SAMANTHA & PAUL
By Lenore Cullen Barnes | Photos by Analog Wedding Photography
October 10, 2015 • Boston, Massachusetts
At Wellesley College, tradition holds that if you walk around the campus lake three times with a man, you will marry him. Apparently, running around the lake counts, too. On a Saturday in May 2014, Wellesley College alumna Samantha Crowell and her then-boyfriend, Paul Richard, stopped by the campus with Paul’s sister, who worked at the college, on the premise that she needed to pick up something she’d left at her office.
Sam and Paul had walked around Lake Waban twice before and this time enjoyed a “nice quiet jog” that ended anything but quietly. Paul followed up the run by getting down on one knee and proposing to Sam in front of one of the dormitories and an audience of clapping students leaning out of their windows.
“It’s a very echo-y spot,” laughs Sam. “He totally surprised me. We called my parents (Paul had previously spoken with my dad) and went back to Paul’s house, where his entire family was waiting to celebrate with us.”
Sam’s vision for her wedding day was rooted in her experience growing up in Indiana, where weddings are “much more low-key” than the East Coast version. She found the perfect venue in the Goethe-Institut on Beacon Street in Boston. Being able to personalize it with their own decorating touches and inclusion of family friends in significant roles made it the meaningful and understated occasion Sam and Paul hoped for.
“The architecture was perfect,” Sam notes. “I loved that big ballroom and the view of the river from upstairs. The staff was amazing. We brought everything—our own chairs, tables. My mother-in-law spent two days decorating the room. A close friend’s father catered the reception and my childhood pastor, who baptized me, flew in from Indiana to officiate.”
The couple exchanged vows in the Lindsey Chapel at the historic Emmanuel Episcopal Church on Newbury Street. “The religious element was important to us,” explains Sam. “We did all the quaint things and followed tradition to a T. We had a reception line at the end of the ceremony, and signed the church record. When my Dad and I walked down the aisle, the pianist played “Halo” by Beyoncé and the double doors at the back of the church both opened for a dramatic entrance. And it was amazing to wait and see Paul at the altar.”
Paul’s grandfather, who was present at the wedding but has since passed away, gave his namesake grandson his wedding band. Even Sam’s wedding dress had a special history.
“I found it at an antique show,” Sam says. “I saw this dress hanging there, kind of a yellowish brown color, but I tried it on and it fit perfectly. That was especially surprising because I’m very tall.”
It had been handmade in 1949 by a woman whom Sam contacted. She learned the dress was originally intended for the woman’s daughter, but was never worn. Sam had the dress specially cleaned and the sleeves removed. “It fit like a dream and was a beautiful ivory color,” Sam says.
Photographer Ashley Plante of Analog Wedding had a style that perfectly suited the tone of their celebration. “It was all very intimate,” Sam remembers. “Everyone said they felt like we were entertaining them in our own home, which was just what we wanted.”
LOCATION Goethe-Institut // DAY OF COORDINATION Without A Hitch // CATERER Sammy Carlo’s Catering // FLORIST Carolyn Sharrino // CAKE Lyndell’s Bakery // RENTALS Peterson’s Party Center // BRIDAL GOWN *Vintage // BRIDAL ACCESSORIES J. Crew // GROOM’S ATTIRE J. Crew // HAIR/MAKEUP STYLIST Bangs of Boston // STATIONERY Paperless Post // RINGS Barmakian Jewelers; Mouradian Jewelers