Crane Estate at Castle Hill Wedding Photography

August 14, 2010

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!

crante estate at castle hill wedding venue, a mansion near bostonAlexa 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.
creative wedding ideasbridal suite at the crane estate mansion where the bride was getting readybridal suite in boston wedding mansion crane estate on castle hillblack and white wedding photography bostonThe 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.
pink and silver wedding shoes also can be sandalsThe groom and groomsmen wore custom made light green neckties from Etsy seller Tux and Tulle. green wedding flowers for the groom and groomsmenThe 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.vintage keysPerfect 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 nautical wedding invitation for a summer wedding with a lobsterAlexa 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.table numbers DIY kitsch etsy blue greenThe mother of the groom made these fun table overlays!tablecloth overlays on each tablesummer wedding bouquet in pink and navy for a nautical seaside themeThe bride and groom were each in a sorority and fraternity and this was incorporated into the bridal bouquet. bridal bouquet charm sorority and fraternity hot pink wedding bouquet with green and navywedding bands and engagement ringOne 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 pinwheels for seatingplacecards escort cards diy pinwheel for summer weddingAlexa made a pink and white houndstooth card box complete with a navy blue pink houndstooth and blue wedding card boxRather 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.guestbook alternative board for guests to pin up notes and well wishesguestbook alternative boardBefore their multicultural Jewish and Christian wedding ceremony, the bride and groom had their ketubah signing amongst close loved ones.

ketubah signing boston jewish weddingGuests were seated for the wedding ceremony in anticipation of the beautiful bride.
wedding ceremony informationAlexa was walked down the aisle by her parents. She wore a Watters and Watters San Miguel wedding gown.outdoor ceremony on the lawn in the summerThe 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.

mansion estate with sprawling lawn overlooking the oceanThe 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 party bridesmaids and groomsmen in navy and beige summer nauticalrose garden at the crane estate photo location for bride and groombride and groom north shore massachusetts weddingI 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.the crane estate historic mansion in ipswich on the north shore of bostonAt 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.real wedding castle hilleuropean style hills and landscape in the boston areacrane estate wedding photographerThe pinwheels were making appearances all day!escort card in the pinwheel styleAndrew and Alexa had menus artfully designed, with rounded corners, signature colors, and fonts to match the atmosphere of their wedding.seaside wedding menu new englandbridal clutch purseblack and white wedding photography in the photojournalism styleAfter an indoor dinner, the party continued on the patio overlooking the sea, where Alexa and Andrew cut their cake. swartz catering boston wedding cakefather of the bride toastThe first dance and parent dances as the sun was setting were about as magical as you can imagine.first dance on an outdoor patio at a mansionevening outdoor wedding location near the ocean in massachusettscrane estate historic wedding venue with outdoor patio for summer dancingFollowing the dances, there was a brief hora dance. Its one of the main reasons I love photographing Jewish weddings.jewish wedding multicultural near bostonjewish wedding hora outdoors near bostondancing outdoor patio summer weddingThe Boston area band at the wedding was called The Return. boston wedding band entertainment by The ReturnThis 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.a summer wedding outdoors at night

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.”