• Tamara Merri

Willowdale Estate Winter Wedding

Updated: Oct 27, 2020

Kaylee & Jeremy had the most beautiful Christmas themed wedding at Willowdale Estate in the winter of 2019. Willowdale Estate was the perfect venue for their cozy winter ceremony!

I met Kaylee and Jeremy back in college when I worked at the front desk of a gym. Kaylee has the kind of energy that is infectious and you find yourself wanting to be around her all the time. Her heart is so beautiful and I'm sure Jeremy noticed that in no time. Jeremy is a kind, calm presence that will sit and talk with you even if you're just the random front desk girl at the gym. The two of them make the perfect pair of kindness, joy, and friendship.

Their ceremony was short but emotional, their couples photos were intimate and energetic, and once the dancing started at their reception, it didn't stop!!! I'm so grateful I was welcomed into their wedding day with open arms. This blog recounts their day in photos as well as Kaylee's reflections on the day for insight to any other couples currently planning a wedding.

Kaylee's post-wedding reflections

1. What was the most memorable moment of your day?

My most memorable moment, though it may sound cheesy, was standing at the alter with my husband. For a few minutes (cause our ceremony was JUST a few minutes), it was as if the world has stopped and felt as though we were the two only people in the room. All the feels were felt – excited, nervous, anxious, joyful, scared, relieved, overwhelmed, love – but overall, I felt safe. In front of my person, staring into his soul, holding his hands, and eager to start our new life.

2. What was your favorite detail?

Well – I’m looking at a few different types of details. My favorite personal detail was my dress. I had never felt so beautiful in my life and this dress was one of the biggest reasons why. My favorite ceremonial detail was our letter exchange, a personal moment with our own personal vows without the typical “first look.” My favorite decorative detail – I can’t pick one cause I loved them all – the stockings hung at the fireplace, our 15+ personalized picture frames, our alternative guest book, the white lit garland that surrounded all of the rooms.

3. Any advice for future bride/grooms?

  • Start the planning process early and go HARD. The more that you prepare ahead of time, the less stress you’ll have the weeks before. There will always be loose ends to tie up in those weeks, but those details will make your wedding day yours. Spend some time on those details.

  • Always keep both parties involved with the planning, whether it's helping decide which color schemes to use or the location or the flowers or the music choices.

  • Bride, be open minded when choosing your dress. Even if you have the perfect dress in mind, try on ALL of the styles available, even if you don’t like them. You may surprise yourself, like I did.

  • Make multiple meetings with your vendors involved to discuss your wants and needs for your wedding and keep an open mind to their recommendations. Also make sure that they all are in communication with each other so they are on the same page with the day’s plan. It will make the day of much smoother.

  • Support local businesses to be part of your day. They made our wedding just as beautiful, if not MORE beautiful, as other vendors would. Along the same lines, I utilized Etsy.com for a lot of our favors, decorations, etc. which makes it easy to support small businesses around the world.

  • Take a few minutes during your wedding day to walk around the entire location and admire every detail and all the people there. This is one thing I didn’t do and I wish I did. Luckily my photographer captured missed moments for me.

  • There’s a lot more advice I could give, but I’d be here all day. So I’ll stop here.

4. If you could do it all over, would you change anything?

I would have taken more time throughout the night to walk around the location and take in all the details. I would have eaten the cake, homemade pastries, chocolate chip cookies and had some drinks – I was so busy on the dance floor and talking to guests that I forgot about all of those things.

This Christmas wedding at Willowdale Estate was absolutely beautiful. Willowdale Estate supports the winter theme with it's wooden/warm decoration. If you're planning a winter wedding, something to keep in mind is that the sun sets way earlier. Unless you want your ceremony to start really early, or you elect to do a first look, almost all of your wedding photos are going to be at night. This means that your photographer will need to use flash. If you don't like the look of flash photography, I'd develop an alternate plan for your timeline. If you don't mind flash photography, make sure the photographer you hire knows how to use flash! Ask to see examples or full galleries.

Related Blog: Planning a Winter Wedding Timeline

Are you getting married at Willowdale Estate in Topsfield, MA? I'd looooove to photograph more weddings there!! Don't hesitate to reach out to see if I am available on your wedding date!



Tamara Merri Photography



I'm Tamara!

I'm a Massachusetts wedding & elopement photographer. I'm the voice behind this blog and the girl behind the camera. 

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Tamara Merri Photography
Massachusetts based Wedding & Elopement Photographer