Fantastical Upstate New York Wedding
April 19, 2023
Photos courtesy of
Melanie and Eric’s wedding in Summit, New York was a true reflection of their love for nature, fantasy and the medieval era. The couple met on OkCupid in 2014, and their shared love for Lord of the Rings was a great conversation starter. After years of living in New York City, the couple decided to get married in an outdoor setting that would provide seclusion and natural beauty. They scoured wedding websites and Google Maps for potential venues in upstate New York and finally chose Seven Ponds Farm. The farm sits atop a mountain in the Catskills, providing a breathtaking view of the hazy valley filled with trees broken up by ponds.
“We live in NYC,” the couple says, “but neither of us is a city person, and we definitely wanted an outdoorsy wedding with forests, animals, and nature.”
Despite having to plan their Catskills wedding from The Big Apple, Melanie and Eric felt determined to create the event of their dreams using a few tactics. First, the couple held regular meetings with their vendors via Zoom. Second, if ever in doubt, Google it!
“I definitely googled a lot of past weddings from the venue to remind myself of the space and see how others had arranged and decorated,” Melanie says. “The rest was Pinterest and the vision in my mind!”
As much as they loved the aspect of being in the woods and feeling worlds away from the rat race, the couple had trouble finding accommodations for guests (the nearest chain hotels were 45 minutes away.) They sourced AirBnBs, traditional Bed and Breakfasts, and Inns, booking out rooms or the whole place a year in advance.
“We then sent a master list to our guests via our website and asked them to let us know which places they would like to stay so we could transfer the reservation to them,” the couple says. “It was a lot of work but was well worth it for everyone’s comfort.”
As far as the decor and overall theme of the day, Melanie and Eric leaned into their mutual love for fantasy and the medieval era. Bridesmaids wore elegant rust-colored gowns that complimented the autumn mountain colors, and they carried rustic lanterns trailing with ivy instead of bouquets. Their bridesmaids wore elven-like leaf earrings and green hooded capes to wear in the cooler evening gifted to them by the bride. The groomsmen wore forest green suits with brown ties, and Eric gave them wooden watches to match the look. They also got beer mugs engraved with their names.
“Our guests were encouraged to wear tasteful medieval accessories, like crowns and jewelry, and to dress in earthy fall colors,” the bride says. “One guest even brought an ax!”
The pre-ceremony music was filled with instrumental versions of fantasy movies and video game music themes. Melanie walked down to an elven song from Lord of the Rings. They personalized their non-religious ceremony to include nods to Tolkien, incorporated a House Sword they had forged, wrote their own vows, and were introduced as ‘Lord and Lady’ after their kiss.
Shortly after, the party moved indoors as guests tried Melanie and Eric’s signature cocktails fittingly named “The Witchking” and “Evenstar”.
“In the lounge area, we displayed framed portraits from our medieval castle engagement shoot, where we had worn full garb, complete with bows and swords,” Melanie says.
For dinner, guests located their names on a large seating chart that displayed each table with watercolor paintings of locations from Middle Earth created by an artist on Etsy. The bride’s father also made the table headers for each table, such as the Shire, Gondor, and Rivendell, with a description of the magic place. All tables had moss, ferns, floating candles, earthy fall flowers, lanterns, and fairytale-themed wine charms from Melanie’s Etsy store.
To cap off the end of this cinematic day, the group went outside to stargaze. Can it get any sweeter than that? If you’re as impressed with Melanie and Eric’s talent for wedding planning from afar, listen to these words of wisdom from the bride:
“Pinterest is your best friend! It helps so much to gather all your inspirational photos in one place (and then categorize them into folders) to show your vendors, family, and refer to yourself. Also, a theme is key! A wedding is so much more special when you bring something that you as a couple love and share it with your guests. It makes it unique and memorable, and so much fun to plan.”
Vendors: Photographer: Jessie Casey; Venue: Seven Ponds Farm; Florist: Allora Farm & Flowers; Hair: Brittany Burl of Krystal Rose Studios; Makeup: Leah Francesca Makeup; Gown Designer: Martina Liana Bridal; Gown Store: RK Bridal; Groom’s Clothing Designer: Suit Supply; Bridesmaids Dresses: CreatiVision Weddings; Groomsmen’s Suits: Indochino; Flower Girl: LisaAnns Creations; Videographer: Behold Films; DJ: MD Music & Entertainment; Officiant: Goldstein Weddings