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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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White Poppy Weddings Hudson Valley Wedding Ashokan Center

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

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

How did you meet?

 

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

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

Describe your proposal?

 

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

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


 

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

 

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

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

Why did you choose the Hudson Valley for your wedding?

 

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

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


 

Do you have any tips for engaged couples?

 

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

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

What was the most memorable moment of your wedding?

 

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

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


 

Vendors:

 

Venue: The Ashokan Center

Catering: The Ashokan Center, Chef Bill Warnes

Planner/Coordinator: Danielle DeFreest of Every Little Detail.

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

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

Photography: Alex Ligouri of White Poppy Weddings

Hair/Makeup: Madison Smith

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

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Mohonk Mountain House Wedding in New Paltz, NY by J. Ferrara Photography

Mohonk Mountain House Wedding

“Jessica and Justin were married at Mohonk Mountain House in New Paltz, NY.   It ended up raining for the whole day, but that didn’t stop them from having a great time anyway.  They are so in love, and so sweet together, it was easy for us to capture great images without leaving the porch area.  They had a sweet ceremony with personalized readings and a sand ceremony including Justin’s two sons.  Jessica’s dress was stunning and fit her perfectly.  They are both kettlebell fitness enthusiasts, so we got a shot of them with their kettlebells as well!” – J. Ferrara Photography
 

Photo Credit: 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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How To Have A Disney-Inspired Hudson Valley Wedding

Raise your hand if you’re a Disney fan (my hand is raised). Now, if you are, my next question is how many of you, if even for a brief moment, thought of having your wedding at Walt Disney World? I know that was the case for us…for about 5 minutes, until we decided it would be best to have our wedding closer to where all our friends and family live.
 

Apparently, we weren’t the only ones who felt that way. Teresa Marra from Poughkeepsie, who is also a Disney Travel Planner, had a very similar situation. She and her husband Peter got married in October of last year and says, “We were originally going to get married at Walt Disney World but what swayed us against it the most wasn’t the price tag but knowing that many of our friends and family wouldn’t be able to share our special day with us.”
 

While having a destination wedding, especially in Walt Disney World, sounds really nice, you also have to consider your budget and your guests. While WDW is not that far from the Hudson Valley (if you fly), for some, it can be too expensive, are just not feasible for your guests to travel long distances to be with you on your special day.
 

However, if you are a Disney fan, and a Disney wedding is not in your cards, you can have a Disney-inspired wedding right here in the Hudson Valley. Believe it or not, the Hudson Valley actually has several ties to Disney, some you may know of, others you may not. But one thing is certain, you will finish this article with tons of inspiration for your own Disney-inspired wedding. From your engagement to your honeymoon, this is the ultimate guide to having a Disney-inspired wedding in the Hudson Valley.
 

YOUR ENGAGEMENT

 

Let’s get “schooled” (pun intended…you’ll see why) on Disney inspiration for your engagement or engagement photos. Engagement photos are a great way to be a little more creative with your photos, and is a great way to incorporate Disney theming, since many times couples use photos from their engagement session on their Save the Dates.
 

REALTED: EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT YOUR SAVE THE DATES

 

Bard College, Annondale-on-Hudson

 

Photo Courtesy Bard College

On the banks of the Hudson River, just north of Rhinebeck, lies the historic campus of Bard College that plays a key part in Disney legend. Brothers Richard Sherman (no, not the NFL player) and Robert Sherman graduated from Bard in 1949. Who are the Sherman Brothers, you ask? This brother duo went on to work for the Walt Disney Studios, wrote some of our culture’s most prolific and endearing songs, and wrote more motion-picture musical scores than any other songwriters in the history of film! 
 

While you might not be familiar with their names, you definitely know their songs. Ever heard of “It’s a Small World (After All)”? Ever see “Mary Poppins”? How about “The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh”, “The Jungle Book”, or “The Aristocats”, just to name a few? They wrote all the song for those movies and many, many more. If your mom or dad ever told you as a kid that a spoonful of sugar will help your medicine go down, you have the Sherman Brothers to thank for that. To learn more about the Sherman brothers and their connection to Bard College, click here 
 

Photo Courtesy Bard College

If you’d like to pay homage to the Sherman Brothers or that part of Disney history, how about getting your engagement (or wedding photos) taken on campus? However, there are a few things you need to know. First and foremost Bard is a college, and students and academic programs come first. Couples need to remember that at any given time throughout the year, events are going on all over campus. From classes to graduate programs, to conferences, festivals, and camp, there’s always some activity going on and your photo session will not be the only thing happening on campus.
 

Second, Susanna Armbruster, Coordinator of Summer Programs and Community Resources at Bard College, says, “People who want to have their pictures taken on Bard’s campus need to complete an event request form that I provide directly to them. Once it is determined that the photo shoot does not interfere with Bard’s scheduled activities, we talk about logistics to see if it can work out. Photographers are required to provide a certificate of insurability. Some locations require a fee.” To receive your event request form, or for more information, please email communityrequests@bard.edu
 

RELATED: HUDSON VALLEY WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHERS SHARE 6 REASONS WHY YOU NEED ENGAGEMENT PHOTOS

 

YOUR WEDDING DAY

 

Photo Credit: The Ramsdens

Since Marra and her husband did not go to WDW for their wedding, they had a Disney-inspired wedding right here in the Hudson Valley, which was truly magical. Disney plays an important role in both their lives. Their first date was going to see Disney’s “Big Hero 6” movie and some of their earliest conversations revolved around Disney and WDW. And they, like yours truly, also got engaged at Disney World.
 

Marra’s wedding should give you some great inspiration for your own Disney-inspired wedding. I’m saying Disney-inspired instead of Disney-themed for a reason. A Disney-themed wedding, to me, conjures up visions of Disney napkins, paper plates and party hats. A Disney-inspired wedding, which is what Marra had, is very different. Inspired weddings have touches and elements linked to a certain theme without it being overly obvious.
 

Because of their love of classic WDW attractions and Halloween, their wedding was inspired by the WDW Haunted Mansion attraction (not the movie). “Most of the wedding was heavily influenced by the black and purple wallpaper…the graveyard part of the ride,” says Marra.
 

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the Haunted Mansion attraction, it’s one of WDW’s first and most beloved attractions, being there since the gates of WDW opened in 1971. It’s a fun, not too scary attraction, which really has two distinct themes and takes you through 15 very different, fun, and funny rooms. It really has a fantastic back story, but that’s another blog post all on its own.
 

Marra incorporated elements of this classic attraction into other parts of her her day. “Before everyone walked down the aisle,” she said, “the opening narration when you first entered the ride played and then we walked down the aisle to the song that plays at the beginning of the ride and in the ballroom part (of the attraction).”
 

Disney wedding dresses

 

While Marra had a custom-made dress inspired by a vignette in the Haunted Mansion attraction where there are dancing Victorian ghosts in a ballroom, you can purchase your own Disney Princess-inspired wedding dress from designer Alfred Angelo. They are not sold at every store, so you want to make sure you call your local shop to see if they carry that designer label. These princess-inspired dresses, while they embody the spirit of so many Disney princesses, are gorgeous gowns and are in no way costume-y. Princesses featured include Pocahontas, Rapunzel, Sleeping Beauty, Jasmine, Ariel, Elsa, Snow White, Tiana, Mulan, Belle, and of course, Cinderella.
 

RELATED: WHAT YOU NEED TO LOOK FOR IN A QUALITY BRIDAL GOWN

 

Reception

 

Photo Credit: The Ramsdens

Nestled behind Cinderella’s Castle in the Fantasyland section of the Magic Kingdom is the Prince Charming Regal Carrousel, another one of WDWs iconic and beloved attractions. If you want that same nostalgic feel, Bear Mountain Inn at Bear Mountain State Park has a classic indoor merry-go-round, with 42 finely detailed hand-carved animals. The Merry-go-round Pavilion, as it’s called, can accommodate up to 100 guests for a seated dinner or 150 for a cocktail reception and is where Marra and her husband had their reception.
 

They also had another unique Haunted Mansion-inspired twist to their reception. “When we were announced during the reception we came out to ‘999 Happy Haunts’ (the grim grinning ghosts song),” she says. That song is one that’s played during a portion of the attraction.
 

Cake

 

Photo Credit: The Ramsdens

It’s no secret that the Hudson Valley is home to some amazing bakeries and confectioneries. Your wedding cake is the perfect place to show a little creativity and your love for Disney. A wedding cake, or groom’s cake, is the perfect canvas to have a little fun. You can have everything from a full-on Cinderella’s castle cake, to a Darth Vader groom’s cake or a subtle hint to your love of Disney with a few Mickey’s thrown in there.

 

Check out Marra’s cake with little Mickey pumpkins all over it.
 

Hotel accommodations

 

You and your guests are going to need some place to spend the night. Did you know that the Residence Inn/Springhill Suites (formerly the Residence Inn) in Fishkill is connected to a very famous Disney movie in a very enchanted way?
 

All the music for Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast”, the 1991 animated movie and one of Disney’s most beloved films, was written in a conference room (with a rented piano) at the Residence Inn! While the original building is no longer there, the legend lives on. As the story goes, the film’s lyricist, Howard Ashman, who was suffering from AIDS and in severely failing health, needed to stay close to home (which was near Fishkill) while the music for the film was being created. So the rest of his team, which also included composer Alan Menken, flew into town, and went to work creating some of the most beloved and most recognizable Disney music. Isn’t that neat? To learn more click here.
 

Now, if you were fascinated by that tidbit, wait until you hear this one! I hope you’re sitting down for this. The team was so impressed by the level of customer service they all received at the hotel that they wrote the song “Be Our Guest” in honor of that! Is your mind blown yet? I know mine is!
 

Photo Courtesy of Residence Inn/SpringHill Suites

Jerry Culkin, who is the Vice President of Operation for True North Hotel Group, the group that currently manages the Residence Inn/Springhill Suites (and the group that also managed the old Residence Inn) says he heard about the legend of the “Beauty and the Beast” music long before he joined the True North Group at various Marriott meetings and conferences (True North Hotel Group is a franchisee of Marriott, Hilton and others).
 

“As the story goes,” Culkin says, “the cast and crew were so impressed they wrote a song about the service and hospitality they received that made it into the movie (“Be Our Guest”).  This was per a letter the cast and crew wrote to the hotel saying the song was a tribute to the service and hospitality that was extended to them.  This letter was kept in an awards curio in the gatehouse area which I did see when I first arrived.” Unfortunately, over the years, the hotel changed hands, went under renovation, and the letter sadly disappeared.
 

However, if you’d like to pay homage to this little piece of Disney legend, and book rooms there for you and/or your guests, Cathy Johnson Sales Manager of the Residence Inn/Springhill Suites, will gladly help. “We are a dual property,” she says, “so typically our wedding blocks are in our SpringHill Suites part of the property.” As for room blocks, “we start blocks at 10 suites and as those suites book we can check availability and add accordingly up to 25 suites total,” says Johnson.
 

YOUR HONEYMOON

 

Last, but not least, you need a vacation after your wedding. If having a wedding at WDW isn’t a reality, a WDW honeymoon (otherwise known as a Disneymoon) can be. I can vouch for this since we took a Disneymoon. So, while I know WDW is not Hudson Valley related, you can book your trip with certified WDW vacation planners based in the Hudson Valley.
 

Why is Walt Disney World a great place for Hudson Valley couples to honeymoon at?

 

Photo Credit: WCHV

Marra, not only had a Disney-inspired wedding, but like I mentioned earlier, is a Travel Planner for It’s All About The Mouse Travel, LLC., and says WDW is the perfect place to go for Hudson Valley residents. “Going to Disney is a fantastic option for Hudson Valley couples,” Marra says. “Florida is a pretty cheap flight from all of our surrounding airports and that doesn’t just mean you’re stuck going to Walt Disney World, many Disney Cruise options disembark from Florida as well.” Actually, some Dinsey cruises even disembark from New York City, if you’re not into the whole flying thing.
 

“What Hudson Valley residents will really appreciate about Disney is their level of customer service,” Marra says. “So much of the Hudson Valley revolves around tourism that our bar for hospitality is already pretty high and Disney really goes above and beyond when it comes to hospitality.”
 

Sara Fredericks, travel planner and owner of Dreaming of the Mouse in Kingston, agrees. “I think Disney could be a great way to have a honeymoon from the Hudson Valley,” she says. “Whether you’re flying from Albany, Westchester or Newburgh, the flight is about two hours and 45 minutes, our convenient airports are easy to park at, easy to get through security, and then once you’re at Disney you can have your entire vacation there or it’s a great way, after a few days, to move on to a different vacation.” She says from there, “You could take a quick flight to the Bahamas, you could go to Port Canaveral to board a cruise, you could take a drive to the (Florida) Keys or Miami.”
 

Walt Disney World is NOT just for kids

 

Kimberly Elias (who has the perfect name, since Elias was Walt Disney’s middle name), is a Disney Vacation Planner for Endless Travel in Wappingers Falls. She says, “Unlike popular belief that Disney is just for kids, it offers so much for adults to enjoy as well such as excellent restaurants, superb golf courses and even spa services.”
 

Fredericks says, “For Walt Disney World, there’s lots of activities that you couldn’t even bring kids to: There’s golf (regular golf, not miniature golf), there’s signature dining – now children are welcome but most people don’t bring children because of the cost – signature dining with dress code even,” and let’s not forget about the spas too!
 

Expert tips on what you need to know before you go…

 

Photo Credit: WCHV

Elias says, “Planning a Disney trip requires a lot of advanced planning and can be very overwhelming. Disney can become the most magical honeymoon, with the help of a Disney Vacation Planner.” Booking through a vacation planner is critical, she says. “If you are interested in a Disney vacation, it is very important to book with an agent who specializes in Disney. Most agents like myself, have a deep love for Disney and love to help others experience the magic of Disney.”
 

She also says that visiting WDW when school is IN session is a big help. “Try to avoid school vacations such as Christmas and spring break. The parks will be very crowded and without proper planning, will be very difficult to work through.”
 

Fredericks has some last bits of advice too. “My best advice is the second that you’re even thinking about Disney is to start getting the process started. There’s certain things that need to be booked at certain timelines to ensure availability, such as certain meals, character experiences…at least six months in advance.” She also warns about trying to cram too much into your trip. “Spread it out,” she says. “The (park) tickets gets cheaper, more affordable the more dates you add to them, and you need to schedule rest and relaxation in your days. Going into the parks from open to close for three straight days is a quick way to need a vacation after your vacation.”
 

Marra has some final thoughts, and one is to treat yourself. “When my husband and I went on our Disneymoon to Walt Disney World we made sure to splurge on stuff we’ve always wanted to do but never could justify spending money on before (at WDW) like a fireworks cruise.” She also agrees with Elias: Having someone else plan your trip is best. “It doesn’t cost any extra to use a Travel Planner,” says Marra, “and they take so much of the burden and stress off of you so why wouldn’t you?”
 

So, there you have it! The ULTIMATE guide to planning your Disney-inspired Disney wedding, from engagement to honeymoon. Are you having a Disney-inspired wedding? We’d love to know all about it! Are you “Disneymooning?” We’d love to know what you have planned.
 

To view more of Teresa and Peter’s Disney’s Haunted Mansion inspired wedding at Bear Mountain Inn, check out the gallery below. 

Featured Photo credit and to all gallery photos: The Ramsdens

 

Vendors:

Venue: Merry Go Round Pavilion at Bear Mountain Inn (Bear Mountain)

Dress: handmade for me by Wedding Dress Fantasy (Teaneck, NJ)

Flowers (including flower crown): Dark + Diamond (Beacon)

Photographer: The Ramsdens (Poughkeepsie)

Jewelry: Copper Fern Designs (Hudson Valley Etsy Shop)

Hair & Make-up: Hair by Jamie Boo (Newburgh)

 

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