The road to Anthony Ferreira and Kara Zauberman’s wedding began with balloons.
White balloons, to be exact. And lots of them, too.
On the day that Ferriera planned to propose, he filled the couple’s shared apartment to the brim with balloons, then surprised Zauberman by inviting their families to celebrate the engagement with champagne and treats from Eataly. It wasn’t over the top, but it was 100-percent Anthony and Kara.
Although the duo, who are from Long Island and Westchester, respectively, live in New York City, they first met as freshmen in college. Zauberman, a student at Boston University, was visiting a friend at the University of Maryland, where Ferreira was enrolled. After the friend introduced them, they fell off one another’s radar until five years later, when the ran into each other in New York City.
“We both shared a love of travel, being surrounded by friends and family, and eating really great food,” Zauberman, a cookbook and recipe editor, explains. They dated for six years before Ferreira, who works in business development for Alibaba Group, popped the question.
When it came time to plan the ceremony, the pair agreed that unforgettable food was item number one on their wedding checklist.
“As self-proclaimed foodies who love to cook together, the food was something we simply couldn’t skimp on,” she says. When they stumbled upon Blue Hill at Stone Barns in Westchester County, they knew they found the one. The combination of the picturesque outdoor setting and the dreamy farm-to-table menu fulfilled all their intimate, rustic-inspired daydreams. They opted to tie the knot in early fall to make the most of the crisp autumn weather and seasonal Hudson Valley bounty.
“It’s the best time of year for harvest – you get the best of the end-of-summer tomatoes and the start of apples and pumpkins,” Zauberman observes.
On September 21, 2018, she and Ferreira said “I do.” The day before, Zauberman stayed the night at her parents’ home in Westchester, then got ready with her bridal party over brunch. The atmosphere was serene and nostalgic, and the bride-to-be savored every moment of it.
At Blue Hill at Stone Barns, guests arrived for a cocktail hour in the garden, where they enjoyed hors d’oeuvres like parmesan pops, tomato burgers, quail eggs and caviar, and vegetables from the farm. Old wedding photos of the couple’s grandparents decorated the space, resting on a barrel at the entrance to pay remembrance to those family members who were no longer with them.
To honor their respective backgrounds (Zauberman’s family is Jewish, while Ferreira’s family is of Dominican Republican and Greek descent), they incorporated mixed traditions and asked Zauberman’s sister to officiate the ceremony. The bride walked down the aisle in a nature-inspired dress from Elizabeth Fillmore that took her trips to seven stores to find.
“The dress was airy and romantic and reminded me of walking through a garden, which is exactly how I wanted the dress to feel,” Zauberman reminisces. A deep V-neck gown, the A-line frame flowed freely and was dotted with floral appliques that mirrored the real-life dusky pink and green floral arrangements created by New York City florist Designs by Ahn.
As a special touch, Elizabeth Fillmore herself even offered to do the fittings at her Flatiron design studio and add custom elements and subtle sparkles. Set against her bridesmaids’ mixed pink and champagne dresses, Zauberman glowed.
After the ceremony, the party began with a seated dinner that guests still can’t forget. Blue Hill treats like handmade cavatelli pasta with summer corn and mushrooms wowed the crowd, and each course came with a complementary wine pairing to further enrich the experience. For dessert, the couple kept it simple and fresh with a vanilla cake topped with honey buttermilk frosting, fresh plums, and flowers.
To go with it, they opted for desserts like rosemary donuts, milk jam and chocolate pots, and malted barley ice cream cones to be passed around the dance floor.
And what a dance floor it was! The festivities echoed all night long, as Liberty from Hank Lane played 90s tunes that had everyone singing – and dancing – along. As the sweet evening drew to a close, guests went home with tall bags of fresh popcorn to fuel them on the bus ride back to the hotel for a balloon-filled afterparty.
For future Hudson Valley brides, Zauberman’s advice is simple, yet meaningful.
“Stay true to yourself and your vision,” she notes. “There are a lot of options out there, but if you stick to what feels right to you and your fiancée, you can’t go wrong. Also, enjoy every moment and be sure to take it all in, [because] being surrounded by the people in your life who love you is a once in a lifetime experience.”