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Rustic, Elegant + Bohemian Upstate New York Wedding

How do you turn a rustic barn in the middle of a hayfield into the perfect setting for your rustic-meets-glam wedding? All you need is a vision like this gorgeous couple did. That, and, lots of crystal chandeliers and candles, lush flowers that exude romance, and vintage French-inspired furnishings. Head to The Vault to see the beautiful transformation, captured to perfection by Charlotte Jenks Lewis Photography.


From The Bride…Dan and I met through mutual friends in college. He asked for my number and I said no, twice, but the third request was the charm. Luckily, the proposal went more smoothly!

When Dan and I decided to get married, we knew that we wanted our wedding to be something unique; Dan prefers it when things are a bit “outside the box”, while I am inclined toward a slightly more classic approach. Although we live on the Lower East Side, we both grew up outside of the City and wanted to get married in the Hudson River Valley, giving our guests the feeling of a true countryside getaway without having to travel too far.

We fell in love with the first barn we saw; it was a completely blank space in the middle of a hayfield and we loved the idea of being able to make it our own. With the help of La Maison Fête, Matthew Robbins and lots and lots of chandeliers, we were able to transform the barn into our dream space. We wanted to amp up the glam while never losing the rustic charm of the barn. The romantic softness of candles and light furniture contrasted perfectly with the stone walls and the rough hewn beams of the barn. We were able to choose every last detail from the lighting, the chairs, to the silverware, and even the “Luxury Loos”. Based upon our guests’ enthusiasm, every last detail was noticed and appreciated.

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Photography: Charlotte Jenks Lewis Photography | Event Planning: La Maison Fête | Floral Design: Matthew Robbins | Wedding Dress: Monique Lhuillier | Invitations: Social Alchemy | Bride's Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Rings: Goshwara | Catering: The Xaviars Restaurant Group | Makeup: All About Face Cosmetics | Band: Faze 4 Orchestras | Bow Tie: Tom Ford | Groom's Attire: Tom James | Venue: Grasmere Farm | Getting Ready Venue: Beekman Arms And Delamater Inn | Groom's Cufflinks: Tiffany & Co. | Groom's Shoes: Del Toro | Hair Accessories: Monique Lhuillier | Signage: Matthew Robbins

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Rhinecliff Hotel Hudson Valley Wedding

This wedding is pure romance.  That type of romance that you only find in classic novels (shout out to Jane Austen) and black and white films playing on tv on a rainy Sunday.  You know what I am talking about… it’s the kind of day that just bursts at the seams with awesome and features beautiful blooms from Catskill Flower Shop and sooo much pretty from Amy Rae Photography.  See it all here.

From Amy Rae Photography… I first met these two at a local pub over a yummy pumpkin brew. They shared with me their love for music. Jaclyn works for VH1 Save the Music and Bryan is a conductor with the New Jersey Youth Symphony. They have a passion for love and life and are not afraid to have a good time. Even if that means acting a little goofy and busting out a jig! I love them for this!

Their wedding was set above the Hudson river in Rhinebeck, NY at the Rhinecliff Hotel under a beautiful blue sky. I have never witnessed so much happiness as there was a permanent smile on everyone’s face. What an exciting day filled with love and laughter.

The couple, along with their family, got ready for the day at the inn. Jaclyn wore an Enzoani dress, while Bryan had a custom tailored suit by Decarlos Bespoke. The bouquet was exquisite with my favorite white anemone flowers, designed by Catskill Flower Shop. Their first look was set on the hotel balcony with family close by to witness their first moments together on their wedding day.

The ceremony was held in the small garden overlooking the Hudson river valley. Pashminas were available for guests on their chairs and the aisle was lined with beautiful rose arrangements. Bryan wrote a special music piece for Jaclyn that was played as a surprise for her during the ceremony.

Guests were asked to make a wish for the newly married couple and add it to their wishing tree which they would plant later to watch grow over the years. Jaclyn and Bryan stepped away for a quiet moment after the ceremony while guests enjoyed cocktails and hors d’oeuvres in the garden. The reception followed inside where everyone enjoyed dinner, a scalloped-lace cake by Calico Bakery, and a view of the perfect sunset. Jaclyn and Bryan really wanted photos on the train bridge while the sun was setting. It was the perfect ending to their day.

Photography: Amy Rae Photography | Florist: Catskill Flower Shop | Dress: Blue by Enzoani | Cake: Calico Bakery | Stationery: A Printable Press | Ceremony: Rhinecliff Hotel | Reception: Rhinecliff Hotel | DJ: DJ Domenic | Bridal Boutique: The White Gown | Custom Tailor: Decarlos Bespoke | MUA: The Dream Bride | Second Shooter: Alicia Swedenborg

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Rhinebeck, New York Wedding from Caroline Frost Photography

If there’s one thing I l-o-v-e about barn weddings, it’s the mix of the old and the new. The expected and the unexpected; the classic design with the handcrafted touches woven in along the way. And if there were ever a barn wedding to swoon, it’d be this Upstate New York affair from Caroline Frost Photography. One part cozy and another part chic, this DIYed wedding is worth a sweet, long look. See soooo much more right over here.

From the Bride… Matt and I met at Fairfield University in September of 2002 when we were just freshmen in college. We shared mutual friends and always seemed to find each other at the beach or various parties. Towards the end of college in 2006 we began dating and our love saga began. Matt claims that I told one of my friends that he resembled the ‘hot brother’ on “The O.C.” which is what prompted him to put the moves on me. I can neither confirm nor deny that I said that but I’m glad he thought I did!

Shortly after graduating college, I moved to Thailand for a six-month stint of adventure- Matt was my rock. Two years after returning we moved in together in New York City and have never looked back – we have two crazy dogs, one lucky fish, and countless memories we share. On January 28, 2012 Matt asked me to go for a walk through Central Park, not something completely out of the ordinary for a beautiful Saturday. As we walked across the Great Lawn, he recounted the many triumphs and obstacles our relationship has endured and without even noticing we had found ourselves in the Shakespeare Garden. He got down on one knee, asked, and I said yes (exuberantly).

When we envisioned our wedding we knew that it had to be a reflection of our personalities as not only individuals, but also as a couple. We knew we wanted it to feel like a weekend of festivities so it was easy to decide on the Hudson Valley. My cousin happens to be from Rhinebeck so I already knew that was a lovely town and destination.
We immediately got to work on the invitations. I loved the idea of adding vintage stamps to our save the dates as well as handmade lace bands to our invitations that I tirelessly constructed in our miniature apartment. My dear friend Maegan even hand wrote each and every envelope for our save the dates. We wanted our invitations, and wedding-weekend experience to bring forth our style, by blending both modern and rustic touches.

It was easy to decide that our ceremony would take place in Good Shepherd Church, a charming and quaint Roman Catholic Church in the center of town. The ceremony consisted of a mass where we were able to incorporate my family’s Cuban tradition of the ‘mantilla’ as well as include our closest friends and family throughout the mass, from ushers, to readers and gift bearers.
When we stumbled across Grasmere Farm for our reception space – it took our breath away in such a manner that we knew this was where we would celebrate our marriage. Being the raw space that it is, I knew that our personalities would come through in the personalized details. We wanted the barns to shine on their own and for the view to serve as the centerpiece. Anemones and succulents served as my primary inspiration and I strived to highlight them against a gray palette of linens and subtle touches of purple. I worked very closely with Hugh Piney, Catering Director at Terrapin Restaurant in Rhinebeck to develop a farm-to-table family style menu where our friends and family would literally “break bread” together and enjoy the day. We heard many guests say “this doesn’t feel like New York” and it really didn’t! Between the romantic Spanish guitarists during the cocktail hour to the spinning of vinyl records and unlimited Motown during the reception one did feel transported to another time and place.

We loved that we were able to share our special day with all of our closest family and friends and are completely overwhelmed with the outpouring of love and support we continue to receive. The smiles are genuine and the love is real – it was the best first day of the rest of our lives.


Wedding Photography: Caroline Frost Photography | Assisant Photographers: Jaine KershnerJulieanne Prevete | Wedding Venue: Stone Barns at Grasmere Farm in Rhinebeck, New York | Floral Design: Cottage Gate Flowers | Catering: Terrapin Restaurant | Cake: Calico Restaurant and Patisserie | Stationery: LittleOwl Letterpress | Save the Dates: Minted | Invitation Calligraphy: Kathryn Murray Calligraphy | Event Rentals: Events Unlimited | Lighting: Linda Baldwin Flowers & Events | Favors, Invitation Accents, Card Table Runner, Cake Topper and Platter, Welcome Bags: DIY by the Bride + Mother of the Bride | Ceremony Music: David Albert Temple | Cocktail Hour Guitarists: Jason and Elysa Hochman | DJ: Ali Gruber | Wedding Dress: Monique Lhuillier via Mark Ingram Bridal Atelier | Veil: Vera Wang via The Bridal Garden | Bride’s Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Bride’s Jewelry: Heirloom, Great Grandmother of the Bride | Bridesmaids Dresses: Joanna August | Makeup + Hair: La Tua Bella | Groom’s Suit: Louis Purple | Groom’s Shoes: Gucci | Groomsmen’s Suits: Tommy Hilfiger via Men’s Wearhouse

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Grasmere Farm Wedding from Christian Oth Studio + Matthew Robins + Charmed Places

Weddings are amazing.  That goes without saying.  And this drop-dead gorgeous, uber-stunning Grasmere Farm backdrop carefully scouted and planned by Charmed Places?  Well… it’s almost too amazing to believe.  A glamorous fête with lovely lavender hues and touches of rustic goodness every which way you turn, it’s the fabulous stylings of Matthew Robbins meets a glorious Vera Wang gown meets the beyond brilliant images of Meredith Davenport of Christian Oth Studio.  Or as we like to call it, a serious Monday morning treat.  Dive into all of the pretty right here. Oh and if you haven’t yet noticed our SMP at Home series on Sundays, you have to take a peek at all of the gorgeousness that happened right here over the weekend!

From Lydia FitzGerald of Charmed PlacesOne week after hosting an end-of-summer rehearsal dinner at Grasmere Farm, Maria and Matt held their wedding reception at Grasmere — the first wedding in this space outside the family of the property’s owners! Living in NYC and spending summers out at the Jersey Shore, I questioned Maria and Matt’s initial interest in a barn located  in the Hudson Valley, but they were convinced that this was the spot, that it represented certain elements of their relationship and they were enthusiastic to jump in and start planning!

The wedding ceremony was held at a regal, stone, Episcopal church located in the heart of Rhinebeck Village. Instead of printing ceremony programs to be distributed to guests, the couple decided to write the ceremony details on various chalkboards and prop them by the church’s entrance, surrounded by fresh herbs and plants and including the bride’s favorite, lavender. As guests made their way from the ceremony to the reception site, signage directed shuttles and cars to an unmarked entrance to the Grasmere property, down a long drive to a secluded area on the grounds where the stone barns stand. Vodka cocktails in mason jars and fresh shrimp from the groom’s family shop in NYC — Leonard’s Market — awaited guests as they arrived. Guests were ushered into the stone barn for dinner just before sunset in time to see the sunlight hitting the three massive chandeliers suspended above the dinner tables. Each place setting was pre-set with chilled, local Sun Gold tomato gazpacho and goat cheese crema, to be sipped or spooned from a demitasse cup.

As night time set in, guests were able to observe a better view of the stark contrasts inside the barn — the tall ‘chimneys’ were stripped to their black insulation with patterns of light projected, creating a very urban, industrial vibe. The chandeliers provided warmth and elegance, as did the dinner tables with their brightly colored florals in pewter pitchers surrounded by candlelight. Dinner gave way to dessert, where the bride and groom dug into a small ceremonial chocolate cake made from the groom’s mother’s recipe and topped with a special lego cake topper delivered to the couple from the groom’s 7-year-old nephew! When the band stopped playing at 11 p.m., the party moved from the barn to the carriage house, where the stone walls were washed in pink light and two fire pits were set at the entrance for guests to use to keep warm as the evening temperature dropped to 44 degrees! Hot pizzas, delivered by a local joint, and plenty of beer kept the party going until the last shuttle call of the evening was made. Maria and Matt were having such a great time, they were the  last ones to get on the bus!

Wedding Photography: Meredith Davenport of Christian Oth Studio / Ceremony: Church of the Messiah in Rhinebeck, New York / Reception: Grasmere Farm in Rhinebeck, New York / Event Planning + Coordination: Lydia FitzGerald of Charmed Places / Floral + Event Design: Matthew Robbins Design / Catering: Main Course Catering / Wedding Invitations: Bella Figura via The Village Invites / Table Numbers + Invitation Envelopes: Queen Quills / Entertainment: Hank Lane Music / Photo Booth: Shootbooth / Wedding Dress: Vera Wang / Bride’s Shoes: Jimmy Choo / Hair: Nikki Avanzino / Makeup: Anabel Vargas / Groom’s Tuxedo: Ermenegildo Zegna / Groom’s Shoes: Salvatore Ferragamo

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Grasmere Farm Rehearsal Dinner by Charmed Places

When you are lucky enough to hold your rehearsal dinner at a location as breathtaking as the Grasmere Farm, you can pretty much guarantee a fabulous soiree.  This historic stone barn in Rhinebeck is about as gorgeous as it gets… and when you fill it to the brim with beautiful florals by The Greenhouse at Rhinebeck and some amazing lighting by Salvin Design, well… you have yourself one seriously stunning fête.  Plus, with Lydia FitzGerald of Charmed Places planning the entire affair to absolute perfection and Photo Pink on hand to capture it all, the gallery is literally overflowing with the pretty we need to jump start the work week.  Join me there for more!

Click here for the FULL rehearsal dinner!

From Lydia FitzGerald of Charmed PlacesThis event is near and dear to my heart. It was a labor of love to plan and execute and both my clients, their guests and I were extremely happy with the outcome. The dinner took place at Grasmere Farm in Rhinebeck, New York, which is not yet known as an event venue. The last private event to be held at Grasmere prior to this rehearsal dinner was the rehearsal dinner for Chelsea Clinton the summer before. With that level of event preceding ours, I knew I had to work with my clients and vendors to create an event that honored this occurrence, as well as the space itself and of course, my client’s wishes — one of which was not to upstage the wedding the following day. Yikes! Hard to do when working with such a naturally beautiful and grand location. The barn at Grasmere is a raw space with no power or running water. Among other things, I had the space power washed and a load of gravel delivered and raked to ensure that the beautiful lounge setting on the massive gravel courtyard in front of the stone barn would make a statement to guests as they arrived.

On the day of the event, guests were directed to an unmarked entrance to the property. A long and winding drive lined with lanterns that we installed that took them past massive fields, a large pond and up to entrance to the courtyard and barns. After several consecutive days of rain we were fortunate to have a beautiful and sunny day. Guests spent cocktail hour in the courtyard sipping on champagne and a specialty cocktail of marinated blackberries, fresh mint, vodka and seltzer, listening to spanish guitar melodies provided by a live musician. With one entire side of the 7,000 sq ft barn exposed, we made sure that guests were moved inside the barn for dinner before sunset so they could take in the view of rolling lawns, haystacks and blue sky before night came. Dinner was festive but intimate, with the lighting design of the barn’s interior becoming more apparent as day became night. With September being the start of harvest season in the Hudson Valley, guests sampled local produce in an heirloom tomato salad with champagne vinaigrette and grass-fed Hudson Valley beef with local chanterelle mushrooms. Many toasts were given, and a lovely and sweet video montage of the couple was played for guests. When it was time to leave, no one wanted to go! At the end of the evening the bride ran up to me, grabbed me and exclaimed, “Thank you for making this evening so special!” Mission accomplished!

Event Planning: Lydia FitzGerald of Charmed Places / Venue: Grasmere Farm in Rhinebeck, New York / Photography: Randy Ahart of Photo Pink / Event Design + Florals: Lisa Riso of The Greenhouse at Rhinebeck / Lighting Design: Salvin Design / Catering: Main Course Catering

Outdoor Wedding in Rhinebeck, New York

Some weddings are stuffed with details and I love those but I also have a soft spot for weddings that fall on the simple and edited side. Easy, breezy and filled to the brim with family was the name of this game. Dave Robbins Photography sent over this sweet, sweet wedding and it is both classic and elegant. It is like a breath of fresh air and I am completely smitten with the hints of baby’s breath sprinkled throughout. Be sure to check out the gallery for even more of this lovely outdoor wedding.

{Click here for the full wedding gallery}

We didn’t have a style in mind at the beginning. All we knew was that we wanted every inch of the day to represent us. For that reason we decided to do almost everything ourselves. We were living in a small, woodsy cottage on an old farm when we got engaged. It was springtime and we were surrounded by green moss, trees and birds, particularly sparrows, flitting after each other. Those things ended up becoming the central themes of our wedding.

We wanted two things. The first was to have an outdoor ceremony and reception. The second was to have a place that could not only accommodate the wedding and reception, but also our guests for the whole weekend. When we arrived at Belvedere Mansion, it took us approximately three minutes to decide to put down a deposit. The grounds were beautiful with rolling green hills; tall, wise trees; peace full pond and views of the Hudson. The architecture and decor was representative of what we like, traditional yet homey and full of personality. It was a perfect fit.

We did many things ourselves. My husband is an Art Director and paper-lover so he designed the save-the-dates, invitations, place cards, table cards, ceremony programs, thank you notes, welcome notes and a matching website. He worked with his favorite printing company, Symmetry Lithographers, to custom print everything on our hand-picked paper. We worked closely with our priest, Father Dave, on the ceremony and vows. We hand picked every song that was played. We designed the centerpieces and floral arrangements. My mom and I hand made the welcome gifts out of jute fabric, white satin ribbon and sprigs of baby’s breath accented with Brad’s welcome cards. My mom and my aunts hung large pieces of tulle and ferns from the inside of the reception tent to create a magical feeling when the wind blew. The morning of I did my make-up while my mom did my hair. It was surprisingly relaxing to do everything ourselves because, come time for the wedding, we were happy knowing everything would be a part of us, perfect or not.

Photographer: Dave Robbins / Venue and Caterer: Jeff at Belvedere Mansion, Rhinebeck, New York / Wedding Dress: Reem Acra / Groom’s Suite: Brooks Brothers / Bridesmaids: J Crew / Music: JTD Productions

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