This, my friends, is one very talented bunch. I’m talking a beautiful bride and groom (plus awesome friends and family) who really know a thing or two about crafting an amazing wedding. Think DIY florals, homemade IPA and a stellar taco buffet and you are on the right track. Add in a team of talented vendors (hello Wedding Planning Plus and Kent Meister Photography) and it’s a day that is alllll about the pretty. See so much more in the full gallery.
From the Bride… When my new husband and I started our wedding planning, we were so excited to just think about the day and imagine our family and friends being there with us, it was hard to focus on the details about how to make it happen! We started planning by getting clear on how we wanted the day to feel, and what kind of experience we hoped for our guests. Both of us are pretty laid back and fun loving, and we envisioned a relaxed comfortable day, where our guests were well appreciated with delicious food and drinks. I grew up in the Hudson Valley of New York State, and we are both lovers of the outdoors, so we thought it made sense to get married upstate and enjoy the natural beauty. Overall, we wanted our wedding day to be meaningful, relaxed and FUN.
We chose our venue at Oak Hill because it’s so incredibly beautiful. Saying our vows with a backdrop of the Hudson River and Catskill Mountains? Yes, please. The reception was held in a recently built two story wooden barn. Idyllic.
Our wedding really was the product of so many friends and family members lending their talent and contributing unique gifts and skills. Looking back, I’m pretty overwhelmed by how amazing my family and friends were! My close childhood friend and metal smith/jewelry maker extraordinaire Amelia Toelke made my husband’s wedding band. It was so special to have her craft this for us! She also helped me with a bunch of DIY projects for decorations. My stepbrother-in-law makes epic homebrew and brewed five gallons of IPA for us; we called it “Hoppily Ever After” ha! My dear friend Arielle and professional makeup artist did me up on the big day (it was so wonderful to have her with me while I was getting ready, as I was quite nervous!!). Our friend Kent Meister was our photographer, which was awesome because we know each other and he knows our style. My stepsister did the table flower arrangements; we designed them together over email! My parents gathered pussy willows from their land to use as decorations. A husband and wife duo we are friends with were our DJs for the evening, bringing a collection of old school R&B, funk and 80’s vinyl with them. Another friend, Mara Simons Jones is a farm-to-table caterer so we enlisted her help for our delicious taco buffet dinner that suited meat eaters, vegetarians, vegans, and the gluten free alike! My aunt owns a wine and beer boutique in Salem, MA and provided an incredible selection of wine. I’m so grateful for all the wonderful personal detail that filled our wedding day. All the help and assistance of my friends and family truly made our wedding day unique, personal, and heartfelt.
There were many DIY elements that we focused on. I love crafting, so our wedding was a wonderful opportunity for me to enjoy some crafting time with my friends. We created small animal place card holders, garland to decorate the barn, cute satchels filled with lavender that our guests pelted us with after the ceremony, chalk board cutouts for the bar, blue and white mason jars wrapped in twine, and of course all the stationery that my friend Miriam designed for us!
My husband and I love nature and that was the biggest inspiration for our wedding. We knew we wanted to get married outside in a beautiful setting. We also wanted our family and friends to be relaxed and comfortable so the feeling of the day shaped our planning as well. During the planning we kept a couple questions to reflect on when making decisions-is it worth it? Is it meaningful? Is fun?
The best advice I received was to be in the moment during the whole wedding day and take it all in. This helped keep me from stressing too much and also slowed the pace of the day. Our wedding day felt spacious and I have so many wonderful memories of my husband and I together, and also time spent with family and friends.
My advice for other brides? Get your Thank You cards printed as soon as possible either before the wedding or shortly after if you are using a photo–this really helped me be timely. I was overwhelmed with gratitude from everyone who came to support us on our wedding day. I actually looked forward to connecting with my family and friends via the Thank You cards. Also choose awesome vendors that you trust, it pays off big!
Photography: Kent Meister Photography | Wedding Planner: Wedding Planning Plus | Wedding Cake: Verdigris | Caterer: Carlucci-Simons Catering | Hair And Makeup: Arielle Toelke | Officiant: Rev Diane Epstein | Barn: Oak Hill | Desserts - Vegan And Gluten Free: Piece Of Cake Bakery And Cafe | Florist - Centerpieces: The Rosary | Florist - Personals: Park Deli | Groom's Ring: Amelia Toelke