Entering into adulthood means many things, but one thing really stands out—your friends start to get married. That being the case, in the past few months I’ve been to two weddings. The first was in late August and was for my good friend and neighbor Raye Levine (I was also a bridesmaid). The second, in October, was my boyfriend’s sister, Megan Gorzynski. These weddings were not only beautiful but also had that something special, something I’ll call the “little touches.” Even though both women now live in other places, they returned home to take advantage of all that our area has to offer, from the farms to the river.
Megan’s wedding reception was held at the Settler’s Inn in Hawley, PA. Megan’s father is John Gorzynski of Gorzynski Ornery Farm in Cochecton Center, NY, which sells its veggies and fruit to Settlers, and so they have had a long-standing relationship with the inn. All the food at the reception was provided by the Gorzynski farm and was cooked by the Settler’s chefs. This included greens, mashed potatoes and an assortment of pork that was from the little piggies that were raised on the farm. Some of the food was displayed in wooden crates that have been a part of the farm for many years. To say the least, it was delicious, and I totally pigged out (pun intended).
Homemade wedding favors
The wedding favors at Megan’s wedding were jars of jam homemade by her mom, Sue. Days before the wedding, we formed an assembly line of sorts at the Gorzynski home and dressed up the jars by adding square pieces of fabric to the top, tied down with ribbon. Then, a tiny toy pig was glued on top, along with a tag that said, “Thank you for jammin’ with Eric and Megan Schwab.” These provided a funny and special touch for the guests to take home.
Special ceremony space
Raye’s wedding was held at her family’s country home in Milanville, PA. (They live in Brooklyn). The house is a converted barn and is nothing short of breathtaking. The Barn, as we call it, is a modern, open space that looks out onto the river valley. Sunflowers from the groom’s mother’s farm lined the beams, and guests stood along the side on hardwood floors (no shoes, please) as Raye walked down the makeshift aisle in her Sophia Kokosalaki dress and stood with her husband on a platform that made it look like they were floating among the trees. The bridesmaids wore black dresses of their own choosing and hand-dyed flower wreaths in their hair. It was a sight to behold. The reception was in a large tent nestled into the field across the road from The Barn. The dinner was from Early Bird Cookery, and the band provided swinging music to which guests danced into the night.
As participants/witnesses, the bride and groom wanted each guest to “sign-off” on the marriage, so they created an art piece and built a table in which it was encased. It was a slab of (near-cured) ultra cal (plaster) into which they dropped ink right after saying their vows. The ink signified their signatures. After the ceremony, everyone else came around The Barn and was asked to participate in the signing process on a larger piece. This entailed using droppers to drip many colored inks onto the plaster. (It was a hit with the kids, who added so much color that it started to blend into brown.)
The before and after
Although the wedding reception and ceremony are the main events, it really adds something special to provide things to do for your guests on the days before and after the wedding as many are traveling from distant places. The rehearsal dinner the night before Raye’s wedding was held at The Cooperage in Honesdale, PA, with food provided and prepared by Ant Hill Farm Kitchen of Dyberry Township, PA. After the dinner, we all headed over to The Heron in Narrowsburg, NY for a night of fun. The day after the wedding, we gathered at The Barn for a brunch of pastries, fresh fruit and coffee, provided by Beach Lake Bread, and then we either headed down to the river at their property or drove the short distance to Skinners Falls for a lazy day in the sun.
Planning your wedding
What I learned from these weddings is that what makes it special is the personal touches—food from a local farm, wreaths for the bridesmaids made by the bride, a ceremony and reception space that have special meaning to you, handmade gifts, etc. A wedding is a time to let the people you care about into your life, and it’s the little things that make it so memorable.