North Mowing is a 230-acre estate in Springfield, Vermont. The property’s nine buildings are arranged on a series of stone terraces which take advantage of expansive views of rural hayfields, Mt. Ascutney, and the Connecticut River Valley. The landscaping and gardens were created by Ellen Biddle Shipman, a Harvard trained landscape architect, who also designed St. Gauden’s gardens in New Hampshire. Known for her lush planting style, she also famously incorporated stone structural elements in both locations. Shipman was one of the first women to break into the largely-male field of landscape design, opening a New York-based office which exclusively employed women in the 1920s and designing most of her work for women.
I was thrilled and honored to work with an amazing team of people on a the styled shoot at North Mowing. I met with Sorrell from Events by Sorrell and Emily from Emily Herzig Floral Design on a rainy March day and we walked the property and came up with plans for our shoot. This is the first of three photoshoots we did at North Mowing. To pay homage to Shipman, we combined the traditional elegance of the landscape with Shipman’s penchant for whimsy. She pushed the boundaries of her time, and her genius is evident at North Mowing. Her ability to juxtapose colors and textures, to combine stoicism with playfulness, and to incorporate artistry into luxury is preserved in these gardens, which represent one of only a few original designs that have survived to this day. There are also antique bird cages throughout the property and we wanted to incorporate that into our design.
Emily Herzig worked with the colors found all around the property and created a pallet that complimented the peaches, blues and yellows. She sourced amazing flowers from local flower farms to create the most gorgeous florals. Her cascading bridal bouquet worked perfectly with the bride’s Jenny Yoo gown and the groom’s boutonniere used Lily of the Valley which was growing all around the property. She and her team decorated a vintage blue VW bus and installed a hanging floral piece above the bar. From Emily: “The Ellen Biddle Shipman inspired table design included Sarah Bernhard peonies, NH grown geranium, and butterfly ranunculus foraged lilac, jasmine vine and “Toffee” roses. The velvet linens and pink terracotta centerpiece containers anchored this display with honor and integrity, a respectful nod to the precise planning that has taken place here for decades!”
Sorrell Downing designed the lush table beginning with velvet Latavola tablecloths with velvet napkins. She layered cheerful plates, hand dipped beeswax candles on modern gold candlesticks, and water hyacinth woven round placemats. Water hyacinth weave was also incorporated into the rattan chairs. The pink colors carried through with gold rim glassware and pink and gold modern flatware.
Jaime from Autumn Nomad used the historic painted pastel fresco on the property as inspiration for her hand painted cakes and macaroons. She used painted buttercream, the same way an artist would create a painting. North Mowing will be hosting a limited number of exclusive weddings on their property and our team jumped at the chance to photograph a styled shoot there! The rock walls, historic painted murals, and grand vistas make this property a perfect background for a lush garden party wedding. And yes, we put a cake in a birdcage. With real birds!!
Not only was this shoot a dream in terms of design and location but also to work with the amazing, kind hearted people that were a part of it. The owners of North Mowing opened their home to us and because it was such a massive shoot we all ended up spending the night there and enjoyed each other’s company. As Emily said, it felt more like a retreat than a shoot. We all left the next day exhausted but with very full hearts. It’s a true testament to how a good team of vendors can make any wedding magical and run smoothly under any circumstances.
Photography Kate Preftakes Photography
Assisitant photographer Nadine Preftakes
Planning and Design Events by Sorrell
Floral Design Emily Herzig Floral Studios
Venue The Estate at North Mowing
Cakes Autumn Nomad
Fashion Styling Gabrielle Hurwitz
Brides Dress Jenny Yoo
Hair J Scott Salon
Makeup Katherine MacDonald Beauty
Invitations Timberwink Studio
Jewelry Sinead Cleary Jewelry
Catering Susanna’s Catering
Models Maggie Agency https://www.maggieagency.com/
Bridal Shoes Bella Belle