A Sophisticated Winter Wedding at Whiteface Lodge in Lake Placid, New York

Snow-covered mountaintops and memories of skiing in Vermont and Colorado inspired Erica Hidalgo (33 and works in institutional sales for Shenkman Capi

Snow-covered mountaintops and memories of skiing in Vermont and Colorado inspired Erica Hidalgo (33 and works in institutional sales for Shenkman Capital) and Janson Simpson (41 and a sales trader for Jones Trading) to plan a sophisticated winter soiree for their mid-March nuptials. Nestled in the woodlands of picturesque Lake Placid, New York, the Whiteface Lodge hosted the entire affair. Rustic timber design, floor-to-ceiling windows and granite fireplaces set a warm and welcoming tone for the celebration, while striking views of the Adirondack landscape brought a wow factor to the couple’s winter wonderland theme. The festivities kicked off with a fun-filled rehearsal dinner that paid tribute to the locale. After dining on pizza and beer, guests were treated to bobsled rides at the nearby Olympic bobsled venue. “My little brother, Tim, is part of a Beach Boys cover band, Cool, Cool Water, and they played all night, which made everyone get on the dance floor,” Erica says. “It was very special to celebrate the start of our wedding weekend at a place that honors the traditions of Lake Placid.” With the help of the pros at Juniper Events and Trillium Florist, Erica and Janson brought the beauty of the great outdoors in, infusing Whiteface’s Kanu event space with lush white florals and lots of candles, to create the effect of sparkling snow. Acres of snow-dusted forest and the Adirondacks provided the backdrop for the duo’s “I dos,” a heartfelt ceremony led by Erica and Janson’s close friend. “We wrote our own vows, taking vows we have heard at various weddings and including sentiments that were important to us both,” Erica says. “My favorite line was, ‘As I give you my hand to hold, so I give you my life to keep.’ ” The reception took on a distinct Erica-and-Janson flair, with the couple serving up some of their favorite treats, including pretzel rolls, mini pies (a nod to Pi Day) and doughnuts, and s’mores kits that guests enjoyed at the bonfires outside just as it began to snow. “Our first dance was a very special moment. We chose the same song that my parents and my sister and her husband used as their wedding song, ‘Just the Way You Are’ by Billy Joel,” Erica says. “To make it even more special, we asked my brother to perform it on a grand piano provided by the venue. At the end of the song we invited my parents and sister and brother-in-law to join us on the dance floor to finish the dance.” A tip from Erica: “If you marry your best friend, everything is easy even when it’s not. Don’t forget to remember how lucky you are to have each other, and as far as the day goes, let go and just enjoy. It’s the only time in your life you are surrounded by friends and family to celebrate just you and your love. Have fun and create amazing memories.” —Libby MacCarthy

Before the couple gathered their family and friends in Whiteface’s impressive Kanu event space, Erica and Jason took a few quiet moments together outdoors. The day’s excitement was heightened by the freshly fallen snow and mountain setting that perfectly captured the couple’s winter wonderland theme.
With a formal affair in mind, they went with black-tie wedding party attire. Erica’s bridesmaids wore long formal gowns with V-necks from Bella Bridesmaids; the groomsmen followed Janson’s lead, donning traditional tuxedos with black bow ties.
“We wanted to use the venue as a starting point to capture the true beauty of the mountains in the winter,” Erica says. “Since Janson spent most of his life in Colorado and I grew up skiing in Vermont, we wanted a theme that captured that part of our lives.” The ceremony programs built upon the aesthetic of the snowy locale, with the details of the day displayed alongside sweeping snowdrifts and whimsical snowflakes.
“Our ceremony was simply magical,” Erica says. “A dear friend of ours, Yousef, performed the ceremony and made it very special.” Other close friends and family members brought a personalized feel to the proceedings by performing the readings, as well as a rendition of Phish’s “If I Could.” Erica and Janson wrote their own vows, sharing their sentiments in their own words, with Erica’s favorite line being, “As I give you my hand to hold, so I give you my life to keep.”
To achieve their winter wonderland theme, Erica and Janson called upon the expertise of Juniper Events and Trillium Florist. The pros infused the expansive event space at Whiteface Lodge with romantic winter flair with bountiful bouquets of snowy white roses and hydrangeas, rose petals and white pillar candles of varying sizes. As the sun set over the mountains, the decor created the illusion of freshly fallen snow.
To set a warm and welcoming tone for the evening, the festivities kicked off with a ceremony in Whiteface Lodge’s Kanu venue in Lake Placid, New York. Impressive cathedral ceilings, granite fireplaces and exposed wooden beams, gave the expansive space an intimate, homey vibe, while reflecting the day’s overall theme. As a bonus, the floor-to-ceiling windows gave way to acres of snow-dusted landscape, with the Adirondack Mountains lying just beyond.
Erica and Janson wasted no time getting the party started after the ceremony, welcoming guests to the reception with a glass of champagne. Attached to each champagne flute was an elegant snowflake-studded scroll—personalized with each guest's name—that directed guests to their seats.
Erica and Janson left no detail unnoticed, including their four-tier confection after dinner. Decorated with expertly executed fondant snowflakes, the cake fell right in line with the couple’s whimsical winter theme. And beneath the layers of snowy white fondant lay an unexpected twist. “Our cake was a special request of Janson’s and was made from doughnuts, which are his favorite,” Erica says.
Guests enjoyed a doughnut cake after dinner. As a nod to Pi Day (the wedding was on March 18), Erica and Janson served a selection of mini pies. Guests also made s’mores by the fire pits as snow fell gently over the scene.
Choosing her gown—an elegant trumpet-style stunner with lace all over—was easy for Erica. With just one visit to a small bridal shop in New York, New York, she found the perfect dress for her walk down the aisle. The extras, however, proved to be a bit more of a challenge. “The belt that came with the dress was not ideal, and it was hard to figure out what went well,” she says. “My sister-in-law, who owns Bridal Boutique in Dallas, Texas, sent me about 10 options so that we could choose the one that worked best.” For the ceremony, Erica wore a veil made by Alisa Brides in Chappaqua, New York. “I took the veil my sister wore to her wedding the year before, which was made from the veil my mother wore when she married my father 34 years earlier. Alisa remade my veil with the same fabric, and it was truly special to wear that as my something old,” Erica says.