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Charmed, I’m sure

Taking over a Berkshires lodge for a one-of-a-kind celebration.

Amanda and David Senft at Race Brook Lodge in Sheffield.
Amanda and David Senft at Race Brook Lodge in Sheffield.Julia Robbs

It wasn't quite love at first sight for Amanda and David Senft. Both Westchester County, New York, natives, they grew up only miles apart and attended the same schools, but the two didn't connect romantically until after graduating from college. It was well worth the wait, though; the "almost high school sweethearts," as a ceremony officiant called them, were married in the Berkshires in October.

The couple and their families and guests took over Race Brook Lodge in Sheffield — an 80-acre, four-season inn with 32 guest rooms, three cottages, a barn for parties, and a hiking path that connects to the Appalachian Trail. Starting with their save-the-dates, "we wanted to set a certain tone," says Amanda. The notes combined the groom's elegant handwriting, translated to a letterpress design, with inexpensive chipboard, and were made by Firefly Press in Allston, which had contributed to the printed artwork for albums by David's band, Darlingside. "We wanted everything people saw and everything they associated with the wedding to feel very 'us,' and not feel wedding factory," says Amanda, founder and editor of the Boston shopping guide Spreedia.com.


The couple did nod to traditionalism — in their way. Amanda's custom-made engagement ring contains a diamond that was David's great-grandmother's and is now nearly a century old. There was a flower girl. And ring bearers carried the couple's wedding bands, but they used boxes they had made out of Legos.

Like their save-the-date cards and Amanda's ring, the design of the wedding was built around eclectic combinations. She enlisted florist Seed to Stem in Worcester to craft perfectly unkempt arrangements. Delicate lace runners streamed down the rustic wooden tables where the couple served guests a celebratory meal. Bridesmaids wore city-ready dresses and heels to a ceremony held outside (and danced in them later when both Darlingside and The Ghost of Paul Revere played at the reception).


At the ceremony, Amanda and David did away with seating on a bride's and groom's side; attendees were encouraged to take "any seat, either side." Each chair had a sheet of paper for guests to fold into an airplane and toss post-kiss. "It felt like a really cool way to bring people together," Amanda says. After the ceremony, a friend gathered the planes and strung them together as decoration for the barn where the reception was held.

Planning the party decor, Amanda longed for stumps she'd seen as a store display, but they weren't quite the right size. So her father, remembering a dead cedar tree behind the family's home, took matters into his own hands. Serendipitously, the sliced trunk revealed a rosy, almost heart-shaped interior. Another stroke of luck was the unseasonably warm weather.

"Mother Nature was on our side in a big way," Amanda says, and she and David have good fortune all around. "I didn't imagine the perfect wedding. I imagined the perfect person." Here's to finding him.

Jessica Teich is a freelance writer in Boston. Send comments to magazine@globe.com.