An Elegant, Modern Black-and-White Wedding at Cedar Lakes Estate in Port Jervis, New York
New York's Cedar Lakes Estate checked the many boxes that Chelsea and Ross had when it came to the perfect wedding venue. The couple wanted "a full weekend of events, all the guests to stay in one place, locally-sourced gourmet food, amazing wine and cocktails and a beautiful backdrop," Chelsea says. Cedar Lakes Estate provided all of all and served as the perfect foundation for the couple's "modern romantic" wedding with a color palette of black and white. "My husband is 100% Greek so a lot of the inspiration for our wedding weekend came from that. Think leafy greens, brass urns, airy whites, and a hint of black because I'm sassy," Chelsea says of the inspiration for the couple's Port Jarvis, New York, wedding.
Chelsea's expertise in the world of design lent itself well to planning a beautiful wedding. "I own an interior design firm, Rose + Co Interiors, so I approached my wedding decor like I would approach decorating a house. Each event or 'room' had a different look, but overall, the 'house' or whole weekend tied into one another in a cohesive flow. The underlying color palette of black, white, and touches of gold and green remained the same from the rehearsal dinner to the farewell brunch. That helped to make the weekend feel consistent like it's all part of the same event. I am very pro-DIY and am an artist so there were a lot of handmade details throughout. I made cones out of the pages of Willam Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet and filled them with dried jasmine for a sustainable confetti toss as we recessed up the aisle. But by far my favorite DIY was the gallery wall of artwork behind the band stage. I paint art for my design clients often so figured why not do it for myself! I scoured Pinterest and couldn't find anything similar so I knew it was a fresh idea. The paintings looked incredible and the stage was the centerpiece of the night! The hanging paper lanterns and black-and-white dance floor were also a hit," says Chelsea.
The couple's wedding day began with a lakefront ceremony filled with a lush floral installation. "I envisioned dripping florals from the trees for an ethereal feel and a circle of flowers behind us as opposed to the traditional archway," recalls Chelsea of her vision for the waterfront vow exchange. Ross's cousin performed the ceremony and included a traditional Greek "crossing of the crowns" ritual in the ceremony to symbolize the couple's unity.
In addition to ensuring that their wedding day was beautiful, it was also important to Chelsea and Ross that the celebration feel personal and meaningful to them as a couple. To start the wedding off on a personalized note, Chelsea "sourced vintage stamps for all the invites. It was a gigantic math equation to get the postage amount correct but it added such a nostalgic and personal touch. I even customized the type of stamps depending on the addressee—Noguchi black and white sculptural stamps for my chic girlfriends or a 1958 National Forestry stamp for my nature-loving aunt." Beyond stationery, the couple's fashion was also especially meaningful. "A very good family friend is close with John Varvatos. He offered to set up a meeting for him to design a custom Tuxedo for Ross. It was such a special experience to meet him and design it with his team. He even embroidered 'do you remember' (referring to the Earth Wind and Fire song September) into the inside of the jacket since the 21st of September was our wedding day. I wore jewelry from both my late grandmothers. I wanted them to be part of the day. I wore pearl earrings from one, and an amethyst ring from my other."
Looking back on their wedding, Chelsea and Ross have this advice to share with current to-be-weds: "Kindly ask the officiant to quickly step aside once they pronounce you married so your 'kiss the bride' moment doesn't have a lingerer in the background and the photos of your kiss will focus on just you two. One piece of advice that a friend gave to us which, looking back was a game-changer, is to stay together the entire night. Hold hands and stick by each other's side as you go around the room and speak to guests and dance. Otherwise, you end up being pulled in so many different directions that you'll lose each other and find it difficult to make your way back. Stick together so you have the same memories and experiences."