* Kaleigh, Program Associate at an education nonprofit & Mark, High School English Teacher * Photographer: Dennis Pike (APW Sponsor) * Soundtrack for reading: “In the Aeroplane Over the Sea” by Neutral Milk Hotel *
One sentence sum up of the wedding vibe: Ten years of love and growth celebrated with the people who have made us who we are, on top of a mountain on one of the loveliest days of fall.
The Info—Photography: Dennis Pike (APW Sponsor) / Venue: Mohonk Mountain House / Kaleigh’s Dress: Morgane Le Fay / Kaleigh’s Sash: J. Crew Weddings / Kaleigh’s Shoes: Vera Wang Lavender / Kaleigh’s Headband/Veil: USABride and Sweetgrass Mill / Mark’s Suit: Kenneth Cole via Men’s Warehouse / Mark’s Shirt, Suspenders, and Accessories: Brooks Brothers / Bouquet and Boutonniere: Little Bouquet Shop / Place Cards and Table Numbers: evLien Designs / Programs and Menus: PGH Papercraft / Guestbook Poster: Personalized Prints / Centerpieces: DIY with materials from Ikea and Michael’s
Other cool stuff we should know about: We’re high school sweethearts from the suburban Midwest who’ve experienced ten years of living, loving, and growing by one another’s side. When we decided to get married, we knew that we wanted the wedding to be a celebration of both our love and the community of people who have supported us throughout our relationship. From the beginning, there was only one venue that made sense: Mohonk Mountain House, a nature preserve/resort/all around magical place in New Paltz, NY (about ninety minutes north of New York City, where we’ve lived for the past seven years). It’s a place we had spent many, many hours at before we ever even started thinking about a wedding, a dear place in our hearts that’s an important location in our own love story, and a place we were desperate to share with the important people in our lives who hadn’t spent time with us there before.
Fifty of our closest friends and family took planes, trains, and automobiles from points all over the U.S. to join us on top of Mohonk Mountain as we exchanged vows in a ceremony we wrote that featured Mark’s father as the officiant and two old friends reading poetry by Tony Kushner and Pablo Neruda. Everyone held hands as we said our vows. I felt at once both alone and together with Mark, committing ourselves to this shared vision of our future, and so supported, so enabled—so held up—by everyone who was there to love us and the baby family we are building together.
And after that, it was all drinks, dinner, and dancing into the night to a playlist we painstakingly created. (In the best of ways—it was a super-fun piece of wedding prep we did together, with tons of help from APW’s “How to DJ Your Wedding with an iPod” article.)
Favorite thing about the wedding: Looking out and seeing people from all parts of our lives gathered together to support and celebrate us. And of course, hearing their words during toast time.