Crane Estate at Castle Hill is one of my all time favorite wedding venues. The groom Andrew lives in Chicago with his bride Alexa. They had their summer wedding close to Alexa’s home near Boston at the Crane Estate in Ipswich. There is another wedding venue nearby in Newport, RI called Castle Hill as well, so just to be clear, this was on Boston’s North Shore. The Crane Estate on Castle Hill is a National Historic Landmark, and encompasses more than 2,100 preserved acres, including a wildlife refuge. The North Shore wedding venue is a 59 room, Stuart-style mansion was designed by Chicago architect David Adler. It’s no secret that this is one of the Boston area’s best historic wedding venues, but it is also one of the most sought-after wedding venues in the Northeast. The weather could not have been more perfect for the bride and groom. The warm breeze with clear blue skies was just right for an outdoor ceremony on the rolling hills of the Crane Estate, which offers dramatic views overlooking the ocean. The bridal suite which has large windows that let in the most magnificent natural light was where I met Alexa to photograph her getting ready with her bridesmaids and family. This wedding photography blog post is filled with loads of photos of some of the DIY details that the bride and groom selected and created to personalize their day.
UPDATE: This wedding was a real wedding feature on Style Me Pretty! Congrats Alexa and Andrew!
Alexa had ordered a personalized and custom made hanger for her wedding gown. As of this posting, I believe there is an 8-10 week waiting list on the LilaFrances hangers.
The bride and bridesmaids wore Jack Rogers Navajo leather resort sandals, which worked great for the outdoor summer theme and complimented their navy blue Priscilla of Boston bridesmaid dresses.
The groom and groomsmen wore custom made light green neckties from Etsy seller Tux and Tulle. The guys got ready in a room that had a set of antique vintage keys, probably to open the doors of all fifty nine rooms in the mansion.Perfect for a seaside summer wedding, navy blue and white letterpress invitations were made locally in Massachusetts by Blush Design Studio. The rehearsal invite on the right with the lobster are from Kate Spade.Alexa and Andrew had such a modern color palette of navy, hot pink, and celery green. Bella Floral Design worked with their contemporary colors to create a casual luxury atmosphere. I know from talking to the bride before her wedding day, that she and Andrew were working hard together on many DIY wedding decorations to complete the look of their big day.The mother of the groom made these fun table overlays!The bride and groom were each in a sorority and fraternity and this was incorporated into the bridal bouquet. One of my favorite decorations from the wedding was the pinwheel theme. Guests found their name and table number on the colorful pinwheels which were arranged in a tray of white sand.Alexa made a pink and white houndstooth card box complete with a navy blue bow.Rather than use a traditional guestbook, the newlyweds invited their friends and family to add wishes, predictions, and words of advice on note cars which were pinned onto vibrant DIY frame cork boards.Before their multicultural Jewish and Christian wedding ceremony, the bride and groom had their ketubah signing amongst close loved ones.
Guests were seated for the wedding ceremony in anticipation of the beautiful bride.
Alexa was walked down the aisle by her parents. She wore a Watters and Watters San Miguel wedding gown.The day could not have been more perfect. I anticipated hot and humid weather but I was proven wrong and so happy for the best weather of the year.
The Italian rose garden is really a secret garden, it is surrounded by walls and sunken into the ground a bit. Surrounded by trees, it is one of the many locations for photography at the Crane Estate. The bridal party at this wedding wore blue dresses and beige suits, similar summery colors that you will find in New England island weddings. If you are a regular reader of my blog, you will know that I am also a Nantucket wedding photographer.I am a big fan of knowing what time the sun sets ahead of time, so that on a wedding day, if time permits, we can get photography with dreamy lighting.At the Crane Estate, there is a half-mile-long man-made Grand Allée grass lawn that provides sweeping views of the sea. You can’t really ask for a better wedding ceremony location in my opinion. The Grand Allée is framed by classical sculptures and Norway spruce and pine hedgerows. Grand in scale, it is modeled after the beautiful Italian and French gardens of Renaissance Europe, and is the only known landscape masterpiece of its kind still in existence in North America – and one of just a few remaining worldwide.The pinwheels were making appearances all day!Andrew and Alexa had menus artfully designed, with rounded corners, signature colors, and fonts to match the atmosphere of their wedding.After an indoor dinner, the party continued on the patio overlooking the sea, where Alexa and Andrew cut their cake. The first dance and parent dances as the sun was setting were about as magical as you can imagine.Following the dances, there was a brief hora dance. Its one of the main reasons I love photographing Jewish weddings.The Boston area band at the wedding was called The Return. This shot of the venue at night was hand-held. Every photo in this set was taken with available light. I enjoy the challenge of photographing in low-light venues. As the sun went down, this wedding reminded me of destination weddings held on the beach, because it had the same challenge of photographing outdoors under a night sky with little light available.
Ceremony Venue: Crane Estate at Castle Hill, Ipswich, MA
Reception Venue: Crane Estate at Castle Hill, Ipswich, MA (capacity 200 guests)
Caterer: Swartz Catering
Officiant: Rabbi Judy Epstein and Father Bill Nesbit
Wedding Photographer: Heather Parker Photography
Wedding Band/Entertainment- The Return
Ceremony music Siman Entertainment
Wedding Florist: Bella Floral Design
Wedding Gown: Watters and Watters San Miguel
Bridal Boutique: Aisle Style, Elmhurst, IL
Custom wedding gown hanger: LilaFrances
Brides/Bridesmaid Shoes: Jack Rogers
Bridesmaid Dresses: Priscilla of Boston
Suits: JoS. A. Bank
Ties: Tux and Tulle (Etsy)
Invitations: Blush Design Studio
Rehearsal Dinner Invitations: Kate Spade
Day of Coordinator (DOC)-Jennifer Potter, Dot your i’s
Table squares/overlays- Groom’s mother
Chuppah: BZ Sustainable Style, the Bride’s mother’s company
Brides Clutch: BZ Sustainable Style, the Bride’s mother’s company
If you are looking for a venue similar to the Crane Estate, the Bradley Estate is another gem which is also part of the Trustees of Reservations, and just like the Crane Estate, it is also a brick mansion.
From the folks at JoS. A. Bank Clothiers:
“This looks like a great event! Congratulations to Alexa and Andrew! And as always, Heather Parker your photographs are stunning. You capture the moment with visual poetry.”