Lisa and David in Fishkill, NY

An original flair distinguishes a playful celebration of two cultures

Plenty of little girls dream about their wedding day, but Lisa Hom, 33, wasn't one of them. "I never thought about what kind of dress to wear or what kinds of rings I liked," she admits. But when Lisa's boyfriend of seven years, David Lionetti, 32, pulled a diamond out of his pocket during a South Pacific vacation, this nontraditional couple began planning an October 2006 wedding that was both an expression of their love and their two backgrounds (she's Chinese, he's Italian).

With a breathtaking autumnal backdrop, the couple ex­changed self-written vows that left many of the 95 guests sobbing ("even Dave's buddies!"). Dinner, under a tent, featured a cross-cultural menu of roast pig and pasta with garlic and rosemary. Following a first dance to Barry White's "Can't Get Enough of Your Love, Babe," Lisa, David, and company hit the floor, partying until it was time to retire to the nearby lakefront bed-and-breakfasts. "I always think weddings are over too fast," says Lisa, "so I'm glad we were able to prolong this magical, memorable experience."—Hillary Quinn

Our Favorite Things

We Love the '80s: After a toast, friends Shelly and Mike pulled out mullet wigs and launched into a tongue-in-cheek rendition of Lisa's favorite karaoke song, "Don't Stop Believing," by Journey.

Getting Personal: The wedding was a true group effort-a friend's father officiated; Dave's brother emceed the reception; and numerous friends and family handled setup and decor.

A Taste of the Grape: Guests were treated to a Cabernet Sauvignon that the groom produced at a do-it-yourself winery. The Lionetti label included a photo of David and his father, who passed away when the groom was a child.

Trade-Off: The couple participated in a Chinese wedding-cup-exchange ritual, which symbolized the joining of their individual lives.

Vendors

GROOM'S SUIT

Banana Republic, bananarepublic.com

FLOWERS

Bella Fiori, 914-475-4121

CEREMONY AND RECEPTION SITE

Willow Lake, willowlakeny.com

PHOTOGRAPHER

Mallory Samson, mallorysamson.com

Realizing that the kind of intimate gathering they had in mind could unfold only if friends and family were able to hang around for the entire weekend, the couple chose to marry at Willow Lake, an estate in the Taconic Mountains of New York’s Hudson Valley.