome, Sicily and Lisbon. Sigh, sweet bliss. We had the best time working with these two, and wish them all the best!
We’d also like to thank the following amazing vendors, who helped to make this day spectacular:
Wedding Dress Shop: Schone Bride Wedding Dress Designer: Truvelle Bridal Shoe Designer: Stuart Weitzman Bridal Veil/Headpiece: Truvelle (Veil), Davie & Chiyo (Hair Pins) Groom’s Suit: J.Crew Groom’s Shoes: Cole Haan Wedding Rings: Clay Pot and Bario-Neal Engagement Ring: Clay Pot Groomsman Suits: J.Crew Ceremony and Reception Venue: The Barn on Walnut Hill Event Rentals: One Stop Event Rentals, Heartwood Essentials and A Family Affair of Maine Photographer: Emily Delamater Band: FreeStyle (from Wilson Stevens agency) Event Lighting: The Event Light Pros Hair/Makeup Stylist: Brigette Bonenfant Invitation Design: Gus & Ruby Letterpress Place Cards: Megan Fahy Floral Design: Broadturn Farm Caterer and Bar Service: Piccolo Wedding Cake/Desserts: Piccolo Wedding Favors: Donated to Cancer Research Institute in Sheela’s mom’s name in lieu of favors ❤