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Fall Engagement Session on the North Fork

For those of you totally excited for the arrival of fall (read: me), this darling e-sesh is exactly what the doctor ordered.  Think two adorable sweeties frolicking amongst towering trees (in rich autumn colors) and you are sooo on the right track.  It’s true love meets chilly days meets the breathtaking images ofW Studios New York.  Head to The Vault for all of the pretty.

From the Bride… We chose to have our engagement pictures taken out on the North Fork of Long Island, because it is so pretty in the fall months. In November, the leaves are changing colors and the sunsets are amazing. We wanted to pick locations that held special meaning to us and the North Fork is our favorite place to go all year round to relax and enjoy each other.

We were relaxed and confident working with W Studios New York and had such a great time throughout the day. We hit multiple spots from a shady walk through the leaves to our favorite rocky beach and got all that we hoped for and more in our pictures. Stephen and Yuliya gave us great direction and were so helpful with moving around the east end and making the most of our time. We can’t wait to see how beautiful our wedding photos come out!

Photography: W Studios New York | Venue: North Fork New York | Bride's Accessories (Necklace): J.Crew | Bride's Attire (Jeans): 7 For All Mankind | Bride's Attire (Sweater): Zara | Bride's Attire (White Top): Zara | Bride's Shoes (Ankle Boots): Lucky Brand | Bride's Shoes (Flats): J.Crew | Groom's Attire (Boat Shoes): Sperry | Groom's Attire (Jeans): Levi's | Groom's Attire (Long Sleeve Gray Henley T-shirt): J.Crew | Groom's Attire (Quilted Blue Jacket): J.Crew

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DIY Vineyard Wedding at the The Old Field Vineyards

Monday mornings call for weddings just like this one. A wedding that will inspire you as much as it will make you smile – kicking the week off in the prettiest of fashions. Captured beautifully by Raquel Reis Photography, this entire gallery is worth some serious attention, so grab you cup of jo and join me here


From the Bride…I was drawn to the idea of a “DIY wedding,” but quickly came to learn that I had to be thoughtful about which projects to take on order to maintain my sanity. The key to everything coming together was staying organized and my wonderful coordinator/lifesaver, who set up dozens of boxes worth of decorations the morning of our wedding, along with our dad’s who carried wine barrels to the beach and bravely hung lanterns and signs from the trees on the property.

I used re-purposed frames, windows, and scrap wood to make all of the signs for the wedding, a task that turned out to be surprisingly relaxing during the chaotic days before the wedding. I have to give credit to my mother-in-law, who turned out to be the DIY queen of our wedding. She spray-painted wine bottles gold to serve as table numbers/vases, and also made the menus and place cards for the tables.

We turned to places like Etsy, BHLDN, Pottery Barn, and even IKEA for the rest of the décor. My parents’ basement was stuffed to the brim with bottles, jars, lanterns, luminaries, votives, napkins, straws etc.
One of my biggest projects turned out to be the cigar and scotch lounge on the beach, which was my wedding gift to Joe. Now Joe is the guy that has everything, so traditional gifts were out of the question. A celebratory cigar on the beach with his favorite people is more valuable to him than any physical gift. Also, he is an amazing gift giver and I almost never can pull off an equally perfect surprise gift for him, so I had to take advantage of this opportunity.

As I know nothing about cigars or scotch, I had to do a fair amount of research as to what I should get as well as all necessary accessories. I borrowed wine barrels from the vineyard to serve as a “bar” and added lounge furniture to the rentals. I also got adorable matches that read “Joe’s Cigar Lounge” for him and his friends to keep as favors. I still can’t believe that it all came together and stayed a secret until the wedding!

We chose August 24th for our wedding mostly because I have three weeks off at the end of every August (perfect amount of time to relax, get hitched, and honeymoon). Luckily, I also happen to think this is the best time of the year on the North Fork, when the weather is almost always perfect.

Well, if we were going to get married over the summer, it had to be on the North Fork. Not only does it come alive in the summer, but it’s also where Joe and I met and fell in love. Though we live in Brooklyn, we spend most summer weekends with our families out there – it’s worth sitting through 3 hours of traffic. We chose to have our wedding and reception and The Old Field Vineyards for two reasons. It was on the water and they make incredible wine – two features very representative of the North Fork. I also love the idea of having the whole event at this one location, where guests could enjoy the entire stunning property and flow from ceremony to cocktail hour to reception without a pause in the festivities!

Our ceremony came together last minute, but turned out wonderfully. Our guests were greeted with beverages and simple yet lovely musical accompaniment of a single acoustic guitar. We chose contemporary music for the ceremony, I was able to peek through a trellis to watch our friends and family walk to The Beach Boys’ “God Only Knows” and I walked down the very long aisle with my Dad to the Beatles “Here Comes the Sun.” We chose short but touching vows and managed to get through them without tears or stage fright. By far the most special thing about our ceremony was having friends and family participate. Each of our godmothers did readings (Joe’s sister and my aunt), and we were married by Joe’s high school English teacher. Joe’s younger sister gave the most thoughtful and touching of speeches – she truly had everyone reaching for tissues. At the end, everyone danced down the aisle and onto the bar to Dean Martin’s “That’s Amore!”

Aside from getting married (woohoo!), the most special thing about our wedding was being able to spend some truly amazing times with our favorite people! The week before the wedding was a nonstop celebration with all of our family and closest friends, a wonderful time that we will never forget!

I never would have shopped for a dress if it wasn’t for my mom, who lit the fire under my behind to start the process. We first went to a few boutique salons in New York, where I got a taste of what I liked and didn’t like. I realized that I was not the kind of bride who would have an “Ah-ha” moment when I found my dress. So when my mom begged me to go to Kleinfeld’s, I went in with the mindset “now you have seen everything, so you pick your favorite.” I chose my dress because, as my consultant pointed out, it was the one that I smiled the most in and always went back to. I am so grateful for her advice, because I felt unique, pretty, and most importantly like myself on my wedding day!

I borrowed my Kate Spade earrings and feather clutch from Rent the Runway – a truly no-fail service.I chose 3 styles of long chiffon dresses for my 7 gorgeous maids. I loved how elegant and flattering they were while still being beachy. The girls each accessorized with their own belts, shoes and jewelry to make the dress their own.

We chose black suits for the guys to contrast the pale dresses the girls wore and also because I think that Joe looks oh so dapper in black! Joe’s nieces and nephews served as our adorable flower girls and ring bearers, and wore similar outfits to the bride and groom with blush accessories.

I think that I somehow arrived at my “style” throughout the planning process. I knew that while I wanted guests to feel relaxed and comfortable at the wedding, I still wanted elegance. It was important to me that the wedding to have stylish and beautiful elements without being stuffy or cliche. I went by the principal that, as long as I was choosing everything, it would somehow become cohesive by representing my tastes. It was so fun getting to see it all put together on the day of the wedding! Everything from the bridal party to the tables looked even more gorgeous than I could have ever imagined. In the end, I think we were able to pull off a style that was worthy of a stunning summer night and vibrant party!

It was important for Joe and I to use as many local resources as we could, as the North Fork has so much to offer. We served wine from The Old Field, our amazing florist used seasonal and local flowers, we served locally grown produce and locally caught fish, and we brought in cookies and ice cream from nearby shops.

Photography: Raquel Reis | Wedding Coordinator: Valerie Hallock | Floral Design: Moments in Time Floral Design | Dress: Reem Acra | Wedding Dress: Kleinfeld Bridal | Ceremony Venue: The Old Field Vineyards | Reception Venue: The Old Field Vineyards | Bride's Shoes: J.Crew | Bridesmaids Dresses: J.Crew | Catering: Peter Ambrose Catering | Hair And Make Up: Special Effects Salon & Spa | Suits: Ralph Lauren | Hotel: Greenport Hotel | Tent: The New York Tent Company | Band And Musicians: Current Affair | Brides Accessories: Kate Spade | Ice Cream: Magic Fountain, Mattituck | Macaroons: D’Latte, Greenport | Rentals: Party Rentals Ltd | Robes: Plum Pretty Sugar | Stationer: Smock | Stationer: Lion in the Sun | Wedding Rings: Pesselnik & Cohen Inc., New York

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North Fork Wedding at Bedell Cellars from Shannen Natasha Weddings

I often catch myself feeling beyond lucky for getting to spend my days poring over love stories. And if that wasn’t good enough, I get to swoon over the stories captured by talented people like Shannen Natasha Weddings. Whose images of this Bedell Cellars wedding make me feel like I am right there dancing the night away with this stunning couple after a perfect day. That’s nothing short of lucky, and I couldn’t be more thankful that my day will be spent right here.

From the Bride… I grew up in a small beach town on the North Fork of Long Island—90 miles and a world away from New York City. After Billy and I started dating, I introduced him to the area, and he loved it as much as I do. We’ve spent some of our happiest, most relaxing weekends there, and it was an obvious spot for our wedding. The North Fork has great beaches, farms and vineyards, and we wanted our wedding to reflect everything that we love about the area. We hosted a rehearsal dinner BBQ beach bonfire at my parents’ house, and planned the wedding at a nearby vineyard.

We wanted the wedding to feel rustic, but elegant—and most of all, to celebrate our love for each other and our guests. We worked with a wonderful florist, who sourced local, seasonal flowers. Instead of a wedding cake, we served pie from a local farm stand. To reflect our love of travel, we asked guests to sign a giant, Lonely Planet travel book—picking a destination that was special to them. We brought in a phenomenal band from Manhattan, and danced like maniacs all night.

Our lovely photographer, Shannen Natasha Weddings, took photos before the wedding—at my parents’ house and on their boat. She made us feel comfortable and relaxed, and captured our emotions perfectly. I bought inexpensive shoes, knowing that if that if we threw the kind of party we wanted, I’d be barefoot and dancing by dessert. Thankfully, we were right.

Wedding Photography: Shannen Natasha Weddings / Wedding Venue: Bedell Cellars in Cutchogue, New York / Floral Design: Rebecca Jens from Moments in Time Floral Design / Dessert: Briermere Farms / Band: Rhythm Collective via Elan Artists / Wedding Invitations: Crane & Co. / Wedding Stationery: The Ink Spot / Wedding Dress: Alvina Valenta via Kleinfeld Bridal / Rings: T. Gluck / Bridesmaids’ Attire: J.Crew / Groom’ s + Groomsmen Attire: J.Crew / Men’s Ties: Vineyard Vines / Hair + Makeup: Carolyn’s Salon

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