Laura & Michael | Romantic Barn Wedding in New York

I once asked my nephew why his favorite color is pink, and he told me it’s because it makes him happy. What better reason do you need? Pink is certainly a happy color for Laura and Michael, who were married in a perfectly pink DIY wedding in July. Cappy Hotchkiss kindly sent over tons of gorgeous photos for me to share with you…

The wedding was full of thoughtful, handmade details, created by both the couple and their friends and family. The bride designed and Gocco printed the invitations, and, says Laura, “Friends helped to hand embroider the amazing welcome signs that we displayed in vintage frames found on eBay and painted white to match.”

Say Laura and Michael about the day:  “The entire day was everything we imagined it would be and more. Being surrounded by our friends and family who were all so happy for us was incredible. The best part of the weekend was the way everyone came together to help out with our final preparations and in doing so got to know each other in a way that would not have happened without so many hands-on details.”

In addition to passed popsicles, guests enjoyed a dessert table that included treats made by the bride’s mother, sister, and other bridesmaids: cherry pie, blueberry pie, peach pie, red currant raspberry pie, old fashioned cream pie, meringues, and “Nutter Butters” in the style of Bouchon Bakery. Says Laura, “It was a dessert feast and dream come true for a bride with a major sweet tooth. We also had a selection of favorite teas from Paris to serve with the desserts in vintage teacups.”

Vintage postcards from the couple’s travels served as table numbers.

One of the couple’s favorite parts of the day? “Before our reception began, Michael and I stole away from the cocktail hour to the barn where we prepared for our first dance to Somewhere Over the Rainbow sung by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole. While we were inside the barn with the doors closed the guests were brought over and assembled outside. As the music began the barn doors slid open and we danced our first dance together. No one knew what was going to happen and they were all surprised and loved the drama of the moment.”

Laura and Michael shared tons of great details about the day with us:

Why did you choose this location for your wedding?  We both grew up in the midwest but decided we would rather unite all of our friends and family in New York, where we’ve lived for the past eight years. We chose to take everyone out of the city to High Falls in the Hudson Valley which is a couple of hours north of where we live in Brooklyn. We first found the area years ago when we started traveling there in the fall with friends to go apple picking. We fell in love with Shadow Lawn the first time we saw it, and it ended up being exactly the right place for us to be married.

What inspired you when you were planning your wedding?  We wanted our wedding to be very personal and also very special for our friends and family who all traveled to attend. High Falls and the surrounding area is full of farms and orchards, and we both love to visit farmers markets, so we took vintage illustrations of fruits from seed catalogs and used them in our invitations. Then the fruit idea extended to the items we put in the guest bags (cherry- and peach-shaped sugar cookies) as well as decorations for the wedding (old fruit crates full of peaches, apricots and cherries to hold our escort cards, and our florist used fruit in the centerpieces. Overall our goal was to make our guests feel welcome and appreciated for taking the time and making the effort to be with us on our special weekend.

What were some of the handmade elements included in your wedding?  A lot! The DIY started with the save-the-dates and invitations. Then, on the wedding weekend, guests were greeted in their rooms with a printed canvas tote bag with striped grosgrain ribbon handles and embellished with a pair of needle felted cherries. Other DIY projects: Friends made heart-shaped garlands to hang between the trees for the cocktail hour and pennant garlands for the BBQ rehearsal dinner the night before. The ladies at my office sewed curtains for the barn and checkered tablecloths for our BBQ. We even had a vintage croquet set for guests to play during cocktails, and a friend customized it for us by painting the mallets and balls with stripes in the colors of the wedding.

Did you include any traditions in your wedding?  We had some special family heirlooms with us, including my great-grandmother (and namesake)’s beautiful marriage certificate from 1905; a silver box which was a 25th anniversary gift to Michael’s grandparents, the silver spoon that Michael’s great-grandmother used to serve Jordan almonds to her wedding guests, and pictures of all of our grandparents, parents, and some aunts and uncles on their wedding days. Also, I had my great-great-grandmother’s wedding ring, which had been turned into a baby ring, hung on a chain and wrapped around my bouquet.

What advice do you have for other brides?  I had someone come to do my hair and makeup on the day of the wedding, which was a splurge for me, but I am so glad I did.  Having that time set aside to just relax and compose myself as Dorothy worked her magic was really wonderful. I highly recommend that quiet-time to other brides.  It was a great way to calm down from the chaos of last-minute preparations and reflect on the events to come.


See the full gallery here.

Vendor Credits

Photography: Cappy Hotchkiss / Second shooter (welcome sign and popsicle photos): Teresa Horgan for Cappy Hotchkiss / Venue: Shadow Lawn in High Falls, New York / Bride's dress: Judd Waddell / Silk hair flowers: M&S Schmalberg / Bridesmaid dresses: Nanette Lepore / Hair, makeup: Dorothy Carlton, Pretty Bird Bridal / Groom's attire: Hugo Boss / Flowers: The Green Cottage / Catering and desserts: Main Course Catering / Classical guitarist: David Temple / Ukulele duo: Edukated Fleas / Reception DJ: Lutz Entertainment

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