For ALL Couples Getting Married

A Simple Al Fresco NJ Wedding at Updike Farmstead

August 14, 2021, Updike Farmstead


Madeleine and Michael met during their third year of attending Lafayette College. After Madeleine gave a speech one day in class, Michael approached her to tell her she did a really good job and asked if she wanted to get coffee after class. A couple of hours after getting coffee, Michael invited Madeleine to a Halloween party, and since that day, they became inseparable. Six years later, the two took the train to Cold Springs, New York, to get out of the city for the day. As they were walking along the Hudson, Michael got down on one knee and proposed. They celebrated back at his apartment building’s rooftop, where family and friends were waiting for them to arrive.

From the bride…On our third Valentine’s Day together, instead of giving me jewelry or chocolates, he got me a big puffy parka with a card that said, “I wish I could wrap my arms around you every day to keep you warm, but for the days that I can’t be there hopefully this keeps the cold away.” I think I knew then that this was the man I would marry.

Continue reading below to see more of the simple details, captured through the lens of Monica Mendoza Photography that brought this New Jersey al fresco wedding to life at Updike Farmstead.

Madeleine and Michael share a love for the outdoors, so choosing a season fitted for al fresco celebrations was important when selecting a date. “Having an eleven-month engagement was also the perfect amount of time for us to enjoy being engaged without having to wait too long to get married,” the couple shared.

Updike Farmstead provided the backdrop they dreamed of for their reception. They particularly loved the history of the location (part of George Washington’s visit to Princeton) and the uniqueness of having an Albert Einstein Museum for guests to explore during cocktail hour. Not to mention, the flow of the space allowed for drinks on a sunny green lawn to a candlelit dinner in the cozy barn and dancing under the summer stars.

Guests dined at long tables–brought to life by Magnolia West Events–decorated in white linens and gauze runners, accented with mismatched vintage candlelight and garlands made of eucalyptus, olive and ivy greens, and white roses. Table numbers were placed in simple frames, while each place setting had sage-green napkins with place cards on top of white dinnerware for a clean and minimalist style.

The three-tiered wedding cake from The Gingered Peach–the couple’s favorite bakery in Lawrenceville, where the bride grew up–featured a classic white design with florals at the top. It was a vanilla cake with fresh raspberry preserves and cream cheese frosting. The following morning the couple had a brunch in the Harts’ backyard. “This was such a fun way to keep the celebrations going and spend more time with everyone,” Michael mentioned. Jammin’ Crepes was on-site making fresh crepes, while everyone enjoyed Bloody Mary’s and mimosas while playing lawn games.

Ceremony Location: St. Paul’s Church / Celebrant: Msgr. Nolan / Reception Location: Updike Farmstead / Caterer: Emily’s Café & Catering / Cake Designer: The Gingered Peach / Photographer: Monica Mendoza Photography / Ceremony Music: Sweet Harmony LLC / Entertainment: Simply DJs / Floral Designer: Magnolia West Events / Wedding Gown Designer: Jenny Yoo / Shoes: Loeffler Randall / Tuxedo: Bonobos / Tie: Dolce & Gabbana / Bridesmaid Dresses: Anthropologie / Invitations: Minted / Hair Stylist & Makeup Artist: MJ Bridal Artistry / Honeymoon: Hawaii

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