Outdoor Wedding at Bear Mill Estate : Colton and Brett

In 2014, The JDK Group’s own Colton Staver moved back to Pennsylvania from Providence, Rhode Island, because he felt it was where his heart was. However, he had no idea that, the same year, he would meet the love of his life, Brett, who had moved from Bedford to Harrisburg not too long before that.

Colton and Brett || Highlight from Megan Rae Films on Vimeo.

Charming Pasts, Bright Futures

After many dates to movies, festivals, and even tutoring sessions, the two decided to meet in the middle and move into a townhouse together in Carlisle. Additionally, the two were a perfect match in Colton’s upstart event design business. Colton began his own event design company named Pencil Me In, where Brett used his actuary experience working at Highmark to help Colton handle the company’s finances.

Photos courtesy of Earthmark Photography

Pencil Me In was based out of Tamzen’s Bridal, a bridal boutique owned by Colton’s mom. It wasn’t long before Colton began imagining what his own wedding might look like. Also, the company showcased Colton’s design talent, and it wasn’t long before we had to have him as part of the JDK team.

Photos courtesy of Earthmark Photography

Meanwhile, Colton and Brett continued their deep relationship, acquainting themselves with each other’s closest friends and family.

Indeed, it was their closest friends and family that were present when Brett asked for Colton’s hand in marriage during a kayaking trip on the Susquehanna River. Shocked but sure, Colton replied with an emphatic, “Yes!”

After an extensive search for another house the two could spend their lives together in, they found a perfect one in Mechanicsburg at the beginning of 2017.

Photos courtesy of Earthmark Photography

To bring things full circle, Colton threw the ideas of his wedding in motion, to produce a wedding that was like no other. Most importantly, both Brett and Colton involved their large group of family and friends through different facets of the outdoor wedding!

Getting Ready at Bear Mill Estate

The earthy couple tied the knot at Bear Mill Estate, a beautiful natural venue in Denver, Pa. In fact, nature was the unique theme for Colton and Brett’s wedding. The estate, built in 1739 and surrounded by pines and a waterfall above Cocalico Creek, provided Colton and Brett the right backdrop for their special day.

Photos courtesy of Earthmark Photography

The mill, a tavern room packed with warm wooden furniture, was a mood-setting environment in itself.

Photos courtesy of Earthmark Photography

A lot of the woodland outdoor wedding featured DIY projects and designs from Colton and Brett, so a personal quality to the wedding was apparent.

Photos courtesy of Earthmark Photography

To unwind before the big day, Brett and his friends played some Cards Against Humanity. Then, it was time to get dressed for one of the most memorable days in their lives.

Fantasy Woodland Outdoor Wedding

Intricate details ran through every piece of the outdoor wedding ceremony. To start, models dressed at woodland nymphs dotted the grove leading up to the ceremony area.

Photo courtesy of Earthmark Photography

Stark signage, rustic wooden columns, and ornate vases spilling with exciting florals highlighted the entranceway.

Photo courtesy of Earthmark Photography

The ceremony backdrop was a wooden teepee, provided by Colton, and towered above an antique desk.

Photo courtesy of Earthmark Photography

Additionally, small bouquets emphasized the corner chairs in the ceremony aisles. Rebecca Askey played a hammered dulcimer, gently, as guests made their entrances.

Photos courtesy of Earthmark Photography

Brett and Colton exchanged heartfelt vows, and once again shared how much they meant to each other.

Photo courtesy of Earthmark Photography

Later, Brett and Colton took soil from both of their hometowns to plant a fern, a representation of their bond and future growth.

Photo courtesy of Earthmark Photography

Floral design is one of Colton’s many design talents, and he went full stop for his wedding (with a little help from Erika Hegedus). Everything from bouquets and crowns to corsages and small terrariums that brought reception table centerpieces to life.

All of these designs carried the woodland theme effortlessly.

Photos courtesy of Earthmark Photography

Of course, Colton has overall design talent too, and you could feel it through every facet of the outdoor wedding. On top of the ceremony details, there were glass dome decorations on the tables surrounding the outside dancefloor.

Packed with pinecones, feathers, moss, and other plant life, the globes contained both natural elements and complemented the outdoor wedding.

Photos courtesy of Earthmark Photography

Bright Tavern, Open Canvas

Guests moved inside for the reception, and a different set of more structured design themes awaited them. Well, except for the seating chart, a connect-the-dot chart that brought smiles to the guests as they collaborated to find their tables.

Furthermore, small potted succulents surrounded the chart. Colton and Brett gave these away as unique wedding favors.

Photo courtesy of Earthmark Photography

Even the guest book was different from anything you’d expect. When guests found their seats, they found a smooth river rock with their name scrawled in calligraphy.

Colton and Brett encouraged their guests to drop these into a vase, turning the vase into an organic and interactive guest book.

Photos courtesy of Earthmark Photography

Their friends delivered heartwarming and memorable speeches in the hearth of the Bear Mill tavern during the reception.

Photos courtesy of Earthmark Photography

Nature filled the dining tables, sweetheart tables, and beverage stations. Mossy hoops hung above the sweetheart table, while gold geometric spheres and tall votives stood on the dining tables.

A pallet wall displayed more plant life and memorable pictures both of their grandparents. Each plant planted was in honor of their loved ones.

A natural wedding needs a natural cake, and Kyrsten’s Sweet Designs provided one that fit right in. Colton and Brett also offered their guests whoopie pies to satisfy their sweet tooth.

Photos courtesy of Earthmark Photography

Evening at Bear Mill Estate

Festivity carried on as the sun went down, as friends and family made their way to the outdoor dance floor. The dance floor, situated underneath ambient string lights, had the entire wedding party unwinding and celebrating the gorgeous outdoor day.

Photos courtesy of Earthmark Photography

For Colton and Brett, their outdoor wedding was exemplary of the love they shared for each other; natural, evergreen, and timeless.

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