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A Rustic Fall Wedding at Hayfield Catskill Alive with Vibrant Color

It may be on the cusp of Summer, but it’s a crisp Fall day in our minds thanks to this gorgeous wedding captured by Elena Wolfe Photography. The beautiful bride and her handsome hub chose a bright color scheme rich with orange, pink and burgundy hues complimenting the Fall foliage surrounding their venue, Hayfield Catskill, in upstate New York. The lucky bridesmaids were able to choose their very own dream dress for the special day, allowing their unique personalities to shine through! Oh, and prepare to be wow-ed by the colorful arrangements from Heart and Soil Flowers. Keep on reading to step inside this charming day, planned to perfection by Modern Kicks.

From the Bride… We got engaged in Camden, Maine over July 4 weekend when we were there on a family trip. I always wanted an emerald engagement ring however my husband would not let me be part of any ring design. All I was able to share was what stone I wanted and my ring size and he insisted on doing everything else, which meant I knew nothing about the ring until the moment he pulled it out and proposed. The emerald stone had been set in a man’s ring that belonged to my husband’s late grandfather. Before we got engaged, when my husband told his grandmother he wanted to propose and I wanted an emerald, she got the ring and gave it to him and he had the stone reset in a new design. It is truly one of my most treasured possessions and incredibly special to have a part of his grandparents with us all the time.

When we got engaged we already knew we wanted a fall wedding with the backdrop of the outdoors and the foliage at its peak. Hayfield truly embodied everything we were looking for and the barns and the beautiful surroundings laid the foundation for the aesthetic direction we went in – especially the colorful leaves which inspired the colors that were featured in the floral arrangements by Heart and Soil Flowers, the bridal bouquet and the color palette I gave my bridesmaids so they could choose their dresses. Overall we wanted our wedding to be a fun celebration where our guests could enjoy themselves, enjoy the natural beauty of the Catskills and have a memorable time.

My dress was one of my most favorite parts of the wedding. Going dress shopping I really had no idea what I wanted and therefore I tried lots and lots of different shapes, fabrics, cuts, etc. This Halfpenny London top and skirt combination really embodied our wedding for me, a beautiful shape – the satin top bringing a classic touch and the fringe skirt adding playfulness and ease which felt appropriate given the barn and outdoor setting. It was important to me that each bridesmaid be able to choose their dress – color, style, everything – as I wanted everyone to be comfortable and feel their best.

I love the mismatch look and encouraged each of them to choose dresses with embellishments, prints, different textures and fabrics, etc. I loved each dress they chose, I loved how they really fit each bridesmaid’s personality and the way they looked all together at the wedding was exactly what I envisioned. We wrote the table assignments on vintage window frames we rented from Hudson Valley Vintage Rentals. The look and feel of that display fit perfectly with the rustic beauty of the barns and gave a nice, no frill touch to the seating.

My sister in law designed the wedding invitations and we worked very closely with her on all elements of the aesthetic direction. She then painted the leaves in watercolor before scanning them digitally to create the invitations. Those motifs were utilized throughout the invitation suite as well as the programs, menu, table settings, etc. At the wedding. We had a short non-denominational ceremony officiated by a dear friend of ours which made the experience incredibly special. Having someone so close to us, who knows us both really well and therefore was able to bring a very personal touch to the celebration and then be the one to pronounce us husband and wife was one of our favorite moments.

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Photography: Elena Wolfe Photography | Cinematography: Hello Super Studios | Coordination: Modern Kicks | Floral Design: Heart & Soil Flowers | Wedding Dress: Halfpenny London | Catering: 121 Restaurant & Catering | Makeup: Kim Misner | Hair: Kyra Hair | Calligrapher: Ella Romero, Farebella | Band: Kazz Music Orchestra | Barn: Hayfield Catskills | Accomodations: Eastwind Hotel | Film Lab: Richard Photo Lab | Photo Booth: Hudson Trailer Co. | Rentals: Party Rental LTD | Vintage Rentals: Hudson Valley Vintage Rentals | Wedding Dress Boutique: The One Bridal

The Story Behind This Elopement Will Give You All the Feels

With 2017 coming to an end, we’re sharing one of the most generous love stories of the year. Brace yourselves.

Houston natives Shellie Schoellkopf and Robert Callaway were supposed to get married in a big Southern ceremony and reception in their home state of Texas on October 7th. Hurricane Harvey had other plans. The couple decided to cancel their reception and donate the $5,000 price tag of the post-ceremony party to help their community, which was devastated after the storm. This story of paying it forward doesn’t end there either.

Meanwhile, a few hundred miles north, local New York married couple, Cat Greenleaf (who you may recognize from USA’s “Talk Stoop” where she interviews celebs on her stoop in Brooklyn with her rescue pups) and her husband Mike Rey, had recently opened a stunning wedding venue upstate, The Catskill Mountain House. Moved by Shellie and Robert’s story, they flew them out for an elopement re-do and honeymoon on the gorgeous property, complete with a glamorous tour of New York City to see the sights.

From timeless crystal flutes that would make Liz Taylor swoon to charming Airstream caravans and bold patterns, these photos captured by Mekina Saylor Weddings will take you back in time to what feels like a 1960s movie set. If this story of paying it forward (twice!) doesn’t give you the warm and fuzzies, I don’t know what will.




Photography: Mekina Saylor Weddings | Venue: The Catskill Mountain House

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Co-Founder of Birchbox Says I Do in Seriously Gorgeous Style

I love the overall vision this Bride & Groom had for their Big Day: to throw a big dinner party for close friends and family. Because sometimes the jumping off point of inspiration isn’t about the details, it’s about the vibe. And then the details just fall into place so, so beautifully. Not to mention, this glowing Bride is the Co-founder of Birchbox, so of course, she looked effortlessly gorgeous. Ready for more? See all of Mark for Trent Bailey Studio‘s captures in The Vault.

From the Bride… Our overall vision was to throw a big dinner party for close friends and family. We planned a wedding weekend, with the Arnold House as our home base. It’s a 10-room Catskills hotel that has been renovated to look very Ace-y and owned by a super cool couple who lives part time in Manhattan. Our family stayed there and we also had a Friday night welcome party in their barn and a casual Sunday brunch there (we couriered Peter Pan doughnuts and Bien Cuit croissants from the city!). The actual wedding was at East Hill, about 6 mi away. The same couple who owns the Arnold House has a 60-acre property that includes a modern pool area (where we had our cocktail hour) and a container house (where we stayed). We wanted it to be a low-key weekend of activities in a gorgeous upstate area: hiking, distillery tours, yoga at the Arnold House. 

My hair was by Jeff Chastain, and makeup by Nam Vo. It was amazing to have friends—people I’ve known and worked with for over five years—do my hair and makeup. I trusted them to make me look like myself, only better. We didn’t have a bridal party, just Rob’s best friend Julian and my sister Annie, but we had our friends and family participate in other ways. Our officiant was our dear friend Nate Rogers. We put the ceremony together ourselves, and asked friends and family to do readings from Madeline L’Engle, George Saunders, and a Brooklyn poet named Robert Hershon. Our ceremony was in a wide-open field, then we walked up to the pool area for cocktails, then reception under a tent.

Poppies & Posies did a spectacular job with our florals. I wanted seasonal, not too girly—an undone organic look but not hippie. They nailed it and were a dream to work with. Rob designed all our printed materials (though my best friend and Birchbox cofounder Hayley did the menus!), and we had them printed by our longtime Birchbox printer Tazo at 4over4. Then we roped in another friend, Allidah, to write our escort cards, which hung on the fence at cocktail hour. It takes a village.

Food was a huge priority for us! We worked with Oliver Kita, an incredibly skilled caterer to create a big, happy dinner party. We designed a menu that felt like something we would do at home (obviously not at this scale or all at once). For cocktail hour, we the Italian aperitivo hour tradition so we had an entire bar of negronis and spritzes and a giant wooden table piled with charcuterie and mostly local cheese. There were other delicious snacks like radishes with local butter, and deviled eggs because Rob loves them. Dinner was family-style and, again, foods that we would make ourselves: steak with chimichurri sauce, roasted vegetables, great crusty bread. My parents sourced 20 vintage soda bottles that we filled with olive oil for the table and my dad personally hemmed and folded all the napkins. Oliver made us a naked wedding cake that I swear tasted just like birthday cake, plus homemade mallomars as a party favor. We were also lucky to have the Doug Winters Band keeping everyone on the dance floor. Rob had seen this band at a wedding in 2009, where he danced so much he sprained his ligament. Our first dance was to Jackie Wilson’s “Your Love Keeps Lifting Me Higher.”

My dress was by Roland Mouret. I wanted something modern and simple but with pretty details. My shoes were by Jimmy Choo. Rob wore a made to measure suit by Monsieur Brunold and shoes by Church’s.





Photography: Mark for Trent Bailey Studio | Floral Design: Poppies And Posies | Wedding Dress: Roland Mouret | Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Catering: Oliver Kita Fine Catering | Groom’s Attire: Monsieur Brunold | Groom’s Shoes: Church’s

Here’s How You Host the Catskills Wedding of Your Dreams

I’m all for a grand ballroom affair in the heart of NYC, but drive me 10 miles outside the city to the beauty that is The Catskill Mountain House and that, my friends, is where you’ll find my happy place. Think ten breathtaking acres, a modern mountain chalet and a renovated pole barn + outbuildings just ready to host your Big Day. It’s rustic. It’s low-key. And it’s all sorts of pretty. Check it out below.

Set against the gorgeous backdrop known as the Catskills, The Catskill Mountain House takes laid-back, low-key country weddings to an entirely new level. From the modern 1500 square foot pole barn designed using all locally-sourced materials to the fully-stocked bar (hello, late night poker tournaments and pre-wedding champagne toasts) to the vintage airstream (umm… amazing) to the beautiful Mountain House (a sweet chalet perfect for day-of pampering, catering prep or relaxing post-wedding), there isn’t a spot on this stunning compound you won’t fall head over heels in love with. There’s even a half-acre swimming pond stocked with local trout. You know… just in case you want to take a dip at some point over the weekend. It truly doesn’t get any better, loves.

Whether you’re planning an intimate celebration with just your nearest and dearest or a larger event for 120 fabulous guests, The Catskill Mountain House will take that rustic meets romantic vision of your dreams and make it a complete and total reality. Contact their talented staff today to begin planning – we can’t wait to see every last moment of your awesome day, ’cause, umm… we love this place.

Small Summer Country Wedding in the Catskills

They say when you know, you know, and when this gorgeous Bride found Windrift Hall, she booked it for her small summer wedding in the country—two weeks before her handsome Groom got down on one knee! And with the help of amazing vendors like Divine Light PhotographyDesigns By Ahn and Sperry Tent, their sweet wedding came together perfectly. See all the pretty in The Vault!

From The Bride…Ben and I met at Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Manhattan, became friends, and started dating a few weeks after. We fell quickly in love and knew this was it, so we dated very intentionally for over a year. During that time, we talked a lot about what we wanted in our lives, our marriage and wedding. We actually booked our wedding venue two weeks before we got engaged! While I knew we would be engaged in the Spring, Ben still managed to surprise me with his Washington Square Park proposal. He recruited our friends to hide in various places in the park to take pictures of the proposal, and afterwards, we cabbed over to his Midtown apartment where our families surprised us with a celebration brunch.

We both liked the idea of a small summer wedding in the country, somewhere that would feel like a restful retreat from Manhattan, where we lived. One night I Googled and found Windrift Hall, a restored 1790s manor house in Hudson Valley, just two hours north from us. The house was filled with stunning antiques, overlooked a private pond, and was surrounded by acres of grass and wildflowers—it looked straight out of a Jane Austen novel! The next weekend, we drove up for a visit, fell in love with the place, and put down a deposit to seal the deal. We rented Windrift Hall for three nights, which left plenty of time for our families to stay together, enjoy the property, and set up the wedding.

We only had four months to plan, but it was just enough time for us. I had a strong vision of an elegant, rustic outdoor wedding – something that was not too formal, but still tasteful. While brainstorming ways to make this wedding feel curated and personal, we figured out what were “must haves” vs. “nice to haves”, which helped us with budgeting. Then we created a Google Sheets project timeline, divided responsibilities, and conquered one task at a time. We agreed we would invest in photography, flowers, and renting decor that would enhance the natural environment, such as farm tables and antique furniture. We found cost-savings in other areas, like making our own reception playlist and going with a buffet dinner from Dinosaur Bar-B-Que.

What made the wedding feel special were the personal details, and there are so many that I cherish! The vintage candlesticks we bought at a flea market in Hudson, NY…the distressed white windows that we used for table seating charts…my “something borrowed” vintage Tiffany earrings from my bridesmaid…the chalkboard signs that we hand painted…the herbs that my bridesmaids found in the garden and placed on every dinner plate…the black & white photos from Ben’s grandparents’ wedding, which fell on the same day as ours.

My favorite memories include spending quality time with our families the days leading up to the wedding: laughing over home-cooked dinners, canoeing in the pond, and talking long walks together. On our wedding day, my favorite moments were our First Look and when our pastor pronounced us husband and wife. I remember feeling so beautiful when Ben’s jaw dropped after seeing me in my dress for the first time, as he twirled me around. The overwhelming joy in finally making our covenant before God and becoming “one flesh” through our vows was indescribable. We both had “pinch me” grins on our faces and looked at each other thinking “I can’t believe I get to spend my whole life with you”. We were immensely blessed to be able to share our wedding day with friends and family, to witness before God, and dedicate ourselves to each other forever.

Photography: Divine Light Photography | Floral Design: DESIGNS BY AHN | Wedding Dress: La Sposa Detalle | Cake: Piece Of Cake | Catering: Dinosaur BBQ | Hair + Makeup: Kristian Torres | Venue: Windrift Hall | Rentals: New England Country Rentals | Tent Rentals: Sperry Tents