An Eclectic, Vintage-Inspired Wedding at the Spruceton Inn in West Kill, New York

Katie Mangano (31 and a creative director and graphic designer) and Jeff Denton (36 and a front-end web developer) met through mutual friends at a party in Brooklyn, New York. Katie, from the Albany area, and Jeff, from the Rochester area, loved living in the city but shared an appreciation for unwinding in the peaceful, scenic forests of the Catskill Mountains. After getting engaged, they started looking for a nontraditional venue that would let them tailor their day to what they wanted. “We didn’t want to be just another wedding at a trendy barn,” Katie says. They narrowed their options to Hudson Valley or the Catskills, and after spending a night at the Spruceton Inn in West Kill, they fell in love with the wooded surroundings, rustic vibe and gracious inn owners. “It’s the kind of place where you feel immediately at ease,” Katie says. “It was the perfect place to get married.” The phrase they used to define their vision was “vintage eclectic,” with touches of rustic modernism. “Jeff and I are both collectors of random things, so creating a visual system of seemingly unrelated patterns and textures was a natural choice,” she says. Jeff is a fan of vintage plaid shirts, while Katie prefers modern, bold geometric styles, so they knew plaid would be part of the theme and the palette would include bright colors mixed with neutral tones. After they secured the venue, design choices came to life: bright orange and green alongside local topographic maps, large plaid patterns and vintage floral graphics. She explains, “Having a loose design system in place let us collect all the stuff we naturally like to use as decorations, from plaid thermoses and vintage arrows to gold geometric art papers.” Before the ceremony, guests were greeted with a campfire and spiked hot cider, and then everyone moved to a field behind the inn, in a spot along the edge of a creek. “It was very important to us to be by the water,” Katie says. The aisle was lined with growlers filled with wildflowers, umbrellas were stashed off to the side (just in case), and a wooden arbor—built by Katie's brother—was the focal point. The ceremony included a whiskey ceremony, where the couple poured unaged corn whiskey into a two-liter barrel; a ukulele version of the Muppets' “The Rainbow Connection”; and high-fives before reciting their vows. The party moved to a tent on the property, decorated in cafe-style lights, farm tables, wildflower centerpieces, a vegan meal (complete with pumpkin ravioli), a vegan chocolate cake and a playlist curated by the couple and their friends (“we crowdsourced songs with a line on the RSVP card,” Katie says). Despite many small moments of stress leading up to the wedding day (misprinted invitations, ill-fitting outfits, a hurricane watch), Katie says the payoff outweighed the stress and hours of DIY work. “Ultimately, the hurdles are part of creating something big and unique," she says. "It’s life. Nothing is perfect.” What made it perfect was working with a team of all-stars, going with what felt right and marrying each other. Says their photographer, Carina Romano, “Even though my socks and shoes were soaked through and I couldn’t feel my toes anymore, I could not stop taking photos of these two.” —Chrissy Sorenson