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An Elegant, Floral-Inspired Summer Wedding in Connecticut

By Shayna Seid | Photography by 

Rodeo & Co. Photography

|Planning by 

Kate Dawson Events

Pamela Csordas and Michael Saggese were introduced through childhood friends in early 2013, soon after they both moved to New York City. After five-and-a-half years together, Mike romantically asked her to marry him on their vacation in Sardinia. “He found the perfect location on the third day, as we passed through Porto Rafael. The village, located on the Costa Smeralda, evokes the idyllic landscape and carefree feeling of Jude Law and Gwyneth Paltrow’s sundrenched Italian escape in The Talented Mr. Ripley,” Pam says. “In a sweet and private moment, Mike proposed with a three-stone oval engagement ring on the village’s beach, which overlooks the beautiful La Maddalena archipelago.”

The special events manager for Tory Burch grew up in the leafy suburban town of Wilton, Connecticut, and she wished to get married in her home state. Lion Rock Farm in Sharon was the first venue the engaged couple looked at. “We were impressed by the property’s expansive views, rich history, and most of all, the lush hilltop location, which brought back memories of our first vacation together in western Ireland,” the bride-to-be says. “The estate provided quaint houses for our immediate families and wedding party to stay in and a cornfield, where we hosted our elegant pig roast rehearsal dinner and welcome party.”

To help plan their July 13th wedding, the couple hired Kate Dawson Events, who Pam found on Instagram. “I was drawn to her unfussy, warm aesthetic with lots of thoughtful details,” the bride says. And the paper suite, hand-calligraphed by Sara McCarthy of Ink Revival, set the tone for the weekend. 

“I tried on my Peter Langner gown at the very end of my appointment at Mark Ingram and knew immediately that it was the one,” Pam says. The strapless, A-line gown featured cotton lace flowers, and Peter offered to create a single-layer, fingertip veil with the same embroidered florals. To completely style her look, the bride wore Manolo Blahnik navy satin and crystal pumps, sapphire and diamond drop earrings from 1stdibs, and a lily of the valley bouquet with a pale blue cotton Julia B. handkerchief. 

On the morning-of, the bride got ready with the team from Simply Gorgeous by Erin, and Mike was “I do”-ready in a classic black, shawl collar, bespoke tuxedo by J. Press, complemented by vintage mother of pearl cufflinks and studs, and a lily of the valley boutonniere to match the bride’s bouquet. 

The traditional ceremony was held at the charming Church of Saint Mary styled with a blue and white delphinium installation on the slate steps and two complementary delphinium-filled urns to flanking the altar. Fresh smilax wreaths with trailing ribbons hung on the arched doors.

Inside, a priest from Mike’s childhood officiated the Catholic ceremony. “His charismatic homily reminded us all that a marriage is a celebration of ‘abbondanza’–abundance in Italian—that can be seen in such things as: your grandmother’s cooking, merriment with family and friends, and most of all, lifelong commitment between husband and wife,” Pam says. Once announced as married, the newlyweds exited the church, as guests threw white rose petals.

Upon entering the reception space, people were greeted in a garden with a champagne bar and a saxophonist. Pam’s vision for the wedding reception was a floral-inspired, summer dinner party at a distinguished countryside home. Their florist, Lauren Merriam of Sarah Worden Natural Design, connected with the bride immediately. “Key sources of inspiration included Bunny Mellon’s Oak Spring estate, antique botanical prints, and the timeless combination of blue and white,” the bride explains. “Design elements included cotton eyelet and chintz fabrics, bamboo seating and rattan hurricanes by Amanda Lindroth, myrtle topiaries in Cornish rimmed clay pots by local ceramicist, Guy Wolff, and handmade beeswax taper candles.”

Under the dinner tent, Hunt & Harvest presented a sophisticated, local farm-to-table, summer menu of burrata with heirloom tomatoes and peaches, wild striped bass, and Hudson Valley duck. After sneaking away to take some photos in an overgrown field on the edge of the property, the newlyweds cut their carrot cake from Sweet William’s Bakery, which was decorated with cascading pansies to pair back to the embroidered flowers on Pam’s gown. “A slice of wedding cake was paired with homemade ‘rhum vanille’ from M’Bolo in St. Barth’s,” the bride says. “My family has traveled to the island for vacation since the early 1980s, and I have so many childhood memories, which I wanted to share with our wedding guests.”

Pam and Mike hit the dance floor for their first dance to “Love is Here to Stay” by the soulful Billie Holiday, performed by their 12-piece band. And once the reception came to a formal close, they gathered their closest friends for a nightcap at one of the houses on the property. “The guys celebrated with cigars and whiskey, while the girls were content changing into loungewear and sipping the leftover sparkling rosé.”