David’s Story

During my career as an event planner, I have produced quaint country weddings for city brides, lavish city fêtes for out-of-town brides, and an array of unique celebrations for clients with the highest standards of elegance. However, back in 1993, my chief assignment was planning my own wedding. My husband Bennett and I held a commitment ceremony in a Soho loft on Broome Street.  I think it is fair to say it was the first same-sex wedding for most of our guests.  So, we had no rules, no expectations, we just had each other.  It was the perfect way to set about planning a wedding, and it still is.

With New York state FINALLY legalizing same-sex marriage in June 2011, Bennett and I decided our families, very closest friends, and our two children deserved a celebration.  The Bedford Post Inn, a Relais & Chateaux property in Westchester County, embodied the perfect mix of rustic charm and elegance to set an intimate country wedding and afternoon luncheon in October.

A long farm table became the event’s focal point, and I worked with my floral designer to create a “family table.”  An unusually warm summer made dahlias available in the flower market, and so we honed in on an autumnal color palette anchored by the rich burgundy color of the late summer dahlias.  More unusual was the October snowfall that afternoon, a poignant reminder that marriage is an adventure filled with unexpected surprises.  To brighten the room, accents of golden yellow graced the napkins, table runner, menus, and place cards.  The pieces were artfully designed around the whimsical craspedia flower, also known as billy buttons.  A garland of autumn leaves served as the singular statement piece for the cozy ceremony, held in front of the Inn’s fireplace.

I worked closely with chef Jeremy McMillan to create a sumptuous yet light menu, featuring chesnut and truffle soup, stracciatella with mission figs, and salt crusted branzino.  Side dishes were served family style, which encouraged the desired casual vibe.  As an alternative to the traditional wedding cake, we selected our all-time favorite dessert: pear tarte tatin with homemade cinnamon ice cream.  An Italian Soave, Oregon Pinot Noir, and French Brut Rose Champagne accompanied the feast.

We wanted to make sure everyone remembered to cherish the love in their lives, be it romantic, familial or self-love.  As a parting gift, we offered guests a miniature jar of Honey Locust Farm’s Elderberry Elixir, a favorite from our local farmer’s market, which can be drizzled over ice cream or stirred into a cup of tea.  For our occasion, it was renamed “The Elixir of Love,” and we hope each taste will be a reminder of the overwhelming love in the room that snowy day in October.

Photography: Copyright Angela Bruno Photography