Written by Maria Allen Photography by Rachel Buckley Weddings
There is something magical about hosting an outdoor cocktail party or farm-to-table dinner and being surrounded by nature, whether it be in a beautiful garden, beneath a forest canopy or by the water’s edge. Last October, local event planner Jessica Hennessey of Jessica Hennessy Weddings in Marshfield teamed up with Jill Landry, owner of Beach Plum Floral Design to stage a dreamy autumn bridal party on the grounds of Cross Street Flower Farm in Norwell.
“A lot of my couples are throwing more intimate and unique bridal showers versus your traditional larger hall-type events,” says Hennessey, who designs and coordinates not only weddings, but also smaller events like engagement parties, anniversary parties and post-wedding brunches on the South Shore, Cape Cod and across New England. “I’m all about the smaller details,” says Hennessey. “For this event, each menu was personalized with guest names and the tablescape was full of flowers sourced directly from the surrounding fields.” Seated among the dahlias and other beautiful blooms, it was the perfect setting to raise a glass with friends.
Event Planning Essentials
We asked Jessica Hennessey to share her top tips for making
your next outdoor fall gathering a success.
Always Have a Rain Plan – You never know what Mother Nature has in store. It is always wise to plan a place where your guests can pop indoors if there’s inclement weather, or you can opt for a tent.
Account for Wind - Any light décor, whether it’s menu cards on your place settings or table linens, can easily be swept away. You can avoid this problem with a set of tablecloth weights (dress weights work too) and little glue dots that you can get on a roll from the craft store.
Choose Décor that Complements Your Surroundings - If the foliage is out, you don’t need to add much color to your decor. If you do incorporate color into your design, it should complement the fall season. Alternatively, if I’m hosting an outdoor fall event in a forest environment, I like to bring in lots of greenery and whites with a splash of color, usually in burgundy tones.
Planning & Design: Jessica Hennessey Weddings
Photographer: Rachel Buckley Weddings
Floral Design: Beach Plum Floral
Hair: The Bridal Bar
Makeup: Stephanie Ward Makeup
Rentals: Coast and Country Rentals
Stationery: Narrative Designs Co.
Table Goods: Pier 1, Koyal Wholesale, Hobby Lobby
Venue: Cross Street Flower Farm