On August 19th, 2023

Hugh & Chelsea tied the knot at Timber Hill Farm in Gilford, NH. The couple selected this venue because the most important thing to Chelsea was to be able to look back on photos in the future and have beautiful and picturesque photos that documented the day.

This wedding was extra magical and special to the publisher of NH Wedding Magazine because it was her own daughter’s wedding. Having this wedding include so many of the magazine’s vendors was amazing when all was executed. To say the wedding guests were impressed is an extreme understatement.

Chelsea had a dream of her wedding like many little girls do growing up. She pictured it being a very elegant with a touch of rustic glam. Her and Hugh asked guests to all wear black to this event. The wedding was held outside in the late afternoon on top of Gunstock Mountain at Timber Hill Farm in Gilford which not only had a view of the mountains, including Mount Washington, but the view of Lake Winnipesaukee appeared to be a stones throw away. Chelsea has fond memories of her family boating on Lake Winni, and it was important to her that she have her wedding on or near the lake.

When we asked Hugh about what he wanted for this wedding, his reply was “whatever Chelsea wants makes me happy.” Now that guy is a keeper!! The couple decided to include Hugh’s favorite color purple as the accent color, so the flowers and some decor were purple, and Hugh and his bridal party all wore purple in their attire. All of them wore sneakers also as Hugh’s signature look. They did not want the look of suits, so they went with long sleeve white dress shirts with the sleeves rolled up, black dress pants, suspenders, and a tie along with the sneakers.

The weather started out with rain that morning, which made us all nervous for the actual wedding in the afternoon, but the rain broke and the sun came out around lunch time which gave plenty of time to dry the grass. The overcast day was the photographers dream!! You can see from the photos the blue sky with the gray rolling clouds that cast such great light and no one was squinting in photos. There was a slight breeze that kept the bugs away, and the temp was a warm 68 degrees on top of the mountain and everyone was comfortable.

Speaking of the photographer, Jeni Foster-Mone and her husband/second shooter Edward (Ed) Mone, were absolutely amazing!! Our family has known them for many years and they have always done our family photos, and other photos when needed. Out of all of the photographers we know, they have become friends of ours, making it natural to have them at the wedding and capture the special day. They thought of every angle and detail possible too. We had so many photos in the gallery to look at and re-live the day. They had also taken the engagement photos for Chelsea & Hugh as part of the selected photo package, so last fall they had those done and were blown away. They were not only the photographers, but guests at the wedding, so we had them put down the cameras and enjoy dinner with us, which was so nice.

Let’s talk more about the venue. Timber Hill Farm is on Gunstock Hill Rd in Gilford, and this is a working family farm, and they utilize the land to it’s fullest. The Howe family has been hosting weddings on their property for many years under a large tent, and then during the pandemic, had the opportunity to harvest trees from the land, and mill the wood themselves, and the family and close friends all built this amazing entertaining barn specifically for hosting weddings and other events. All built with quality craftsmanship, and attention to details.

There is a catering prep area in the back, a detached trailer that has been outfitted to have a mens and a woman room with multiple stalls in each with running water. The most beautiful bathrooms I’ve seen that are a detached unit.  There is also a Sugar House that allows the bridal party to gather and get ready. The field hosts the ceremony with the large arbor that was also built from the properties trees. On the opposing side of the barn is the massive tree that over looks the lake and mountains and hosts a swing big enough for two. The flagstone courtyard that has cocktail tables to stand at, and the brick extension of the barn as you step outside, are all in view of the stunning flower gardens and landscaping throughout.

The trees that were timbered on the farm not only helped to build the barn, but the cocktail tables the dining tables, the arbor, and the ceremony benches were all made from these trees by the Howe family. Absolutely amazing craftsmanship. They also have a “pantry” of wedding items, to include signs, chalk boards, glass votives, vases, lanterns, battery operated candles and so much more that are there for couples to use.

On to the meal. The happy couple chose BBQ, as that is one of their favorite types of food. The venue does have a requirement that 30% of the food served at the venue is provided from the farm itself. That being said, they have a list of caterers to select from that use the farms delicious food. Our favorite BBQ vendor was not on the list, but after lots of conversations, they agreed to work with the venue to use their pulled chicken, potatoes and salad. Huntspoint BBQ out of Epping NH is an amazing company to work with, as they offer catering and a dine in experience at their location. Owner Johnny Love is such a fun guy to know. Their beef brisket and pulled pork and Mac & cheese were also so mouth watering, that it’s making me hungry just writing this now!

The couple used disposable heavy duty plastic plates, and cutlery, and the paper napkins looked and felt like linen. The acrylic tumblers and stemless wine glasses were all used as well. You’d never know these were disposable unless told.

My Friends Bakery out of Madbury, NH is owned and operated by Lara Vanasco. Her homestead bakery is more than that, there is a full commercial kitchen built off from her home. She will deliver to your wedding and she can make so many things! Chelsea & Hugh had the pleasure of getting a taste testing of lots of treats prior to selecting what they wanted for their big day. Not only did they select a small custom cake that was their favorite flavor, but they had a full dessert bar that they selected for everyone in mind. Mini cannoli’s, mini cupcakes in 3 flavors, mini berry tarts, mini whoopee pies, and cheese cake bites were all on the menu and everyone was loving them. Although there was a cake, Chelsea & Hugh chose to do a private cake cutting and keep the cake to themselves. Lara has been in business a very long time, and our family enjoys all her treats throughout the year for all occasions.

Those stunning flowers…. In Bloom Wedding & Events out of Dover, NH is the best for the luxury floral experience. Chelsea met with owner Kaitlyn Guilmette and explained to her how she wanted to have minimal flowers, but have the flowers be simple and elegant. Chelsea wanted lots of greens, so Kaitlyn made 18 foot coin eucalyptus garlands to line the center of each table. The bouquets were made of Calla Lillies, Delphinium, and White Roses. These flowers were also sprinkled down the center of these greenery garlands on the tables, and the large floral spray that was put in the upper corner of the ceremony arbor, then transferred to the sweetheart table after the ceremony. The string fairy lights and votives were lined down the center of each table and in the lanterns for a warm glow against the sheers lining the center and draping over the ends. Kaitlyn used her magic to make the entire vision come to life.

After the wedding, Chelsea wanted to preserve her stunning floral bouquet and she reached out to the fabulous Floral Keepsakes by Lauri out of Londonderry NH. The process of preserving the flowers was so intriguing to learn about, and Lauri has such a love and passion for it. She has started to train her daughter to take over the family business too! Chelsea decided to have the flowers pressed and dried, and then put between 2 pieces of glass and a frame to have as wall decor to enjoy for years to come. Lauri also took a flower and put it into a coaster/jewelry holder for Chelsea to give to her grandmother as a keepsake too.  www.FKBL.net for more info

Chelsea had her bridal party all select black attire and shoes to offset her ivory wedding dress. The wedding dress was custom made for Chelsea after she went to Blush Bridal in Somersworth, NH and tried on 2 dresses and fell in love with both, so they decided to use the top of one dress and bottom of the other. The dress brand is Cassablanca which is known for customizing dresses. The Groom and his bridal party all got their black dress pants and white long sleeve dress shirts from Blush Bridal in Somersworth, NH. They purchased their own sneakers, and the ties and suspenders from Amazon. Blush Bridal has a large catalog of mens items to rent from tuxedo’s to suits, to individual dress items. The ladies at Blush can take measurements and order for prompt delivery to pick up at the bridal salon.

The wedding officiant was a close friend of the family, Angela McKinley, who not only was an amazing officiant, but she was the perfect person to help the couple express their love for one another, and provide personalized wedding vows from their hearts and souls. She helped make them feel completely comfortable and not have the wedding jitters. She also provided some comedy during the ceremony which helped break up the happy tears.

The wedding hair was done by Danielle Filion and Laura Mackay of Amour 24 out of Dover, NH.

These ladies were able to provide each bridesmaid, mother of the bride, and the bride herself, with top notch hair designs. They were so pleasant and prompt from the hair trails to the day of. Every Pinterest hair design shown to them, they were able to duplicate to help each lady express who they were through their hair. The bride did her own makeup, as she is the owner of Diamond Beauty in Rochester NH, and provides wedding makeup to other brides and their bridal parties, so she wanted to do her own makeup for her big day.

The bartending service was DeeLux Bartending. Dee Stewart was very knowledgeable and helpful in providing all of the info needed to make the event run smoothly. She provided the list of what to buy and quantities needed for the number of guests that were attending. Her 2 bartenders that worked the wedding were so professional and the guests loved them!! They were able to help the couple create a couple of “signature cocktails” which a bridesmaid had made up a chalk board sign to let guests know what they were. By the end of the event, the amount of ice, mixers and alcohol left over was very minimal which was a huge cost savings.

Cocktail hour after the ceremony had a couple of glorious charcuterie boards that were made and delivered by Giovanni Boards out of Manchester NH. Not only did Giovanni make delicious and visually appealing charcuterie boards for guests, but he had custom boards for the bride and groom to keep, that had the longitude and latitude coordinates of the venue made for the couple to keep. These boards were hand burned and hand crafted by Kara of KC Designs. They will be keepsake items for the couple to use for years to come and be a conversation piece when friends ask them what the coordinates go to, and why. Truly an amazing gift and unplanned surprise that Giovanni provided to Chelsea & Hugh.

The DJ/emcee was DJ Melvin King of Get Down Tonight Entertainment in Salem, NH, and he was awesome to work with. The couple met in advance and gave a play list and discussed what they wanted to do right down to the first dance, daddy daughter dance, and how to keep the party lit all night long!! He listened to their concerns, and the day of, he was able to combined 2 songs to make their customized introduction song as they had visioned!! From the ceremony to the reception, DJ Melvin King was a hit with the crowd.

The shuttle service that brought guests to and from the town hall to the venue was ASL Limousine. They provided 2 passenger vans that ran back and forth and kept the guests on time to the ceremony and got them safely back to their cars at the end of the evening. There is no parking options on the farm, and why guests need to park at the town hall.

The sun set in the night sky was the perfect ending to a perfect evening.