Jen & Miles’ Garden Wedding
Jen and Miles had a specific vision for their intimate, garden wedding. But they wanted a little extra help with the details a couple months before and on the day of. That’s where we stepped in.
From our first planning session at Stockade in Kingston, I knew working with these two was going to be an incredible time. Jen is such a sweet, kind person. The kind of person that just puts you in a good mood whenever you’re around her. And Miles. Well, he’s just so incredibly hilarious, outgoing and sweet. Miles and I actually worked together for about a year at the same company so we got to know each other prior to wedding planning. We spent a two-hour car ride to NYC and back to the Hudson Valley together about a year and a half ago for a business trip. We chatted the entire time, even though we barely knew each other at that point. And that’s when he told me he was going to propose to his girlfriend, Jen. I was immediately so happy for them and of course asked to see the ring he picked out. The ring was handcrafted by their friend Betsy and it was a stunner.
During our first planning session, I learned about their entire vision for their wedding, their intimate venue, and what they were looking for from a wedding planner. We talked for about 2 hours and then immediately scheduled our follow up session.
After I worked with their vendors, making sure they had all the little things they needed that a lot of couples tend to forget about like garbages, the correct amount of linens, tableware, etc, I worked on putting together the timeline and dossier. I also worked on the labels for the food for the buffet and the menus for the cocktails. And oh my goodness were those cocktails good! Just as I was writing them out with the descriptions I wanted one right then and there. Regal Bourbon Gold Rush – Bourbon, Lemon, Shaken with a Grapefruit Twist. Yes, please. Old Cuban – Aged Rum, Lime Juice, Simple Syrup, Angostura Bitters, Fresh Mint, and Prosecco. Double yes, please! I printed out the menus and had the idea of using some old barn wood from my father-in-law’s property as the backing to the menu. My husband so kindly cut the barn wood to fit the shape of the menus and I secured each side with twine. I did the same to all 30 individual food signs and menus.
Our second planning session was mostly about going over the timeline and doing a walk-through of the venue.
The venue, a local Kingston, NY B&B was just so adorable! The Forsyth B&B is one block from the historic Rondout waterfront and minutes to the natural, cultural and historic wonders of the Hudson Valley. Newly renovated rooms with private baths marry history and modern design. The ceremony and reception was held in the modern barn in the quaint backyard. As we walked through the garden, I imagined bistro lights strung from the barn to the trees to the house and high tops scattered across the lawn for their cocktail-hour style reception. The barn has an upstairs loft where the couple can actually spend their wedding night together.
As we entered the barn, Jen showed me exactly how she envisioned the ceremony to be laid out. She wanted the chairs arranged in a semi-circle fashion with the ceremony taking place underneath the industrial chandelier. Jen described this as almost a stage-like setup. I was starting to feel the vibe she was going for.
The day before the wedding, I met the bridal party, family members and Jen and Miles at the venue for the rehearsal. With my trusty binder in hand, we ran through the ceremony with the 4 bridesmaids and the 5 groomsmen/woman. Miles’ mother was walking him down the “aisle” and Miles’ father was officiating. During our planning sessions, Miles has a specific vision in mind for the ceremony music and rundown. The entire bridal party and bride and groom were walking down the aisle to Yo-Yo Ma, Bach. We were planning the procession down to the seconds mark. Daniel, their friend and cellist was absolutely wonderful and as the bridal party proceeded, he made sure that Jen came into the barn and was walking with her mother, who gave her away, to the specific part of the piece that Miles had wanted her to walk down to.
I arrived on site at 8am on the day of the wedding because I knew there was a lot of setting up to do. My assistant was picking up the cake from Outdated Cafe in Kingston at 11am and meeting me at the venue at 11:30am. When she arrived, I was already hanging cheesecloth from the pop-up tent and tying it to each pole with twine and decorating the twine with sprigs of lavender from my own garden. My assistant, Karen and one of the groomsmen started working on the bistro lights. Oh those bistro lights. They were posing quite the problem. But after some time we got it to look just right.
As we finished setting up the garden, I moved into the house to design the dining room table with silver dollar eucalyptus and greenery from Adam’s Fairacre Farms, cheesecloth, brass candle holders I collect from vintage shops, taper candles, and gold votives.
I was running around all morning and afternoon and just as we were finishing, the greenery for the ceremony space arrived. Miles and Jen had carefully foraged this vine of greenery themselves the day before and their plan was to hang it on the wall in the barn during the ceremony. It was such a cool idea and absolutely stunning. With 15 minutes before guests were to arrive, the vine was still on the floor and I was starting to worry. With just 5 minutes before guests arrived, the team was able to get the vine up and the room swept. It was beautiful and also relieving.
The flowers were actually hand picked by the bride and groom and their friends from Hudson Valley Farm Hub, Jen’s employer. The arrangements were put together by their friend and florist, Ken Foo and one of the groomsmen, Riley. The arrangements were just beautiful and so colorful. They were definitely unique.
Karen and I had a lot to do in a little amount of time. We had to flip the ceremony space to the reception space quickly. So we got started right away as guests exited the barn to the garden for cocktail hour. The reception wasn’t your typical sit down dinner. Jen and Miles wanted to have a casual, garden-style wedding so we set up the barn in a cocktail hour fashion. We were able to get it done even quicker than I expected which gave me time to sit down with the best man and go over the timeline for his speech.
The rest of the day went so smoothly and perfectly. We stuck to our timeline and all the vendors arrived on time and put 110% effort into the entire day. At 8pm, we opened the barn doors to the street, which allowed for the real party to start. Jen and Miles invited more friends to stop by at 8pm and celebrate with them. Oh and did I mention, the DJ was spinning old school vinyl records all night?
I am so grateful to have worked with such a fantastic couple and incredible vendors. I got to know the bride and groom’s family very well over that weekend and I can say that I have never received so many hugs in one night. I love working offsite at Rough Draft in Kingston and seeing different members of the bridal party and especially Jen and Miles there once in a while.
Thank you, Jen and Miles, for letting me be a part of your special day.
Planning & Design: Emily Baldwin Events
Photographer: Richard A. Smith
Venue: Forsyth B&B
Catering: Black Eyed Suzie’s
Grill Meister: Adam Kraut
Flowers: Hudson Valley Farm Hub
Rentals: Events Unlimited
Cake: Outdated Cafe
Hair: Le Shag
Ceremony Music: Daniel Frank
DJ: Drew Nelson
Wine: Kingston Wine Co.