Emma Corey was just trying to get the lay of the land when she first met Ricardo Fuentes, her now-husband. Shortly after moving to Beacon six years ago, she popped into his retail store — Fuentes runs Fabhaus, a fabrication studio now based in Newburgh — around the corner from her apartment to say hello.
Through the years, the two crossed paths over and over and over again. They ran into each other around town, at the now-closed The Hop (where Fuentes was also a bartender), and at parties. Yet it wasn’t until the day Fuentes asked Corey if he could join her for a hike along the Hudson that the pair became inseparable.
In 2017, Fuentes, an East Fishkill and Stormville native, proposed at the top of the picturesque Mt. Beacon Fire Tower. After saying yes — on her birthday, no less — Corey and her fiancé spent the remainder of the day kayaking around Constitution Marsh in Garrison.
As independent creatives — Fuentes works on design and fabrication while Corey focuses on communications and events, the couple knew from the start that they would be the ones to plan their wedding.
“We were hyper-focused on making sure everything felt authentic to us and our life together, and [we] avoided anything that felt forced or fake,” Corey explains.
With this in mind, they chose to invite their family and friends to Newburgh, their home base in the Hudson Valley, for the ceremony and reception. They settled upon the Fabhaus studio as the reception venue first, then locked onto George Washington’s Headquarters State Historic Site for the ceremony. They both love the natural serenity of the space and knew it would be an ideal setting to weave the beauty of the region into their unforgettable day. When they learned that the newly restored Tower of Victory, which opened a few months before the wedding, would be accessible for guests to climb, they were sold.
Corey and Fuentes tied the knot on a perfect fall day in October. To exchange rings, Corey donned an elegant gown with vintage lace and a flowing train. With a light dusting of makeup and an intricate updo, she glowed alongside Fuentes, who looked dapper in a sharp gray suit. Harmonizing with the pair, Corey’s bridesmaids wore black dresses from Azazie in styles they chose themselves. They also had the freedom to select their own accessories to ensure that everyone felt comfortable during the day.
Following the ceremony at the historic site, the party marched in a Mexican-style post-wedding procession to the fabrication studio for the reception. Inside, the pair decked out the space with creative touches that paid tribute to their backgrounds and passions. They used drop cloths as table linens, orange shop rags as napkins, and handcrafted centerpieces and cocktail tables to set the scene.
“We didn’t want anything to look too ‘shiny’ because that’s not us and it’s not the space,” Corey notes.
On a similar vein, she and Fuentes did away with traditional elements like a cake, formal first dance, first look, and regimented ceremony in favor of touches that felt true to them. They served Mexican fare from Rosita’s Delicias in Poughkeepsie in ode to Fuentes’ Mexican heritage and invited Corey’s uncle to play guitar as guests arrived and everyone walked down the aisle. During the reception, they incorporated thoughtful touches like milk-glass vases from Corey’s mother and wedding puppets that Corey and her father crafted together.
Perhaps the most memorable moment, however, took place after the party cleared the premises.
“Ricardo and I [snuck] in a first dance at the end of the night, when everyone else had cleared out,” Corey reveals.
The day was magical and filled with personalized touches that spoke to Corey and Fuentes both as individuals and as a couple. Of course, the pair are the first to admit that it never would have happened without a fair few helping hands.
“Accept help from everyone who offers it because you absolutely will need it, no matter how modest the event,” Corey advises. “We called in a lot of favors to get to the finish line — former coworkers, neighbors, Ricardo’s fabrication contacts, our parents. If some detail just doesn’t feel right or isn’t working, cut it.”