An at-home wedding in New York State filled with flowers
Jessica and Luda first met at a party at the University of Delaware in 2016. “He made me feel so nervous and I didn’t have the courage to introduce myself,” Jessica recalls. A few months later, the two met again, and this time Jessica made her move. The two hit it off and have been together ever since. In October of 2021, the couple purchased their dream home, a 19th-century colonial estate in upstate New York on four acres of land that they refer to as The Love Estate. When Jessica and Luda got engaged, the idea of hosting guests at their beloved home immediately came to mind. “We were able to fill our space with love, set the tone for the beginning of a new chapter in our marriage and create lifelong memories in a place we hope to cherish forever,” says Jessica.
The couple invited 160 guests to their elevated backyard wedding on September 24, 2022. They transformed their home for an outdoor ceremony at the end of a dramatic trail and a reception in a tent in front of a barn. “The landscaping of our property provided the perfect flow to keep guests on their toes as each area was revealed,” says the bride. She runs a booth at a local antique store, so the couple incorporated their own collection of vintage items into the wedding day decor.
To bring their vision of a black-tie affair in the Enchanted Garden to life, the newlyweds worked with Alicia Fox of Fancy Fox Events to plan and coordinate the day and find intentional vendors. Read on to see all the quirky details of Jessica and Luda’s upstate New York wedding, as photographed by Collins Nye.
To invite guests to their celebration at home, the duo chose a set of minted invitations in shades of white and gray with delicate leaf motifs.
On the big day, the bride knew she wanted a full coverage makeup look. “It was important for me to keep looking like that I“We chose brown and gold for subtle smoky eyes and dewy skin,” says Hessica. She wore her hair in a low bun to show off Kate & Mary’s drop earrings. She also chose to wear Jo Malone Jasmine Sambac & Marigold Cologne. Floral and warm, perfectly encapsulating the vibrancy of our wedding day.”
When Jessica and Luda were asked to take a wedding photo shoot with their best friend, photographer Collins Nye, Jessica was a no-brainer. She wore a stunning Karen Sabbagh dress and found herself in shock when Luda got down on one knee and asked her to marry him. It turns out that the wedding photo shoot was actually just a proposal setup. So, it was natural for Jessica to choose to wear a Karen Sabbagh dress on her wedding day. This time, I worked directly with Karen to design a custom gown. “I visited her atelier in Manhasset with a few ideas, including a flared skirt and lantern sleeves,” says Jessica. “She worked her magic on the rest — from the lace that resembled the shape of my custom engagement ring to the layer of ruffles in each piece. The item was unique and unusual. The result is a gown with a corset bodice, detachable sleeves, and a billowing skirt. She also wore a custom veil that featured lace from the corset along the edges.
For her nails, the bride was inspired by the popular “glazed donut” manicure trend popularized by Hailey Bieber — choosing a neutral color with a pearly finish that appeared on her wedding dress.
A few days before the wedding, Luda got a new, gradual haircut. On the wedding day, he styled his hair with DevaCurl hair mousse and used Joey Hailey brow product on his brows. He wore an ivory jacket with a shawl collar and classic black tux pants from Todd Snyder. Jessica chose an oversized Tom Ford tie for a timeless look. Luda teamed up with Florsheim to finish off his look with black chukka boots.
As a wedding gift, Jessica surprised her groom with a bottle of Le Labo Tonic 25. “I created a custom label on the bottle with my new last name of ‘Mr. “Love and our wedding date is 9.24.23,” he says.
Instead of sharing a first look with Luda, Jessica decided to have a first look with her father and brother before the ceremony. “Luda has seen me wear countless wedding dresses before the big day as part of our wedding partnerships, so I wanted my actual dress to be a surprise,” she says. After revealing her wedding dress, she invited her father and brother into the room. “It was a heartfelt moment I will never forget,” she says.
The ceremony arch was made of overflowing flowers in shades of orange and blush to contrast with the natural green surroundings. “It was the perfect summer to fall transitional color palette!” Jessica says. The hallway was decorated with lush flower arrangements in the same color palette, which were later brought into the reception space and repurposed as centerpiece arrangements. The blends included goldenrod stalks harvested from the couple’s pasture. “It was so special to incorporate the landscape into our decor,” says the bride.
As the concert began, the tone was set by a variety of acoustic versions of Harry Styles’ “Cherry & Golden” by Guitar Tribute Players. Jessica strutted down the aisle with her parents to the Vitamin String Quartet’s cover of Coldplay’s “Sky Full of Stars.”
Their friend Maria supervised the couple’s ceremony. Jessica and Luda exchanged personal vows, and Jessica admitted that she was really nervous leading up to that moment. “As soon as I looked at Luda, all the tension disappeared and turned into pure joy,” she says. In fact, reciting their vows ended up being Jessica and Luda’s favorite part of their entire wedding day. Be a man of many words and few words Excludes “On our wedding day,” says the bride. “His promises blew me (and everyone!) away.”
Once the party was over, Jessica and Luda posed for photos with their photographer around their property. They also took pictures with their wedding party. Jessica’s bridesmaids wore matching wedding dresses by David in a shade of Martini Olive, but her bridesmaid wore a short-sleeved design to stand out. Jessica also had a groomsman wearing a green tuxedo from The Black Tux. Luda’s groomsmen wore classic black tuxedos, also from The Black Tux. “It was a sharp, timeless look at each of the men,” says Loda.
Jessica made sure to show off her custom hijab; It featured the word “Love,” the couple’s new last name, stitched next to the shield and spear of the Kenyan flag. Luda’s family immigrated to the United States from Kenya, so Jessica wanted to pay tribute to their home and the family members who still live there. “We kept it a secret until the big day and it was a welcome surprise,” she says.
As cocktail hour began, guests walked down a lantern-decorated path to the back of the barn where appetizers and signature sips were served pasture-side. The couple found a 19th-century general store to use for their cocktail bar, which would later serve as their kitchen island. Along with beer, wine and non-alcoholic drinks, Patron has curated three signature cocktails. The couple served “The Walter,” a sweet, fruity drink named after their Chihuahua, “The Winston,” a spicy margarita named after their other dog, and “The Love Estate,” a shepherd’s diner on the rocks with cinnamon and an orange slice. .
Finally, guests were welcomed with Chandon Garden Spritz cocktails that read “Sealed with a Spritz.”
The couple’s reception was held at the front of the barn, where a large glass tent was lit up with fairy lights and chandeliers. The floral arch from the ceremony was brought to the entrance of the tent and the aisle arrangements were used as centerpieces along with brass candelabra and pillar candles. Guests wandered between the tent and into the barn where the lounge furniture was set up.
A special table was set for the newlyweds surrounded by lush flowers. Place settings included olive velvet napkins, gold-rimmed glass chargers, and gold flatware. The couple created custom black acrylic name cards for each place setting that doubled as gifts for guests to take home. “Luda and I refrained from peeking into the reception tent until after the ceremony,” says Jessica. “The big reveal was stunning and intimate. We were overwhelmed by how beautiful everything looked together.”
The newlyweds shared their first dance to the groom’s DJ set, which was a mashup of Drake’s “Yebba’s Heartbreak” and Anthony Russo’s “Caught Up.” Luda surprised Jessica with the combination on the wedding day. After Luda danced with his mother to Oma Lay’s “Solo” and Jessica danced with her father to Van Morrison’s “Brown Eyed Girl,” the couple’s loved ones exchanged heartfelt speeches. “The Lodas welcomed my father into their tribe and presented him with a bow and arrow and a moving letter,” says Jessica. “It means to us to see our families truly merge into one.”
At the end of the evening, Jessica changed her look to a second wedding look: a one-shoulder embroidered cocktail dress with fringe details on the skirt from Lara, which she paired with white knee-high boots. The couple whipped up a two-layer lemon and raspberry wedding cake with buttercream frosting for dessert, but also served a variety of different cakes, including chocolate, lemon, and raspberry flavors. The evening concluded with a surprise fireworks display courtesy of one of Jessica and Luda’s neighbors.
For couples planning a wedding, the duo recommends taking time to plan. “We start planning 10-12 months in. “Enjoy every moment of the planning process,” says Jessica. “It’s all part of the experience, but give yourself enough time to enjoy it without feeling rushed!”