Unique Fall Wedding in New York Inspired by Dutch Masters Still Life Portraits

February 10, 2021

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When I started working with Rachel and Patrick, they weren’t *quite* yet engaged. (I know. I hope their parents never read this blog post because it wasn’t even official yet.) But they were busy medical residents. They knew they only had certain times of the year when they’d be able to plan their wedding, and other times when work would keep them away. When we started working together, Rachel and Patrick wanted a multi-generational family celebration that felt like a giant dinner with everyone together at the table. What we ended up with was a unique fall wedding in New York, inspired by Dutch Masters Still Life Portraits.

Wondering how to find the right wedding planner to execute your vision? Here are 4 simple steps.

Unique Inspiration While Wedding Planning

Rachel and I immediately connected because of our similar sensibilities when it came to wedding decor. She had refined tastes and wanted to make sure her wedding planner matched the aesthetic she wanted to create. When Rachel described the colors that she loved – deep reds, rich blues, burgundy, and jewel tones, her mother mentioned that it sounded like a Dutch Masters still-life portrait. 

Coincidentally, in college, one of my freshman courses was called Art and Chemistry. I loved it because I learned a lot about the science behind hues and pigmentation, as well as the techniques artists used to create their works of art. I use a lot of what I learned then as a wedding designer. One of the artists we studied was Johannes Vermeer. And he was – you guessed it – one of the great Dutch Master painters!

It seemed like the planets were aligning perfectly to recreate a Dutch Masters painting. This way, we could not only incorporate the rich colors Rachel loved, but also the family-oriented gathering at the dinner table they both wanted for their wedding. 

Planning your own wedding design right now? Make sure to check out Wedding Floral Trends to Avoid: Inspiration from New York’s Top Florists

Downsizing Their Guest List After Pandemic Wedding Restrictions

Little did we know that when we started working together in January of 2019 that their fall 2020 wedding have to be downsized considerably because of the pandemic. As medical professionals, it was paramount to them to keep their friends and family (and also wedding vendors!) safe and healthy. 

While we had to eliminate or re-configure many of the details that we had originally planned, we were still able to have an intimate celebration focused on family. We kept the details that Rachel and Patrick valued most. This included a custom wedding stationery suite inspired by a Dutch Masters still-life portrait, the most gorgeous dahlias in their chuppah, centerpieces, and Rachel’s wedding bouquet, and an intimate meal that started with a beautiful spread of charcuterie, fruit, cheese, and breads. 

The bride and guests also had food sensitivities. We trusted Scratch Bakeshop to design their wedding cake and desserts. The top tier was a dairy-free almond cake with vegan raspberry cream filling and the bottom tier was a dairy-free chocolate cake with a vegan and dairy-free blood orange and fudge filling. The mini fudge brownies and chocolate chip cookies were also vegan and the guests enjoyed all of it.

Finally, with the bride’s mother’s help, we designed custom votives by GlassyBaby, a company based in Rachel’s hometown of Seattle, Washington that makes custom handblown glass votives. 

Desirée understood our busy lives and how to work with and around them.  She was also adept at truly understanding us and what we wanted and making that a reality.  It was clear from the beginning that Desirée's goal when working with couples is to make sure they can enjoy their wedding day and not worry about details so that the important things such as the marriage and spending time with loved-ones are front and center.  We feel like this goal was realized for us. We will miss our regular zoom chats and how easily she was able to organize our thoughts and reflect them back to us in a coherent way. 

Despite the wedding being on Zoom, our guests really had a lot of fun!  Our families also noted how relaxed we seemed on the day of, which we believe was largely due to being able to have Desiree take care of all of the details.  Guests loved the flowers, and those in-person loved the food.  Rachel had a vision of a Dutch-Masters theme and the way that it all came together was perfectly-executed.

Love reading about wedding design and inspiration? Make sure to check out this post on my take on blush and burgundy color palettes!

Hiring a Finger Lakes Wedding Planner & Designer

This unique fall wedding in New York was one for the books. You can view more photos of their wedding day in my portfolio. If you are looking for a wedding planner in Upstate New York (or beyond!), make sure to get in touch here. Hiring a wedding planner who is experienced in design can help you elevate your vision and show you how to expertly weave personal touches into your day. I never want two of my couple's weddings to look the same. Instead, I pride myself on creating unique designs and visual experiences for their guests. You can read more about my wedding planning services here. I would love to connect and help you turn your wedding day vision into reality. Not based in New York? Check out my clarity call service!

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Planning a wedding for 2021 or 2022? Grab my wedding mood board here so you can start designing your own gorgeous wedding just like I did for Rachel & Patrick.