A Winter Wonderland Ceremony in Tarrytown

The view from Tappan Hill Mansion in Tarrytown was all Rachel and David Haddad needed from a wedding venue. With a winter date in mind, the couple, who love to hike and vacation in Maine and Seattle, imagined a snowy backdrop along the Hudson River through the expansive windows in the ballroom. 

“We loved that it was Mark Twain’s home,” Rachel says. “And you can see the river and feel like you’re outdoors even though you’re not. It was such a beautiful venue, we didn’t have to do much but let it shine.”

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Rachel is a White Plains native, and, although the couple met and live in New York City, they knew they wanted a Westchester wedding. After a two-year courtship that started on jdate.com and nine months of planning, their December nuptials approached—and so did some natural anxiety about the weather.  

“Probably a month beforehand, we started checking the long-term forecast,” Rachel says. “Seeing the wedding at the end of the calendar was really exciting. You do all these things, and it’s hard to imagine the wedding will actually come.”

The weather was ultimately mild and Rachel, now 29, wore a strapless Pronovias dress with a drop waist and full chiffon skirt that her paternal grandmother, Elly, bought for her. An interior designer based in Florida with a love of fashion and style, Grandma Elly wanted to gift the wedding gown to Rachel to “be connected” to the occasion. A sparkling headband was a subtle nod to the winter season.

Eight bridesmaids and six groomsmen stood for the couple, with the men in tuxedoes and the women in royal blue, full-length chiffon gowns. Blue, cream, yellow, and green flowers tied in the depth of winter’s colors. The couple also displayed their parents’ wedding portraits.  

The women in Rachel’s family had another important tie to the celebration. The couple found their officiant,  Rabbi David Schuck, through Rachel’s mother’s close high-school friend. One of Rachel’s favorite moments came right afterward. “There is a photo of us walking [back] down the aisle after we’re married. I pictured walking down the aisle, but I didn’t picture so much right after we were married.”

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Another favorite moment was also shared with David, now 32. The couple’s first dance was to Michael Bublé’s “Everything,” and they were “really happy” with it, thanks to the dance lessons they took during the engagement, Rachel notes. “The planning has its stressful moments, and it was nice to have something fun to do together.” 

The Details: Photographer: Todd Shapera Photography, Pleasantville (914) 631-8353; toddshapera.com. Reception Location: Abigail Kirsch at Tappan Hill Mansion, Tarrytown, (914) 631-3030; abigailkirsch.com Catering: Foremost RAM Caterers, Moonachie, NJ (201) 664-2465; foremostcaterers.com. Florist: Forever in Bloom, Mount Kisco (914) 241-1963; foreverinbloomonline.com. Music: Hal Prince Music and Entertainment, Mount Kisco (914) 241-3300; halprince.com. Bridal Gown: Pronovias; pronovias.com. Bridal Shoes: Stuart Weitzman; stuartweitzman.com. Bridesmaid Dresses: Here Comes the Bridesmaid, New York, NY (212) 647-9686; bridesmaids.com. Hair: Evangelista Hair Salon, White Plains (914) 428-0100; evangelistahairsalon.com. Makeup: Alexa Gould, New York, NY (917) 513-8035; alexagould.com. Groomsmen Attire: Jack Silver Formal Wear, New York City, NY (212) 582-0202; jacksilverformalwear.com. Rabbi: David Schuck, the Pelham Jewish Center, Pelham (914) 738-6008; thepjc.org

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