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Dutchess Manor Wedding Majestic Studios Photography

Stunning Peach and Gray Wedding at Dutchess Manor

When wedding pros get married, this is what it looks like. What makes this wedding extra special is that it features wedding professionals we’ve worked with before. Frankie and Ava, owners of Elegant Invites by Fitting Image Graphics, had a stunning late summer wedding at Dutchess Manor, captured by Majestic Studios.
 

Both were gracious enough to share their engagement AND wedding photos with us.
 

Their Engagement:

 

How did you meet?

 

Ava says, “We were set up on a blind date. We had our first date at a fancy restaurant in White Plains on a cold winter night right before Christmas. We ordered so much food off the menu but barely ate any of it because we were captivated by each other and our conversation. After hours of talking, we both didn’t want it to end. However, when it was time to leave, Frankie was kind enough to drive me to my car. On the way there, I stopped by a Christmas tree stand to embrace the moment. It was there where I spotted mistletoe. Frankie didn’t get the hint, but when we got back to his car, he pulled out an enormous bouquet from his trunk. It was the largest amount of flowers I’d ever seen and knew this was going to be the start of something great.”
 

RELATED: EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT YOUR SAVE THE DATES

 

What was your proposal like?

 

“After talking about getting engaged, I thought he’d never pop the question,” says Ava. “However, on Memorial Day weekend in 2016, Frankie convinced me to go on a work trip with him to Providence, Rhode Island. One of the nights we were there, Frankie planned a romantic evening for the two of us. It started with a surprise gondola boat ride around the canals of Providence… It was incredibly romantic, but I still didn’t suspect a thing. Afterwards, Frankie and I walked around the city where he proposed in front of a beautiful panorama. I learned later on that Frankie planned to propose on the gondola but was afraid of tipping the boat and losing the ring. So he came up with an impromptu plan “B”. As a newly engaged couple, Frankie planned dinner at the Melting Pot, my favorite restaurant.”
 

Check out their beautiful engagement photos below, by Majestic Studios, and then keep reading to learn more about their amazing wedding and see the stunning photos from their day.
 

RELATED: HUDSON VALLEY WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHERS SHARE 6 REASONS WHY YOU NEED ENGAGEMENT PHOTOS

 


 

RELATED: 5 TIPS YOU NEED TO KNOW FOR AWESOME ENGAGEMENT PHOTOS

 

Their Wedding:

 

According to Majestic Studios, “Ava and Frankie truly had a magical wedding day! From their engagement session to the end of their reception, all of their unique ideas and approaches to planning a wedding paid off, as you can see from the photos. Ava had a special moment with her father, where they saw each other for the first time the morning of her wedding. It was nearly impossible to hold back the tears!Photography was super important to these guys, so they planned to have enough time to visit two incredible locations, Boscobel and Stone Crop Gardens. Thankfully, weather was on our side for this early August day, and we took full advantage.Dutchess Manor provided the gorgeous sunset, one of many things this location is known for. It really was a storybook wedding for Ava and Frankie, and we’re so glad we were trusted to capture it for them!”
 

Why did you choose the Hudson Valley for your wedding?

 

Ava says, “I grew up in the Hudson Valley and loved the beauty and charm of the area. I envisioned having some kind of water in the background and so the Hudson River was the ideal choice. We visited some venues in the areas but had difficulty finding the right fit for us. After a long, tiring day, we decided to call it quits and have drinks at a local bar. We explained our long day to the bartender, and he suggested a place we hadn’t yet seen, Dutchess Manor. He gave us a glimmer of hope, and so we decided to check it out. When we saw it, we both knew instantly that we had found our place. It had everything we were looking for…”
 

RELATED: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE TONE OF YOUR INVITES

 

What was your wedding theme?

 

“Our theme was classical elegance,” says Ava. “We highlighted this theme with light summery colors of coral and gray. Each table had tall, glass lanterns surrounded by a ring of different shades of coral roses and a candle that lit up the table. Next to each plate was a customized menu with rose gold foil accents placed delicately into a classic coral napkin. Each chair had an off-white bow to further represent the elegant style we strived for. While our theme was elegant in nature, many of our guests are fun-loving people so we added fun yard games to our venue during our extended cocktail hour and strategically placed signage reminding our family and friends of our wedding hashtag and our customized Snapchat filters they could use on site. All stationery and signage was designed by us at Elegant Invites.”
 

What was your most memorable moment?

 

Ava says, “A couple of months before the wedding, we decided to take dance lessons to learn choreography for our first dance, which was to the song “Stand by You” by Rachel Platten. We practiced for weeks and months trying to get our steps natural and fluid. The end of our dance was supposed to be a dramatic lift identical to the epic Dirty Dancing finale. During rehearsal, sometimes I would actually nail the lift and sometimes I would accidentally end up hitting Frankie. In the end, we modified the lift and created a fun, yet romantic dance routine that truly reflected the love we felt for each other. On the day of our wedding after a few cocktail hour drinks, we felt more confident and nailed the dance perfectly. Big shout out to Stu and Chun Levin for teaching us our dance moves.”
 

RELATED: HOW TO MANAGE YOUR WEDDING INVITATIONS LIKE A PRO (PART 1)

 

Do you have any advice for engaged couples?

 

“As a newly married couple,” says Ava, “we have a few pieces of advice:
 

1. Create a spreadsheet of all the vendors you’ll need. As you start to secure vendors, fill in your spreadsheet with contact information, deposits, and cost. This will help you organize your vendors as well as serve as a budgeting tool.
 

2. Plan in advance. To make your wedding as special as you’ve always hoped for, give yourself time to plan. When you rush, you won’t be able to put the time in that you want. By allowing yourself time, you won’t stress and you’ll get the task done.
 

3. Create a master checklist. There are so many details that need to come together for your big day. It can be helpful to create a master list and next to each item, indicate when you plan to work on it. This will help with time management and organization.
 

4. Delegate. It can be hard to do everything on your own, but if you give certain tasks to a family member, bridesmaid, friend, or parent, you’ll have more time to do other things you need to work on.
 

5. Don’t forget the big picture. The big picture is that you’re getting married to the love of your life and best friend. It’s important to spend time with your loved one even while planning. Your wedding can easily take over your life, but don’t forget to spend QUALITY time during the time leading up to your wedding. Also, it’s impossible to have everything go perfectly. The weather may not be warm and sunny, your limo might arrive late, your hair may not be what you hoped for, or one of your guests may cancel at the last minute. These things happen. Take a step back and remember the big picture – you’re getting married today! Focus on the love you share and the future you hope to have together. This will help you get through the blips on your big day.”
 

RELATED: HOW TO MANAGE YOUR WEDDING INVITATIONS LIKE A PRO (PART 2)

 

Vendors:

 

Wedding Reception: The Dutchess Manor

Wedding Ceremony: St. James the Apostle in Carmel

Wedding Invites & Stationery: Elegant Invites by Fitting Image Graphics

Bridal Dress: Blossom Brides

Bridesmaid Dresses: RK Bridal, NYC

Men’s Suits: Men’s Warehouse

Photographer: Majestic Studios

Florist: Hudson Valley Floral

DJ: Total DJ Entertainment

Cake: The Pastry Garden

Dance Studio: Stu & Chun Levin

Hair: Steven Amendola Salon & Spa

Makeup: Stacie Cervini

Hotel: Hyatt House, Fishkill

Limo: M & V Limo

Shuttle Service: Leprechaun Lines

Travel Agent: Down Under Endeavors

Floral Bouquet Preserver: Keepsake Floral

Rings: Jewelry by Johan and Daniel’s Jeweler

Photo credit to all: Majestic Studios

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WEDDING AT HISTORIC BARNS OF NIPMOOSE BY Brooke Ellen Photography

Library-Themed Wedding at the Historic Barns of Nipmoose

“Kristina and Philip planned a library-themed destination wedding in the mountains of New York State. They picked a location with gorgeous historical barns, and worked hard on the decor and design of their wedding! I absolutely loved the details that they picked, being a fellow book and library lover! I also loved the florals with a mix of succulents and peonies! The entire day felt like a fairy tale with gorgeous weather and an absolutely stunning sunset. The band was rocking inside of one of the barns and guests were spread out on the grounds enjoying delicious food and drinks, yard games, and fire pits. The day was spectacular and a perfect representation of the two of them!” – Brooke Azevedo, Brooke Ellen Photography
 

Vendors:

 

Band: Silver Arrow Band

Florals: Rose to the Occasion

Caterer: Jeff Loshinsky Catering

Event Venue: Historic Barns of Nipmoose

Photo credit: Brooke Ellen Photography

 
WEDDING AT HISTORIC BARNS OF NIPMOOSE BY Brooke Ellen Photography

WEDDING AT HISTORIC BARNS OF NIPMOOSE BY Brooke Ellen Photography

WEDDING AT HISTORIC BARNS OF NIPMOOSE BY Brooke Ellen Photography

WEDDING AT HISTORIC BARNS OF NIPMOOSE BY Brooke Ellen Photography

WEDDING AT HISTORIC BARNS OF NIPMOOSE BY Brooke Ellen Photography

WEDDING AT HISTORIC BARNS OF NIPMOOSE BY Brooke Ellen Photography

WEDDING AT HISTORIC BARNS OF NIPMOOSE BY Brooke Ellen Photography

WEDDING AT HISTORIC BARNS OF NIPMOOSE BY Brooke Ellen Photography

WEDDING AT HISTORIC BARNS OF NIPMOOSE BY Brooke Ellen Photography

WEDDING AT HISTORIC BARNS OF NIPMOOSE BY Brooke Ellen Photography

WEDDING AT HISTORIC BARNS OF NIPMOOSE BY Brooke Ellen Photography

WEDDING AT HISTORIC BARNS OF NIPMOOSE BY Brooke Ellen Photography

WEDDING AT HISTORIC BARNS OF NIPMOOSE BY Brooke Ellen Photography

WEDDING AT HISTORIC BARNS OF NIPMOOSE BY Brooke Ellen Photography

WEDDING AT HISTORIC BARNS OF NIPMOOSE BY Brooke Ellen Photography

WEDDING AT HISTORIC BARNS OF NIPMOOSE BY Brooke Ellen Photography

WEDDING AT HISTORIC BARNS OF NIPMOOSE BY Brooke Ellen Photography

WEDDING AT HISTORIC BARNS OF NIPMOOSE BY Brooke Ellen Photography

WEDDING AT HISTORIC BARNS OF NIPMOOSE BY Brooke Ellen Photography

WEDDING AT HISTORIC BARNS OF NIPMOOSE BY Brooke Ellen Photography

WEDDING AT HISTORIC BARNS OF NIPMOOSE BY Brooke Ellen Photography

WEDDING AT HISTORIC BARNS OF NIPMOOSE BY Brooke Ellen Photography

WEDDING AT HISTORIC BARNS OF NIPMOOSE BY Brooke Ellen Photography

WEDDING AT HISTORIC BARNS OF NIPMOOSE BY Brooke Ellen Photography

WEDDING AT HISTORIC BARNS OF NIPMOOSE BY Brooke Ellen Photography

WEDDING AT HISTORIC BARNS OF NIPMOOSE BY Brooke Ellen Photography

WEDDING AT HISTORIC BARNS OF NIPMOOSE BY Brooke Ellen Photography

WEDDING AT HISTORIC BARNS OF NIPMOOSE BY Brooke Ellen Photography

WEDDING AT HISTORIC BARNS OF NIPMOOSE BY Brooke Ellen Photography

WEDDING AT HISTORIC BARNS OF NIPMOOSE BY Brooke Ellen Photography

WEDDING AT HISTORIC BARNS OF NIPMOOSE BY Brooke Ellen Photography

WEDDING AT HISTORIC BARNS OF NIPMOOSE BY Brooke Ellen Photography

WEDDING AT HISTORIC BARNS OF NIPMOOSE BY Brooke Ellen Photography

WEDDING AT HISTORIC BARNS OF NIPMOOSE BY Brooke Ellen Photography

WEDDING AT HISTORIC BARNS OF NIPMOOSE BY Brooke Ellen Photography

WEDDING AT HISTORIC BARNS OF NIPMOOSE BY Brooke Ellen Photography

WEDDING AT HISTORIC BARNS OF NIPMOOSE BY Brooke Ellen Photography

WEDDING AT HISTORIC BARNS OF NIPMOOSE BY Brooke Ellen Photography

WEDDING AT HISTORIC BARNS OF NIPMOOSE BY Brooke Ellen Photography

WEDDING AT HISTORIC BARNS OF NIPMOOSE BY Brooke Ellen Photography

WEDDING AT HISTORIC BARNS OF NIPMOOSE BY Brooke Ellen Photography

WEDDING AT HISTORIC BARNS OF NIPMOOSE BY Brooke Ellen Photography

WEDDING AT HISTORIC BARNS OF NIPMOOSE BY Brooke Ellen Photography

WEDDING AT HISTORIC BARNS OF NIPMOOSE BY Brooke Ellen Photography

WEDDING AT HISTORIC BARNS OF NIPMOOSE BY Brooke Ellen Photography

WEDDING AT HISTORIC BARNS OF NIPMOOSE BY Brooke Ellen Photography

WEDDING AT HISTORIC BARNS OF NIPMOOSE BY Brooke Ellen Photography

WEDDING AT HISTORIC BARNS OF NIPMOOSE BY Brooke Ellen Photography

WEDDING AT HISTORIC BARNS OF NIPMOOSE BY Brooke Ellen Photography

WEDDING AT HISTORIC BARNS OF NIPMOOSE BY Brooke Ellen Photography

WEDDING AT HISTORIC BARNS OF NIPMOOSE BY Brooke Ellen Photography

WEDDING AT HISTORIC BARNS OF NIPMOOSE BY Brooke Ellen Photography

WEDDING AT HISTORIC BARNS OF NIPMOOSE BY Brooke Ellen Photography

WEDDING AT HISTORIC BARNS OF NIPMOOSE BY Brooke Ellen Photography

WEDDING AT HISTORIC BARNS OF NIPMOOSE BY Brooke Ellen Photography

WEDDING AT HISTORIC BARNS OF NIPMOOSE BY Brooke Ellen Photography

WEDDING AT HISTORIC BARNS OF NIPMOOSE BY Brooke Ellen Photography

WEDDING AT HISTORIC BARNS OF NIPMOOSE BY Brooke Ellen Photography

WEDDING AT HISTORIC BARNS OF NIPMOOSE BY Brooke Ellen Photography

WEDDING AT HISTORIC BARNS OF NIPMOOSE BY Brooke Ellen Photography

WEDDING AT HISTORIC BARNS OF NIPMOOSE BY Brooke Ellen Photography

WEDDING AT HISTORIC BARNS OF NIPMOOSE BY Brooke Ellen Photography

WEDDING AT HISTORIC BARNS OF NIPMOOSE BY Brooke Ellen Photography

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LGBTQ Weddings: Important Info You Need to Know About Your Wedding Vendors

It started off as a question asked during a venue tour and ended as something much more.
 

“About five years ago, a mother of a groom asked one of our sales managers in their first tour, ‘How will you refer to my sons during their planning process?’” says Margaret Brower, director of sales at The Grandview in Poughkeepsie, NY.
 

A simple, yet weighted question.
 

After months of planning and getting to know the couple’s families well, Brower asked the mother why she asked that question during their first visit. She says, “That mom wanted to be sure her sons were going to be getting married at a venue where they didn’t have to be on the defensive. … She explained that every tour they went on, the venues used the word ‘bridal’ – bridal show, bridal suite, bridal party – and in this wedding, there is no bride.”
 

That was an ‘Aha’ moment for Brower. “A lightbulb went off that we needed an education on being better at serving and representing ALL of our couples,” she says.
 

She realized, at the moment, how exclusive wedding industry standard language is to ‘brides’ and ‘grooms’. “As a company, we talked about that pointed question (that this mom asked) and the vulnerable place it came from. We made a conscious decision as a company to be leaders in the movement to change that,” says Brower.
 

Soon after, Brower, along with the general managers, sales staff, maître d’s, operations staff, and banquet managers at all Bonura Hospitality Group venues (The Grandview, Anthony’s Pier 9, The Poughkeepsie Grand Hotel, West Hills Country Club, Water Club Luxury Living, Shadows on the Hudson, Blu Pointe) and the Bonura Hospitality Group corporate office attended an all-day certification program conducted by Bernadette Smith, founder and president of the Gay Wedding Institute and 14 Stories.
 

RELATED: FEATURED COUPLE: JENNY AND JANINE

 

What is the Gay Wedding Institute Certification Program?

 

Smith, who, coincidentally, is originally from the Hudson Valley, explains that the certification program is an intensive program designed to educate wedding industry professionals about the nuances of same-sex marriages.
 

In this program, Smith says, wedding industry professionals learn appropriate language and terminology, learn what wedding traditions same-sex couples prefer, learn how to rebrand their marketing materials and signage within their venue, get a detailed look at LGBTQ wedding data, trends, and are educated on laws and policies.
 

Brower says, “Bernadette’s certification course was motivating, captivating, and empowering.”
 

“The Bonura Hospitality Group are the only caterers and wedding professionals who are certified in our area,” says Brower. “It has actually made us better in so many areas because our training was not just about language. We dove into LGBT wedding data, trends, traditions, best practices in sales and marketing, cutting-edge information on laws and policies, and received resource material for future questions. We also learned about being an advocate for your client. That was my favorite section!”
 

What do vendors and venues having this certification mean for you, the engaged couple?

 

Before we discuss what the certification means to engaged couples, it’s important to look at some numbers. Between June 2013 – June 2016, 52% of LGBTQ couples were afraid of rejection based on sexual orientation/gender identity. Because of that, 86% found it very important that a vendor serves and supports LGBTQ weddings and 51% found it challenging to find themselves represented in wedding resources.* (Source: Gay Wedding Institute by 14 Stories)
 

For LGBTQ couples, working with a Gay Wedding Institute certified venue or vendor means that you get to work with venues and vendors where you are equally represented, that understand your unique vision for your wedding, and that can appropriately address your concerns.
 

Brower states that as a Gay Wedding Institute certified venue they changed a lot to better serve the LGBTQ community in the Hudson Valley. “With Bernadette’s guidance,” she says, “we made changes to our (marketing materials), making sure all of our packaging, websites, and brochures use inclusive language and represented all couples. … We also are making a conscious effort to work with vendors who are inclusive, themselves. You are only as strong as your associates.”
 

In addition, Brower says “At all of our facilities, we changed signage that once read ‘Bridal Suite’ to either ‘Suite’ or ‘Wedding Suite.’  Client info was changed from ‘Bride & Groom’ on our agreements to ‘Name & Name.’ We use the terms ‘Wedding Expo’ and ‘Wedding Show’ instead of ‘Bridal Show’.”
 

But being certified goes far beyond changing language. Brower says, “We are self-aware, and that doesn’t mean saying, ‘We do gay weddings.’  It’s actually far from that. It’s saying we love weddings, all weddings, no matter who you are marrying, and we will make that experience special for anyone who walks through our doors.”
 

RELATED: 9 CRUCIAL THINGS YOU NEED TO DO FOR YOUR WEDDING VENDORS

 

How can you get certified or find out what venues or vendors are certified?

 

14 Stories, the country’s first firm specializing in planning legal same-sex weddings, launched the Gay Wedding Institute in 2009, as a way to help wedding industry professionals become fully inclusive of all couples, including LGBTQ couples. If you are an engaged couple looking to find certified vendors or venues, or are a wedding industry professional and would like more information about the Gay Wedding Institute or information on how you can be certified, please visit Gay Wedding Institute by 14 Stories
 

Featured photo credit: J. Ferrara Photography

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Wedding at Blue Hill at Stone Barns, Pocantico Hills

Stunning Country Glam Wedding at Blue Hill at Stone Barns

Ashlea and Zach’s wedding at Blue Hill at Stone Barns was the perfect setting for their August wedding. “Blue Hill at Stone Barns is a gorgeous place with amazing food. Blue Hill is a working four-season farm and educational center 30 miles north of New York City. We had perfect weather for their wedding day,” says James Ferrara of J. Ferrara Photography
 

He says, “Ashlea was a beautiful bride, with an extremely unique and awesome dress by designer Yolan Cris. She did a first look with Zach, and they were so cute together- laughing away and just so in love. We walked around the grounds to do their portraits, and this place is just so beautiful, there are so many amazing spots for photos.”
 

The ceremony itself was just as special as she walked down the aisle with not one, but two special people. Ferrara says, “Ashlea was walked down the aisle by both her dad and her stepdad, and I thought it was very sweet.”
 

As for the reception…”The party was ridiculous with lots of dancing and music by the Cafe Wha? band who were just terrific! The room was gorgeous, with the split stone walls and the candles and amazing floral designs,” says Ferrara.
 

Vendors

 

Florals: Verde Flowers

Shoes: Manolo Blahnik

Dress: Yolan Cris

Band: Cafe Wha? House Band

Venue: Blue Hill at Stone Barns
 

Take a scroll through this gallery for some amazing wedding inspiration. Featured photo and gallery courtesy of J. Ferrara Photography
 

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