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A Saratoga TODAY Publication Complimentary

BRIDE Real Brides Real Stories

Details Ideas & Advice match.com

Weddings

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from the editor And speaking of PHOTOS…

Chris Vallone Bushee Managing Editor

Welcome to Saratoga BRIDE! We are your premiere bridal magazine dedicated to showing off the region as a WORLD CLASS, FOUR-SEASON BRIDAL DESTINATION. Our featured weddings span the area from Albany to Lake Placid… and just about everything in between! In addition to the bridal magazine, Saratoga TODAY hosts the Saratoga Bridal Expo, each September. Please see page 98 for more information. Just when I thought the WEDDING INDUSTRY in the Saratoga region couldn’t get any hotter… NYRA announces they will be adding the Saratoga Race Course to the lineup of available venues in town. Limited dates available, so book early and send us your photos!

Saratoga TODAY has been asking recently married brides to submit their photos to provide inspiration for the next round of brides, for a few months now and WOW! I’ve seen hundreds of photos and spoken with so many brides, moms, sisters, etc… I wish we could feature all of them! Thank you so much for submitting your pictures and stories! You have provided a wonderful range of weddings to inspire the Saratoga BRIDE…from over the top to backyard parties, from first timers to a little later… we have it all! We also have Match.com weddings, weddings where their heritage is front and center and our own columnist Meghan Lemery got married… and yes, we have photos of that too! …and did I mention that Biggest Loser & Say Yes to the Dress Star, Tumi Oguntala Constantino got married in Saratoga… and YES, we have photos! I have to close with a big THANK YOU to our advertisers who support this magazine and make it available to you - free of charge. Please mention us by name when contacting them.

ABOUT OUR COVER Model Bethany Slade and “Moose” at Rolling Oaks Morgans Farm looking absolutely breath taking in their wedding finest. Gown By Something Bleu Bridal. The ultimate in vintage romance, featuring a combination of custom loomed lace and European delicate tulle fabrics over a soft blue lining. Hand made by Rembo Styling in Belgium. Flowers By The Petal Pusher Florist Custom 70” floral wreath designed just for Moose’s extra large neck to coordinate with Model, Bethany’s floral halo of Peonies, Garden Roses, Dusty Miller, Purple Freesia, Wax Flower, Pink Astilbe, Sprengeri Fern, and Verbena. Shoot stylist: Allison Badger, Photographer: Tracey Buyce Photography MEET MR. MOOSE... Our “cover horse” and his mama, Tracey, of T RACEY BUYCE PHOTOGRAPHY 4  |  SARATOGA BRIDE | 2015 

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BRIDE Owner/Publisher Chad Beatty General Manager Robin Mitchell Managing Editor Chris Vallone Bushee Creative Director Jessica Kane Advertising Jim Daley Cindy Durfey Graphic DesignERS Amy Gifford Jessica Kane Writers Deb Converse Nicole DeHaven Stephanie Hale Lopez Lisa Miller Katie O’Malley Megin Potter Carrie Rowlands Johnson Rob Spring Photographers Blackburn Portrait Design Bryer Photography Heather Bohm Tallman Photography Kevin DeMassio Photography LaRose Media Lisa Miller of Studio di Luce Love and Light Photography Nicole DeHaven of Lilac and Fern Photography PJN Photography Rear Window Digital Art Rob Spring Photography Seaglass Photography Tracey Buyce Photography Trisha Millier Photography Viscosi Photography Published by Saratoga TODAY Newspaper Five Case Street, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866 tel: (518) 581-2480 fax: (518) 581-2487 saratogaTODAYnewspaper.com SARATOGA BRIDE is brought to you by Saratoga TODAY, Saratoga Publishing, LLC. Saratoga Publishing shall make every effort to avoid errors and omissions but disclaims any responsibility should they occur. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means without prior written consent of the publisher. Copyright © 2015, Saratoga TODAY Newspaper.

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2015

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BRIDE

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WEDDING NEWS | 8-26 8

Wedding Industry Insider, Lisa Miller, dishes about what’s new around town

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Katie O’Malley tells you how to have A SARATOGA WEDDING

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You will never say”I should’ve had an UNPLUGGED wedding!” with these tips from Katie O

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Rob Spring tells you HOW TO FIND the perfect photographer for you

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UNIQUE IDEAS make all the difference… Katie O encourages you to think outside the box

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TIPS FROM A FLORIST… Get personal with Debby from Dehn’s Flowers

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Katie O suggests some WEDDING WEBSITES to help you spread the word

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See how the PROS do it, with VISIONS FROM A PHOTO SHOOT

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Thinking of a BOUDOIR PHOTO SHOOT… Let Nicole DeHaven show you the way

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Katie O tells us that marrying later in life… is totally WORTH THE WAIT

ENGAGING PROPOSALS | 27-29 Four couples, four swoon-worthy stories… with photos!

OUR PHOTO SHOOT | 31-37 Horses, dogs and brides… Oh My!

A GOOD READ | 39-52 39

Meghan Lemery gets married … and wants to share a few things!

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Biggest Loser Star Tumi Oguntala Constantino Says YES TO THE DRESS and weds in Saratoga!

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The Eddie & Leann Story

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Norbert and Mary Woods’ 71st Anniversary

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Bob & Cathy Hoffman’s 40th Anniversary

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Rob Spring Photography

MATCH.COM WEDDINGS 54 58

Laura & Dylan Joanne & Ken

12REAL BRIDES | 60-88 60 Erica & Mathew 64 Jessica & Dave 68 Kaitlin & Gregg 72 Janelle & Jason 76 Noelle & Dino 80 Kerri & Dillon 84 Holly & Bill 88

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Courtney & Jake

HONORING OUR HERITAGE 92 94

Brittany & Bill Sudeshna & Rocco

SARATOGA BRIDAL EXPO 96

For more information and pre-registration, see page 96

ONE LAST WEDDING... 98

Shawn & Andrew

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BRIDE Contributors Tracey Buyce Deb Converse Nicole DeHaven Stephanie Hale Lopez Lisa Miller Katie O’Malley Megin Potter Carrie Rowlands Johnson Rob Spring

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Wedding Industry Insider Notes, ideas & news Brought to you By Wedding Insider Lisa Miller, photos by Studio di Luce

•Bride and Gown In addition to her original location in Glens Falls, offering bridal sample dresses and consignment items, Eliza DeRocker is opening another Bride and Gown location on Western Ave in Albany! This will be her THIRD retail location (She also owns the Saratoga Closet in Saratoga Springs!) This location will carry sample wedding gowns, over 95 different brands, with prices ranging from $99-$4,000 She will also carry veils and accessories as well as Prom dresses. Opening is scheduled for February 13th – MARK YOUR CALENDARS! Bride and Gown Sample Shop 1789 Western Ave. Hours: Monday, W-F 12-7 Sat 10-5 and Sun 12-5 www.thebrideandgown.com

•Lily Saratoga

•Bird of Paradise

Laura Palkovich is the new owner of Lily Saratoga, but will continue to carry bridal gowns by Essence of Australia, Augusta Jones and Modern Trousseau, and is now carrying a new bridal line… Nouvelle by Amsale! She has added a shoe line… Nina and a new jewelry line by Elizabeth Bower. Laura will also carry bridesmaid dresses. The previous owners are staying on for several months to ensure a seamless transition. www.lilysaratoga.com

Bird of Paradise has changed hands and will now be called Saratoga Elegance. Well known seamstress, Yana LaPage, is the new owner. Yana will continue to carry all the same designers of Evening, Bridesmaid, Mother of The Bride, Cocktail, Formal and Prom dresses.

•Spoken Owner Pam Worth is now carrying a fabulous line of custom beaded purses in a range of sizes that can be used as gifts for the bridal party, including an adorable little beaded change purse perfect for flower girls and customized with their initials. What started as a way to show pride in the area, the very popular 12866 purse has turned into a specialized monogram gift that is unique and fashionable! www. spokensaratoga.com

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•Saratoga Trunk Is now offering a THEIA Boutique Bridal Salon which includes exquisite creations by Don O’Neill. The Trunk has also carried Nicole Miller for 20 years and continues with both her COLLECTION, ATELIER lines and Bridal, fitting in perfectly with Don O’Neill’s aesthetic of unique fabrications and silhouettes. The selection of dresses at the bridal salon are perfect for alternative weddings, 2nd weddings, destination weddings etc... As in, always exuding quality, luxury and elegance.! Also offering a stunning jewelry line… GAS Bijoux from Paris and statement head pieces and necklaces by artist Joni Sarah White. www.saratogatrunk.com

•Lola Accessory Boutique Lola Accessory Boutique now offers a unique way to ask someone to be in your wedding. “Will you help me tie the knot?” gift box set includes adorable knot earrings and has been featured on Southern Weddings and The Knot as a unique creative way to ask someone to stand up for you in your wedding. $32 and 10% discount if you purchase six or more. www.lolatoga.com

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•Saratoga Candy Company

Saratoga Candy Co. has merged with Saratoga Sweets. The new name is Saratoga Sweets Candy Company Dawn says that Mike from Saratoga Sweets will remain as the Chef and they will be expanding their affordable line of favors which include the famous peppermint pig and chocolates in all kinds of shapes and sizes, including horse medallions and the very popular horse shoe. They will also be expanding their very popular “Welcome to Saratoga Bags” which include regional items such as Saratoga water, Saratoga chips, nuts, chocolates and maps of downtown Saratoga.

•Something Bleu Bridal Something Bleu Bridal will be increasing their bridal gown designers (watch social media for exciting announcements!) They carry bridal for the “nonbride bride”, the informal bride as well as formal bridal gowns at moderate, medium and couture price points. They will be having multiple designers’ accessory trunk shows throughout the year. Also available… custom in-house jewelry lines and custom made veils! somethingbleubridal.com

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Saratoga Springs: A Four Season Wedding Destination By Katie O’ Malley

One of the top destination locations in the Northeast for your wedding celebration is Saratoga Springs. In addition to the rich history, dining /entertainment and the ease of getting around for your guests it is a magical spot that attracts many couples from NYC and beyond. We have compiled a thorough “to-do” list to help make your Saratoga wedding a perfect celebration for you and your guests. Start by embracing the history of this great city. There are so many treasures to discover as you start to create your wedding weekend. We encourage making it a weekend affair so your guests can truly enjoy and experience all the sights, sounds and tastes of the city. Some highlights to include when creating your adventure; the National Museum of Racing & Hall of Fame where you can stroll through the history of one of America’s oldest sports highlighting a renowned equine art collection, stunning trophies, beautiful silks and racing memorabilia. Yaddo, founded in 1900 by the financier Spencer Trask and his wife Katrina, is an artists’ community located on a 400-acre estate that boasts Yaddo Gardens, a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of downtown featuring a variety of plants and a stunning rose garden. For even more relaxation and pampering, book your mineral bath at the famous Roosevelt Baths located in Saratoga Spa State Park at the Gideon Putnam Resort. Spa enthusiasts have long sung the praises of the healing elements of the mineral baths at the spa. A delicious meal awaits you at one of the many restaurants located within

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walking distance from most hotels. There are so many amazing restaurants, pubs and eateries that we can’t cover them all here, but want to make sure you know a few of the hidden gems. The perfect spot for a welcome dinner or just meeting up for a pint is the Saratoga City Tavern 3rd floor private space. This is a great casual pub that is comfortable, affordable and owner Adam will always take great care of you and your guests! Interested in a fine dining experience for an intimate dinner? Sperry’s is a quintessential “Saratoga spot” located on Caroline Street, providing culinary masterpieces since 1932. The food and service is top-notch and they have a number of different options for dining including their patio and garden bar creating a sophisticated yet whimsical haven in the middle of downtown. For all the wine lovers, don’t miss a visit to the Thirsty Owl for a unique wine tasting and dinner menu to create a memorable experience. Don’t forget you will also need to take care of your guests after a long night of partying on the dance floor and the best spot for this is Compton’s on Broadway, a greasy spoon diner to help with the “recovery” breakfast. Just remember to bring cash for the bill!

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A few “only in Saratoga” ideas we love to share with couples to help make their “Signature Saratoga” weekend complete include a private trolley tour from Horsin’ Around Trolley to allow your guests to view the city in a fun way. Include locally produced items for your Welcome Bags like Saratoga Chips, Pick Six Vodka, custom horseshoe chocolate favors from Saratoga Sweets Candy Co. and Saratoga Water (in the blue bottle of course!)

Other ideas During racing season include tickets to the races for the day after the wedding. Hire a bugler to play “Call to Post” to move guests from cocktail hour to dinner or at the end of your ceremony! Use a quarter pole as your guest book Feature the “Saratoga Sunrise” as your signature cocktail. Tracey Buyce Photography

Katie O’ Weddings and Events loves planning and coordinating Saratoga weddings and are happy to help you create the most memorable weekend for your and you guests. katieoevents.com saratogaTODAYnewspaper.com

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Weddings & Social Media Post, Snap, Tweet, Tag, Blog

By Katie O’ Malley

Social media is a fabulous thing! It has made the world a smaller place by being able to share photos, events, and memories of a wedding day with those who celebrated with you and especially those guests who were unable to attend. In the age of the smart phone and instant sharing there are new challenges. Ceremonies, for instance, have the challenge of the “iPhone photographer.” I have had a few weddings where the “iPhone photographer” comes to the middle of the aisle to take that perfect “kiss” picture. I totally understand that this picture is one of the most special moments of the wedding, but that is why the bride and groom hired professionals. This behavior raises the question “should we have an unplugged wedding”? And yes, many couples are deciding to have an “unplugged wedding.” This can be challenging in our “instant gratification” world, but here are some tips to help you have guests keep their smart phones stowed away.

created and staffed a “phone valet” where guest ‘check in’ their phones upon entering your ceremony and pick them up when they depart. Overall the goal is to have your guests be present in the moment but it is up to your personal preference how this new age challenge should be managed.

You can place a polite but highly visible sign at the ceremony entrance asking your quests to refrain from snapping pictures. Some couples have even

Check out: http://www. weddinghashtagwall.com to create your own. I personally loved checking out my wedding day hash tag the day after my

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For those photos that are more than welcome to be taken by the “iPhone photographer” I highly suggest having a wedding hash tag for Instagram. When the bride and groom incorporate their last name, a funny nickname, or something unique to the couple, it makes their wedding that much more customized to them. There is even a fun “hashtag” generator that can help you create the perfect tag for your day.

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wedding and seeing all the photos in there. Sometimes your guests are able to capture funny or sweet moments that your photographer missed. Some people don’t like to share photos with too many strangers so Instagram and Facebook might be too public. There are a few photo sharing sites out there that allow you to invite guests, provide a pass code and only allow certain people to view the images. Photo sharing websites make it that much easier to share your wedding album with those who are far away. WedPics, Photobucket, and keepandshare are examples of website that make it super easy to upload your photos and share them with family and friends. You can invite guests to be a part of the sharing and when they take photos they can be uploaded directly to your account and shared with all. saratogaTODAYnewspaper.com

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Tips From A Photographer Story and photos By Rob Spring

First the price has to be right. Funny to hear that coming from someone who makes their living trying to sell you on wedding photography, isn’t it? Don’t overpay and spend the wedding day regretting your credit card bill and thinking about how far in debt you’ve gone. You also can’t make it your lowest priority (unless you don’t care what your photos look like – in which case you’ve probably stopped reading this article).

Second the product has to meet your expectations. Once you’ve found the right price point, make sure you really love the photography. If you can’t tell the difference between good and bad photography, consider yourself lucky. It will make your decision very easy!

Third and I feel the MOST important criteria... do you LIKE the photographer?

Everyone knows that your photography is the only thing that will last from your wedding, but often, people forget that the person they hire will be AT their wedding – talking to Grandma, dealing with your nieces and nephews, your future in-laws, etc… If you have a beautiful photo from your wedding that was taken by a photographer you hated, and are reminded of him every time you look at the photo, you have failed.

Once you’ve found the photographer of your dreams, here are some great tips to ensure you get the best photos possible. 1. Do the engagement shoot – or pay extra for it. This is the only chance to work with your photographer outside of the wedding day. You can see how they work and they can see how you and your future spouse interact with each other. This way, everyone is comfortable by the wedding day when your schedule is tight and the light is fading fast. Don’t be the awkward couple! 2. Be clear on how long you have the photographer for and be clear on what “family” photos you’d like to have. They don’t know your family like you do. No photographer wants to waste your time taking pictures you don’t care about OR miss anything you can’t live without. Telling your photographer that you’d like “the usual” family photo combinations does not count. Every family is different and every couple has a different idea of what they’d like. 14  |  SARATOGA BRIDE | 2015 

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3. Do A FIRST LOOK if you want to actually be at your cocktail hour and you don’t have an extra hour worked in between the end of the ceremony and the beginning of the reception. ESPECIALLY if your ceremony is going to end after sunset, you’ll need that extra time. You can’t have everything… You can’t go to your cocktail hour AND do all those photos of the bride and groom you see on photographers’ websites. You, your family, and your bridal party are missing at least a good portion of the party you paid for by not being there. No photo of the groom’s expression when the bride walks down the aisle can beat the expressions we get from the FIRST LOOK. You get your own private moment, you are guaranteed it happens in a great spot, you are guaranteed a great photo. If you are resistant and you’re thinking, “this just makes the photographer’s job easier.” You are right. I wouldn’t ask you to mow the lawn with a saratogaTODAYnewspaper.com

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pair of scissors when you own a lawnmower. So don’t ask a photographer to photograph an hour’s worth of photos in three minutes after dark and expect the same thing they show in their “best of” portfolio. 4. Hire someone to do your hair and makeup - and do a trial. Photoshop does not fix your makeup in hundreds of photos. We can fix one or two for a PRINT, but all of your guests are taking photos and posting them to Facebook before we even leave the reception. Make sure you look good in every single one! 5. DO NOT invite your photographer to view your Pinterest page. If you have one or two photos you love, great – send them

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over, but not twenty. It’s a great way to get ideas for your decor, we are always looking for ideas ourselves, but if you spend the entire day trying to recreate someone else’s wedding photos you will miss your reception and you will not have fun. If you don’t trust your photographer to take great photos, don’t hire them. Period. 6. Booking a photography package with two photographers is always ideal. Your wedding guest list may not be huge, but as a single photographer, we are mainly concerned with “getting the shot,” because we are on our own. With a secondary photographer you not only get more photos, you also get more creative photos from your primary photographer. I’m taking more risks to get the

artistic shots knowing that there is someone else there just “getting the shot.” Get out there, meet some photographers and pick one! Rob Spring is the owner and primary photographer at Rob Spring Photography, Inc. Rob graduated from the Hallmark Institute of Photography, where his portfolio earned him a spot in the top 10% of his class, and his work is part of the permanent collection at the Hallmark Museum of Contemporary Photography. Originally from Glens Falls, NY, Rob’s work has taken him to 47 of the lower 48 states. Anyone getting married in North Dakota? He’s still waiting…

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Unique Ideas wedding day ideas & inspiration By Katie O’ Malley

Sometimes thinking outside of the box and trying something different can help create some pretty amazing moments for your wedding day. It might be a small moment that sneaks into your ceremony or a big splash that is the highlight of your reception venue. Either way take the chance and try something that is uniquely you!

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Groom Change of Look: why should the bride have all the fun with a hairstyle switch-a-roo or a second dress? The groom can be formal and buttoned up in his back tie for ceremony and then throw on his favorite Hawaiian shirt for the party. Or maybe he is a big sports fan and can don his home team jersey. Keeping traditional and somewhat classy he can switch up his bow tie with a skinny tie and new shoes. A scent-filled ceremony: pre-light large pillar candles in a favorite subtle scent to add an additional sweet smelling touch to your ceremony. On the way out present your guests with a votive sized version of the same scented candle to burn at home and be reminded of your very special celebration. 16  |  SARATOGA BRIDE | 2015 

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Dance the night away…in style: Platinum Pro creates completely custom dance floors that can add a truly amazing focal point for your reception space and creates a “wow” factor for your guests. Custom high gloss seamless dance floors can be designed with your monogram, chevron pattern, floral designs, in the round or even with an artistic spin.

Tracey Buyce Photography

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Custom Illustration for printed materials: adding a personalized touch through custom hand drawn designs is a fun and unique way to spread the word via Save the Dates and invitations. There are various styles from more casual & whimsical to high-end fashion illustration.

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Tips From A Florist By Debby Converse, photos provided

Use flowers to compliment & create the “WOW FACTOR!” A couple’s decision on their florist, or any of their vendors, should not only be based on cost. Trust and rapport are equally important. Find a florist that you believe understands your needs. Do you feel comfortable with them? Will they communicate with you in a professional manner?

Tracey Buyce Photography

We’d love to look at your Pinterest Board… to see the flowers and arrangements you’re leaning towards, but trust your florist to create, not copy. While photos can help convey a bride’s taste and style, a professional florist should be able to take that knowledge and have the skills to personalize it to the bride. Use flowers to compliment and create the “WOW FACTOR!” Although florists do realize the wedding should be all about the bride and groom, they do have the tendency to want the day to shine at least in part due to them :- ) Choosing flowers for such an important event can be entirely new to a couple and a bit overwhelming, but a florist should be able to make the process very simple and enjoyable! Let’s talk flowers… Garden roses can be gorgeous substitutions for peonies that have a small season of availability. Think outside the box! Plan on more than just one design for your guest’s tables. It makes your wedding unique. Love Mason jars? Love garden flowers? Put them together for budget-friendly designs! Is tall and elegant your style? Look to rent the vases and put the value in the flowers. 18  |  SARATOGA BRIDE | 2015 

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Have fun and enjoy the process of learning just how much emotion flowers can convey… Sunny and light? Definitely sunflowers, daffodils and gerbera daisies! Formal and elegant? Orchids and roses! Casual, but lush? Hydrangeas paired with larkspur, asters and garden greenery.

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Thank You to Debby Converse, Designer and Wedding Consultant from Five Star Rated WEDDING WIRE Florist… Dehn’s Flowers and Gifts. (518) 584-1880 178 Beekman St., Saratoga Springs, NY 12866 www.dehnsflowersandgifts.com

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Wedding Websites the perfect website for the perfect wedding

By Katie O’ Malley, photos provided

Wedding Websites are becoming a “must have” when planning your big day. A place easily accessible with locations, phone numbers, dining, wedding room accommodations, and cute pictures of the bride and groom all in one place!

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Some websites even have templates already built! All you need to do is drop in your info! We found this on etsy.com I love the idea of sharing the wedding website on the Save the Date to share full wedding details before the invitation (especially with your out of town guests who need to book their rooms ASAP!) A website also acts as a place to add events that you would not include on your invitation, such as the “eve before your wedding” party or a “recovery” brunch! Your website is the best way to get all the information together in one place and keep it easy on all your guests. The KOWE team loves the resource of Appy Couple. Not only do you have a wedding website accessible online, but you also get your own app for those smart phone & tablet lovers out there. The website also helps the bride and groom create the perfect website for their style with hundreds of design layouts, customizable pages for key people and you can even add your registry! We highly suggest Appy Couple since many guests are tech-savvy these days and this allows them to have an app right on their phone to easily and quickly retrieve all necessary information for the wedding day right in the palm of their hand. The Knot and Wedding Wire offer free wedding websites that are also beautiful and easy to set up. These websites are perfect for the bride and groom on a budget. I believe that informed guests make a wedding easier on everyone. When everyone knows where to stay, where to go and what time to be there, the stress of the day becomes a lot less. saratogaTODAYnewspaper.com

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Visions From A

Photoshoot

Ideas to incorporate MARSALA, 2015 Pantone® color of the Year

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THE DETAILS V enu e : Highland Castle P h oto g r a p h y : Tracey Buyce M o de l : Vera Smirnova Dr esses : Somehting Bleu Bridal (Rembo Styling) M a ke up : Erin Marzilli H a ir : Hair Creations (Jaysie Walts) F lo r a ls & desi g n : Renaissance Floral Design St y l in g : Styling By Melissa and Allison Badger from Something Bleu Te a ca kes : The Chocolate Spo on

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Thinking OF A Boudoir Session? Photos by Nicole DeHaven of Lilac and Fern Photography

The boudoir session has been making headlines the last few years, especially around Valentine’s Day, but the experience is so much more than just a gift for your fiancé or husband. A boudoir is an empowering experience for you… Seeing yourself in the photos, versus just in a mirror, can be a life changing experience. Saratoga Springs, with one of the best collections of Inns and B&Bs in the northeast, provides many location options to make your boudoir session truly custom. Local boudoir photographer Nicole DeHaven of Lilac & Fern Photography has some tips: Before booking your boudoir, remember that you’re baring it all, well, almost, in front of a semi-stranger… with a camera! Trusting your photographer is integral to a fabulous experience. Make sure you have time to sit down together before booking anything. Having established a relationship with her will help create an atmosphere of comfort, fun and trust. Once you see a photo or two (I’m all for a peek here and there to help you relax) you’ll see that you are truly lovely. And if you take a few things into consideration before it all begins, your experience is sure to be unforgettable! Location: Say “boudoir” and everyone thinks it has to be on a bed in a hotel room, but shooting outdoors is one of the best options because it takes the focus of a boudoir and makes it less sexual and more about you. You have a gorgeous, private backdrop and that’s all. You can bring blankets, pop a sweater on, and walk around barefoot. 24  |  SARATOGA BRIDE | 2015 

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Wardrobe: Not everyone has a drawer full of lace but most gals have just enough options to fill a bag and some photographers include gift certificates to local lingerie shops that have staff to help you find the perfect new additions to your wardrobe. Bringing your guy’s favorite sports jersey, one of his work shirts, or the hat he never takes off is another way to make your session a little less generic and a lot more fun. Hair/Make-Up: Professional hair and make-up is key because, while you may do a fabulous job on your own, not everything from the everyday translates well on-camera and an experienced stylist will understand what is needed to enhance your favorite features. Preparing: The week or two before your boudoir, be sure to exfoliate, moisturize, and drink plenty of water to keep your skin glowing! The night before, be sure to get a good night sleep and, dressing for the day, wear loose clothing so you’re not showing up with red creases from jean buttons or bra straps. Make a party of it: Bring your Maid of Honor or all of your bridesmaids and celebrate. Treat yourself to some new lingerie, get dolled up by one of the best salons in the area, have your individual shoots, then go out on the town, feeling incredible! saratogaTODAYnewspaper.com

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Special thanks to these amazing lady-owned businesses for helping with the Canfield Casino shoot. Hair & Make-Up: Laura & Megan from Blue Peregrine Salon Veil, Garter, Shoes, Jewelry: Lily Saratoga saratogaTODAYnewspaper.com

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Lingerie: Chic Underneath Boutique Flowers: Rena’s Fine Flowers Location: Canfield Casino Photographer: Lilac & Fern Photography 2015 | SARATOGA BRIDE  | 25

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Worth The Wait

io di Luce

r of Stud

Lisa Mille

Blackburn Portrait Design

By Katie O’ Malley

Many couples who decide to remarry or marry for the first time later in life are putting a spin on the traditional wedding they may have had in their 20’s.

Blackburn Portrait Design

Couples still wish to honor many of the typical elements that weddings contain, but it is nice to take tradition and make it fit best for them. We have had the pleasure of working with a number of couples that fit this description. It is fun to work with a couple that knows what they want and who they want to share this special occasion. We find many couples have trimmed down the guest list and invite only close friends and family to keep it more intimate. By keeping the day intimate the couple can get a little creative with the overall flow of the day. A nice idea is to hold the cocktail hour prior to the actual ceremony. This allows the bride and groom more quality time with their family, friends and guests. They can enjoy drinks, hors d’eouvres and music before the ceremony starts. This creates a much more relaxed environment for the couple and allows them to connect with loved ones prior to their vows.

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Many times either the bride or groom have children that they wish to include in the ceremony in a special way. This can be done by having them as part of the bridal party, the Groom’s son as the Best Man, or Bride’s daughter as a flower girl or Maid of Honor. Another way is to have special readings to bring the family together and feel included. Some unique vows even include having the children “vow to promise to love their mother and new husband and to love their new father and his new wife.” It is nice to see that couples are still honoring the tradition of bringing all their loved ones together, having a great party with stylish décor and delicious food without cutting corners to celebrate their love. You can have your dream wedding no matter when you choose to have it- even later in life!

ait Design Blackburn Portr

Blackburn Portrait Des

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Blackburn Portrait Des

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ait Design Blackburn Portr

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The Lady Says

Yes

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These Swoon-Worthy Proposals are Sure to Inspire! Turn the page...

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Ashley & Tim photos by Bryer Photography

As I was getting ready to leave the house one Sunday morning, I shouted up the stairs to say goodbye. Tim yelled down “aren’t you going to come upstairs and give me a kiss first?” As I came up the stairs laughing, I rounded the corner to the bedroom and there he was on one knee, tears in his eyes and ring box in hand. He asked “will you marry me?” I wasn’t expecting it and I loved the element of pure surprise. It was truly one of the best moments of my life! My fiancé Tim and I took the photos at my parents’ farm in Charlton NY, where I grew up.

Stephanie & Justin photos by Heather Bohm Tallman Photography

On a memorable summer day in 2014, I made the best decision of my life, saying “yes” when Justin dropped to one knee at the top of the Whitney Viewing Stand and asked me to marry him. It was a beautiful coincidence that at that moment, the eighth race was going off at the Saratoga Race Course and it featured a horse named, “The Lady Says Yes.” The magical moment evolved into an unforgettable day, as Justin surprised me with a visit from my brother, a cookout with our two families and an amazing evening on the town with our best friends. I am excited to start my life with Justin and our spunky Miniature Australian Shepherd, Sadie. I already feel so lucky to live with him in Saratoga Springs, where we enjoy walks downtown, visits with friends and family, spoiling Sadie and, of course, making memories at the Saratoga Race Course. July 26, 2014 is a day I will never forget, but I’m confident that it is just one of many days that we will cherish forever. 28  |  SARATOGA BRIDE | 2015 

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Jen & Caleb photos by Love and Light Photography

Our engagement was pretty simple. I knew it was coming, but for Jen it was a total surprise. Her father had given me a gorgeous heirloom ring, her grandmother’s, which greatly increased the awesomeness of the proposal. I had to get the timing right, and I wanted it to be totally intimate. I waited for almost six months, all the while planning the perfect evening. We had dinner cooked at home, ample amounts of vino, an arrangement of flowers and a hand written card - not unusual enough to throw any red flags. Now, me getting down on one knee… that was a surprise and Champagne worthy, it flowed! I don’t know what the word is for terrified and excited but that’s how it felt for me. Afterwards, we just stared at each other for an hour. I think it’s the happiest we’ve ever been in our lives. We savor our memories of Saratoga in much the same way it brings out the best in us. We met here, and it made perfect sense to do our shoot here. Saratoga is something common we share, and even though we don’t live here anymore, it will always feel like home.

Jane & Jordan

PHOTOS BY Blackburn Portrait Design

When you’ve known your partner for almost ten years, it can be hard to pull off a wedding proposal that is truly a surprise. Jordan Marks and Jane Mermel met in high school and had been dating for almost seven years when he proposed at Saratoga’s Pavilion Grand Hotel this past September. The two live together in Manhattan, and because Jordan knew Jane might get suspicious, he devised an elaborate proposal, to take place out of town, during what she thought was an upstate getaway with some girlfriends. It worked! “She was totally blown away,” said Jordan. “The key was working with only a few of her close friends to plan the weekend perfectly, and only letting others know shortly before.” On that September Saturday, Jane and her friends returned to the Pavilion Grand following dinner at Mouzon House. Jordan had decorated their suite with memorabilia from the couple’s long relationship. “There were airplane tickets from visiting one another during college, playbills, menus, and photos of us dating all the way back to 2006,” said Jane. “As I walked into the room, my friends who were hiding in the bathroom turn on our song from high school— and that’s when I realized what was going on.” The rest of the evening flew by: a sign in Jane’s hotel room instructed her to go up to a Penthouse suite, where Jordan waited on the room’s rooftop patio. As she climbed the rose-petal-covered stairs, she heard another of their favorite songs playing and finally found Jordan on the roof, on one knee, surrounded by candles. She, of course, said yes. saratogaTODAYnewspaper.com

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P hoto Shoot

with a Purpose On a crisp fall day we all gathered at the picturesque setting of Old Friends at Cabin Creek Nestled in the rolling hills of Greenfield, NY just 10 minutes east of downtown Saratoga. As we walked the grounds and met the 13 retired Thoroughbred horses lucky enough to have THIS as their forever home, I realized we were not just meeting boarders…These were members of the family. We heard stories about each one… their personalities, their racing history, how they got here and what retirement has been like. JoAnn Pepper and her willing and committed volunteers, deserve much more coverage than I can provide here, but suffice to say, they were gracious hosts for the photo shoot and we all loved getting up-close and personal with such majestic animals with impressive pasts. Please take a minute to check them out: oldfriendsatcabincreek.com …and did I mention, the farm is available for weddings!

Your dogs need flowers too!

Faye is a 4-month-old German Shepherd/Great Pyrenees mix. saratogaTODAYnewspaper.com Brought to us by Homeward Bound

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Accompanying our retired racehorses are some of the sweetest dogs, provided by Homeward Bound and H.O.P.E. (Homes for Orphaned Pets Exist.) Surrounded by horses, people they’ve never met, and other dogs, you would expect problems, but not one! These dogs are just a small sample of the many available for adoption or fostering through local rescue agencies. Please consider them when looking for your next pet. hopeanimalrescue.org homewardbounddogrescue.com

Follow me into the woods for an enchanting photo shoot...

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A Cascade with Attitude, By Native Farm Flowers. Fall themed without seeing the usual flowers and colors.

MR. COWBOY, a 17 hands beautiful chestnut gelding, is owned by JoAnn and Mark Pepper and fulfilled JoAnn’s dream of having a race horse who broke his maiden (won his first race) at Saratoga Racecourse. After a difficult birth and several issues, Mr. Cowboy grew to be a big, beautifully tempered guy who is comfortable with humans and horses alike. Several volunteers and friends of the farm bought shares in his racing career and watched with trepidation and pride each time he raced. Retired now, and looking regal and poised with one of our brides.

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Our model, Andrea Cole, is wearing “Agatha” by WToo Soft and sweet… this shimmer tulle ball gown is accented with lightly beaded lace motifs on the bodice. Featuring a scalloped neckline, plunging low back, and doublefaced satin ribbon at the waistline. Headpiece is “Halo” by Tessa… Handmade delicate boho chic headpiece of champagne Swarovski crystal and fresh water pearls on gold threading.

Abbie is a senior German Shepherd from H.O.P.E. She is a wonderful dog and good with children, other dogs AND cats!

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Our model, Bethany Slade, is wearing a vintage re-embroidered cream lace gown lined in ecru crepe, featuring delicate lace sleeves and a scalloped edge neckline. “Patchouli” by Claire Pettibone’s Romantique Collection… A little Moroccan villa, a touch of English Garden – truly Romantique! The Veil is “Boho” also by Claire Pettibone, from the Heirloom Collection. This veil adds a perfect laid-back vibe with a nod to bohemian style. Cotton threadwork and embroidery form an organic motif of vines and leaves along the edge of tulle. CoolnCollective and Karakorum Patriot live next door to Leo and are an interesting pair of geldings. Patriot was a Fingerlakes guy with 89 races and was 47 times in the money. A spirited bay gelding with a beautiful face, Pate was facing plans to be sent to Puerto Rico. His fans feared for that fate and put up $1000 to purchase him. His retirement at Old Friends at Cabin Creek has been a happy one for him. CoolnCollective has a very different story from his paddock mate. He was owned by Mike Repole and was retired to JoAnn Pepper and Michael Blowen, owner/ founder of Old Friends, Inc in Kentucky on Wood Memorial Day at Aqueduct in April of 2010. Cool is Canada bred with 81 races and earnings of $678,836.

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Roaring Lion, a 10 year old dark bay Maryland bred gelding earned over half a million dollars and settled into his retirement slowly 3 years ago. Now he’s a gentle guy with an eye for the ladies and loved posing here with this beautiful bride. Leo, as he’s called at the farm, won The Maryland Million Sprint Handicap and the Mr. Prospector Stakes among his 32 races.

Leah is a mixed breed dog with an amazing story. We found Leah in the Saratoga County Animal Shelter. She had been there for over 14 months. We found a foster home for her and she was with HOPE for 6 months. Over all this time she waited for her forever home… she never gave up and maintained her sweet disposition and love of people. She is now living in the country with a family who has a 5yr. son and a cat. She is doing great!!!

Cesar is a 4-year-old Jack Russell Mix. He is a smart little guy with a huge personality saratogaTODAYnewspaper.com These cuties are from Homeward Bound.

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Scrappy is a cute little guy, who loves to play and give lots of kisses! 2015 | SARATOGA BRIDE  | 35

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Barb N volunte extraor

Traditional hand-held style with live sedum plants that can be planted to continue the life & love of the wedding day!

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Allison and her team

Erin’s sister Leah and Andrea

JoAnn Pepper, owner of Old Friends at Cabin Creek

Barb Neiman, volunteer extraordinaire

BEHIND THE SCENES

Allison and Bethany

PAGES 27-32

DRESS SHOP

Something Bleu Bridal

FLOWERS

Native Farm Flowers

HAIR

Jaycie Walts of Hair Creations

MAKEUP

Erin Marzilli

PHOTOGRAPHER Tracey Buyce

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a Good

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Meghan Lemery Gets Married Photos by Seaglass Photography

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Meghan Lemery FRITZ,

LCSWR

The Art of

Successful Wedding P lanning

The day was Friday, February 14, 2014 and I was certain I was getting engaged. It was the eve of my parent’s 50th anniversary of their engagement and Bill knew that my heart’s desire was to get engaged on their anniversary.

gorgeous in the engagement photo we took by the fireplace with my new ring and handsome finance. Now all I wanted to do was take out my contacts, throw on sweat pants, eat a bag of potato chips and call my bestie to tell her my plan had been foiled.

With over 5 hours between us, I drove to State College, PA eager for the evening’s festivities to begin. When I arrived at my beloved’s home he was vacuuming. In fact, when I walked in the door he continued to vacuum and gave me the pointer finger sign of “I’ll be right there….” This was not my idea of the romantic evening I had planned. I could immediately tell my future husband was stressed out and nervous, a sign that he was definitely going to propose.

When we returned to Bill’s place I threw my hair into a bun, put on my favorite sweats, took off my make-up and looked for the bag of crunchy salty fat chips to numb my disappointment. Just when I got cozy on the couch and ripped into the bag of chips Bill came out of the bedroom, got down on his knee and began giving me a heartfelt speech of why I was the one for him. In that moment my first thought was, “I am in sweat pants and wearing my retainer and glasses, NOOOO, wait!!!!” I was so shocked at what was happening that when he said the words “Will you make me the happiest man alive and marry me?” I looked at him totally dumbfounded and asked him to repeat the beautiful speech. I was so shocked that I knew his lips were moving but I couldn’t process anything he was saying. He laughed, did the speech again, proposed and I said yes. We cried, held each other close in a warm embrace and I whispered seductively into his ear…”Really, you waited till I gave up and put on elastic pants????” Then we both fell into hysterics and popped a bottle of bubbly.

He took me to a fancy schmancey restaurant with low lighting and a warm fireplace. I applied my lip gloss just before dessert certain my sorbet would have the shiny ring I picked out dangling from the spoon. My sorbet came but there was no ring. My now husband made up some story that the ring had been delayed in being sent to him because of the huge snow storm we had had that week. I tried to keep a good game face on but I was devastated. I had waxed, shaved, plucked, primped, tanned and frozen any wrinkle on my forehead determined I would look timeless and 40  |  SARATOGA BRIDE | 2015 

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Getting engaged and planning your wedding is a lesson in compromise, letting go and staying in the moment as much as you can. I learned on that night a year ago that in the end, the details don’t matter, it’s the ability to stay in the present moment and keep your heart and mind focused on what does matter- two people in love making a choice and commitment to plan a life together. When you keep that at the center of the journey it’s easier to let go of your agenda (aka I would have preferred to be in a ball gown for my engagement not sweats) Here are a few tips I learned in the process that I wish I had known before I began the journey. BE REAL: When we began to plan our wedding many women told me how much they loved planning their wedding. I would have rather had a root canal without Novocain than plan a wedding. I found the entire process tedious and stressful. Thankfully my mother is a wiz at this kind of thing and she saved the day by taking care of the details I had no interest in. While I had a very specific vision of what I wanted I found the small details of decision making exhausting. Be honest with yourself and your groom about what you want. Ask for help when you need it and don’t feel guilty if planning your wedding is as much fun as a root canal is. saratogaTODAYnewspaper.com

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SET BOUNDARIES:

My husband and I had a very small destination wedding in Vero Beach, Florida. We knew that it would be difficult for some of our guests to make it but we wanted to get married in a place that held meaning and significance in our courtship. We got lots of comments from family and friends about our choice to have a destination wedding. It caused stress for both of us and some uncomfortable conversations. From the start Bill and I made a game plan of how we would deal with criticism or judgment of our choice. We stuck together and held fast to our boundaries. This helped us feel like a team and taught us how important it is to have each other’s back no matter what. Discuss and set your boundaries with each other and your guests; never apologize for what you want for your wedding. It’s your wedding and your vision, simply let people who have an issue with your plans know that you would love for them to come, but understand if they can’t make it. LAUGH, LAUGH AND LAUGH AGAIN:

I cried, cried and cried again many times throughout the planning process out of frustration and exhaustion. We were dating long distance, I was closing my practice and planning a move, I started a new job, moved in with Bill 5 plus hours away from NY, we bought a house, all the while planning a destination wedding. When I look back on those 5 months I’m not sure how we did it and got to the finish line still really liking each other. There were some super stressful moments. During these times when it seemed impossible Bill would not say a word but simply give me a really long hug and say something ridiculous that would make me laugh. This strategy would disarm my Marsha Brady drama moment and help me get back to the center of what really matters- He and I starting a life together. When you are ready to go Bridezilla, take a deep breath, look into the eyes of the one you love and remember what’s really important in the grand scheme. On a beautiful cloudless 75 degree day on Saturday, October 18th we got married in front of our families and closest friends. The string quartet and DJ both screwed up the music and I didn’t get to eat the crab cakes or a piece of my wedding cake. BUT- I got to marry a wonderful, kind, handsome, wise, genuine man who has my back, makes me laugh, and thinks I look beautiful with my retainer and coke bottle glasses in a pair of sweats. In the end, crabcrakes or not, it was a perfect day full of laughter, love and imperfection. This is life! Wishing you all Happy and Blessed Wedding Days full of laughter, peace and crabcakes! Meghan Lemery Fritz is a psychotherapist practicing in State College, PA. For more information email meghanlemery@yahoo.com

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Meghan looks enchanting in her Allure Romance dress. Hair by Lindsay Naffzigger and Make-Up by Cindy Goetz Photos by Seaglass Photography 2015 | SARATOGA BRIDE  | 41

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Good a

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From the Small Screen to the aisle

Biggest Loser & Say Yes to the Dress Star

Weds in Saratoga By Stephanie Hale-Lopez, photos provided, Dan Bradt and Joseph Constantino

From dating to the engagement and all of the time spent planning, weddings are the culmination of a journey. While each and every journey is unique and special, just like the wedding day, Tumi Oguntala Constantino shared parts of hers on national television. Viewers fell in love with Tumi, a Clifton Park native, during her time on season 15 of The Biggest Loser on NBC. Tumi and her now-husband, Jim Constantino, postponed their wedding so she could be on the show. A decision, she says, that was easy to make. Tumi made Biggest Loser history with her 54.86 percent weight loss, or 175 pounds – the highest percentage for an at-home contestant. With her new figure and a second chance at life, it was time to find a wedding dress. TLC documented her search for the perfect dress at Kleinfeld Bridal in New York City on its hit show, Say Yes to the Dress. In the episode, America’s toughest trainer, Jillian Michaels made a surprise appearance and purchased Tumi’s dress, designed by Tony Ward for Kleinfeld, as a wedding gift to her. Tumi and Jim said “I do” on November 21, 2014 in a ceremony held at the National Museum of Dance, followed by a reception at the Canfield Casino. “It was so beautiful. My husband’s family is from the region and I thought it would be a place our out-of-town 42  |  SARATOGA BRIDE | 2015 

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guests would really enjoy,” said Tumi. “We definitely went for a 1920’s, Cotton Club glamour theme. With the Canfield Casino, there’s no need to change perfection. We went with the classic décor prescribed by the venue.” With photography by Dan Bradt, Joseph Constantino and Carrie Wright; bridesmaids’ dresses by Vera Wang; hair styled by Heaven on Earth Salon in Albany; Makeup applied by Mark Hayles; flowers by Petal Pusher; transportation provided by Premiere Transportation; catering provided by Mazzone Hospitality; their wedding cake by JT Watkins; and DJ services by Mike Garrassi from Music Man Entertainment, Tumi and Jim’s wedding was a day to remember. The couple was very hands-on with the wedding preparations. Jim, a microelectronic engineer by training, designed custom-textured lighting for the reception. He also collected albums from family weddings going back almost four generations and decorated the reception with family photos. Tumi designed all décor elements, table arrangements and settings. It was the first time the Canfield Casino was set up as one long, continuous table. “My favorite part was definitely décor,” said Tumi. “My husband and I worked so well together integrating the lighting and table design and we found a calling for us, really. We got so saratogaTODAYnewspaper.com

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many inquiries from our guests, our fabulous DJ and others, that we now help other couples.” To honor the couple’s heritage, the reception’s cocktail hour featured caramelized plantains from Nigeria and a Pierogi bar from Ukraine. Tumi’s Nigerian relatives also sent traditional Nigerian wedding clothing for a quick change during the reception. “My father’s eldest sister had special Nigerian clothing made for Jim and me and we performed a dance to honor the gift and our ancestors, where guests showered us with money,” said Tumi. “All of my relatives wore traditional Nigerian clothing and joined in as well. It was a special moment to be surrounded by generations of love like that.” With their busy schedules, Tumi and Jim haven’t had the time to take off on a honeymoon, but are open to travel suggestions! And in the meantime, they’re just enjoying being newlyweds. “Saratoga worked out great for us and we highly recommend it,” said Tumi. “And if you’re inspired by our lighting design, let us know – we’d love to help!” saratogaTODAYnewspaper.com

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a Good

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Eddie & Leann The

Story. By Carrie Rowlands Johnson, photos by LaRose Media

S

oldiers in their own right, Christmas trees painted in green and frosted in white stand straight and tall, expertly guiding guests along a snowcovered path, toward a most magical space— an elegantly decorated room at The Lake Placid Lodge, waiting to host a new bride, her groom, and their guests. Inside, a roaring fire provides warmth as candlelight and pine adorn one magnificent table, painstakingly decorated by the bride herself. Sixteen very special guests join the new husband and wife, including their parents, best man (and publisher of Simply Saratoga Magazine) Chad Beatty, and maid of honor Casey Sacci. Together, they toast a lifetime of health, happiness, and memories yet to come. In the background, these same family and friends hear their own favorite songs, part of a soundtrack thoughtfully created just for them by the newlyweds.

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In a color the purest of whites, a strapless gown in a vintage style adorns the glowing, newly-appointed Mrs. Fyvie as she savors this very moment on this most special day- her wedding day. She looks out over the table and inwardly breathes a sigh of relief— every last detail has fallen into place.

That file includes bits and pieces of bridal gowns, but no one particular dress that captured the complete essence of what Leann was searching for. She and Eddie were shopping at Ferri Formals in Schenectady, on their way out of the store when she finally spotted “the one” on a mannequin.

“I wouldn’t have changed one thing— the whole weekend, the whole process,” says Leann.

“It had literally every part that I wanted- the lace, the sparkle, a unique pattern. Apparently we aren’t traditional so the traditional dresses weren’t doing it for me.”

The former Leann Driscoll began collecting ideas and nurturing a Pinterest board filled with all things wedding soon And Leann says because they after she met Eddie Fyvie— her aren’t traditional, it didn’t inspiration and new husband. bother her one bit that Eddie had laid eyes on the dress “We couldn’t say our vows (for before the wedding. It’s also fear I would cry) but if I did, I the reason they chose not to would have said I never would decorate with flow-ers. have dreamed my wedding until I met Eddie… I never had “I was obsessed with not dreams of rings, or dreams spending thousands of dollars of dresses, or the princess on flowers that would die on wedding… but immediately after me. We had lots of candles… I met him, I started my file.” and Christmas trees.”

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From their very first date in May of 2008 through the day they married in December of 2014, the Eddie and Leann story has been held in the hands of the sweetest serendipity. The night they met, each of them had reluctantly and separately agreed to go with friends to Gaffneys. That night, the owner of Spa City Jiu-Jitsu in Malta and the Special Education teacher locked eyes and never looked back. “What’s weird is that we actually went to (Saratoga TODAY’s) bridal show when we first met, almost seven years ago… and the first person that talked to us gave us this packet and there was this building- The Lake Placid Lodge. I kept the packet… come to find out (after the wed-ding), it was the place where we got married.” Little did “that person” know, Lake Placid has been their special place since the beginning. They spent many weekends at the High Peaks hotel there while dating, Eddie proposed on a rowboat on Mirror Lake, and Leann and her family have celebrated Christmas in the cozy village for the past several years. They had talked about marrying there but weren’t clear on the details, so when fate intervened and led Leann to discover a video on Pinterest featuring the most irresisti-ble wedding, everything fell into place. “It was just a small wedding. I always thought you had to have a big wedding but it didn’t feel right. It wasn’t it. Then I saw they had a cozy wedding in the lodge… and it just happened to be in Lake Placid. I didn’t even look up “Lake Placid,” just “Winter Weddings.” Soon after, they called to book that winter wedding at the very same spot they fell in love with from the video, The Lake Placid Lodge. When they heard 12-13-14 was available, they jumped on the date. To make the sequence complete, they chose the 15th hour, military time. “12-13-14-15. We didn’t get the 16 minutes, I don’t think. I didn’t want to be too high mainte-nance.” laughed Leann. Because they were planning an untraditional, intimate, destination wedding of only sixteen guests, the couple hosted a big party at DUO in Saratoga the weekend before to include the rest of their friends and family. The sweet sounds of Richie Ortiz permeated the building, just as they had echoed across the lake the day Leann and Eddie were engaged. That night, the heav-ens answered another of Leann’s requests by showering them with winter’s own shade of white. “I asked for a snowstorm for the wedding and I got it, for the weekend of the wedding and for the party…” The fresh snow provided the consummate backdrop to their wedding and photos Leann had wished for. The sharp eye of their videographer and generosity of another guest at The Lodge provided the most sublime prop— an owl with colors in perfect coordination.

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“We were taking pictures and our videographer was setting things up and had met someone at the lodge, a man who had owls and hawks, and she came running down and told us about it, thinking it would make a cool picture.” A cool picture, or divine intervention— perhaps that owl had his eyes on Leann and Eddie right from the start. According to the rules of Native American animal symbolism, the owl is said to be the great foreteller of weather conditions, the one detail even Leann herself couldn’t control, no matter how earnestly she wished.

I wouldn’t have changed one thing—the whole weekend, the whole process.

“Magical is a big word. It was a winter wonderland, probably the most beautiful snow you have ever seen. Even our friends who hate the snow loved it. We never wanted to leave.” But they did— soon after, taking off on an eight-day Honeymoon, driving across the country— their first trip as husband and wife, once-foreign terminology they now embrace. “It’s very very surreal… we feel like we’re much older now, having a husband and a wife. I’m still not used to that. I’m not used to my last name. We’ve always been close. He’s my best friend. I don’t want to do things without him. I miss him when he’s not there.“ As they finish relaying the details of their storybook wedding, Leann’s hands wrap around Ed-die’s. “I would say it was the coziest, most magical, elegant, relaxing weekend of my life.” To which her new husband adds, “That’s exactly how I pictured it. I’m serious. What else could you say?” 48  |  SARATOGA BRIDE | 2015 

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The Love That

Started it All...

a Good

 Read

Check out their grandson’s n wedding o page 68!

By Megin Potter, photos provided

Tracey Buyce Photography

In 1943, while the world was in the throes of war, the juke box belted out a song about a courageous woman called the “Pistol-Packin’ Mama”. A fitting costume idea decided Mary Bracewell, who served as a supply officer at the Portsmouth naval base in New Hampshire and had a Halloween party to attend. As she crossed the dancefloor that night, she caught the eye of marine Norbert “Norb” Woods who was also stationed there. That was the beginning of a whirlwind winter romance that saw the couple engaged within a week and married four months later on February 5, 1944. Norb’s brother, the late Father Francis Woods presided over the intimate ceremony, held at the former St. Helen’s Church on Union Street in Schenectady. 50  |  SARATOGA BRIDE | 2015 

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After a five-day honeymoon spent enjoying Lake George, Norb had to report to duty, leaving to fight overseas while his young bride remained working on the home front. It was two years before he was able to return, but once he did, the couple settled into a life overflowing with the joys of work and family. Their first child was born not long after, beginning the extended Woods’ family which would eventually include a total of 13 children, 23 grandchildren and

eight great-grandchildren. Mary stayed at home to raise the kids while Norb worked several jobs over the years, including a parole officer, an area supervisor in charge of training and as an adjunct professor at St. Lawrence University. Mary then took a job working as an administrative assistant at Union College for many years. Work never got in the way of family however, said middle daughter Cathy Hoffman. saratogaTODAYnewspaper.com

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..

ded

hy

Tracey Buyce Photograp

“They were always there for us. We did so many fun things together. I have really fond memories,” said Hoffman. The Woods moved within the region several times, but today Norb, 92, and Mary, 95, live with their daughter and go to dinners Monday night that include four generations of the family. The Hoffmans live in the house next door today, allowing the family to get together often and spread out between the two residences. “Twenty people still show up when no one can come,” said Cathy’s husband Bob Hoffman and events regularly number 70 people. “They play games, musical instruments including the violin, piano, and bass and go swimming. The fun, food and family creates a tight unit and ensures there is never a dull moment.” “Everybody pitches in; everybody takes a piece of the action and runs with it.” The legacy that the Woods have inspired is one imbedded by a tenacious energy to keep the family strong. “They tell each other how much they love each other every day. Too busy to get in trouble, they never lost focus on marriage and each other,” said Hoffman. “They created a nurturing environment where we can thrive and we’re striving to do the same thing. It’s like seeing history repeating itself.”

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The Love That

Continues to Grow

Good a

 Read

Check out their son’s n wedding o page 68!

By Megin Potter, photos provided

Tracey Buyce Photography

The swirls of Shakespeare’s pen created epic love stories. Remnants of his play, Romeo and Juliet linger in many of us, as it so eloquently captures the intensity of our first love.

“Kiss Me, Kate” was the Shakespeare-based play where Cathy and Bob first met, and where their own love story began. The couple began a sweet afterschool courtship, as Cathy, 14-years-old at the time and Bob, 15, attended different schools. Because of their young age, they first went out socially with groups of friends to eat pizza, or Cathy would cheer on Bob during his basketball games. After high school, they went on to different colleges but continued to date. Cathy studied nutrition while Bob pursued his law degree. With help from their friends, neighbors and families the couple was married on December 27, 1974. The wedding ceremony was held under the 52  |  SARATOGA BRIDE | 2015 

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soaring steeple of St. John the Evangelist Church in Schenectady and was followed by a reception for 100 guests at the Holiday Inn that went on until the early morning hours. From there, Bob and Cathy travelled down to Gulfport, Florida, joined by several of their friends, to get Bob back in time for final exams freshman year at Stetson University. Having to forgo a traditional honeymoon made every adventure they’ve had together since then into another opportunity to have an extended honeymoon, they agreed. Separated again for six months while Cathy pursued her dietetic internship in Indiana, the couple then lived together in Florida for more than five years before moving back to Schenectady in 1979.

The first of their three sons, Justin, was born May 18, 1980, followed by Douglas on March 15, 1983 and Gregory on January 6, 1985. The couple then became totally immersed in their boys’ lives, they said. Between school functions and activities including music lessons, little league, basketball, tennis and hockey, they were always busy. Bob helped coach their basketball teams and ran the youth program. The family took up hiking and finished climbing the Adirondack’s highest 46 peaks in 1993. “We did a lot together as a family. That was a lot of fun back then,” said Bob. The family all enjoyed jumping into the adventure, each playing an important role. saratogaTODAYnewspaper.com

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w

“We’ve always been a team...”

raphy

Tracey Buyce Photog

aphy

,

See the wedding—page

68!

“We’ve always been a team, all five of us. We have always been the whole team working together.” The team is still growing, only enhancing their strength. The Hoffman boys have married and blessed Bob and Cathy with four granddaughters and the opportunity to enjoy even more adventures together as a family. Bob is also venturing further, embarking on a new career as a city court judge. Despite the changes that come their way, Bob and Cathy both know their relationship has stood up against the challenges of separation and the test of time. Committed to each other, they have written their own story and framed it by love. “We’re best friends, we’ve always been together and I can’t imagine it any other way,” said Cathy.

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a Good

 Read

Stepping

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Up

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WEDDINGs

ER , ph oto s by BY M EG IN POTT CE STUDIO DI LU

Laura & Dylan

National Museum of Dance He’d been unusually quiet for days before they took that walk in Onondaga Lake Park. It was a place they had visited many times, rollerblading and having fun together, but on that day in July the choreography of their relationship resulted in an engagement ring on her finger. Since the age of nine, Laura Donlan has persevered and practiced the intricate art of Highland dancing. She first learned the fast-paced traditional Scottish dance in her mother, Anne Donlan’s Saratoga studio. She has been teaching the dance technique since 1981 and judges dance competitions throughout the United States, Canada and in Scotland. Laura Donlan has competed in more U.S. Championships than she can recall, and placed second in the 18 and over category several times. Today, she often travels several hours to study at the Coleman School of Highland Dance, in WIlliamstown, Ontario. The rigors of Highland dance has categorized it as an athletic sport. To develop the skill necessary to compete successfully requires precision and intense determination. Like dance, Laura approached dating with the same focus, which is what first attracted Dylan Delamarter to her online Match. com profile. “You know just who you are and what you want out of life,” he wrote in his first email to her. After exchanging emails and text messages for a week, the two went to Turning Stone Casino for their first face-to-face meeting. Within an hour, they felt at ease together, and by the next week, Donlan’s brother-in-law was inviting the easy going Delamarter to family gatherings. saratogaTODAYnewspaper.com

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photo provided

ed

photo provid

“He was very genuine and cared about others before himself. He was just a really nice guy and different from other guys I’d dated before,” said Laura. Dylan and Laura both enjoyed physical fitness and spent time hiking, running and even participating in the hardcore Tough Mudder obstacle race together. They moved in together while Dylan, who had been serving in the U.S. Army Reserves began taking classes at Onondaga Community College. Growing up in Saratoga, her love of dance and the beauty of The National Museum of Dance, led Laura to choose it as an ideal location 56  |  SARATOGA BRIDE | 2015 

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for their wedding ceremony. To accommodate their 175 guests, Anne Donlan helped organize the wedding details, using many local vendors, and chose to wear a Theia dress from the Broadway boutique bridal salon Saratoga Trunk, where she works.

Wedding Gown • Pronovias Bridesmaid’s Dresses • Bill Levkoff Tuxedo • Macy’s Hair & Make-Up • Changes Salon Wedding Planner • Anne Donlan Flowers • Fleurtacious Designs

“They were great; really, really good,” said Laura of her mother’s choices.

Transportation • Today’s Limosine LLC

Incorporating her passion for Highland dance, a dozen tartan-clad dancers created a sword archway for the couple to walk under, followed by a SURPRISE full dance performance accompanied by Sean Wereley playing the bagpipes.

Entertainment • CT Productions Mobile DJ Services - Mike Reilly

“It was pretty overwhelming, but in a good way,” said Laura.

Caterer & Cake • Mazzone Catering

First Dance • Everything- Michael Buble • Special Touches • Bagpiper, Tartan Table runners, Highland Dancing Choreography in honor of the Bride and Groom that was performed by the Coleman Highland Dancers of Ontario, the bride’s dance school.

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a Good

 Read

WEDDINGs

ER , ph oto s by BY M EG IN POTT CE STUDIO DI LU

Joanne & ken Longfellows’

You never know where or when Cupid’s arrow will strike but that doesn’t mean you should stop looking for it, or hoping that it will. Both Ken Tavernia and Joanne Wheelock were ready to find love again. They each had experienced long term marriages, 20 and 30 years respectively, that eventually ended in divorce. Back in the dating stream, they weren’t successful through regular dating channels, which is how they ended up on the popular dating website Match.com. In time, Ken reached out to Joanne. Intrigued by their similar interests and the fact that they lived just three miles from one another in Saratoga Springs yet had never met, Ken and Joanne began communicating through emails. After several months, they felt comfortable enough to set up a casual get-together at Maestro’s restaurant on Broadway. For the following year, the active couple enjoyed doing things such as running, skiing and golfing together. Music also created a common bond between them. They each felt encouraged by the other. “People are meant to be together. People need other people in life and I just felt it, I knew he was meant for me,” explained Joanne. Ken went to deJonghe Original Jewelry for a surprise custom engagement ring and, in front of her family, told Joanne he had three questions to ask her. 58  |  SARATOGA BRIDE | 2015 

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“’Are you happy? Would you like to continue this relationship? And…’ which is when I took out the ring and she started crying. Everyone was saying, ‘yes, yes’, they all were saying ‘yes’, so really it was like I was asking the family to marry me,” said Ken. The couple decided to make this wedding into the dream wedding Joanne had always imagined. For her first wedding she had a hand-me-down dress, so this time just a week after Ken proposed she bought a wedding gown of her very own from Bird of Paradise. She attended Saratoga Today’s Enchanted Wedding Bridal Expo and found all local businesses to help her create a wonderful Winter Wonderland celebration at Longfellows Hotel, Restaurant and Conference Center. Included in the ceremony is a song that Ken wrote to serenade his bride with as she walks down the aisle titled, “You Look So Good in Love”. “Everything is so fantastic. They make this whole wedding process so fun for all of us,” said Joanne. “At 60, our life is not over, for us it’s just beginning.” After the December 19th wedding, the couple plans to spend an intimate Christmas together in the new home they share before heading off to Burlington Mountain for some skiing and then on to Arizona in March. “We have big plans to get in the car, drive and play golf,” said Ken. “We’ll be travelling and spending time with family, but I also have the lofty goal to beat Ken in a 5K run,” teased Joanne, and then together, they both laughed. saratogaTODAYnewspaper.com

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Real

Brides

Erica & Mat b u yce

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thew

HA L L OF S P RING S p h oto s by tr acey

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Our Story

Matt and I originally met at Spa Catholic High School, but didn’t begin dating until going to a John Mayer concert together at SPAC 7 and 1/2 years ago. Once we were engaged, (check out our story here: http://mattloveserica.com/) we were excited to plan a wedding quickly, and made it happen in just 4 months with the help of all of our amazing vendors. Because Matt and I have a different style, we went out of our way to add a lot of special touches in an effort to make our wedding our own. From designing our own tablescapes, arranging for photos with Tracey Buyce’s Horse; Moose, and working with our team to create a new and different layout for the Hall Of Springs, our wedding was truly a dream come true. saratogaTODAYnewspaper.com

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Details Photographer Tracey Buyce

Wedding Gown Astrid and Mercedes - Something Bleu Fur - Saratoga Closet

Bridesmaid’s Dresses ShopBop

Men’s Attire Mr. Formalwear

Hair

Laura McDonald of Blue Peregrine Salon

Makeup Lihn Sulins

Flowers

Jordy Baker of Heavenscent

Transportation All Occasions Limo & Premiere Transportation

Caterer Mazzone

Cake

Donna Purnomo

ENTERTAINMENT Funk Evolution Rich Ortiz at After Party

First Dance

Ray Lamontagne - You are the Best Thing

Special Touches

Personalized logo and pieces throughout. Custom doughnuts from Parkside Eatery in guests’ rooms.

wedding planner

Sarah Fichtman of Bisou Weddings and Events

Honeymoon St. Thomas

Advice for others

It can be done in just 4 months! saratogaTODAYnewspaper.com

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Real

Brides

Jessica & Dave

B at c h e l l e M a nsi o n r p h oto s by RO B SP R ING

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Our Story

Dave and I met back in 2003 at a bar called Mad River and thus began our fun-filled, crazy journey together. We built up a decade of history before actually getting to the wedding date, but we wouldn’t have it any other way. Our daughter, Olivia, joined us in 2011 and changed our lives forever. We got engaged, but put wedding plans on hold because we found out that our son, Jackson, was on his way 17 months later. Everything finally fell into place and went together so well from finding the attire, dress, photographer and venue. We rented out the Batcheller Mansion for the night and had 34 guests join us. It was like we were transported back in time to a glamorous and elegant evening. There were candles throughout, the grand piano was played by Cole Broderick, and everyone could enjoy the beautiful mansion that barely needed any decorating, except some fresh flowers, designed by Kim. We had the perfect night and thanks to Rob, we have pictures that captured exactly what we were looking for. We settled into married life easily and are looking forward to our one year anniversary of our beautiful day where we finally said, “I do.” saratogaTODAYnewspaper.com

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Details Photographer Rob Spring

Wedding Gown Something Bleu Bridal

Men’s Attire Men’s Warehouse

Hair & Makeup Make Me Fabulous

Caterer, Cake & Flowers Kim Klopstock of Lily and the Rose

ENTERTAINMENT Cole Broderick- piano

First Dance

Delicate by Damien Rice

Special Touches

Our children, Olivia and Jackson were the flower girl and ring bearer.

Honeymoon

Mirror Lake Inn, Lake Placid

Advice for others

Don’t Stress! Everything will fall into place and fit together. It went so well for planning in just six months--from finding the dress at Something Bleu, working with the incredible Rob Spring, planning out our vision with Kim Klopstock from Lily and the Rose, meeting with the amazing staff at the Batcheller Mansion Inn, and getting made fabulous by Make Me Fabulous.

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Real

Brides

Kait lin & Greg FA S IG TI P TON ph otos by TRACE Y BU YCE

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Our Story

Greg and I were both born and raised in Schenectady, NY. We met in high school and had been friends for a long time – friends with a crush on each other. Luckily about five years ago the stars finally aligned and the rest is history. As a couple we love to hike together in the Adirondacks. When we started to plan the wedding, we knew we wanted a venue that spoke to our love of the outdoors. Originally we had our sights set on Lake Placid, but when we saw Fasig Tipton for the first time - in the middle of an upstate NY winter, we completely fell in love with it. It was just what we envisioned for our spring wedding – a classy, yet relaxed, outdoor space with ample room to accommodate our family and friends. Fasig Tipton was different from anything we had seen and it immediately spoke to us. We consider ourselves very lucky to have had this space for the wedding (and party!) of our dreams. saratogaTODAYnewspaper.com

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Details Photographer Tracey Buyce

Wedding Gown Modern Trousseau - Lily Saratoga

Bridesmaid’s Dresses J Crew

Men’s Attire Jos A. Bank

Hair

InStyle Salon

Makeup

Lipstick & Lashes

Flowers

Price Chopper Central Market Flowers

Transportation

Horsin Around Trolley Tours & Celebrity Limousine Service

Caterer & Cake Mazonne

Entertainment DJ Playground

First Dance

Ray Charles & Count Basie Orchestra’s “Come Live With Me”

Special Touches

Flower vases were handmade by Kaitlin’s father out of wine bottles collected from family and friends. Table runners were made by Kaitlin’s mother. Being avid hikers, the couple chose Trail Mix as favors – made by Kaitlin and her Mom! Being a designer, Kaitlin did the invitations & menus

Advice for others

Try to drop-in on weddings while they are being set-up (with permission of course!) to get ideas of how others are using the space. It is totally customizable to what you want!

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Real

Brides

Janelle & Jason

MA N S I O Nby I ph oto s

PJN PHOTOGRA

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NN

PH Y

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Our Story

Jason and I are both artists. He is a professional musician, his path beginning in a signed rock band in NYC called Fixer, eventually leading to owning and operating his private recording studio and teaching sound engineering and Pro Tools privately and at the New School. I started at art school, going for printmaking, then evolving into my true passion for hair and makeup. This is where our lives intersected. Jason was quitting Fixer, and had 12 inches of bleached rocker locks to cut off, and I worked at Classical Concepts at the time. (I now work independently at Sanctuary Salon). A mutual friend suggested that I should be trusted with the task, and there it began. I was leaning against the makeup stand in the front of the salon as he walked in clad head to toe in tight black, every inch the rocker. I was too scared of his edgy veneer to experience love at first sight, but after a few months of casually dating, our bond strengthened and our journey spread clearly before us…

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Details Photographer PJN Photography

Wedding Gown WHITE Vera Wang

Bridesmaid’s Dresses WHITE Vera Wang

TUXEDO

WHITE Vera Wang

Hair

Mary Reardon from Sanctuary Salon, with help from Katie McClure

Makeup

Bride did her own makeup (hair and makeup artist at Sanctuary Salon), and Dena Barber from Classical Concepts helped with Wedding party makeup

Flowers

Native Farm Flowers

Caterer & Cake The Mansion Inn

Entertainment DJ Trumastr

First Dance

Jason wrote and recorded an original song and surprised me with it for our first dance. Incredibly heartfelt and romantic.

Special Touches

We did a hand fasting, with a hand woven Celtic Crios. Ordered directly from a woman in Ireland who raises the sheep, makes the yarn, dyes it, and weaves blessings into the cloth while making it. Our officiant, Michael, draped the cloth over our hands, and in turn, we wrapped the cloth around our hands as we said the simple vows we wrote “I promise to love you forever and no other. I promise to help you always and in times of darkness I promise to be your light.”

Honeymoon Paris, France

Advice for others

There are no rules, only guidelines, keep it simple and remember what it’s all about! You and your love! saratogaTODAYnewspaper.com

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Real

Brides

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o n i D & e l l e o N S RING HA L L OF ROS P B SP RING ph oto s by

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Our Story

Dino & Noelle attended the same schools and were friendly enough throughout high school, but didn’t re-connect until a mutual friend’s party a few years later. The chemistry between them was undeniable and they have been together ever since. They couple currently lives in Troy, NY and enjoys spending time with their families and traveling. The couple looked at only one venue – The Hall of Springs in Saratoga Springs. They immediately fell in love with the architecture of the building from the archways outside to the high elegant ceilings in the ballroom. Not only was the space fabulous, they wanted their wedding to be an entire ‘wedding weekend’ for guests, which downtown Saratoga Springs offers. They were able to have the rehearsal dinner, ceremony & venue all in Saratoga, which allowed guests the opportunity to explore Saratoga & enjoy the area. Working with Mazzone Hospitality was wonderful and I would recommend them to anyone! saratogaTODAYnewspaper.com

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Details Photographer Rob Spring

Wedding Gown

Angela’s Bridal - Designer: Pronovias

Bridesmaid’s Dresses Angela’s Bridal - Jim Hjelm

TUXEDO Futia’s

Hair & MAKEUP Lipstick & Lashes

Flowers Fleaurtacious

TRANSPORTATION Horsin’ Around Trolley

Caterer & Cake Mazzone Hospitality

First Dance

U2 - In A Little While

Special Touches

Sunglasses that read 6/21/14 on one side and Summer Lovin’ on other side since our wedding was the first day of summer. The waiters passed them around as our DJ played summer song remix.

Honeymoon Aruba

WEDDING PLANNER Sarah Dorrer from Mazzone Hospitality

Advice for others

Book early, have fun and don’t stress over the small things, because your wedding will be the happiest day of both of your lives!

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Real

Brides

Kerri & Dillon

FA S IG TI Pby TON ph oto s ASSIO KEVIN DEM PH Y PHOTOGRA

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Our Story

Dillon and I met Freshmen Year of college at RPI. It was the first day of classes that Dillon spotted me in Chemistry class. I, of course, being the studious one sat in the front row in a classroom of 200 students. Dillon, on the other hand, sat in the way back of the auditorium so he had a good view of the classroom (and the front row). A couple of days later Dillon and I were placed in the same Chemistry Lab group and that’s where our friendship began. We quickly became friends and since we were both on track to become Biomedical Engineers, we shared a lot of the same classes. We studied and did homework/projects together throughout all 4 years of college. Dillon will tell you that I was the one who got him through school, which may or may not be true. Throughout college Dillon and I would attend the same parties and fraternity formals, evensometimes as each other’s date (just as friends, of course). It wasn’t until Senior Year when Dillon came back from Spring Break that I realized I liked him more than just a friend. We were studying for an exam and I could not concentrate. Dillon would ask me a question and all I could think about was how handsome and tan he was! I then found out that he had liked me ever since Freshmen Year, and the rest is history… saratogaTODAYnewspaper.com

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Details Photographer Kevin DeMassio

Wedding Gown Lily Saratoga

Bridesmaid’s Dresses J. Crew

Men’s attire

Men’s Wearhouse- Black by Vera Wang

Hair

Studio D

Makeup

Krystal Rose Studio

Flowers

Dehn’s Flowers

TRANSPORTATION

Horsin’ Around Trolley Tours

Caterer

Mazzone Catering

Cake

Saratoga Gluten Free Goods

Entertainment City Rhythm

First Dance

Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You- Frankie Valli version performed by City Rhythm

Honeymoon

French Polynesia- Moorea & Bora Bora

Advice for others

Planning a wedding is such an exciting time for a bride and groom. It’s important to stay true to what you, as a couple, want first and foremost. You’re going to get a lot of input from a lot of different people along the way. Always remember that your wedding day is about you and your groom starting the rest of your life together. Everything will fall into place. Enjoy the ride!

saratogaTODAYnewspaper.com

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Real

Brides

l l i B & y l l o H E D GE S WATER ph oto s by B LACKB URN

ESIGN PORTRAIT D

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Our Story

We both had been married before. Our homes were close; we even had some friends in common; but it would take Match.com to bring us together. Bill asked me to marry him in the back of a Mexican taxi cab… later surprising me with a beautiful ring. From our engagement day forward, our lives changed--becoming deeper, sweeter and more meaningful than either of us could have imagined. We both wanted a Great Love. With a lot of love, respect and patience for one another mixed with some strong communications skill, we have found that Great Love! An excerpt from Bills vows: …Holly, my life changed on that late September afternoon ten years ago when you nearly knocked me down flying out of Gaffney’s. Because of you, I laugh, I smile, and I dare to dream again! You are the sweetest, most loving, compassionate, and sensitive person I have ever known. You will ALWAYS be the best part of my day. I look forward to spending the rest of my life with you, caring for you, nurturing you, being there for you in whatever the universe may have planned for us. ……...Holly Vegas, you are my true and only sunshine!! saratogaTODAYnewspaper.com

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Details Minister & Artist Catherine Rose

Photographer Blackburn Photography

Wedding Gown Izidresses

Extra Bling & Fascinator Frenchie Loeb

Bridesmaids’ Dresses David’s Bridal

Tuxedo

Jos. A Banks Suits

Hair & Make-Up

Joanna Romanzo, Lipstick and Lashes

Flowers

Danker Florist and Elaine Wilson

Transportation

Golf Carts to pick up guests

Caterer

Spice of Life Catering

Cake

Cakes by Jane and Saratoga Gluten Free Goods

Music

DJ Jeffrey Scott

First Dance

All of Me, violin version (John Legend &Lindsey Stirling)

Special Touches

Saratoga Photobooth… such fun!

Honeymoon

Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

Advice

Work with vendors that you connect with emotionally.

saratogaTODAYnewspaper.com

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Real

Brides

Courtney & Jake

SINO CANFIELDs CA by ph oto

VISCO SI PHOTOGRA

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PH Y

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Our Story

Jake and I met while we were students at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in nearby Troy, New York. After graduating, we moved to Los Angeles and spent five years exploring the west coast before moving east to Raleigh, North Carolina. Somehow we were able to work out the final details of our wedding while in the midst of buying a house and caring for our new puppy Cali. As a native of Ballston Spa, Saratoga was an easy choice for our wedding, especially since we were planning from afar. We felt that Congress Park and the Canfield Casino provided the perfect pairing - a beautiful outdoor setting for the ceremony and a gorgeous historic building for the reception, all within walking distance of downtown Saratoga. saratogaTODAYnewspaper.com

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Details Photographer

John Viscosi of Viscosi Photography

Wedding Gown David’s Bridal

Bridesmaid’s Dresses David’s Bridal

MENS ATTIRE Men’s Warehouse

Hair

Jalena Manzino at Sanctuary Salon

Makeup

Meghan Dankanich of Sanctuary Salon

Flowers

Bride arranged all of the flowers and came from FiftyFlowers.com

Caterer & Cake Mazzone Hospitality

Entertainment

Music Man Entertainment

First Dance A Thousand Years by Christina Perri

Honeymoon

Excellence Playa Mujeres, Cancun, Mexico

WEDDING PLANNER

Kevin Sykes (planner) and Chloejean Tedford (event manager) with Mazzone Hospitality

Advice for others

Using a full service caterering company, like Mazzone Hospitality, will help to alleviate a lot of the stress on your big day. They will guide you through the planning stages and make sure everything runs smoothly on the day of the event.

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Real

Brides

Honoring our

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Heritage

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Brittany & Lee

HISTORIC BARNS AT NIPMOOSE photos by ROB SPRING

Lee and I first met through mutual friends while attending grad schools in Albany. We came from opposite ends of New York, he from a small farm in the Southern Tier and I from Long Island. Despite growing up in very different areas, we quickly realized we had many of the same values in life. Aside from falling in love with each other, we both fell in love with the other’s family, friends, and background.

Details

We wanted our wedding to be a true reflection of us. Classic yet a bit rustic, simple but with attention to detail, and everyday food but with good craft beer. Aside from the traditional touches you would normally see at a wedding, Lee’s family has always been very passionate about their Scottish heritage so that played a large role in our wedding. Lee’s Grandfather officiated the marriage in Celtic Christian fashion and his brother played us up and down the aisle with his bagpipes. And of course Lee, his brothers, and a few family and friends wore kilts! Raining most of the day, the weather was not ideal for an outdoor wedding, but we like to think it made for an authentic Scottish atmosphere. Luckily our loving family and friends rose to the occasion and showered us with love as well!

Hair & Makeup Nicole Cregan

Flowers

Lindsay Fell of Avenue Flowers & Design and Debbie MacCrea (Lee’s mom)

Caterer & Cake Mazzone Hospitality

First Dance

“You are the Best Thing” by Ray LaMontagne

Honeymoon Portland, Oregon

WEDDING PLANNER

Sarah Fitchman, Bisou Weddings & Events

SPECIAL TOUCHES Scottish Theme

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Sudeshna & Rocco CROOKED LAKE HOUSE photos by STEPHEN WHITTING FOR ROB SPRING

Rocco and I met in Syracuse, summer of 2009. We were both enrolled in the Higher Education Master’s program while working part-time at Syracuse University. Between taking the same classes and sharing an office, we became instant friends. Depending on which one of us you ask, you will get two different stories about our first date, but there are two facts that Rocco won’t deny… 1) He was late. 2) He didn’t realize it was a date. He was late because of work, and he didn’t know it was a date until a mutual friend of ours declined Rocco’s invitation to join us, by simply stating: “Rocco, I think Sudeshna is asking you out.” After graduate school we stayed in Central New York, working full-time, splitting holidays, long weekends and vacations between my home of San Jose, CA and Rocco’s home in North Greenbush, NY. On November 2nd, 2012, Rocco invited his parents to Syracuse for dinner. I had been homesick, my birthday had just passed a couple of weeks before, and Rocco thought it would be good to be around family. Rocco was late for dinner again. Except this time, to my complete surprise, he was late because he was picking up my mother from the airport to show her the engagement ring and ask for their permission to marry me (my father was on the phone.) After seeing my mom for the first time in months, Rocco got down on one knee in front of his parents, his sister who was on a video call with us from New Orleans, and my mother and asked me to marry him. I said yes! We knew that we wanted to have the wedding in New York. My family on the west coast is far less in number than Rocco’s on the east coast, and even more live internationally so it would be easier to coordinate travel for an east coast wedding. In early 2013, we moved to San Jose, California. Before leaving, we had visited the Crooked Lake House on the suggestion of a friend who is originally from the area. We fell in love with this place. The layout, accommodations, and the staff were amazing. Not to mention, the scenery is gorgeous all 4 seasons of the year. So there we were, in California, planning a wedding 3000 miles away. Needless to say with the distance and a 3-hour time difference, email and cloud storage was very important. We used Air BnB to find an amazing house located on Crooked Lake that was able to accommodate my family perfectly. This was great because they did not have to travel far to the venue. We used the Desmond Hotel for our out of town friends because of its proximity to the Albany Airport, and Premier Limo to shuttle the bridal party and guests between the hotel and venue on the wedding day. We wanted to incorporate both Rocco’s Catholic upbringing, and my Indian heritage into the wedding. With the help of Rocco’s parent’s securing a Priest and my Uncle serving as a facilitator for the Hindu portion of our wedding we were able to have both a Catholic and a Hindu Ceremony on-site at the Crooked Lake House. The similarities between the two ceremonies far outnumber the differences and we were so grateful to be able to honor both of our families. We did a first look wearing tuxedo and dress, then switched back to Indian clothes for the actual wedding ceremony. Rocco’s mom wore a Sari for this portion as well. For the reception we switched back again to the tuxedo and dress. We are so grateful for our parents and families, who have supported us in our relationship from the beginning, by giving us a strong foundation of care and support. And for our friends, who keep us sane, grounded, and remind us how to have fun! Our wedding was perfect. 94  |  SARATOGA BRIDE | 2015 

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Details

GOWN & BRIDESMAIDS DRESSES David’s Bridal

MENS ATTIRE Men’s Warehouse

Hair & Makeup True Grace Makeup

Flowers

Lindsay Fell of Avenue Flowers & Design and Debbie MacCrea (Lee’s mom)

Caterer

Old Daley inn

Cake

Villa Italia

TRANSPORTATION Premier Limo

First Dance

Latch by Sam Smith, performed live by Andrew and Albert Figueroa

ENTERTAINMENT

Music Man Entertainment

Honeymoon Kaua’i

SPECIAL TOUCHES

We made a lots of things we found on Pinterest and etsy (i.e. banners, signs, centerpieces, etc.)

STATIONERY Paper & Type

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Lisa Miller of Studio

io di Luce

r of Stud

Lisa Mille

di Luce

Lisa Miller of Studio di Luce

Save The Date!

Saratoga Bridal Expo Sunday September 13, 2015 from noon – 3:30 Saratoga Hilton, 534 Broadway Saratoga Bridal Expo guests will enjoy sampling stations, classical music and a chance to chat with over 75 wedding vendors covering everything from favors and paper products to menu items and wedding cakes! The larger, expanded RUNWAY fashion show will start at 2:45 and will include attire for the entire bridal party AND the guests! Check out SaratogaBridalExpo.com for videos, links and event pre-registration. Admission is $5.00 per person - See you in September!

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Real

Brides

Venue

Bride’s parents’ backyard in Saratoga Springs

Wedding Gown

Oleg Cassini with J. Crew tuxedo jacket at reception

Bridesmaids’ Dresses J. Crew

Tuxedo Macy’s

Hair

Kimberly Hannell

Makeup

Bridget Thompson

Flowers

Bulk flowers from Price Chopper my lovely bridesmaid Maggie Johnson arranged them.

Caterer Hattie’s Chicken Shack

Cake

My mom made it! A champagne flavored naked cake.

ENTERTAINMENT

My brother and his friend played violin and cello as people were being seated before the ceremony. At the end of the reception, Andrew, his brother Mikey, my brother Mikey, my brother Mikey’s friend Andrew (confusing, I know!) and our groomsman Jonathan gave us a lovely impromptu musical performance on guitar, violin, and cello.

First Dance

Harry Nilsson “Love Story”

Special Touches

My mom and I collected vintage china from antique stores and thrift shops in the area to use for dinner and dessert.

Shawn & Andrew’s Wedding photos by BLACKBURN PORTRAIT DESIGN

Andrew and I met on the internet when I was a nosy 15 year-old and he was a morose college freshman. I had stumbled across a blog post he had written about the pointlessness of dating and emailed him to question his stance. He responded very kindly and we ended up keeping in touch. When I was 18 I went on a road 98  |  SARATOGA BRIDE | 2015 

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trip with my then-boyfriend and we stayed with Andrew while passing through West Virginia (his home state). At 25 I thought it would be nice to take a trip somewhere new, and Andrew had moved to Louisville so I asked if he’d let me sleep on his floor. That turned into 8 months of long distance dating, which

was funny considering how our decadeplus long friendship had begun. He asked me to marry him the day before my 27th birthday. We got married in my parents’ backyard in Saratoga by our good friend Tom. We now live together in Louisville in a little brick house with our two cats, Pockets and Beans. saratogaTODAYnewspaper.com

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