A Winter Wedding in the Country

Amy Mellen, creative director of Calvin Klein Home, dreams up a snowy celebration in an idyllic New England setting

A snow-lined walkway leads to Natalie and Greg Randall's Cornwall, Connecticut home, the site of Amy Mellen and David Wimmer's reception.
A snow-lined walkway leads to Natalie and Greg Randall's Cornwall, Connecticut home, the site of Amy Mellen and David Wimmer's reception.

In November 2012, on the heels of a hard breakup, Amy Mellen made her way to her childhood best friend’s house in Maine to clear her mind—and ended meeting David Wimmer, her future husband. “I’d asked Jenny to invite friends over to lighten the mood,” says Mellen, who has been the creative director of Calvin Klein Home since 2009. “I showed up heartbroken—it had been exactly a week since the breakup—and there was David. It was basically love at first sight.” 

Nature-inspired accents decorate the facade of the Randalls' home. 
Nature-inspired accents decorate the facade of the Randalls' home. 

Almost two years to the day from their first meeting, Wimmer proposed to Mellen at her country house in Kent, Connecticut, where the couple often spent their weekends along with Wimmer’s three boys. Planning a wedding in the area was a no-brainer, but the two wanted to do it quickly. Luckily, Mellen already had the location in mind: the over-200-year-old home of her college roommate Natalie Randall, who owns the garden sculpture and antiques store R.T. Facts. Randall and her husband, Greg, had purchased the house in 2007 from the grandchildren of Theodore Woolsey, a former president of Yale University. It had been in Woolsey’s family for 150 years and needed a gut renovation. Says Randall: “When we bought it, Amy said, ‘If I ever get married, I’m doing it here.’ Like us, she could see the potential.” What’s more, a picturesque one-room church (originally a schoolhouse) was located directly behind the Randalls’ home. “I love the idea of people walking to the reception,” says Mellen.

A lawn sculpture from the Randalls' shop, R.T. Facts, adds character to the home's grounds.
A lawn sculpture from the Randalls' shop, R.T. Facts, adds character to the home's grounds.
After the ceremony, Mellen and Wimmer take their first stroll together as husband and wife.
After the ceremony, Mellen and Wimmer take their first stroll together as husband and wife.

With just three months to prepare, the rest of the details came together speedily. Mellen’s mother made the wedding invitations; her friend Amanda Bupp, co-owner of the Graham & Co. hotel in Phoenicia, New York, did the flowers—a mix of anemones, ranunculus, delphiniums, spray roses, sweet peas, grape hyacinth, and olive branches, arranged in a free-form, organic style. “I adore white flowers, but it’s so pretty to have color when it’s winter,” Mellen explains.

All in white: St. Peter’s Church, formerly the town's schoolhouse, on a clear winter day. 
All in white: St. Peter’s Church, formerly the town's schoolhouse, on a clear winter day. 

The ceremony was held at the tiny St. Peter’s Church on a snowy Saturday afternoon. The bride, wearing a simple, diaphanous silk Houghton dress and Prada shoes, carried a nosegay of violets. The groom and his sons wore Calvin Klein. “It was such an awesome bonus to meet someone who has kids,” says Mellen. “It was important to include them [in the wedding], and they were so psyched. They picked out their own ties and got into it.” To serenade the couple during the ceremony, 15-year-old Isaac learned to play the Beatles’ “Here Comes the Sun” on his acoustic guitar. Just as the sun began to set, the party exited the church to the tunes of a bagpipe player—a Mellen family tradition for all big events—who accompanied them down the snow-bordered path to the reception. (Mellen donned a silk Calvin Klein Collection coat for the short journey.)

A Winter Wedding in the Country
A Winter Wedding in the Country

Back at the Randalls’ home, three wood-burning fireplaces on the ground floor welcomed guests and set the tone for an event that felt personal and unstuffy, just as Mellen had hoped. The house—clearly owned by collectors—was already layered with heirlooms and eclectic objets, and little additional decor beyond flowers and candles was needed. The conservatory, usually occupied by a large dining table and abundant plants, was converted into a party-ready room with high-top tables and a vintage disco ball, an impromptu addition to a festive scene.

A Winter Wedding in the Country
A Winter Wedding in the Country
Platinum-rimmed Calvin Klein Home plates await in the kitchen.
Platinum-rimmed Calvin Klein Home plates await in the kitchen.
The menu of passed dishes utilized local, farm-to-table ingredients. 
The menu of passed dishes utilized local, farm-to-table ingredients. 

Pulling off a wedding in just three months—and in the middle of February—might deter even the most ambitious bride. But Mellen remained clearheaded throughout. “My role at Calvin Klein helped me realize that little issues aren’t the end of the world,” she says. By prioritizing personal touches and remaining focused on the intimacy of the occasion, she created a beautifully curated event for her family and friends to remember.

A Winter Wedding in the Country
TIPS FROM THIS WEDDING PARTY

In just three months, Calvin Klein Home’s creative director planned a winter celebration full of thoughtful details. Here’s how you can follow her lead

 

  • EMPHASIZE SEASONALITY

    “I chose flowers the way you’re supposed to shop for groceries—I picked from what was fresh,” says Mellen, who calls the floral-design process one of her favorite parts of the entire experience.

  • KEEP IT PERSONAL

    The table linens in the conservatory were made from summer sari fabric that Mellen bought on a recent trip to India. She plans to repurpose them as drapery.

  • TRANSCEND SPACE LIMITATIONS

    Due to the layout of the Randalls’ home, a sit-down dinner wasn’t possible, so Mellen and Wimmer worked with Great Barrington, Massachusetts–based Marketplace Kitchen to create a full menu of passed dishes—chicken tagine, butternut squash risotto—served on Calvin Klein Home’s platinum-rimmed plates. 

  • PLAY FOR KEEPS

    Renting supplies is an almost reflexive choice in weddings, but Mellen opted to buy the pieces she used, including Ellipse flatware by Calvin Klein Home. “Make the investment and you’ll have it forever,” says Mellen, who now has enough tableware to use for a party at her place this summer.

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