Brian and I were connected with Nicky & Mark via Ryan Samuelson (the creative genius and overall design master behind R_Studio).  Ryan found one of our photographs on instagram in which I captioned it something along the lines of “There is nothing better than a bride & groom in the woods.”…or mountains…or nature.  He had some amazing intuition that we would be a great fit for Nicky & Mark and to this day we are SO thankful to him for this.  We ended up meeting Ryan, Nicky, & Mark at Bank Square in Beacon, NY and we instantly knew we were in for something magical.  They described their wedding day as a down-to-earth, relaxed, super fun, nature filled, music festival vibe type celebration.  This was 100% what their wedding day was and we loved every second of it.
     When we went to scout out possible photo locations at Full Moon Resort we fell madly in love.  It was a relaxed and scenic drive into the Catskill Mountains and completely worth the journey.  We are talking fields of wildflowers, woods, and boulder filled stream that runs along the property, the wood barn reception space, numerous cabin-like & historic home accommodations, the list goes on and could not be any more beautiful.  Oh, and I almost forgot to mention – there is a yurt.  Yup, a yurt.  AND you can stay in it.
     Ryan created drift wood centerpieces that held candles, pebbles, and flower filled vessels.  You must see it below to understand the glory of it all.  He also created a MOON.  Yes… A MOON.  See his instagram for a magical night shot of it. Virginia Sole-Smith put together a lush and natural bouquet made up of wildflowers that I could. not. stop. photographing.  And of course let us all marvel at the talent of Dark + Diamond  – Nicky’s flower crown was something out of a dream.
     Their wedding day ended up being exactly as they envisioned – they got to frolic through the woods, streams, and fields of Full Moon Resort – their pup Stella by their side in all her cuteness.  They were married by Nicky’s cousin in a short ceremony that was perfect for them & her aunt made the most impressive (and delicious) dessert table we have ever laid our eyes upon. It was a stress free and amazing day and we are so thankful to have been a part of it and to have met these truly wonderful human beings.

Nicky really does describe it best.  Their story in her words –

 How they met :

“Mark and I met in September at New Paltz in our English Literature class. (Fun fact: Ryan’s wife Mandee introduced me to Mark and Ryan was my roommate : ) Our first date was early October to see a Grateful Dead cover band, The Deadbeats, and we have literally been together every day since then! 17 years to be exact. We always joked when we were younger that if we ever got married The Deadbeats would have to have a part in our wedding, and they did! Alex Mazur the keyboardist did triple duty for us. He played our cocktail hour, DJ’d the reception and played in the band at the after party.”

Engagement story : 

“Okay, flash back to September of 2015, the autumnal equinox. Mark and I have always had a special place in our hearts for New Paltz and Rosendale. We periodically go up there to hike and visit our old favorites. The Widow Jane Mine in Rosendale was just behind our house where were lived for 5 years. We started the day in the caves reflecting on our time in the house and our friend Rima who owned the house. It was the anniversary of her passing and we were there to celebrate her. Little did I know, Mark was also planning on proposing. After the proposal, a cardinal feather flew into the car.  They say cardinals are a symbol of someone in your life who has passed away. : )  It was a beautiful little tribute to our dear friend.”

Wedding day priorities : 

“As for the wedding details, we knew we had to incorporate the mountains and as many natural elements as possible. Nothing about our relationship has been traditional or conventional, so we wanted the weekend to really mirror our personalities and our lifestyle. We were going for a “festival vibe” where our guests could come and go throughout the weekend and take part in all kinds of activities. I also love fairies and all things woodland so we wanted to incorporate that as well. Having our friends be the creative force behind our ideas was amazing! We spent many summer Sundays crafting, painting signs, making flower lists and working on prototypes for our center pieces.”

Favorite memories of the day : 

“The weekend was perfect! The barbeque and bonfire on Friday night was a little chilly (some said too cold), but after the dog days of summer it felt nice to throw on a hooded sweatshirt and hang out in the woods. On Saturday one of my best friends lead a yoga class, we had various lawn games and the resort had a disc golf course. We also sprinkled a few hammocks around the grounds so people could just kick back and enjoy nature. Some guests went for hikes, or shopping, or just strolled the grounds. It was so great to see all of our friends and family from different worlds interacting all weekend. So much better than isolating everyone into hotel rooms.

Mark and I were also stress free all weekend! We didn’t adhere to the whole “can’t see each other before the wedding” rule, we didn’t have to organize pick ups and shuttles, my dress wasn’t complicated and we didn’t rent tuxs. My cousin wrote our vows (with some help from some Phish lyrics-one of my favorite parts!) and the staff at Full Moon were incredible! We also had an amazing team behind us to organize flowers, decor, lighting, favors, dessert and all the other little touches we had planned. I think it was really important to trust the team to make decisions for us, otherwise, we probably would have been stressed.

One of the highlights of the wedding day was first thing in the morning when Mark and I walked the nature trail with our dog Stella. No one was awake and it was a sweet little moment to remind us that we were exactly where we wanted to be!

Everything was literally perfection! The photos were so stress free and GORGEOUS! The landscape lent itself to so many beautiful shots. The ceremony was personal, touching and quick! I picked two Michael Franti songs for our entrance and exit to the ceremony and they were timed just right!

The entrance to the barn was exactly how we envisioned it and everyone danced the whole night. The after party was OUT. OF. CONTROL! I convinced everyone to change into “festie wear” (think sparkles, wigs, and tie dyed), and we passed out about 300 glow sticks. The band was great and everyone loved it!”

How Nicky ended her wedding info – I had to include it because it really warmed our hearts. “I just can’t say enough good things about everyone involved. Thank you for being such a huge part of this weekend. You and Brian are so talented at what you do and your energy and vibe matched our personalities perfectly! I can’t wait to see the blog and relive it all over again.”

Venue : Full Moon Resort

Planner : Ryan Samuelson of R_Studio

Dress :  BHLDN

Dress Shop : BHLDN – Chestnut Hill, MA

Flower crown : Dark + Diamond

Hair & Make Up: Shear Love

Flowers : Adams Fairacre Farms – Arranged by Virginia Sole-Smith and R_Studio

Desserts : Janice Rayball – Aunt of the Bride & Baker Extraordinaire

Officiant : Jeff Rayball (cousin of the bride)

DJ & Cocktail Hour Pianist : Alex Mazur

Afterparty Band : The Deadbeats

Stationery : Graphic Nature