Autumn in New York is always a good idea and the season was just getting started for Desiree and Mark’s late September wedding at the historical Basilica Hudson. The romantic celebration filled with deep reds florals, a fresh seasonal menu and wines, and the beautiful Catskill mountains as a stunning backdrop made this personal celebration extra special.
Photography by Casey Fatchett.
What advice do you have for other couples in the midst of planning a wedding? Make sure you are both involved and that it reflects your relationship. It’s fun to throw a big party, and the more you make it about what makes you happy, the better it will be.
“The Hudson Valley has been an integral part of us since we began dating. We love the organic, locally focused atmosphere, all set against the beautiful Catskill mountains.”
Your ceremony in three words. Organic, foliage, joyous
Tell us about your ceremony decor. The venue was a raw industrial space, and we brought a Brooklyn florist who sourced local autumn flowers to build a flower wall as the ceremony backdrop.
What was your ceremony music?
Wedding party processional: “Canon in D”
Bride processional: “Bach Cello Suite 1”
Recessional: “Hornpipe Water Music”
Who officiated your ceremony? Our family friend and pastor Scott Jones.
What were your vows like? We wanted a traditional set of vows, with a blessing inspired by words from the Archbishop of Canterbury.
What was your favorite thing about your wedding ceremony? The flower wall was a gorgeous backdrop for an intimate ceremony, and took our breath away. Having quartet perform live perfectly set the atmosphere as guests sipped Vinho Verde.
Floral Design by Ariel Dearie Flowers.
Is there anything else that you’d like to share about your wedding ceremony? From the groom: Seeing each other for the very first time as Desiree walked down the aisle was spectacular. From the bride: The look on Mark’s face captured the pure emotion of the day.
“We wanted the reception to feel like a big dinner party. We set long wooden farm tables with local foliage and brass candlesticks. Family style appetizers were followed by plated local specialities. Alongside the wedding cake were pastries loaded with summer berries. A lighting designer helped us showcase the vines hanging from the chandelier over the dance floor, and rafters in the 19th century factory. The 10-piece band kept people on the dance floor from the minute the doors opened through the last cocktails.”
Why did you choose this location for your reception ? We wanted a blank canvas to work with and a location without any curfew. It was the only venue we looked at, and knew as soon as we walked in.
What inspired you when you were planning your wedding? The bounty of the local region, with its farms, hills and rivers. We love the refined rustic character of the Hudson Valley, but also how accessible it was. Guests could come from the city without cars, and the whole town is walkable. With so many restaurants, inns, and stores, it was an easy place to spend a great weekend.
What was your wedding menu? We worked with a local restaurant to design a menu around regional specialities and incorporate all the fresh berries and greens from the end of summer. It’s impossible to have a bad time with great food. After the ceremony we started with tuna tartare, lamb chops and beet fritters to pair with a Pimms Cup. The appetizers were kale salad and medley of local roasted vegetables. For the main course, guests had a choice of Hudson Valley duck or a local bluefish with a corn and chorizo salsa. The wine pairings were from the Loire Valley and Bordeaux.
Catering by Swoon Kitchenbar.
Did you have a signature cocktail? We had a Pimms Cup for the cocktail hour, and wine pairings for each course.
What type of cake or dessert did you serve? We had a lemon custard filled wedding cake with natural flower garnishes, alongside apple and strawberry tarts.
Wedding Cake by Cafe le Perche.
What was your favorite moment or part of the reception? Sitting down at our table for the very first time was surreal. We looked across the overflowing brass vases and urns of flowers at our maid of honor and best man with a merry electricity of food and drink all around us. The candlesticks were flickering and a dull glow had set in just after sunset. We toasted and were able to share our favorite thing with so many family and friends.
What was your first dance song? “These Are The Days” by Van Morrison
Reception music performed by Naked Soul.
If you had it to do over again, is there anything you would do differently? I wouldn’t stress about planning specific details far in advance. Good vendors know how to make everything fall into place together when the day arrives.