Real Weddings

A Stunning Vineyard Wedding in the Finger Lakes, New York

October 6, 2021

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After a year of postponements and last-minute changes, Holly and Dan's stunning vineyard wedding was a true breath of fresh air. The design incorporated the bride and groom’s love of florals and patterns. We also wanted to make their destination wedding weekend a truly interactive and progressive experience. After learning about Holly and Dan's wedding vision, I couldn't wait to get started. 

Before I dive in and share the incredible details of their stunning vineyard wedding in the Finger Lakes, a quick introduction (in case you landed here from Google or Pinterest!). I'm Desiree, the lead wedding planner and designer here at Verve Event Co. I plan weddings all over Upstate New York and across the country for busy couples wanting an effortless wedding planning experience. After all, your wedding is the start of your next chapter. I believe it deserves to be celebrated to the absolute fullest.

If you are looking for a Finger Lakes wedding planner to help you plan and design your own heirloom occasion, you can learn more about working with me here. Or, if you are ready to skip to the fun part, connect with me directly and let's reserve your date! 

Bride and Groom Wedding Photos on Seneca Lake

Photography: Alexandra Elise Photography

Planning Holly and Dan's Vineyard Wedding at Standing Stone Winery

Holly and Dan met through mutual friends when they rented a beach house together on a 4th of July weekend in a little town called Kismet, which, coincidentally, means “fate.” Holly wasn’t so sure about Dan when he arrived with a cast-iron skillet and a bottle of Mezcal in his backpack, but she came to appreciate the delicious food he prepared for them all weekend. Dan wasn’t so sure about Holly when a (very small) rogue wave pulled her underwater in the ocean, but he came to appreciate her ability to laugh at herself and not take things too seriously. He also didn’t mind rescuing her and caring for her injuries afterward and that’s when their relationship started.

At the time, Holly lived in Chicago and Dan lived in New York City, but after a year of long-distance visits back and forth, she moved to New York to be with Dan. Their courtship continued much as it had, filled with lots of adventure, delicious food, and always the best wine as Dan worked in the industry. As a wedding planner, I was happy to bring as much of this adventure (and great food and wine) into their wedding day as possible! In fact, their wedding ceremony was at Standing Stone Winery overlooking Seneca Lake – the same place where the groom started his wine career years ago after graduating from Cornell.


spring wedding florals at Seneca Lake ceremony

Photography: Alexandra Elise Photography

Standing Stone Winery wedding ceremony

Photography: Alexandra Elise Photography

Bride and Groom vineyard wedding photos

Photography: Alexandra Elise Photography

Their 2020 Wedding Postponement Comes to Life

I always aim to make wedding planning as stress-free (and joy-filled!) as possible. In 2020 however, there were some (unavoidable) challenges. For Holly and Dan, their vineyard wedding plans took an unexpected turn when the pandemic hit. When I asked Holly if she had any advice for couples who may be going through the same thing, here's what she said:

Wedding planning for us took an unexpected turn when we had to delay our wedding a year. Once we got back into it before our rescheduled date, we had so much fun reimagining every detail. Our advice would be to really think about what makes you unique as individuals and a couple, and focus on capturing that in your design. It will mean more for you and be more exciting for your guests. 

If you have been following me for a while, you know how closely her advice speaks directly to my heart! I always encourage my couples to start with their wedding day priorities first. From there, we can infuse their unique personalities and interests into their event. Although I love the classic wedding decor that has been trending, I've always been a fan of adding in a little color. No two weddings should ever look the same.

Colorful Finger Lakes vineyard wedding

Photography: Alexandra Elise Photography

Choosing a Gorgeous Spring Color Palette for their Destination Wedding Weekend

Holly and Dan’s top priorities for their destination wedding weekend centered around making it a special, fun, and memorable occasion for their families and friends. They’re happiest when they’re entertaining others, so we designed a day that was interactive, engaging, and progressive. The overall inspiration for the wedding included the groom’s penchant for floral shirts and the bride’s love of bold color and beautiful paper goods. (She even makes handmade stationery as a hobby!)

Local flowers and the Finger Lakes region all influenced their color palette of “grass green,” (the bride’s favorite), coral, blush, peach, seafoam green, and dark and light blue for the water. I had so much fun infusing the fun spring colors into every detail. From the stunning wedding ceremony at Standing Stone Winery to their reception at one of my favorite wedding venues in Upstate New York – the Cracker Factory – their wedding day was perfect. After taking some time to reflect, Holly mentioned that she was most proud that everyone made a point to say that their wedding looked and felt exactly like “us”.

A note from the bride:

Every detail was vibrant and colorful, capturing our personalities. All of the meaningful touches surprised our guests throughout the day – wine tasting and a ceremony at the vineyard where Dan started his career in wine; Dan’s penchant for floral shirts manifesting as the most unique, eye catching and colorful florals everywhere you looked; customized wine spritzers designed and manufactured by a dear friend for the bus ride to cocktail hour; an interactive escort card and menu with many of our favorite foods including the late night hot dogs we make when camping; my love of bold color and beautiful paper goods evident in the watercolor invitations and day-of stationery; candles for guests to take as favors that were customized to match the scents of the day.

Planning a destination wedding weekend comes with its own set of challenges, but the reason I love being a wedding planner in Upstate New York, is that it's always worth it. Not only did Holly and Dan take advantage of our gorgeous Finger Lakes wedding locations, a large number of guests stayed in chalets and cabins 5 minutes away from the ceremony venue at Single Island Shores. Every single guest traveled to the Finger Lakes from across the US and from South America, so the couple planned nearly a week of activities leading up to their wedding day, helping their guests get to know each other before the big day. It was a true destination wedding weekend for everyone. 


Outdoor wedding in Finger Lakes New York

Photography: Alexandra Elise Photography

The Wedding Stationery, Menu, and Placecards

The custom stationery, designed by Stone Fruit Studio, was whimsical, bold, and colorful. The save-the-date, subsequent change-the-date, and invitation all included custom patterns and monograms created for the day. We included gold foil reminiscent of the vintage china the bride loved and watercolor maps of the Finger Lakes. When I say every element of their wedding day was personalized, I mean it!

A major priority for the couple was an interactive and progressive feeling for their guests. We worked with the stationer to design a combination menu and escort card that we modeled after volvelles. Guests spun them to discover their table number, each course for dinner, and their drink options. It even included their late-night snack, spicy hot dogs, a favorite treat they eat while camping. I have to admit – this is probably one of my favorite design elements of the day! It was truly unique and so much fun. Not to mention, it's now a treasured keepsake from their wedding day.

Spring Wedding Stationery

Photography: Alexandra Elise Photography

Unique escort cards at Vineyard Wedding

Photography: Alexandra Elise Photography

Unique escort cards at Vineyard Wedding

Photography: Alexandra Elise Photography

Food and Drink

Foor and drink are always a top priority, but they were even more important for the couple because Dan is in the industry. The destination wedding weekend started with a cheese tasting at Lively Run Goat Dairy and Red Newt Cellars. The rehearsal dinner took place at Hermann J. Wiemer Vineyards, another winery that was special to the groom.

 Prior to the ceremony, guests enjoyed wines from Standing Stone Vineyards and more local cheese and charcuterie. During the 30-minute bus ride from the ceremony to the reception, the couple surprised guests with customized wine spritzers designed and manufactured by a dear friend.

Finally, the family-style dinner consisted of spring greens with shaved carrots, radishes, peas and creamy feta and mint dressing; rosemary and lemon roasted whole chicken, slow-cooked halibut with maître d’butter; and asparagus served with hollandaise, tarragon, and peppered hazelnuts.

Wedding cake flavors included peanut better cake with raspberry cream and fudge, carrot cake with caramel cream and vanilla cream, and vanilla cake with strawberry buttercream and lemon curd with vanilla buttercream.

The evening ended with a late-night snack of spicy hot dogs and flaming hot Cheetos, inspired by the Groom’s recipe for their favorite camping snack. Needless to say, from start to finish, everyone was well fed!

Unique and Colorful Wedding Tablescapes at Finger Lakes Vineyard wedding

Photography: Alexandra Elise Photography

Colorful modern wedding cake at Vineyard wedding

Photography: Alexandra Elise Photography

Unique and Colorful Wedding Tablescapes at Finger Lakes Vineyard wedding Unique and Colorful Wedding Tablescapes at Finger Lakes Vineyard wedding Unique and Colorful Wedding Tablescapes at Finger Lakes Vineyard wedding   Colorful modern wedding cake at Vineyard wedding

 The Wedding Florals

For the ceremony, Flowerwell designed meadow-inspired arrangements that lined the aisle. Larger arrangements encircled the couple with the vineyard and Seneca Lake further behind. For the reception, flowers included a variety of locally grown blooms, such as Lily of the Valley, Stock, garden roses, sweet peas, and peonies.  In addition to the table centerpieces, arrangements decorated either side of the head table, the dance floor in front of the band, their photo lounge, and their escort card display installation.

 Most importantly, countless guests agreed that the riot of color was exactly the type of celebration the bride and groom would have wanted. The spring color palette was brought to life flawlessly.


Spring wedding florals at Vineyard Wedding in New York

Photography: Alexandra Elise Photography

Spring wedding florals at Vineyard Wedding in New York Spring wedding florals at Vineyard Wedding in New York

The Wedding Attire

Holly purchased her dress by Pronovias from the White Gown in New York City. Her shoes – comfortable from the very beginning – were Keds for Kate Spade, which are quickly becoming a wedding shoe classic! I certainly never turn down an option to be comfortable! Her earrings and wedding ring were both Kwiat diamonds. She looked absolutely stunning!

Dan wore a custom suit by Suit Supply. Chemistry Neckties custom sewed his necktie from cloth printed to match Stone Fruit’s designs. His groomsmen wore pink ties that were also printed to match their wedding stationery. 

Instead of a large wedding party, Holly and Dan included siblings and a few close friends. The bridesmaids wore gorgeous slate blue dresses by Jenny Yoo. The groomsmen wore suits from Suit Supply. Everyone looked absolutely stunning!

Bridesmaids holding spring bouquet florals

Photo Credit: Alexandra Elise Photography

groom outfit for spring wedding

Photo Credit: Alexandra Elise Photography


Family Heirlooms

As a wedding planner who values planning heirloom occasions, I love when couples bring in sentimental touches. One of the bride’s sisters gave Holly a bracelet in their grandparents’ handwriting. Her mom assembled an heirloom pin that they tucked into the bride’s dress. The pin included lace from the bride’s mother’s wedding dress and jewelry from her late grandmother. After all, a wedding comes together from a million tiny details. I'm so glad that these family heirlooms were included on their wedding day. 

Wedding Favors

We worked with local candlemaker A Light Within to create custom scented candles for wedding favors. The candlemaker sprinkled dried flowers from the flower farm that produced her arrangements and incorporated floral notes from the gardens at the bride’s grandparents’ home. They truly were the final touch tying together how personalized their wedding was. We finished the candle favors with a monogram designed by Stone Fruit Studio and a silk ribbon of seafoam green and light blue. I'm always a fan of favors that give your guests something they will actually use. And, of course, everyone loved them!

Photography: Alexandra Elise Photography

Photography: Alexandra Elise Photography

Planning your Own Vineyard Wedding in The Finger Lakes, New York

When you love and appreciate good design, it can be hard to hand the reins over to a wedding planner. Trust me, I get it! I hope that Holly and Dan's vineyard wedding inspires you to work with a wedding planner and designer passionate about making your wedding look and feel like YOU. For more photos of this gorgeous wedding, click here. There were so many personal details, it was hard to include everything in one post! Their wedding day truly felt like a celebration, from the fun spring color palette to the unique escort card spinners. If you are currently planning a vineyard wedding in the Finger Lakes, I would love to hear from you. When I say this work lights up my heart, I am not exaggerating. You can connect directly with me here, or for daily wedding inspiration – follow me on Instagram.


finger lakes wedding vineyard

Full list of vendors that we worked with to put this beautiful day together:

Planning & Design: Verve Event Co.
Photography: Alexandra Elise Photography
Ceremony Venue: Standing Stone Vineyards
Reception Venue: The Cracker Factory
Attire: Pronovias from The White Gown and Suit Supply
Custom Ties & Pocket Squares: Chemistry Neckties
Cake: Scratch Bakeshop
Calligraphy: Roc Pen Ink
Catering: Feast & Co.
Entertainment: Silver Arrow Band
Florals: Flowerwell
Hair & Makeup: Erica Stoy Hair & Eva Jewel Makeup
Rings: Kwiat
Rentals: McCarthy Events
Lounge Furniture: Revival Rental
Shoes: Keds x Kate Spade
Stationery:  Stone Fruit Studio
String Quartet: Delmonico String Quartet
Table Settings: Petunia Rose Luxe China
Videography:  Jacquelyn Daley Photography
Virtual Wedding Streaming: Lovestream