An Italian-Inspired Wedding in Chester, New York

Updated 01/28/15
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Matt Blum Photography

Just four days after Jarett Fein met fellow real estate broker Elizabeth Beare in February 2013 (after being set up on a blind date), he knew he'd found something special. And he took note, scrawling a message to himself and tucking it into the back of a picture frame at his mother's house. "I was so overwhelmed with emotion that I had to do something," he says. "I felt my entire world shift at that moment and without thinking, I wrote this note and never told a soul it existed." That is, until six months later, when he proposed at an art gallery near the couple's summer home in East Hampton. He presented Elizabeth with the picture, asked her to turn it over and open the note, and read it aloud. And what did it say? "It's quite possible that I marry Elizabeth Beare."

After an exhaustive (and exhausting!) search for the perfect venue, Elizabeth and Jarett decided to look outside of New York City, heading across the Hudson River to Glenmere Mansion, a Tuscan-style villa in Chester, New York. With a country-chic vision, the pair made plans to wed on May 10, 2014, and called upon Colin Cowie and Melissa Sullivan of Colin Cowie Celebrations to design their dream wedding, photographed by Matt Blum Photography.

The bride wore Monique Lhuillier, opting for a two-piece beaded bustier and flowing silk skirt, which she swapped out for a playful short tulle skirt at the reception. She added a touch of color with a blush-and-ivory garden rose bouquet.

For a touch of whimsy beneath her gown's classic silhouette, Elizabeth donned Jimmy Choo sandals accented with leopard.

Though the rest of the evening featured a soft palette of dove gray, cream, and rose gold, the chuppah was covered in vibrant shades of pink. The structure dripped with roses, hydrangeas, and votive candles in glass orbs.

Though the skies were cloudy as two ushers unfurled the white aisle, the clouds parted as a string trio played "Here Comes the Sun" by the Beatles. "The timing was incredible!" says Elizabeth. The bride's mother and father escorted her down the aisle to meet her groom.

"We'd initially wanted a destination wedding but the logistics and costs for our guests proved too challenging," Elizabeth says. But the tree-lined estate at Glenmere Mansion, with its Italian villa, lakeside terrace, elegant courtyard and lush garden, was a magical alternative. "It was the exact feel and energy we hoped we'd capture abroad." Chandeliers and soft fabric hung from the ceiling of the tent, creating a romantic vibe.

The couple's 200 guests took seats at vast kings tables flecked with hints of rose gold tableware and warm wood accents. Low vases held arrangements of tulips, calla lilies, peonies, and ranunculus, all in stark white.

Dinner was preceded by bite-size hors d'oeuvres paired with little libations (think tiny chicken tacos with mini margaritas and caviar on edible spoons with shots of Grey Goose). Jarett and Elizabeth hired a mixologist to craft an exclusive menu of cocktails for their big day, including a green-tea and tequila Squeeze My Lemon, cooled with cucumber juice, and the passion fruit-vodka Exotique spiced with star anise and cardamom. For the main course, guests chose between crispy branzino and grilled sirloin.

Suiting the subdued color scheme, the couple's cake dressed up a dove gray base with pearl piping, silver beads and delicate white petals. The towering layers included two flavors: marbled vanilla-chocolate with salted caramel buttercream and cream cake slathered in chocolate ganache.

After closing out the night beneath the twinkling tent, the newlyweds jetted off on an adventurous honeymoon to Morocco, where they toured four cities, rode camels and chartered a plane over the Sahara Desert. While away, they also explored new territory in their relationship. "It's amazing to get back to being a couple, but with newfound security that is so sacred," Elizabeth says.

Take a peek at the couple's wedding video by Fiore Films.

Ceremony & Reception Venue: Glenmere Mansion || Wedding Planner: Colin Cowie and Melissa Sullivan for Colin Cowie Celebrations || Bride's Wedding Dress: Monique Lhuillier || Veil: Vera Wang || Shoes: Jimmy Choo || Hair & Makeup: Stephen Knoll || Bridesmaids' Dresses: Zimmermann || Groom's Suit: Tom Ford || Florist: Colin Cowie Celebrations || Invitations & Paper Goods: RedBliss Design || Music: ceremony - Elan Artists, reception - Charles St. Paul Band || Catering: Sonnier Castle || Cake: Mark Joseph Cakes || Rentals: Party Rental Ltd || Videography: Fiore Films || Photography: Matt Blum Photography

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