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Cassondre Mae Photography Hudson Valley Wedding Mount Gulian Beacon NY

Laid-Back Country Wedding at Historic Hudson Valley Barn

If you’re looking for a historic Hudson Valley barn venue with scenic views of the Hudson River, Mount Gulian is your place! What was once a Revolutionary War headquarters, this beautiful 18th century Dutch Colonial homestead was the perfect setting for Sarah and Anthony wedding this past July.
 

Every detail of the day was full of music, fun and romance and began with a first-look at Beacon’s Long Dock Park.
 

Their photographer, Cassondre Mae of Cassondre Mae Photography said, “Sarah and Anthony wanted their wedding day to be laid back and fun – just like their relationship – and it sure was! Games scattered the rolling lawns of the historic house while their band was cranking the old school 90’s hits in the barn. It was a hot July day – the guests could not wait to get their hands on something cold, so what better way to end the night than with your own personal Ice Cream truck for dessert! I loved getting to capture the wedding of these two. Their love was the kind of comfy-fuzzy-best-friend-easy-going love that the whole room could feel!”
 

Check out this beautiful gallery for tons of inspiration. Are you planning a wedding at Mount Gulian? What made you decide to book that venue?
 


 

Vendors:
 

Photographer: Cassondre Mae Photography
Venue: Mount Gulian
Florist: Jenny’s Floral Design
Hair & Make Up: Shear Intensity
Entertainment: The Hype Band
Ice Cream: Lakeside Licks

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Hudson Valley wedding Casey Fatchett Photography_red maple vineyard wedding

Elegant and Rustic Hudson Valley Wedding at Red Maple Vineyard

Vineyards are unique and special wedding venues that make the Hudson Valley so appealing for any couple looking for that rustic, country charm. Today, we’re featuring Katrina and Alex’s wedding at Red Maple Vineyard with photos by Casey Fatchett Photography. Their wedding, complete with tractors and a milk and cookie bar,  beautifully infuses bucolic country living with fun and elegance. However, as Fatchett explains, the day did come with one perfectly timed hitch!

 

According to Fatchett, “Katrina and Alex had an elegant but relaxed winery wedding, and, despite the bad weather, everyone had an amazing time. We were able to get their outdoor portraits done before a massive rain storm rolled in. Guests just moved the ‘corn hole’ bean bag toss inside. It rained so hard that the dance floor had to be closed (inside the tent), but only just as the reception was ending. Perfect timing!”

 

Are you having a vineyard wedding? Let these photos inspire all your country dreams.

 


 

Vendors:

 

Photographer: Casey Fatchett Photography
 

Venue: Red Maple Vineyard
 

Invitations: Fine Lines of Katonah
 

DJ: Aria Melody
 

Floral Designer: A Night in Bloom
 

Makeup: Alyse B. Salon
 

Hair: Shear Love NY 
 

Dress: Pnina Tornai 
 

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Hudson Valley adventure engagement at Lake Minnewaska by Krystal Pratt Productions

What are Hudson Valley Adventure Engagement Sessions and are they Right for You?

Have you ever heard of an adventure engagement session? It’s the latest trend in engagement photos and is perfect for any couple getting married in the Hudson Valley looking for that different and unique experience.
 

So, today instead of showing you a real Hudson Valley wedding, we’re going to give you a glimpse of what an adventure engagement session can be. But, first things first…
 

What is an adventure engagement session?

 

Krystal Pratt, owner, and photographer at Krystal Pratt Productions says, “An Adventure Session is a photography session that creates more of an experience than your typical sessions. It allows you to do something out-of-the-ordinary while having fun and creating memories…It’s basically a mini-date with your own personal paparazzi!”
 

Basically, they’re sessions that take you away from the typical posed shots and get you out and about doing something you love so that you’re more relaxed in front of the camera or trying something new and ‘adventurous’ to get a really expressive, in-the-moment feel.
 

What activities would be good for adventure engagement sessions?

 

“Typically”, says Pratt, “An Adventure Session is outdoors in nature and involves some hiking and exploring. Most adventure sessions involve some kind of epic view at the end of it and we take photos along the way up to the ‘main attraction.’ ”
 

However, if nature and hiking or exploring aren’t your thing, there are still a ton of activities you can do to create your own adventure session. The easiest way to decide what to do is to simply make a list of what you enjoy doing together and speaking to your photographer to see which one would be the best for a great session. Still stuck? Here are some ideas:

     

    * Wine or beer tasting at a Hudson Valley vineyard, brewery or distillery

    * A cooking class at the Culinary Institute of America

    * Taking an art class

    * A 5K, marathon or fun-run/mud-run

    * Cutting down a Christmas tree or decorating your home for Christmas

    * Sledding or playing in the snow

    * Spending the day at your favorite amusement park or county fair

    * Kayaking or sailboating

    * Pizza and game night

    * Going to your favorite coffee shop or ice cream stand

    * Working out

    * Having a picnic at a park or along the shores of the Hudson River

    * Going camping

    * Rock climbing

    * Antiquing or attending antique car shows

    * Going apple picking or carving pumpkins

 

Below are photos from a gorgeous styled shoot at Lake Minnewaska, taken by Krystal Pratt Productions, to show you how amazing and casual adventure sessions could be. What do you think? Are you in?
 


 

Vendors:

 

Photographer & StylistKrystal Pratt Productions

Hair – Gina Damiano of Hair by Gina

MakeupIman Thomas of Beleza Artistry

Male Model – Justin Osterthaler

Female Model – Olivia Malian

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Hudson Valley elopement Lake Minnewaska Michele Iljazi Photography

Hudson Valley Elopement at Lake Minnewaska

Elopements are traditionally seen as a wedding done alone, without fanfare or guests and are perfect for couples who just can’t stand the thought of planning a wedding, or who value and treasure privacy. Angelina and Sergio decided on a Hudson Valley elopement at Lake Minnewaska for the privacy, and as you’ll read, that was very important to them. But first, get inspired by their gorgeous elopement with photos by Michele Iljazi Photography
 


 

How did you meet?

 

Sergio and I first met in passing about 20 years ago when we were teenagers working in the same shopping mall, but we never really spoke at great length — we simply admired each other from afar. Then we “bumped” into each other a handful of times before ultimately reconnecting on Match.com in 2010. He emailed me the most engaging, friendly, non-creepy, and sweet note. I became curious, but reluctant to respond because he had no profile picture up yet. Three days later, he finally uploaded one, and I realized it was him — the guy I had been crushing on from afar! I wrote him back immediately. This interaction was quickly followed up with a coffee date later that night, and we have been virtually inseparable ever since!
 

What was your proposal like?

 

Our proposal was unforgettable and one of the best moments of my life! My husband put amazing thought, creativity, and love into the entire occasion, and surprised me with the proposal the day after Christmas, my favorite holiday. Just when I thought the excitement of Christmas was over, Sergio presented me with one last, wrapped present—something he had been creating. He casually handed me the gift, and upon opening it, I found a collection of comic-book style snapshots of moments we had shared, that he had sketched, designed and rendered on his own! He managed to combine humor, innovation, and romance in an album which was sealed with a handwritten note asking if I would spend the rest of his life with him, filling that album up with continued memories together as his wife. When I looked over, he was down on his knee with the most beautiful Heidi Gibson engagement ring that he had custom-made just for me! Of course, I said yes!
 

Why did you decide to elope?

 

We chose to have an elopement because we value the privacy and intimacy that it has to offer. For us, the idea of an elopement felt humble and peaceful, which is a feeling that often gets lost in the hustle and bustle of planning a large-scale wedding.
 

Why did you choose Minnewaska State Park?

 

We chose Minnewaska State Park because of the mountainous views, the reflective quality and serenity of Lake Minnewaska, and the overall feeling of being connected to nature. Upon standing on the rocky cliff overlooking the lake, where we had our ceremony, it literally felt like we were floating in the clouds! There is no other place that can allow you to feel so grounded while simultaneously making you feel like you’re floating.
 

What style were you going for?

 

The style we were going for was bohemian and organic. As the bride, I wanted my look to be unique, feminine, and eclectic while still maintaining that natural vibe!
 

What was your favorite and most memorable moment of the day?

 

It’s really difficult to pick just one!! We chose to exchange private vows we had written to each other in a small gazebo on the way to the ceremony site, which allowed us to shake out our nerves and connect on such an intimate level. Sergio would tell you his most memorable moment was during our ceremony. He describes seeing the sunset behind me, the sounds of nature in the background, and a visual that he says was “picture perfect.”
 

Do you have any advice for engaged couples?

 

The best piece of advice we could give is to have a clear understanding of who you are as a couple so that your wedding is a reflection of your true essence. Don’t get too distracted by the opinions of others!
 

Who were your vendors?

 

Photographer: Michele Iljazi Photography

Bridal Boutique: Everthine Boutique

Bridal Hair: Jessica Sefcik

Bridal Makeup: BeautyMarked Studio

Floral Design: Jakkelyn Iris

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Hudson Valley Wedding White Poppy Weddings New York Country Club New Hempstead New York

Rockefeller Center Proposal and a Hudson Valley Wedding at the New York Country Club

Shannon and Mier’s engagement at Rockefeller Center was like a scene out of your favorite romance movie, complete with a surprise engagement party, and capped off with a week-long cruise! If you thought that couldn’t get any better, wait until you see their photos from their Hudson Valley wedding at the New York Country Club in New Hempstead, NY. White Poppy Weddings captured every detail perfectly and you can see that Shannon and Mier’s day was full of love and laughter. But first, we got a chance to interview the lovely bride, Shannon, and she tells us more about their beautiful love story and shares some REALLY GREAT advice to engaged couples as well.

 

How did you meet?

 

We were introduced through our mutual friend, Nicole. Mier was friends with her in high school and she became my suite mate in college. Every summer I would go to her house on Long Island to celebrate her birthday and it was always a good mix of high school and college friends getting together. I would only see him once a year at her party and it wasn’t until the summer of 2013, which was right after college, that we decided to take a chance and go on our first date together. After that, I found myself traveling to Long Island quite often.

 

What was your proposal like?

 

We had booked a cruise to leave out of Miami on February 12th which also happened to be my birthday. We were flying out early the day before so on the 10th Mier had organized a dinner with our parents to celebrate my birthday. I’m a huge planner so I wanted to set up the whole thing but he insisted on making the location a surprise and the only reason I agreed was that he kept telling me that I shouldn’t be the one planning my birthday. How could I argue with that one?

 

We woke up that morning and he wanted to go into the City for the day which was super spur of the moment because I was under the assumption that he was going into work because it was a Friday. I had also tried convincing him earlier in the week to take the day off but he said he couldn’t, so you could imagine my excitement when he told me he wasn’t going in to work.

 

Rockefeller Center Proposal

Photo from Shannon’s personal collection

We got up and I was trying to find a nice outfit to wear because I am now assuming that my surprise birthday dinner is in the city. One thing leads to another and my getting ready process took a little longer than anticipated so we missed our first train. Oops! He had mentioned that he wanted to go to The Top of the Rock and ice skating at Rockefeller Center but since we missed our first train, we’d only go ice skating because we had tickets already for open skating for a specific time. I was extremely fine with that because ice skating in the City was one of my bucket list items that I’ve always wanted to do. We get into the city and check in at the rink. I remember getting on the ice and feeling so excited to finally be able to see a different perspective of Rockefeller Center.

About 5 minutes before the session ended, Mier says that he’d like to take a picture in front of the main statue. We’re the last people on the ice and he asks an employee if they would mind taking a photo. He hands her my phone and as we’re skating over to the statue I hear “Bittersweet Symphony” by The Verve start playing. Everyone that knows me knows that is my all-time favorite song so I don’t even see a ring yet but I know it’s coming because as I am listening to “Bittersweet Symphony.” I see the biggest smile on his face with tears in his eyes. Mier gets down on one knee and asks me to marry him in the most perfect way. Everyone from above was cheering for us and I remember being overwhelmed with such joy and happiness. It’s moment in time which I get to relive frequently because the girl that was supposed to take our picture captured that exact moment on video.

 

Afterwards, we sit down at the ice skating rinks bar and got treated to a glass of champagne. At this point, I completely forgot about my birthday dinner but Mier tells me that he actually booked a reservation closer to our house in Hastings. We finish our champagne and hop on the train to head back. I’m on cloud 9 and very excited to see our parents and show them my new shiny piece of jewelry. He said that we just needed to stop at the house really quick because he forgot a card that he wanted to bring to the restaurant.

 

We get inside and are greeted with a big “SURPRISEEEE!” Our family and friends came running towards us with open arms and already being an emotional wreck, I start crying once again.

 

The rest of the night was spent celebrating with all of our loved ones and the next morning we flew off to Miami to spend the week cruising tropical islands as a newly engaged couple. It could not have been more perfect.

 

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

 

When planning my wedding I always had the vibe of classy and elegant in the back of my mind. I didn’t want extremely bold colors but rather more neutrals with a pop of lighter blue hints. The blue was incorporated in the bridal party and with our floral arrangements. The first element that I knew we had to have were hydrangeas. They are my absolute favorite flower so I knew that blue needed to be the focus point. Pinterest did a great job at helping find ideas.

 

Why did you choose the Hudson Valley for your wedding?

 

We chose the Hudson Valley for our wedding because my family is from upstate and his family is from Long Island so we thought that it would be a good idea to pick an area that was close to being between our two homes.

 

What was the most memorable moment from your wedding day?

 

There was a moment in the middle of the reception when I sat down while everyone else was on the dance floor. I will never forget that moment because I was overcome with such happiness seeing all of our family and friends having the best time celebrating our marriage. I think it’s very important for couples to take in those moments on their wedding day because it allows you to step back and truly feel all of the love that is surrounding you on your wedding.

 

Do you have any advice for engaged couples about wedding planning?

 

Find your venue as soon as possible. Some people think it’s crazy to start looking right after you get engaged but I have to disagree. While it’s nice to enjoy the time being newly engaged, it’s also important to start looking for your dream location to get married. It could take some time to find that perfect place and if you have a specific day or month in mind, that’s even more of a reason to start the hunt early so you can get the date you want. Schedule those appointments!

 

Also, I cannot stress this enough….. make sure you love your vendors and know who you’re working with! These are the people that you will communicate with frequently which is why it’s super important to feel comfortable with your vendors. There’s a lot of trust that you will need to give them because these are the people who are supposed to make your dream wedding become a reality. Luckily, could not be happier with the vendors that we chose. Everyone was phenomenal and we will be forever grateful for them.

 

Vendors:

 

Venue: New York Country Club – New Hempstead, NY

 

Photography: White Poppy Weddings – Newburgh, NY

 

DJ and Videography: Music Speaks Volumes – Wappingers Falls, NY

 

Hair and Makeup: Bella Trucco – Marlboro, NY

 

Flowers: Bassett Flowers – New City, New York

 

Photo credit: White Poppy Weddings
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Hudson Valley Wedding at Cedar Lakes Estate photos by With Love and Embers

Weekend-Long Hudson Valley Wedding at Cedar Lakes Estate

Taryn and Jason’s Hudson Valley wedding last month was magical in every sense of the word. It began with a proposal in Beacon, NY and ended with their family and friends camped out for an entire weekend at Cedar Lakes Estate in Port Jervis, NY. Check out their stunning photos by With Love & Embers and read all about their beautiful love story, their proposal and some really great advice for choosing vendors as well as cherishing the “engaged” phase of your relationship.
 


 

How did you two meet?

 

Taryn: Jason and I both went to Franklin & Marshall College in Pennsylvania and met during the fall of 2007. I had just started my freshman year and he was a sophomore. We met fairly early on during my freshman year (his sophomore). F&M is a small school so everyone pretty much knew each other, and this was especially true of the athletes (I was playing on the lacrosse team and Jason played baseball). I’m not sure if either of us remembers the exact moment we met, I think it was more gradual…we had a lot of mutual friends, given that the athletes mostly hung out with each other. We started spending more time together in smaller groups, got to know each other a little better, and eventually realized that we had a connection that felt a little deeper than friendship.
 

Tell us all about the proposal!

 

Taryn: We got engaged on a Friday, October 30, 2015, about 8 years after we first met. I was in my 4th and final year of medical school and had just taken one of the biggest exams of my career. Jason wanted to go away for the weekend to celebrate but wanted to surprise me with the details. We started driving north, and within 2 hours, we turned off the highway onto an exit that I knew very well. We were going to Beacon, NY—a small town in the Hudson Valley we visited and fell in love with the year before. Within seconds, I realized that Jason had most likely booked a converted barn that we had found on Airbnb the year before, but it had been unavailable for months. When we got there, Jason said we were running late for our dinner reservation, and asked if I could quickly grab my bags and put them inside so we could head to town for dinner.
 

Still not suspecting a thing, mostly because Jason remained so calm, I opened the door to the barn to find a string-lit filled barn, with 2 horses quietly eating. (I grew up riding horses, so I was MUCH more intrigued by the two of them than the twinkling lights, candles, roses, and the bottle of champagne). It wasn’t until Jason walked over and asked “Can you put your bag down?” that I turned, saw his face, and instantly knew what was happening. I’m still not sure what he said to me, but all I could focus on was the look in his eyes. I actually don’t even think I looked at the ring for a good few minutes! It was the most magical moment, and for a guy who was not the best with romantic gestures and surprises, he pulled out all the stops for this one. We went to dinner after calling our families and made a deal to not tell anyone else until the end of the weekend. We really just wanted to enjoy each other without the distraction of a million phone calls and text messages…and social media, which was the best decision. For the last surprise of the weekend, Jason had set up a celebratory dinner with our families back in the city on Sunday night. The perfect end to the perfect weekend!
 

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

 

Taryn: After taking some time to just be engaged, we slowly started looking at venues online. Cedar Lakes was the first place we visited and from the moment we stepped onto the property, we knew it was where we wanted to get married. Even in the dead of winter, it had a certain magic to it. And in the spring and summer, it’s really is an indescribable place. Jason and I wanted a venue that truly reflected our relationship and who we are as a couple. The outdoors are really important to both of us and play a pretty significant roll in our lives, and in our relationship. Living in the city, we rely on our trips to Vermont, weekends at his family’s lake house, or at my parent’s home near to ocean to ground us and give us a re-charge. We wanted a place that could bring together our love for the mountains, the forest, and water. Cedar Lakes just felt like us. Additionally, our family and friends are so important to us and we were really drawn by venues that allowed for weekend-long celebrations. As a former summer camp, CLE allowed us to host both of our extended family and our entire wedding party on-site, which allowed for a really special weekend.
 

Planning: We realized early on that we were going to need a lot of guidance, as work was crazy for both of us and, as mentioned, Cedar Lakes required a good deal of coordination. We knew we needed someone who was comfortable with the property, the staff, and all of Cedar Lakes Estate’s intricacies. We were introduced to our planner, Amanda of Bespoke Moments, by the CLE team. She has planned countless weddings there over the last few years and after our first conversation, I knew she was perfect for us. Handing the reins over to the Bespoke Moments team was the biggest sense of relief I felt throughout the whole planning process, and it truly allowed us to relax and enjoy. Amanda was integral in a number of vendor choices including the DJ (Generation Events), our rentals (Hudson Valley Vintage Rentals), and our stationary/signage. She also provided us with our “wedding bible”–a multi-page Excel document to keep us on track and organized throughout the planning phase–which truly became our bible.

 

Photography: We knew we didn’t want “traditional” wedding photos and hoped to capture the love, emotions, and candid moments from our day in an organic way. A friend of ours had chosen Jillian & Ryan McGrath of With Love & Embers photography for their wedding–we absolutely loved their photos and knew that their style would be perfect for us and our venue. When we first met Jill & Ryan, we felt an instant connection and as if we had known them for years. And more importantly, we felt so comfortable in front of their lenses during our engagement shoot and understood how important this would be on our wedding day.

 

Florals: Starting out, we didn’t realize how expensive florists and floral design teams can be, so it did take some searching around to find a florist that was within our budget. Kate Amato of Viridescent Floral Design from Beacon, NY came as a welcome recommendation from our Cedar Lakes team. From the moment I met Kate, I was confident that she would not only create something extraordinary but that her calm and friendly demeanor would make working together a breeze. She took my scattered thoughts from our first meeting and came up with a proposal that truly grasped our vision. Kate was also very comfortable with recycling the arrangements and design elements in different ways throughout the weekend events, which not only helped us save money but allowed our guests to enjoy those beauties a little bit longer!

 

Officiant: My husband and I come from different religious backgrounds–he was raised Jewish and I was raised Catholic, however, neither of us envisioned a religious wedding ceremony. We knew that having a non-denominational officiant would allow us to craft and personalize our ceremony, and to integrate the traditions that were most meaningful to us. The moment after we finished our first phone call with Alice, we knew that we had our celebrant and did not need to look any further. And once we met with her a few months before our wedding day, it felt like we had known each other forever. Beyond that, she was also extremely professional and organized and provided us with numerous resources for ceremony elements, readings, vows, and beyond. She also gave us a complete breakdown of the ceremony and a provided a timeline for our venue, which made the whole event run flawlessly.

 

Describe your wedding day.

 

Taryn: The wedding day itself turned out to be beyond anything we could have ever imagined. To this day, we still have trouble finding the words to describe it–it truly was the most magical, perfect day of our lives and an incredible way to begin our new life together. The weather was beyond perfect (something that doesn’t happen too often for big events in our lives!) and the whole day just went flawlessly (except for a minor bustle snag). To this day, our friends and family continue to tell us that it was one of the best weddings they’ve ever attended–we’re obviously biased but we couldn’t agree more!
 

One of the really beautiful things about Cedar Lakes Estate, beyond the physical beauty, is the fact that the wedding celebration becomes a weekend getaway, as all of our family and wedding party were able to stay on the estate. Each event is held on site, which allowed our family, wedding party and guests the chance to relax and enjoy the weekend without having to be transported to multiple different sites. Jason and I arrived early in the day on Friday and got the chance to unwind a bit before our guests started arriving. We had a short ceremony rehearsal before starting our rehearsal dinner on Friday evening. We included just our family and wedding party for the dinner hour, but invited any guests who were staying onsite or in the area to come for “Welcome Drinks” and to listen to a few speeches.
 

Our wedding day started on Saturday morning with breakfast for our on-site guests. Cedar Lakes Estate is a former summer camp, complete with a pool, twin lakes and blob launch, and acres of property, so we invited our wedding guests to join our families and wedding party on site for lunch and outdoor activities during the day on Saturday. Some of the best videos and photos of the day were from the blob!
 

Jason and I chose to do a first look. I thought it was going to be one of the most emotional moments of the day for me, but I was just so excited to finally see him (and show him my dress–so hard to keep that a secret for 9 months!) that we couldn’t stop smiling. I also decided to do a first look with my dad, which turned out to be the more emotional one. We finished up photos ahead of schedule and had this really awesome moment before our ceremony with the entire wedding party plus our parents. We had about 20-30 minutes to just relax, chat, and make a toast or two–nothing crazy but I felt like having just those final few minutes helped calm any remaining nerves and really set the tone for the rest of the evening.
 

Our ceremony was beyond anything we could have ever envisioned. It ended up being the most emotional part of the day for me–the setting was so intimate and you could just feel the warmth and love radiating from our guests. Definitely lots of unexpected tears from me! Our officiant created the most heartfelt and meaningful ceremony, focused on the two of us and how our relationship has grown together over the last decade. We also included a ring blessing–we had our parents come up under the arch with us and say a blessing over our wedding rings. It was unexpected (for them) but a really touching moment! My dad surprised us with a handmade birch arch (chuppah), with wood he gathered in Vermont. Standing under it with Jason during our first moments as husband and wife is a memory we’ll cherish for the rest of our lives.
 

The reception was the MOST fun we’ve ever had. The moment before entering the reception was one of my favorite memories from the day (see more below!). The decor in the barn was beyond anything we could have dreamed of. It was incredibly warm and welcoming, with lots of soft light from the candles. We chose to honor Jason’s culture and did the Hora right after the first dances, which got our guests out on the dance floor and the party started. We have a really incredible picture from that moment of everyone up and dancing, one of our favorites from the night. I’m fairly certain the dance floor was packed the entire night—everyone from my 90-year-old grandmother to my cousin’s new 2-week old baby (well, just for a short while)! We chose to serve dinner family style, as we felt it would really continue our hope to make the weekend feel as warm and welcoming as possible. Besides the food just being absolutely impeccable, I think our guests truly enjoyed sharing a meal together in that way. It really was the most perfect day we could have ever imagined!
 

Jason: From start to finish, our wedding day was incredible. We got lucky with the weather and ended up with a sunny 75-degree day, which lent itself to plenty of outdoor activities with my groomsmen and our on-site guests. Family and friends were able to enjoy the hiking trails, the pool, and even the blob launch on the lake. Being able to spend the first half of the day relaxing with everyone was really special and set the tone for a really relaxed celebration. It’s just a shame that bridal prep takes so many hours because I know Taryn and her bridesmaids would have loved to participate! We also (shockingly) were finished early with our photos, so we had about 20-30 minutes to spend privately with our family and wedding party before the ceremony. It was a happy accident and ended up being a really special pre-ceremony gathering.
 

The ceremony itself was magical. We stood surrounded by our closest friends and family, with the sun was shining on the lake behind us, shaded by the quiet of an evergreen tree grove. Taryn’s dad hand-built our wedding arch–made out of birch trees that he gathered from Vermont. It added a personal touch and it was very meaningful to Taryn and me. We know how hard he worked to put it together, and we can’t thank him enough for it! It’s something we’ll treasure forever
 

What was your favorite moment from your wedding day?

 

Taryn: can I say the entire weekend? Ha! It’s really hard to pick one.
 

1) Seeing Jason for the first time during our first look, we had one of those silent connections where we knew exactly what the other was thinking–and feeling so excited for that moment to have finally arrived!
 

2) walking down the aisle with my dad, and seeing the look on Jason’s face. Then when they hugged…ahh so many tears!
 

3) our officiant had us turn to our guests right at the beginning of the ceremony to say “hi!”. this was super cool, I think a lot of couples don’t get that moment to absorb the crowd and for us, being able to wave to everyone and feel their warmth was amazing.
 

4) right before Jason and I were announced at the reception, we had this brief moment together standing outside the barn without anyone else. The barn has huge glass windows so we could see everything inside. Looking into the windows, seeing all our favorite people in one room, and all the gorgeous decor—it was like we saw the entire two years of planning come together before our eyes. We just looked at each other with gigantic smiles on our faces–knowing that we were about to kick off our new life together in the most incredible fashion.
 

Jason: There were two big winners for me. First, our ceremony. I don’t love a lot of attention so I was expecting to feel just nerves and adrenaline. But we ended up having the most beautiful, peaceful ceremony surrounded by all of our friends and family members. There were a lot of truly special moments from the ceremony that we’ll remember forever. Second, Taryn and I first dance together as a married couple. It was a moment of quiet – we zoned out everything around us and it felt like we were the only two people in the world. And then the party started!
 

What is your advice for newly engaged couples?

 

Taryn: Unless you’re on a strict timeline, take some time to just enjoy being engaged before diving into wedding planning. It’s one of the most exciting periods of your relationship, and the happiness that surrounds you during that time is unparalleled. Celebrate with your friends, your family, and most important, each other. Try to make as many decisions together as possible. There will obviously be the inevitable disagreement here and there but try not to let the little things get between you. The day is about celebrating you as a couple and who you are as a couple, and we found that doing things as a team brought us closer throughout the process.
 

When you do start to plan, I think one of the biggest things to lay out first is the budget. Setting a budget and talking about the finances first will enable you to more easily decide on venues and vendors…and will prevent a lot of headaches down the road. Most importantly, remember that this day is about you and your partner. If there are opinionated voices, find out what is most important to them and maybe attempt to compromise, but ultimately it is your day. Lastly, wedding planning can be stressful–deadlines, budgets, decisions, opinions–turn to each other for support and remember what the day is really all about. And, if your budget allows for it, hire a wedding planner! Even if it’s for a few months, it was SO worth it.
 
Jason: Enjoy every moment, and please don’t worry about the color of the napkins.
 

Vendors:

 

Wedding Planner & Creative Direction: ASE – Amanda Savory Events

Cinema & Videos:  Joshua Brown Photography

Florals: Viridescent Floral Design

DJ & Entertainment: Generation Events

Rentals: Hudson Valley Vintage Rentals

Stationery & Signage: Shine Wedding Invitations 

Hair & Makeup: Face Time Beauty

 

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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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Hudson Valley winter wedding at The Garrison Lin Pernille Photography

Early Winter Hudson Valley Wedding at The Garrison

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.

 

RELATED: Marathon & Ice Cream-Themed Hudson Valley Engagement Shoot in Cold Spring

 

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…

 

Photo Credit: Lin Pernille Photography
 


 

Vendors:

 

Planner/Coordinator: Garrison staff

Florist: Flowers by April

Hair and Makeup: Coco Tsang, Makeup by Coco

Cake: The Pastry Garden

Stationery: Wedding Paper Divas

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Otterkill Golf Club wedding

Stunning September Hudson Valley Wedding at the Country Club at Otterkill

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.
 
RELATED: SEE GABBY AND MIKE’S ENGAGEMENT SESSION HERE
 

“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.”
 
Photo Credit: Sweet Alice Photography
 


 

Vendors:

 

Photographer: Sweet Alice Photography

Venue: The Country Club at Otterkill

Cake: Dream Cakes Bakery

DJ: Music Speaks Volumes

Florist: Flowers by Reni

Hair: Pineapple Day Spa

Makeup: Makeup by Dia

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bohemian Hudson Valley Wedding at Locust Grove J Ferrara Photography

Bohemian Hudson Valley Wedding at Locust Grove Estate

Ashley and Tristian had a perfect day for their bohemian Hudson Valley wedding at Locust Grove Estate in Poughkeepsie. There were so many unique and fun details throughout this wedding starting with Ashley’s stunning blush wedding dress accentuated perfectly with the rhinestone belt she found on Etsy.
 

One of the most meaningful personal touches was a vintage VW bus Ashley rented for the reception. Tristian loves those old busses and this one happened to be converted into a photo booth which guests enjoyed throughout the night.
 

The ceremony was emotional and touching, as well and was beautifully led by Reverend Lisa Zaro.
 
Featured Photo Credit: J. Ferrara Photography
 

 

Vendors:

PhotographerJ. Ferrara Photography

VenueLocust Grove Estate

SignageEtsy

OfficiantPersonalized Ceremonies by Rev. Zarro

PhotoboothPhotobooth Planet

DJThe Digital Musicians

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Lavish Hudson Valley Wedding at Whitby Castle

When you think of the Hudson Valley weddings, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Castle weddings probably aren’t on the top of your list, but this stunningly regal and lavish wedding at Whitby Castle in Rye, NY will have thinking otherwise.
 

Jamie and Dale got engaged in Paris, and so a castle wedding was only fitting! Their wedding was dripping in gorgeous details…from jewelry, to flowers, to signage, this couple has exquisite taste, and their wedding photographers, The Ramsdens, captured every detail perfectly.
 


 

Vendors…
 

Venue: Whitby Castle

Bride & Bridemaid’s Dressess: Lady Gray Bridal

Hair: Lulu’s Hair Studio

Flowers: The Flower Barn

String Trio: Capriccio Ensemble

DJ: Enriquez Entertainment

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Hudson Valley Wedding Nidya LLoyd Photography Le Chateau

Royal Hudson Valley Wedding at Le Chateau

It’s no secret that a bride feels like a queen on her wedding day, and this Hudson Valley wedding is dripping in royal elegance. Lori and Rob married this past march at Le Chateau in South Salem, New York, and was perfectly captured by Nidya Lloyd Photography.
 

Nidya says, “It was last spring when I met up with Lori & Rob for their engagement session…Lori is of the sweetest kind…with a smile that is simply brilliant. She is a nurturer by nature (say that 10x fast) and Robert is the recipient of all of her affection. Robert has a true protector spirit…and when he sees his lady and he melts. This is the type of couple that I could photograph all day!”
 

Here’s a fun fact…Lori’s dress was SO HUGE that it actually broke the hook the venue installed IN THE WALL!!
 

Featured photo and credit to all below: Nidya Lloyd Photography
 


 

Vendors:

 

DressBridal Reflections

HairHair by Val K

MakeupBeauty Entourage

JewelryLa Gravinese Jewelers

CrownEden Luxe Bridal

InvitesLaura Damiano Designs

VenueLe Chateau

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Krystal Pratt Productions Lake Minnewaska Engagement

Breathtaking Winter Engagement photos at Lake Minnewaska

Tell me about your love story?

 

Alexis: “Our first date was at an Applebee’s close to my college. We met in a parking lot by school to drive together to the restaurant and Steven got into my car with no shoes on! He recently came from a run and was trying to quickly change. I was kind of alarmed since this was our first meeting and I wasn’t sure what I was getting into. After getting to the restaurant we talked the whole time and laughed about how we ate at the same speed. We both new this was something special after our first date. As our relationship continued to grow we faced different challenges. We lived two hours apart from each other and we were both in college, so finding time to see each other was not always easy. We overcame the distance and fell in love with each other and created so many new memories traveling and pushing each other to try new things.

 

I knew Steven was the one because I could just see how much he cared for me and how special he made me feel all the time. I knew I could tell him anything that was on my mind and he wouldn’t judge me or laugh. He would always listen and always made me feel safe.

 

Tell me about the proposal?

 

Steven: First, I asked her mother for her blessing. Then, I met with her father to get his blessing as well. Once they both said yes, I felt excited moving forward with the planning. I started doing a lot of engagement ring research at different stores and on the web. During the planning, I had to casually find out her ring size without her getting suspicious and also find out what type of diamond she liked most. After a lot of shopping, I finally designed and purchased an engagement ring. The next step was to determine where and when I was going to propose.

 

Alexis brought up an idea to go to the Mohonk Mountain House to celebrate our three-and-a-half year anniversary, so I decided this would be the perfect opportunity because she planned the trip and she wouldn’t expect a thing. The week leading up to the proposal was full of excitement and nerves for me as I kept the ring secretly stored in our room without her even knowing. The morning of the proposal, we made the trip up to the Mountain House and started the day with breakfast.

 

As we walked around Lake Mohonk, I was trying to determine when and where I was actually going to propose. We then did a tour inside the house and during that tour I decided that I would propose at the Skytop Tower later that day. We climbed up the tower and I was planning on proposing on the top, but once we got up, it was raining extremely hard and was extremely windy. There were a few people on top as well and I wanted it to be private so we went back down and started to walk around by the base of the tower. I tried to inconspicuously make Alexis walk in front of me so that I could pull the ring out and surprise her. She kept turning around but I was able to have her look the other way long enough to pull out the ring and get down on one knee. I was very excited and nervous and forgot the speech I had planned. She was very excited and said ‘yes’!

 

Alexis: About two weeks before, I had told Steven that I wanted to go to the Mohonk Mountain House for the day. Little did I know he was already planning something special but didn’t have an exact plan. We had a 9:30 am. breakfast reservation and while we ate we brought up topics about the future and even marriage. We enjoyed the beautiful scenery and relaxing interior. We did a tour and walked around the grounds where we even saw a bald eagle! Later on, we started to hike up to the Skytop Tower where we enjoyed the beautiful view, but the weather was getting pretty rainy and windy. We made our way to the top of the Tower and we could barley keep our hats on. Steven suggested going back down and walking around the lake near the tower. He kept telling me to walk ahead because he wanted to take a picture but, the nosy person I am, I turned around too soon and saw him taking the ring box out of his pocket. I immediately started to cry and of course said ‘YES!’ We stayed in that moment for a while and later shared the news with our loved ones.

 

Why did you pick Lake Minnewaska for your engagement photos?


 

Steven: We picked this location because the Hudson Valley is an area that we’ve spent a lot of time in and have gone on many adventures in including hiking at Minnewaska State Park. I proposed to Alexis right next door at the Mohonk Mountain House and figured that Minnewaska State Park would be the perfect place for our photos, especially with beautiful mountains, lakes and views surrounding it. Also, Minnewaska State Park was the first place I ever took Alexis hiking and was so happy to share that adventure with her. It made picking it as our location even more special.

 

What was your favorite memory of your engagement photoshoot?

 

Alexis: My favorite memory was just being in the moment and being able to be as cheesy and in love as could be. I love being in Steven’s arms and being able to do this on top of a mountain is something I will never forget.

 

What is your favorite image from your engagement?

 

Alexis: I love the close up of Steven! I love how Krystal captured his happiness in a photo and it is one I will always cherish. My other favorite includes the one of us kissing with the whole lake in the background. I just love how perfect the landscape was captured but still focused on us as well.

 

Steven: My favorite picture was close up, where I am standing behind Alexis with my arms wrapped around her and Lake Minnewaska is in the background. In the picture we both have the biggest smiles and I love how it captures our true happiness and love for each other.

 

Did you include any DIY projects in your shoot?

 

Alexis: I created a double sided wood slice sign into our photos. My side read “Love you more.” It was always a saying that we said back and forth to each other and it means so much to me. The other side I designed for Steven it said “In it for the long run.” Because Steven is a runner, I thought it fit perfectly.

 

Can you describe the photo shoot for us?

 

Alexis: The day was beautiful. It was windy and my hair was flying everywhere, but I couldn’t have asked for a better day. It was also extremely icy, which I think made the shoot even more fun and challenging.

 

Steven: The day of the shoot we got lucky with a nice sunny day and not too cold. It snowed there a few days before, so there was snow around which make the pictures even more spectacular, especially how Lake Minnewaska was completely frozen. There was ice on some sections of the carriage roads which limited our photo locations slightly, but made it fun trying out different spots. Overall the shoot was great, starting from nerves in the beginning to feeling like a natural in front of the camera at the end.

 

Do you have advice for anyone else planning their engagement photo shoot?

 

Alexis: I would say definitely pick a location that is special to you both. It made our photo shoot so much more meaningful because we were creating more memories on top of the old ones we already had. Those memories included conquering fears and trying new things together in our relationship. It just made every photo so much more special.

 

Steven: Definitely pick a location that has an important meaning in your relationship, that way the moments created in the pictures will be so natural and full of love.

 

How/Why did you choose your photographer?

 

Alexis: I worked with Krystal in the past and knew the quality of her work was incredible. Her attention to detail is amazing and she really creates beautiful pieces. I also loved how she communicated with her photo subjects in the past and I knew she would be the perfect photographer for our first photo shoot.

 

Photo Credit: Krystal Platt Productions

 

 

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Crystal Stewart Photo Untermeyer Park Yonkers

Gorgeous Garden Engagement at Untermeyer Gardens in Yonkers

Natalie and Alek met in college where they were both studying biology and discovered they shared a fierce passion for public health. “We met at college in Organic Chemistry lab,” says Alek. “We were partners. I was a senior she was a sophomore. I always thought she was hot but she didn’t give me the time of day. It took a while.”

 

They let their relationship naturally fall into place. Alek says, “Well we really let things fall into place from the beginning. It felt so natural, we were just really attracted to each other. We met trying to attain the same biology degree so we really respect each other’s dedication to our respective fields and enjoy having deep conversations about that and life.”

 

Alek knew Nat was the one when she told him the story of why she wouldn’t talk to him at first. He says, “Months later, she told me the only reason she never gave me the time of day was because she was in a relationship, but she was really into me all that time in the lab. At that point I knew I could respect her. But I knew I loved her when I wrote out our first Valentine’s Day card. Somehow those words explained exactly how I felt to her and to myself.”

 

Their photo shoot, according to photographer Crystal Stewart, of Crystal Stewart Photo, was at Nat’s favorite place, Untermeyer Gardens. “Her favorite place,” says Stewart, “was this gorgeous private garden that is normally sprawling with vibrant color. This winter was brutal in the northeast, so upon arrival, we noticed that there was not even one pop of color. Initially very sad, the couple decided to just trust me and we really got some gorgeous images. Throughout the session, this couple was playful, joked around, dotted over one another and really showed how much they understood each other.”

 

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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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