Kristina and Jeffrey had an intimate wedding at Evergreen Acres Tree Farm, a Christmas tree farm owned by the groom’s grandparents. Even though the May temps were hovering around 38 degrees F, they didn’t let the chill in the air spoil their wedding day; instead, they braved the cold for their vows and celebrated their union in style, dancing under a canopy of globe lights before being whisked away in sparkler send-off on a John Deere tractor!

A huge thank you to Daphne and Dean for sharing all the wonderful and fun photos with us.

Connecticut Tree Farm Wedding

Kristina, 31 & Jeffrey, 27

Colchester, Connecticut

Wedding Date:  May 26, 2013

Number of Guests:  19

Wedding Cost: $5,000

Wedding Ceremony Location: Evergreen Acres Tree Farm

Wedding Reception Location: Same as above


burlap wrapped rustic wedding cake

bride walking on tree farm

rosemary bridal crown

bride and groom hugging

bride sitting on bench

Bride and groom first dance under globe lights

Why did you have an intimate wedding? 

Jeff and I are both kind of reserved and introverted and we wanted to feel relaxed and not stressed or overwhelmed at our wedding.  Plus, our families had never met, so having a small wedding gave them the ability to really get to know each other and mesh without a lot of distraction.  It was perfect.

Bride getting her hair done hanging wedding dress Tom's wedding shoes bride writing letter bride getting dressed bride wedding bow placing rosemary crown on bride wedding flowers

What are some the challenges that you faced planning an intimate wedding? 

I certainly don’t think we had as many challenges as we would have if we had a big wedding.  Because our wedding was so small, every single guest played an integral role in the preparation and execution of the big day, which not only lifted much of the burden off of our shoulders, but also made everything so much more special, knowing that our family put so much love, work, and support into our big day.

Groom learning how to tie a bow tie groom tying bow tie groom tying bow tie

Was it difficult to pare down the guest list? 

Not at all!  Neither Jeff nor I have huge families, so when we decided that we only wanted to invite close family, we knew we would have no problem accommodating that number of people.  We did have a come-and-go reception a couple of months later at my parents’ house in Oklahoma, where guests were able to eat some good food, see pictures of the wedding, and watch parts of the wedding video if they chose.  It was nice and relaxing, and still allowed us to include extended family and friends.

wooden wedding direction signs vintage wedding decor wedding programs in rustic wooden box wedding altar decor vintage dresser as wedding altar

Did you have any ‘issues’ with the small guest list from friends and family? If so, how did you address them? 

That I know of, no one voiced any issues with our guest list.  I think our family and friends know us well and know our style, so they weren’t offended.  I also think when the line is drawn at family-only guest lists, people don’t get their feelings hurt too much.  It’s not the same as having the guest list set at a certain number and some people make the cut and some don’t.

orange bow tied groom and best man peony bridesmaid bouquet groom and mother wedding altar flowers wedding guests

What were the highlights of the ceremony? 

There were SO many!  The weather was definitely something we will always remember.  It was 37 degrees the evening of our wedding, at the end of May!  We. Were. Freezing.  Everyone was shivering, but it honestly didn’t subtract from the joy of the ceremony.  Another highlight was my 91-year-old grandmother reading scripture out of the Bible that she carried down the aisle at her own wedding 68 years ago.  Just before she was to read, I carried it over to her as a surprise.  She didn’t know that we had it on the altar.  It was very special.  Also, having the wedding on Jeff’s grandparents’ farm was very meaningful since they had both passed within a few months of our wedding.

groom waiting for his bride bride walking down the aisle emotional groom father of the bride kissing his daughter outdoor tree farm wedding ceremony emotional wedding guest bride smiling at her groom bride and groom exchanging rings groom smiling at his bride bride at wedding ceremony bride with hammer bride and groom first kiss on tree farm happy couple bride and groom at the altar bride and groom with arms raised in victory

bride and groom walking down aisle
What were the highlights of the reception?

There were three main highlights that I remember fondly.  First, the Polish vodka tradition (Jeff’s grandmother was Polish). In Poland there is a tradition where two shot glasses are filled by a guest or server or appropriate candidate (Jeff’s brother Mike, in our case).  One contains water and one contains vodka, but no one knows which is which and they are switched back and forth in a way reminiscent of the Iocane Powder scene from The Princess Bride.  The newlyweds drink at the same time and whoever gets the vodka is heralded the official head of the household.  And yes, I got it.

Second, Jeff’s sister, Laurie, makes the most delicious cakes ON THE PLANET.  If you think you’ve had the best, you haven’t.  She made our fantastic wedding cake, and Jeff’s father made a cake stand from a slice of wood cut from an apple tree that had been on the farm and tended by Jeff’s grandparents for decades.  He burned our names and wedding date into it.  It was a sweet gesture from Jeff’s father Greg, that we will be able to keep forever and that warms my heart every time I think of it.  And Laurie’s cake was such a labor of love that meant the world to us.

Third, our getaway was spectacular!  We drove off in a green John Deere tractor while our family waved sparklers to send us off.  It was great!

outdoor string lights mason jar candle holder succulent centerpiece outdoor tree farm wedding reception rustic floral centerpiece mason jar drinking glass bride and groom dancing under the stars

What was the best thing about having an intimate wedding? 

Just relaxing; it was just a really well-decorated get together with our favorite people on Earth and we happened to get married during it (which was the best part).

tented tree farm wedding reception wooden bride and groom chair signs wedding toast bride and groom kissing at the table bride clapping bride and groom kissing burlap and ribbon wrapped wedding cake cake cutting cake smashing bride and groom drinking with arms intertwined wedding reception under night sky

What advice do you have for couples who are considering an intimate wedding? 

Don’t get too crazy about all of the details.  You will fret about something for hours or days and then when the day comes, you may not even think about it or notice it.  Just enjoy yourself and remember what is truly important.

golf cart bride and groom getaway
Vendors:  Our vendors were AMAZING.

Photography: Daphne and Dean, Middletown, CT

Florist: It’s So Ranunculus, Marlborough, CT

Videography: Chad Whelan, Colchester, CT

Hair: Brynna Marie – Art of Beauty, Weathersfield, CT

Catering, Linens, and Rentals:  Chatham Caterers, East Hampton, CT


Outdoor Lighting:  Pottery Barn

Wedding Dress:  David’s Bridal

Wedding Officiant: Pastor Bob Beverage, CT

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5 Comments  |  Filed Under: Budget Weddings ($10,000 or less), Real Weddings, Rustic Weddings

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  1. Posted by Harmony on December 9th, 2013 at 10:32am

    One of the very reasons I love intimate weddings you can immediately sense the love and passion throughout the celebration. Quite incredible they only spent $5,000.
  2. Posted by NY on December 9th, 2013 at 1:00pm

  3. Posted by Andree K. on December 10th, 2013 at 8:53pm

    Mason jar bubble tea! I am instantly thirsty!
  4. Posted by Admire on December 13th, 2013 at 2:31am

    Wow - simply amazing!

    The wedding captures both creativity and intimacy all in one place and time, unforgettable for both of you.
  5. Posted by Colleen Ivy on April 23rd, 2014 at 3:03pm

    Such an adorable couple, love
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