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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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