Though Melissa Argenti, 31, and Daniel Smith, 29, now live in Denver, the couple knew they needed to return to the East Coast for their wedding celebration. "We met on the dance floor on the Jersey Shore," remembers Melissa, who followed Dan to Colorado a mere six months after the pair started dating. "It's been an adventure since the beginning!"
After a surprise proposal in San Francisco and a weekend in Sonoma, the couple got started on their rustic, summery wedding in the Hudson Valley. They paired gray and yellow for a fresh look, and kept the focus on great food and lots of fun. Hendrick Moy as there to capture the joy—and every last detail.
Melissa and her five bridesmaids got glam in a matching uniform of yellow button-downs, denim, and flip-flops. "They were the easiest bridal party every," she says.
The bride wore a strapless Theia gown, which she covered with a custom-made bolero. "It was the first dress I tried on, and the only day I went shopping," says Melissa. "I had a chance for my Nana to come shopping with me, and was so glad she was there when I made my choice."
Playing off the yellow and gray color scheme, Melissa carried a bouquet of white peonies, yellow roses, billy balls, and dusty miller, accented with aspen leaves as a nod to the couple's hometown of Denver.
The bridesmaids wore matching gray lace dresses. "They decided they wanted to match," says Melissa, "so we went shopping at Nordstrom, quickly found a lace gown that flattered them all, then headed to lunch!"
The outdoor ceremony was simply decorated with burlap cones filled with white and yellow roses and peonies. "We gave our florist free reign," Melissa says.
Melissa and her father walked down the aisle to Canon in D. "We were both so nervous, so our walk was a little speedy," she remembers. She and Dan chose to skip a first look, making that walk all the more special.
To keep cool in the June sun, the groomsmen wore dark gray pants, white shirts, suspenders, and yellow ties without jackets. "Dan must have ordered five or six yellow ties before he found ones he liked," says Melissa. Yellow rose boutonnieres completed the look.
The couple wed in a 20 minute ceremony that mentioned how they met, as well as their future together. Toward the end of the ceremony, Dan and Melissa put love notes they'd written each other into a box with a bottle of wine, to be opened on their five-year anniversary. "The wine was from our engagement trip to Sonoma," Melissa says. "We can't wait to see what kind of memories we'll have when we open it!"
"We love the outdoors, so marrying outside was really important to us," says Melissa. "And Locust Grove has this fabulous rustic feel, which tied right in with our vision."
Guests found their seats with help from scalloped-edged place cards nestled into pieces of wood.
The light, airy reception space, with high ceilings and exposed beams, created the illusion of dining outdoors. Tables were topped with a mix of high and low arrangements full of white and yellow roses and hydrangeas.
Dan and Melissa decided to sit at a sweetheart table. "All of our married friends told us to take a few moments alone to soak it all in, and having a table for just the two of us was the perfect solution." The wooden table name was hand-made by Melissa's father.
A mailbox with the couple's last name was the perfect spot for cards from their guests.
Right after they arrived at the reception. Dan and Melissa took a spin to "You are the Best Thing" by Ray LaMontagne before sharing a dance with their parents to "Forever Young" by Rod Stewart. "We did all the dances right away so they wouldn't distract from the party," Melissa says.
Before hitting the dance floor, guests dined on a menu featuring local, fresh ingredients. "I'm still dreaming about the wild mushroom ravioli," says the bride.
Once dinner was done, it was time to boogie. Melissa changed out of her pumps and into TOMS wedges, ready for the DJ who spun classic rock and pop music.
Melissa and Dan honeymooned in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico, and Antigua before returning to the Rockies. The duo has some great advice for couples in the midst of the planning process. "Each pick three things that really matter, and stick to them," says Melissa. "Anything not on your priority list can be tweaked or compromised on, but be true to the things that you think are most important." Her other advice? "Use Google's wedding address book! It's the easiest way to get all the mailing information from your guests into a single spreadsheet."
Ceremony & Reception Venue: Locust Grove || Coordinator: Ken Snodgrass of Locust Grove || Officiant: Dorothy Muson || Bride's Wedding Dress: Theia || Shoes: Badgley Mischka, Toms || Hair & Makeup: Fran & Kristiona Tatulli of Hair by Annaliese || Engagement Ring & Wedding Bands: Coast Diamond || Florist: Centerpiece Floral Design || Invitations & Paper Goods: Wedding Paper Divas || Music: John Alexander || Catering: Gourmet To Go || Guest Book: Inside Out Booth || Photography: Hendrick Moy Photography