What’s more frustrating than waiting for a seat at a restaurant? How about watching someone walk in off the street and get seated immediately? That’s what happened to Jason Wilson back in January of 2014, when Daniella Gallego waltzed into the wine bar downstairs from her apartment. Hey, it pays to know the staff and bartenders! But instead of getting frustrated, Jason used the situation as a chance to strike up a conversation with Daniella, and the rest is history. A year later, during a snowy dinner in New York City’s East Village, Daniella knew something was up. “Jason was acting odd and giving me all sorts of kind compliments,” she says. “Finally, he switched from English to Spanish and asked me to be his wife! We were too excited to even enjoy our dinner.”
The pair didn’t waste any time starting to plan their wedding, choosing November 7, 2015, just 11 months away. As it turned out, that was plenty of time to create the fall wedding they were dreaming about: An intimate, dinner party-inspired celebration with 125 of their closest friends and a non-traditional color scheme. “We wanted it to feel more like a gathering of friends in our home instead of a big, fancy wedding,” says Daniella, who describes the bash as rustic, whimsical, unplanned, and definitely not kitschy. With natural and untamed décor, warm candles, and a roaring fire, and pops of persimmon, peach, and burgundy amongst lush greenery, it was an elegant affair perfect for the Bedford Post Inn, a Richard Gere-owned property tucked away just an hour north of New York City. With gorgeous photos by Belathée Photography, this fall fête doesn’t disappoint!
Daniella and Jason kept the invitation suite simple, with sweet script, heart accents, and kraft paper envelopes hinting at the rustic and refined theme.
The same attention to detail went into Daniella’s attire, including her to-die-for Christian Louboutin mesh peeptoes, her full and lush bouquet of peonies and jasmine, and the delicate leaves on her veil. “Jason and I love watching the leaves grow in the spring,” says Daniella of the sweet symbolism. “My veil represented that little moment we love to share.”
The groom wore a classic Armani tuxedo with a boutonniere of rosemary. The couple skipped the wedding party, and instead opted to invite their close friends to join each of them for a drink before the ceremony. They did, however, have an adorable ring bearer: Their three-year-old nephew wore a tweed three-piece suit and carried the rings down the aisle in a wooden box. “The older nephews helped Thomas down the aisle to avoid any chaos,” Daniella laughs.
The traditional ceremony took place at nearby St. Patrick’s Church. The entrance was draped with a garland of greenery, with pillar candles along the aisle. An acoustic guitarist and violinist played as Daniella walked down the aisle to her groom. “I loved seeing Jason’s face when he saw me walk into the church. I wanted so badly to ask him what he thought of my dress!” says the bride.
Speaking of dress, we adore Daniella’s simple and classic Austin Scarlett ball gown, with a sweetheart neckline and modern seams.
The couple loved that, instead of an austere ballroom, the Bedford Post Inn offers a series of intimate and connected spaces that give the property a homey feel. They set bare farm tables in the adjoining rooms, topping each with garlands of greenery, bright flowers, and fresh fruits.
Low garlands mixed olive branches and bay leaves with apples, limes, and walnuts and almonds in their shells. Nearby tables featured vibrant peonies and tulips, as well as taper candles in brass holders.
Fresh berries and nuts, scattered around the centerpieces and candles, created a gathered and relaxed feel. “We assigned seating for each guest,” says Daniella. “It was the hardest part, but we put a lot of thought into each seat. We wanted our friends and family members to have a chance to meet new people!”
During cocktail hour, guests sipped champagne as they snacked on meatballs and miniature grilled cheese sandwiches. Dinner began with two salads, lobster with pickled chanterelles and heirloom tomatoes with stracciatella, followed by family-style pasta dishes. “We couldn’t choose, so we offered fusilli with pork ragu and cappelletti with charred corn and black truffle,” says Daniella. The main course was either rib eye or a second dose of succulent lobster.
For dessert, the couple cut into a three-tiered version of their favorite sweet: The vanilla meringue cake from Citarella. The toasted exterior was finished with olive, rosemary, and sage branches.
“Popcorn is Jason’s favorite snack,” says the bride. “I DIY’d our favors, which were miniature mason jars full of kernels. It was the only kitschy detail, and I had to do it!”
The dessert course also included coppa, the Bedford Post Inn’s famous mix of dark chocolate cream, Devil’s Food cake, hazelnut praline, and gelato. Guests could be found around the Inn’s fire pit, or on the dance floor as a DJ spun 80s, 90s, and contemporary hits.
“We did our best to enjoy every minute of planning,” says Daniella. “It isn’t worth fighting over something that should be enjoyable! And it really was so much fun to plan our wedding, and then see the reward when it finally happened.”
Ceremony Venue: St. Patrick's || Reception Venue & Catering: Bedford Post Inn || Wedding Coordinator: Michelle Elaine Weddings, Inc. || Bride's Wedding Dress: Austin Scarlett, purchased at Bergdorf Goodman || Shoes: Christian Louboutin || Hair: Johnny Haeger || Makeup: Moises Ramirez || Groom's Attire: Giorgio Armani || Flowers: Brrch || Invitations: August + White || Cake: Citarella || Music: Queen Esther & Michael Aranella's Dreamland Orchestra; Skinny Friedman || Videographer: NST Pictures || Photographer: Belathée Photography