Sara Anthony, co-owner of the New York-based event company Field & Feather, first met Zach Potter, a senior account manager at software startup Everwise, at a Halloween party during their senior year at Northeastern University. “A mutual friend thought we’d be perfect for one another and it turns out she had impeccable instincts,” Sara shares. “We both resisted the idea of getting serious since we were a few months from graduating, but thankfully it happened nonetheless.”
The two dated for four and a half years before Zach proposed one evening during a backyard barbecue, in front of all of Sara’s family. Wracked with nerves, Zach failed to speak even a quarter of the eloquent speech he’d prepared and mostly let the ring do the talking. “Sara was so overcome that she simply sat there for so long,” he says. “Even her brother-in-law Chris asked if she had said no.”
One of Sara and Zach’s first dates was at the Boston Public Library. “We sat in the courtyard and did schoolwork together,” she says. And so they decided to throw their wedding there since Boston was so special to them, and it was also a conveniently central location for their families, split between Vermont and New Jersey.
With the wedding date set for September 16, Sara’s company Field & Feather, and the Catered Affair at the Boston Public Library got to work on the planning process. She also worked closely with Becca Goldberg of Suite Paperie to design the invitation suite and the map of Boston that guests received in their welcome bag. Sara’s dad, a graphic designer, helped design all of the menus, while Samantha of Earnest Bee Calligraphy handmade all of the escort cards, signage, and table numbers, that included a curated collection of quotes from Sara and Zach’s favorite authors.
Looking for something classic but comfortable, Sara went out dress hunting and fell in love with the beautiful, locally made dresses in the Brooklyn boutique, Schone Bride. She ended up picking the Layla gown by Rebecca Schoneveld, and found her veil and accessories at a small bridal boutique in Boston called Ceremony. Zach, meanwhile, always knew what he would wear: a navy shawl-collar tux and opera slippers, sans socks. He got a custom-made tuxedo jacket from SuitSupply and opera slippers from Brooks Brothers.
With “Black Tie Preferred” as the dress code, Sara’s bridesmaids wore mismatched gowns from Show Me Your Mumu, Joanna August, and Rory Becca, while groomsmen all had tuxedos from The Black Tux, and guests wore a mix of long gowns, tuxes, and dark suits. “It felt like a Great Gatsby moment with the classical beauty of the library,” says Sara.
The day of their wedding, string lights hung from above and candles twinkled. Passenger’s “Hearts on Fire” played on the strings as the bridal party processed through the courtyard. Then, the music switched to Ray Lamontagne’s “Let It Be Me” as Sara walked down the courtyard with her dad. The ceremony was a family affair, with their brother-in-law Chris Iafolla presiding over a short but moving ceremony. The mother of the bride, Josie Anthony, and the mother of the groom, Candace Sanderson Potter, both gave readings, and later Zach and Sara read vows they had each written to each other. “Zach’s were straightforward and literal; a list of action and behaviors he would observe,” she says. “While I took the opportunity to read a letter to Zach, one of the first I had ever written him during our two years of long distance dating. It was heartfelt and sweet, and full of jokes, including one that caused Zach to laugh like a hyena for an extended period of time, even delaying the ceremony.” Once they were pronounced husband and wife, the couple ended the ceremony with a kiss and the library’s fountain erupted at the same time. “We were truly floating on Cloud 9 the entire evening,” says Sara. “We stopped ever so often to look at each other and thought ‘Is this really happening?!’”
After the ceremony wrapped, cocktail hour kicked off, followed by dinner and toasts. Sara’s dad welcomed Zach to the family and finished his speech with a quote from one of Sara’s favorite movies, When Harry Met Sally. Then came a toast from Sara’s sister, and last was Zach’s best man and younger brother, Nathan, who took the opportunity to deflate Zach’s ego with a few funny and well-placed barbs. The couple then had their first dance to “More of You” by Chris Stapleton, and were later joined by their guests who danced along to a mix of classic hits and new tunes by local Boston band, Ripcord. “Guests were also able to sneak a look of the iconic Bates Hall and enjoy drinks on the balcony overlooking the courtyard,” Sara adds. The revelry then continued on at Whiskey’s, a bar on Boylston Street. “We stayed there until last call,” Sara says. “And probably beyond, had the guests prevailed upon the bartenders to stay open!”