Okokok, I’m finally doing it! The vendors and companies who were a part of this day were way too special to not give credit to and show their work. It’s so cliche to say that this was the most amazing day of my life, but, it really was. Like it REALLY was. As I said in my speech at the wedding, to say I married the man of my dreams would be a complete understatement because there’s no way I could have dreamt up a man as good as Mike. To be able to marry him, and exchange our vows, in front of all of our family and close friends, its something we’ll never forget or take for granted.
I wanted to start off with our Pig Roast the day before. Mike had the great idea to get all the guests who were invited together beforehand so everyone could meet, mingle and get all the formalities out of the way. I would recommend this SO much. Not only was it great seeing everyone before the nerves of the wedding, but that way you could actually talk to everyone you want because the day of you most definitely won’t have enough time to.
We found this lake near our venue that we could rent a section of it and bring in speakers for music, and food catered from Hickory’s BBQ (unbelievably good!) who supplied a huge pig, tons of sides, and beer and wine for everyone. We also decided this was the perfect time to hand out pamphlets that had the next days schedule along with where the bus would be picking everyone up in each location. I gave Mike the task of handling the buses and thank GOD I did cause I don’t think I would have been able to with everyone being all over in different Airbnb’s…and it all worked out! We slipped them inside of coozies (we collect them) with our cute little custom Woodstock logo we made for the wedding.
We had a super casual rehearsal dinner at the location of the wedding, Onteora Mountain House in their beautiful dining hall. I had found it on Venue Report which was an absolute (and easy to use) lifesaver. When we saw it, we almost thought it was too good to be true. Quick story, the original owner was actually Richard Hellman, as in, the owner of Hellman mayonnaise. Apparently he lived and worked in NYC, grew sick, went to the doctor who told him he was under too much stress and needed to move out to somewhere he can relax. He bought this house up near Woodstock and ended up living until 95! The gentlemen that run the place could NOT be more accomodating or more friendly. They said when they started out as a Bed and Breakfast, so many people asked if they could have their wedding there that they ended up building a side pavilion so they could start hosting them officially. Let me tell you, it’s breathtaking. From the structure, to the views, to the sunsets, it felt like a dream. BEST part, it fit both of our families perfectly in all the rooms so we could stay together <3
The day began in the bridal suite, at the top of the hill next to the main house…
Mike got ready in the “man cave”, a room they excavated in the basement of the main house, equipped with a pool table, sauna, room with a view, and one very interesting toilet. I had made my niece, Harper, my flower girl, coincidentally enough, she was able to fit into the dress my grandmother wore as a kid for her first communion! It meant so much because my grandmother couldn’t make it to the wedding, so it was little things like that that made it so special.
Next we were on to the church. Both Mike and I grew up with very similar families (despite growing up on opposite sides of the world) where it meant a lot to our fathers to get married in a catholic church. It was quant and adorable, and although our priest called the day before to ask where our wedding was (minor freakout), he showed up and was a crowd favorite.
That last photo of us laughing at the alter was because not only did the priest call me two different names throughout the ceremony (Elizabeth and at one point, Kathleen??) but he completely BUTCHERED our last name when announcing us as a married couple. I swear we practiced with him, oh well hahah.
I have got to give the BIGGEST shoutout to our beautiful photographer Madalena Tavares. We first saw her work from our friends wedding in Portugal. I remember looking at their photos and being in awe. I had never seen wedding photos so un-staged and raw and beautiful. We absolutely fell in love with her style of photography so much so that we flew her out to shoot ours! She not only shot our pig roast but also shot a lookbook for my Fall2019 collection. We became amazing friends and still talk to this day.
I could stare at photos of the pavilion all day ::insert heart eyes:: It was just so beautiful and open and had the most amazing views of the Catskills from the balcony in the back. It was a true family affair bringing it all together. My super talented brother DJ hand-painted flowers that were set on all the tables for their numbers as well as the name cards for guests. I’ve always loved my mothers handwriting, so she kindly (and patiently) wrote out all the guests names on each card. My best friend MaryBeth not only wrote out all the table numbers and any other signs we had, but painted our welcome sign on a mirror! It all came out so beautiful and it made it so intimate.
It’s tradition in Australia to have either a family member, friend or someone else important that you know MC your wedding, instead of having say the band or the DJ do it. I’ve always loved this. It makes it so personal and way more engaging. Of course, we knew the perfect guy to do it. Brendan Swansborough also known as “Swanny”…our mutual friend who introduced us! He was someone I met years ago when I lived in Australia. He came to NYC shortly after me and stayed with me a few months. After that he moved to Soho and when one of his roommates moved out, his new one (you guessed it..Mike!) moved in. Swanny has such an infectious personality and had a way of making the room feel so comfortable and die of laughter. He even played a game at one point of having everyone stand up who have been married for over 10, 20, 30 years (Mikes parents were the last ones standing!) and then appropriate after had everyone who was single stand up (THAT…was brilliant).
Lets just say, the speeches were a main highlight of the wedding. Between laughing and crying, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house. We heard from Mikes dad, my dad, my sister Nicole and his brothers Steve and Dave. At the end, Mike and I said a few words as well as we couldn’t help but to share our stories and thank everyone for coming and all those who helped.
The night then proceeded to be of course, one big giant dance party. We fell in LOVE with our band East Side Mix the moment we heard them perform at Prohibition one night on the Upper West Side, and did everything we could to get them there. They did NOT disappoint. With the most amazing array of music, solo acts, and the occasional serenade by a hilariously talented saxophonist. They surprised us and ended the night on the song “New York” by Alicia Keys, and as soon as they did we were thrown up on our friends shoulders and sang our hearts out. With everyone coming in from all over the world, that song was absolutely perfect to end on.
At the end we served meat pies and sausage rolls for everyone, which is a freakin deliciously popular snack over in Australia. We found a place in Brooklyn called Dub Pies that delivered 200 frozen ones ahead of time! For our parting gifts we had two treats. My dad made his own vanilla rum (aka “Little Papitos Vanilla Rum) which he bottled for everyone with a custom logo my brother designed. On the other half of the table was Mikes homemade jerky (aka UpperCut) and packaged all of them with a logo that he designed and I drew. I know I’m bias, but it’s the best jerky you’ll ever have in your life. Let’s just say the guests were more than pleased to be leaving with booze and beef.
After that we were off to the after party! Of course, nothing will ever do this day justice, but the pictures come pretty damn close, and the video is a tear jerker. I’ve attached the highlight video below as well. I’d give anything to re-live this day over and over and over again <3