When Emily and Brian Mastrofino were planning their wedding, they didn’t care much about themes and color schemes. Instead, the Ferndale couple centered their Sept. 18, 2015, nuptials on the activities they enjoy most.
I wanted that feeling of being in an Italian countryside and dining underneath trees.Emily Mastrofino, bride
That meant big family dinners and the beauty of outdoors.
“We definitely wanted to be outside, but I think my feelings were a little more romantic while his were realistic and practical,” says Emily, 32. “I wanted that feeling of being in an Italian countryside and dining underneath trees.”
When they saw the tree-lined lane leading up to Maplehurst Farm in Mount Vernon and the view of Mount Baker from the spot where they would say their vows, they fell in love with the location.
Brian, 34, and Emily work together at Superfeet in Ferndale. They both come from the East Coast, Brian from Rhode Island and Emily from Florida. They opted to have their wedding locally to give their family a chance to explore the Northwest.
“We love where we live and we wouldn’t imagine having it anywhere else,” Emily says. “We wanted them to experience that, and why we love to live here.”
The area’s natural beauty and abundant trails are a big reason they love it. They hike just about every weekend, and enjoy exploring the trails on Mount Baker, which they had local business Spruce Stationery & Design incorporate into their wedding invitations.
“Each time we’re out, we get to a point, stop to take in the view and it never fails, one (of us) will blurt out ‘I can’t believe we live here,’” Emily says.
To bring their East Coast families and their West Coast friends together, they created a two-hour event of their dinner, which was catered by Ciao Thyme and served family-style at two long tables under the oak trees.
You could actually talk to somebody and eat your food. Eat, drink, and be merry.Emily Mastrofino, bride
Instead of dinner being something you get through before the rest of the wedding begins, Brian and Emily wanted their meal to be the main event. Emily’s family never really did big sit-down dinners, but it was something she fell in love with after she met Brian’s Italian family.
“I loved it, absolutely loved it,” she says of the big meals with Brian’s family, with everyone tucked in close around the table. “They smile, they talk and it would last for hours, and the food would be never-ending. That was something I love. It’s his family; it’s part of his life.”
Their wedding dinner under the trees was touch-and-go because the weather was, in typical fall fashion, windy and threatening rain. Emily let her day-of event planner, Krissana Reiff, make the call.
Reiff waited patiently and watched the weather, knowing how important it was for Brian and Emily to be outdoors but preparing all the while just in case things took a turn for the stormy. Reiff made it work, and her patience paid off. The wind died down just as everyone sat down to dinner, and it turned into exactly the free-flowing party that Brian and Emily had hoped for.
“You could actually talk to somebody and eat your food. Eat, drink, and be merry,” Emily says. “It turned into this clinking of drinks and people laughing and people cheering.”
Photos by Michèle M. Waite Photography