Real Weddings – Grand Finale for a New Start

Sarah Pelkey & Julian BergeronPelkey Family Home, Jaffrey / September 8, 2007The backdrop for Sarah Pelkey and Julian Bergeron’s September wedding in Jaffrey was a mountain. The ceremony and reception took place at the bride’s family estate located on a hilltop property with a panoramic view of the beautiful Mt. Monadnock.As blue and gray clouds rolled by, Julian and Sarah said “I do” under a white, wooden canopy with one of the best views New Hampshire has to offer as the backdrop. Sarah says she always wanted to have the wedding at her home: “There was never any question.” And her home was just as much Julian’s home since the couple grew up in Jaffrey, meeting at age 10 and dating since age 16.However, even after nine years of dating, Julian was still able to pull off a surprise when it came to the proposal. The couple was vacationing in Aruba when Julian asked Sarah to go for a night walk on the beach. “I was puzzled since this was not like Julian,” says Sarah. A few steps down the beach and he got down on one knee and asked her to be his wife. Sarah says yes and suddenly found she was being applauded by fellow beachgoers.Having worked at the Bedford Village Inn and attended school for event planning, Sarah was no stranger to the careful work and execution required of elaborate events. When asked by her DJ/Emcee Nik Shukla, “What kinds of compliments do you want to receive at the end of the night?” Sarah was ready with her vision: a great party that was both beautiful and fun, filled with good music. And that is what she got.The music began with the processional set to a live piano and violin performance of “Pachelbel’s Canon.” The bride and her father walked down the aisle to a recording of “Lullaby” by the Dixie Chicks. Mid-way through the ceremony, two friends performed an a capella rendition of “How Sweet It Is to Be Loved by You.” The song was enjoyed by the close-knit group of 160 guests.Off to the side of the guests, artist John Woodruff stood by the green scenery he had spent all morning painting. As Sarah and friends and family made their way down the aisle, John began painting them into the scene. As people appeared in life, so they appeared on canvas, and all of a sudden, the mountain scenery was overlooking a wedding happening off in the distance.Of course, the wedding almost had to move indoors, but such is the risk taken by every couple who wants their vows in the fresh air. Julian and Sarah just missed a storm and became one of the lucky ones.After the ceremony, the festivities began and guests made their way to the large white tent set up on the property. Alex Walker, along with her partner, Katharyn Ernst, of Katharyn Alexandra Textile Art in Peterborough, were in charge of the event design.Alex says the bride came prepared with pictures and color swatches of what she envisioned. The result was a twinkling interior with tree branches surrounding the tent poles lined in white lights and strings of round paper lanterns, in all different sizes and colors of red, orange, purple and brown, fanning out to all corners.The flowers, coordinated by the bride’s mother, Dee Pelkey, were centerpieces on the tables and complemented the fall color palette as did the soft brown bridesmaid dresses. The flowers included roses and sunflowers.The wedding traditions were sprinkled with warmth as the groom and his mother danced to her favorite, Sam Cooke; the groom’s brother, Luke, delivered a speech in French; and the three-tiered chocolate and coconut cake was as good to eat as it was to look at.The best was definitely saved for last. Ending the evening’s events was a fireworks show staged by Atlas PyroVision Productions’ president and father of the bride, Stephen Pelkey, and his staff. Three songs played to magnificent, coordinating fireworks set-off over the mountain, along with low-level pyrotechnics launching from the Pelkey’s backyard. Huge golden sprays of light and red, heart-shaped fireworks lit-up the night sky. It was a colorful finale to a beautiful wedding.A couple’s challenge in planning a wedding is to find themselves in and among the many, many elements and traditions that make up the special day. For Sarah and Julian, that was accomplished by involving family and local businesses to celebrate their hometown, and where they met, in a big way. Overlooking a beautiful mountainscape their outdoor wedding became a work of art.Dresses and Tuxedos: Cathy Furze, Country Bridals & Formal Wear, Jaffrey
Wedding Dress: Maggie Sottero
Bridesmaids Dresses: Alfred Angelo
Hair Stylists: Studio H, Keene
Photography: Ray & Andrew Haskell
Perfect Image Photography, Jaffrey
Florist: Mother of the Bride, Dee Pelkey, with help from Anderson the Florist of Keene
Music: Nik Shukla, Dracut, Mass.
Artist: John Woodruff, Mashpee, Mass.
Invitations: Wedding Paper Divas,
Tent: Christian Party Rentals, Hollis
Cake: Martha Sirois, Jaffrey
Caterer: Aylmer Given,
Aylmer’s Grille, Jaffrey
Chocolate Fountain: Ava Marie Handmade Chocolates, Peterborough
Decorators: Katharyn Alexandra
Textile Art, Peterborough
Fireworks: Father of the Bride, Steve Pelkey, Atlas PyroVision Productions Inc., Jaffrey
Minister: Bob Hakala
Misc. Rentals (linens, glass, china, chairs): Encore Party Rentals, Hudson, Mass.
Wedding Bands: Whitehall Jewelers