S A R ATO G A
A Saratoga TODAY Publication Complimentary
Details, Ideas Advice
Real Brides Real Stories
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A Saratoga TODAY
Event! E D I R B S A R AT
ine & B Magaz
AT U L AT I O
You’re engaged! Now the
N S ...
SAVE THE DATE
Saratoga Bridal Expos SPRING Vapor at Saratoga Casino & Raceway 342 Jefferson Street, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866 Thursday, April 14th from 6-9
The Saratoga Hilton 534 Broadway, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866 Sunday, September 11th from 12-3:30
S A R ATO G A
BRIDE OWNER/PUBLISHER Chad Beatty GENERAL MANAGER Robin Mitchell MANAGING EDITOR Chris Vallone Bushee CREATIVE DIRECTOR Alyssa Jackson ADVERTISING Jim Daley Cindy Durfey GRAPHIC DESIGNERS Alyssa Jackson Morgan Rook Andrew Ranalli WRITERS Makayla Boden Meghan Lemery Fritz Megan Harrington Carrie Rowlands Johnson Brianna Melanson Megin Potter PHOTOSHOOT PHOTOGRAPHERS Tracey Buyce Photography Rob Spring Photography Andrew Ranalli PHOTOS FOR REAL BRIDES PROVIDED
PUBLISHED BY Saratoga TODAY Newspaper Five Case Street, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866 tel: (518) 581-2480 fax: (518) 581-2487 saratogaTODAYnewspaper.com
BUY TICKETS TODAY! www.SaratogaBridalExpo.com 8 | SARATOGA BRIDE | 2016
Saratoga BRIDE is brought to you by Saratoga TODAY Newspaper, 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 © 2016, Saratoga TODAY Newspaper.
A SNEAK PEAK
hank you - all of you – for responding to our request for REAL BRIDES. I’ve seen hundreds of photos and wish I could use them all!
We’re not out to replace Martha Stewart Weddings (wish we could!) in your collection of bridal planning magazines, we just want to show you all the wonderful options available! The reasons to marry in the Saratoga area are plentiful… We met here, we used to live here, we vacation here, it’s centrally located, it’s a fun town to hang out! We have the stories and photos to show you a sample of the people getting married in the Adirondack, Saratoga and Capital Region, showcasing the venues and vendors that make it all happen!
…They’re a pretty cool bunch, I hope you enjoy meeting them as much as I did! Last year we announced that NYRA would be available as a wedding venue and when I ran into Rod Sutton, the beaming father-of-the-bride a while back I practically begged him to ask his daughter Patricia if we could feature her wedding in the next issue of Saratoga BRIDE… I mean this was the INAUGURAL WEDDING at THE TRACK and the Suttons are practically Saratoga Royalty! Luckily I can be pretty persuasive – see page 59. Unbeknownst to me, a woman by the name of Gillian Maffeo, was in Connecticut looking at Saratoga BRIDE magazine and thinking “I’M PLANNING THE PERFECT WEDDING TO BE FEATURED IN THIS PUBLICATION!!”… and she was right!! I have enjoyed every conversation with Gillian over the past year and can’t wait to see her reaction when she finally sees her story on page 67. In addition to REAL BRIDES, we have PHOTO SHOOTS… I mean THIS is the FUN PART of being a magazine editor! Going out on location, meeting new vendors, seeking out new venues… I hope you love these pages as much as I do!
We wrap up the informational section in the front of the magazine with a Photo Shoot at the Mansion Inn about the all-important HAIR & MAKEUP portion of the day, see page 31. We all know it’s really… ALL ABOUT THE DRESS! Join Laura Palkovich of Lily Saratoga on a tour of this year’s DRESS TRENDS, starting on page 39. Our last photo shoot explores the hottest trend in weddings right now (and our newest venue in the area!) The photo shoot at the Wedding Barn at Lakota’s Farm will blow you away! Every detail from the leather wrapped stationery to which beverages to serve and the perfect dress to wear has been fine tuned to produce the ultimate FARM WEDDING experience! Page 49. In addition to everything mentioned above, we have a ton of ads. That’s right, ADS… These are the businesses you need to help plan your big day. Read them, dog ear the pages you want to call (or just click on the ad to go the business’ website if you’re viewing us online!) They are also the reason we can provide this wonderful resource to you FREE OF CHARGE, so please support them and mention us by name when doing so.
Before I leave you, I have to congratulate our COVER GIRL, Mallory Ashe (AKA Mrs. Antkowiak!!) who came to us through Instagram (we love being SOCIAL!) The excitement and energy in this photo by Tom Wall, along with her story about her dad (who should win FATHER OF THE YEAR!) made it the perfect fit for us! Of course we also had other cover options, just in case that perfect REAL BRIDE didn’t show up… see page 130. I hope you all enjoy this issue of Saratoga BRIDE and find it helpful in planning your big day… and don’t forget to attend one of our TWO events, each with a live runway fashion show! Buy your tickets at www.SaratogaBridalExpo.com and while you’re there… check out the videos, links and blogs!
Chris Vallone Bushee Managing Editor saratogaTODAYnewspaper.com
REAL BRIDES 2016 | SARATOGA BRIDE | 9
Tracey Buyce Photography
Tracey Buyce Photography
S A R ATO G A
BRIDE PHOTOSHOOTS 31 39 49
Hair & Makeup Dress Trends Farm Weddings
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WEDDING INDUSTRY NEWS 12-29
59 Sutton-Thompson 67 Maffeo-Plummer
starting 14 Brides on page 73!
Wedding Barn at Lakota’s Farm
Tracey Buyce Photography
Dress Trends Rob Spring Photography
with Lily Saratoga 2016 | SARATOGA BRIDE | 11
THE Benifits OF WORKING WITH...
A Wedding Planner By Sarah Fichtman (Owner of Bisou Weddings and Events)
Rob Spring Photography
ing at the Historic Romantic and rustic fall wedd
t Bisou Weddings and Events, we often hear from clients that their initial hesitation to hire a wedding planner is quickly superseded with gratitude and relief. After all, you should enjoy the wedding planning just as much as you will enjoy the wedding day! Think of hiring a wedding planner as your wedding gift to yourselves. One of the most important things we give our clients is peace of mind, and there are many ways a planner can do this:
1. Local Resources:
At Bisou Weddings and Events, we have the privilege of working with the very best vendors and venues in the area. Finding your dream venue, and researching wedding vendors can take weeks, sometimes months, to find the
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Your engagement is one of the most special moments you will share as a couple. The excitement and joy surrounding this momentous occasion is the perfect platform from which to leap into the wonderful (and sometimes wild!) world of wedding planning. There is no doubt that planning your wedding will go down as one of the most exciting, creative, and overwhelming times in your lives. When the overwhelming turns into extreme stress, the knowledge and resources of a wedding planner are welcomed with open hearts.
Barns of Nipmoose
perfect fit. After our initial consultation with a client, we can quickly and painlessly pair clients with vendors that match their style, personality and budget. This is a huge time saver for couples in the initial stages of planning.
Wedding resources, such as Pinterest, can often blow a couples’ budget out of the water. The sky is the limit with weddings these days, and the more couples pin to their wedding board, the more tempted they are to spend those extra dollars to bring their Pinterest board to life. This is when your wedding planner steps in! We rein in our clients and help them create their list of priorities. Do you really need the extra 10 feet of pipe and drape or the most expensive ceremony chair? Would you rather spend more
yce Tracey Buphy Photogra
inter wedding w s g in r p S f o Elegant Hall isit from Moose the horse v complete with a Clark + Walker Studio
Classic and nautical inspired Sagamore wedding overlooking the stunning Lake George saratogaTODAYnewspaper.com
on a fabulous wedding photographer, and save elsewhere? Not only do planners have a realistic understanding of what everything costs, we can also give you ideas of where you can save money. Keeping your budget on track is our top priority, especially for those looking for Full Wedding Planning.
It is no surprise that when different styles, cultures and families begin planning and designing a wedding together, there can be some areas of disagreement. As planners, we have the advantage of being an outsider and with years of experience, we can take two different points of view and find a compromise that will make all parties happy.
4. The Wedding Day:
One of the most important roles your wedding planner will play is orchestrating the wedding day. After months (sometimes years) of planning, your big day has finally arrived and our top priority is making sure you and your new spouse and family are enjoying every moment. After all, it flies by and before you know it the band will be playing their last song. We want you to have the time of your life. What do we orchestrate, one might ask? Everything from greeting vendors, to assisting and overseeing set up, to distributing family members’ flowers, to gathering the wedding party for photos, announcements, introductions, to making sure you have eaten and are drinking water for every glass of champagne (more importantly…ensuring your glass of champagne is never empty), to running all formalities without a hitch, to troubleshooting when needed, and most of all, we make sure our detailed Wedding Day Timeline is being checked off with every passing hour. Gone are the days when hiring a wedding planner was a luxury. We have quickly become the norm. At Bisou Weddings and Events, we approach each wedding with excitement and passion. After all, every wedding, family and couple are completely different, and we are given the privilege of being a part of your family for a day. Not only is our job incredibly rewarding, it is so much fun! We bring that energy and passion into each of our events. As mentioned earlier in the article, think of hiring a wedding planner as your wedding gift to yourselves. You won’t regret it!
Bisou Weddings and Events is a wedding and event planning company serving the Greater Capital Region, upstate New York, the Adirondacks, Hudson Valley, Manhattan, New England and beyond! Our mission is to help our couples create the wedding of their dreams, whatever that may entail, and we continually exceed our clients’ expectations. For more information, please call us at (646) 290-4779 or visit our website bisouweddingsandevents.com
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Set The Mood Right Invite with the
ie Casey Mackenz Photography
An interview with Jacqlene McAllister By Megin Potter
Just as a successful relationship thrives on the art of conversation, a smooth wedding day depends on effective communication …and NOTHING speaks of the event your guests are about to attend, more than the wedding stationery! Paper Still Reigns Supreme
In today’s digital world, it’s easy to drown in the sea of online wedding announcements, invitations and informational card choices, but there’s hope… The wedding’s theme and guest list are both important elements to consider when selecting a style. “Making it unique is key,” said Jacqlene McAllister, owner of Inviting Designs, LLC. Experienced with printing and layout techniques, she is a local designer that helps couples choose the right papers, fonts and images to use, not only on the wedding invitations, but all the other papers; such as menus, seating charts and activity cards, that help make the day special. Weddings are one realm where digital media plays only a supporting role behind the paper… it’s all about the beautiful paper! Websites are only being added to the invitation or savethe-date cards to refer to for more information, said McAllister. 14 | SARATOGA BRIDE | 2016
PRO TIP: “If there are going to be a lot of out-of-town guests, written directions need to be included, because people often don’t have, or can’t rely on the GPS to get them there,” she advises.
Nikki Ross Photogra i phy
With so many complex family situations to consider, careful invitation wording is crucial. For instance, including both the bride and groom’s parents on the invitation is becoming popular, said McAllister. PRO TIP: Another trend is composing customized RSVP cards printed with guests names or phrasing such as, “reserve 2 seats in your honor,” to cut down on the confusion as to just who, and how many people, in a household are invited.
Keith Hilton Photography
PRO TIP: An easy tip that she suggests is that whoever’s name is printed on the envelope is who is invited.
…so many ways to follow through with your theme! PRO TIP: Those amazing engagement photos are great for a save-the-date card or keepsake magnet which is sent out up to a year before the ceremony, but never with the invitation, which is mailed just eight weeks before the event.
Budget and Trends
Ceremony Programs Menus Seating Chart Boards Escort Cards Place Cards Guest Itineraries Special Signs Table Numbers Favor / Tags / A “Couple’s Logo” Custom Printed Envelopes Custom Designed Address Labels
“They should budget between $3 and $20 each for invitations,” advises McAllister. It is a price range that takes postage, paper selection and lot size (usually printed in increments of 25) into account. PRO TIP: Layering with different papers and textures, using organizational pockets, and incorporating golden highlights are all popular trends right now, but keep in mind, it can add to the total cost, if that is a consideration. Printed envelopes, finished proofs and invitation assembly are offered by experts like McAllister to ensure a cohesive product. Being a graphic designer, she has the eye and ability to help you plan a theme, and follow through to make your wedding… just the way YOU want it! For more information go to InvitingDesignsllc.com
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YOUR GUESTS WILL REMEMBER THE FOOD...
Tips For Hiring
The Right Caterer An interview with Becky Harbour By Megin Potter, Photos Provided
The recipe for cooking up great food memories starts with hiring the right caterer.
ost couples use personal referrals, websites, and online reviews to narrow down the selection of caterers available, said Becky Harbour, Event Sales Coordinator at Symphony Catering in Saratoga Springs. As a full-service caterer, they do a lot more than just cook the food you order and deliver it. They also provide linens, china, and silver while taking care to organize the details that marry the enjoyment of delicious food to the ease and delight of excellent service. When there’s too much on your plate, this is something special to look for when considering how to provide your guests the best possible food experience.
Getting to Know You
During their first meeting, Harbour requests a lot of information about the client’s expectations and vision for their wedding. Special dietary preferences and restrictions are discussed, and a preliminary number of guests determined. Next, it’s time to schedule a tasting. Because wedding planning is often not done in the same season as the actual event is to take place, seasonal ingredients aren’t usually available. “It’s the proteins that people are most interested in; the main courses. That and the cake!” said Harbour.
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Taste-Based and Case-Based Menu Planning
The pre-event tastings, cocktails and bar service, hors d’oeuvres, a two-to-three course dinner, wedding cake, and boxed meals for after the party, are all included in the wedding packages that full-service caterers like Symphony Catering use to structure your unique menu. “Keep it simple, don’t go too wild. There are more simple eaters than foodies out there,” recommends Harbour. Along with Chef Danny Petrosino, they will present you with a full plate of items such as grilled salmon, pan-seared chicken, chicken marsala, and the steak fillet dishes that have proven to be successful choices for many of their clients. Focused on using only the choicest cuts of meat and quality ingredients, they create the perfect union of tastes on a case-by-case basis. Either at this time or at another scheduled meeting (whichever you prefer), there is a cake tasting, as well. Symphony Catering provides delightful and whimsical cake designs baked by Gina-Marie Semkiw of Gina-Marie’s Cake Boutique located in Amsterdam.
The Blending of Beauty with the Budget
“Budget is always a consideration,” said Harbour. She doesn’t let any crumbs fall through the cracks and is sure to spell out the combination of costs that need to be taken into account when hiring a catering company. The price range of a wedding catered by Symphony Catering typically falls between $80 and $125 per person, for example. As a full-service, venue-linked caterer, this price does include many service incidentals but does not take into account several additional expenses. These include a 20 percent event fee, a 10 percent off-site fee if the event is taking place at a venue other than those in which they are affiliated, and the seven percent state sales tax.
The Secret Ingredient
One week before your special event takes place, Harbour fuses all prior work with the last-minute details that are bound to pop-up. She gathers together special items to be used such as cake servers, toasting glasses and place cards. She requests a final guest count and the name of all the wedding professionals, such as the D.J. and the photographer, as well as the time they are due to arrive. She then circulates to personally address any problems that may arise, as they always seem to, she said. Prepared with an average of 10 to 15 percent extra of everything, they are sure to merge any surprises into an overall smooth and pleasing experience for their guests. It’s this personal investment from a caterer that really makes the difference. “I generally cry at every wedding still. Working with them since we were introduced, it’s exciting to see them finally married. It’s exciting to see them excited,” said Harbour. For more information about Symphony Catering go to symphonycatering.com To view Gina-Marie’s Cake Boutique creations go to ginamariecake.com
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MAXIMIZE THE Investment YOU MAKE...
With Your Photographer As a Wedding Photographer, it stands to reason that I believe the Wedding Photos are one of the most important components of the Wedding. After all, at the end of the day, all you have left is your memories— which is why you hire a photographer to begin with. Below are some simple tips and tricks to help you maximize your investment in the photography portion of your event.
Ten TIPS FROM SUSAN BLACKBURN... 1. 3. Seriously consider doing an Engagement Session with the Photographer you are thinking of hiring for your wedding. Let’s face it—most of us do not have extensive modelling experience. An Engagement Session will help you get more comfortable in front of the camera and working with your Photographer. It really does help build a rapport. It is a great time to see how your hair and makeup will look in pictures. It will also help you figure out how long the getting ready process will take.
Make sure to carefully assess the area where you will be getting ready. You want to make sure the area has great available light for photos. I especially like to be unobtrusive during this portion of the day so the bride can relax while she is getting ready—not having to use flash really makes a difference. That is why good available light is so important. Also, keep the area as tidy as possible. It does not need to be absolutely pristine, but you do not want an unseemly mess in your images. A quick “Ten Second Tidy” goes a long way in my world.
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If there are special details you want to make sure are captured, be sure to communicate with your photographer about them. If you want images of the invitation/ stationary suite, save copies and keep them in a safe location. Have your dress and accessories out and ready to be photographed. If you have special favors for the reception, hold some aside for photography purposes.
Start planning your Timeline with your photographer as soon as possible. Most people underestimate how long formal portraits take. Allotting the right amount of time can mean the difference between mediocre and exceptional images. You do not in any way want to feel rushed or hurried on the Wedding Day. Make sure you take into account travel time to your different locations. Also, you will want to “pad” the Timeline to take into account unforeseen circumstances like traffic, wardrobe emergencies, and any other craziness. Knowing you have planned some extra time will help you handle any crisis without getting totally stressed out. Stressed Bride = Unpleasant Expressions = Not Great Images. saratogaTODAYnewspaper.com
Consider the time of day and the light. My favorite time for couple photos is often during what is called the Golden Hour—the hour before the sun sets. It is the most flattering light for portraits. So you will probably want to make sure you allot some time for images during this time of day. Also, if you want sunset images or dramatic night shots, you need to build time into your day for them. Again, this is where the Timeline comes into play.
Check with your Wedding Officiant for any special limitations during the ceremony. You cannot underestimate how important it is for your photographer to know about this ahead of time. I never want to go into a place of worship and offend the Officiant for any reason. Also check to see if there will be another wedding immediately before or after your ceremony. This can have a huge impact on your Timeline if the ceremony before is running late or you need to get out of the building by a certain time.
Don’t get all crazy with a “Shot List.” I am assuming you have hired your Wedding Photographer because you like their work. Instead of handing them a folder of images from Pinterest to recreate, why not let them create images that will inspire others on Pinterest? Don’t feel like you need to hand the photographer a list of “Bride Alone, Groom Alone, Bride with Parents, etc.,” any professional Wedding Photographer should know this without being told.
On the other hand, a list of family and friends you want to include in the Family Formals is an absolute must. Family Formals have a bad reputation. But you absolutely want to do them. Being organized for Family Formals can greatly speed up the process and make it relatively painless for all involved. Just make sure all the key players know where and when you are doing formal photos. I also recommend that you delegate a friend or family member who can track people down for family photos. It seems like at every wedding, someone is MIA during the Family Formals. Your Photographer will not know who your Aunt from California is. And you do not want to be personally tracking down every missing family member—major stress.
If you want great images at your reception, hire a great DJ or Band—it is well worth the money. The more the guests are enjoying themselves, the better the reception images. They also keep the formalities like Introductions, Cake, Garter, etc. running smoothly.
relax and have fun! That’s what the day is all about!
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How To Have Your Cake ...AND EAT IT TOO!
By leah Stein of Leah’s Cakery , Photos Provided
Your wedding cake is one more option to display your personality and the theme of the wedding …seize the opportunity and make it a cake they’ll never forget!
Tips FROM LEAH’S CAKERY... 1. 4. Schedule a consultation with a reputable bakery 6-12 months in advance. This will give you the opportunity to taste the cake, and see the portfolio of the cake designer. This is an essential step if you are interested in a custom design. The advance time will give the bakery time to order or make the special items for your cake.
Think about your design. Do you picture your cake round, square or any other shape? Will it be traditional white, or splashes of color? Fresh flowers or sugar flowers? Will there be a cake topper? Start a Pinterest board of wedding ideas, and don’t forget to pin cakes to share with your baker. Your cake should fit the theme or feel of the wedding, reflect your style as a couple.
Think outside the cake box for design. There is no longer a standard for wedding cakes. If you want a 5 tier teal cake with cascading peacock feathers, you can have it! The wedding cake is the perfect place to add the color punch to a wedding reception.
Be realistic to your budget. Wedding cakes are priced per serving and can range from $4-$6 per serving or more. Have an idea of what you are willing to spend on a wedding cake and share this info with your cake designer during the consultation so that he/she can appropriately design a cake to fit in your budget.
Can’t decide between chocolate or carrot cake? Choose your cake flavor based on what you like to eat. Don’t let your Aunt Bea’s dislike for double chocolate stand in the way of you getting your chocolate fix. Some bakers can make a wedding cake using two or more different cake flavors. This option should be discussed at the consultation. 20 | SARATOGA BRIDE | 2016
H BT P h
Meet Leah Stein! saratogaTODAYnewspaper.com
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Where The Flowers Grow… AN INTERVIEW WITH BARBARA JEFTS OF NATIVE FARM FLOWERS by Makayla Boden, Photos Provided Nestled atop a hillside in the picturesque area of Greenfield Center sits the farm and residence of local florist Barbara Jefts. The land is dotted with greenhouses and rows of flowerbeds that patiently await next season’s blooms.
estled atop a hillside in the picturesque area of Greenfield Center sits the farm and residence of local florist Barbara Jefts. The land is dotted with greenhouses and rows of flowerbeds that patiently await next season’s blooms. Jefts, who tends to most of the plants herself- with the exception of a few helpers she calls on when needed- has been on this plot for going on seven years. She got her start growing vegetables, which allowed her time to stay at home with her children. However, quickly tiring of bringing home bushels of beans after the farmers’ markets, she began taking classes with a florist and switched over to growing the wonderful flowers she specializes in today. Thanks to a background in art, her gift for crafting breathtaking arrangements came easily. Jefts possesses something others may not necessarily have access to: an entire farm full of fresh, vibrant flora. If an arrangement calls for an extra touch of color or texture, Jefts has a plentiful array of options right at her fingertips. This “little something extra”, as Jefts put it, is something that is evident in all her wedding arrangements. Having done arrangements for about twenty-two weddings this past year, Jefts’ flowers are quickly gaining popularity. Not to mention her labor is definitely one of love, which is evident in the treatment of her product. Jefts takes extra care in harvesting the beautiful blossoms at the correct stage of growth, and conditioning them before they are used. The flowers and foliage she picks are subjected to studied care, right down to the temperature of 22 | SARATOGA BRIDE | 2016
the water they are given once picked. These practices make a big difference in the life of the product she uses. Brides can rest assured that bouquets from Native Farm Flowers are fresh, sustainably grown, and local. Jefts notes that she belongs to the Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers, which is composed of all small growers like herself. Jefts also credits the practice of holistic management in keeping her and her business organized, as well as keeping her conscious of the impact her business may have on the environment. Jefts says that she is grateful for the rest that comes in the winter months. Although classes are offered all year round at the farm, especially around Christmas, winter gives her much-needed time to relax and prepare for the oncoming season. “It gives me time to kill my houseplants,” Barbara smiles, gesturing to the lovely green plants she keeps in her living room. “I can grow anything outside- but if you come back in a month, these won’t look so good!” she laughs. “It’s true!” Despite enjoying her rest, Jefts enjoys her work just as much. “I don’t know what else I could doI’ve been doing this so long. And it’s a really lovely life.”
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LOOKING FOR A REASON TO HIRE AN EVENT DECORATOR?
Tracey Buyce Photography
By Megin Potter
It’s becoming your favorite free-time activity… harvesting the ideas that inspire and excite you, the ones that spark sentimental memories, and the ones that are just too good to pass up.
You click, and snip, and pin them all.
So now what? How do you solve the puzzle of getting all those good ideas to work together; creating that special look you want at a price you can afford? If you start buying and building one element at a time, you may quickly experience a DIY disaster that’s well over budget. The Dream Detectives
“We do everything,” said Michael Panza, co-owner and event designer of Fine Affairs. Offering full-service, partial, and day-of event coordination and decorating, their experienced team of professionals wants you to have those Pinterest pages ready when you come to meet with them.
When Less is More
Event decorators are not just a service for the rich to enjoy, either. While Fine Affairs does have a portfolio that includes many large-scale wedding extravaganzas, Panza said his favorite projects are about creatively working within a budget.
“For me, it’s most exciting and it’s fun when you take a place, like a backyard, and transform that.” Raised in a well-established family of restaurateurs who were often asked to host special events, Panza started designing weddings when he was
“It’s a great way to communicate with the designer what’s in your head. We take that and build it to the next level,” he said. Even if you come to him with no ideas, he will help you create a vision by combining your unique preferences into a look you will love. From the trendy rustic chic, to the Cinderella fantasy, to the classic and sophisticated contemporary wedding, the vast variety of possibilities is astonishing. “People were blown away,” said Panza about a memorable Casablanca-themed wedding that he was a part of. As the guest list grew, a late-date venue change didn’t hinder the reception, which featured elegant fabric-draped ceilings above a candlelit room decorated with Moroccanstyle throw pillows. 24 | SARATOGA BRIDE | 2016
Tracey Buyce Photography
18-years-old. Intimately familiar with all the aspects of event design, as well as a certified pastry-chef and musician, he saw a need in the market and partnered up with Event Sales and Management leader Geriann Eddy to form a team where creativity coexists beautifully alongside organizational prowess. Whether working within a $3,000 or a more-than-$50,000 budget, Fine Affairs strives to best utilize that money to get you the look you want, he said.
Everywhere You Want to Be Fine Affairs is located in Saratoga Springs, but also handles off-site and destination events all along the East Coast. Couples come to them two years in advance to create custom theme and design plans, handle budget and timeline development, vendor referrals, negotiations and management; including working with caterers, entertainers, and photographers and to handle transportation coordination, lighting, fabric and floral design elements, among others. Because of the internet, social media and television, expectations are higher than ever before, said Panza. “In terms of what people want, their expectations are extremely high, but I zero-in on making their vision come true, using creative ideas, and making them happy,” he said. “I like making people happy and making people feel good about what they’re doing.” For more information, go to FineAffairs.com saratogaTODAYnewspaper.com
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Looking For Something Different? Check out ADIRONDACK SAFARI By Brianna Melanson, Photos Provided
Brides, grooms, proposers, newlyweds, and old-timers: Adirondack Safari is a new luxury tent company to make your day, weekend, or vacation a little more intimate, unforgettable, and stress-free!
erhaps you’ve heard about it; their popularity has skyrocketed (170,000 hits on their website in the first 8 weeks!) since opening in the beginning of June. I had the pleasure of speaking with Jenny, who owns the company with her husband, Mark, the entrepreneur who formulated this genius idea. Living minutes away from Hearthstone Campground, Jenny and Mark Matteo noticed that the number of campers have decreased. They supposed people did not like the hassle of setting up or sleeping on the ground. So lo and behold, they built beautiful furnished tents that they set up before you get there and take down once you’ve enjoyed your stay anywhere within the Adirondack Park. The convenience and uniqueness of their business has already landed them bookings for weddings next year. When asked if they expected to be involved with weddings, she responded, “We had talked about it briefly in the beginning just as an ‘oh my gosh if we had thought of this when we got married we would have done it’ and then literally within our first week of the website being live we started getting calls for weddings. Farm weddings are all the rage right now, but a lot of areas where they have these beautiful barns and lands do not always have hotels and accommodations, so this is a great alternative.” If not used for rooms for all the guests, the tents are perfect for the bride’s changing area. Adirondack 26 | SARATOGA BRIDE | 2016
Safari has already contributed two tents for this scenario and almost took the bride’s spotlight! They were a hit! Adirondack Safari will tailor your tent(s) - up to 20 tents for an affordable wedding - to your specific needs. For instance, for a proposal (they had five already last summer and two honeymoons) they will provide champagne, chocolates, flowers, and your choice of music playing on the satellite radio. Jenny mentioned that they’ve even gone out to find a rare beer for a girlfriend making a special getaway with her boyfriend. Now let’s congratulate Kirsten Brayton and her husband, Scott, for celebrating their 22nd anniversary this past June! Kirsten, who loves camping but has a bad back, discovered Adirondack Safari on Facebook. They comfortably slept in a Safari tent three nights in a regular king-size bed. It was meant to be! She raved about Adirondack Safari’s friendly, excellent service- bringing them ice, etc.- and said she’d prefer staying in their tent over a hotel. She and her husband didn’t have to bring anything except clothes and food. They had a romantic and relaxing visit on Long Island, Lake George with a breathtaking view of the lake right from the tent’s window. Next time, they’re bringing the kids!
In the Adirondack wilderness, a couple can choose to be tranquil or adventurous. There are hot air balloon rides, fishing areas, and hiking trails. Adirondack Safari offers kayak and canoe rentals to go out and explore together. Then when the sun sets, light the tiki torches, put on your white hotel robes, and unwind in your home away from home with the love of your life. Happy booking! www.adirondacksafari.com
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What’s Trending IN THE WORLD OF CAKES
By Makayla Boden, Photos Provided
There is nothing quite as wonderful as walking into a bakery, especially on a chilly day. In its prime downtown location in the quant village of Schuylerville, Cake is breathing new life into the place with its modern look and superb offerings.
currently in-progress winter themed cake. “Painting takes the cakes to a whole new dimension,” Alissa adds with a smile.
In collaboration with local professional artist Kendra Farstad, Cake is working to get the trend a bit more regional recognition. For brides that don’t have a specific vision in mind, painted cakes “can present a very new and different option,” Alissa says with excitement. The style is an excellent choice for a bride that may opt for a themed cake, as it provides more versatility in décor. “You can get very specific,” Kendra notes, pausing in the painting of a new cake for display at bridal shows. “You have the ability to add mementos and personal touches, or paint something on the cake that you wouldn’t want to add as a fondant cut-out because it would lower the aesthetic quality.” With delicate strokes, Kendra added swirls of ice blue next to birch branches on the
It goes without saying that that these cakes stand out beautifully from the rest. “They’re definitely for a certain type of person,” Alissa explained, referring to the technique that must be done to achieve the look of the cake. “Some brides still want a very traditional look, and the cakes absolutely have to be covered in fondant for them to be painted. Some people are really opposed to that.” In order for the desired watercolor effect to be achieved, the cakes must have a nice surfacemuch like a canvas- for the mixture of food coloring and extracts to be applied onto. Despite the one minor drawback to the style, there are far more pros than cons. “Painting on the cakes leads to a huge range of décor options,” Kendra enthuses. “There are some things you can do with paint that you just can’t do with fondant. You can achieve a much different effect; the paint really lets you kick it up.” With plans to bring the painted cakes to bridal shows in the area and to begin offering portraits on the cakes, Cake is looking ahead to the future and having a local professional artist to work with… is just the icing on the cake.
wner Alissa Woods is now in her twelfth year as a pastry chef and her fourth as the owner of Cake. Inside the bakery, which possesses an abundance of small-town charm, the glorious scent of fresh-baked cake lingered in the air, and two gorgeously decorated painted cakes sat on display. Yes, painted cakes. Cake is ahead of the game as one of very few local businesses that even offers the new trend as an option, but the new artistic style is only expected to grow in popularity.
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“The Holidays” HOW TO Successfully NAVIGATE THEM AS NEWLYWEDS
Meghan Lemery Fritz, LCSW-R Meghan Fritz is a psychotherapist practicing in State College, PA. For more information e-mail email@example.com
hen my husband and I spent our first Christmas together I was full of romantic notions of a warm fireplace, cuddles in front of the tree, peace and pure bliss; what is better than spending the holiday with your life partner? Much to my shock and complete horror, the week before Christmas I watched my love become cranky, short-tempered, quiet and sullen. By the time it was Christmas Eve I was certain my true love had been abducted by aliens and replaced by a look -alike. We got in a huge fight Christmas Eve and I went to bed furious and confused. When we got through Christmas and were on a 5 hour car drive to see my family in NY I started asking questions. Long story short, Bill explained to me that holidays were a huge source of stress for him. Navigating a split family was difficult for him and he often felt guilty about not spending enough time with either parent. He disliked having to split Christmas Eve with one parent and Christmas Day with another. His defense mechanism to dealing with these uncomfortable feelings made him retreat into a cranky, sullen emotional state. We decided that first Christmas that we were our own family and we will decide how we want to spend our holidays without self-imposed guilt or pressure about what we “should” do. The worst thing you can do in your relationship is continually put yourself in situations that trigger stress and past hurt. This only causes major fights between the
Approaching the holidays for a newly engaged or married couple can be a major source of tension and stress. Often times spending time with family can be a trigger for us to return to familiar dysfunctional family dynamics that can leave our partner feeling confused and frustrated. The key to navigating holidays as a new couple is to know what your triggers are and to have a strategy in place for how you will spend time with family. two of you and leaves you feeling drained and confused. In addition to having a strategy about how you spend your holidays, be transparent with one another about your triggers. When Bill told me how he felt, I was able to realize that his mood was not personal against me. He was putting tons of pressure on himself to please everyone in his family and feeling guilty and stressed out. He gave me the map of where he was emotionally and that got us out of the woods of tension and stress. Do the work you need to do to know what triggers you. If you grew up in a very dysfunctional family or have lots of unresolved pain from your childhood, take the time to speak to a therapist to help you heal and move forward. If you put that journey off you will bring all of your emotional baggage into your new marriage and this will put you at risk for major problems. Do not be lazy about cleaning up messy emotional issues from the past. You want to start your marriage from a clear and clean place emotionally so that you do not repeat and project whatever negative dysfunctional patterns you grew up with. The key to a successful marriage is to 100 percent know who you are and resolve your past baggage. Think of when you
buy a new car and you get the owner’s manual. It tells you how all the gadgets work and what kind of fuel it takes. This safeguards you from breaking down or blowing up your new car. When you know who you are and communicate that clearly to your partner you safeguard yourself from blowing up. Know what you need emotionally, physically and spiritually and communicate this clearly to your partner. No one knows what you need better than you do. After 3 holiday seasons together, my husband and I are slowly learning to craft holidays that work for us. It is a work in progress and there is definitely room for improvement. What has helped us immensely is debriefing after each holiday about what worked and what didn’t. We can then move forward with a strategy and a plan so that we honor our needs individually and as a couple. The first few months and years of a new marriage can be surprisingly challenging and stressful. Be patient, be real and always get the help you need when you feel stuck. Never settle for a mediocre marriage; do whatever you can each day to keep your marriage healthy. The difference between a mediocre marriage and a wonderful one is effort and strategy. YOU ARE WORTH IT!
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Follow us to...
The Mansion Inn
FOR TIPS ON HOW TO GET THE MOST FROM YOUR
Hair and Makeup Stylist
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Tips FROM HAIRSTYLIST AMANDA JACKSON
On How To Find The Right Hair & Makeup Look It’s possible you have a hairstylist and makeup person who knows what you like and you can put your trust in completely to create your dream wedding look. If not, don’t fret. We talked to beauty professional, Amanda Jackson and came up with some tips and questions you may have before making any commitments.
Research. Research. Research.
son k c a J a d n a m airstylist A
Talk to other brides, check with your salon and look-up stylists from your area on social media. Put the word out that you are in search for a really wonderful hair and makeup stylist to your friends and acquaintances and hopefully you will receive some great reviews.
Don’t hesitate to book early! Some of your favorite stylists could get booked months in advance, so dont put this last on your list of priorities. Your hair and makeup is something that will fill your wedding albums forever so it’s just as important as any other detail for your big day. Once you’ve gathered a list of options, it’s time to set up consultations - the only way to determine if a stylist is right for you. Skip this step and your wedding look may be a complete tangle. Literally.
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& Makeup Artist Miran da R
Bring your hairpiece along to the consultation. If it hasn’t arrived yet, bring along a photo or something similar, so at least the stylist knows what to expect.
Vintage style up-do with pin curls and beaded headband
Finish the vintage look off with some dramatic eyeliner and red lips!
Once the stylist starts manipulating your locks, ask her to photograph each finished look from all angles - front, back, and both sides. That way, you’ll be able to see how you look from all views, It’s important to keep notes and take pictures so you can both remember what worked especially if your consultation takes place months prior.
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down I left her long dark hair e paired it with a w d an e yl st e av w r ge n fi a in bring out to ow ad sh rk da e m so d an red lip her gorgeous green eyes
Before you hire a stylist you need to decide a few things:
Do you want her to come to you on your wedding day or would you rather go to the salon? Will she only do you hair or the bridal party’s as well? Do you want her to come and stay with you throughout the day to do touch-ups before the photo session and the ceremony?
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During your hair trial run, time how long it takes to get your mane perfect, then allow that amount of time plus a half an hour of leeway.
fresh-faced don’t wash your hair Show up
the day of! Your hair will be much easier to style and work with if it’s not being weighed down by product.
I went with a loose-braided headband and tucked & pinned hair at the nape of her neck. We chose a softer makeup with a pink lip and small flowers were added for an extra touch. saratogaTODAYnewspaper.com
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Wear a zip up or button down shirt so you’ll be ready to slip on your dress when your makeup is done and hair is in place. Make sure there are electrical outlets nearby for appliances like
hair dryers, curling irons, and electric rollers. If necessary, have an extension cord handy.
I curled her hair an Then pulled it o d pined it up underneath. ff to the side and left some longer loose pieces around her face
We went with a lighter makeup and added some delicate pink flowers to her curls.
Be open to your stylists suggestions. An up-do or shade of eyeshadow might look good on a particular person, but might not suit your features. An experienced stylist should be able to alter the look to fit you. Be open to try some different looks at your consultation, but you should choose a look that best suits you and your style...
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BEHIND The SCENES LOCATION
The Mansion Inn Saratoga
PHOTOGRAPHER Andrew Ranalli
DRESS SHOP Bride & Gown
HAIR Amanda Jackson MAKEUP Miranda Rose FLOWER DECOR AT THE MANSION INN The Posie Pedler MODELS Baileigh Padasak Diana Ktenas Josie Thomas Ranae Townsend
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Laura Palkovich of Lily Saratoga walks us through this year’s
Although some may think that wedding style does not change all that much from season to season, there are always noteworthy updates, new details and trends to take note of. Each designer showcases their own variation of what’s trending in the industry. Likewise, we always encourage brides to take on their own version of what’s trending. Your wedding gown should be an extension of your personality and sense of style. As Lauren Hutton once said, “Fashion is what you’re offered four times a year by designers. And style is what you choose.” There were many gorgeous trends that appeared on the bridal runway this past fall, though we’ve tallied up our favorites that are easy to incorporate into your wedding day vision...
it’s all about
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Bethany looked amazing in “Alex” by Modern Trousseau. The soft and romantic chantilly lace balances out the low-back and high-slit perfectly.
High Slits & Low Backs Brides today want to look just as good from the back as they do from the front, especially for that slow walk down the aisle. We’ve recently seen designers and brides more comfortable with the idea that a wedding gown could be slightly more seductive. Designers are adding in slits to transition traditional gowns into modern styles. Backs are low, some with a sheer illusion panel, peekaboo lace or just 100 percent bare.
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Designer Jenny Yoo is known for her feminine designs and nature-inspired color palettes as seen in this gorgeous watercolor bridal gown worn by our model Marissa.
Watercolors While soft, blush hues are still going strong for spring ‘16, a wash of pretty watercolors offer a more fashion forward yet ultrafeminine look. Whether done as intricate embroidery or seemingly painted onto fabric, bridal blooms are definitely trending. Just make sure your bouquet and accessories don’t overpower or clash with the dress! saratogaTODAYnewspaper.com
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Victorian Elements Kate Middleton started brides on the path toward a more demure and traditional look, however a high-neckline and long sleeves doesn’t necessarily mean you have to be totally conservative. We love seeing brides take two seemingly contradictory trends or styles and pairing them together. Our model, and Lily Saratoga Sales Consultant, Randee, looks amazing pairing a dramatic faux-hawk up-do with a traditional, highneck, long-sleeved gown by Augusta Jones.
Illusion Bodices Illusion necklines and backs have been popular in the bridal realm and are here to stay. These designs are romantic and intriguing, ranging from a bold tattoo-lace back to a delicate layer of lace. 42 | SARATOGA BRIDE | 2016
Short & Sweet Whether you’re looking for a dress that’s a little less formal, short and sexy or to channel your inner Audrey Hepburn, short dresses are a great option to consider. Tea-length dresses lend themselves to the bride who is all about looking glamorous and retro with a little bit of spunk. These dresses are not only great for brides opting for a low stress trip to city hall, but as an outfit change appropriate for dancing the night away.
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Randee’s overlay skirt by Jenny Yoo creates the perfect marriage between a princess-y ballgown and slimming sheath. Her sheer shrug is also the perfect accessory for a church ceremony.
Separates This trend throws the old adage “you can’t have your cake and eat it too” out the window. Separates, like embroidered lace jackets, overlay skirts or sheer capelets give brides amazing versatility and the option to switch looks effortlessly without having to pay for two dresses.
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Tiered Skirts These exaggerated cascades of layers create added movement and texture to any bridal gown. Tiers have been spotted on almost every silhouette, adding dimension to even the sleekest sheath.
Blush Toned Gowns A barely there pop of color is the perfect way to make you stand out at your wedding. Designers are creating traditional dresses in stunning shades of pink and rose, appealing to more than just the offbeat bride. The blush wedding gown is dreamy, feminine and undeniably bridal.
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3D-Floral Appliques The 3-D effect seen on the runways during fashion week has also carried over to the bridal world. Gown designers used ethereal and intricate three-dimensional blossoms to bring gowns to life. Dreamy florals or whimsical butterflies fluttering on layers of tulle also make romantic gowns look increasingly modern.
Suzie is pictured wearing “Vicki” by Augusta Jones, a beautiful tulle A-line gown with sequined floral appliqués sewn throughout.
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BEHIND The SCENES LOCATION
Sixty State Place
PHOTOGRAPHER Rob Spring Photography
DRESS SHOP Lily Saratoga
HAIR Laura McDonald of Blue Peregrine Salon MAKEUP Carina Scott Makeup FLORIST Dehn’s Flowers MODELS Marissa DeLappa Randee McArdle Suzie McDermott Bethany Slade
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WRITTEN BY MEGIN POTTER
PHOTOS BY TRACEY BUYCE PHOTOGRAPHY
the great spirit of an T
o know where we are going, we must acknowledge where we have been. The region’s newest wedding venue, Wedding Barn at Lakota’s Farm, is honoring traditions rooted in the past. Located on a 34-acre farm established more than 200 years ago and previously used to raise Buffalo… nestled in the rolling patchwork hills of Cambridge, N.Y., the expansive 150-year-old barn will be opening seasonally for weddings beginning this summer. “I understand the needs of my brides and I am creating an unforgettable experience for them,” said proprietor Kimberly Finney. In the week before Christmas, Kimberly and her sweetheart Alan Finney were the first to be wed in their own barn, with a Fall celebration to follow. Alan the love of her life, is the creative genius bringing her vision for the estate to life. Unique to this venue is that its operators are also the owners of Saratoga Horse and Carriage. Four of the nine horses on the property work in the carriage business helping to support the other five that are rescue horses. Horse drawn carriages, sleighs and the Cinderella Carriage are all available.
“This is our home, our farm, our dream,”
Something Bleu Wedding Dress A fluffy white raw cotton bouquet wrapped in leather lace ethereal but earthy saratogaTODAYnewspaper.com
she said. Marrying the beauty of rustic post-and-beam architecture with the elegance of romantic Victorian-style furnishings, the nearly 10,000 sq. foot space is accentuated by high ceilings and sparkling crystal chandeliers. In addition to the large reception and ceremony area, there is also the comfortable Cocktail Parlor, climatecontrolled Spa and Salon and the adjoining Bridal Suite. A handicap accessible ramp leads to a second level, with a connecting balcony flanked by an 18’x 18’ outdoor deck. The rental fee includes the usage of the facility and grounds, as well as a long list of practical services and decorative amenities for up to 200 guests. Parties are given the opportunity to arrive and begin preparations days in advance, alleviating the burdens of watching the clock and creating a relaxing atmosphere to enjoy their special celebrations. Future plans include the addition of split-rail fencing along the perimeter, stone patios, and a water feature. For more information, go to www.LakotasWeddingBarn.com 2016 | SARATOGA BRIDE | 49
CHAGA - Is a hard mushroom that grows in the northeast predominately on birch trees, is reported to have the highest amount of anti oxidants than any other substance to date. It can be served hot or cold as a tea and has a mild earthy flavor, one can add maple syrup or honey but we typically serve it just as is.
Unstructured ensemble of mixed ferns, acacia, white ginestra and thistle work in harmony with raw natural cotton and beautiful pheasant feathers.
These 2,000 yr. old+ arrowheads add an unexpected element to the beautiful table setting. Sam’s father-in-law’s private collection
The seating board is natural paper simply strapped in leather trim and accented with tail feathers.
The invitation wrap inspired by the Lakota Sioux, is handmade from soft buckskin with leather lacing closure and fastened with a vintage turquoise glazed button.
STAGHORN SUMAC “lemonade tree” High in vitamin c and has a similar taste to lemonade and a beautiful pink color. The Native American Indians used this and introduced it to us.
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WHITE PINE - Also high in vitamin c. Typically a pink color but I added honey from my bees which turned it to a more tan color. Also used by the Native American Indians.
Alana in “Cheyenne” by the Claire Pettibone Romantique collection. A jewel neckline with slightly cut-in shoulders is a chic silhouette that flows into a sheath. Allover lace skirt with a sheer button-detail back adds an element of romance. Styled with Lucchese boots and a delicate handmade leather halo. The 150 year old refurbished chaise was purchased by Kim from a dear friend (who did all the work!) The Buffalo hide was borrowed from the previous owner of the farm… Yes, he had been a resident.
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Woodland centerpieces take center stage on the farmhouse table by Rustic Robin. Silver vessels hold mixed and contrasting foliage, thistle, Spanish moss, cotton branches, ginestra and feathers; capturing the spirit of the Great Plains.
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Kim has been collecting Vintage china, goblets and silverware for as long as she can remember… Scooping up sets from all over New England
Elegant hellebores and rugged milkweed pods make for a unique bouquet
The 6’ tall x 6’ wide, 75 year old Crystal chandelier was purchased by Kim from a banquet facility in Connecticut that she remembers standing under as a little girl!
Earrings from Zuni “Authentic Native American Treasures” Boulder, CO.
Wood escort cards are the theme as the guests are guided to their seats with a natural wood escort card.
Our regal boy Conway is a Percheron, and at almost 20, he has been there, done that and is one of the original carriage horses from SH&C. saratogaTODAYnewspaper.com
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Fifteen-year-old Teton is a mischievous Belgian, the largest horse in the barn (who thinks he is a Chihuahua) was named after the Grand Teton Mountains and is one of our rescues.
Cailin is timeless wearing a threequarter sleeve soft stretch lace gown by Olvi’s “The Lace Collection” from the Netherlands, matched with a soft leather fringe hip wrap, for that “rustic” bride and earrings from Zuni, Boulder, CO.
All hats are from Double M Western Store
JD aka James Dean is a 10 year old Percheron, he is a majestic gentle soul, who loves to give kisses
All Jewelry from Zuni “Authentic Native American Treasures” Boulder, CO.
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Hair and makeup
Lakota, our farm’s namesake, is a Tweleve-year-old draft horse and despite his past, is the happiest most playful horse on the farm.
Soft stretch lace gown with unique deep illusion tulle neckline and long sleeves by Olvi’s “The Lace Collection” from the Netherlands. The neutral champagne color tone highlights the bold Zuni Boulder Colorado’s authentic Native American crafted turquoise pendant necklace and sterling silver/ turquoise Concho belt.
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“Watters” Antique lace cap sleeve bodice with illusion back and pearl buttons paired with flowing “Amora” tulle skirt by Willowby.
Six-year-old Othello (on the left) is a paint draft horse. He is gentle soul with the softest eyes and a full brother to Lakota, also a rescue, with Conway.
Tasha Polizzi coats
Tupit and Naga were rescued from Weil Coyote Siberian Husky & Large Breed Rescue in Richlands, North Carolina by their Dog Mama… Amanda Copeland 56 | SARATOGA BRIDE | 2016
BEHIND The SCENES LOCATION Wedding Barn at Lakota’s Farm
PHOTOGRAPHER Tracey Buyce Photography
DRESS SHOP Something Bleu Bridal
HAIR & MAKEUP Make Me Fabulous
FLORAL & EVENT STYLING Samantha Nass Floral Design FASHION STYLING Allison Badger Denise Eliopulos
CATERING Kim Klopstock Lily & The Rose
STATIONERY Paper Dolls of Saratoga
HATS Double M Western Store
FURNITURE RENTAL Rustic Robin Boutique Rentals MODELS Becky Kendall Alana Peterson Cailin Sanford–Rotkowitz Emily Densmore saratogaTODAYnewspaper.com
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SARATOGA RACE COURSE’S Inaugural Nuptials
WRITTEN BY MEGAN HARRINGTON PHOTOS BY TRACEY BUYCE PHOTOGRAPHY
ome brides are eager to DIY a pinterestworthy wedding, while others look to the pros when it comes to planning their dream day. For this busy bride, Patricia (Sutton) Thompson… the choice was easy.
The Saratoga region offers such a wealth of trusted and experienced wedding vendors that Patricia and her now husband, Andrew, decided to take full advantage. “Saratoga offers so much for a bride, I didn’t limit myself to only Saratoga/Capital District options, but I ended up using all local vendors because there were so many great options,” says Patricia.
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The histo it and th r y behind e of the ve uniqueness appealin nue was so g we want that we knew ed to be the the venue track.
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Born and raised in Saratoga and now a resident of Boston, Patricia had a lot of decisions to make when it came to wedding planning, but the location was never in question. “In our minds, Saratoga was always the perfect wedding destination,” she says. “My husband loves the area and our friends look forward to coming in for track season and other events.” Once the location was set, the next decisions revolved around the venue. The Sutton-Thompson wedding took place on June 20, 2015 and had the distinction of being the first nuptials to be held at the track. Patricia says, “When we started our venue search, we were first considering Fasig Tipton, but our caterers (Mazzone Catering & Hospitality) suggested the track and we just fell in love with the space after our walk through.” She continues, “The history behind it and the uniqueness of the venue was so appealing that we knew we wanted the venue to be the track.” The couple held a private ceremony for 12 people and then afterward hosted a joyous reception and party for 300 in the Travers Tent. Despite the long guest list, Patricia says space was never a concern. “The steel-framed tent was large and spacious, it held the group nicely, and it had a really big dance floor – a priority for us!” And although the wedding was technically outdoors, the comfort of their guests was always top of mind. Air conditioning was provided as well as conveniently located bathrooms and the track even supplied a bridal suite for Patricia. And the location offered something not available anywhere else in town - a bevy of unique photo ops. From the ceremony at the winner’s circle to poses in front of the iconic starting gate, the Sutton-Thompson wedding was unlike anything Saratoga had seen before. saratogaTODAYnewspaper.com
With a city, venue, and date booked, the couple still had plenty on their to-do list. And since they resided in Boston, they relied heavily on the expertise of local vendors. Of her vendors, Patricia says, “I really let them run with it, they were so creative.” She continues, “They were so great. I’d recommend them all, especially for brides who are busy and are looking to have some of the work taken off their plate.” Mazzone Catering and Hospitality provided all of the wedding food and Patricia attributes much of the wedding’s success to their hard work. “They’re so professional and good at what they do, I put so much trust in them.” She continues, “Everything they do is top to bottom perfection. Contracts were very detailed and working with them was so easy for the bride and groom.” The couple began their reception with a passed hors d’oeuvres cocktail hour and then held a seated dinner with various food stations. “Our goal for the day was for our friends and family to be there and to have great food and music,” says Patricia. Feeding their guests well was a top priority for the couple and Mazzone truly shined in this respect. As any bride will tell you, planning a wedding is often a family affair and in this case, Mother of the Bride, Amy Sutton, helped execute the perfect day. When it came to transforming the Travers Tent, Amy looked to an event professional for help. “Michael Panza was one of my first calls, I’ve known him for over 30 years,” she says. “It was such a big tent, such a massive undertaking that I really needed his help,” Amy continues. “Patricia had a few general ideas (e.g. lots of lights, farm tables) and Michael Panza was able to take just a few of those ideas and truly create a vision for the day,” she says. Patricia agrees, “He’s the best of the best in Saratoga, he did such a fantastic job 2016 | SARATOGA BRIDE | 61
and transformed that tent into a whole other world.” The couple decided to embrace the racetrack theme and Patricia says it was a blast to play around with. From the post parade program seating chart to the tables named after famous horses (like American Pharoah!), Patricia says, “It was such an exciting year to have a wedding at the track.” The vendors’ expertise often extended beyond their own work and Patricia and Amy both credit Michael Panza for bringing in the talented owner of Surroundings Floral, On Thai. The florist created a stunning scene inside the tent with lots of hanging lights and plenty of pink and white flowers. Patricia says, “It was a very delicate setting with soft lighting.” She continues, “On Thai is an expert at what he does, he’s very creative and imaginative. I gave him a few basic outlines and he truly transformed the tent.” For her wedding day look, Patricia’s classic white gown with lace cap sleeves was not only gorgeous, but local as well. Patricia found the perfect dress at Lily of Saratoga. “They were great to work with,” she says. “When it came to dress shopping, my first stops were shops in town.” The mother of the bride was also delighted to find quality options nearby. “We were thrilled to be able to find a dress locally,” Amy says. “Patricia only tried on a few dresses, but found one right away and luckily there’s even a seamstress right next door to Lily’s,” she continues. To complete the look, Hair Creations provided Patricia’s hair styling. An in addition to their great work, they also provided priceless convenience. “They came right to my house to do my hair, which was high on my list of priorities,” she says. When it came to her wedding day, Patricia didn’t want any unexpected stress or surprises. She says, “All of our vendors we had either worked with before or had great reputations. I think it’s important on such a busy and important day to have vendors you’re comfortable with.”
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Something many brides don’t think about until they are in the midst of wedding planning is their stationery suite. Not too long ago, the only choices couples had when it came to invitations were white or cream, engraved or not. Fortunately, times have changed and invitations, RSVP cards, programs, and place cards can now be just as unique as the couple. Patricia and Andrew utilized the expertise of Advantage Press and their stationery truly embraced the Saratoga theme. The invitation featured a hand-drawn image of the racetrack and a reproduction of the iconic post parade program served as the seating chart. These details surely made their wedding guests’ “day at the track” memorable. And when it came to accommodations for out-of-town guests, downtown Saratoga offered numerous options. Amy says, “We reserved rooms at three local hotels; the Marriott, the Holiday Inn, and the Hampton Inn. And to give guests a taste of the area, we put together Saratogathemed welcome bags.” From Saratoga sparkling water to the iconic Saratoga chips, the Sutton-Thompson wedding was a local wedding through and through. To shuttle guests to and from hotels, the bride and groom utilized the Giddy Up Bus Company. Coincidently, the purple Giddy Up bus happened to match the school colors of College of the Holy Cross, the couple’s alma mater. And finally, to perfectly capture every detail of this special day, the couple hired a dear family friend. Tracey Buyce snapped all of the day’s photographs while award-winning videographer, Derek Hallquist, captured the wedding on film. From unique details to hometown charm, it’s safe to say the Sutton-Thompson wedding was one of Saratoga’s events of the year. And the family credits the area’s hardworking and talented vendors for the day’s success. “The vendors were really the key to simplifying the wedding,” Amy says. “It went so well because we were lucky enough to line up the people we wanted to use.”
PHOTOS: Tracey Buyce photography (traceybuyce.com) VIDEOGRAPHER: Derek Hallquist of Green River Pictures (grpny.com) CATERING: Mazzone Catering & Hospitality (mazzonecatering.com) DÉCOR: Michael Panza Events (fineaffairs.com/about) FLOWERS: Surroundings Floral (surroundingsfloral.com) DRESS: Lily of Saratoga (lilysaratoga.com) HAIR: Hair Creations (haircreationssalon.com/wpc2) MAKEUP: Spa Cascada (spacascada.com) INVITATIONS, PROGRAMS, MISCELLANEOUS STATIONARY: Advantage Press (advpress.com) TRANSPORTATION: The Giddy Up Bus (giddyupbus.com) MO-TOWN BAND: Total Soul (totalsoul.com) 64 | SARATOGA BRIDE | 2016
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WRITTEN BY CARRIE ROWLANDS JOHNSON PHOTOS BY ALICE COREY
op!” Geoffrey Plummer pulls back the tab on his can of Labatt and hands it to the beautiful woman sitting across from him. They are seated at a table for two in the courtyard at Prime at Saratoga National, he in his pinstripe seersucker suit and she wearing a stunning, white strapless gown. All eyes are on the couple as he then reaches back into the collapsable yellow cooler and pulls out another can, this one identical to the first. “Pop!” This time, he grasps the can tightly in his fingers and raises it into the air. “Clink!” his Labatt meets hers as they toast for the very first time as husband and wife. A wave of applause erupts from the crowd surrounding them— 150 guests from across the country, invited to celebrate in the finest Saratoga fashion. Labatt still in hand, the couple abandons their table, initiating their first dance— their first public duty as the newly-named Mr. and Mrs. Geoffrey and Gillian Plummer. Arm in arm, they balance beer cans in their right hands and their partners in their left. Memories dance inside their heads as their bodies dance to their own special theme song— Jason Aldean’s “Dirt Road Anthem.” That this classy, urban couple chose beer cans and country music to represent them at this posh Saratoga venue, more than 150 miles from their home in Connecticut, may appear an anomaly to a casual acquaintance or anonymous spectator. But most guests recognize its significance as another chapter in the tale that is Gillian and Geoff— their wedding day a nostalgic string of special moments from their own history as a dating couple, much of it steeped right here in our very own Saratoga.
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...a nosta of specia lgic string from the l moments a dating ir own histor y as c it steeped ouple, much of our ver y right here in own Sara toga.
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Their story starts five years before wedding day, on a cold January afternoon, Gillian Maffeo wading through troubled thoughts during a soulsearching walk along Sasco beach in Fairfield, Connecticut. Not another soul shared this sandy space, with the exception of one single man and his dog. Gillian paused the troubled thoughts racing through her brain as she and Geoff became fast friends. He nursed her through a devastating breakup, sharing words of comfort and laughs over drinks as their passion for horses further fused their bond. Five months after their first meeting, their friendship destined for so much more, they upgraded to coupledom.
What started as a long weekend with Geoff ’s college buddies soon morphed into the couple’s very own Saratoga tradition— traveling to this fine city every weekend of the meet, grabbing subs at Roma’s or brunching at Saratoga National, running to the Race Track to reserve a table in the picnic area, visiting The Paddock, playing their ponies, then wandering over to their friend’s bar, King’s Tavern. Some nights they’d hit a restaurant on Broadway, some evenings ended on Caroline Street. Every visit further romanced their attraction to the racing capital of their world, and the world they were creating together.
Soon after they started dating, Geoff surprised Gillian with an 8-hour car ride to St. Lawrence University in New York, to visit Mercedes, one of her former and favorite horses. She was ecstatic. Her horses are her world, and that Geoff shares this further cemented his part in it. Somewhere along the drive back home, they found themselves on a dirt road. Geoff pulled out a collapsible yellow cooler and handed Gillian a Labatt— that simple gesture starting the tradition now being shared with guests at their wedding— toasting every special occasion with cans of Labatt’s Blue. They laughed and drank and sang to the music blasting from the car stereo, the most memorable and significant being the very same “Dirt Road Anthem” they now play for guests.
With three years of racing seasons behind them, Geoff ensured they’d never spend another apart. Taking Gillian back to the very same beach where they met, he asked her to be his bride.
That summer, Geoff introduced Gillian to what would become the grand theme of their wedding day, if not their lives— this precious city of Saratoga, and the phenomenon that is the time-honored horse racing season. The horses, the fashion, the restaurants, the beauty, the fun— his Connecticut beauty was hooked. saratogaTODAYnewspaper.com
Gillian, a marketing whiz and Vice President with Jake’s Franchising, took on the project of her life when she went to work designing and planning her own destination wedding, branding it with the Saratoga stamp. From Connecticut, she coordinated and planned an entire wedding right here in Saratoga, carefully recreating memories she and Geoff had shared on their visits here over the past five years. From the bottles of the horse-themed 14 Hands Wine, to tables tediously named after famous race horses, to place cards for each guest imprinted with jockey silks matching the horse at their table, to personalized wedding coozies, to tickets for entering the grandstand at the Saratoga Race Course, the 29-year old crafted and tended to every last detail, ensuring her guests would enjoy the ultimate Saratoga experience.
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Because she was planning from more than 150-miles away, Gillian relied on the help of friends she’d met in Saratoga, the internet, and countless phone conversations. She turned to a good friend and owner of Jovi’s Family Kitchens, Austin Bayliss, for a variety of scrumptious cupcakes. The flowers were ordered from Dehn’s Flowers and Greenhouses on Beekman Street in Saratoga. The trademark blue Saratoga Water bottles were stacked in every nook and cranny. Fresh Market was an easy choice for the trackside goodies, as Gillian says she is “slightly obsessed” with our local healthy market. Guests and the entire wedding party traveled in from all over the country to share in the couple’s momentous occasion, many of whom had never before stepped foot in our dear city of Saratoga. Gillian, Geoff and the wedding party drove in from Connecticut for their rehearsal dinner at City Tavern, partying into the night. They hopped around from bar to bar on Caroline street, reliving one last scene from their dating life. On wedding day, Gillian and her six bridesmaids, all wearing matching rompers gifted by Gillian herself, gather upstairs at Saratoga National. While she dresses and primps, guests staying at a hotel in Clifton Park board the “GiddyUp Bus,” a bright purple party bus— its arrival one of the first clues to friends and family, this could very well be the most memorable of weddings. At first glance, it is everything you would expect from an event at Saratoga National—
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elegantly-dressed guests laughing with one another as they file into the oversized wedding-white tent sitting just off the immaculately manicured golf greens. As the crowd patiently waits for their hosts, they are serenaded by the talented and popular local musician Richie Ortiz. It is everything you would expect from a ceremony at Saratoga National— guests abandon their chairs, stand and turn as a gorgeous pair of toddler-sized flower girls, one the couple’s sweet 18-month old Savannah, are pulled down the aisle in a green John Deere wagon. A line of bridesmaids follow, tastefully dressed in mint and pink and accented in gold. Tears are brushed from cheeks as the breathtaking bride, wearing a classy but sexy Maggie Sottero gown, gracefully makes her final stroll as a single woman, taking her mate’s hand as she meets him at the front of the makeshift church. The ceremony is beautiful and touching, highlighted by a reading from the Saratoga-themed movie, Secretariat and words of wisdom on maintaining a happy marriage from the Bible’s book of Ephesians chapter four. The couple seals their vows with the traditional kiss and they walk down the aisle hand-in-hand as the newly pronounced Mr. and Mrs. Geoff and Gillian Plummer. Afterward well-trained waitstaff serve gourmet appetizers to guests outside, some mingling on the patio and others in the courtyard overlooking the pristine infinity pool, champagne flowing into their glasses
and an open bar at their ready. Below, the bride and groom wander through the premiere 18-hole golf course in search of the perfect photos, stopping to dance on the golf cart path leading to the back nine, waving to golfers who weren’t the least bit concerned that their game was momentarily interrupted by the joyful new couple and stunning entourage. It is everything you would expect from a wedding reception at the upscale restaurant Prime at Saratoga National… Until… the handsome groom reaches under the elegantly-decorated tablefor-two at the center of the courtyard and pulls out… a beer cooler. It is the zip-top kind, crafted of yellow vinyl, the perfect size for a six-pack of beer— the very same cooler he had packed on their date to St. Lawrence University five years ago. And then the real party starts— the party that is Gillian and Geoff. The party that is solely the work of the branding machine that is Gillian Maffeo Plummer. All previously conceived notions anyone had about what kind of wedding this would be were tossed with carefree abandon into the glorious Saratoga summer day. Standing off to the side, this reporter taps notes into a cell phone, as Saratoga BRIDE photographer Alice Corey digitally captures these delicious Saratoga moments. The bride and marketing wiz herself had called Saratoga BRIDE editor Chris Bushee with the invitation, realizing this destination wedding just might be fanciful and unique enough to warrant a 6 page spread in the yearly bridal edition. The newly proclaimed husband and wife retreat to their table for two, appropriately named Mercedes, after Gillian’s precious horse, decorated with a statue of a black stallion and highlighted with real horse shoes. “Dirt Road Anthem” fades away. A guest calls out, “I just checked Facebook and Gillian updated her status, so it is official— Mr. and Mrs. Plummer!” Drinks flow as inspiring, heart-touching speeches accompany memorable toasts. Delicious meals are consumed. Decadent cupcakes disappear. Soon, the Giddy-Up Bus is back, continuing the journey through Saratoga, moving the party to a private area at The Saratoga Race Course, right up front along the rail— the only sensible place for spectators here. Guests reach deep into bags gifted by the new couple, pull out two-dollar vouchers, and head to the betting windows- some for their very first time. The bride is having the time of her life, cashing in on a year’s worth of tedious planning from afar. Ever the marketing saratogaTODAYnewspaper.com
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guru, she stops for a brief interview with a local radio station, pitching her latest project— the MaffeoPlummer wedding. The seventh race is one for the photo album, named in honor of the newlyweds. As the first-place horse crosses the finish line, the pair head to the Winner’s Circle. The winning jockey joins them and after an assortment of photos, hands Gillian what could possibly be the best wedding gift ever— his goggles. Mud-caked, dirty and sweaty as they are, she beams as she slides them over her wedding hair, onto her wedding-ready, flawless face. They are the perfect contrast to her white, beaming, sparkliness— a symbol of everything that is today. Geoff and Gillian join hands for a dance on this mostprecious piece of real estate, gifted with one of the most familiar sounds at the track, the sweet melodies of “Sam the Bugler.” Notes from The Wedding March and When I Fall in Love flow from his trumpet, smooth and cool and in perfect Saratoga fashion. In keeping with the after-track Saratoga tradition that is Geoff ’s and Gillian’s, guests accompany the new couple to the nearby King’s Tavern for dancing, drinks, and a casual after-track meal. The decision to end the night here was easy, and so was the planning, thanks to their friendship with the bar’s owner. As they board the Giddy-Up Bus back to their hotel, heads spin as family and friends try to grasp all that is Gillian and Geoff. Preconceived notions about this quaint little upstate horse racing town have been dismissed, replaced with a yearning to visit again soon, perhaps this very summer. The newlypronounced Mr. and Mrs. Geoff Plummer now more in love with our fabulous little city than they had ever thought possible. Destination wedding to Saratoga Springs, New York:
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Tracey Buyce Photography
B r i l d a es e R STARTS HERE!
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& y e Paul l h s A
LINCOLN BATHS & ONE CAROLINE
PHOTOS BY STEPHEN WHITING OF ROB SPRING PHOTOGRAPHY
ur story is not as linear as most. We have been through times, we went in different directions but in the end we came back to each other. We both grew up in Saratoga Springs and graduated SSHS in ‘02.
We were friends through high school but never dated and never had any flirtations as we both were dating other people. After graduation I pursued my bachelor’s degree at SUNY Plattsburgh while Paul went on an adventurous path moving to Alaska and spending his summers traveling through Thailand and Europe. We kept in touch and saw each other randomly when we were both back in Saratoga. One summer after a bbq in the state park we ran into each other and couldn’t be happier to see each other. I had just come back from spending some time in California and Paul was just returning from Alaska. That summer we both had the luxury of being unemployed, living off our savings. We spent every second together, getting to know each other again as the people we had grown into over the years and started dating; all the while knowing that we were both leaving town again in the fall. I was in upstate New York while Paul returned to Alaska. We spent the next few years in and out of our relationship following our own paths loving each other from afar. 4 years ago after we decided to settle down in Saratoga, plant our roots and go in the same direction, planning our adventures together.
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Lincoln Baths & One Caroline
PHOTOGRAPHER Stephen Whiting of Rob Spring Photography
WEDDING GOWN Sue Wong from Something Bleu Bridal
BRIDESMAID’S DRESSES Dresses of their choice
MEN’S ATTIRE Jos A. Bank
HAIR & MAKEUP
James Joseph owner of Epiphany Hair Salon
Gretchen Schrade-Squires owner of The Posie Peddler
One Caroline Street Bistro
Kelly Rice of The Bread Basket
ENTERTAINMENT The Rodeo Barons played at our reception and Spa City Duo played for our ceremony
Skipped many traditions and just had a big party
Cookies and hot chocolate at the ceremony for our guest when they arrived. Intamite wedding of 50 people and at 9 pm invited many more friends to come to One Caroline for drinks, dessert and dancing
ADVICE FOR OTHERS
When it comes to wedding planning have fun and plan a wedding you would like to go to. Think outside the box, do what you think is right for you, and don’t take anything too seriously. When it comes to marriage, be true to who you are as a couple and as individuals. Don’t worry about what anyone else thinks and keep it simple saratogaTODAYnewspaper.com
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Lisa & Brent THE FERN LODGE
PHOTOS BY SUSAN BLACKBURN
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e are from Simcoe, a small town in southern Ontario, Canada. We are a blended family with a combined total of seven children. Our children range in age from 16 to 28 years. After five years together we decided to marry.
We chose to elope to eliminate the stress that often comes with planning a traditional wedding. Even though we did choose to elope, we were still able to make it a very memorable day. This also allowed us to spend more time with each other and enjoy every moment together. We spent some time looking at different places, and we found the Adirondacks to be very beautiful. We loved the idea of getting married in the mountains, so it was the perfect place. The idea of getting married in the winter with lots of snow seemed very appealing to us. In our minds it was a break from the traditional summertime wedding. Inspired with the help of Pinterest, we were able to come up with lots of ideas to make our day special... We decorated a small box for our rings, we made booklets to hold our vows that we had written together, we found Canadian pennies with the years we were born, and we created a sign announcing that we had eloped. The photo of us and the sign was sent to our family and friends to share our happy news. One of our greatest memories was our sleigh ride in the back woods of ‘Circle “B” Ranch’. We had a great view of the mountains in the background. We ended our day with a romantic dinner at “Friends Lake Inn”. We want to thank everyone that worked together with us to create this perfect day. This made our day very relaxing ...and fun! We were shocked and thrilled to be part of this magazine, maybe our story will inspire someone else to elope. We highly recommend it!
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LOCATION The Fern Lodge
PHOTOGRAPHER Susan Blackburn Blackburn Portrait Design
WEDDING GOWN David’s Bridal
Tip Top Tailors Brantford, Ontario, Canada
Patricia Seitz McAlonen Adirondack Arrangments
The Fern Lodge
The Royal Suites Turquesa by Palladium, Dominican Republic
Eloping is stessfree… everything went well!
HAIR & MAKEUP
Jenn Walsh- Timeless Updos
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h & t e b K a y z i le l E
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THE WATERS EDGE LIGHTHOUSE PHOTOS BY CAITLIN MILLER
yle and I were high school sweethearts; we started dating our senior year of high school and got married on our 11 year anniversary. Our first dance to Edwin McCain’s “I’ll Be” was the first song we danced to back in 2004 at our Homecoming. Since our first date in high school we’ve been inseparable and truly are best friends. The most magical day of my life (besides our wedding day of course!) was the day Kyle proposed. I was certainly surprised when he led me up to the tennis courts of his family’s favorite resort to find hundreds of candles guiding me down a twinkly path to a spectacular ring and the next chapter of our love story. While planning the wedding we wanted to incorporate a lot of candles to continue the twinkly mood set by Kyle during the proposal. We used candles to line the aisle as well as for the centerpieces. As a creative person (an artist and art teacher) I wanted to incorporate as many handmade, personal touches as possible; including miniature paintings as favors, a watercolor cake, watercolor table numbers as well as other artistic décor throughout. Our wedding was amazing! We chose a unique spot near water and we danced, sang and laughed the night away making beautiful memories with our closest family and friends. We are currently living our happily ever after in our charming new home with our lovable puppy, Ramsey.
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LOCATION The Waters Edge Lighthouse
WEDDING GOWN David’s Bridal Signature Collection
Bhldn, Boden, Bride and Gown, “Laundry” by Shelli Segal
MEN’S ATTIRE Mens Warehouse
Sublime Hair Studio
True Grace Makeup
FLOWERS Aleta Lyons
TRANSPORTATION Premier Transportation
The Waters Edge Lighthouse
ENTERTAINMENT DJ Karaoke Craig
“I’ll Be” by Edwin McCain
Kyle’s Grandmother was Flower “Girl,” Elizabeth’s Cousin, Leah Snyder, was Elizabeth’s “Something Blue” (wore blue dress), Leah is also a graphic designer so she helped create all of the print-work for the wedding, Elizabeth created miniature paintings for the guests as favors (Elizabeth is an artist/art teacher so there were a lot of artistic watercolor touches), One of the readings was “I See the Light” lyrics from our favorite Disney movie “Tangled”, Officiant was Elizabeth’s best friend’s father, Kenneth Bunzey, who watched us both grow up, released water lanterns (another touch from “Tangled”)
HONEYMOON Maui, Hawaii
ADVICE FOR OTHERS
Consider extending the reception an hour, it goes by so quick! Also if you weren’t already planning to do this, consider a receiving line after the vows, you’ll get to see each of your guests then and there which will leave more time at the reception for eating and dancing! Maybe try a photobooth? We used SmileLounge and we were so glad we did! They were awesome and nearly every guest used it, it’s great for people who don’t necessarily dance, they’ll have something fun to do as well. Everyone goes home with a picture which also doubles as a favor. Lastly, try to add as many personal touches and include as many family members in the big day as possible, you and your guests will feel even more special if the wedding speaks to your unique personalities and interests (see “special touches” for ours).
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& T i m y e o l t h h y s A
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NATIONAL MUSEUM OF DANCE PHOTOS BY TRACEY BUYCE
imothy Tyler and I were high school sweethearts. We dated for 11 years before getting married. Instead of jumping into marriage we wanted to establish our careers. Tim is a Real-Estate Agent with Inglenook Reality and I the owner of Jumper Bean Daycare in Ballston Spa. Tim and I knew we would get married one day, we just didn’t know when. The morning of Sunday June 22nd 2014 Tim popped the question in the comfort of our home and of course I said yes! We set the date for September 12th 2015 at the National Museum of Dance. Even though Tim and I dated for 11 years, the wedding day still gave me butterflies. I was about to marry my best friend. The bridesmaids and I got ready at our home in Ballston Spa. I wore a white corset gown by Essence of Australia, Augusta Jones veil with hand-sewn crystals and Bagley Mischka heals. I held a handmade, fabric and beaded bouquet with large broaches. Meanwhile, Tim and the groomsmen were getting ready in Saratoga and heading to Yaddo Gardens for first look photos. Our first look was captured so perfectly by Tracey Buyce. When I approached Tim his back was turned. I tapped him on the shoulder, he turned around and we gasped. Tears rolled down both of our faces. There is no moment like the first time you see each other. I will remember this truly amazing moment for the rest of my life. The day was picture perfect!
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Details LOCATION National Museum of Dance
PHOTOGRAPHER Tracey Buyce
WEDDING GOWN Essence of Australia - Lily Saratoga Veil - Augusta Jones
BRIDESMAID’S DRESSES Jenny Yoo
MEN’S ATTIRE Tuxego
HAIR & MAKEUP
Alayne Curtiss - Make Me Fabulous
Erin McKee - Wedding Planning Plus
Balet Flowers and Design
TRANSPORTATION Advantage Transit Group
CATERER & CAKE
Kim Klopstock - Lily and the Rose
ENTERTAINMENT DJ Lee Waddell
“These are the Moments” by Edwin McCain
HONEYMOON St. Lucia
ADVICE FOR OTHERS
Don’t sweat the little things. Your day is going to be perfect no matter if something is forgotten or off center. Its about you and your Fiance and you can laugh about the fine details later on
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HISTORICAL BARNS OF NIPMOOSE PHOTOS BY BRIAN HAYNES PHOTOGRAPHY
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aron and I were both raised in Greenwich, NY. Throughout our Elementary and High school years, we were friends and luckily our friendship strengthened during our college years and we began dating.
As a couple we love skiing, hiking and exploring the outdoors. It was a gorgeous sunny autumn afternoon when Aaron proposed to me at a special look out on Willard Mountain. When we started our wedding planning, we knew the venue had to have the theme of our love of nature. Originally, our eyes were set on a wedding in Vermont because of our love of the Green Mountains, but when we saw the Historical Barns of Nipmoose we completely fell in love. The Historical Barns of Nipmoose was the beautiful, natural, classy and simple wedding venue that we were looking for our August wedding. Our favorite part of the venue was the view. The view immediately spoke to us because it is of Willard Mountain (the place where our love began!).We consider ourselves very lucky to have had our special and beautiful wedding at the Historical Barns of Nipmoose. Our wedding was a dream come true!
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Historical Barns of Nipmoose Married at St. Joseph’s Church
ENTERTAINMENT Coolcat Entertainment
“Give It All We Got Tonight” by George Strait
The venue has a team of people that make your dreams come true!
PHOTOGRAPHER Brian Haynes Photography
Flower arrangements were made bride’s mother and cousins. Tables were not numbered, used favorite ski mountains for names on dinner tables. In the church, they said vows on a hooked rug made by bride’s mother.
David Tutera at Bridal Gallery by Yvonne
Moody Beach, Moody Maine
Jasmine Belsoie at Bridal Gallery by Yvonne
Enjoy this magical moment of your life! The hours of planning are totally worth that one special day! On your wedding day, become mindful of the moment because it will be the best day of your life.
FLOWER GIRL’S DRESS David’s Bridal
MEN’S ATTIRE Jonathan Reid
FLOWERS North Country Flowers (Greenwich, NY: Flowers for the bride and bridal party) and Windflower Farm (Easton, NY: Organic farm that grew my flowers for my center pieces and details at the Barns)
TRANSPORTATION A Touch of Class Limos
CATERER Panza Restaurant
CAKE Beth Anthony of Cupcakes
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iK rsten & Frsnk SARATOGA POLO ASSOCIATION PHOTOS BY NIKI ROSSI
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eeting at a party at the Race Track, Frank and I knew it was the start of our adventure. Since then, our lives have been filled with Saratoga favorites such as summer mornings with Starbucks while watching the horses train at the Oklahoma Track, feeding them carrots or walks downtown with our pups. We knew it was only right to incorporate all our favorites into the big day! We filled the weekend with fun to create the perfect experience! Some of our 75 closest guests joined us for tailgating at a polo game the night before the wedding complete with subs, snacks, drinks & a corn hole game! Everyone had a blast! Since the Race Track has such meaning to us, we did our first look with our bridal party there before the ceremony. The grass was bright green and the morning storms cleared out to create the most perfect bluebird backdrop. But nothing was more beautiful than the secluded country setting of the Polo Association for the ceremony and reception. It was casual, yet classy and fit our sporty personalities perfectly. The boys wore khakis with navy blazers and boat shoes, the girls in navy dresses with wedges. The venue was filled with navy, white and a hint of yellow! Even making a guest appearance was a polo horse at cocktail hour! Our guests took home good luck horseshoes and danced the night away to the band Gravity with an after party following at our favorite bar, The Seven Horse.
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Saratoga Polo Association
Premier Transportation and Enterprise Rental
Edge Forward Design
Make Me a Cake Next Door
WEDDING GOWN & BRIDESMAID’S DRESSES
MEN’S ATTIRE Men’s Warehouse
HAIR & MAKEUP Lipstick N Lashes
FLOWERS Posie Peddler
“I don’t dance” by Lee Brice
HONEYMOON Sandals St. Lucia
Your wedding is your special day. Relax and just have fun, laugh, smile and enjoy every minute as it goes by so fast. Take 5 minutes during the reception and sit down with your significant other. Don’t talk, just watch your family and friends interact and it is one of the best scenes you’ll ever see!
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THE SAGAMORE RESORT PHOTOS BY TOM WALL PHOTOGRAPHY
& y r B o l r l ent a M
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fter dating for 9 years, this wedding was a long time coming!
Since Brent and Mal are originally from Buffalo, New York, the Sagamore was a destination wedding for most of their guests. Friends and family played a huge role in creating this special day… Which was held in one (fantastic!) location for everyone’s convenience. In thanking the guests for making the long journey, they decided to invite everyone to a “meet and greet” Casino themed rehearsal party …with prizes! Upon arrival, guests were handed a fan program and a colorful beach ball. Instead of throwing the traditional rice, their guests threw beach balls in celebration of their marriage! This wedding was not just showing the love between a new husband and wife, but also the love a father has for his daughter. The bride’s father was a huge part of every single detail. He wanted to make his “little girl” proud by going above and beyond. The wedding invitations were custom made with his drawing and sent in boxes to all the guests. The Bride’s father also built the piers and alter for the ceremony, which was held lakeside. He spent hours planning, sketching and brainstorming ideas… This amazing, dream wedding could not have happened without his love and support.
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The Sagamore Resort
EVENT DECORATOR Fine Affairs
PHOTOGRAPHER Tom Wall Photography
WEDDING GOWN Enzoani - Ferri Formals & Ashley Lauren (designer/Friend of Bride)
BRIDESMAID’S DRESSES Coral dresses of their choice
MEN’S ATTIRE Tuxego
The Sagamore Resort
Leslie McConn (Bridesmaid)
WEDDING PLANNER Father of the Bride
Gary and Margaret Ashe (parents of the bride)
CATERER & CAKE The Sagamore Resort
ENTERTAINMENT Andy Pratt
“Take my Breath Away” by Berlin
Nautical Theme, lakeside, rose petals and beach balls
ADVICE FOR OTHERS
Don’t stress and enjoy the day. Pay attention to detail and allow others to help
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SARATOGA ELKS LODGE PHOTOS BY DEB GERBER
Kate & Nick
aratoga Springs has been my family’s home since the 1800’s. Many of us have moved away due to the military and other obligations, but it’s always been the one place we could come back to. My husband and I knew we wanted a destination wedding in Saratoga Springs so that both our families could get together-from all over the world (Italy, Japan, and the continental US) and experience the magic we have always felt in Saratoga. Our story is kind of unusual. Nick and I met while he was living overseas for the Navy and I was finishing my bachelor’s degree (my father was stationed in Italy, I basically group up there.) We actually met at an American Bowling alley on base in Naples Italy through mutual friends. We hung out in groups a couple of times, but when Nick finally did ask me out on a real date I knew I was hooked --and apparently so was he! You see, Nick had just recently arrived in Italy and was still living on base so he didn’t need his own car. I was living with my family at the time so he assumed I had a car, but I did not. I was waiting on him to pick me up for our date, unbeknownst to me he was waiting for me to get him! When we realized what had happened I thought that was his way of getting out of going on a date with me and I was pretty upset. When he called the next day I almost didn’t answer, but something made me pick up the phone. Come to find out, Nick went to work that night and offered to buy a car from a guy he knew with cash on the condition he could start using it the next day! He called me that next day and we proceeded to have a crazy first date that involved me getting us lost in downtown Naples and him getting a crash course in how to drive like an Italian. Thankfully, we’ve been able to laugh and find the good in everything life has thrown at us since that first date. We have been together for just about 6 years and throughout that time we’ve been able to travel and have some amazing experiences throughout Europe and the US. Our jobs keep us busy, and our schedules don’t often make it easy but we try to have everyday adventures with our two dogs and our cat where we currently live in Virginia Beach. While planning the wedding, my grandmother was in Saratoga and was able to help me. Kelsey from the Saratoga Winery was also a huge help! We had the rehearsal dinner there and she helped me get in touch with everyone I needed to be in contact with.
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Saratoga Elks Lodge
Couture, from Mary’ Bridal Boutique Annapolis, MD
Price Chopper Macarons from T.C. Paris Patisserie
BRIDESMAID’S DRESSES David’s Bridal
MEN’S ATTIRE Tommy Hilfiger from Macy’s
ENTERTAINMENT DJ Patti Reynolds
“Make You Feel My Love” by Adele
Classical Concepts Salon and Spa
ADVICE FOR OTHERS
Take your time, don’t rush things and experience every moment.
True Grace Makeup
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YADDO GARDENS, SAINT CLEMENT’S CHURCH, CANFIELD CASINO PHOTOS BY HEATHER BOHM-TALLMAN PHOTOGRAPHY
& e i n Justin a h p e tS
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t was a snowy night in early 2013 when Justin and I first met. Our first meeting, at the Henry Street Taproom, was arranged by one of our mutual friends, who “knew we would hit it off,” with the help of my “perpetually late” best friend, who would later become my maid of honor. We chatted all evening and by the end of the night I was more than ready to agree to see him again. When it came time for our first real date, though, I had to cancel because of my “busy schedule”. Luckily, Justin was persistent and now it’s impossible to imagine my life without him (no matter how “busy” I get). Our relationship blossomed quickly and in July of 2014 an ordinary Saturday at the Saratoga Race Course became the day we got engaged. Leaving the track early to beat the crowds and make it home for a joint-family cookout, Justin made us stop at the top of the Whitney viewing stand, where he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. It was a moment of serendipity, because at that same instant a horse was running named “The Lady Says Yes” and I did. My future and our lives together are only possible because Justin wouldn’t let me skip out on our first date. With our mutual love for Saratoga Springs, family, friends, our dog Sadie, and each other, life is always an adventure with Justin. I am so lucky to be married to my best friend.
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Yaddo Gardens (first look), Saint Clement’s Church (ceremony), Canfield Casino (reception)
VIDEOGRAPHER Bigler Productions
PHOTOGRAPHER Heather Bohm-Tallman Photography
WEDDING GOWN Bride’s mother’s wedding gown, transformed by WillFitUIn
BRIDESMAID’S DRESSES Donna Morgan
MEN’S ATTIRE Men’s Warehouse
HAIR & MAKEUP Make Me Fabulous
PET CARE Unleashed Canine Care
FLOWERS Simply Sidney
TRANSPORTATION Horsin’ Around Trolleys
CATERER & CAKE Mazzone Hospitality
ENTERTAINMENT Metro Music, DJ
“Our Love Is Here To Stay” by Frank Sinatra
Life size horse from Fine Affairs with customized Jockey Blanket
ADVICE FOR OTHERS
Enjoy every moment and don’t sweat the small stuff!
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& e n i Sean l o r a C 110 | SARATOGA BRIDE | 2016
THE INN AT ERLOWEST
PHOTOS BY ROB SPRING PHOTOGRAPHY
ean is from Marysville, OH and I am from Coxsackie, NY. We met at the University of Dayton during our freshmen year, but didn’t begin dating until our junior year. After graduation, I moved back to NY and Sean started working for his family’s hardware store in Marysville. We survived a couple years of long distance with many lengthy 10 hour drives back and forth before I finally made the move back to Ohio! Sean proposed in September 2014 at a Notre Dame Football weekend where we celebrated with friends and family. Immediately thereafter, we started planning a summer wedding on Lake George, a place where I spent every summer growing up, visiting my grandparents and now where my parents call home. Wedding planning from afar was sometimes tough, but luckily we had a lot of help from my parents and it became a great excuse to make many trips home to the lake. Our wedding weekend was amazing and we are very grateful that so many of our friends and family traveled from near and far to be there with us. Sean is currently helping to manage the family hardware store and I am working as an Account Coordinator at a commercial furniture dealer. We stay busy with work and friends, but always find time to visit our family around the country.
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The Inn at Erlowest
PHOTOGRAPHER Rob Spring Photography
WEDDING GOWN Angela’s Bridal
BRIDESMAID’S DRESSES Alfred Angelo
MEN’S ATTIRE Men’s Wearhouse
Adriane Borho - Allure
True Grace Makeup
Unofficially my mom and Alexis at the Inn at Erlowest
Binley Florist & Garden Center
Love is on Lake George Cruises, LLC, and Lake George Trolley and Upstate Transit of Saratoga, LLC
The Inn at Erlowest
Lake George Baking Company
ENTERTAINMENT Body & Soul of the New York Players Entertainment Group
“Stay with You” by John Legend
Martha’s Ice Cream post ceremony, We “Cut the Cake” with my grandfather’s ceremonial military sword, Adirondack chairs were used as our guest “book”
ADVICE FOR OTHERS
Try to go with the flow throughout the whole process, not everything will go as planned but it all ends up working out! saratogaTODAYnewspaper.com
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& y s s Da n i r h C 114 | SARATOGA BRIDE | 2016
SARATOGA NATIONAL PHOTOS BY SAWICKI STUDIOS
met my husband Dan back in 2009 at a rock concert. I met his best friend while playing in a billiards tournament in Utica, NY. He had extra tickets to a concert that my best friend Tiffany and I had been wanting to go to all summer. We all went and met up in Saratoga. Upon meeting Dan for the first time, I was not interested in his party boy antics. I found out later that he had not been interested in me either at our first initial introduction (gasp!). As the night progressed we talked and got to know one another. By the time we got back and dropped everyone off, both of us had been experiencing that “butterfly in the stomach feeling” for a few hours at that point. We waited just long enough for everyone to go inside and we shared our first kiss. We have been inseparable ever since. I cannot imagine my life with anyone else, and so happy that we both took a chance that night, despite both of us having poor first impressions of each other and having no intentions of taking a liking to someone met at a rock concert. Dan proposed in our home on September 20, 2013 after having had a great day at the Showcase of Homes. Dan had me read a poem he had written, that in a way recapped our story and upon finishing he was on one knee.
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Saratoga National Golf Club
EVENT DECORATOR Music Man did the lighting, Bride made decorations
PHOTOGRAPHER Sawicki Studios (Chris and Jennifer Sawicki)
WEDDING GOWN Danielles Bridal, Saratoga
BRIDESMAID’S DRESSES Danielles Bridal, Saratoga
MEN’S ATTIRE Men’s Warehouse
HAIR Michelle Marigotta
MAKEUP Bride did her own with an airbrush kit!
WEDDING PLANNER Tracy Montanino - Saratoga National
All made by Christine
TRANSPORTATION Value Van Taxi
CATERER & CAKE
Prime - Saratoga National
ENTERTAINMENT Music Man Entertainment
“Two is Better Than One”
Open Photo Booth by Upstate Photo
ADVICE FOR OTHERS
Take a moment to take is all in! Take it slow, it goes sooo fast ...and don’t forget to eat! saratogaTODAYnewspaper.com
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THE HALL OF SPRINGS PHOTOS BY ALICE COREY
Carey & Ian
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n a time without Tinder, Ian and I met the old fashioned way - we met during college, at a bar in Potsdam, NY with all of our friends… Not the most romantic first meeting, but our story does get better from there! After we graduated from Clarkson University, we briefly dated long-distance, but eventually we found a quaint little apartment in the Arts District of Saratoga Springs and fell in love with the area.
On October 3rd 2014, Ian took me out to dinner at Lombardo’s Restaurant in Albany, where many of my family events have taken place over the years. As we sat down, Ian ordered a bottle of wine, and started to reminisce about our past together. Suddenly, before I even knew it, he was on one knee asking me to marry him. I completely filled up with tears, and I could barely muster the word “YES!” As he put the most gorgeous ring on my finger, he said he had one more surprise. Ian walked me into the bar and to my surprise my parents and grandparents were there waiting to join us for dinner. We have always enjoyed Halloween, and when we had a chance to have our wedding on that day we took it. October 31st, 2015 was a beautiful day, one we will never forget. We chose to have our wedding ceremony at the Historical St. Mary’s Church on Capitol Hill in Albany - it was an easy choice! It is a beautiful church where many of my family members were married, and we were happy to continue that tradition. Our reception at the Hall of Springs was amazing, close to 200 of our family and friends joined us in the biggest celebration of our lives. Now, almost three months later we are still living on a cloud.
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Ceremony Saint Mary’s Church - Albany & Hall of Springs
Alice Corey Photography
Essence of Australia Lily Bridal
Saratoga Sound DJ
“Into the Mystic” by Van Morrison
HAIR & MAKEUP
Paris, France & Italy
The time between your engagement and wedding flies by, enjoy the time with your fiance and family.
Balet Flowers & Design
ADVICE FOR OTHERS
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Kristie & Tim
NATIONAL MUSEUM OF DANCE PHOTOS BY ALICE COREY PHOTOGRAPHY
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ur story started seven years ago. Tim and I met while attending SUNY Potsdam. Having many friends in common, we crossed paths frequently at school. After a year of friendship and getting to know each other, it wasn’t until the summer of our sophomore year when we started dating. Little did we know, our connection was stronger than we thought. After college, we moved to Queensbury, NY to start the next chapter of our lives. We were no longer college students. We were starting our first jobs as teachers and entering the real world. As time went on I always wondered when the moment would happen where I would see him down on one knee. His response was, “it will be when you least expect it.” And it was. Tim proposed on the top of Cascade Mountain on May 24, 2013. It is truly amazing to say that you married your best friend. We can’t wait to see what the future holds.
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National Museum of Dance
Experience and Creative Design
Experience and Creative Design
Alice Corey Photography
Nicole’s Special Events & Catering Company
Cool Cat Entertainment
“Feels Like Home” by Chantal Kreviazuk
Lipstick N Lashes
ADVICE FOR OTHERS
Andrea Scalisi Artistry
Never stop dating…
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Trish & Alex 126 | SARATOGA BRIDE | 2016
HALL OF SPRINGS
PHOTOS BY ROB SPRING PHOTOGRAPHY
lex and I were introduced by friends in the fall of 2011 when I took a last minute trip to Stockholm. The trip was short, but the connection was immediate. We began talking every day despite the time difference and eventually decided Alex would come to visit me in New York for New Year’s Eve. It was a fun filled week ringing in the New Year and the start of our long distance relationship. After a year filled with lots of early morning and late night calls and traveling to 4 countries, 4 states and countless cities together, we decided it was time to take the next step, and I moved across the Atlantic to Sweden. In July of 20014, on a trip back to New York, Alex proposed to me after dinner at The Little Owl, in Greenwich Village… The same restaurant where we had our first date! I grew up in Massena, up north on the Canadian border. We decided on Saratoga after coming across the Hall of Springs. We thought it looked so beautiful and it checked most of our boxes. The location was also great, being equal distance from Massena and NYC and easy to get to via train or bus. Plus Saratoga has a great restaurant and bar scene which we wanted for our guests. We also thought it was fun for our Swedish guests to get a taste of small town America. Most had been to the US before, but very few had ever traveled outside of any major city. Saratoga has so much history and the beautiful Victorian homes are so quintessentially American. All of our vendors went above and beyond to help us plan from abroad and I cannot recommend them enough. They made the planning process easy for us and created the wedding of our dreams!
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Hall of Springs
Rob Spring Photography
CATERER & CAKE
White One Barcelona
BRIDESMAID’S DRESSES After Six
ENTERTAINMENT Fever Band
“Latch” by Sam Smith, performed by Fever Band
HAIR & MAKEUP
Make Me Fabulous
Officiant, Monsignor Christopher Richard was a wonderful help with the planning process!
ADVICE FOR OTHERS
Give yourself a moment to take it all in, enjoy the day and don’t sweat the small things.
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island in the
A four season one-of-a-kind custom built estate provides rustic, yet luxurious accommodations for your wedding or honeymoon needs! Sitting atop Buck Tail Mountain, in Lake George, NY with a 360 degree view of the Adirondacks, Massachusetts, Vermont and New Hampshire… your guests may never leave the 5,500’ covered deck with an elevation of 1200 feet! 8,000 square feet of rustic luxury with three stories, a 60 ft. massive stone fireplace and 7 bedrooms, each with their own balcony or deck can accommodate your guests comfortably for a week-long celebration…. Or longer! Two kitchens... one a fully stocked gourmet kitchen with high-end appliances and counter eating area, and a second kitchen located on the lower level. A large dining room with a custom table is adjacent to the gourmet kitchen. The enormous two story great room looks out over the mountaintop. The interior recreational areas include: a bar, pool table, air hockey, ping pong and foosball tables. A private, one mile drive leads you to this secluded, mountaintop estate with two ponds, cross country skiing trails and even an area to land a helicopter! Two fire pits, Adirondack chairs, a barbecue and hot tub round out the offerings of this PERFECT destination! The location is secluded yet convenient… only 15 minutes from either Saratoga Springs or Lake George and just minutes off I-87. Children welcome - nonsmoking only – washer & dryer - linens provided.
For more information: (518) 859-3870 or MountainTopRetreat@yahoo.com 2016 | SARATOGA BRIDE | 131
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