For more than a century, brides and grooms have celebrated at the Sunset Hill House, which is nestled in the midst of mountains in Sugar Hill. Its rustic charm and amazing views offered the perfect place for designer/photographer Hilary Colleen to bring her vision of an autumn wedding to life. With the aid of Michelle White, of Michelle’s Event Planning, and their incredible team, a watercolor version of the state’s bright foliage was created to stunning effect.
New Hampshire’s colorful fall season — with its moody reds, oranges and purple — was Hilary Colleen’s inspiration. “To play off the beautiful fall colors,” she says, “we used some edgy watercolor vibes with the groom’s burgundy jacket and floral tie.” The tie, from Macy’s; the jacket, from JCPenney.
The bride’s hairstyle is meant to reflect a watercolor softness with a look that, as stylist Ashley Waters puts it, is “a little undone.” It’s a pulled-apart braid, with a low, “messy” bun. Her fit and flare dress from Chantilly Place embodies romance with its all-over corded Venice lace. It features an illusion plunge neckline and cutout sides. A dramatic chapel-length train completes the look.
The watercolor motif continues with the custom- painted and custom-designed invitation suite. Madaline Goodnuff, owner of Sugarhouse Stationery, says, “Layers of different watercolor textures provide a sense of warmth and movement, while paired with a more traditional script to up the elegance factor.”
With the White Mountains to the east and Vermont’s Green Mountains to the west, the setting for the ceremony is spectacular. Hilary Colleen says she wanted to feature the mountains and “still have a beautiful space set apart for the couple.” Accomplishing that is a floral ground arbor designed by Meredith Carver of Riverstone Florals & Design. Wooden brick molds are filled with seasonal autumn foliages and flowers.“The design was focused on texture and movement, combined with really pulling in the surrounding colors,” Carver says. The main focus of the arbor is the airy pampas grass, baby blue eucalyptus, pink ice protea, weigela foliage, leucodendron, smokebush, ferns, and peach and white roses.
The bridal bouquet, wrapped with burgundy chiffon, was designed with David Austin garden roses, protea, cymbidium orchids, weigela foliage, hypericum berries, scabiosa, leucodendron, peach roses, amaranth and foraged yellow fern. “I wanted to complement the groom’s jacket, but also let the fall colors really pop against the dark burgundy,” Carver says. The boutonniere was a simple orchid with matching foliages and panicum grass.
For the reception, the watercolor theme is carried on. The table centerpieces mimic the watercolor-inspired floral pieces of the arbor outside. To complete the look, there are copper-style lanterns and dark colored glass vases. Through the glass doors is the beautiful mountain view.
A custom-made, luxury soap is the favor. Made by Ariem Body Co., this oatmeal, milk and honey soap — chosen for its neutral and warm color — is minimally colored and lightly scented. “We work with the client on a custom design aesthetic that matches the theme of the wedding,” company owner Lisa Hardy says. It’s tied with a burgundy-colored satin ribbon and a green-inked, calligraphed “thank you” tag.
The intimate sweetheart table (right) carries a sentiment the bride and groom share. It’s displayed on a hand-lettered paper scroll by Sweetly Signed.