When Natalie Bailey moved from Gainesville, Florida, to attend graduate school at New York University, she was about to embark on much more than a degree in social work. Once friends introduced her to fellow outdoor enthusiast Adam Edelhauser, a mechanical research and design engineer, the pair began dating steadily. After three years, he surprised her with a lofty wedding proposal. “We’re both into backpacking, so Adam invited me to spend a day hiking up Hook Mountain in Nyack,” Natalie says. “When we reached the top, he pulled an engagement ring out of his backpack, quickly followed by a bottle of champagne and a picnic lunch.”
Nine months later, on September 22, 2012, they married at the groom’s family’s alpaca compound, Edel Haus Farm in Wall. And, yes, the alpacas were invited! Natalie and Adam chose the farm as their backdrop.
They volunteer on the property regularly, so they knew they would always be able to visit their wedding venue and relive the memories of their special day.
About 130 guests were treated to a rustic country celebration with a theme of sunflower yellow and deep blue. It was a real family affair: Adam and his dad built the ceremony pergola, while Natalie and her soon-to-be mother-in-law created jars of handmade honey as sweet favors.
The vibe was decidedly laid-back. Angelic flower girls cavorted with baby farm animals, and a radiant bride (sporting spiffy cowgirl boots) walked down a grassy aisle strewn with sunflowers.
There was an acoustic guitar during the ceremony, a string trio for cocktail hour and a deejay at the reception.
After the ceremony, guests enjoyed cocktails while relaxing on dressed-up hay bales, and later found seating assignments posted on vintage farm windows.
Branches Catering assembled a colorful spread of steak, seafood, vegetarian pasta and freshly harvested produce nestled on a seasonal buffet alongside fat pumpkins, wooden barrels and other country-themed props.
The wedding cake was dressed in fresh sunflowers and blue ribbons. Signature cocktails were aptly dubbed the Farmer John, the Happy Couple and the Laudable Concoction.
Following a backpacking honeymoon in Hawaii, the couple is at home in Nyack.—Susan Brierly
CATERER • Branches, West Long Branch
BRIDE’S GOWN • David’s Bridal, Freehold
BRIDE’S SHOES • Corral boots, from Cavender’s
HAIR • Kelli Baydal, Monmouth County
GROOM’S ATTIRE • Alabaster & Chess
FLOWERS • Leslie Monetti, Clover and a Bee, Point Pleasant
RINGS • Engagement ring and groom’s band from Peter J. Germano, Manhattan. Bride’s band from Earth Treasures in Eatontown
CEREMONY MUSIC • Rose Trio, Avon-by-the-Sea
RECEPTION MUSIC • Deejay Austin, Elite Sound Entertainment, Saddle Brook
CAKE • Chocolate Carousel, Wall
LIGHTING • Sperry Tents, Belmar; Elite Sound Entertainment, Saddle Brook