Even though Jeff and I have been wedding DJs for over eight years now, weâ€™re STILL surprised to discover unusual, beautiful spots for weddings in the Hudson Valley that weâ€™ve never seen before, right in our own backyard. The Soyuzivka Estate in Kerhonkson is one such spot, affectionately called â€œSuzy-Qâ€ because of its unpronounceable name.
Just past Minnewaska State park, the UNA is nestled high in the mountains. The old Ukrainian resort, circa 1886, is a group of Bavarian-style resort lodges boasting the most beautiful mountain views Iâ€™ve seen since Mohonk. Andy worked at the resort as a teen, practically growing up there, and it was here that Ashely and Andy had their first date, making it a natural choice for their wedding.
Pumpkins lined the aisle runner set up in the lobby of the Main House for Andy and Ashelyâ€™s ceremony. The groomsmen, in black suits and Keds sneakers, stood to one side; the bridesmaids in royal blue took their spots across from them. Ashely, in a beautiful halter cut gown with a navy blue sash about the waist, glided down the aisle on her motherâ€™s arm. She turned to face Andy, revealing the vivid peacock feathers woven into her hair, matching the ones in her deep red rose bouquet.
During the ceremony, one of the coupleâ€™s friends performed from memory a rhyming spoken word blessing he had written for the occasion. It was reminiscent of a Shakespearean poem, delivered with passion, â€œLove is friendship caught on fire,â€ well suited to the Medieval feel of the lodges and bridal party attire.
The guests moved to the Trembita building for cocktail hour, a dark wood paneled bar with Ukrainian mosaic figures on the walls, for cocktails and appetizers as Jeff performed an acoustic guitar soundtrack.
The tables in the downstairs reception hall were laid with navy blue linens and decorated with wrought iron candelabras draped with blue, maroon and silver ribbons.
GUESTBOOK IDEA: Ashely dressed up a regular white book with peacock feathers and ribbon to match her theme.
COOL CAKE IDEA: Instead of a traditional (and expensive) wedding cake, Ashely and Andy cut a single pumpkin cheese cake topped with a Ukrainian icon, while the staff plated of separate cakes for their guests in the kitchen. Not only did it offer savings off a traditional wedding cake; it fit their fall theme and was really delicious!
Dancing really took off after dinner. Two of the guests, both Iraqi veterans who had only met the day before, staged a Zoolander-esque dance-off to â€œRelaxâ€ by Freddy Goes To Hollywood, complete with contortions, mock break dancing, and dry humping on the dance floor.
The night ended with a song chosen by Andy and Ashely, â€œAll You Need Is Loveâ€ by The Beatles. Guests held hands in a circle around them and wove underneath the couples arms as they sang the song together.
Photos by Matt Petricone