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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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Summer Wedding ideas

6 Things to Consider When Having an Outdoor Summer Wedding in the Hudson Valley

It’s no secret that summer is prime wedding season and no matter where you are in the country, summer, especially June is, by far, the most popular season to get married. In fact, last summer, over 3,800 weddings took place in the Hudson Valley alone just between June and August*! So, if you are one of the couples who were lucky enough to book the few summer weekends available for your wedding, we want to share a few tips that you and your guests will appreciate.
 

But first, a small history lesson on why summer weddings, specifically June weddings, are so popular. First, the word “June” comes from the name “Juno” who was the Roman goddess of marriage. Second, back in Medieval times, when personal hygiene was almost non-existent, most people took yearly, yes yearly, baths, in May or June when the weather was warmer. This meant that people smelled better during those times, which, for such an important day, you want to be smelling your best. P.S. This is also where the tradition of carrying bouquets comes in. Women carried bouquets hoping that the smell of the flowers would disguise their body odor.
 

Today, it’s easy to see why Summer is so popular. after the long winter and rainy spring, couples, especially in the Hudson Valley, are eager to break their cabin fever and spend as much time outside as possible. And since summer doesn’t last too long, you want to take advantage of it as much as you can.
 

So if you are a summer bride or groom, here are 6 things you need to take into consideration…
 

The sun

 

I don’t need to tell you that while the sun is beautiful and warm, it’s also dangerous. But, so many people still forget to use protection. If you are having an outdoor wedding remember to apply sunscreen! Between the ceremony and pictures, you can be outside for quite a few hours. You don’t want to get sunburned on your wedding day. If you are red and burned in photos, your photographer can only do so much with editing. Even if you don’t burn and are one of the lucky ones that get gorgeously tan, SPF is your best friend. You don’t want those harmful rays damaging your skin in years to come.
 

Also, make sure there is shade too, your guests will thank you. If your guests are sitting out in the sun for your ceremony, they’re going to want shade. Whether it’s from trees, tents, shade from the building, or visors, make sure your guests are comfortable. Remind them to wear sun protection too.
 
RELATED: EXPERTS SHARE BEST ADVICE FOR FLAWLESS WEDDING DAY SKIN
 

The heat

 

Hudson Valley summers can get hot, even triple digits, and the last thing you want is to be sweating on your wedding day. Shade, as I mentioned before, can obviously help here too. However, if you can’t get shade, make sure you dress appropriately. Choose a gown that’s sleeveless and light, with loose construction. Beading and structure (boning, corsets) can make a dress VERY heavy, so you want to make sure that when you choose your dress it’s weather appropriate. Also, make sure your makeup is properly set, so that if you do start to sweat, it doesn’t start to drip off your face.
 

Again, think about your guests too, especially if they are older or very young. They are more susceptible to heat-prone illness. If your reception is outside, make sure that your venue has fans or ceiling fans that can keep you and your guests cool while you’re dancing. Tents, even with open sides, can get very warm, and remember, most barns weren’t built for events. If heat is a serious issue for you, skip an outdoor ceremony or reception altogether.
 

The rain

 

Summer can be rainy, even if it’s just a passing afternoon storm. Always have a plan “B”. If rain is predicted for your ceremony, can you move it indoors? If it rains overnight before your outdoor wedding or reception, are walkways going to be muddy? What about the parking lot? Are guests going to be parking in a mud puddle or is it a concrete parking lot? Is water going to seep into your reception area, especially if your reception is in a tent? These are all things you need to consider and knowing what your plan “B” will be is a very important conversation you need to have with your venue or wedding planner.
 
RELATED: 7 THINGS YOU NEED TO DO IF SEVERE WEATHER THREATENS YOUR WEDDING DAY
 

Bugs and mosquitos

 

Bugs come with summer, but after the rain, they seem to be more abundant. What is your plan to prevent summer bugs from bothering you and your guests? I went to an outdoor June wedding once, and by the time I left, my legs were covered in bites! Are you going to have bug lights around your perimeter? Are you going to leave little bottles of bug spray for your guests? This is a detail that you might not think about until you’re at your wedding smacking and swatting bugs all night.
 

Food & drinks

 

When you think of summer fare, you think light and fresh, maybe even BBQ. Have some fun with this. What are some of your favorite summer foods? For me, watermelon is right at the top. Maybe do watermelon slushies, or even have a cotton candy booth, reminiscent of county fairs. You can even do mini corn dogs or mini crab cakes as a passed appetizer. The possibilities are endless.
 

You want to make sure, though, that you stay away from really heavy foods. Think roasted potatoes over mashed, salad instead of soup. Heavy foods in the summer tend to make people feel even hotter. Also, check with your venue or caterer to make sure whatever food you have, especially if it has any sort of cream in it, is held at the right temperature to prevent illness.
 

Remember your drinks too. Because of the summer heat, you want a good mix of non-alcoholic and alcoholic drinks as you don’t want to consume too much alcohol if you’re really hot. Slushies or frozen drinks are always fun. Light spritzers are a good addition as well.
 

Think about adding cool desserts like shaved ice, ice cream or ice cream floats. Maybe even rent out an ice cream truck for the night.
 

Overnight accommodations

 

Summer is a popular time in the Hudson Valley. Between graduations, festivals, and yes, other weddings, hotels are at max capacity. Make sure you reserve your room blocks early. Since most hotels will only allow you to book 10 rooms at a time, and will not let you reserve more until the first 10 are reserved, you may want to get room blocks at a few different hotels. This is also helpful for your guests, too, because it gives them a choice in location and price point.
 

Are you having a summer wedding? What are you doing to beat the heat?
 

Featured photo credit: J. Ferrara Photography

 

*Source: The Wedding Report

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Hudson Valley Wedding Sweet Alice Photography Highlands Country Club

Blush and Blue Hudson Valley Wedding at Highlands Country Club

When you get to follow a couple from their engagement through to their wedding, it’s a magical thing. Nora and Dan’s engagement session was featured on the blog a few months ago (check the link below to check it out) and today, we’re featuring their Hudson Valley wedding at Highlands Country Club.
 

RELATED: Engagement Photos: What Hudson Valley couples want you to know

 

Their photographer, Erica Leman, owner of Sweet Alice Photography, had so many great things to say about their wedding day. “I am not exaggerating when I say that Nora and Dan are my ideal clients. Kind, compassionate, funny, giving, and easy to be around – they feel like your best friends from the moment you interact with them,” she says. “Their love for each other (and cats, haha) makes them stand out above others. Their love is almost tangible, almost like you can touch it if you reach hard enough, and was the perfect theme for their wedding day.”
 

She says, “Nora and Dan got married on the most beautiful September day at Highlands Country Club. Not too hot, not too cold. Their friends and family gathered in excited groups around them throughout the day, and added to their happiness. Nora was the giggliest I’ve ever seen her; Dan was the best sport about their photos, and fell into an ease beside her.”
 

As for the details, Leman says, “Their wedding colors were gorgeous and incredibly complimentary. I mean, blush and blue – can it get any prettier? Their arbor was made by a family friend, and Nora’s jewelry was graciously borrowed from Jaymark Jewelers. As always with Nicole Brooke salon, hair and makeup was incredibly fun, and a total breeze. Nora and Dan had the type of wedding I could relive over and over and over.”
 

Photo Credit: Sweet Alice Photography

 

 

Vendors:

 

Photographer: Sweet Alice Photography
Venue: Highlands Country Club
Jewelry: Jaymark Jewelers
Hair/Makeup: Nicole Brooke Salon

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

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

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

A simple, yet weighted question.
 

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

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

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

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

RELATED: FEATURED COUPLE: JENNY AND JANINE

 

What is the Gay Wedding Institute Certification Program?

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

Featured photo credit: J. Ferrara Photography

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Wedding at Blue Hill at Stone Barns, Pocantico Hills

Stunning Country Glam Wedding at Blue Hill at Stone Barns

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

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

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

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

Vendors

 

Florals: Verde Flowers

Shoes: Manolo Blahnik

Dress: Yolan Cris

Band: Cafe Wha? House Band

Venue: Blue Hill at Stone Barns
 

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

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Cassady K Photography United States Military Academy West Point Wedding

United States Military Academy Wedding at West Point

What happens when you combine the regal patriotism of West Point, the majesty of the Hudson River, and beautiful pastels? Debbie and Hanson’s wedding, of course! Here’s their story along with a stunning photo gallery with photos by Cassady K Photography in Pleasantville, NY
 

How did you and Hanson meet?

 

“Hanson and I met in North Carolina while I was a resident and he was stationed at Fort Bragg.”
 

Describe your overall theme or style of your wedding?

 

“We were going for a classic and romantic style, so we used gold, soft pinks, and cream colored accents.”
 

How did you choose West Point?

 

“We chose West Point for its beautiful campus and Cadet Chapel, and because of the wonderful views of the Hudson River.”
 

Describe your wedding fashion. What look were you and Hanson going for?

 

“Hanson wore his dress uniform. I was looking for a classic dress that would be suitable for a chapel wedding service. One of my good friends lent me her veil, which completed the look with the long train of my dress.”
 

Do you have any wedding advice for our readers?

 

“For the wedding, no matter how stressful the planning process is, the day of is the most important and most memorable! Take time to sit back and enjoy your wedding day.”
 

WEDDING VENDORS

 

CEREMONY | Cadet Chapel at West Point
 

RECEPTION | West Point Club
 

THE DRESS | Maggie Sottero from Irini’s Originals
 

BRIDAL SHOES | Badgley Mischka
 

BRIDAL ACCESSORIES | Givenchy & Cartier
 

BRIDESMAID DRESS | Azazie
 

GROOMSMEN ATTIRE | Army Class A Uniforms & Macy’s
 

HAIR STYLIST & MAKEUP ARTIST | Celeste von Damon
 

FLORIST | Secret Garden Florist
 

RECEPTION CENTERPIECES | Bride’s Mother – Helene Yen
 

INVITATIONS | Minted
 

FAVORS | DIY and Etsy
 

CAKEWest Point Club
 

PHOTOGRAPHER | Cassady K Photography
 

BAND | These Guys
 

2ND PHOTOGRAPHER | Rosemary Green Photography
 

Photo Credit to All: Cassady K. Photography

 

 

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ill nobles smile peace love boscobel house hudson valley wedding

Breathtaking Boscobel Wedding from Smile Peace Love Photography

Ariel and Mackenzie share the story of their breathtaking Boscobel wedding in beautiful Garrison, New York
 

Tell us about your wedding and overall theme?

 

“We chose our venue because it is surrounded by the beautiful, lush outdoors. Our goal was to have the Hudson River, the marsh beyond Boscobel and the beautiful trees be our decoration. We wanted that to be what was talked about, other than us of course. I wanted to keep our style very simple and elegant. Not too decorative. I wanted the grounds of Boscobel and the flowers to be the main “decorations.” Our color palette was to (try) match the blue mason jars that many people love. So there were a lot of blue accents.”
 

Let’s talk wedding decor. How did you decorate your space for the ceremony and the reception?

 

“Nature was the decoration for our ceremony. The beautiful backdrop of the Hudson River Valley was the best!! Because of the weather, we had everyone stand instead of bringing out chairs. We only had about 10 chairs for parents, grandparents and anyone who needed to sit. It allowed everyone to take in the view more. That’s how I like to look at it. For the reception, we had it under a couple of tents. There was not much decoration. The florist did a wonderful job in creating the centerpieces and the tables were arranged simply but were elegant!”
 

You talk a lot about the decor and having nature as your backdrop, describe how the flowers tied into that vision?

 

“The florals were beautiful, simple and elegant. I was very picky about what would go into the bouquets but the florist was very accommodating and did a beautiful job.”
 

Jill Nobles Smile Peace Love Boscobel House Hudson Valley wedding

wedding day look captured by Smile Peace Love Photography

Moving on to fashion…how did you choose your wedding day look? How did the groom? Describe both looks.

 

“The day we got engaged I found my wedding dress online, which was about a year and a half before our wedding date (which I also knew the day we got engaged! 7/1/17 was the date). I knew what style dress I wanted right away. It was a high neck dress. I typed that in Google and saw it. It was a Nicole Miller dress. The neckline was very important because I have broad shoulders so lots of dresses make me look huge so the high nick line accentuated my shape more. The dress hugged my body so I knew I would have to work out a good amount before the wedding but thankfully I love working out! At first, I was thinking of going without a veil but then I decided, last minute, that I wanted a cathedral veil. I think I saw a picture of a lady online with a slim dress and long veil and thought it looked beautiful. Thankfully my mom agreed!! My husband and groomsmen wore medium grey suits with a white button up and black shoes. A very classic, simple look. They each wore a “swimming pool” blue bow tie. I wanted to have some fun with their look so bow ties it was. They looked good though. Very happy with how their look turned out!
 

You had a lot figured out on the day you got engaged. How did you and Mac meet? Tell us about the proposal.

 

“We met at a bar while we were living in Syracuse, NY. I was going to school and he was working in the area. But we did not hit it off right away. We met the one night, he came over but we never exchanged numbers. I was going home that weekend so I did not think I would see him again. But then the following week we saw each other again at the bar and that is when we hit it off. It is history from there! Mac proposed to me on Thanksgiving Day 2015. We were visiting his parents in Cazenovia, NY. Everyone was sitting at the dining table before dinner started and I decided to say, “We should each say what we are thankful for,” not knowing what was about to happen. So I went first, since Mac was sitting right next to me, and then he went last. It was amazing and beautiful.”
 

What was the most anticipated or special moment of your wedding day?

 

“Our wedding vows! Mac was nervous but because he held it together nicely, from my point of view, I was pretty calm when it was my turn. It went better than I thought it would since I usually stumble over my words in front of lots of people.”
 

Do you have any wedding planning or marriage advice that you’d like to share with other couples planning their day?

 

“Planning a wedding is stressful but try to enjoy every bit of it. Also, try to plan ahead of time. I was thankful we were able to wait a year and a half to get married so I was able to check several things off my list of “wedding to-dos” before the big rush started. Getting things done ahead of time is always nice because things will always pop up and will take longer than you think.
 

As for marriage advice…be who you are. If you start changing who you are because of marriage, you will end up not being happy and then it will hurt your marriage. Spend time with each other doing fun things, going out, playing games, going to the gym, going for a walk…all those things help you bond in a special, meaningful way. Love each other unconditionally. You will argue and get mad and frustrated with each other but love each other. Talk to each other about the frustration, the pain. If you keep it in nothing will get resolved and will cause more problems. Be you and love each other for who you both are.”
 

Photo Credit to all: Smile Peace Love Photography

 

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Featured Couple: Jenny & Janine

Their Love Story…

 

“We met at a summer camp for children in Cold Spring Harbor, NY the summer of 2008,” says Jenny. “We were both camp counselors.” Jenny and Janine are long Island Natives and still live there today.
 

Their Proposal…

 

Jenny said yes in July of 2015. She says, “We spent a week at the shore in our favorite beach spot Rehobeth Beach, DE. I went to the University of Delaware for my undergraduate degree and we have a lot of memories from many fun-filled weekends at the beach. On our return trip home from vacation, we stopped at the University of Delaware to walk the campus, visit with old friends who stayed in the area, and bought some new college sweatshirts from the college bookstore just like old times. We ate lunch on Main Street and then decided to walk the large campus green. Janine got down on one knee under a huge oak tree in front of my favorite college historic dorm. I cried, and of course, I said yes! We had been together already 6 years prior. I was completely surprised!”
 

Why the Hudson Valley…?

 

Photo Credit: J.Ferrara Photography

“The Hudson Valley is near and dear to my heart,” says Jenny. “My grandparents lived in Cornwall-on- the- Hudson their entire lives. I spent many summers, holidays and special occasions at my grandparents’ house. In 2014 my grandfather passed away, their beloved home, which my grandfather built by hand, was sold, and the Hudson Valley is the one place in the world I can still feel close to him. There is something about the Hudson River and the mountains and the smell of the air of there that I feel his presence. Having our wedding at the Caldwell House Bed and Breakfast was a no-brainer. We wanted a long weekend wedding celebration with our immediate families, just 15 people. We rented every room in the entire main house for the weekend.”
 

Wedding Theme…

 

Jenny and Janine had a small wedding with a rustic, autumn theme full of simple, elegant touches
 

Most Memorable Moment…

 

Jenny says, “When I met my soon-to-be wife under the most beautifully decorated fall gazebo under the bluest clear sky. It was a picture perfect weather day.”
 

Advice for Engaged Couples…

 

Jenny says, “Don’t sweat the small stuff. The magic of the day passes so quickly so savor every moment. Everything will fall into place.” She also says to “Laugh a lot. It’s a good stress reliever.”
 

Vendors…

 

Venue: The Caldwell Bed & Breakfast, Salisbury Mills, NY

Photography: J. Ferrara Photography, Cornwall, NY

Dessert: Jones Farm, Cornwall, NY

Rehearsal Dinner: Billy Joe’s Ribworks, Newburgh, NY

Centerpieces and Bouquets: hand-made by Jenny
 

Photo Credit to all J. Ferrara Photography

 

 

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Patriotic Wedding Inspiration in the Hudson Valley

It’s hard to believe the 4th of July is already here! If you are planning a military or 4th of July wedding and are looking for patriotic-themed ideas and inspiration, you are in the right place. We wanted to give you some ideas on what you can do for décor, attire, or photos.

 

We reached out to Hudson Valley wedding photographers and wedding planners and asked them to share some of their favorite all-American wedding inspiration with you.

 

Patriotic Walls

 

You’ll find American pride on walls in several Hudson Valley locations. This styled shoot (1) was taken in the village of Wappingers Falls…

 

Photo Credit: The Ramsdens

Photo Credit: The Ramsdens

Photo Credit: The Ramsdens

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

and this styled shoot (2) was off Main Street in New Paltz.

 

Photo Credit: Duetimage Photography – Hudson Valley Wedding Photography

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Military weddings

 

for military weddings. you really can’t get more patriotic than a wedding at West Point Military Academy.

 

Photo Credit: Rose Schaller Photo

Photo Credit: Rose Schaller Photo

Photo Credit: Rose Schaller Photo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
 
 
 

JoAnn Provanzano, owner and certified bridal consultant at What Dreams Are Made Of in Kingston, has had the pleasure of planning many military weddings over the years, and shared two of her most recent weddings with us.  Captain Matthew & Mrs Nicole Talley who were married this past May. Their ceremony was at The Chapel of the Most Holy Trinity at the United States Military Academy at West Point with a reception at the West Point Club. “From when she was a little girl,” Provanzano says. “Her dream was to marry a military officer.  The couple’s religion is very important to them, as is the military tradition.” Today, Matt & Nicole now live in the state of Washington.

 

Photo Credit: What Dreams Are Made Of

Photo Credit: What Dreams Are Made Of

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 

Lieutenants Charles & Regina Costanzo were married this past April also at The Chapel of the Most Holy Trinity at the United States Military Academy at West Point with a reception at the Poughkeepsie Grand Hotel. “Gina and Charlie are adorable and their love for each other is so beautiful,” says Provanzano. “They went through many obstacles before walking down the aisle.” Just four weeks before the wedding, Gina was told she would be deployed. Thankfully, she was allowed to remain home and have the wedding of her dreams.
 

Photo Credit: What Dreams Are Made Of

Photo Credit: What Dreams Are Made Of

Photo Credit: What Dreams Are Made Of

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Patriotic Details

 

Take some time to watch fireworks…

 

Photo Credit: Rose Schaller Photo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
 
 
 

or add some red flowers…

 

Photo Credit: Rose Shaller Photo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
 

or wear some festive attire…

 

Photo Credit: What Dreams Are Made of

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
 
 
 

(1)Vendors featured in styled shoot (Wappingers Falls):

Photography – The Ramsdens (Poughkeepsie)

Planning – RSVP by B Wedding Coordination (Poughkeepsie)

Florals – Lucille’s Florals of Fishkill (Fishkill)

Wedding dress – Betsy Wise Bridal (Beacon)

Hair and makeup – La Tua Bella (Rhinebeck)

 

(2)Vendors featured in styled shoot (New Paltz):

Flowers – Flowers by Elissa (Gardiner)

Dress – Style des Reves Custom Dressmaking (Accord)

Hair – Hudson Valley Hair (New Paltz)

Makeup – LaV Beauty (Ulster Park)

Bridal Jewelry – Harriet Forman Barrett (New Paltz)

 

Featured Photo Credit: The Ramsdens

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Wedding Bands: What You Need To Know If You’ve Never Worn Jewelry

When it comes to wedding jewelry, the engagement ring gets top prize. The minute an engagement is announced, everyone wants to see “the ring!” However, once guys choose the engagement ring, they also have another important decision to make about jewelry…their own ring.

 

Believe it or not, men have just as many, if not more, choices when it comes to choosing their wedding band than they do choosing an engagement ring. However, unlike women who are used to frequently wearing jewelry, men don’t usually wear any jewelry. In fact, their wedding band may be the first (and only) piece of jewelry they ever wear.

Because of this, some men may feel uncomfortable wearing a ring, not because they aren’t proud to be married, but because it physically feels uncomfortable having a piece of metal on your finger. It does feel different and takes some getting used to.

 

It’s very normal, for men and women, who now have such an important piece of jewelry on their finger all the time to freak out at times and touch their finger to make sure it’s still there. I still do it sometimes, especially in the winter when it’s cold and you’re wearing and taking off gloves all the time.

 

There are several things to take into consideration when buying a wedding band, and so we asked Hudson Valley jewelers to help guide you through the process:

 

RELATED: ENGAGEMENT RINGS: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW BEYOND THE 4 ‘C’s

 

Should I even wear a wedding band?

 

Photo Credit: WCHV

James Matero, co-owner of Jaymark Jewelers in Cold Spring says “wearing a wedding band is the tradition: ‘With this ring, I thee wed,’ so you want to exchange the rings if you are doing any form of a remotely traditional ceremony.”

 

If you don’t want to wear a band, make sure that you have that conversation with your spouse-to-be. It can be a very emotional subject to bring up, so make sure that both parties leave the conversation feeling happy about the final choice. Maybe you wear your ring out, but leave it off at home. Maybe you both forgo rings and get tattoo rings. Maybe you just don’t wear a ring at all. Whatever the case, make sure it’s discussed.

 

“If you’re going to buy a wedding band,” Matero says, “think about it because guys generally don’t wear a lot of rings. This is potentially the first one they’ve worn. Unless they wore a high school ring or a college ring, this is usually the first one. So, they don’t think about what they want in a ring.”

 

How do I start narrowing down my choices?

 

Jocelyn Z. Klastow, vice president of Zimmer Brothers Jewelers in Poughkeepsie, says a good way to start is with a budget. Trying on a few different rings is also a good start. “I encourage guys to try every different kind on, kind of like a wedding dress,” she says. “You may have this thing in mind, and when you try it on, you don’t like it. A lot of times they (men) end up with something totally different than what they thought they would choose.
 

Do you want something classic or trendy? “We are finding that coppery rose-gold accents, along with heavy textured finishes in gold and Damascus Steel are very popular,” says Mateo.
 

That leads to the next point, which is getting a good feel for the types of metal and design choices available for men’s wedding bands. You can get rings made out of old gun barrels, samurai swords, wood and everything in between. Matero says, “There’s everything from rings that look like a baseball, the stitching, to real tree and mossy oak patterns, there’s alternative metal bands that will hold up to anything, and then there are gold and diamond bands.” He says one of the things you should think about is how and when you are going to wear your ring. “A lot of times you can’t wear it to work: An electrician wearing a metal band on his finger, isn’t exactly safe.”

 

Is this ring right for me?

 

First, and foremost, Klastow says it needs to be comfortable. “This is the first piece of jewelry a lot of men will purchase that they are going to wear all the time.” Like I mentioned earlier, it does take a little getting used to, but you want to make sure that it feels good on your finger. Is it heavy? Thick? is it too thin? Does it chafe your finger? You need to have it on for a little while to get a good feel for it. Put your hand in your pocket like you are taking out your phone or your wallet. Does the ring catch on your pocket or does it slip right into the pocket?

 

Another thing to consider is if you want it to match your spouse-to-be’s ring. Remember, rings are going to be photographed as well. Do you want both rings to be white gold, or are you OK with one being white gold and one being yellow gold or a different color metal?

 

Lastly, Michael J. Halpy, owner of Hannoush Jewelers in Wappingers Falls, relates back to what Matero says about usage and how you are going to wear it. Halpy recommends taking a look at your lifestyle and finding a metal that matches. “I’m a big proponent of gold or platinum bands and the reason is because it’s a malleable metal that you can work with, so it can be sized, it can be adjusted, soldered if it cracks…it can be fixed without even knowing.” Other metals can’t be sized or altered as easily. Halpy says, “It takes special machinery to make these other rings that are forged in tungsten carbide or titanium or steel and all sorts of other different alternative metals.” If damage happens in a stronger metal, you need to get an entirely new ring, which, presents many issues, one of which being that the sentimentality is gone. Your ring will no longer be your original ring.

 

Are you going to wear a wedding band? Is there a special metal you’ve had your eye on? If you’ve gotten your wedding band, we’d love to see it to give other guys inspiration.

Featured Image Photo Credit: Jaymark Jewelers

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Everything You Need To Know About Your Save The Dates

If you are getting married next summer, now is the time you should be sending out your Save the Dates (STD for short). Chances are, by now, you’ve been invited to a few weddings and received a STD in the mail, but for those who don’t know, a Save the Date is literally an invitation-type card, trinket or, in some cases, an e-mail or video, informing you that a wedding will be taking place on a certain day, that you are invited, and to expect a formal invitation in the mail closer to the time of the wedding.
 

RELATED: JUST ENGAGED? 3 IMPORTANT THINGS YOU SHOULD AND SHOULD NOT DO
 

Mailing your Save the Dates is a critical step in your planning process for many reasons. First, it forces you to create a guest list, which is the most important part of the whole planning process even bigger than choosing your date. You need to know who to send them to and your guest list and that number will help you determine the size and scope of your wedding, will help you determine the type of location you want, and the all-important budget. Second, STDs help you choose a date. You can’t send out a Save the Date without a date; that would be pointless.
 

However, while that does sound like a lot of work, it’s important to get the date and guest list done first. It will help you immensely with the rest of your planning as those are the two things every vendor you speak to will be asking you…when is your wedding and how many people are you inviting. They may ask you where you are having it too, but it’s not as important, yet.
 

RELATED: 12 WEDDING TRADITIONS YOU CAN SKIP, AND 5 YOU SHOULD KEEP (PART 2)
 

The good news is, that unlike invitations, STDs don’t need to have anything specific on it other than the date. You really just want your guests to book that date on their calendar. They don’t need to know specifics just yet because they unwritten rule is if you receive an STD, you will be getting a more detailed invitation at some point, at which time, guests can officially accept or decline.
 

To help you navigate through your Save the Dates, we asked Hudson Valley stationers and graphic designers for their advice:
 

When should you send out your Save the Dates?

 

Photo Credit: Fitting Image Graphics

Frankie D’Elia, owner and creative director at Fitting Image Graphics, Inc. in Carmel, says, “There is not a universal timeframe for when to send out your Save the Dates,” but he always suggests that as soon as you know your date, let your guests know as soon as possible after that so they can secure that day. ”Keep in mind,” he says, “that you’ll want to give your guests as much notice as possible if your wedding falls around a holiday weekend. This is because people generally plan their vacations or days off from work around holidays and you’ll want to catch them before they make plans; your big day, of course, takes priority!”
 

Kristal Walden, owner Kristal Walden Graphic Design in Beacon, says, “Usually you send out your Save the Dates a year before your date.” However, she says, “If you don’t have a year out, send them out ASAP.”
 

“We say nine months to a year,” says Amy Eddy, co-owner of Graphic Nature, LLC in Fishkill. “Usually if it’s on a holiday weekend or if you have a lot of out-of-town guests, we say a year out.” Sometimes they have couples who come in six months before their wedding and want to send out Save the Dates. At that point, Eddy says, “We say don’t waste your money because in two months time you are going to work on the invitations.” However, she says, if you are in that situation and don’t send Save the Dates, she recommends sending out invitations a little earlier. More on that in the coming weeks.
 

RELATED: 8 EASY WAYS TO SAVE MONEY AS A WEDDING GUEST
 

What should be included on a Save the Date?

 

Photo Credit: Graphic Nature, LLC

Stephanie McHoul, also co-owner of Graphic Nature, LLC, says, “They’re usually pretty basic. If there’s no photo, first and last name (of the couple) are important, and then they (the couple) usually keep it very vague.” Sometimes they’ll put location in terms of city, usually never a venue name, but if the couple has a wedding website, they’ll include that. This way, guests can visit the website which the couple can update as they get more details or just list all their details at that time.”
 

Should the Save the Date match the invitation?

 

Because couples are coming in a year in advance of their wedding to do their Save the Dates, many details of the day are still unknown. Eddy says, ”Half the time they (couples) come here to do Save the Dates and it’s a year out from their wedding and they don’t really have their ‘vision’.” That’s OK. McHoul says, ”It’s nice if it’s complementary…I personally like it when things coordinate without being overly ‘matchy-matchy.’ ” Eddy says, “Most of the time it’s just a big photo with script font, save the date, and it’s very simple so it’s not so themed or specific.” That way it leaves room to design an invite the way you want that’s more specific to your theme or aesthetic once you know it.
 

Featured Photo Credit: Fitting Image Graphics

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12 Wedding Traditions You Can Skip…And 5 You Should Keep (part 2)

This is the second part of a 2-part series

 

If you’ve been to many weddings, you’ll know there’s a certain ebb and flow to them and certain main elements you can rely on, mainly being that weddings have some type of ceremony with some type of celebration after. What those end up looking like is totally up to you and your personal style and taste.

I mentioned I am a traditionalist, to an extent. I love the formality of weddings, but I also love it when couples change up tradition to match their personal preference, taste and personality. What’s great about weddings being full of traditions, is that, by definition, means that they aren’t rules. You can basically do whatever you want. While there are some traditions that can totally be skipped or changed up, there are 5 that, in my opinion need to stay:

RELATED: 12 WEDDING TRADITIONS YOU CAN SKIP…AND 5 YOU SHOULD KEEP

Wedding Tradition: Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue

 

Photo Credit: Hannah Nicole Photography

What’s great about this tradition is that it’s vague enough that a bride can make it as obvious or as subtle as she wants. That’s why it’s a tradition I think should always be kept…more so than keeping a white dress. Why? Because fashion changes, times change, styles change. A dress is something that will be memorialized in photos and is one of the outwardly obvious indications of the bride’s personality so she should choose what she likes and what makes her comfortable and radiant.

This is such a time-honored tradition that I think any bride, no matter how traditional or off-beat will agree, is something she won’t be walking down the aisle without doing. The something new is almost always a wedding dress, so that can be ticked off a bride’s list right away. The something blue can be something subtle like blue shoes or blue stickers on the bottom of her shoes spelling out “I do” to something more obvious…maybe a blue dress or blue flowers or even blue hair!

Something borrowed can be absolutely anything and sometimes, can be combined with something old. For me, my old and borrowed item was a brooch my grandmother always wore which I had attached to my bouquet.

Wedding Tradition: Keeping the ceremony a ceremony

 

Back in the day, almost all wedding ceremonies took place in a house of worship. Now, more and more ceremonies are taking place outside or in non-secular locations. Either way, they are beautiful in their own right. However, every once in a while you hear about the couple that gets married under water, gets married while sky diving, or gets married doing some sort of non-traditional activity. While I do agree it’s your wedding and you can do what you want with it, it’s VERY, VERY important to not make light of the situation. A wedding is a sacred, special, meaningful day, and the ceremony itself is so life-changing that it needs the proper attention, formality, and dignity it (and your relationship) deserves. There are other times during the day you can express your love of diving, running or any other activity you enjoy, but the ceremony needs to be a ceremony…dignified and formal (however you define it).

Wedding Tradition: Mailing out paper invitations

 

Photo Credit: WCHV

I know couples are strapped for cash and sometimes, invitations can get expensive, so especially now, in this tech-based society, many couples are opting for paperless invitations. While I understand the financial aspect of it, and understand most people just throw them out afterward, it kind of goes back to my last point about keeping your ceremony formal and dignified. Now, does that mean you need to spend $10 a piece on invites? Heck no! You can print them yourself. What that does mean is seeing your wedding in the bigger picture. Are all your guests going to be able to navigate an e-vite? Are you going to want pictures of your invite? Are you going to want to keep some for framing?

Now, there are things you can do so save paper and money. Maybe send electronic Save the Dates, or have guests RSVP electronically to save money on postage, but sending a paper RSVP to grandma instead. You could even try sending post card invites and then include all pertinent information on your wedding website. Whatever you decide, sending an invitation sends a message to your guests that it is a special event.

RELATED: WHAT IS IT REALLY LIKE TO BE A DIY BRIDE?

Wedding Tradition: Hiring professional vendors

 

In this day in age, it’s very easy to say “I’m going to have a friend take our photos” or “I’m just going to play my iTunes playlist” or “I’m going to cook all my food,” and while that’s all well and good, you have to think about the end result, and what that all really means.

While it’s not really tradition, it is something you shouldn’t skimp out on. Is your Itunes play list going to give you the type of entertainment you want? Who’s going to announce you, or announce the speeches or announce the cake cutting or last dance? Are your friends’ photos going to capture every moment you want? Do you want your friend to work or have a good time? How long will it take to the photos back? Will they be edited? How are you going to get an album? Same with the food…are you going to cook or get married? You can’t really do both without having to work on your wedding day. Who’s going to set up?

So, that’s why the professionals are there, to help you enjoy your day and make it everything you dreamed of.

Wedding Tradition: Honoring those who have passed

 

At most weddings, there is either something said about those who couldn’t be there physically with you, something written about them, a candle symbolizing your loved ones or even a table with photos of your loved ones. However you want to recognize your loved ones is up to you, but it’s a tradition that needs to be kept. Remember, your wedding is about two families coming together, sharing love, and honoring your loved ones reminds everyone of their love for you and how their loved shaped you into who you are today.

What wedding traditions would you keep? Would you trade one of these for another tradition? What traditions are you keeping in your wedding? We’d love to know.

Featured Photo Credit: Hannah Nicole Photography

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