Karolyn & Matthew
July 31, 2021
When Karolyn and Matthew Rogers had their first date on a February evening in Manhattan back in 2017, it was like nothing she had ever experienced. “Sitting across from someone at a fancy Italian restaurant with white tablecloths… I had never been on a date like that,” Karolyn recalls, noting how Matthew had picked the venue and how romantic it all was. “He was very sweet and a real gentleman. He stood when I got up from the table, and he walked to me to the train and made sure I got home safe.”
The couple found each other on a dating app and texted and exchanged pictures prior to meeting. “We had an instant connection,” says Karolyn, who adds that Matthew secured their next date before the first one was even over. They got together again a week later, and it wasn’t long before she knew he was the one. “He always put me first and showed me with his actions that I was very important to him. He wanted to know my favorite color, and he got me flowers multiple times. He was just the sweetest.”
In August of 2020, Matthew got down on one knee in front of Central Park’s famed Bethesda Fountain and offered Karolyn an oval diamond set in a pavé band. “I was surprised, even though I was expecting it,” Karolyn admits.
A month later, at the suggestion of Matthew’s sister, they toured Glenmere Mansion in Chester. “It was the only one we saw,” says Karolyn. “It was gorgeous — the gardens, the lawns. You feel like you’re somewhere else, like in the European countryside.”
Although they visited in the fall, they decided to wed the following summer. “I knew I wanted to get married outside, with the greenery and flowers,” the bride adds. “We are outdoorsy people. We love the way places are created, just pure nature.”
And Mother Nature was on their side when they exchanged vows on a warm, breezy July day on the lawns overlooking the Hudson Valley and Glenmere Lake. “The view was breathtaking. You could see the water, and the weather was perfect,” she notes.
Karolyn envisioned a classically elegant, romantic setting with an abundance of lush, summer flowers, and Damselfly Designs of White Plains brought her dream to life. “As a way to augment the already stunning backdrop of the estate and proximate grounds, we curated an assortment of florals in the romantic air and soft color palette that Karolyn and Matthew selected for their special day,” says Damselfly creative director Ashley Drago.
The couple said “I do” partially encircled by a meadow of fresh blooms — spray roses, lisianthus, and vertical sprays of eremurus — which were then repurposed as lively adornments that framed the band. Damselfly also fashioned a custom chandelier, or as Drago describes it, “a floral-lier” of blush Dutch hydrangea, ranunculus, Vendela and Tibet roses, and fragrant sweet peas that presided over the dance floor. “That was a splurge,” Karolyn acknowledges.
The reception took place in the space Glenmere calls The Barn in the Meadow, but “it’s nothing like a barn,” laughs Karolyn. “It’s whitewashed, with chandeliers. It’s very elegant.” While 300 people can be comfortably accommodated, Karolyn and Matthew had just 95 in attendance. At the suggestion of Damselfly, drapery was installed at both ends of the room, creating a cozy, luxurious effect.
Both the bride and the groom agree that their favorite moment of the day was the first look. “[Matthew] was waiting in the garden to see me for pictures before the ceremony, and he got teary eyed,” Karolyn remembers. “It was a very sweet moment. I felt very happy.”
As for Matthew: “I needed that. I just knew I’d be crying, being in front of everyone,” because, as he explains, it was a long walk to the place where they’d exchange vows before all those who had gathered to share in their special day.
The couple say their first dance, to Elvis Presley’s “Can’t Help Falling In Love,” was another special and memorable moment. “We picked the song because it’s so sweet and classic,” says Karolyn, “and, the way he has treated me has made it so easy to fall in love with him.”
The couple was outdoors, surrounded by nature’s splendor and a spectacular display in the night sky, when it was time to cut the cake. “We took a few bites, and fireworks went off behind us,” says Karolyn. Perfectly tuned to the moment, the band burst out with Katy Perry’s “Firework,” offering the proverbial icing on the cake and a harmonious toast to a sweet story of love and new beginnings.