As a wedding blogger, every so often I come across a wedding that I absolutely must spend time with. I flip through the images one at a time and give each one a nice good look. I ooh and aah over and over again. Today’s wedding is just such a wedding. Alexandra Meseke Photography’s images of the day make it seem like such a beautiful, romantic, intimate affair, and I’m ridiculously grateful for the bride and groom allowing us a peek into their sweet day.
From the stunning bride… Sean and I were engaged in the Finger Lakes of New York in 2011 on my first trip to the area. Sean had been on previous wine tasting trips, and brought me back to propose knowing that I would fall in love with the beautiful gorges, rustic farms, and vineyards lining the glacial lakes. He was right. He proposed on a hike at Watkins Glenn State Park and I’ll never forget the beauty of it all. As fate would have it we celebrated with dinner at Suzanne’s Fine Dining in Lodi and learned of a majestic barn on the property. After an evening tour by the owner, we knew it was the spot for our wedding. Two years later we came back with 50 of our closest friends and family for what I can only describe as a magical long weekend including a good old fashioned 4th of July BBQ lakeside, a guided gorge hike of our engagement spot, wine tasting, rehearsal dinner and a magical wedding day.
We wanted the entire weekend to feel like an intimate vacation with friends and family. The Inn On Columbia in Ithaca, NY served as a perfect basecamp for us. Rob, (an architect) and Madeline (a dream in the kitchen) have renovated a handful of properties into a mid-century oasis. Sean and I spent the entire week in a romantic gazebo turned honeymoon suite. We had a few days to prepare for our guests arrival and spent time collecting local treats for the welcome bags, including handmade chocolate bars by Luciennes chocolates, and customized splits of wines from Swedish Hill winery. The Finger Lakes is known for it’s great antiquing, so we did some local rummage shopping for old materials to use for hand painted signs, spending an entire unforgettable day out at the barn painting signs and excitedly anticipating the week to come. For our rehearsal dinner, Sean found Serendipity Catering Company through farm dinners they had been hosting in the area. As soon as we met with them we knew it was the right fit, and they introduced us to Silver Queen Farms where we hosted our event. Stephanie and her team helped us concept a menu for a whole hog roast, and created wild flower and burlap table decorations to complete our rustic theme. Alexandra Meseke was our official photographer of the rehearsal dinner and wedding day events. Not only did the pictures turn out beautifully, but Alexandra and her photographer husband Michael were a total joy to work with and instantly became a part of our extended family.
Bob and Suzanne at Suzannes Fine Dining were instrumental in bringing together our wedding day. They handled everything from setting up our ceremony site including a chuppah they already had on the property, to cocktail hour with h’ors deurves and drinks on the deck, dinner in the farmhouse dining room, and our party in the barn – including our very own bar in the horse stables (where my friend Annie Rocchio) helped us create a home-made photobooth, complete with a hand-strung wildflower backdrop created from our leftover rehearsal dinner flowers. My good friend and stylist, Morgan Blaul, handled my hair and makeup, and hair for the bridesmaids. Sean made the cork table-card stands using leftover wine corks we brought from home. Arenas Florist in Rochester helped us create our floral arrangements and decorations for the wedding, sourcing local wildflowers and keeping to our neutral color palette. Jennifer at Barb at Ceremonies and Events helped us create our timeline for the wedding day and ensured that everything ran smoothly the day of, and Astrograss from Brooklyn, New York provided live Bluegrass entertainment from the ceremony all the way through the barn shin-dig. As a way to give back to the area that gave us so much, we donated a portion of our wedding gifts to a local not-for-profit called Ithaca Children’s Garden, teaching kids the value of gardening and land preservation.
All in all, we were really lucky to have met so many wonderful people on this journey and to have a new place we can call home.
Photography: Alexandra Meseke Photography | Event Planning: Ceremonies and Event Planning of the Finger Lakes | Flowers: Arenas | Wedding Dress: Le-Ann Belter | Bridesmaids Dresses: BHLDN | Band: Astrograss | Groom's Shoes: Ted Baker | Groom's Suit: J. Lindeberg | Bridal Accessories: The Left Bank, Chicago | Groom's Tie: Paul Smith | Hair/Make-Up: Morgan Blaul | Rehearsal Dinner Catering: Serendipity Catering | Rehearsal Dinner Venue: Silver Queen Farm | Wedding Catering: Suzanne's Fine Dining | Wedding Party Hotel: The Inn on Columbia Ithaca | Wedding Venue: Suzanne's Fine Dining | Welcome Bag Goodies: Luciennes Chocolate's