A Lush & Magical Summer Solstice Garden Wedding

Rachel Betson Photography

November 7, 2023

Jules and JP’s wedding took place in Catskills, Upstate New York at a gorgeous garden venue, M & D Farm. The setting was perfect for their dreamy, magical garden party inspired day. Influenced by their love of nature and astrology, and with a keen eye for aesthetics, the couple crafted a whimsical celebration which was enjoyed by all.

“We wanted to get some magical realism vibes going”, the couple told us. “We wanted the day to feel dreamy; it was the first Saturday after the summer solstice so we borrowed from the astrological. We wanted to pay homage to the space around us, so we leaned into deciduous forest elements and colours. We were inspired by nature, and we wanted everything to feel natural and lived in.”

From their venue’s 1920-1940s architecture to the vibrant terrarium centrepieces, every detail exuded an aura of magic and fantasy. They also used lots of tapered black candles which signify protection from negative energies during times of transition. “Our florist was fantastic and made us some beautiful terrariums for centrepieces and keepsakes. Our living centrepieces ended up scattered over the East Coast, and we can proudly say, many of them are still alive!”

They had a large wedding party, and both the bride and groom took a gender-inclusive approach when choosing who to include. Sadly, the bride’s family weren’t in attendance, which was hard, but they were still able to have a really beautiful, intimate day.

The ceremony began with the bride walking down the aisle to Watermark by Enya. “Our officiant has known us for forever, and our ceremony was tailored to us”, she explained. “We wrote our own vows, and we joked and I almost cried… And both of us talked about our first date in The Magic Gardens in Philly. Here we were, getting married in another magical garden almost a decade later.”

When asked what their biggest expense was, the couple said, “We got a funny piece of advice from a family friend which was, ‘no one remembers your food/DJ/drink menu unless there is (a) not enough, (b) it was terrible, or (c) it was phenomenal’. We really were aiming for C. On par with the venue, we spent the most on food for our special day. Our menu was also special for us, we did an extended cocktail hour (we highly recommend it) with about 50/50 vegan food. It let our guests graze and socialise!”

“Planning a wedding is almost like taking on a part-time job”, the bride concluded, “but you’re paying for everything, and you still need to put out all the fires! There are a lot of expectations of a wedding, but we were the first wedding of the generations for both of our families. Communication is key when it comes to trying to keep everyone on the same page. But it was difficult. You can’t force people into understanding all the balls in the air; you just have to be patient and hope that everyone enjoys the day.”