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An Intimate Ceremony of 16 People in an 120-Year-Old Apple Orchard in New Mexico

By Cathleen Freedman | Photography by 

Ashley Shaw at Alicia Lucia Photography

|Planning by 

Kane & Co.

When C.C. Kellogg and Gates Torrey first met on the Princeton campus as undergraduates, they stayed friends throughout their collegiate experience. It was not until after graduation that they began dating.

Five-and-a-half years together later, C.C. was conducting post-graduate work in Bath. One day, she and Gates were atop Beckford’s Tower, a nineteenth-century folly that peers over the entirety of the city. Still clad in her workout clothes, C.C. was caught by complete surprise when Gates dropped to one knee and proposed.  They celebrated with dinner in the garden of the Royal Crescent—but not before C.C. had an outfit change!

C.C. and Gates planned a wedding in France for June 2020. When the COVID-19 outbreak sent the United States into lockdown in March 2020, however, the couple quickly postponed their June ceremony to September. “But we quickly realized the pandemic had other plans,” C.C. recounts. They pivoted and then sought out a micro-wedding for summer 2020. As soon as they embraced the new plans, the wedding process was “surprisingly easy,” a feat C.C. thanks her mother for. “Even with a super short timeline and obvious pandemic hurdles, she just found a way to consider every detail, and everything felt significant,” C.C. notes. The candlesticks on the table were from her parents’ wedding. The linens her mother chose were all embroidered with C.C. and Gates’s initials. C.C. asserts that her mother’s undivided attention to the wedding minutiae “was such a gift.” When she wasn’t curating and executing decisions on her own, C.C’s mother had remote help from Margaret Ryder at Kane & Co. in Dallas.

In addition to being a special place for C.C. and Gates, C.C.’s family’s ranch in northern New Mexico was conveniently located between Texas, California, and New York—the states their guests were traveling from. The couple recognizes the effort required to travel during this historic period and could not be more thankful their family came. C.C. adds, “The remote location allowed us all to quarantine and test effectively, as well as to have this unexpectedly leisurely, much needed long spell together as two families.”

To walk down the aisle, C.C. chose a sophisticated strapless Oscar de la Renta dress and effortless espadrilles. In homage to grandparents who could not attend, she wore jewelry they had gifted to her, along with one of her mother’s handkerchiefs for her functional “something borrowed.” Something Ginger finished off her bridal ensemble with a glowing makeup look. With a bouquet by Renegade Floral in hand, C.C. was ready to descend the aisle.

Gates drew on the western aesthetic of New Mexico for his groom ensemble. He wore a Knot Standard tuxedo that complemented his cowboy boots and turquoise studs and cufflinks.

On September 5, 2020, C.C. and Gates married in the 120-year-old apple orchard of her family’s ranch. The entire ceremony consisted of sixteen people. “I wouldn’t trade it for the world,” C.C. says. “In many ways, we had the opposite wedding to the one we expected—wild instead of urban, in the open air rather than a church, incredibly intimate, not raucous and large—which ended up being ideal.”

The newlyweds joined their guests for a night of celebrating, complete with candlelit dinner, floral-decorated buttermilk cake by Chocolate Maven, and versatile music entertainment by Giovanni String Quartet.

When C.C. looks back on her wedding, she recalls how “wonderful” she felt and “very, very grateful that it had happened.” The couple looks forward to their later reception and church blessing in France in November 2021. “We’ve had a great start to married life,” C.C. admits, “but we also can’t wait to finally dance the night away with our more extended family and best friends this fall.”