Ashlee Colonna Cohen was skating in a roller derby competition when she and Cherisse Loucks first locked eyes. At the time, Colonna Cohen was representing Long Island while Loucks was on a Westchester team. After a mutual friend introduced them, the two made plans for their first date at Jones Beach on Long Island.
“I knew the date was going well because she kept extending the time she could stay,” Colonna Cohen says.
Four years after that day at Jones Beach, Loucks asked Colonna Cohen to marry her in December 2016. She brought her to the bar where they had their second date and popped the question with a series of photo booth images in which she held up signs that read “Will you marry me?”
Eager to plan their wedding, the pair asked a friend who was also getting married about the best venues in the New York area. They received venues for three spots, in Long Island, New York City, and the Hudson Valley, respectively. The Hudson Valley venue was Feast at Round Hill and, after reading about the mini mansion in Washingtonville online, the couple planned a trek upstate ASAP.
As food lovers who often plan vacations around what and where they want to eat, the duo knew that cuisine would be a top priority at their ceremony. So when they sampled and swooned over the appetizers during their overnight at Round Hill, they knew they found the venue of their dreams.
Colonna Cohen and Loucks chose to wed on New Year’s Eve in order to create an unforgettable ending to a truly memorable year.
“There’s never anything good to do [on New Year’s Eve] and it’s so expensive,” Colonna Cohen explains. To avoid the repetitive cycle of expectation and disappointment surrounding the holiday, she and Loucks planned a celebration that they knew their friends and family would love. “Every single person said it was the best New Year’s Eve party they ever went to.”
When it came time to plan the details of the grand event, the couple reached out to Loucks’s friend Lindsay Ekstrom, of Fancy Lou Designs, to create the moody, romantic, Harry Potter-themed atmosphere they envisioned. Low lighting with an abundance of candles was key, as were subtle nods to the movie in the form of calligraphy quotes, wooden wands at the guest settings, and artfully strewn runes on the dining tables. When mixed with the dark-leafed, verdant floral arrangements which featured pops of scarlet and blush pink, the wizarding world details transformed Feast at Round Hill into the sparkling, otherworldly New Year’s Eve fete the couple craved.
“It was really tastefully done,” Colonna Cohen notes of the Harry Potter-esque décor. “The whole evening felt magical.”
On December 31, 2017, Colonna Cohen and Loucks walked down the aisle. Colonna Cohen went first, striding down the walkway in a blush-colored dress from Maggie Sottero. Loucks followed in an antique white, open-backed gown that she found at RK Bridal in Manhattan.
“I was standing waiting for Cherisse and I remember her walking in the room and just losing my mind,” Colonna Cohen recalls. “She looked so beautiful.”
Both women wrote their own vows, which they recited in front of a crowd of teary-eyed family and friends.
“People were crying,” Colonna Cohen says. “It was almost like Cherisse and I were the only people in the room.”
After the pair said their “I do’s,” they kicked off an afterparty at Feast that lasted into the wee hours of the evening. As Indian food and White Claw spiked sodas flowed throughout the room, the duo performed their first dance as a married couple. They cut into a simple vanilla cake from The Pastry Garden with strawberries and raspberries that complemented the velvety red blooms dotted across the landscape. At midnight, they celebrated with glitter poppers and a guest appearance from waffle truck Wafels & Dinges. To say it was a hit doesn’t even come close.