If there is one thing I’ve learned in my years at SMP, it’s that couples as sweet as these two always, always throw amazing weddings. Weddings that start with an awesome love story (read: the bride’s description below) and end with a rustic meets glam affair filled with fall hued blooms from Catskills Flowers and moment after moment of pure joy captured by McKay Imaging Photography. See them here.
From McKay Imaging Photography… Gary and Sarah both got ready in a log house down the road from the farm. They had an emotional first look outside the barn and the four of us drove around the property in a golf cart for some amazing bride and groom moments. We later met the bridal party and family for some fun shots, followed by the groom’s tisch ceremony and the Ketubah signing. The weather had been iffy all day and the threat of rain was hanging over us all afternoon, yet miraculously it held off until even after the reception in the barn started. The ceremony was so personal and beautiful that not just the guests cried, but even we had tears in our eyes as we were trying to capture this beautiful couple with the magnificent view of the Catskills all around. After a lovely cocktail hour in and around a tent, we headed down for a most fun and adventurous party. The bride and groom with their wedding planner did an excellent job with the decorations and even set up a little area for a “photo booth” with hay bales and some old antiques.
From the Bride… Gary and I met while studying abroad in Madrid, Spain. We were both juniors at Syracuse University, but it took a semester abroad in Madrid, Spain for our paths to cross (although he claims he couldn’t take his eyes off of me in a psych class we allegedly took together). I met Gary in the lobby of a hotel that our touring groups were staying in together. He was wearing ripped denim shorts, tube socks, and a shredded, Billy Madison-style sweater. I will never be able to articulate how or why I was drawn to him right away (considering his wardrobe choice alone), but I was. We very quickly realized that our connection was beyond our control and I imagine that is exactly what meeting your soul mate should feel like. We didn’t hesitate to jump right into our relationship and we were so lucky to have the luxury of taking weekend trips all over Europe together. The most memorable of all would be the trip the two of us took to Paris after knowing each other for only a month! Throughout the rest of our college experience together we divulged in our shared appreciation for chinese food, Hall & Oates, spending time with friends and all of the other incredible things that we have in common! After college, we moved in together in New York City (where we’re both from) and continued to grow our lives together. Gary and I knew we would be getting married from day one, but I was definitely surprised when he asked me to marry him at a Hall and Oates concert at the end of 2011, during my favorite song “Sara Smile.”
Even before we got engaged, we knew we wanted a low-key, yet classy barn wedding and Stone Tavern Farm in Roxbury, NY served as the perfect venue for this. One month after we got engaged, after only seeing one potential wedding venue, we booked our venue and set the date: September 21, 2013. We gave ourselves over 18 months to plan the wedding. Gary, being a project manager by day, was very excited to dive into all of the details that go into the planning process and get started with the hiring of vendors. We hired a partial wedding planner, Lydia Castiglia, to help us get in touch with our food vendors and to help with the “day of” organizing and coordinating. We also ended up hiring Lydia to be our florist, as it seemed as if she understood my wants and desires for flowers and an overall look for the wedding from the beginning. We also booked our Photographers, McKay Imaging, very early on as we knew they would be perfect to shoot our special day because we saw their work at Gary’s sister’s wedding earlier in the year and we were blown away.
For 18 months we did our thing, built our website, sent save the dates, ensured guests had rooms booked at least a year in advance (since the area we got married in is becoming increasingly popular for weddings, with limited accommodations), booked our vendors and wrote our vows. Early on, we had asked our collective best friend, Josh, to officiate the wedding. Josh, Gary and I had all become friends while abroad in Madrid and we were inseparable as friends, it only seemed logical to ask him to oversee our betrothal. Finally, 9/21/13 came and it was amazing. Everything looked gorgeous and was perfectly planned, Josh did an incredible job at the ceremony, our DJ’s killed it at the party, and everyone had the time of their lives. The 18 months of planning and 7.5 years of loving Gary all came to fruition with our incredible wedding day and there is nothing I would have changed, including Gary’s wardrobe choices.
Photography: McKay Imaging Photography | Event Design: Lydia Castiglia | Flowers: Catskills Flowers | Wedding Dress: Jim Hjelm | Wedding Cake: Bread Alone Bakery | Invitations: Mirror, NYC | DJ: Soul Imperial | Ceremony & Reception Venue: Stone Tavern Farm | Cocktail Hour Entertainment: No Biggity Trio | Groom's Wear: Yaly, Vietnam | Invitation Design: Lena Imamura | Make-up And Hair: Ashley Orzol | Vendor: The Bride's Aunt & Grandmother