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Best Hudson Valley NY Weddings

Real Wedding: Gorgeous Pops of Color at The Venetian Yacht Club

Katie and Steve

Katie & Steve, October 9, 2011

As cliché as it may sound, I truly have been planning my wedding ever since my first walk down the aisle as the flower girl at my parents' wedding. My dad still jokes to this day that my new husband Steve was the final missing piece to all of my wedding planning! After becoming engaged I realized it was even more fun planning a wedding with the love of your life to help (and of course a bridesmaid here and there!).

Two of my friends have had amazing weddings with unbelievable pictures, so of course my very first phone call was to Ulysses Photography. I wanted to have them shoot our wedding so bad that I called them before I even had a wedding date picked! Having already known Jenni and Ulysses from previous weddings, it was more like having our pictures taken by our friends.

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Before I could book them we had to pick a venue, which ended up being The Venetian Yacht Club, which sits on the Great South Bay of Long Island. Knowing that we were going to have pictures outside with gorgeous views of the bay, we decided on an early fall wedding.

The date is also special to me because, being a John Lennon fan, I knew I’d be getting married on his birthday! Another really special touch was that we had our ceremony at St. Patrick’s Church, which is the same aisle I walked down for my parents' wedding as their flower girl.

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I really wanted my wedding to not be the usual cookie-cutter wedding and instead opted for some unique touches. I never really saw myself in a big ball gown dress, and after trying on my Reem Acra Grecian-style gown it was love at first sight! I also wanted to add a little drama by wearing my navy Badgley Mischka shoes as my “something blue.”

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Another place I knew I had to go to for some unique ideas was Bayview Florist. When Steve and I walked into our reception hall, we were just blown away by the centerpieces with white lilies and roses spilling out of their water and crystal filled vases.

Steve and I have been together for four years and I don’t think we have stopped laughing or having fun together since, and that was exactly what we wanted our wedding to feel like. I really feel that we made that happen with our photo booth from Ovations. They made us an album of all of the crazy pictures taken by our friends and family, and to this day it cracks us up every time we look at it.

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I know my dad jokes about Steve being my last piece of the planning, but it ended up being the surprise of his entire family coming over from England, Spain and Australia. Having all our family and friends in one room celebrating with us really made our special day the most unforgettable one that we have ever had.

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Photography: Ulysses Photography
Flowers: Bayview Florist 
Ceremony Location: St. Patrick's Church
Reception Location: Venetian Yacht Club 
Shoes: Badgley Mischka  
Bride's Dress: Reem Acra  
Bridesmaids Dresses: Ivy & Ashh
Hair: Gina of The Hair & Makeup Studio

Real Wedding: Rustic Elegance at Onteora Mountain House

Jessica and Ashlin

Jessica Cummings and Ashlin Halfnight, September 3, 2011

Our wedding in Woodstock was a dream come true, from start to finish. We were looking for a rustic setting, woods and sky and fresh air, but with convenience and class... somewhere people could feel relaxed but pampered. Onteora Mountain House was all that and more... and everyone who came was stunned.

Our ceremony went off without a hitch, except for the fact that our best man forgot the wedding rings... which added the perfect dash of drama to an otherwise smooth and enchanting start to the wedding day. After leaving the church with Jessica waving out of the sunroof of the getaway car, we headed back to Onteora to start the party. On the heels of Hurricane Irene, we chose the Dark and Stormy as our specialty cocktail, but as the night wore on plenty of sweat, laughs and tears were in evidence, but thankfully, no raindrops at all. 

Ulysses and Jenni from Ulysses Photography were awesome, capturing the ceremony, reception, and intimate details throughout with a compassion, vision, and humor that was beyond compare. Our florists, Steven Bruce Design were so cool and chill in the lead-up, even with the added complications of power outages and road closures, and the end results were perfect and beautiful and exactly what we'd imagined. We could not have asked for a better day to celebrate our love.

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Photography: Ulysses Photography
Flowers: Steven Bruce Design
Caterer: Blue Mountain Bistro
Location: Onteora Mountain House
Stationery: Minted
Dress: Jim Hjelm
Bridesmaids dresses: After Six
Music: Boss Systems
Hair: Courtney Benedetti
Makeup: Jennifer McCarthy

Real Weddings: Best of 2011

With the last days of 2011 dwindling, I thought it would be fun to make our last post of the year a roundup of our most popular Real Wedding features in 2011.

We've featured a real wedding just about every week this year, so there was plenty of material. Without further adieu, here are the weddings that have gotten the most hits this year:

Meghan and MarkMeghan and Mark (AfterGlow Photos)

Annie and Neil

Annie and Neil (Blue Sky Photography)

Nicole and James

Nicole and James (Zupcu Photography)

Natasha and Matthew

Natasha and Matthew (Surprise Photography)

Allison and Tim

Allison and Tim (Uplift Photography)

Christine and Charlie

Christine and Charlie (Click Photography)

Katie and Leo

Katie and Leo (Ulysses Photography)

Brandy and Paul

Brandy and Paul (Ulysses Photography)

Mary and Brian

Mary and Brian (Uplift Photography)

Rachel and Hugh

Rachel and Hugh (Hillary Harvey Photography)



Jennifer Garry is a writer (with a sparkly new blog!) who lives in Westchester, NY with her husband and two daughters. When she's not up to her ears in kiddie crafts and spit up, she's plotting her next move (children's book? event planning? jewelry empire?). Her obsessions include tea, chocolate, sarcasm and her daughters' giggles—any of which can be used to coax her from whatever project she's currently engrossed in.

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