A Gorgeous Outdoor Catskills Wedding

If you have been dreaming of an outdoor wedding or embracing a lodge wedding venue in Upstate New York, Cristina and John’s Catskills wedding is here for all the inspiration. Cristina and John originally planned their wedding in 2020, at a completely different wedding venue. After postponing, she decided to change her wedding venue and replace their wedding altogether – with a new vision in mind! That’s when she brought in our team here at Elite Wedding and Event Planning. We came in for full planning and design and pulled together an extraordinary day in just 7 short months’ time! A word to couples planning a wedding in Hudson Valley or the Catskills: we ALWAYS recommend hiring a wedding planner but it’s even more important with a tighter timeline! You can learn more about working with us here.

Lodge wedding venue in the Catskills photos

Creating their Catskills Wedding Design

Sometimes couples come to us with no idea where to start. Other times, they have visions upon visions of wedding ideas but aren’t sure exactly what should take priority. How will everything look together? When we start to put together a wedding design board, we first ask what words come to mind when they think about their wedding day. For Cristina and John, they wanted to create something minimalist and black tie. More than that, they wanted their wedding day to feel elegant and a lot of fun. How you want to feel is even more important than the design!

Another one of my favorite questions to ask couples during the design process: what are your favorite things to design and shop for? Even though it may be their first time designing a wedding (thus feeling overwhelmed with no idea where to start), doesn’t mean they don’t like designing anything. Cristina and John had recently purchased a new home and enjoyed the decorating process. They naturally felt drawn to clean lines and minimalist design. So, we brought a lot of that modern flair into their wedding design. We started with a neutral color palette and added some romantic hues of pinks and peaches.

champagne wedding invitation minimalist design

blush bridesmaid robes and wedding party drinking champagne

dusty rose bridesmaid dress

A Romantic Wedding Ceremony at St. Joachim Catholic Church in the Catskills

We love a good love story. Cristina and John lovingly refer to their “how we met” story as “the long game”. They met in the 3rd grade! Friends throughout school, when they both landed internships in NYC, they decided to move in together as platonic roommates! Meanwhile, Cristina had no idea that John was telling his friends he was playing the long game and knew he would make Cristina fall in love with him in the end. After two years of living together, they realized they were absolutely smitten with one another and decided to give it a try! You could tell throughout the planning process that the two of them are truly each other’s best friends. It was such a special thing to witness. We love couples in love.

After Cristina and John’s first look, we headed for their wedding ceremony. John is Irish-Catholic, so one of the traditions we knew we wanted to incorporate was having a bagpiper at the wedding ceremony. After all, it was a family tradition! Although this wedding was modern in so many ways, we still kept traditional elements that were important to them and helped their wedding day reflect their love story. The bagpiper played outside, welcoming guests as they arrived.

first look in beacon ny

large wedding party at outdoor wedding in the Catskills

bagpiper outside wedding venue

church wedding ceremony in Catskills

bride and groom outside church ceremony

outdoor rustic wedding venue in the Catskills

An Impressive Destination Wedding Welcome Sign

As a wedding designer, I probably shouldn’t play favorites. With that said, I can’t help but swoon over their welcome itinerary sign. We created something completely unique and custom for their weekend itinerary sign. We filled a black metal box with florals and had an acrylic wedding sign outlining everything the two of them had in store for their guests. Truthfully, I always love acrylic wedding signage but this was even better. This unique take on a traditional welcome sign and turned out even better than we imagined!

unique wedding welcome sign

A Lodge Wedding Reception in the Catskills

Cristina and John loved being involved in the design process and curating every single detail together with our team. That’s the best-kept secret about working with a wedding planner: you don’t give up control, but you get to do the fun parts and leave the rest. Cristina mentioned that one of her favorite parts of the planning process with the two days we spent visiting all of their wedding vendors and watching everything come together. We started by touring the venue, mapping out each activity. Then, we headed to rentals and chose the tables,  chairs, linens – everything! Finally, we headed to the florist who brought absolutely everything to life.

Although this particular lodge wedding venue no longer offers weddings, we are no stranger to untraditional wedding venues and venues that require we bring everything in! Unlike a ballroom wedding – which quite frankly is not our style – we had to bring in EVERYTHING ourselves, which although requires strong attention to detail and extra organization, the result leads to something uniquely custom and simply stunning.

Cristina is half-Cuban and during the reception, we really had a chance to bring some of that liveliness in. Their reception playlist was filled with fun Latin music and the chef even created mini Cuban sandwiches for the after-party!

signature cocktail sign and acrylic seating chart

outdoor tented wedding in Hudson Valley

outdoor tented wedding reception with family style catering

wedding photobooth vanevening wedding outdoor tent at lodge in Catskills

wedding cake display

candles wedding favors

Celebrating a Dreamy Destination Wedding in the Catskills!

Overall, we couldn’t have been more thrilled to celebrate with Cristina and John at their idyllic lodge wedding venue in the Catskills! When we asked Cristina if she had any advice for other couples planning their wedding, she stressed the importance of planning and that if your budget allows, hire a wedding planner (a woman after our own hearts!). We helped Cristina and John map out their weekend itinerary to the minute, including finding moments during the day of to step away with your significant other and take it all in.

Here’s what Cristina said about working with us (forgive the humblebrag as we swoon a little!):

Elite made it possible for my special day to be stress-free! With our venue, everything other than food and drink needed to be brought in from external vendors. Tent, florals, dance floor, tables, chairs, silverware, linens… everything. Angela and her amazing team brought my vision to life in the most beautiful way possible, and I couldn’t have done it without her support in vision/decor and killer logistics. She is extremely detail-oriented, she has amazing connections with vendors to find the perfect vendor for whatever you are trying to create, and she makes things happen QUICK.

I particularly loved working with her because I am a creative person and had a pretty strong vision of what I wanted, and Angela was the perfect match to take the vision one step further and meticulously plan and execute every detail flawlessly. Day-of, she was absolutely incredible at handling everything behind-the-scenes to keep everything on track so I didn’t have to worry about anything. I cannot recommend Angela enough!

Danielle was with me for every step of the way in the morning before the ceremony getting ready, during the ceremony, and after while we took portraits. From the moment Danielle arrived at our getting ready location, she was already helping to steam the bridesmaids dresses, coordinate with the photographer and videographer, helping the groom and groomsmen with their boutonniere… the list goes on. During the rehearsal and the ceremony itself, Danielle was such a professional to keep everyone on
track. She also is extremely calm which is helped calm my own nerves!

Lodge wedding venue in the Catskills photos

Planning a Wedding in the Catskills

We LOVE a challenge. Helping Cristina and John plan their unique lodge wedding and organizing everything from scratch was pure joy! If you are looking for a Catskills wedding planner, you can learn more about working with us here. Or, connect directly with us here! We would love to start brainstorming YOUR wedding day vision. Let us help you build something from scratch that reflects you (and delights your guests!).

Planning & Design: Elite Wedding and Event Planning | Photographer: Forged in the North | Photo Booth: Wanderbus Photo Booth | Entertainment: ETA Music | Bouquets: Lilys of the Valley Reception Flowers: Flower Blossom Farm | Rentals & Decor: Event Unlimited Party Rentals | Venue: Scribner’s Lodge