Victoria Katz and Dan Oppenheim, have known each other since they attended Harrison High School together, but they were far from high school sweethearts. “I hated him,” Victoria says. “I thought he was such an Eddie Haskell.”
Fast-forward several years, to when Victoria was visiting a friend at Boston University, where Dan went to college. After reconnecting at a local bar, Lucky Johnny’s, Dan—like any good 21st-century man—sent Victoria a Facebook friend request. She accepted, friendship blossomed, and soon they were spending the evening of their first date sharing a picnic basket on the lawn of their former high school.
One weekend while Dan and Victoria were staying in Manchester, Vermont (one of their favorite spots), a package was delivered to the house. Dan was out running, so Victoria signed for it and placed the box in Dan’s “man cave,” where it would sit for a month and a half.
Still, the package intrigued Victoria. After some sleuthing, she had figured out that the mysterious package was an engagement ring. She gathered up the courage to ask Dan about the ring, he answered simply, “Want me to get it?” He came back to the room and began to slip the ring onto Victoria’s finger. The ring stuck on Victoria’s knuckle and no matter how hard they tried, it would not budge. “I had to call my professor and tell him I wouldn’t be in class because I had to get my engagement ring cut off at the jewelers,” Victoria quips. After the ordeal, the couple went out for burgers.
“That’s the thing,” said Victoria. “We have a very I Love Lucy life. [Our engagement] was very funny, very us.”
For their wedding weekend in September 2011, Victoria and Dan decided on Cat Rock at Osborn Castle in Garrison, NY. “It had a beautiful view of the city and the Hudson Valley,” said Victoria. “I felt like Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music when I was there.”
The most important thing in planning the wedding was that the weekend should be like a vacation for all of the couple’s friends and family. “We wanted to make the weekend a family affair,” explained Victoria. “It was going to be for the people we knew and loved.”
Victoria and Dan’s ceremony was, in part, an homage to their loved ones, those that were with them and those that had passed away. Pictures of their grandparents, all deceased, served as a backdrop. Victoria’s hair, done in a braid, was replicated from a signature style her grandmother often wore.
Once the ceremony was over, the vibe on the grounds changed to a full-on party atmosphere. The reception began with a two-hour cocktail reception to get the relaxed mood started. “We wanted people to undo their ties, take off their heels, and celebrate,” Victoria says.
There was no shortage of activities for the guests: They could indulge in the open bar, dance to an ’80s cover band, take pictures in a photo booth, play lawn games in the garden, and satisfy their sweet teeth with a dessert/candy bar.
The overall decorating theme was eclectic. On each table sat an empty birdcage that served as the table marker. A friend of Victoria’s mom wrote out the menus in elegant calligraphy. Chinese lanterns in cool colors floated above the party revelers as they spent the evening enjoying each other’s company. After a weekend of fun, a shuttle service escorted the guests home from the fairytale weekend and back to their day-to-day lives.
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