Left: Kate and Adam Mowery celebrated with 350 guests on Kate’s family’s farm in St. Georges, Del. Right: Kate describes the reception as “rustic elegant.”
Even before their first date, Kate Lester knew she shared a bond with Adam Mowery, just from looking at his online-dating photo. “He had a picture up with his family,” says the Wilmington attorney, who is also close to her relatives. “I knew he was family-oriented. And he was cute.”
Adam, a Chester County, Pa., environmentalist, had the same attraction when he met Kate in person at McKenzie Brew House in Glen Mills, Pa. “I thought she was great,” he says. “She was talking about family.”
They kept the conversation going for many dates, until a year and a half later, Adam asked Kate’s dad, Kenny Lester, if he could help him out on the family’s St. Georges farm. But there was more than planting corn on his mind. As the men sat on a truck tailgate at lunchtime, eating subs from Wawa, Adam asked Kenny for Kate’s hand. “He was very, very happy,” Adam says.
He then popped the question before Memorial Day 2013 after preparing a photo album, showcasing the many memories the couple had already shared. Kate wasn’t sure what was going on. “He was really nervous during dinner,” she says. But afterward, Adam proposed at home in what he says, “wasn’t a big to-do.” The holiday allowed them to spend time celebrating their upcoming nuptials with family over the long weekend.
There wasn’t a particular moment when Kate knew Adam was the one. “It was the fact that I was so comfortable with him from day one. It was easy,” she says. “I knew I wanted to spend my life with him.”
For Adam, the engagement was a no-brainer. “I kind of figured out I couldn’t get better than Kate,” he says.
Wedding preparations also became a family affair. Kate knew she wanted a spring ceremony and an outdoor reception at her parents’ Eagle Valley Farm. The rest of the planning was just icing on the cake, so to speak. “My Mom took over,” Kate says.
“We went on Pinterest to get ideas.”
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But finding just the right gown took precedence. “I tried on lots of dresses. I knew I wanted off-white,” Kate recalls. “Then, we went to Paoli [Pa.].”
She happened to be at Van Cleve Wedding Pavilion during a trunk show at which designer Matthew Christopher was on hand. He assured her that the dress she picked could be customized for her. “We talked about all the things we could do,” Kate says. “He said he could fit it perfectly and add sparkles here and there.”
The day of the wedding, May 31, 2014, was Central-Casting perfect with azure skies and balmy temperatures. The bride and her nine bridesmaids got ready at Hotel du Pont, where Campli Photography in Malvern, Pa., captured the beautiful results as well as the rest of the day’s activities.
Adam and Kate married at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Wilmington before arriving at the farm with their 350 guests. Kate describes the reception as “rustic elegant” with “a lot of local vendors.”
Piccolina Toscana in Wilmington catered the affair. “It’s a local favorite of ours,” says Kate, who lives with Adam in nearby Highlands. “[Chef/owner] Dan Butler is just wonderful.”
She describes the menu as downhome, including pulled pork, mac and cheese and Brussels sprouts. Her grandmother, Fran Stevenson of Lewes, baked Irish soda bread for the crowd. The wedding and groom’s cakes were prepared by The Master’s Baker in West Chester, Pa.
But food was only part of the celebration. Nostalgic touches added to the memorable day, including mannequins in a corner of the reception tent displaying wedding gowns worn by the mothers and grandmothers of the couple. Kate and Adam also received a meaningful gift from her uncle, Ed Lester, who offered the blessing before dinner.
“He gave us an old, antique box that he found in an antiques store that belonged to someone he knew in St. Georges,” Kate says. “He had a monogram we created for our wedding put on it.”
Another keepsake they received was a painting, created during the party by artist Joan Zylkin. “It was awesome,” Kate says. “It was a scene of the reception with the farmhouse in the back. It featured the most important people of the wedding.”
A bonfire lit by Kate’s dad and a fireworks display also added to the magic of the evening. A comical moment, Kate says, with a laugh, was when her uncles, wearing their kilts, ran away after setting off the colorful light show.
The wedding day turned out just as Kate and Adam had hoped. The most important part? “Besides marrying Kate,” Adam says, “all the time and effort that went into it paid off.”
The couple honeymooned at Peter Island in the British Virgin Islands.