When I think about a cozy winter wedding this might be exactly what I would picture. Jamie and Dennis married at Spillian Lodge in Fleischmanns, NY. They had been spending long weekends in the Catskills for years so it only made sense to get out of the city and spend their wedding day in a place they loved and could relax.
They married outside and spent the evening with their family and friends enjoying dinner and a bonfire under the stars! Seriously how amazing is that?!
Scroll down to see some beautiful photos of their day and some Q&A from the couple !
Photography: Maren Kathleen Photography
Event Planner: Catskill Weddings
Hair Stylist: Lari Manz
Florist: Catskill Flower Shop
Bridal Dress Designer: Pronovias
Bridal Store : Simplicity Bridal
Tuxedo and Men’s Attire: Boyd’s Philadelphia and Trussini
How did you meet?
I work as an architect and Dennis is co-owner of a mechanical contracting company, and we share a mutual client in Princeton University. Dennis and I met in 2012 when both of our companies were working on a few renovations at the University. It’s not typical that a sub-contractor would be in attendance at the weekly construction meetings but we happened to have several projects that were fairly complicated in scope and required his insight. We got to know each other fairly well working together over the following one and half years. We finally went on our first date in December of 2013 and by January 2014 we both knew that we were in this for the long haul. We each found in the other a loving, loyal, like-minded, devoted and driven partner and I couldn’t be happier that we found one another!
How did you decide to have a tiny wedding vs. something more traditional?
Neither one of us truly enjoys being the center of attention in a large crowd, so the thought of a big wedding just did not feel representative of who we are and what’s important to us. We knew that we wanted our day to revolve around our relationship with one another but also to be focused on family and the people that are most important to us and who have supported us through the years. The most difficult part of planning such a small wedding was having to explain to other friends and family members that we weren’t meaning to be exclusionary, but we wanted to remain focused on our vision of an intimate and meaningful wedding.
How did you decide on the location?
We have been spending long weekends in the Catkills area of New York since 2013 and it has become a very special place to us. We both work stressful jobs and when we are in the Catskills, we are able to relax and let go. We couldn’t imagine a better way to celebrate the most important day, with the most important people, than a weekend away in a place that means so much to us.
How did you break the news to everyone that you were doing something very small?
We got engaged in July of 2018 but didn’t start planning until October 2018. By early November, we knew exactly what we wanted and didn’t waste time telling family. Given that I’m in my late 30s and he is in his 40s, I think people are less likely to question our decisions. We both know exactly who we are and what we want, so once we had a plan it was just a matter of ironing out the details. We didn’t have to deal with too many questions about why we would want to have such a small wedding and if we might regret not having a big wedding. We didn’t have a wedding party and we only invited 17 people, including our officiant Eric, who is a long-time friend of Dennis’s. We wanted to incorporate family as much as possible, so in addition to Eric serving as officiant, we also had several family members participate in readings and other parts of the ceremony.
What was your favorite part of the day and why?
My favorite part of the day was every single moment. From waking up to have breakfast with family at Spillian and relaxing around the living room, to getting ready with my mom and my best friend, to starting the long walk from the front porch down to the ceremony space among the trees, to laughing and smiling with Dennis during the ceremony, our first kiss as husband and wife, an amazing dinner with family and a beautiful bonfire in the woods to wind down the night. It was amazing and because it was so intimate and so tailored to us, I am able to remember and relive every single detail.
What advice would you give to other couples planning their weddings or elopement right now?
Decide what’s right for you and stick to the plan. Your wedding day doesn’t need to be flashy, huge or over the top in order for you to remember it. Make it about you as a couple and don’t worry about the rest.