MIRANDA HAMMER TO ANDREW SHEAR | 9.13.14By Rachael Devaney
After a decade together, Andrew Shear and Miranda Hammer celebrated their relationship with a rustic yet elegant Connecticut farm wedding.
“Andrew and I began dating the summer after high school graduation and we were together for 11 years before becoming engaged,” says Miranda. “The time allowed us to not only grow together but also maintain what made us unique and special in our own ways.”
Their engagement, which came about during a trip to Paris, occurred on a foggy, rainy evening when the pair were unwinding from a long day of sightseeing. “We were relaxing at this beautiful hotel bar and out came the ring,” says Miranda. “We were never a couple that likes giant bells and whistles so the proposal was fitting for who we are.”
When it came to the wedding, Miranda wanted to begin with a “blank canvas,” where she could paint a vision steeped in natural elements for her 125 guests. After researching a variety of outdoor locations, the couple settled on White Gate Farm in East Lyme, Connecticut. The venue, which specializes in fresh organic produce, poultry, eggs and flowers, sits on 100 acres of New England landscape and was the ideal open space that Miranda was looking for.
“I really wanted to strike a balance between refinement, elegance and open farm life, and White Gate was perfect,” she says. “Because I’m a registered dietician, healthy food is also important to me, so what better place than a fully operational organic farm?”
With the help of her wedding planner, Josh Chalmers of Earth 2 Events, and services provided by vendors like Zest Fresh Pastry and A Thyme to Cook, Miranda immediately began creating a memorable event. And while it did rain on the couple’s big day, she says it only “enhanced” their experience.
“People were stunned by the atmosphere we created. Not only did we have refinement evoked within this farm space, we had show-stopping florals, beautiful tents, rustic but elegant table seating, gorgeous wooden poles and oak flooring as well as bistro lighting and white Belizean lanterns. Everything was super elegant,” says Miranda. “You could hear the rain pattering on the outside of the tent and it ended up being intimate, magical and special.”
And while Miranda admits her wedding incorporated a multitude of complicated elements, from the vintage floral-patterned plates to the walnut Chiavari chairs, she says the day, which was filled with love and light, sent the couple into a future filled with happiness.
“In retrospect, Connecticut was a random place for us to have a wedding—we have no roots there—but the essence and magic we found in this picture-perfect place were all that we needed,” she says.