Lucy and Phil’s early winter Hudson Valley wedding at the Garrison is a gorgeous display of two cultures, two families and special friends coming together to celebrate love. The details, the theming, the colors, even the weather, were all perfect and will certainly give you a ton of inspiration for your wedding day. You actually might remember Lucy and Phil. They were the awesome couple that had an amazingly fun and creative marathon and ice cream-themed engagement session that we featured a few weeks ago. If you missed it, you can check it out at the link below.
Lucy and Phil’s photographer, Lin Pernille Kristensen of Lin Pernille Photography captured the day beautifully and had this to say about their wedding.
“The Garrison was the perfect location for their wedding. Both Lucy & Phil are avid hikers, runners, and bikers so they knew they wanted their wedding to be located in the Hudson Valley, surrounded by mountains and nature. Coming from a military family, Phil also thought it was awesome that West Point (where his sister & “Best Woman” graduated from) was located right across the river! After 5 years together, many of which were long distance, the two officially became Mr. & Mrs. in a ceremony officiated by their friend Tim, with the breathtaking view of the mountains & Hudson River in the background.”
Lucy has impeccable taste, as you can see by the decor and the color scheme. “The girls’ leafy, cranberry-accented floral arrangements and their flowy dusty blue dresses were perfect for an elegant winter wedding.” Do you like the suit Phil is wearing? It was custom made by his uncle!
Lin says Lucy and Phil’s wedding was so full of love and emotion, and they even threw in some fun surprises for their guests as well. “As guests arrived,” she says, “they were invited to swap out their name card with a Polaroid on the guest sign-in board! When Lucy & Phil were introduced for the first time officially as husband & wife that kicked off the night of delicious food, tear-jerking speeches, and dancing! After a long night of dancing & celebrating, family & friends weren’t sent home on an empty stomach – they were invited to take home a cinnamon sugar or apple cider donut favor!”
Now, that’s what I call a fun wedding! Take a look at their gorgeous day…
It’s the week leading up to your wedding. Excitement and nerves are raging and you feel the clock is ticking to make sure everything gets done on time. There are so many last-minute details to remember, so we put together a list of 21 essential things every bride or groom must do the week before their wedding. We’ve broken them down into three categories: Logistics (the nuts and bolts of the day), Personal (what you need to do for yourself), and Specifics (the little details you may forget).
Prepare your marriage license – Make sure you have your marriage license all set and ready to go. Sometimes, the license will be signed during the ceremony, and sometimes, it will be signed during the rehearsal. In either case, you need to make sure you have this document ready for signage. Without it, your marriage isn’t legal. For more information on how to obtain a New York State marriage license, click here or below.
Create and distribute timelines – It’s important for all members of your bridal party, as well as your parents and those involved in the wedding, to know what’s going on that day. Timelines are especially important for your vendors. Not only do they need to know what time to show up and where to show up, but they’ll actually be helping you schedule much of your timeline. Your salon, for example, needs to know what time the photographer is coming so that they can have you all ready for photos.
Prepare and distribute contact info – Just as important as the timeline, contact info is key. All members of the bridal party, all vendors, parents, and the venue should be on the list. Your number should be included as well, though I would designate a person to field all your calls, especially on your wedding day. You don’t want to be answering or dealing with phone calls while you’re getting ready.
Take enough time off from work – Requesting time off from work should be done months in advance of your wedding, and you want to make sure you take off enough time. Check with your employer to see if you can carry over days or time if you think you are going to need more than what you are given. If your wedding is on a Saturday, I suggest taking three or four days prior. You also want to make sure you take enough time off for your honeymoon. Most couples take two weeks off, though when you take your honeymoon is totally up to you. Some couples take off right after their wedding, others, depending on their situation, will wait a few months. Even if you wait a few months, take a few days off from work after the wedding so you have time to wind down and mentally get back to “reality”.
Drop off all items for your wedding to your venue – Your wedding venue should provide you with a timeline of when things are due for them, such as payments, final headcount, etc. Included in this list is a date of when your wedding items such as favors, menus, place cards, and guest book need to be dropped off. My suggestion is to not do this the day before, but two days out. You are going to be very busy the day before your wedding and you don’t want to have to worry about making a trip to your venue – especially if it’s out of town – the day before your wedding.
Confirm all appointments – Even though you booked your appointments months and months in advance, and probably checked and double-checked on them, do it again. Call your hair salon, makeup artist, florist, limo, baker and any other vendor you are working with to confirm everyone is on the same page, and that everyone knows what time to be where.
Prepare final payments for vendors – Make sure all your final payments to your vendors are made or are set aside to give them the day of your wedding. The last thing you want to do is forget to pay someone.
Plan a rehearsal – No matter if your wedding is a quiet backyard affair or a formal banquet hall event, a rehearsal is very important. There are lots of moving parts to a wedding and people need to know where they need to stand or sit, when they need to come out to music, who is holding bouquets, when to do a unity ceremony, what’s going to happen at the end of readings or when to say your vows. This doesn’t have to necessarily be done the day before your wedding, but it needs to be done close to it.
Get enough sleep – Nerves may get the best of you, therefore, making it hard to fall asleep or stay asleep, and that’s totally normal. However, you want to make sure you give yourself enough time to make up for that. Plan ahead so you get to bed at a reasonable time. Night owls, this means no late nights and early morning. Plan a good 6-8 hours of sleep each night of the week leading up to your wedding. This not only will calm your nerves, but it’ll give you more clarity and composure.
Schedule “me” time – Yoga or meditating are great ways to de-stress. Even just a few minutes of quiet deep breathing or scheduling in a nap can be an excellent way to recharge, refuel and get centered. The days leading up to your wedding are going to be very busy, chaotic and stressful. You need to take care of yourself. Being on the go all the time can lower your immunity, and you don’t want to be sick on your wedding day.
Don’t party too hard – it’s very easy to want to just live it up the week leading up to your wedding or even the night before, but trust me, partying too hard is just going to leave you with a ton of regret. Yes, have a glass or two of wine. Yes, enjoy yourself at your rehearsal dinner. However, drinking too much or staying out too late is just going to have a snowball effect when you don’t have the time to be nursing a hangover or the patience to be working off a few hours of sleep.
Don’t change your routines – Now is not the time to be trying new routines. Keep everything as “normal” as possible. Don’t try new skin routines, or a diet regimen, or sleep routine. Stick with what works well because you don’t want any negative surprises on your wedding day.
Don’t sunbathe – We all know sunbathing is bad, and we should be wearing SPF, so don’t go out and sit in the sun in the days leading up to your wedding. You don’t want to be burnt or have unsightly tan lines. If being tan on your wedding is something you want, talk to your salon to see if they offer spray tans, or even better, see if they offer natural spray tans without the harsh chemicals. Whatever you do, don’t use tanning beds!
Don’t try new foods – This kind of goes along the same lines as not trying new routines. Trying new foods is always great. I love doing it. But, before such a big event, you better be safe. Leave being adventurous at the door until you are on your honeymoon or until you get back. The last thing you want is to try something new and then realize you have a reaction to it and get sick.
Get yourself organized – Gather all necessary items such as garments, your suitcase, paperwork and any other day-of essentials and keep them in one, easy-to-get-to location. We have a great list of things to pack for your wedding day here or below:
Prepare your welcome bags – You want to make sure that your welcome bags are assembled and available at the hotel(s) your guests are staying at prior to the day your first guest arrives. Some guests may arrive the day before, some might check-in that day. Check with your hotel to confirm a drop-off date.
Go to the bank – This is one of those things that might be on your to-do list, but could get pushed back. You want to go to the bank for several reasons. One, you want to make sure you have some cash on you or ready to take with you for your honeymoon. Second, you want to let your bank know of any traveling you might be doing so that they can put an alert on your card. You don’t want to go away on vacation and have your bank cancel your cards thinking they might have been stolen.
Break in your shoes – Guys and girls, I can’t stress enough how uncomfortable dress shoes can be if you haven’t broken them in or stretched them. Don’t put yourself through the agony of painful feet. Break your shoes in, wear them around the house, dance in them, do whatever you need to do to make sure they feel good. Inevitably, you might just want to bring a change of shoes altogether when it comes time for dancing, but be sure to give your feet some love.
Make sure all DIY projects are done – Make sure all of your DIY projects are done at least a week in advance, if not more. The week and days leading up to your wedding shouldn’t be spent with a glue gun in your hand. I love a good craft project, but there comes a time when you have to walk away from the craft table and let it be.
Exchange gifts with your spouse – Here’s why this should be done before your wedding and not the day of. Simply put, Pictures and time. If you are not doing a first-look and are seeing each other for the first time at the ceremony, when are you going to have time to exchange gifts? Also, remember, opening gifts makes a great photo op, which is usually done as you are getting ready. You want to make sure you give each other your gifts prior to the wedding so that you have something to open when your photographer arrives.
Finish your vows – Waiting until the morning of your wedding to write your vows or finish them is not good. Try to plan to have these done at least a week ahead of time. That gives you time to go back, edit, change things around and really make sure they’re perfect. Plus, if you are the DIY-type, it gives you a chance to do something really creative with them.
Gabby and Mike’s stunning September Hudson Valley wedding took place at the beautiful Country Club at Otterkill. Their photographer, Erica Leman of Sweet Alice Photography has known the bride for some time, and recalls why shooting their wedding meant so much.
“I first met Gabby at a wedding – but not her own,” says Erica. “She works as one of the coordinators at Hollow Brook Golf Club and told me after that wedding that it only took working with her for that one time two years ago to know that she wanted me to photograph her wedding (what a kind compliment!).”
Erica says, “Gabby and Mike are the most dynamic duo. Their happiness is infectious, and makes others aspire to what they are. They are hilarious, and always have others laughing. Most of all, they are kind and compassionate and have a deep love for all of the individuals in their lives who have always supported them.”
The Country Club at Otterkill recently went through a renovation, and Gabby and Mike were one of the first couples to get married there after that reno. Their wedding was also full of so many details. “Their little touches were so evident – the signs laid against chairs lining the ceremony aisle, the Marvel-themed wedding cake, the hue of the bridesmaid gowns. Everything was attended to perfectly,” says Erica.
What was Erica’s favorite moment to capture? She says, “…my very favorite was when, after the ceremony, walking away for formal portraits, Mike looked at Gabby with the biggest smile I have ever seen, and had tears in his eyes, just SO excited to know they were married. Every day should have this sort of love in it. Every single day.”
It’s no secret that summer is prime wedding season and no matter where you are in the country, summer, especially June is, by far, the most popular season to get married. In fact, last summer, over 3,800 weddings took place in the Hudson Valley alone just between June and August*! So, if you are one of the couples who were lucky enough to book the few summer weekends available for your wedding, we want to share a few tips that you and your guests will appreciate.
But first, a small history lesson on why summer weddings, specifically June weddings, are so popular. First, the word “June” comes from the name “Juno” who was the Roman goddess of marriage. Second, back in Medieval times, when personal hygiene was almost non-existent, most people took yearly, yes yearly, baths, in May or June when the weather was warmer. This meant that people smelled better during those times, which, for such an important day, you want to be smelling your best. P.S. This is also where the tradition of carrying bouquets comes in. Women carried bouquets hoping that the smell of the flowers would disguise their body odor.
Today, it’s easy to see why Summer is so popular. after the long winter and rainy spring, couples, especially in the Hudson Valley, are eager to break their cabin fever and spend as much time outside as possible. And since summer doesn’t last too long, you want to take advantage of it as much as you can.
So if you are a summer bride or groom, here are 6 things you need to take into consideration…
I don’t need to tell you that while the sun is beautiful and warm, it’s also dangerous. But, so many people still forget to use protection. If you are having an outdoor wedding remember to apply sunscreen! Between the ceremony and pictures, you can be outside for quite a few hours. You don’t want to get sunburned on your wedding day. If you are red and burned in photos, your photographer can only do so much with editing. Even if you don’t burn and are one of the lucky ones that get gorgeously tan, SPF is your best friend. You don’t want those harmful rays damaging your skin in years to come.
Also, make sure there is shade too, your guests will thank you. If your guests are sitting out in the sun for your ceremony, they’re going to want shade. Whether it’s from trees, tents, shade from the building, or visors, make sure your guests are comfortable. Remind them to wear sun protection too.
Hudson Valley summers can get hot, even triple digits, and the last thing you want is to be sweating on your wedding day. Shade, as I mentioned before, can obviously help here too. However, if you can’t get shade, make sure you dress appropriately. Choose a gown that’s sleeveless and light, with loose construction. Beading and structure (boning, corsets) can make a dress VERY heavy, so you want to make sure that when you choose your dress it’s weather appropriate. Also, make sure your makeup is properly set, so that if you do start to sweat, it doesn’t start to drip off your face.
Again, think about your guests too, especially if they are older or very young. They are more susceptible to heat-prone illness. If your reception is outside, make sure that your venue has fans or ceiling fans that can keep you and your guests cool while you’re dancing. Tents, even with open sides, can get very warm, and remember, most barns weren’t built for events. If heat is a serious issue for you, skip an outdoor ceremony or reception altogether.
Summer can be rainy, even if it’s just a passing afternoon storm. Always have a plan “B”. If rain is predicted for your ceremony, can you move it indoors? If it rains overnight before your outdoor wedding or reception, are walkways going to be muddy? What about the parking lot? Are guests going to be parking in a mud puddle or is it a concrete parking lot? Is water going to seep into your reception area, especially if your reception is in a tent? These are all things you need to consider and knowing what your plan “B” will be is a very important conversation you need to have with your venue or wedding planner.
Bugs come with summer, but after the rain, they seem to be more abundant. What is your plan to prevent summer bugs from bothering you and your guests? I went to an outdoor June wedding once, and by the time I left, my legs were covered in bites! Are you going to have bug lights around your perimeter? Are you going to leave little bottles of bug spray for your guests? This is a detail that you might not think about until you’re at your wedding smacking and swatting bugs all night.
Food & drinks
When you think of summer fare, you think light and fresh, maybe even BBQ. Have some fun with this. What are some of your favorite summer foods? For me, watermelon is right at the top. Maybe do watermelon slushies, or even have a cotton candy booth, reminiscent of county fairs. You can even do mini corn dogs or mini crab cakes as a passed appetizer. The possibilities are endless.
You want to make sure, though, that you stay away from really heavy foods. Think roasted potatoes over mashed, salad instead of soup. Heavy foods in the summer tend to make people feel even hotter. Also, check with your venue or caterer to make sure whatever food you have, especially if it has any sort of cream in it, is held at the right temperature to prevent illness.
Remember your drinks too. Because of the summer heat, you want a good mix of non-alcoholic and alcoholic drinks as you don’t want to consume too much alcohol if you’re really hot. Slushies or frozen drinks are always fun. Light spritzers are a good addition as well.
Think about adding cool desserts like shaved ice, ice cream or ice cream floats. Maybe even rent out an ice cream truck for the night.
Summer is a popular time in the Hudson Valley. Between graduations, festivals, and yes, other weddings, hotels are at max capacity. Make sure you reserve your room blocks early. Since most hotels will only allow you to book 10 rooms at a time, and will not let you reserve more until the first 10 are reserved, you may want to get room blocks at a few different hotels. This is also helpful for your guests, too, because it gives them a choice in location and price point.
Are you having a summer wedding? What are you doing to beat the heat?
What do you do when you’re a couple who loves the outdoors, running marathons, and ice cream? You incorporate that into your engagement photos, of course! Lucy and Phil, who are planning their Hudson Valley wedding this December at The Garrison, had their engagement photos taken in the cute historic village of Cold Spring.
“It was such a delight to photograph Lucy & Phil’s engagement photos… The two of them made each other laugh and smile the entire shoot and it’s clear to me that they’re going to have a marriage filled with lots of laughter and happiness,” says their photographer, Lin Pernille Kristensen, owner of Lin Pernille Photography. Both Lucy & Phil are avid hikers, runners, and bikers and knew they wanted their wedding to be located in the Hudson Valley, surrounded by mountains and nature. We chose to take their engagement photos near their venue The Garrison in an adorable village on the Hudson River – Cold Spring, NY. Coming from a military family, Phil also thought it was awesome that US Military Academy at West Point was located right across the river! After exploring the town and getting an ice cream cone at Moo Moo’s Creamery, they finished up the shoot with a jog along the trail, sporting their Chicago Marathon t-shirts.”
When you get to follow a couple from their engagement through to their wedding, it’s a magical thing. Nora and Dan’s engagement session was featured on the blog a few months ago (check the link below to check it out) and today, we’re featuring their Hudson Valley wedding at Highlands Country Club.
Their photographer, Erica Leman, owner of Sweet Alice Photography, had so many great things to say about their wedding day. “I am not exaggerating when I say that Nora and Dan are my ideal clients. Kind, compassionate, funny, giving, and easy to be around – they feel like your best friends from the moment you interact with them,” she says. “Their love for each other (and cats, haha) makes them stand out above others. Their love is almost tangible, almost like you can touch it if you reach hard enough, and was the perfect theme for their wedding day.”
She says, “Nora and Dan got married on the most beautiful September day at Highlands Country Club. Not too hot, not too cold. Their friends and family gathered in excited groups around them throughout the day, and added to their happiness. Nora was the giggliest I’ve ever seen her; Dan was the best sport about their photos, and fell into an ease beside her.”
As for the details, Leman says, “Their wedding colors were gorgeous and incredibly complimentary. I mean, blush and blue – can it get any prettier? Their arbor was made by a family friend, and Nora’s jewelry was graciously borrowed from Jaymark Jewelers. As always with Nicole Brooke salon, hair and makeup was incredibly fun, and a total breeze. Nora and Dan had the type of wedding I could relive over and over and over.”