Stephanie and Mike were married on a beautiful day in August at Blue Hill at Stone Barns.
When Stephanie asked Mike to see Stephen Kellogg and the Sixers play at World Café Live, she thought of it as nothing more than two friends getting together. They lived in Philadelphia at the time, where she was working as a nurse and he was going to school. “We were introduced on a night out with friends, got along really well, and texted back and forth a bit. I had an extra ticket to a concert one evening, but all my friends had plans.” Stephanie recalls. “Mike had mentioned his studies were getting tough. I asked him to join me thinking he could use a fun distraction. In the back of my mind though, I thought he wouldn’t be able to go on such short notice. But he said ‘yes’.”
They were having such a good time that after the concert, they grabbed a late bite and drink before heading home. It was clear to the both of them something special had taken place during that ‘unplanned’ first date. “We made plans the following five nights in a row to hang out – going to dinner, the movies, another concert.” Stephanie remembers. “We couldn’t get enough of each other and our relationship just continued to grow.”
While their relationship started out effortlessly, Mike knew that Stephanie deserved a grand, romantic proposal. This would require some serious work and planning on his part. He wanted to propose in an intimate, memorable place. After talking with friends and considering locations all around the world, he settled on Nicaragua’s Emerald Coast.
After a 5 AM flight out of New York City, the couple touched down to start their vacation. Mike had the whole day laid out for them. “We took a dip in the pool, relaxed at the spa, walked along the ocean, and enjoyed a delicious local dinner. On the way back to our Bohio, I suggested we enjoy a drink out on our balcony overlooking the Pacific sunset.” Stephanie’s eyes lit up with excited surprise as she opened the door to a scene of candle-lit lanterns and flower petals. She turned around and Mike was on one knee with the ring in his hand. “I had a speech prepared, but all I remember saying was ‘Will you marry me?’ She immediately said ‘Yes!’”
When it came time to choose a venue, the food and wine-loving couple looked to Blue Hill at Stone Barns. Located in picturesque Pocantico Hills, NY, Blue Hill is an award-winning, environmentally conscious restaurant that opened on the Stone Barns estate, which was once the dairy farm of the Rockefeller family. “The venue is gorgeous. And the organic, farm-to-table aspect of Blue Hill under the direction of head chef Dan Barber really appealed to us,” Stephanie said.
The bride had a clear idea about her wedding dress as soon as she started looking. “I envisioned a design with lace, a low back, and fairly fitted silhouette. I wanted something with a lighter, airy feel since our wedding was going to be in August.” With the help of her friends and family, Stephanie found her dream gown – an exquisite creation by designer Rosa Clara.
Stephanie was never the type of girl who fantasized about a fairy-tale wedding. “I didn’t even know what kind of ring I wanted! Mike actually picked out the design. We worked together on everything from the theme and colors to the music selection. For flowers, we wanted to use succulents to create a look that was unique and natural.” The couple settled on a romantic color scheme of light green and white paired with soft hues of peach and lavender.
The ceremony took place outdoors in Blue Hill’s splendid courtyard. Stephanie carried a stunning bouquet of peach, white, and lavender roses, ranunculus, dahlias and sweet peas accented with succulents and eucalyptus. The couple exchanged vows at a breathtaking alter decorated with voluminous arrangements of roses, dahlias, and delphinium with verdant greenery on each side.
After the ceremony, guests were led to the reception in Blue Hill’s beautifully restored barn marked by exposed stone and wood floors. The space emanated an ambiance of enchanted allure. The tablescape cast an intimate mood for everyone to enjoy, featuring naturally arranged moss adorned with lush low centerpieces in mercury glass vases, illuminated by the glow of votive candles.
We asked Stephanie to share a few of her favorite moments from her wedding with us. “The day from start to finish was incredible. I had so much fun getting ready with my closest friends while enjoying a mimosa, followed by my mom helping me into my wedding dress.” Any pre-wedding nerves were calmed when she read the note Mike had written for her. “It was so thoughtful, from the heart, and full of love,” she reminisces. “There was the excitement of our first look… walking up behind Mike and the moment he turned around is a lasting impression in my mind.” Stephanie continues, “I will always remember my uncle, taking the place of my late father, walking me down the aisle.” And there wasn’t a dry eye to be seen when the couple exchanged their handwritten vows. “We both teared up while reading them!”
The hard part wasn’t over just yet. Stephanie and Mike still had to get through their first dance, which they had choreographed together. “I was sooooo nervous! But we pulled it off without a missed step!”
Congratulations, Stephanie and Mike!
Venue: Blue Hill at Stone Barns
Photographer: Golden Hour Studios
Planner: Whimsy Weddings
Bride’s Gown: Rosa Clará
Bride’s Shoes: Christian Louboutin
Hair + Makeup: Annaliese & Co.
Invitations: Momental Designs