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Finger Lakes Barn Wedding from Alexandra Meseke Photography

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.

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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

BHLDN and Lea-Ann Belter are members of our Look Book. For more information on how members are chosen, click here. The Left Bank Bridal Finery and Alexandra Meseke Photography are members of our Little Black Book. Find out how members are chosen by visiting our FAQ page.
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Alexandra Meseke Photography

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Finger Lakes Barn Wedding from Elizabeth Duncan Events + Nessa K Photography

There’s just something so refreshing about this wedding… something that kind of grabs ahold of your heart and never lets go.  It’s the simple sophistication of a breathtaking Finger Lakes backdrop paired perfectly with the planning expertise of Elizabeth Duncan Events and a bundle of beautiful blooms from Stacy K Floral.  It’s a mesmerizing rustic meets romantic vibe joining forces with an amazing red barn and a tented reception that will, put simply, blow your mind.  And it’s image after image of pure lovely as captured by Nessa K Photography.  See them all in the full gallery.

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From Elizabeth Duncan EventsThe banner over the dance floor read “Magic Surrounds,” and from beginning to end, K.C. and Aaron’s wedding was just that – magical.

K.C. and Aaron started dating in high school in Northern Virginia and over their twelve-year relationship they spent many summers at Aaron’s family lake house in Branchport, New York. K.C. also has family roots in the Finger Lakes area. The sentiment of so many memories together and undeniable beauty of the surroundings coupled with the opportunity to provide their guests with a true escape led K.C. and Aaron to their wedding celebration on Keuka Lake.

K.C. wanted to create a wedding environment for her guests that highlighted the beauty and meaningfulness of the area with a natural romance and vintage touches woven together in a sophisticated and refined look. What was created was just that and more – a relaxed and rustic lakeside escape and revival of the “modern ruins” of the historic barns on the family property.

From seasonal fruit jams made by K.C. in the welcome gifts to the farm-to-table menu paired with locally-grown and produced wines to textured floral arrangements featuring local, seasonal elements such as dahlias, thistle, blackberries, grasses and vines, K.C. and Aaron imbued their wedding celebration with as many details as possible that were homemade and highlighted the bounty of the region. K.C. also created her own custom font and hand lettered much of the printed materials and signage at the wedding.

One of the barns on the property had served as storage over the years and became the source for many creative ideas. Old washbasins became coolers for wine at the bars, beautiful fireplace mantles became the anchors for a cozy lounge by the dance floor, jam jars became the vases for the centerpieces, old farm tables were used for some of the bars and food displays, and wine crates, baskets, plates and platters added additional rustic touches.

From the perfect blue sky to the sentimental waterfront ceremony to the gracious hospitality to the sparkling send off, K.C. and Aaron’s wedding truly was filled with magic.

Wedding Photography: Nessa K Photography | Wedding Venue: Private Residence, Branchport, New York (Keuka Lake, Finger Lakes) | Event Planning: Elizabeth Duncan Events | Floral Design: Stacy K Floral | Catering: PURE Event Catering | Invitations: Minted | Linens: Table Toppers | Wedding Dress: Lazaro | Groom’s Attire: Custom | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: J.Crew | Bride’s Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Hair: Ismail of George’s at The Four Seasons, Washington, DC | Makeup: Robyn Fazio | Tent + Rentals: Hank Parker’s | DJ: CNY Select DJs | Valet: Premier Parking Services  | Restroom Trailer: Crescent Moon

J.Crew, Hayley Paige and Jim Hjelm Occasions are members of our Look Book. For more information on how members are chosen, click here. Stacy K Floral and JLM Couture, Inc are members of our Little Black Book. Find out how members are chosen by visiting our FAQ page.
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Finger Lakes Wedding from Glass Jar Photography

It’s been my experience that when I fall in love with a wedding gown, I fall in love in a big, big way. (Think screen savers galore and days upon days of never-ending pinning.)  So, the moment I saw this uber-gorgeous bride rockin’ the Jenny Packham “Eden” gown, I was absolutely smitten.  Because, not only is this dress what I would call a wedding gown masterpiece, it also happens to be the oh-so-perfect compliment to a day that is literally overflowing with beauty.  Glass Jar Photography snapped up every magical moment and it’s making for one amazing day in the gallery.  Join me there for more.

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From the Bride… In planning our wedding, I wanted to invite the people we love into a fantasy land with us for one day. I wanted them to feel as though they literally stepped into another world – a world from a much simpler time, where the beauty of nature itself would trump any grandiose attempts of man. I described my vision to my photographer as something like “the shire” but with a lot of little personal touches.

As we love wine, my husband and I originally set out to find a vineyard where we would be married. We live in NJ, but far more reasonable prices brought us to the Finger Lakes wine country in upstate New York to look for a venue. Initially, we did book a local winery up there, but due to conflicts with the owner, we ended up moving our wedding to Seneca Springs Resort, a B&B with 100 acres of incredible grounds overlooking the wineries and Seneca Lake. In addition to the abundance of natural beauty, they also had a solid wood barn-like structure up on the hill where we could hold the reception. I knew that I wanted the décor to be mostly DIY pieces mixed with random vintage items. I collected about 20 hand-picked vintage bottles over six months to put flowers in. I saw no need for a traditional florist, so we went with a one-woman show (Plenty of Posies) out of the Ithaca Farmer’s Market — her choices of wild flowers were stunning. She even created the flower halos my nieces wore. We also splurged on solid wood farm tables to really drive home that rustic, lost-in-time feel.

The more I learned about what I needed to be done, the more I wanted to do myself.  I designed and printed my own invitations, menu cards and programs. The venue was bare bones, so absolutely everything had to brought in (including water and electricity). This turned out to be a bit of a challenge for a lot of logistical/functional items, but at the same time it was a blank canvas, which was so exciting for me to work with. I became enchanted by old doors and keys, and I ended up using antique door knobs and barn wood to create table numbers. I also made all the escort tags and attached each to a unique vintage skeleton key, which served as favors for all the guests. Just so there was no confusion on what to do with the keys, I wrote a poem about them which I put in the display box that held all the keys. (I completely fell in love with the process of bringing this all to life, and as a result, actually ended up opening my own Etsy store after my wedding!) My husband and I love blue grass and folk music, which also went with the theme, so we hired a local band we knew from Astoria, NY (2/3 Goat) to come up and play our wedding. We also had a DJ for a couple hours to do the more traditional dancing. We may like the country, but we take our food every bit as seriously as any sophisticated city-folk. We ended up having an authentic Viennese-Austrian restaurant called Dano’s cater the wedding, serving foodie-approved delights made with all local ingredients. When the day finally came, it turned out to be everything I had hoped for, and we felt so blessed to get to share our love, and our dreams brought to life, with all our closest family and friends!

Wedding Photography: Glass Jar Photography / Wedding Venue: Seneca Springs Resort in Hector, New York / Wedding Planning: Lovewell Celebration Design / Floral Design: Plenty of Posies / Wedding Design + Decor: Doorknobs & Broomsticks (Owned by the Bride) / Catering: Dano’s Heuriger on Seneca / Band: 2/3 Goat / Rentals: McCarthy Tents & Events / Wedding Dress: Jenny Packham “Eden”

Glass Jar Photography is a member of our Little Black Book. Find out how members are chosen by visiting our FAQ page.
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