June 22 was a beautiful summer day in Hudson. That’s when Heather and Evan exchanged wedding vows at an outdoor ceremony at Hudson Riverfront Park. The bride and groom, whose favorite holiday is Halloween, were engaged while carving pumpkins.
“Evan put the ring in a pumpkin that I then discovered as we were carving,” says Heather. “It was adorable and so us!”
The couple wanted to include as many personal touches as possible, starting with illustrated invitations. They found an artist with an Etsy shop called Things I Drew who works out of Brooklyn. She created invites with cameos of the bride and groom, the façade of their venue (Basilica Hudson), and a pumpkin that gave nod to their engagement. The envelope liners featured the colorful, mismatched chairs that are a signature of Basilica Hudson. “I love colors, so we worked together to incorporate bright, Moroccan-inspired colors that I knew we’d work into the wedding décor,” says Heather. “[The artist] immediately got the vibe we were looking for in the suite.”
The overall style the bride and groom wanted was “bohemian garden party,” full of color, lanterns, plants, and wild flowers. “I wasn’t really sure how that vague description would turn out — but I was so happy with everything!” Heather says.
The bridal gown was a gift from Heather’s friend Eleni, daughter of the eponymous owner of Demetrios Bridal. “I had found my dress at one of their trunk shows in New York,” says Heather. “I was able to work directly with Demetrios to make tweaks to the design, and the entire family ultimately came to our wedding to celebrate with us. It meant so much to wear one of his designs, and Eleni could not have been more helpful throughout the entire process. It felt so good to have their love literally so close to my heart on the big day.”
Evan wore a picture of his maternal grandmother, Mimi, on the inside of his suit. The two were very close. His dad was in the Army and went to West Point, and the groom wore one of his dad’s American flag pins as well.
The guest list included 275 family members and friends; the groom’s cousin presided over the ceremony. Ribbons hung from a willow tree and swayed in the breeze, along with orchids from Rhinebeck-based Floral Fantasies by Sara. Rose petals were strewn in the aisle, and a custom-made sign with greenery welcomed guests.
After the ceremony, the couple and their guests were escorted by a second line. The bride and groom had attended a friend’s wedding in New Orleans before they got engaged and loved the second line and how excited it got attendees. They also had their bachelor and bachelorette parties in New Orleans, so it felt like a special connection. “We loved how pumped it got everyone ahead of the reception,” says Heather. “Our friend Eddy actually tap dances with jazz bands around the city, so he recommended a band to us that he knew could do a second line, plus he tap danced with them during the cocktail hour, which was awesome!”
After the ceremony, guests made their way to Basilica Hudson, which was the first place the couple visited when looking for a venue for their large wedding. “We loved the creative freedom we were given there and the fact that we were allowed to party until sunrise (which we did),” says Heather. “We also loved our planner, who knew the ins and outs of the venue and whom we completely trusted to organize our big day.”
Table were set with mismatched antique tableware, making each place setting special in its own right. The mother of the bride, who is a seamstress, made needlepoint numbers for the tables. “I was stunned when I first saw them. She is so talented, and we could not wait to display them,” says Heather. “They made the entire vibe of the tables come together. I was in theater my whole life, and my mom made all of my costumes for all of our shows, so I knew that I had to incorporate her talents into the wedding. We absolutely cherish them and plan to pass them along through our family for other weddings to come.”
In addition to the table numbers, the mother of the bride also stitched a gift for the couple “It was a beautiful wedding tribute, and we displayed it during the reception and have it in a frame on our bedroom wall,” Heather says.
Evan has a big Greek family, and the couple gave matis (evil eyes) as wedding favors. “We wanted to give guests these symbols to protect and watch over them after our wedding,” says Heather. “We also meant to play a few Greek songs during the reception, but got caught up dancing and forgot!”
Guests were treated to a menu from Local 111 (which will be appearing on Food Network’s Chopped in 2020). Food included beef tri-tip with green sauce, cornmeal-crusted cod, a variety of seasonal sides, and pies and cookies with vanilla ice cream.
Planner: Hudson Valley Ceremonies
Photographer: Love + Wolves
Invitations: Things I Drew on Etsy
Caterering: Local 111
Floral Design: Floral Fantasies by Sara
Dress: Demetrios Bridal
Rentals: Columbia Tent Rentals, North Country Vintage Rentals, Hudson Valley Ceremonies
DJ: DJ Gio
Band: Lowdown Stompers
Hair & Makeup: Beauty by Lune, Blush Sparrow Beauty