Cancun, Mexico. Spring Break, 2008. It was Alyson’s senior year of college, and this was her last hurrah before graduation. One night, she and her girlfriends were out at the hotel bar when Gary and his friends approached and asked if they could sit together. Alyson offered to share her seat with Gary, who was celebrating being in preseason for Major League Soccer with the rest of the team. The gang shared in a wild night of partying, and Alyson and Gary said goodbye assuming they’d never see each other again.
But all week, they continued to run into each other again and again, soon discovering their rooms were side by side! After a few more days of heavy partying, Alyson and Gary decided to take a night off and go on a date. Gary slipped a note under her door to verify their plans, and she did the same to confirm. The two saw “Juno” with subtitles and spent a lovely evening together.
The dreamy days of Cancun were coming to an end all too soon. Alyson and her friends, and Gary and his team all went out for a final night of celebration, and the next morning said their goodbyes, thinking for sure this time they’d reached the end of their correspondence. “After he left, I was down by the pool and my girlfriend came running over telling me I had to go up to our room,” Alyson recalls, “When I opened the door, there were rose petals on the bed and a note on my pillow. It said that he didn’t expect to meet anyone in Cancun of all places, but would like to see where this could go and asked that we get in touch once I was back in NY.”
Gary called Alyson the next day while she was waiting for her layover, and asked if he could come visit her in Syracuse on Sunday (The next day!) Alyson’s girlfriends urged her to say yes, and Gary drove from Boston, MA to Syracuse, NY the next morning after a huge snowstorm, just so they could spend one day together.
“I knew by the end of that summer he was going to be the man I married,” says Alyson, “The definition of serendipity is finding something good when you’re not looking for it and that is our story and why I love it so.”
Alyson and Gary were married this past October, in a magical ceremony and celebration at the stunning Estate at East Wind on the North Shore of Long Island.
The couple said their vows before a beautiful floral archway accented with curly willow branches, ivory and cream roses, Italian ruscus and silver dollar eucalyptus. A whimsical walkway lined with roses led up to the altar with additional branches and greenery.
The bountiful garden setting was perfect for what Alyson envisioned for her floral design. “What I really wanted for our wedding was to have this dreamy, bohemian, garden-y look rather than a more traditional ‘put together’ type of floral design,” explains Alyson, “I wanted the floral design to be airy, but lush with cascading flowers and lots of greenery.”
Alyson carried a rounded bouquet of dusty rose amnesia roses, ivory garden roses, cream vendela roses and ivory spray roses, with accents of dusty miller and silver dollar eucalyptus arranged with texture and dimension, and gathered with an ivory satin ribbon. She wore a beautiful long-sleeved gown by Lihi Hod, from the designer’s amazing 2016 collection of Boho-inspired gowns and two-pieces. “Gary said he envisioned me wearing a dress similar to the one I wore, but what totally threw him off was the way I wore my hair – he loved it!” remembers Alyson, who wore a fantastic fishtail braid.
Walking down the aisle and exchanging vows were some of Alyson’s most cherished memories of the whole day. “I just remember locking eyes with Gary and never letting go,” she says, “And our vow exchange. I absolutely loved the personal touch it added to our wedding; he is quite the poet and had me and a few others in tears!”
The wedding party looked dashing, with Gary’s groomsmen in dapper charcoal suits from Robbie & Co and a single Amnesia rose in each lapel. Alyson’s best girlfriends wore ethereal Rose Water gowns by Two Birds and carried gorgeous, pastel bouquets to complement the bride’s.
Dusty rose was at the core of Alyson’s dreamy, elegant color palette. “I was going to go with a trendier color scheme – heather grey and a deep purple. However, after I got to playing around on Pinterest and looking at floral arrangements and color schemes, I realized how classic and romantic pink hues looked, but I still wanted something different from the often used (but pretty!) blush color.”
“I stumbled across this antique, dusty rose color that reminded me of rose gold, which I’ve always been a fan of, and just fell in love with it! The color would pair perfectly with neutrals and it was a done deal.”
The reception was held at East Wind’s Estate, a breathtaking, modern hall with skylights, exposed brick, and brass chandeliers. Guests were greeted by two sandblasted manzanita trees rooted in a bed of fresh blooms and illuminated by floating glass votive candles.
Creating a magical, Bohemian vibe in alignment with their serendipitous meeting , Alyson and Gary’s décor struck the perfect balance between wild and polished, subtle and bold. Tables were decked out in both high and low arrangements of roses, hydrangeas, dahlias, and tulips, with gold glass-stemmed candle holders bringing a romantic glow to the room. A floral garland was strewn across the couple’s sweetheart table, and adorable signs accented with fresh blooms and greens hung on the newlywed’s chairs.
Who knew spring break in Cancun would kickstart such an amazing, timeless, romantic union? Congratulations, Alyson & Gary!
Venue: The Estate at East Wind
Photography: Kate Neal Photo
Videography: Mackler Studios
Bride’s Gown: Lihi Hod
Bride’s Shoes: Valentino
Groom’s / Groomsmen Tuxedo: Robbie & Co
Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Two Birds
Beauty: The Spa at East Wind
Music: Hank Lane Band
Invitations / Place Cards / Table Cards : Ceci New York
Officiant: David Conway