Nicki and Michael’s venue, Camp Scatico, has been in the bride’s family for generations. The camp was founded by her great-grandpa and great-great-uncle in 1921 and was passed down to her grandparents and then to her parents, who are its current owners/directors. Nicki, who grew up going to Scatico every summer and now works there, had always dreamed of getting married at the camp. So, on September 15, 2018, that’s what she and Michael did.
The ceremony and reception were held at the camp, follwed by a full camp day on Sunday, the day after the wedding, when guests were treated to brunch and activities like basketball, tennis, and swimming in the lake.
Nicki’s mom and her family emigrated from Havana, Cuba, in 1960, and Nicki took her design inspiration from Cuban culture. Inspired by tropical greenhouses and the Caribbean, she used tropical greenery and plants throughout the décor.
The color palette was green, neutral tones, and pops of marigold yellow and clementine. With the tropical theme, greenery from plants was a big part of the design. The couple and event planner Monica Relyea utilized and celebrated the natural landscape at the camp as part of the décor and palette.
Marigold and coral flowers were used throughout for pops of color, as were tiles that Nicki and Michael collected on a trip to Porto, Portugal, which they used as escort cards. The pattern of the tiles was incorporated into the ceremony programs and reception menus, designed by VELA Stories.
Nicki and Michael wanted the décor to feel deeply personal, so they brought their own knick-knacks and furniture to decorate the bathrooms, bars, and outdoor lounges at the cocktail hour and reception. There were Nicki’s Havana Club mojito glasses, cigar boxes, ceramic pitchers and bowls from Colombia, and framed paintings and photos from their walls. Whenever guests went to get a drink or sign the guestbook, they had some intimate detail to take in.
A few weeks before the wedding, Nicki and Michael gathered a team of artistic family friends and had a DIY project day. They made the table numbers with rattan fans, wrote out guests’ names and table numbers and wrapped them around the tiles for the escort cards, made signs for the drink stations, guestbook, flip-flop baskets, and more. The couple paid attention to every detail of their special day.
Nicki and her sister carried yellow-and-coral bouquets incorporating protea, spider mums, ranunculus, garden roses, and tropical greens. For the ceremony, the team took advantage of an existing wooden structure on the camp’s stage, which they decorated with seeded eucalyptus, springeri, tree ferns, and marigolds.
The centerpieces at the reception were designed using specimen vases that Nicki collected and held single blooms or ferns. Overhead were tropical chandeliers, created by Adams Fairacre Farms in Poughkeepsie, using monstera leaves, springeri, palm leaves, and Spanish moss, which gave the tent the feeling of being an intimate, tropical greenhouse.
Event planner Monica Relyea designed three distinct spaces for the ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception. “A tree-lined road is one of Scatico’s signature features — the trees were planted just after the camp opened — so we worked to have each area flow so guests could walk up and down the road and that could serve as the principal ‘walkway’ of the evening,” says Relyea.
The ceremony was held at the amphitheater, which was built just a few years ago and has rows of concrete benches and a stage. Backed ghost chairs created a magical effect, and at the end of each row of chairs were tropical plants of various kinds.
No proper Havana bash, or, in this case, reception, is complete without an old-school wooden bar. Relyea decorated and styled the bar back with mementos from Nicki and Michael’s trips. She built tropical chandeliers by hanging more greens from inverted baskets. She added plants to the bar top and filled cigar boxes with custom-made matchboxes. There were also lounge areas, a “betting” station, firepits for making s’mores, and cornhole games set up around the property.
The couple wanted the food to reflect the theme of the wedding as well. Mojitos in flavors like mango-ginger and jalapeño-strawberry were served along with Cuban-sandwich sliders, a harvest table with tropical fruits, and mojito ceviche at the raw bar, which was displayed in a canoe from the camp.
Instead of cake, Nicki and Michael opted for an ice cream sundae bar, which included 200 brownies and blondies made by Michael’s mom and s’mores that could be made at firepits in the outdoor lounge area. The ice cream bar was provided by ICESCREAMS, which is down the road from Scatico, with the ice cream sourced from a local farm.
Monica Relyea Events
Adams Fairacre Farms
Lola’s Café and Catering
Clifton Park Rental
Party Rental Ltd.
Westside Party Rental
Alyne by Rita Vinieris from Wedding Atelier
MD Music & Entertainment
Rose & Dale Photo Co.
Ice Cream Bar