For Tara and Jen, the morning of Saturday, May 19, 2018 did not bring forth the flurry of anxious activity one might expect of the hours leading up to a wedding. Instead, all was calm at Five Bridge Inn in Rehoboth as the two brides awoke and walked down to breakfast together.
Perhaps it was because they had enlisted the help of a magnificent planner who they trusted to make sure the day would run smoothly. Perhaps it was because the couple had arrived well-prepared the day prior, showing up with car loads of meticulously foraged and crafted details. Perhaps it was because they’d held their rehearsal dinner on-site the evening before and were confident in the venue’s ability to pull off a successful gathering, or because they spent the rest of the night playing raucous rounds of Cards Against Humanity with their bridal party. Or, perhaps, it was because of the simple fact that there was just no reason to fuss.
“I didn’t anticipate how relaxed the morning of the wedding would be. We didn’t have to travel anywhere; we had everything that we needed,” Tara says. “I was just completely chill the whole day, and I was really surprised that I was.”
After breakfast, the couple parted ways to go and get ready with their respective bridal parties. While Jen layered up in her two-toned suit at one end of the venue and Tara pieced together her custom dress set at the other, uplifting music played throughout and Champagne bottles were popped and passed around. Tara also remembers standing at the front windows and happily waving at her guests as they started to arrive. But when it came time for the first look — Jen’s favorite moment of the day — the two were more than ready to reunite and let the wedding festivities begin.
“It was such a relief to get to see her again,” Jen says. “She looked amazing.”
After shedding a few joyous tears, she and Tara went on to take a number of effortlessly romantic formal photos in and around the gorgeous property. An hour later, they met up with their loved ones again and prepared to enter the ceremony tent.
“My father escorted me down the aisle first, and then Tara walked down with her father,” Jen says. “I was trying not to cry the whole time… She did cry the whole time.”
Luckily, the tears didn’t flow for too long. Because the couple made a last-minute decision to skip over their self-written vows in favor of saving them for another (more personal) occasion, the ceremony was short and sweet. And so, the newlyweds were able to quickly dry their eyes before making their way to cocktail hour.
“As soon as we walked in, people were handing us drinks,” Jen recalls. “It was great that we actually had time to just hang out with everyone. I hugged every single person — even the ones I didn’t know!”
After social hour, the couple reconvened for their first dance to “Stolen” by Dashboard Confessional, which they “knew was going to be our song since the month we started dating,” according to Tara.
Taking a trip down memory lane, however, she’s the first to concede that their relationship had a “complicated beginning.” Despite once playing on the same softball team and having mutual friends in their high school years, the two didn’t really feel the attraction until a few years later when they coincidentally landed jobs in the same Olneyville building one summer.
“She waved at me as I was leaving one day,” Tara recalls. “I saw the blonde hair and I thought, ‘No way was that Jen!’”
But a simple Facebook message confirmed the interaction and the two soon became inseparable. The only hitch? They were both in relationships at the time.
“We ended them right away, though,” Tara explains. “And then we traveled to see each other a bunch while Jen finished her last year of school in New Jersey, moved in together after she graduated and adopted a devil cat.”
It was those five years of bliss that made Jen want to plan an extravagant proposal for Tara, but surprising her girlfriend proved impossible.
“I knew when she bought the ring; I knew it was coming,” Tara laughs.
Even so, Tara wasn’t prepared when Jen closed the door of their bedroom on the night of November 27, 2016. “She immediately started crying,” Jen recalls. “I got down on one knee and said everything you’re supposed to say, but she just kept crying. I was like, ‘Can you please say something? I need to know before I can stand back up!’ She eventually said yes.”
From there, Five Bridge Inn was actually the first venue the couple looked at following their engagement. They were immediately sold not only on its services and accommodations, but also its outdoor aesthetic, which could undoubtedly facilitate Tara’s succulent obsession.
“I just love them and knew I wanted them everywhere,” she says.
And they were everywhere. This is partly thanks to SucculentArtWorks on Etsy, which provided the succulent bouquets and accessories, and also partly thanks to the creative bride herself, who collected and crafted all of the accent pieces and favors. Even the table escorts were in on the garden theme, featuring tiny watering cans hung on a board that Jen built.
“I feel like good advice, if you want your wedding to be really personal, is to get one of those lists off of Pinterest where it makes you consider all those little things that you wouldn’t normally think about,” Tara says. “I think we did a pretty good job with that. I was sometimes overwhelmed, trying to take all of it on, but I didn’t regret it after.”
The decor created a setting that was as natural and seamless as the moments that played out within. This included sweet father/daughter dances (the brides even each took a turn with their new fathers-in-law); a sentimental toast from Jen’s brother-turned-best-man; the welcome arrival of an actual ice cream truck for dessert; and the presence of younger guests (including children that Tara nannies) who really knew how to get the party going on the dance floor.
The one thing that seemingly wasn’t so perfect? The weather.
“We had been planning to make better use of the grounds, like hanging by the firepits at the end of the night, but it rained all day,” says Tara. “That was a little disappointing.”
But Jen adds that there was a silver lining: “Sara, our photographer, pulled us aside at one point and asked if we minded getting a little wet. We ended up with the most epic rain shots, ever.”
So, just how do you follow up such a picturesque wedding? Well, the new Mrs. and Mrs. Tartaglia are looking forward to purchasing a new car, planning a honeymoon, finding a pooch to join their little family, and finally sharing those special vows with one another on their first anniversary.
Ceremony and Reception: Five Bridge Inn in Rehoboth, MA // Catering: Ralph’s Catering // Hair and makeup: Sacarrha Salon // Tara’s Dress: Kaitlyn Elaine Bridal Design // Bridesmaids’ Outfits: Revelry, Love Tanya andAnthropologie // Coordinator: Soirées by Sonya // Jen’s and Bridal Party’s Suits: Jos. A. Bank // Cake: Jocelyn Mello from Lil E’s Sweet Treats // Desserts: Three Sisters Ice Cream // Flower Crown, Bouquets And Boutonnieres: SucculentArtWorks on Etsy // Reception Music: DJ Jimmy Castle, Castle Entertainment