Hanna and Jimm's Outdoor Fall Wedding in the Hudson Valley
Hanna and Jimm first met in NYC on a blind date. After nearly a decade, Jimm proposed to his bride-to-be in Cape Cod, popping the question with an engraved watch. (He later took her ring shopping.) The couple, who had been living in Portland, Oregon, returned to the East Coast for their November 3, 2013, nuptials on Hanna's "family farm" in New York's Hudson Valley. They were joined at The Kaaterskill by 85 of their nearest and dearest, celebrating with an outdoor ceremony amid the pastoral fall foliage, a reception that offered a delicious bounty of autumnal cuisine, and a post-dinner lakeside fire pit that kept guests cozy under the evening stars.
All in the Family
Hanna and Jimm loved the idea of getting married at The Kaaterskill because they travel to the property, owned by Jimm's cousins, for family holidays and other escapes throughout the year. An inn, pond, 15 acres of wooded land, horse pastures, and an array of animals comprise the estate. What's more? Although dozens of weddings are held there annually, Hanna and Jimm were the first in the family to book the property for their big day.
"The donkeys are the most gentle, and love to be pet," says the bride. Two roam the property alongside 19 other animals and a coop full of chickens.
You've Got Mail
The couple designed these invitation "packages." Hanna assembled them in letterboxes accented with marbled paper and tied off with ruby-red ribbon.
Maurice Sendak's illustrations from Ruth Krauss's children's book, I'll Be You and You Be Me
, inspired the blue-and-white, whimsical suite. A map of the Hudson Valley doubled as the RSVP envelope liner, and an artful arrangement of vintage stamps calculated to the exact postage finished off the parcel.
Puttin' on the Glitz
Hanna envisioned herself in a colored gown before her first shopping trip. "Since it was likely to be the most extravagant dress I'd ever buy, I wasn't going to limit myself to only white," says the bride. She admits this gold satin dress that she snagged at a Kleinfeld sample sale was a tad dramatic for her "farm wedding," but she says, "it made me smile."
Hanna went traditional with her custom veil—a single layer, off-white, cathedral-length beauty.
Gold and Glam
Hanna fought off the chill with a vintage mink capelet she thrifted locally and accessorized her ensemble with earrings from Bloomingdale's. Jimm selected dark blue Donegal tweed for his three-piece custom suit and paired it with a red tie and blue gingham shirt for a style that he dubbed, "the country gentleman."
The couple requested flowers, fruit, and branches that looked organic to the property, but left the specifics to Saipua, their florist, who chose a variety of mustard yellow, peach, butter yellow, and pink roses; a few bright leaves accented the bride's bouquet.
Hanna and Jimm's fathers wore boutonnieres to match the groom's, while the mothers wore coordinated corsages.
Blooms a Plenty
Although a chill hit on the wedding day, the bride says the overcast weather made the landscape's natural hues all the brighter. Just before the 4 o'clock ceremony, the sun made a debut.
An existing white arbor at the end of the footpath doubled as a chuppah for the Jewish ceremony, and Saipua wrapped it in branches, roses, and persimmons.
Jimm's parents escorted him down the aisle where he would then wait for his beautiful bride to arrive.
Here Comes the Bride
Hanna decided on her processional music—selections from George Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue"—years before wedding planning began. "I figured the music you choose for your wedding becomes 'your song' forever, so you should pick one of your favorites," she explains.
The couple's ceremony site faced the pond and pond house, offering the guests a beautiful, woodsy view and the couple a scenic backdrop for their nuptials. Per Jewish custom, the parents stood alongside the pair under the chuppah for the duration of the ceremony.
First Kiss As Mr. and Mrs.
Before the rabbi pronounced the couple husband and wife, the two exchanged gold bands—Hanna's from a secondhand jewelry store in downtown Portland, Oregon, and Jimm's from a shop in New York City's Diamond District.
The couple ordered a re-creation of a 1678 German ketubah
to display at the reception. (They signed it prior to the ceremony.) The agreement, a Jewish custom, outlines the rights and responsibilities of the groom in relation to the bride.
Follow the Flowers
The arrangements—shown here on the escort card table—were full of orange persimmons and crab apples that the farm's goats discovered and devoured the following day.
A Fine Feast
In lieu of printed menus, servers presented the night's fare for the holiday-styled feast. "We thought the rustic hay barn would be the perfect contrast for a luxurious dinner and decided to have a five-course, formal meal," says the bride. Each guest received a beef and fish course (allergies permitting), with accompaniments like curried cauliflower, apple and black-pepper oil branzino, Yukon Camembert gratin, and a leek, beet, and goat cheese salad.
Tuned and Ready
The five-piece jazz quintet played in the barn as the guests dined.
The band performed Al Bowlly's "Midnight, the Stars, and You" for the pair's first sway. Hanna and Jimm selected the 1930s classic because it's the theme song of the radio show they listen to nightly before falling asleep.
Baked Ideas hand-painted re-creations of antique Dutch Delft tiles onto the couple's fondant-covered chocolate cake. The intricate masterpiece quickly became one of the bride's favorite day-of elements. "The images of ships, children, and windmills were so charming!" says Hanna. Guests also enjoyed a dessert of apple tart with salted caramel and Tahitian vanilla ice cream.
Under the Stars
The pair arranged post-dinner s'mores at the fire pit near the property's lake.
Photography: Karen Wise Photography
Location: The Kaaterskill
Catering: Sonnier & Castle
Officiant: Rabbi Kudan (email@example.com)
Cake: Baked Ideas
Music: The Lowdown Stompers
Hair and Makeup: Sharon Becker
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