A Beacon, NY Wedding
Tell us your love story!
We met the good old-fashioned way: on okcupid. Elissa asked Jess for a second date before the first date (at a now-closed bar called Beast) was over. Our love for each other grew slowly and steadily. Jess turned Elissa into a cat person and a coffee addict. Elissa introduced Jess to recipes and theater beyond Broadway. We moved in together about 2.5 years in and got engaged about a year later.
What about the proposal?
Jess wrote Elissa a poem because Elissa loves to write poetry and teased Jess about her lack of interest in it. Jess printed the poem on fancy paper and had it planted ahead of time at one of their favorite, fancy restaurants. A friend fake-cancelled fake double-date plans so that Jess could come up with a reason why they were going to a fancy restaurant. When the server brought out the “dessert menu,” it was actually Jess’ poem.
When did you know that you were meant to be with each other?
Moving in together sealed the deal. Once we were spending so much time together and still really enjoying each other, it was obvious we needed to just not stop.
Going into the wedding planning, what did you definitely know?
We knew we wanted to create as much intimacy as is possible with a sizable crowd. This led us to have a semi-destination weekend one hour from where we live: a town with nature and an endearing Main Street, small and far away enough that folks traveling would happily choose spend the weekend with us. We also knew we wanted to personalize and write as much of the ceremony we could. Jess said early on that good food was a must. Elissa agreed.
What surprised you during planning? What was easy, what was difficult?
We were overwhelmed by our parents’ generosity and just as grateful for the autonomy they allowed for in the planning. They made our process both possible and relatively easy. We were surprised, at times, by how hard it was not to get sucked into the wedding industrial complex emotionally and financially. It felt awkward to make decisions that sometimes seemed self-absorbed; that isn’t really our style. During the planning process, it was sometimes hard to answer questions about “our vision” for the wedding. Neither of us grew up imagining what our wedding would look like, so it took some exploring to figure that out. We needed some help from friends to navigate the world of Pinterest. Also, we are two women in an egalitarian relationship with different aesthetic tastes, so navigating that many joint decisions took a great deal of intentionality.
Is there anything you wish you knew while you were planning your wedding that you know now?
Logistically speaking, we thought different types of vendors had different timelines and that we could pace ourselves since we thought some vendors didn’t need as much advance notice as others. We discovered that in the NYC region, all types of vendors get booked extremely early, so it was more of a flurry than we expected to get everything picked at once.
Any advice for couples planning weddings now? Anything you would have done differently or anything you’d like to add?
The devil really is in the details. It paid off to ask vendors if we could do something differently than we were initially told; there were countless examples of minute details that, once questioned, they were very flexible on. If you feel, as we sometimes did, that our wedding was inconveniencing people (i.e. a Jewish wedding, out of town, that couldn’t happen on a Saturday during the day and instead took place on Sunday on a school night), remember that people who love you are delighted to celebrate you and this moment in your lives even if it requires some travel or a missed day of work.
We didn’t have bridal parties and were happy with that choice. We realized, though, that delegation to close friends was still critical to help make key moments happen and to keep us sane. Don’t try too hard to make the wedding “feel like you” – your unique personalities and the elements of your relationship that are important to you will come through regardless.
What was your favorite part of your wedding day?
Elissa says: to have so many beloved humans in one place celebrating us and our commitment to each other was awesome. When my best friend and her partner drove with her three-week infant all the way from Wisconsin to be with us. When our seven-year old niece refused to let go of our hands. When I waited for Jess to meet me under the chuppa. When my cheeks were tired from smiling. When our friends texted us about the books they got at our wedding book swap in the weeks and months following the wedding.
Jess says: holding hands as much as possible. Listening to her vows and for just a moment forgetting that everyone was watching. Helping each other disentangle hair and dress at the end of the evening. Waking extra early to take a solitary walk, be with my thoughts, and read a poem from my beloved.
- Location: The Roundhouse
- Photographer: Hudson River Photographer
- Planner: Color Pop Events
- Florist: Viridescent Floral Design
- Paper Goods: Minted
- Ceremony Musician: Meaghan Burke
- DJ: 74 Events
- Hair | Makeup: Fallon Fitzpatrick Hair Design
- Officiant: Rabbi Justin David
- Officiant: Cantor Marcey Wagner
- Photo Booth: FLUX Photobooth Company
- Attire - Jess: Pnina Tornai
- Attire - Elissa: Shareen Bridal