A "Rustic Industrial" Wedding with Pink-and-Burgundy Accents in Hudson, New York
Two years after finding each other on Tinder, James Downey asked his girlfriend, Andrea Park, to help him move into a new apartment. She agreed, but at the last minute he changed the meeting spot—and instead of hauling boxes, he proposed. "He had gotten a key to Gramercy Park, and we walked in together. He presented me with a book of photos and letters we had written to each other," says Andrea. "The last page of the book was a letter I hadn't seen, and it said that by the time I was done reading it, he would either be the happiest man in New York or the saddest. I cried a lot, but was still able to say yes."
The couple began looking for a venue that could accommodate 140 guests for a wedding on September 28, 2019. "We had a lot of guests traveling from far away, and we knew we wanted to make the trip worth their while," says James. They chose Basilica Hudson in Hudson, New York, which offered a blank space they could easily customize; enough room for a welcome dinner and farewell breakfast along with the ceremony and reception; and another important perk: "It was a huge bonus that dogs were allowed at the venue," says Andrea, who wanted her pup, Daisy, to join the festivities.
Andrea and James hired planner Jeanne Stark of Hudson Valley Ceremonies to help with the nitty-gritty. "Since our wedding was in a raw space, we had to bring in all of the décor and rentals—the caterers even needed to bring in their own kitchen," says the bride. "There were so many checklists to make sure we weren't forgetting any details, like confirming that our caterers had enough fridge space for our wedding cake, which was from another vendor, or double-checking the shuttle schedule." But Andrea and James didn't let those technical musts prevent them from adding personal touches—hand-dyed runners for the reception tables, a one-of-a-kind hand-lettered invitation suite, and passed tequila shots to help guests loosen up at the reception. "James and I really wanted the wedding to be fun—more than we wanted it to be beautiful or perfect or anything else," says Andrea.
Mother Knows Best
Andrea found her Zuhair Murad fit-and-flare wedding dress on a solo shopping trip at Saks Fifth Avenue. "I wanted to find a dress that was 100 percent my decision without too much influence from other people," she says. "It worked out well, because my mom, who I can always count on for an honest opinion, loved it, too." Though she found herself drawn to gowns with beading and illusion necklines, Andrea didn't think much of her ultimate pick on the hanger. "As soon as I put the straps on my shoulders, though, I felt my heart skip a beat and I got really excited," she says. "I was really in love with the neckline and I fell for the dramatic beading and sequins. The whole dress glittered and the cut was much better suited for my petite frame than a ball gown."
Marina Michahelles, owner of Shoving Leopard Farm, made a few floral pieces for the big day—including Andrea's bouquet, which she requested be "tiny and compact" in shades of blush and burgundy. "I didn't want my flowers to overwhelm me, and I didn't want them to cover up my dress," she says. The finished product included cafe au lait and Sweet Natalie dahlias, lisianthus, scabiosa, geranium, asparagus foliage, daisies, strawflower, and eucalyptus.
The bride took a ride to the main venue in a shuttle, as did the rest of the event's attendees.
Andrea and James decided not to have bridesmaids or groomsmen which, Andrea says, "really uncomplicated the planning process—we didn't have to think about coordinating everything with a dozen more people."
She did, however, get ready amongst her closest girlfriends; the group posed for fun photos ahead of the ceremony.
James, who wore a navy blue three-piece suit from Kent Wang, took the same approach—he and a select few gentlemen (they stood out thanks to sunny boutonnières) congregated ahead of the service, where they encircled the groom (literally) with love.
The duo did, however, ask Andrea's cousin's three daughters to act as flower girls; they wore white tulle Pippa & Julie dresses. "I ordered a matching dress for my dog, Daisy, along with a white leash and a pearl collar," says Andrea. "The little girls carried these adorable mini dahlia bouquets down the aisle, and my dog wore a wreath."
Girl's Best Friend
Daisy was a major priority on the big day, says the bride: "She was in most of our family portraits and she walked down the aisle with the flower girls. She was definitely scared, but she got lots of kisses and a little salmon to make up for it."
Their First Look
Andrea and James met for a first look in their ceremony space before the guests arrived. "I was eager and excited to see James—not nervous at all," says Andrea. "I think it really hit both of us that this was happening."
The couple posed for formal portraits before their ceremony in the Basilica, where dramatic windows, exposed brick, and bare steps created an industrial atmosphere. "When we first started planning, I joked that I wanted our aesthetic to be 'industrial, wabi-sabi, verdant chic," says Andrea. "I think we pulled it off!"
On Her Father's Arm
As two of the couple's friends sang "God Only Knows" by the Beach Boys, Andrea's father escorted her down the aisle toward the altar. Andrea and James also included family in the ceremony by asking the bride's brother to read a passage from the Bible's Song of Solomon.
Andrea and her planner created an asymmetrical altar lined with small vases of flowers from Shoving Leopard Farm; the bride dyed a sheer fabric backdrop in an ombre palette to "keep the wedding feeling bit undone," she says.
Saying "I Do"
James and Andrea invited a local pastor, Reverend Kathryn Beilke of First Presbyterian Church of Hudson, to officiate their ceremony. "[She] is an amazing speaker and great writer," says Andrea. "We met with her a few times and filled out a questionnaire so that she could include some personal anecdotes in the ceremony."
The New Mr. and Mrs.
After the ceremony, guests tossed confetti as the beaming newlyweds left the altar. "I didn't cry during the ceremony, but right after the recessional I burst into tears the second I passed through the doors to leave our ceremony space," says Andrea. "James and I kissed and spent time with just our families for a few moments"—a memory the couple agrees is one of their favorites of the day.
Sharing the Sunset
The newlyweds snuck away from the party for a few sunset portraits by a railroad crossing near the venue. At the cocktail hour, guests sipped the couple's signature drink—palomas, chosen "because we wanted something that would be easy to drink and accessible to everyone," says Andrea—and customized their gimlets, gin and tonics, and margaritas at a garnish bar.
Find Your Seats
A vintage server, decorated with family photos, also held the acrylic seating chart.
The Party Begins
At the reception, the rich color of long wooden tables added warmth and texture to the industrial space, while runners that Andrea dyed herself pooled on the floor at the ends of each station.
Potted trees placed around the edges of the space offered a nature-inspired detail that complemented the brick and concrete of the venue's interior.
The couple added bud vases and loose flowers on top of the runners, and placed gray taper candles on antique brass candlesticks.
A Family-Style Meal
Andrea and James put together a menu that relied on local Hudson Valley ingredients, asking chefs from The Rhinecliff to serve seared salmon, braised short rib, and vegetarian lasagna. "We thought family-style would be fun with the long, communal tables, but it ended up being a little more disorganized than I would have liked," says Andrea. "But it all worked out and everyone had something to eat!"
Saturday Night Fever
The Basilica's exposed beams and high ceilings created a dramatic focal point for overhead decorations at the reception, including hanging floral chandeliers draped with red and pink bleeding amaranthus branches, twinkling string lights, and sparkling disco balls that hung over the dance floor to separate it from the dining space.
Taste Crème created a tiered cake with two different flavor options: almond cake with orange blossom whipped cream and apricot preserves, and chocolate cake with white chocolate whipped cream and fresh raspberries. Gold leaf edging, a ribbon-inspired frosting design, and fresh dahlias and ranunculus coordinated with the couple's color palette and aesthetic.
A Perfect Pair
The couple's first dance song—Neil Young's "Harvest Moon"—was a tune they heard by chance at a bar while trying to find the perfect opening number for their wedding. "We were having hard time choosing a first dance song," says Andrea. "We love that it's romantic, but not your typical first dance wedding song." The couple took dance lessons at Creative Arts Studio in Brooklyn to prepare choreographed steps. "We were worried we would forget something," says Andrea. "But we ended up doing all of our steps as planned, even though we were pretty bad about practicing."
With so much space to fill, Andrea and James got creative: "We rented a two-person swing on a whim and that was maybe the biggest hit of the night," says Andrea. "People were on the swing throughout the reception. I loved the swing because it gave me a break from standing on my high heels and I got to chat one-on-one with friends I hadn't seen in a long time."
"I loved my wedding dress, but the beading was heavy and the train made it pretty difficult to move around—my tailor didn't recommend bustling it," says Andrea. "My outfit matched the disco balls!"
Photography, Redfield Photography
Venue, Basilica Hudson
Event Planning, Jeanne Stark, Hudson Valley Ceremonies
Catering, The Rhinecliff
Flowers, Shoving Leopard Farm
Officiant, Rev. Kathryn Beilke
Stationery, Kristen Layden, CatPrint (printing)
Cake, Taste Crème
Music, 74 Events
Rentals, Columbia Tent; Hudson Valley Ceremonies
Bride's Gown, Zuhair Murad (ceremony); Parker (reception)
Bride's Accessories, Pronovias veil; Dauphine's of New York headband; Alexis Bittar earrings; Nadri bracelet; Sophia Webster clutch; Stuart Weitzman heels; Mansur Gavriel boots
Hair and Makeup, Soo Kim
Groom's Attire, Kent Wang
Transportation, Coxsackie Transport
Dance Lessons, Creative Arts Studio
Rings, Brilliantly Engaged