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Rustic Summer Wedding at Red Maple Vineyard

The Hudson Valley is a hidden gem, perfectly located between Boston and New York City, with a wealth of goodies at your fingertips; gorgeous venues, stunning scenery, close to city life yet removed from the hustle and bustle. And that is why we continually come upon amazingly relaxed, rustic, beautiful weddings, including this one, captured by Sloan Photographers. See why it’s so special right here.


From the Bride… Dan and I have lived in New York City for many years now. After getting engaged last December, we decided on the Hudson Valley area of New York state as it was a perfect in-between location for all of our guests traveling from my hometown of Boston, Dan’s hometown of Scranton, and our current hometown together in New York City. That, and we adore the area and really wanted to go after a laid back/rustic-chic affair for our friends and family.

We stumbled upon Red Maple Vineyard through our venue search and knew it was the place for us upon arrival. The venue has an incredibly warm and kind family running it, and it offered different spaces to entertain our guests throughout the day. Choosing them was one of the best decisions we made. Another great decision was renting a local home for the weekend that was the perfect home-base for our weekend festivities, including the girls getting ready on the wedding day.

I’m an Event Director professionally so chose to plan every inch of our wedding on my own (with the help of Dan!). We thoroughly enjoyed the process and were thrilled with the results. We had a beautiful outdoor ceremony overlooking the Hudson River, a garden-side cocktail hour, a beautiful and enormous tented reception, and a restored barn/winery for the After Party.

There were so many details we planned throughout the day that made it “ours.” Dan and I collected every single bottle and jar (200+!) that the florist used for the flowers, and we collected all of the props and decor elements over the course of our engagement that would be sprinkled throughout the space. At the ceremony we did a lemonade and iced tea stand, popcorn programs, “yay!” flags for celebrating us announced as husband and wife, Avett Brothers and Coldplay for processional music, and our sister-in-law was the officiant of the service. The cocktail hour featured “cheers!” drink flags for the passed drinks, cocktail napkins and table tent cards with our event hashtag “#McDs823” to have our guests help document the day, food inspired by our favorite meals and treats, and rented vintage furniture. The reception incorporated a fun “no-wall” photobooth, “polaroid guestbook”, an amazing farm-to-table meal, dance music by New York’s DJ Prostyle, and a very lucky live-performance by singer Mat Kearney of our first dance “All I Need.” The night was capped off with bourbon and s’mores at the firepit, grilled cheese and french fries, and local donuts for guests to take home as they exited.

My mother passed away when I was younger, and I found ways to incorporate her throughout the day as well. I sewed a piece of her bathrobe into my wedding dress, had a charm on my bouquet of her picture, talked about her during the ceremony service, and my siblings and I sent a gorgeous lantern into the sky at the very end of the night, at which an enormously bright shooting star flew directly across it after reaching its highest point. A perfect end to a perfect day.

Dan and I enjoyed every minute of our wedding because we continued to keep it about us and never stressed the small stuff. We incorporated pieces that will live on in our home (for example the chandelier hung on the ceremony arbor!) for the rest of our lives and be a constant reminder of the love that surrounded us that day. We wish we could do it all over again!

Photography: Sloan Photographers | Florist: Anne Wenniger | Wedding Dress: Lovely Bridal Shop | Ceremony Venue: Red Maple Vineyard | Reception Venue: Red Maple Vineyard | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Self-bought | Catering: Cornerstone Caterers | Makeup: Sheri Kornhaber | Hair: Make Me Fabulous | Calligraphy: Sarah Kiedis, Etsy | Lighting: Vivid Events | DJ: Prostyle | Groomsmen Attire: Tommy Hilfiger | Audio: OUO Audio Visual | Decor + Props: Self Collected, Etsy, DIY | Furniture + Linen Rentals: Classic Tent + Party Rentals | Groom's Suit - Custom: Doyle Mueser | Live Music: Mat Kearney | Photobooth Backdrop: Dogwood Party Rentals | Vintage Furniture Rentals: Sassafras Vintage Rentals

Romantic Hudson Valley Wedding

This gorgeous day hits all of my wedding sweet spots.  The perfect combo of laid-back and totally elegant, it’s a breathtaking Hudson Valley setting mix and mingling with lush florals from Pola Rebisz, crazy gorgeous colors and an 80’s cover band dance party.  Did someone say Journey?  Yes, please.  See it all captured beautifully by Raquel Reis in the full gallery.


From The Bride… As long-time city residents (I’m from NYC and Mat’s from London), we wanted to venture outside our usual stomping grounds for our wedding celebration. The majestic setting of Onteora Mountain House was exactly what we were looking for — not too far to travel for our NY area friends and family, but distinctly non-urban and, frankly, breathtaking. It was more of a trek for our UK based guests, but we knew that they would appreciate having an excuse to get off the beaten tourist track to experience the natural beauty of the Catskills.

We wanted the ceremony to express our personalities, so we didn’t pay too much attention to the conventions of traditional wedding ceremonies. I walked down the aisle to an 80’s classic — Yaz’s “Only You”. One of Mat’s oldest friends officiated (so there was lots of humor), and Mat’s sister sang Elton John’s “Your Song”, accompanied by my brother on keyboard.

The weather held out long enough for our ceremony and cocktail hour to take place outdoors, but drizzle set in shortly after we moved into the rustic pavilion for our party, which — if anything — made the warmth of the barn-like interior even cozier and more welcoming. We partied like it was 1999 to an 80’s cover band, closing out the night with a group-rendition of “Don’t Stop Believin'”. It was an amazing night.

DIY Elements… A friend of ours helped us design our wedding invitations, which we letterpressed ourselves at The Arm in Brooklyn. I also (painstakingly!) handmade the escort cards by embossing our guests’ names on different colored paint chips, and packaged our party favors in mini-brown paper bags.

Photography: Raquel Reis | Videography: Yasuaki Nakajima | Florist: Pola Rebisz | Wedding Gown: Birnbaum and Bullock | Bridesmaid's Dresses: Jenny Yoo | Catering: Blue Mountain Bistro | Graphic Design: Sarah Clingman Perla | Manor: Onteora Mountain House

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Rustic Meets Elegant Farm Wedding

This wedding has everything.  Sara Wight snapping up some crazy cool photos (as she does), Matthew Robbins delivering the prettiest of designs, Nancy Sloan Alchek coordinating every fabulous moment and a bride and groom who are the definition of lovely.  Add all of those amazing ingredients to a breathtaking + romantic setting like Willow Ridge Farm and, well… perfection, lovelies.  See it all here.

From Nancy Sloan Alchek Event Planning And Design… The inspiration for this beautiful lakeside wedding was to have the ceremony at the beloved family cottage where the bride’s mother and aunts were married. The property was perfect for the ceremony, but did not have the capacity for the wedding reception. The family approached their Putnam Valley neighbors, the owners of Willow Ridge Farm, who agreed to let them use their property for the wedding dinner dance.

Guests arrived to Willow Ridge Farm, valet parked their cars and buses shuttled them to the family lake house. It was a warm, humid day with threatening rain showers in the forecast. Bins of both umbrellas and flip flops ensured that the guests would be comfortable. The family canoe was filled with cold water bottles on ice.  Guests walked down to the waterfront where they entered a canopy style tent. Matthew Robbins Design created a beautiful setting for a most memorable ceremony, which took place under a chuppah, with the scenic lake view as the backdrop.

Immediately following the ceremony, guests boarded shuttle buses and returned to Willow Ridge Farm. Sperry Tents built the cocktail tent next to the farm’s pond, as well as a magical reception tent in the pasture. Matthew Robbins’ décor was both beautiful and complimentary of the bucolic setting, whether it was the charming lemonade stand, spectacular cocktail tent or the breathtaking tent interior and table design. Laurence Craig Catering served a memorable meal that made the dining experience an unforgettable one. His staff pampered the guests throughout the entire evening.

The Hudson Project had all guests on their feet throughout the entire evening as they danced the night away. The gorgeous wedding cake was made and designed by Charlotte Neuville of the Fashion Chef.

Photography: Sara Wight Photography | Design: Matthew Robbins | Event Planner: Nancy Sloan Alchek Event Planning And Design | Wedding Dress: Le Spose di Gio | Cake: New York's Fashion Chef | Ceremony Venue: Private Residence | Reception Venue: Willow Ridge Farm | Wedding Shoes: Ann Taylor | Bridesmaids Dresses: J.Crew | Catering: Laurence Craig Catering | Makeup: Sally Duvall | Lighting: Levy Lighting | Entertainment: The Hudson Project | Favors: One Girl Cookies | Groom's Attire: Brooks Brothers | Paperworks: J Papers

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