This Couple Planted Seeds of Love — Literally and Figuratively — at Their Wedding
Hannah Bair and Jesse Hershberger said their vows while planting a tree to grow with their love.
Planting seeds of love is a good metaphor for a relationship’s beginning, but Hannah Bair and Jesse Hershberger took things one step further.
For their Sept. 10, 2022, wedding, the couple planted a tree and declared their vows to each other on the four acres of land they own locally.
“I want years and years of tending this land and just making sure that we care for our little piece of the earth,” Hannah says, “so I took him back into our little woods, set up a table and I was like, ‘Just imagine that. Imagine everyone sitting here,’ and I convinced him.”
Because the ceremony took place in a more shady area of the woods Hannah and Jesse chose to plant a Japanese maple tree that would thrive in the climate. Needing a spare hand for the process, Hannah carefully placed the paper containing her wedding vows in her teeth.
“We were just looking for something special to do,” Hannah says, “an intentional solid piece that almost brought this union that we were making into being.”
The two met in 2021 through Instagram DMs, and shortly after Hannah discovered the perfect wedding ring for Jesse at Studebaker Metals in Braddock. Knowing his appreciation for and attention to detail, Hannah jumped on the opportunity. Jesse found the ring hidden in the drawer of their spare bedroom and confessed that he coincidentally bought her a wedding ring from the same shop. They then decided to get married and custom designed Hannah’s engagement ring with their artist and metalsmith friend Angel Steinkirchner.
Hannah, a wedding florist herself at Petal and Stem Floral in Indiana, Pennsylvania, planned their big day with “intentionality” in mind.
“Inspiration-wise for like, the whole vibe was just Jesse and I trying to intuitively feel out what looked best [and] felt best,” she says. “We got to really pick and choose what meant the most to us and how to make it our own.”
Their wedding played homage to the life they hoped to build together by incorporating eclectic elements from their home. Some of these small pieces included a stool resembling corn on the cob, which became the table for the record player; a mirror collected from the side of the road became the likeness of a picture frame through Jesse’s idea to put a sign that read “portrait of our favorite wedding guests oil on canvas.”
Hannah’s parents were involved as well; her mother took on the large task of creating a 14-foot-long hand-woven macro to hang above the couple during the ceremony, and her father, along with Jesse, built a Celtic rock cairn covered in flowers.
“They are used to mark important places,” says Jesse.
Decoration and color were sourced through a conglomeration of weddings Hannah had worked on prior. The event came together with an earthy feel as little blue birds hung over the dining table and colorful taper candles lined everyone’s plates.
Color came into play in the seating chart as well; family members were grouped together and assigned a color that correlated with hand-dyed napkins at their seats.
Rather than having an open bar, since they don’t drink alcohol, the couple decided to have a coffee bar where guests could make their own perfect blend.
Hannah says her only wish looking back on the wedding would be to have had a videographer. She says she is going to recommend all her future brides to get one.
“I just was so thrilled that it solidified all over how perfect Jesse and I are for each other,” she says.