Once in awhile the most magical wedding comes along that has too many gorgeous images to properly edit down. This Hudson Valley affair so beautifully captured by Jen Huang is one of those gems. And it's a big post but soooo worth diving into. Masterminded by Claudia Hanlin of The Wedding Library, with flowers galore by Fleurs NYC, it reads like the most classic of classics, set against the sweeping backdrop of the Hudson Valley. Fall in love with the full celebration right here. And whatever you do, make sure it involves pressing play on the film by Elysium Productions. It will give you all the feels.
From Claudia Hanlin of The Wedding Library...I met Allison and Scott after they had chosen a Hudson River Valley mansion venue that I had been dying to work at. I knew that their classic, fresh, modern aesthetic, and the backdrop of the Hudson river would be a winning combination for my design sensibility. Fast forward four months and we were still negotiating the venue contract -- it finally became clear that we would not be able to move forward with their dream space.
Back to the drawing board. On their initial search the couple had exhausted all the well-known venues in the region. Their requirements were specific, too. They wanted a private home, removed from NYC, with a view of the Hudson river. They needed hotels nearby, venues for rehearsal dinners and brunch, and a beautiful home on the property that could be used for family and guests. I tapped my colleagues, friends and personal resources and found the (not for long!) secret Ankony Carriage House.
A historic Hudson Valley farm, complete with renovated farmhouse, heritage cattle and rolling hills, the property fit the bill! It was time to work on the save-the-dates (now that we had a venue!) and the design process. Main Course Catering and Events Unlimited had experience in the area, and at the property. We love that EU has the wooden-pole, classic tents that the bride was looking for (and we adore)!
As we started the design process, the design was dictated by a crisp white backdrop, punctuated with touches of gray and greige. The letterpress save the date and invite, with delicate motifs, calligraphy accents and grey envelopes, set the tone.
The bride chose a stunning Monique Lhuillier gown, veil and lacy Loubutin shoes that she rocked all night! The bridesmaids chose their dresses from my salon at the Wedding Library, in a slate blue that became a recurring accent color throughout the wedding.
I was thrilled that the bride chose my old friend (we've known each other about 15 years!) Jen Huang to photograph the wedding. I knew they were in good hands to capture the subtle white on white story. The dreamy images are the result of her great talent -- perfect for this hard to capture event.
The white tent, clean linen cloths and whitewashed chairs, white dance floor and bars set the backdrop for the party. Those pieces dictated the pretty gray china, and blended harmoniously with the greens, white flowers and blossoms with touches of peachy pink. Delicate glass ware, floating candles and glass votives and mercury glass vessels finished the picture.
We wanted points of interest around the tent, too. Parallel greenery walls behind the two bars flanking the bandstand were crisp and pretty. The delicate Nine Cakes cake had pride of place as did a champagne tower with coupes served to guests as they entered the tent.
The four tent poles were decorated with simple tree branches, bringing the outside into the tented space. As a final pretty touch we draped the entrance with gauzy fabric punctuated by greens and surrounded by glass-enclosed pillar candles.
The ceremony was planned on a hilltop, under a giant tree, with the Hudson River as a backdrop. But as I went to set up the space, I realized that the tree would bifurcate the ceremony arch, and obstruct the breathtaking view. So the day before the wedding we switched gears and allowed the tall grass fields and river backdrop take center stage. We could not have made a better decision!
The giant arch was covered in white blossoms, the aisle festooned with petals. Two large arrangements set on antiqued Greek pillars finished the look. (Cleverly, we used the urns to decorate the bandstand later in the evening.)
The cocktail hour was the most relaxed portion of the evening. Lounge seating, bistro lights, lawn games and a giant charcuterie station took pride of place. Guests wandered the property and took in the view while a cool jazz trio performed. Marble hexagon tiles guided guests to their tables.
The reception was not short on surprises to delight guests. A fun photo booth was set up right outside the tent, complete with silly props. A frites food truck rolled up at the end of the night, and the groom was surprised by a fun cake just for him. As it got dark we broke out the glowsticks, beach balls, tambourines and flip flops. Finally, the groom invited all the guests onto the lawn, where a fireworks display coincided with the end of his speech and lit up the sky over the Hudson River.