Though they live in the city, Linda and Christian knew they wanted a rustic, country setting to serve as the backdrop for their wedding: “We live in Brooklyn and while we love the kinetic energy of the city, we also spend a lot of time outside of the city and love the way it calms us and restores our connection to each other. When we started looking for venues, we knew Mount Gulian was the one. The rustic and historical feel lent to the vibe that we ultimately wanted, which was a simple outdoor event surrounded by those we love. The space was also incredibly versatile. There is so much beautiful outdoor space for people to explore and then the barn is so amazing and special. The site also gave us a lot of freedom to do what we wanted to make it our own. Christian and I both wanted to be as DIY as possible, so we really appreciated having this gorgeous site as the backdrop to our wedding day.”
Among the many DIY elements were the beautiful arch that Christian made for the ceremony.
Says the bride, “More than anything we wanted our wedding to be fun for the people who were attending. We wanted it to be a celebration with close friends and family and we wanted the feel of a relaxed dinner party in beautiful surroundings, with fun music and good food. We didn’t want it to feel overly traditional or planned, so we tried to keep as much of it informal as we could.”
SEE THE FULL GALLERY FOR MORE MOMENTS FROM THIS RUSTIC NEW YORK WEDDING.
What was your favorite moment or part of the day? The most special part of the day for me was walking down the aisle. I do not enjoy being the center of attention and I felt incredibly nervous before I walked. But having the support of my bridesmaids, my father and then seeing everyone’s smiling faces and finally meeting Christian at the altar, it all felt so incredibly surreal but made me feel so grounded at the same time. I also loved just pausing during the night and looking around at everyone and feeling so incredibly lucky. It really does go by so so fast, so it’s important to stop and soak it all in.
Did you include any traditions in your wedding? We did stick to a few traditions. It was important to us that the first time we saw each other was when I walked down the aisle, which made it feel incredibly romantic. Although we came up with our own vows, we also incorporated traditional vows from different cultures to make it our own.
What advice do you have for other brides? I went into the wedding planning process feeling very sure that I would not fall into the “rabbit hole” of details and stress. But even I had my moments of irrationally freaking out about centerpieces or favors. You have to remember to step back and remember what you’re trying to accomplish. For us, it was always about making sure we were planning a big, fun party where everyone would have a good time. As long as you keep the big picture in mind, everything will follow. Don’t get caught up in the small details – because as excited as I was about the chargers that we chose for our table setting, I guarantee that not a single person remembers them. What I hope they remember is that they had a good time and ate some yummy food. I also can’t stress enough how important it is to think positively. I worried for two weeks before my wedding about the weather. It poured the night before and showed an 80% chance of rain the day of the wedding, but the day turned out to be gloriously sunny. The lesson I learned was that you have to stay positive – even when the odds seem stacked against you.
Do you have any budget tips for other brides? As much as we tried to be DIY, there were definitely places where it made sense to spend. Going back to our original goal, we built our budget around the caterer. We then did a lot of the other stuff ourselves. As much work as it was, we enjoyed making things ourselves because it felt that much more special. But you have to balance how much up front work you’re willing and able to do. We spent the entire day before the wedding hanging paper lanterns on the ceiling of the barn, which may not be everyone’s idea of a good time. I also spent a good amount of money before the wedding on hair and makeup trials, only to have my mother do my hair and doing my own makeup. It had been my gut instinct all along, but I felt caught up in feeling like I had to spend money to make it feel more special. Having my mother and sister with me as I got ready felt incredibly intimate and special and is a memory I will always have.
Is there anything else that helps tell the story of the day? When the wedding ended, I felt really sad that this amazing day had finally come to a close. Apparently so did our friends because everyone started grabbing the leftover drinks and we all reconvened back at the hotel where we stayed up till the wee hours of the morning continuing the party. Being able to transition from the celebration of the wedding to just hanging out with our friends and family without skipping a beat really solidified that we’d accomplished what we set out to.