A Hudson Valley Ceremonies Wedding at Hunter Mountain

Congratulations to the new Mr & Mrs Nelson who were married at Hunter Mountain on March 8th!

Advice from the couple:

“Splurge on photography / videography and try to take in every moment of the day because it goes by so quickly.”
Hunter Mountain Wedding

Hunter Mountain Wedding

Casino Wedding

Casino Wedding

Custom Cake Topper

Custom Cake Topper

Hunter Mountain Wedding

Hunter Mountain Wedding

Hunter Mountain Wedding

Hunter Mountain Wedding

Hunter Mountain Wedding

Hunter Mountain Wedding

Wedding Location: Hunter Mountain
Ceremony Officiant: Hudson Valley Ceremonies (Jeanne Stark)
Photographer: Photographics Solution
Videographer: Photographics Solution
DJ/Band: Piano Man’s DJ Productions (Nate Miller)
Ceremony Musicians: Golden Scroll Soloists
Florist: Anthology Studio
Bridal Attire: Angela’s Bridal
Men’s Attire: Men’s Warehouse
Rings/Jewelry: Harold Finkle, Your Jeweler
Hair/Makeup: Krystal Rose Studio
Invitations: Wedding Paper Divas
Favors: DIY
Casino Tables: Big Eastern Casino Company

Wedding Planning on a Tight Budget

You shouldn’t have to sacrifice style to save money when planning your wedding day!

Planning your wedding can be really exciting at first – but once you start to tally up all your wants and needs for the the big day, it’s normal to start stressing about money. Most likely you don’t have an endless amount of cash to spend on your wedding, so you’ll need to create a budget. While it might seem tough to stick to your budget and still get what you want, there are a few tricks for planning the perfect wedding without going overboard on expenditures.

Avoid “Wedding” Items

Whether it’s napkins, cups, plates or guest favors, higher prices often accompany merchandise earmarked for weddings. Pay close attention when you’re shopping for anything wedding-related, and compare the prices of similar products. You might get sucked into thinking that you need monogrammed wedding napkins or cups customized to your wedding palette, but you can find similar items for much cheaper if you expand your search beyond party stores and wedding supply sites. Just because you are using an item in a wedding, doesn’t mean you can only buy it at a wedding supply store.

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Explore Catering Options

If your wedding will be held at a hotel, conference center or banquet hall, explore creative options for providing food and drink. Purchasing a select number of items at a supermarket or savings club will give you the option to use gift certificates, gift cards and coupons to defray costs. The cost of alcohol can be reduced if you streamline the selection instead of providing a full bar. You’ll save a ton by having a buffet for a big group instead of paying per-person for individual meals. If your reception after the ceremony will be on the short side, you can always just serve desserts instead of a full meal. The idea that you have to have a sit-down dinner after your ceremony is a popular tradition—not a rule.

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Eliminate a “Plus One”

Your wedding day is a time to celebrate with all your friends and family, but what about people you’ve never met before? A quick way to trim costs on your reception expenses is to eliminate the option of a “plus one” for guests who will bring someone you’ve never met. In addition to creating a guest list to keep track of your actual invited guests, consider filling out wedding budget (you can find plenty of printable budgets online) to effectively keep track of all your purchases and expenses. Including RSVP send-back card with your invitations can give you a good idea of how many people will attend will so you can better estimate how much you’ll be spending on food, space, etc.

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Consider a Pre-Owned Dress

Think about putting superstition aside and consider buying a used wedding dress. Sites like eBay and PreOwnedWeddingDresses.com offer a wide variety of styles, sizes and price points. Instead of paying thousands for a brand new dress, you can pay just a few hundred, including the cost of having the dress steamed or cleaned. Plenty of brides have kept their dresses in mint condition, and as newlyweds they are willing sell to another bride in order to recoup some of their wedding costs. If you can find someone in your area selling a used dress, you won’t have to pay for shipping. Offering to pay cash can net you an even deeper discount.

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Choose a Venue Carefully

When choosing a venue, look for a space that gives you the option to choose your own vendors. Some venues require brides to purchase a catering or event-planning package, which bumps up the price. Look for affordable options like state or city parks, a friend’s home, a church or synagogue, or buildings in your community. Having an outdoor wedding can save tons on decorations, because the picturesque scenery will provide a naturally beautiful backdrop. This is where RSVPs will come in handy: If you know how many people will be coming, you can choose a venue that will fit the group instead of paying extra for a huge space that you don’t actually need.

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Planning a wedding on a strict budget takes time and effort. But getting creative with your choices – for instance, avoiding “wedding-only” stores, out-smarting the wedding dress industry, or considering less traditional venues – can free up extra money for the areas of your wedding you care about most. Perhaps having a highly-talented professional photographer is important to you, or maybe you want to save money for an epic honeymoon. Whatever you want to spend your money on, sticking to a budget can help you allocate enough funds to the parts of your wedding that truly matter to you.

The Value of Hiring a Wedding Coordinator

Now that the proposal has been accepted, what’s next? It’s time to create your signature wedding.
What exactly does that mean? It means that from this day forward, until the day of the wedding, you will spend 75% of your time thinking about how to create a wedding that will be like no other. You may not have given it much thought, but most couples have thought about this day for many years and envisioned their wedding in their minds a thousand times. Both of you are about to embark upon what could be a wonderful journey… or a nightmare! The choice is yours. Why leave it to chance that everything will go according to plan? Instead, implement a fail-proof plan. How? By hiring a wedding coordinator

Consider this idea as the first and one of the most important decisions you will make as a couple. Hiring a wedding coordinator will give both of you reassurance that you are making the right decisions about your choices; help bring your dream to fruition; and maintain a peaceful, loving, relationship in the process.

Although most couples enjoy the idea of designing a wedding, they often find that the planning is much more work than they imagined. It takes time and experience to address every detail. Let’s face it, some people just aren’t planners. Planning your wedding doesn’t have to be a frustrating and overwhelming experience. Organization and careful planning are the keys to a stress-free, fun-filled event. Hiring a wedding coordinator will ensure a much happier experience for you both!!

A wedding coordinator will not only help coordinate the details of the wedding but, more importantly, will help to make the process fun, reduce the stress and ensure that you have the wedding you desire. You will not have to worry or become stressed during the planning process. Instead, you both will enjoy planning the wedding.

Don’t misunderstand, you both will still make all the decisions, but consider leaving the details to the experts. Most couples truly enjoy the journey and, even if they don’t, the coordinator will be there to guide them. Trust me on this one, by hiring a wedding coordinator, your life will be happier, because everyone will be happier and less stressed.

Wedding coordinators are trained professionals who know the industry. Couples should understand that they are not just paying for a coordinator to manage the day for them; they are also paying for knowledge, expertise, skills, services and, ultimately, peace of mind.

Wedding coordinators provide a higher level of comfort for everyone. They are able to recommend the right professionals for you. Professionals enjoy working with other professionals. Are trained to handle difficult scenarios and unexpected occurrences at weddings; Are familiar with the latest trends and have the best resources; Know the best locations and services for each couple’s particular needs; Have access to exclusive locations that couples would otherwise never hear about; Can recommend the right wedding professionals for all aspects of the wedding; Are trained to help create a budget, keep expenses within that budget, and protect couples from making costly mistakes; Can save couples time in researching options. They already know what works best and why.

Now that you understand the various roles of a wedding coordinatoe, it’s time to start getting the important questions answered. Setting the budget first is the key! You and your fiancée should agree on the expenses before you begin the planning process. The budget must accommodate the size and style of the wedding. Write down your wishes and desires and compare notes. Distinguish your “wishes” from your “must haves”. Your coordinator can create a budget based on the most important elements of YOUR wedding. He/She can help prioritize which areas are most important to you.

Remember there is always room for compromise. Target more money towards the areas that are most important and reduce the areas that are less important. Your wedding coordinator will show you how to make changes without changing the feel of the wedding. Is it more important to have great food or a great band? Do you want an extravagant cake or beautiful flowers? You can have all of the above with proper planning. Whichever you choose, remember to stay on track with the expenses as you move forward. The budget is one of the most important areas where your coordinator can assist and it’s the start of making financial decisions together, a very important part of marriage. Open and honest communication is the key.

In a post-wedding survey, couples were asked, “If you had it to do over again, what would you have done differently?”
Number 1 Answer: “I would have hired a wedding coordinator – someone to ensure that all of the details were handled so that I could have enjoyed my day without worry.” Coordinators provide this reassurance on the wedding day! It is worth the investment to have peace of mind.

A wedding coordinator is able to provide: Peace of mind while planning the wedding; A great experience on the wedding day; and Wonderful wedding memories that will last forever!

Writing Your Wedding Vows

The vows are the most intimate part of the ceremony, and what is more intimate than your own thoughts and words? Here are some tips on writing your own vows.

Set the tone in advance
Talk to your fiance about whether you want serious vows or humorous. Do you want something poetic and romantic? Or nostalgic and touching? Make sure you are on the same page so the vows will complement each other. You don’t want the groom’s to be humorous, while the bride’s is poetic! You also need to decide if you will write the vows together or keep them a surprise for each other. ( I vote for surprise!! The emotions from saying your vows the first time is a truly beautiful moment!!)

Dedicate time for this
It doesn’t have to be in one sitting, in fact it will be better if it is not in one sitting. Have a sheet of paper in your wedding planning book that every time you open the book for something wedding (maybe flowers, or dress) take a moment to write a thought about you fiancé. Better yet, you can devote a “page” on the notepad on your phone and when something hits you (he surprised you by….) write that down. It could be the way that she cries at sappy old movies, or the face that he makes when he is concentrating. Regardless of what it is that you love, you need to write it down. This way you will have several thoughts spread out over time to help you write the vows. By taking plenty of time to plan your vows and consider your relationship, your vows will most certainly be special.

Talk to family and friends
Often, friends and family members will see things about your relationship that you do not notice yourself. Ask your friends and family members’ opinions about what they think is special about your relationship, and incorporate that into your wedding vows. This will not only make your vows more personal, but it will make your loved ones feel special that you included their opinions in your wedding.

Have a deadline
Not the day of the wedding!!! Although I have had several grooms show up on the day of the wedding with their vows written on hotel stationery!!! I have found most couples are worried about length. The bride has 50 lines, and the groom 20. This makes the groom feel like he should have said more, and the audience wondering when the bride’s will be over… Therefore, I tell the couple to have the vows to me 2 weeks prior to the wedding. This way, I can go over it, make any suggestions (if repeating the same thing over and over) and then inform both of the length issue if one exists. So have a third party help out. Your wedding officiant or minister should be the first choice, otherwise have a friend you both trust that will keep the vows secret!

Include a personal touch
Everyone has a place, movie, or other favorite thing that they love. Include a line of your partner’s favorite movie, or make a reference to their favorite place or sports team in your wedding vows. Depending on how you do this, it could not only make the vows more special, but it could deliver a laugh to lighten the mood as well.

Vow delivery
Do you want to do the repeat after me style, or read from an index card? I think the personal vows are more personal coming directly from the person than being repeated. Just make sure you separate out your lines so you can say a line, and look at your fiancé. Nothing like READING your vows to lower the significance of the moment.

Audience and timing
There will indeed be people watching you say these vows, so try not to get too personal! Also, timing is important. One to two minutes is a good range; I know you could go on and on about your love, but for the ceremonial vows, keep it short and sweet.

Practice out loud
Just because something looks good on paper does not mean it sounds good when spoken. Practicing out loud will allow you to change any sentence structures that sound awkward, as well as pointing out sentences that might be too long… after all, you don’t want to run out of breath when exchanging vows! Have your wedding officiant or minister review your vows, as they know timing best. If you don’t feel comfortable with that, at least read them out loud to your maid of honor or best man.

If absolutely stuck, you should be able to meet with your wedding officiant or minister and have them help you write the vows by asking questions, and re-wording the answers for beautiful vows!

Valentine’s Day Wedding Theme

A Valentine’s Day theme wedding is sure to be a romantic event with careful planning and operation. Here are some ideas and tips for your big day.

* Invitations: There are plenty of romantic wedding invitation designs out there, choose one with doves, roses, hearts or other Valentine’s Day typical signs to set the mood for your wedding ceremony. Pick your favorite envelopes with red liners and don’t forget the double heart stamps.

* Color Scheme: Pink, purple, red and white are traditional Valentine’s Day colors. However, just choose your favorite shades and hues to decorate your wedding party.

* Wedding Dress: A romantic bridal gown is a must for a Valentine theme wedding. Fluffy skirts, off the shoulder collars, puffy sleeves, sweetheart neckline and appliqués are ideal incorporation for Valentine’s outfit. You may even add a little red or pink touch to your dress, or choose a pink wedding dress for a sweet princess look. Hot lace or light-colored pearl embellishments are also amazing.

* Attire: The groom and his best men should wear formal tuxedos to match the romantic atmosphere. They may even try red or pink shirts to match the color scheme. The bridal party gowns should be as romantic as the wedding theme, but not overpower the wedding dress.

* Flowers: Undoubtedly, roses are the favorite flowers for a Valentine wedding, and pink, purple, red or white blooms match the theme. Pink lilies or tulips are also great choices which add a unique touch.

* Decorations: Besides flowers, there are still other decorations such as candles, lace and ribbons. Scatter heart-shaped confetti on guest tables and hang heart-shaped balloons over the entrance arc for a whimsical touch.

* Menu: A romantic menu could include any foods you like, such as your first date dinner. Choose chocolate covered strawberries as your appetizers. Rich hot cocoa is warm and popular in the winter holiday. Pink champagne is a superb choice for a romantic wedding.

* Wedding Cake: White chocolate and red roses covered heart-shaped wedding cake would be a perfect match for your Valentine’s wedding.

* Wedding Favors: Heart shaped favors may offer your guests a touch of romance. Colorful candies, strawberry jams, sparkling spoons, double heart photo frames are perfect for Valentine favors.

* Wedding Music: Choose love songs for weddings to play during reception.

9 Key “Green” Planning Concepts

9 Key “Green” planning concepts that can be implemented to make your special day wonderful for you and even better for your environment.

The VENUE
Choose a natural setting like a botanical garden, beach or a beautiful park rather than a huge hall. You can exchange vows in a romantic setting under the stars, or by an amazing ocean scene.

The MENU
Explore booking top culinary chefs that will prepare a delightful, succulent variety of organic foods that will incorporate all aspects of fine green dining, from farm raised entrees, to bio-degradable dinning décor.

The DÉCOR
Speaking of décor not only can you find caterers that incorporate bio-degradable items in their service; you will find that there are also many companies that provide recycled event décor items.

The INVITATION
A great option for invitations for the perfect Green Themed wedding will consist of recycled paper and to take it one step further you can have them printed with biodegradable corn-based ink or an even better and more modern day option is to send a sophisticated and exquisitely designed Electronic Invitations (e-vites).

The GIFTS/FAVORS
Think outside of the box and get creative by giving your guest an Wedding Day Eco-Bag filled with a variety of eco-friendly gifts like luxury Eco-Spa items, Personalized Organic Tea bags, and Elegantly Engraved Mini-Pots with a packet of Plan Seeds to symbolize the seed of love planted on the day of your special union.


The TRANSPORTATION

Every bridal party wants to be transported in luxury and style. With today’s Automotive Companies taking a conscious approach to preserving our environment and producing a large number of fuel efficient Hybrid vehicles, they have made it a point to remember the most important vehicle for a bride and groom, the limousine. Believe it or not there are many companies that provide luxury hybrid limousines as well as luxury cars for the wedding party.

The RINGS
Of all the pieces of jewelry a woman will own in her life, her wedding ring is the most important and holds the most meaning. Consider a jeweler that sells diamonds that are certified conflict-free. You should also consider bands that are created with recycled metals. I suggest you visit Brilliant Earth at http://www.brilliantearth.com; they are the leading provider in conflict-free diamond jewelry. Brilliant Earth also donates dedicates 5% of their profits to local communities that are affected by the diamond industry.

The most important – The DRESS
Choosing that perfectwedding gown is one of the most emotional and most important purchases of woman’s life. Choose a wedding gown that is made from natural fibers as well as your wedding party.


My last recommendation is- The WEDDING COORDINATOR/PLANNER

In order to fully design and plan the perfect reality of your Wedding day Dreams and also incorporate the fundamentals of an environmentally safe wedding, I suggest that you enlist the services of a professional Wedding Coordinator to ensure that your wedding is not just eco-friendly but truly represents the fantasy that you have always dreamed of for your special day.

Meet Our Officiant Kevin Cook

For more than 30 years Kevin Cook has balanced two careers:  fundraising professional for several Westchester County not-for-profits and Lutheran worship leader and teacher.  He recently received ordination in order to serve couples seeking to create a personalized wedding ceremony that thoughtfully incorporates their spiritual beliefs.  He brings a warm sense of humor and calm to the frantic pace of the wedding day, helping couples concentrate on the ceremony and vows, the truly important portion of the big day.

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See what past clients are saying about Kevin:
From day one, Kevin Cook went above and beyond for us. He was supportive and counseled regarding both the flow of the ceremony and helped define what was important to my husband and to me, both separately and as a unit. While we are spiritual, we don’t identify with a specific religion. Kevin was able to inject what God meant to us in a lovely way that we and our guests enjoyed and understood, despite their own religions that varied from Jewish to Catholic to Muslim. We love and respect Kevin and feel that he is the ultimate officiant. We hope that you are blessed to have him marry you too!

Meet Our Officiant Lawrence McCauley

Lawrence is an ordained that respects all faiths. He has been officiating weddings, handfastings, and ceremonies of love for more than ten years. At these most important life events, he encourages each and every couple to add their personal touch to the ceremony.

Lawrence also performs clearing and blessing rituals for homes and businesses. This type of service may be utilized to rid a spaced of negative energy or to attract positive energy to the area.

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Meet Our Officiant Mike Lopez

The Rev. Mike Lopez is an Interfaith and Independent Catholic Minister with over fifteen years of active ministry experience. During your Pre-Wedding Consultation, Brother Mike will take the time to get to know you and will help you to create the perfect ceremony for your special day.

Brother Mike specializes in Ceremonial Liturgy and will insure that every aspect of your wedding ceremony from the Entrance to the “I Do”, are just perfect. Whether you wish to have a traditional ceremony or want to keep it short and sweet; Brother Mike is a great choice.

Brother Mike is fully Bi-Lingual and can perform your ceremony in English or Spanish or Both!

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See what past clients are saying about Mike:

Brother Mike, all we can say is Wow! You made our ceremony even more special than we could have ever imagined. Thank You! Thank You! Thank You! PS – We owe you dinner!!
Luis and Michelle

Thank You Brother Mike for taking the time to meet with us and calm us down before the big day, from the rehearsal dinner to the final blessing, you made us feel extra special! Peace and Blessings and Keep up the Good Work!
Alex and Andrea

OMG Brother Mike, you saved our day! Thanks for stepping up at the last minute when the Minister we hired cancelled on us at the last minute. You where a blessing and so funny! Like you said, “God Knows What He Does!” Thanks again! PS – My Grandma wants to know where your Church is at, she thinks your great!”
Brittney and Jeff

The first communication I had with the company is the personnel in their office. Their associates are very responsive, caring, and friendly. They sent friendly reminders of upcoming bills, and sent holiday and congratulatory emails. After working with their office, I communicated very frequently with my wedding officiant, Brother Mike Lopez. He was by far the most qualified person to officiate our wedding. He was very flexible and always arrived half hour before our meeting times so we would never have to wait on him. He sent us routine text messages in the weeks before the wedding just to check up on us and reassure us that everything would turn out perfect. We custom built our ceremony with Mike so that it was everything that we could every dream of. Whenever I was feeling nervous about our big day, I could just shoot Mike a text and he would put those feelings at east. At the reception, he fit right in with my family, and everyone loved him.
I definitely would recommend Hudson Valley Ceremonies to any other bride to be, and especially Brother Mike Lopez.
Vianca and Jess Vargas

Bro. Mike Lopez was incredible at our wedding on Saturday. Everything was perfect and my brothers couldn’t stop raving. Thank you so much!
Jenn

Brother Mike was absolutely amazing! He gave us the most perfect ceremony , which was completely tailored to our requests. We still can’t get over how perfect it was. We have had so many compliments from our guest about his performance & personality.
Amanda

My entire experience in working Hudson Valley Ceremonies was extraordinary. Due to a few complications with our previous chaplain, I turned to a friend’s advice who had suggested to contact Barbara, an excellent officiant who serves the mid-Hudson valley area. Because I was getting married on Long Island, she referred me to local Chaplin/ wedding officiant , Bro. Micheal Lopez. He was amazing. In a very short amount of time, Bro. Micheal costume tailored a beautiful , and memorable wedding service. He was kind, took great pride in making every detail perfect for our wedding day, and made time to contact us every step of the way. Working with the staff, and Bro. Micheal made planning this important ceremony easy and fun.
Brittany

I had the pleasure of working with Rev. Mike Lopez. He was very professional, was down to earth, keeping just the right amount of light-heartedness, while still making sure everyone knew how serious a wedding is. He was extremely flexible with us and helped us with our bilingual service. For the rehearsal, he waited patiently for 30 minutes as most of my wedding party was stuck in unusual traffic on their way to the venue. Throughout the rehearsal and ceremony, he kept us smiling, but on point. He was truly a pleasure to work with and I would certainly recommend him!!
Jackie

Meet Our Officiant Melodie Molinare

Rev. Melodie was born, raised and still resides in Rhinebeck NY. She is the mother of a wonderful daughter, Katie. Melodie currently works for the USPS and loves her job because she is able to meet all kinds of people. Born and raised a Catholic, Melodie has a strong belief in God and all religions from around the world. At the same time she is open to all couples and the ceremony they want performed. She understands that their love needs to be focused on in a wedding ceremony. Rev. Melodie finds being a celebratory minister to be a very rewarding and enjoyable position. Melodie brings comfort and humor into the ceremonies she performs.

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See what past clients are saying about Melodie:

Very satisfied with the service provided. The officiant ” Melodie ” was awesome and i would gladly recommend this service to anyone interested.
Kristal and Patrick

One of the best decisions we ever made for the day of our wedding was hiring Melodie. She made helped make a crazy day, beautiful, funny and so meaningful. My whole family is still commenting on how great a ceremony we had that day. Thank you so much
Kerri and Jason