These College Sweethearts Made It Official With a Spectacular Ceremony Overlooking New York's Hudson River

Gabrielle and Ben took a gamble on good weather for their wedding day, and it paid off!

Updated 11/25/16

Photo by Sara Wight Photography

What’s even better than meeting the love of your life at a concert on your college campus? How about having the lead singer of that same band perform the first dance song at your wedding? Seven years after Gabrielle Karol and Ben Jacobs met, they did just that. “Ben surprised me,” Gabrielle says. “The amount of planning it took — as well as the fact that everyone successfully kept it a secret! — was amazing.” It’s no secret, then, that the pair’s July 11, 2015, wedding at Tappan Hill Mansion in Tarrytown, New York, was a crazy-fun party full of equally sweet touches.

The pair fell for the venue’s patio overlooking the Hudson River, and decided to roll the dice and keep their fingers crossed for good weather. They got lucky, and exchanged vows just before the sun set over the river. Inside the venue, hundreds of string lights and the warm glow of candles dressed up the ballroom, where a romantic décor scheme of garden roses, hydrangeas, and thistles added softness to the space. This long-distance wedding (planned all the way from San Francisco!) was a real stunner: Check out the photos by Sara Wight Photography, below!

Photo by Sara Wight Photography
Photo by Sara Wight Photography
Photo by Sara Wight Photography
Photo by Sara Wight Photography

We love a bride who loves to accessorize, and Gabrielle did just that, donning crystal-studded Jimmy Choo sandals that were a perfect match for her oval halo engagement ring. While she loved playing dress-up and exploring a variety of bridal styles, Gabrielle ended up falling for a classic lace trumpet gown from Anna Maier. “I wear a lot of white on a regular basis, and knew I wanted my wedding gown to be that same, pure color,” says the bride of choosing classic white over ivory or cream.

The bride’s bouquet mixed cream and blush roses into a traditional pomander. She accented her side-swept chignon with a subtle hair pin, which she wore beneath a cathedral-length veil.

Photo by Sara Wight Photography
Photo by Sara Wight Photography

Ben looked the part in a shawl-collar tuxedo from J.Crew, but was almost missing a key accessory: His shoes! “We realized that we’d forgotten his tuxedo shoes at home, and didn’t have time to turn around on our way to the airport,” says Gabrielle. What followed was a frantic call to New York stores, an order from Amazon that wound up being delayed, and (finally!) success at a small menswear store near the bride’s parents’ home. “We now have three pairs of size 13 tuxedo shoes, but luckily we can make some returns!”

Photo by Sara Wight Photography
Photo by Sara Wight Photography
Photo by Sara Wight Photography

Gabrielle and Ben had two adorable ring bearers. The first was the couple’s dog, Duke, who wore a tuxedo harness down the aisle alongside the bride’s cousin, Cole. “It felt a little crazy flying Duke cross-country for the wedding, but the photos of him in his tuxedo are some of our favorites,” Gabrielle says.

To match their soft blue Amsale dresses, the bridesmaids carried bouquets of peach and blush roses, accented with thistles and lamb’s ear.

Photo by Sara Wight Photography
Photo by Sara Wight Photography

Each ‘maid chose a different style of the gray-blue gown, while the groomsmen all wore black shawl-collar tuxedos to match Ben’s.

Photo by Sara Wight Photography
Photo by Sara Wight Photography
Photo by Sara Wight Photography
Photo by Sara Wight Photography
Photo by Sara Wight Photography

The ceremony took place overlooking the Hudson River, with an arch of curly willow branches draped in vines, hydrangeas, and roses. While the couple opted for traditional Jewish vows, they did choose a unique recessional song: “Want You Back” by the Jackson 5. “We broke up for a long time before getting back together, so it was the perfect choice,” says Gabrielle.

Photo by Sara Wight Photography
Photo by Sara Wight Photography

With views like this, it’s no wonder the pair was hoping for sunshine — and they got it in spades!

Photo by Sara Wight Photography
Photo by Sara Wight Photography
Photo by Sara Wight Photography
Photo by Sara Wight Photography

Dozens of strands of lights were draped across the venue’s ceiling, and the glow was enhanced by pillar candles and votives. Floating blooms added to the romance of each centerpiece, which mixed green hydrangeas and thistles with cream and peach garden roses. Each gold charger was topped with a folded napkin and a printed menu, finished with the couple’s monogram.

Photo by Sara Wight Photography
Photo by Sara Wight Photography

Before the dancing got underway, Ben and Gabrielle cut into their wedding cake, decorated with rough frosting and sugar flowers. Then it was time to party! “When we walked out for our first dance, I was shocked to see the lead singer of the band whose concert we met at,” says Gabrielle. “It’s one of my favorite memories.”

Photo by Sara Wight Photography

After a rousing rendition of the hora, the couple’s band, Luxe, had everyone grooving all night. “We ended up staying out until 3 a.m., eating pizza and smoking cigars. Then at 4:30, the hotel’s fire alarm went off! Thankfully it was a false alarm, because a lot of our friends slept straight through it,” the bride remembers. “But seeing those who did wake up make their way outside on so little sleep was pretty funny!”

Ceremony & Reception Venue: Tappan Hill Mansion || Wedding Coordinator: Ed Steinberg, Tappan Hill Mansion || Bride's Wedding Dress: Anna Maier ~ Ulla-Maija || Veil: Sara Gabriel || Shoes: Jimmy Choo || Jewelry: BHLDN || Hair: Niki Klaczany of Up & Out Beauty Bar || Bridesmaids' Dresses: Amsale || Groom's & Groomsmen’s Attire: J.Crew || Engagement Ring & Wedding Bands: Padis Jewelry || Florist: Diana Gould, Ltd. || Music: Luxe by Hank Lane Music || Catering & Cake: Abigail Kirsch Catering || Videographer: Milestone Video Productions || Photographer: [Sara Wight Photography](http://www.brides.com/wedding-vendors/detail/photography/b9a819b9975115ea-sar

Related Stories