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Eclectic Hudson Valley Wedding Infused With a 1970s Folk Vibe at The Ashokan Center

What happens when you combine 1970s folk, with an officiant wearing angel wings, a band called “The Slimers”, and an afterparty with Karaoke that ended the next morning? You get Allison and Matthews wedding, of course! We had the chance to speak to the newlyweds about their eclectic Hudson Valley wedding at The Ashokan Center, and their story is just as fun as you would expect especially their proposal! All of it was beautifully captured by White Poppy Weddings
 

How did you meet?

 

Allison: “We met about seven years ago on OkCupid, or, as my friends and I used to call it at the time, “The Website.””
 

Matt: “I suggested the hotel bar at the La Quinta in Koreatown, Manhattan for our first date. Trust me, the view was incredible.”
 

Describe your proposal?

 

Allison: “We had been discussing our feelings about marriage for quite some time, and I knew I wanted to be the one to propose. I bought a ring for Matt and dutifully hid it in my drawer, and then promptly lost my nerve and couldn’t figure out the right time to do it. The ring stayed in my drawer for months until late one Thursday night after a friend’s wedding when we were again discussing our feelings about partnership and ritual. Matt mentioned that he was a little disappointed I hadn’t proposed when he expected me to (apparently it’s a British tradition for a woman to propose on February 29th of a leap year, who knew!) but he said he understood and that he didn’t want to pressure me and we didn’t have to get married, etc. It suddenly became clear that that very moment would be the best, most meaningful, most surprising time to whip out a ring, so I said “hold on one second, keep talking, I’m listening,” and I went upstairs to grab the box. I got down on one knee, and Matt said “Yes!” before I even had a chance to ask! Sure, we were both a little drunk in the kitchen at 1:30 on a weeknight and Matt was about to leave town for a month, but it felt right.”
 

Matt: “I’d consumed a few drinks for sure, and my sadness at feeling overlooked as a life partner by Allison gave way to a rant about the marriage industrial complex, specifically what I perceived as a weighting towards creating the perfect day versus whatever comes after, and the next thing I knew, Allison was on bended knee with a lovely ring she had picked out for me. I had a piece of toast in my mouth at the time.”
 


 

Did you have a wedding theme or certain vibe you were going for?

 

Allison: “We had a hard time articulating our vision, but fortunately we had a couple of genius friends who agreed to help us set the scene. We wanted the vibe to land somewhere between a garish full-color cookbook from 1971 and a traditional May Day celebration. Our friends constructed an incredible design incorporating giant plaster cakes, plenty of gold mylar, and some unbelievable dollar store finds. My mom and I had a fantastic bonding experience sourcing cheap, beautiful mid-century glassware for flowers, and Matt had fun choosing 1970’s folk-horror-inspired fonts and colors for our signage. We asked a group of friends to sing “Sumer is Icumen In” (an 800-year-old English anthem proclaiming the arrival of spring) for our ceremony recessional. My concern with design unity is pretty minimal; usually, I just want things to look nuts. My stepmother officiated and we were both very excited by the idea that she would wear a pair of feathered wings. No real thematic reason; it just seemed fun.”
 

Matt: “We succumbed to the mood board temptation and it turned out that Pinterest was really useful for helping to give substance to the ideas we were struggling to vocalise. It was when Allison added two pictures: one of the Source family hanging out next to a Rolls Royce and another of a sassy, disinterested looking woman hanging out in someone’s basement in the 70s, that I knew what we should be going for. I’m personally quite taken with the church/veteran’s hall-done-up-for-a-celebration atmosphere, so the mylar curtains were important to us. Plus we really like disco music and we were glad to be permitted to hang a disco ball in the center of the performance/ceremony space. The decorations in the dining hall were so well thought out by our friends that I’m still excited by the wonderful feat they accomplished; macrame runners, floating candles in punch bowls, gold rocks, etc.”
 

Why did you choose the Hudson Valley for your wedding?

 

Allison: “I’m from the Hudson Valley and I’m so passionate about it I have the Stone Ridge zip code tattooed on my leg. Matt’s from the UK and has friends scattered all over the world, so we were excited to bring many people to upstate New York for the first time, and provide them with a setting where they could have good food and good company provided for the entire weekend (while supporting small businesses in the community I love!) We currently live in New York City, and I spend a lot of time thinking about the urban/rural divide within my own heart, so I wanted to celebrate near the Ashokan Reservoir where we could reflect on the complex interwoven infrastructure that sustains us. The Ashokan Center was our dream venue from the start since you get the site for basically three days, you can party all night long, and everything’s provided. We’d also been to concerts there, so we had pre-existing positive associations and we knew it would work well for live music. Plus it’s a 15-minute drive from my mom’s house!”
 

Matt: “It made perfect sense to get married in the Hudson Valley. I also spent a large portion of my childhood growing up in the country and to that extent, Allison’s experience didn’t seem too different from mine. We have spent many pleasant weekends visiting family and friends in the area and it was important to me to share this with the UK contingent. A note on the Ashokan Center: we were really sold on the idea of there being no curfew and although we were passed out by around 3 am, some guests made it until sunrise on Sunday morning! And of course, it is in a wonderful location, which we felt would give our guests the ideal opportunity to explore the immediate locale.”
 


 

Do you have any tips for engaged couples?

 

Allison: “It really helped us to think of the wedding not as an obligation, but as a collaborative project where we could learn more about our communication styles and problem-solving skills. We felt less guilty about spending money to throw an elaborate party when we realized it was a serious relationship-building activity. Of course, that meant that when it was over we were depressed the way you might be when a show, tour, or job ends, so it’s important to make space to process those feelings afterward. On a more prosaic note – hire a day-of-coordinator if you can! It won’t make you any less punk to get some help, and it will make it a lot easier to actually eat during the event.”
 

Matt: “Make sure at least one of you can use spreadsheets. I will be forever indebted to Allison for this. In all seriousness though, I must echo Allison’s thoughts: you may think that the logistical task of organising a wedding is not necessarily the most romantic path towards a greater understanding of the other, however in our case it absolutely was, and although we had initially talked about this being a compelling reason for getting married, I was still surprised to find myself, a week out, feeling the first waves of depression about this brief stage of our relationship coming to an end. If your schedule permits, give yourself plenty of time to pull together the various elements of your wedding. We were engaged for two years and one thing that helps keep stress levels down is pacing yourself because things will definitely start to ramp up a couple of months before the ceremony. Yes, there were a couple moments of heightened tension, I think that’s unavoidable, but for the most part, Allison and I had really had a wonderful time working together on this project. As for budgeting, try to be honest and rigid about the absolute most you are willing and can afford to spend on your wedding. We tried to work with two projected budgets: one where we would cut as many corners as possible and the other the top end of what we were comfortable spending. This actually was very helpful because it made us focus on the areas where it would be most beneficial to allocate our budget. When you can quickly pull up a list of different cost options on a spreadsheet, it definitely helps streamline the decision-making process. And yes, definitely allow yourself the space to process the post-wedding depression afterward! It’s ok though, you got married for a reason, right?”
 

What was the most memorable moment of your wedding?

 

Allison: “This is a tough one to pin down! We have a lot of performers among our friends and family, and I LOVE toasts, so we had many uproarious speeches from our loved ones. Our friends also put together a supergroup covers band for us, and we were totally floored by how hard they worked and how they managed to put together an entire set of our favorite songs in a month. By the end of that I was just insane and screaming with joy, and we still had an awesome after party with two DJ’s (also our dear friends) and late-night karaoke to go. But let’s be honest, my favorite moment was immediately after our ceremony when we just held each other and wept with happiness.”
 

Matt: “Well, it seemed like Allison was just standing there waiting for me to reemerge from the crumpled up ball on the floor that I was, bawling my eyes out. But yes, that was very memorable. I also got a huge kick from the merry peals of laughter that emanated from the ceremony hall as Allison’s step-mother appeared from behind the mylar curtain in her wings. It helped shake me from my extremely nervous state and put me straight back in the moment. I loved the toasts far more than I expected. Allison was pulling hard to make this a key component of the wedding and during the moment itself, it totally dawned on me why asking these people, who we loved and admired, to do something they might not normally do was so important. You learn new things in these moments. Who knew my dad would be so adept at prop comedy? Who knew my mum would pull a boss power move by refusing to stand up for her toast? That said, I think the first look was my favourite moment. I knew Allison had put an awful lot of time and effort into sourcing and putting together her wedding ensemble but even then, I just couldn’t believe how calm and radiant and beautiful she looked when I saw her first. I’ll never forget the way she was that day.”
 


 

Vendors:

 

Venue: The Ashokan Center

Catering: The Ashokan Center, Chef Bill Warnes

Planner/Coordinator: Danielle DeFreest of Every Little Detail.

Dessert: We baked our own cake (it looked really goofy but we wanted to give our guests something we’d made together), but we got supplementary desserts from Lydia’s Cafe and the Alternative Baker

Flowers: We worked with Adam’s Fairacre Farms to come up with a hybrid plan that worked with our budget. They created two large professional arrangements for our welcome table, and then allowed us to buy additional flowers in bulk so that my mom and her friends could make the little table arrangements. I highly recommend this approach!

Photography: Alex Ligouri of White Poppy Weddings

Hair/Makeup: Madison Smith

Entertainments/design: As mentioned, we had a huge amount of help from friends who we asked well in advance, as well as friends who just decided to help as the weekend unfolded. We were – and still are – so, so grateful for their input, time and patience with us. The wedding would have looked very different without them.

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11 Unique Hudson Valley Experiences Perfect For Your Bachelor or Bachelorette Party

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of a bachelor or bachelorette party? Many assume it’s a night full of drinking and debauchery or a guys or girls weekend somewhere with your “squad.” But that’s not always the case. If you are looking for something different and memorable, here are 11 Hudson Valley experiences perfect for a unique bachelor or bachelorette party.

 

Laugh it Up Comedy Club at Mahoney’s Irish Pub & Steakhouse, Poughkeepsie

 

Laugh it Up Comedy Club is one of the Hudson Valley’s premier comedy clubs and is perfect for the guy or girl who wants a fun, affordable, lighthearted night out with friends. They bring in some of the most sought-after comedy acts in the country, including, most recently, Gilbert Gottfried (you may remember him as the voice of Iago in the Disney animated classic “Aladdin”) and Colin Quin (from “Saturday Night Live” fame). Instead of making a trip to NYC to see great comedians, they bring them to you. You can also come early to chow down on some delicious Irish/American cuisine and drinks.

 

Hudson Valley Renegades, Fishkill

 

This is definitely the place to be for baseball fans! The Hudson Valley Renegades are the short-season, Class A affiliate of the American League’s Tampa Bay Rays and offer some great opportunities – not only for bachelor or bachelorette parties but engagement parties, as well. For a small group, you can try Leo’s Table for 6, which is a private table for you and five friends, catered by Leo’s Italian Restaurant and Pizzeria. If you and your significant other want to combine parties, they offer luxury air-conditioned suite rentals for 15-20 people or picnic area rentals on both the first- and third-base lines, for 20 or more people. Both come fully catered and include mention on the video board.

 

iFLY Westchester Indoor Sky Diving, Yonkers

 

If you are up for a massive rush of adrenaline, you might want to try indoor skydiving at iFLY Westchester. Imagine being propelled into the air in a giant vertical wind-tunnel that simulates what it’s like to actually go skydiving. Having fun is always a must, but safety, of course, is their number one priority, so certified instructors prepare you for this 1½ – 2-hour experience. Participants will have to sign a waiver; and once all safety precautions are taken, you and your party can live it up and also take advantage of the flight enhancements and catering options they provide for your party. You can also purchase photos from the day, which would make an awesome gift.  Imagine the stories you and your bridal party will have. It’ll certainly be a party no one will forget.

 
RELATED: 4 WEDDING GIFT IDEAS UNIQUE TO THE HUDSON VALLEY
 

Skydive the Ranch, Gardiner

 

If you and your bridal party are true risk-takers and want to jump from 13,500 feet in the air, then Skydive the Ranch might be for you. Their team of certified instructors make sure you have an experience of a lifetime. Safety, again, is their number one concern so be prepared to watch training videos, sign paperwork, and be fully instructed for your jump. Assuming this is your first jump, your jump will be a tandem jump, meaning you are jumping with a licensed, experienced professional on a parachute built for two. Plan for about 3 hours, from the time you arrive to the time you’re finished, but add more time for more jumpers. The best part: Professional videographers film the whole jump. What a great film to play during your cocktail reception!

 

New York Zipline Canopy Tours, Hunter

 

Popular for skiing, Hunter Mountain is also home of the New York Zipline Canopy Tours, the largest zip line canopy tour in North America. You can zip line during the day or even at night, and they have three different options for thrill-seekers. The adventure tower takes you through nine different obstacles as you make your way up a 60-foot-tall tower. The mid-Mountain Tour can be done during the day, or at night, and has six zip lines and four suspension bridges. The tallest, fastest and longest zip lines are found in the Skyrider tour. Fly 600 feet above the valley at speeds of nearly 50 miles per hour! The Skyrider Tour is not for the faint of heart, but certainly, an experience to remember.

 

Angry Orchard, Walden

 

Nestled on a 60-acre orchard in the heart of the Hudson Valley, Angry Orchard – yes, THAT Angry Orchard – is a great day-trip for you and your friends. For over 200 years, cider has been made in the Hudson Valley, and this farm has all your cider wants and needs covered. You and your bridal party can take one of three tours, including one of their gorgeous treehouse tasting room, designed and built by Animal Planet’s “Tree House Masters”; all tours include cider tastings. After your tour, make your way to the Cider Garden, where you can casually relax by the fire sipping your favorite cider. Time it right and you can also catch some great live music from bands such as Sublime during their Angry Orchard Rock the Roots one-day music festivals.

 

Table to Farm Tours, Roxbury

 

Located in the Catskill Mountains of Delaware County, Table to Farm Tours are perfect for any bride or groom that considers themselves to be a ‘foodie’ and who appreciates the local bounty the Hudson Valley has to offer. Table to Farm Tours brings you face-to-face with the farmers who grow the food you eat, gives you a chance to hear their stories, tour their farms and taste the food they put the time and effort into growing. They also offer dinner and drink tours that take you to local vineyards, distilleries and cideries and pairs that experience with a home-cooked, farm-to-table meal. They can even curate a tour specifically for you, which would be a perfect way to celebrate with your bridal party.

 

Hudson Valley Wedding Yoga, Kingston

 

A wedding is a joyous occasion, but planning a wedding can be one of the most stressful occasions – not just for the bride or groom, but for the bridal party as well. The folks at Hudson Valley Wedding Yoga understand and want to help you de-stress naturally. In fact, their slogan is “Adding peace and presence to life’s joyous celebrations.” Yoga classes would be perfect for you and your significant other alone, just to center, breathe and relax, but also makes a great outing for your bridal party. If you think you can’t ‘do’ yoga, don’t worry. They’ll customize a program based on your specific needs and abilities. Each session includes a guided meditation and breathwork, all designed to calm your body, mind, and spirit.

 
RELATED: 5 SURPRISING THINGS YOUR BRIDAL PARTY EXPECTS OF YOU
 

Savor Beauty, Saugerties / NYC

 

How does a spa day with your girls sound? If that sounds right up your alley, Savor Beauty is for you. Savor Beauty is an organic skin care line based upon Korean beauty traditions, have three locations in New York City and Saugerties, and offer spa packages for the bride and bridal party (6-12 people). Each 90-minute spa party includes a dedicated party host who shows you how to create your own face mask using exotic clays, and a Savor Beauty masterclass (featured on Allure.com) teaching you how to create a one-minute self-care skin ritual. You’ll also have time to explore their clean, eco-conscious makeup line to enhance what you already have in your makeup bag, get a beauty goodie bag and credit toward a day-of purchase. It’s a BYOC (Bring Your Own Cake) party but they provide a bottle of champagne!

 

Hudson River Cruises, Kingston

 

Explore the Hudson River in the way it was intended – by cruising. Hudson River Cruises on the Rip Van Winkle is not only a great option for you and your bridal party, but can also be a great location for your wedding or rehearsal dinner. They offer a huge array of tours including sightseeing tours, happy hour sightseeing tours, July sunset cruises and themed music cruises with both DJ or live music. Each cruise leaves Kingston, goes south to Hyde Park and back to Kingston again and lasts about 3 hours. On your cruise, you’ll see majestic mansions, historical homes, and breathtaking scenery. Add more fun to your cruise by checking out one of the many restaurants in the Kingston Rondout before or after your trip.

 

A Maze in Pottery, Briarcliff Manor

 

If you want to explore your artistic side and create a really cool wedding gift or keepsake for your home, try A Maze in Pottery. They are a paint-your-own-pottery studio and provides a whole showroom full of unglazed pottery such as vases, dishes, pots, and jars. All you have to do is choose what item you want and paint it. No appointment is necessary, but groups of five or more are required to call ahead. The studio fee is nominal and the unfinished pieces start at $4, with the average price being between $15 – $25. Once you choose your item, their staff will guide you through the painting process. They use non-toxic, lead-free, food-safe glazes and paints and have idea books, stencils, sponges, and stamps to really make your piece one-of-a-kind. When you’re done painting, they glaze it and fire it in their kilns to make it shiny, and safe for food, the microwave, and the dishwasher. Your item is then ready to be picked up one week from the day you paint it. Imagine making a serving dish for the couple, or a first-date guest book.

 

What are you planning for your bachelor or bachelorette party? Would you consider any of these experiences for yours?
 
Photo credit: Cassady K Photography

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LindsayBrown Photography Hudson Valley wedding same-sex couple Cedar Lakes Estates Port Jervis New York

Summer Hudson Valley Wedding at Cedar Lakes Estate in Port Jervis, NY

Summer in the Hudson Valley is a magical time. Carrie and Rebecca’s summer wedding at Cedar Lakes Estate in Port Jervis captures the summer so perfectly with vibes of camping at the lake and definitely gave their guests a taste of the “hazy, lazy, dog-days of summer” with a twist of modern elegance and rustic charm.
 

We chatted with Carrie and Rebecca and here’s there story:
 

How did you meet?
 

Rebecca: We met on Match.com! Carrie was living in NYC and I was living in Vermont. After less than a year I moved to NYC to be with Carrie and attend college.
 

Tell us all about the proposal!
 

Rebecca: Carrie didn’t hold back! We go to Park City, Utah about once a year and it has become a special place for us. So, naturally January rolled around and we were off to the mountains! One day we woke up and Carrie told me we were going snowmobiling, being from Vermont myself I was very familiar with snowboarding and very excited! The day was brisk with a light flurry. We drove to the location, got on our snowmobiles and road up a mountain with a guide. Once at the top, the guide gave us some time alone, which I later found out was planned. Carrie asked me to make snow angels with her. I, suspecting nothing, started playing gleefully in the snow. Carrie got my attention when she attempted to get on one knee, the snow was probably 6 ft deep and pulled a ring box out of her pocket. She proposed with her mother’s engagement ring that her parents graciously passed down to us. It was an insanely magical moment.
 

Describe the wedding planning process. Why did you choose the vendors you worked with?
 

Carrie: It began a few months after our engagement. We looked into a couple of venues and then was told about Cedar Lakes Estate (CLE) from a friend. We quickly went up to Port Jervis, NY and fell in love with the property and what the owners, Stephanie and Lisa, had created. We were hooked! We also loved that CLE provided a weekend-long experience for us and our guests. CLE made it very easy for us and provided a list of suggested vendors, from there we narrowed it down to vendors that aligned with our style. This process was the same with our wedding planner, Amanda Savory from Amanda Savory Events (formerly Bespoke Moments). We met with her and knew it was a good fit!
 

Tell us about your wedding day?
 

Rebecca: Our wedding day was amazing. Started with a delicious breakfast and then we and our guests took advantage of the property; yoga, pool, ‘the blob’ (a big bouncy tube in the lake) and zip lining. Our ceremony was held on the beautiful mountaintop. Moments before our ceremony a fawn walked across the seating area, creating an insanely perfect ambiance. We were married by Carrie’s childhood friend Sarah. The reception was in the barn and the food was INSANE, our guests were very impressed. Our band rocked it and it was soon time for the after party which was held in the treehouse! At the after party CLE served mini burgers and cheese sandwiches while we played beer pong and flip cup. It was the best weekend of our lives!
 

What is your advice for newly engaged couples?
 

Rebecca: Our advice for newly engaged couples would be to enjoy your engagement and not rush into the wedding. We were engaged for a year and a half before our wedding. Also, when people tell you to spend the money on food and the band they are not lying. The final piece of advice is to recognize that this event is not about the flowers or the dress or even the photos, but about you and your soon-to-be spouse. Carrie and I did a good job at this and I believe this is one of the reasons why we were able to have a relaxing enjoyable weekend.
 

We were also able to speak to their planner, Amanda Savory, and here’s what she had to say about their wedding:
 

Amanda: “When I first met with Carrie and Rebecca, I felt like we were friends already. Right from the start, our time together was very casual and informative, enough to where they felt comfortable securing me as their full-service wedding planner.
 

They were very detail-oriented and knew exactly what they wanted, but they also didn’t let the planning stress them out. Together they had incredibly good vibes that carried throughout the entire wedding planning adventure. It was so much fun to work with them which made it so gratifying to see their wedding weekend come together.
 

Carrie and Rebecca’s wedding was at the end of Pride Week which made their celebration even more special. They didn’t want it to seem like a traditional wedding, they just wanted their friends and family to have a good time and celebrate them. The food and design were super important to them because Carrie is a chef, and Rebecca is a jewelry designer. Everything from the color palette to the menu to the favor gemstones on each plate were carefully chosen. The overall design was important, but at the end of the day, they just wanted their big day to feel welcoming.
 

Their wedding day was very low key, there was not a lot of pressure. We were able to do a lot of the planning so early on and really prepare for their wedding day so that when it came to the big day it all went so smoothly. The whole weekend was a seamless process full of meeting their family, their friends, and by that point, I became really good friends with Carrie and Rebecca. It was a fast friendship where I just happened to be their wedding planner.”
 
Photos by: Lindsay Brown
 


 

Vendors:

 

Wedding Planner: Amanda Savory Events (formerly Bespoke Moments)

Event Design: Rye Workshop

Venue & Caterer: Cedar Lakes Estate

Photographer: Lindsay Brown

Invitation Designer: Suitesmith

Photo Booth Equipment: The Bosco Booth

Beauty: MG Hair & Makeup

Band: Elan Artists, performers – Suit and Tie

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Otterkill Golf Club wedding Sweet Alice Photography

Three things that make you ask “What the heck do I do with this?” at my wedding

Inevitably, there comes a point in the planning process where you’re going to be analyzing the smallest, and I mean smallest, of details for your wedding day. There are three specific things that are going to literally make you stop in your tracks and ask “What the heck do I do with this?”
 

It’s not your fault, just things you don’t really think about until that day or a few days before your wedding. If you have a wedding planner, chances are all this will be discussed with you. But if you are the majority of couples that don’t hire a wedding planner and do this all yourself, here are some things you need to know:
 
RELATED: 21 ESSENTIAL THINGS EVERY BRIDE OR GROOM MUST DO THE WEEK BEFORE THEIR WEDDING
 

What the heck do you do with your bouquet?

 

Ok, so this is kind of a two-parter here…
 

The first question should be “How the heck do I hold my bouquet?” Nope, it’s not in front of you. The correct answer is actually at your waist. You don’t want to hold your flowers in front of you because it blocks your face and your dress. Think about it. You’re not presenting the flowers to anyone, you’re just holding them there as an accessory. It drives me crazy when I see brides holding bouquets in front of their torso, but, it’s an easy, natural and comfortable move to make, especially when you’re a bit nervous. Just rest them easy at your waist.
 

The second question that comes up is “What the heck do I do with my bouquet at the reception?” Well, a lot. If you have a suite to get ready at your venue, you can leave your bouquet in there for the night. If you want to enter the reception room carrying your bouquet like most brides, you can assign a member in your bridal party, or your maître d’ to hold your bouquet while you do your first dance. Then take your bouquet and keep it as the centerpiece at your sweetheart table.
 

What the heck do you do with your engagement ring?

 

You may be thinking “wear it, obviously!” Yes, and no. The proper way to wear your wedding bands is the wedding ring first, then engagement ring on top. Why? Along with the tradition of your ring finger having a vein that leads directly to your heart, your wedding band should be worn first as it’s closet to your heart.
 

Now, if this is something that you don’t really care about, you can just keep your engagement ring on, have your spouse put your wedding ring on top of it, and switch them later if you want.
 

If you are superstitious or want to stick to tradition, however, you’ll want to wear your engagement ring on a different finger. Usually, the same finger on your right hand. Now, if you’re right-handed, your fingers may be bigger since those muscles get used more, and your ring may not fit. Same goes if you’re left-handed, the muscles on your right hand may be smaller and the ring may be too loose. If either of those is the case, entrust your engagement ring with someone you trust like a parent, who you know is going to have a small bag with them to hold it until after your ceremony.
 
RELATED: ENGAGEMENT RINGS: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW BEYOND THE 4 “C”s
 

What the heck do you do with your car?

 

Remember, you’re going to need to get home the next day. This one always makes me chuckle because this happened to us. It wasn’t until the day before our wedding when we were like “How are we going to get home tomorrow?” Trust me, you’ll be asking the same question. Your limo will be taking you to your locations, but what is your “get home” plan?
 

You have a couple of options here. One, hitch a ride with a guest. Simple. Just ask them first so they know to wait for you before they leave.
 

Another option is to see if your hotel or your venue will allow you to leave your car in their parking lot overnight so it’s already there the day of your wedding and will be there the next morning waiting for you. Usually, they won’t have a problem with that and understand your unique circumstance.
 

Do you have a question about what do with something the day of your wedding? Let us know. We’d love to answer it for you?
 

Photo Credit: Sweet Alice Photography

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Chosen Photo Nigerian wedding Vittoriaz on the Lake Jefferson Valley, NY

Hudson Valley Wedding Infused with Nigerian Traditions

Marissa and Anthony’s gorgeous Hudson Valley wedding was infused with elements from the bride’s Nigerian culture. A truly stunning wedding full of love and cultural traditions that’ll make you say “yes” to incorporating your own cultural traditions into your wedding. We wanted to learn more about the Nigerian culture, especially Nigerian wedding traditions, and so we asked Marissa to tell us a little about her wedding and how she met her husband, Anthony.
 

How did you meet?

 

We met in January 2013. Anthony’s friend and my brother worked for the same company and their co-worker was having a party that they invited us to. At one point in the night, Anthony and I played against each other in a game of beer pong. We were kind of flirty with one another while we were playing, nothing too serious. Right before he left, though, Anthony asked me to put my number in his phone, which I did. I remember I told him to text me so I can save his number and the first thing he texted me was “Hey beautiful.” We’ve been inseparable since.
 

What was your engagement like?

 

Anthony is a HUGE Patriots fan and at that point in his life he had never been to a Patriots game, so I decided to change that. As a Christmas gift, I got us tickets to a Pats Vs Jets game, which was on December 21, 2014. We planned to stay overnight at a hotel in the city after the game and have a nice romantic dinner. We had reservations at 8:00 pm so I made sure I had enough time to get ready. As I’m getting ready, I hear Anthony talking to himself, so I look over and realize he was recording a video of the beautiful view from our room. He then walks over to me as he’s filming. I asked him what he was doing he said he was bored and wanted to record me. I told him to finish getting ready because we have reservations, to which he replied: “We can’t leave yet.” I looked at him confused, and asked “What? Why not?” that is when he said, “We can’t go until I ask you to marry me.” Then got on one knee and pulled the ring out from behind him. I, of course, started crying and it took me about 7 minutes to finally stop and say “YES!” We went out to dinner and it was a very intimate setting, so I thought it was perfect. One of the best days of my life!
 

Did you have a wedding theme?

 

No, we did not have a theme. But our colors were chosen as a tribute to my Mom who passed away. Her favorite color was purple and I always wanted turquoise as my color so we made it both.
 

How did you choose the Hudson Valley for your wedding?

 

We lived in the area and so did our family. We wanted a venue that wasn’t too far for our families.
 

I love how you incorporated your culture into your wedding. Can you tell us a little about the Nigerian traditions you incorporated into your day?

 

I am half Nigerian so I wanted to make sure my culture was involved in some way on the biggest day of my life. In the Nigerian Culture, the immediate family wears the same pattern/print so all guests know they are the immediate family of either the bride or groom. My stepmother picked out the family print which is the yellow and purple print that you see in the pictures.
 

As for my dress, as I previously mentioned our colors were purple and turquoise. Our Bridal Party wore purple so I thought the turquoise would be perfect!
 

We did incorporate traditions during our reception. Before we did our first dance, I asked my dad to do a “Kola Nut Blessing.” In Nigeria, the Kola Nut is a sign to welcome someone. If you are not offered a Kola Nut, then you are not welcomed. So I had my Dad and Uncle bless it and welcome all of our guests.
 

Midway through our reception is when we did our outfit change and re-entered to traditional Nigerian music and were joined by the women of my family. We walked to the dance floor and that is when we had our “dollar dance.” This is another tradition where your guests spread dollar bills on the new couple, pretty much saying congratulations and showing their blessings.
 

So, now that you’re a newlywed, what advice do you have for couples who are currently planning their wedding?

 

My advice about planning is: This is your wedding, do not let anyone try and take over or have any input on how your day should be. Do not stress, it’s not worth it. Have fun planning, because the day goes by super fast! Anthony’s advice is to not stress every little detail, be patient planning and listen to each other’s opinions and suggestions.
 

What was the most memorable moment for you and Anthony from your wedding?

 

Anthony’s memorable moment was when he cried while I walked down the aisle. My most memorable moment was honestly introducing my new family and our friends to the Nigerian culture.
 

Photo credit: Chosen Photo

 


 

Vendors:

 
Venue: Vittoria’Z On The Lake
Photography: Chosen Photo
Makeup: The Hair Concierge
DJ: Extreme DJ Inc
Decorator: A-lyst Events
Cake: Homestyle Desserts Bakery
Dress: Leticia’s 

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