A Rustic, Easygoing Wedding in the Catskills

Cat and Vince

JBM Photography

Vince, a chef, took an overdue break from the restaurant he owned in June 2012, and went to visit friends in New York City. Cat, a jewelry designer, was heading to the Belmont Stakes with the same friends. The two were introduced, then stood in line together to place a bet on one of the horses. The rest is history. After a year of dating 3,000 miles away from each other—he in British Columbia, she in Brooklyn—the couple finally reunited in New York in 2013, where they moved in together and their relationship progressed.

On January 13, 2015, Vince tricked Cat into coming up to a room in The Standard hotel, saying it was an early birthday present. She joyfully screamed, "you liar!" when he popped the question. The eight-month engagement led up to a rustic wedding in the Catskills at Handsome Hollow, set on 93 acres of forests, fields, and mountain views and complete with a 240-year-old barn and an idyllic farmhouse.

135 guests–and their beloved labradoodle, Maya—witnessed the celebration, on August 1, 2015. From the farm-to-table dinner reception in the barn to the tubing trip the following day, this couple made sure that every attendee was comfortable and content.

When they started planning their wedding, Cat and Vince reached out to loved ones, who were each willing to help in some way. From Tara—their stationer and the mutual best friend that introduced them, to Alex—their close friend and prop stylist extraordinaire, the entire day was made special because of their family and friends' contributions. One friend even took a trip to Pennsylvania to get fireworks that had Cat and Vince's hearts racing—just like the horses the day they met.

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Engagement Ring

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The bride's 14k white gold engagement ring features a step-cut solitaire champagne diamond with champagne pavé diamonds around it. It was especially crafted for her by the groom himself and their good friend, Rebecca Mapes of Winden Jewelry.

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The Invites

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Designed by Tara Keleher—the friend that introduced them—Cat and Vince's invitation displayed a map of Handsome Hollow with coral accents. The edges were hand-painted by the bride with a coral, yellow, and pink ombré.

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Special Guest

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Cat and Vince's faithful labradoodle Maya took a quick nap on the farmhouse porch while the bride finished up writing her personalized vows nearby. "Some say she's a human being in a dog's body," explains the bride. "I ask her to give me a sign, but so far nothing yet."

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First Look

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Right before their ceremony, the couple had their first look along the forest edge. "I thought Vince looked so incredibly handsome," Cat recalls. "Not many men can pull off a scruffy handlebar mustache, but Vince is most definitely one of them. We were both so happy to see each other, we just laughed and held hands and felt so wonderful that our wedding day had finally arrived."

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The Gown

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Cat toyed with the idea of wearing a jumpsuit to her wedding well before any engagement. Angelo Lambrou custom designed the bride's pantsuit and skirt out of Irish lace. On her feet, she wore nude Veronique Branquinho heels, which she later ditched for white Vince flats to dance in.

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Attention to Detail

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Vince's custom suit from Bindle & Keep was embroidered with "Vindawg," his nickname since childhood.

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Bridal Bouquet

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Cat carried a bouquet of blushing bride protea, roses, seeded eucalyptus, and ferns, made by The Wild Bunch.

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The Boutonnieres

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The guys decorated their lapels with cheery bouquets of ranunculus, craspedia, petite berries, seeded eucalyptus, and ferns.

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Bride's Entrance

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Cat's removable skirt was worn throughout the more formal moments of the day—such as walking down the aisle with her father to an Irish tune.

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The Ceremony

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Held in a grove surrounded by trees, Cat and Vince had an intimate ceremony among a drove of trees in which they exchanged personalized own vows. "My godparents married us while my cousin played guitar and at one point, everyone was suddenly singing Leonard Cohen's 'Hallelujah' together," says the bride. "It may sound cheesy, but it was magical."

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Cocktail Hour

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Under the giant oak in the main field, cocktail hour included a signature melon rum drink, wine, beer, champagne, and passed hors d'oeuvres such as mini shrimp salad rolls with radish, lemon zest, and dill from Poppy's Catering. Bocce, croquet, and horseshoes were on the lawn for kids to play—"and the grown boys of course," Cat adds.

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Although the couple spared their close friends from the stress of dress-buying and suit fittings by not having a bridal party, the bride still made time to pose for a picture with some of her girlfriends.

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Seating Chart

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For their seating chart, Cat and Vince displayed a few of their favorite "yacht rock" album sleeves from artists such as Fleetwood Mac and Hall & Oates. The songs played throughout cocktail hour and dinner, making for a low-key party vibe.

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The Reception

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The group moved inside the old barn for the reception.

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The Table

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With the help of their friend Alex Brannian, the couple decorated the tables with open-weave cheesecloth and loose floral arrangements of dahlias, roses, ranunculus, tulips, and greenery. On each guest's plate a seating card, a sprig of greenery, and a half geode were placed.

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The Food

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Poppy's Catering served guests family-style. The farm-to-table fare included a butter lettuce salad with radish, feta, edible flowers, and tarragon vinaigrette; and roasted rib eye sliced with cucumber salad and salsa verde.

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The Toasts

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Many friends and family members toasted the bride and groom, but the real treat was hearing a rendition of "Don't Stop Believin'," written and performed by Vince's younger brother and sister. Halfway through, everyone was singing along.

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The Photobooth

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Cat and Vince painted an abstract mountain scene on a canvas backdrop for their photobooth. Guests enjoyed taking goofy pictures, which the couple later included in their thank you notes.

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Outfit Change

Bride Dancing in a Lacey Jumpsuit
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After dancing with her father to Otis Redding's "That's How Strong My Love Is," Cat removed her skirt and showed off Angelo Lambrou's jumpsuit—and her dance moves. A DJ pal played yacht rock tunes and kept everyone on the dance floor until 1 a.m.

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Sugar Couture baked a lemon poppy seed naked caked with passion fruit icing for the couple, decorated with roses, ferns, and olive branches. Lemon meringue tartlets, chocolate caramel and sea salt tartlets, and stone fruit mini galettes were also served for dessert.

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JBM Photography

Photography, JBM Photography
Location, Handsome Hollow
Event Coordination, Brita Olsen Creative
Decór, Alex Brannian
Catering, Poppy's Catering and Events
Flowers, The Wild Bunch
Stationery, Mixed Company
Cake, Sugar Couture
Bride's gown, Angelo Lambrou
Bride's shoes, Veronique Branquinho (heels); Vince (flats)
Groom's suit, Bindle & Keep

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