If two lovebirds meeting in London and falling in love over long walks in Regent’s Park is not the most butterflies-in-your-stomach romantic thing you’ve heard today, I don’t believe you. A dreamy start to a beautiful relationship blossomed into a fabulous, English Garden inspired Upstate New York Wedding. And with Dave Robbins Photography behind the lens, we are able to experience every sweet moment as if we were there toasting this lovely couple. It’s even sweeter in the gallery, if you can believe it!
My husband Ben and I met as graduate students in London and fell in love taking long walks through Regent’s Park and the East End. I wanted our wedding to feel like an English garden party – relaxed, intimate, and not too precious. We live in Brooklyn now and considered several New York City venues, but nothing felt like us. We finally moved our search upstate to Ithaca, where Ben went to college, and we found the ideal reception venue at the John Joseph Inn, a pastoral country inn run by a married couple who are known for an on-site restaurant that draws diners from throughout the Finger Lakes.
Beyond a beautiful venue and great food, finding a photographer to capture the day was incredibly important to us. I have too many friends who have been disappointed by their wedding photos, so I wanted to make sure we found a kindred spirit in both aesthetic and demeanor. I saw Dave Robbins’s work in New York Weddings magazine very early in the planning process and felt immediately he was the one for us, which was only confirmed when my husband and I met him in person. We spent nearly as much time with Dave on the big day as we did with each other, and his unflappable style really contributed to the vibe of our day. He also engineered a magical, only-on-your-wedding-day experience by finding a field of sunflowers and taking us there right after the ceremony. Frolicking in the sunflower field with my new husband was a moment I will never forget.
We had such fun assembling the details of our day, starting with my “something blue,” shoes that I found a month after our engagement and well before we even set a date. I loved their scroll design so much that I found wedding invitations from Sesame Letterpress that recalled them and then worked with Breck, the owner, to customize the ink colors to match the sash on my gown. My parents made a sign with our names that was constructed from barn board from my grandfather’s barn, and we found a wedding “log” on Etsy for our guests to sign in lieu of a guest book, which now hangs prominently in our home. For favors, we filled glass candy jars with classic British candies, which were a big hit – except for the flying saucers, which our 6-year-old guest Lucie said tasted like cardboard.
We kept a few plans to ourselves and had fun surprising our guests with a dance we’d learned for our first dance to Louis Armstrong’s version of “La Vie en Rose.” Then my dad and I caught everyone off guard with our fast father-daughter swing dance to an Elvis song. One surprise I hadn’t anticipated came during the reception when my aunt Valeria presented us with a handmade wedding quilt she had made. My aunt is an incredible quilter, but I never imagined she’d design and make something uniquely for us. We love our first family heirloom and were so touched to receive it during our celebration.
The best advice I heard and followed was to create a few quiet moments alone as a couple over the course of the day to take in the emotion. Ben and I first saw each other all dressed up in the orchard at the inn and then stepped away to read letters we’d written to each other. We also took a few minutes right after the ceremony and then again at the end of dinner before the light disappeared. As a result, our wedding day felt completely real to me, and I have vivid memories of those first heady, blissful moments as my husband’s wife.
Photography: Dave Robbins Photography / Day of Coordination: Barbara Behrman of Ceremonies and Events / Flowers: French Lavender / Officiant: Anabel Taylor / Invitations + Placecards: Sesame Letterpress / Calligraphy: Rose Calligraphy and Design / Ceremony Venue: Chapel at Cornell University / Reception: John Joseph Inn / Gown, Lace Shrug + Veil: Reem Acra / Shoes: Roger Vivier / Earrings: Adorn / Groom’s suit: Armani / Groom’s Socks: Paul Smith / Groom’s Shoes: Ferragamo / Groom’s Cufflinks: Tomatomade from Etsy / Attendants’ Dresses: J.Crew / Hair + Makeup: Miel Beauty / DJ: Amir Brann, a friend of the bride and groom / Dance lessons: Joey at NY Partner Dance