In the midst of the pandemic, Maya and David exchanged matching rings and love letters in their apartment. There was no surprise proposal or hidden photographer to capture the moment, just two best friends sharing an intimate moment and feasting on takeout sushi. “Our saying has always been ‘50-50.’ We have always considered ourselves equal parts of the relationship,” explains Maya. “We decided to propose to each other.”
The couple, who met on a dating app shortly after Maya finished college and while David was getting his post-graduate degree, wanted a Hudson Valley wedding, close to his family. But with jobs out of state and demanding work schedules, they needed boots on the ground. “Our priority was to hire a planner who would help us plan everything remotely,” says Maya, who found Danielle Caldwell, of Danielle Caldwell Events, online. “After meeting her virtually, we immediately felt she understood our vision.” A Westchester native who had recently moved back to the East Coast after building a successful boutique event-planning business in Oregon, Caldwell only takes on eight clients each year and offers unlimited meetings to tease out every detail of her clients’ big days.
Maya and David had a late-fall engagement shoot at Storm King Art Center in New Windsor and tasked Caldwell with finding a wedding venue that would similarly blend their appreciation for architecture and nature. Together, they settled on The Roundhouse in Beacon for its picturesque location overlooking the Fishkill Creek and floor-to-ceiling windows that bring a sense of the outdoors in. “We loved the look of The Roundhouse,” recalls Maya. “The venue was perfect; it incorporated the modern-industrial look we wanted without compromising nature and foliage.” With hotel rooms on-site, the Beacon venue was also ideal for the couple’s many friends who traveled from far-flung destinations, including Asia, South America, and Europe, to celebrate their nuptials.
Since David is colorblind, the couple chose a monochromatic palette of muted yellows that reflected the fall colors outside. Germantown-based floral design studio Athabold further emphasized the view by favoring foliage over flowers. Modern vases were filled with tall, leafy branches to balance the height of the room. “I remember coming in and saying, ‘It looks like you went into the forest and cut down branches,’” recalls Caldwell of working with Athabold. “She said, ‘Actually, that’s what I did.’” Candles and bud vases filled with yellow blooms adorned each table, which were left bare to expose the natural wood or laid with simple gray linens.
The groomsmen donned suits in a similar shade of gray, while the bridesmaids wore dark-green dresses. Maya paired an Allure A-line gown with platform sneakers and a yellow bouquet. In a cheeky twist, the couple wore custom socks patterned with photos of each other.Their personalities also came through in the ceremony, which was officiated by David’s college roommate. “We gave him a lot of freedom to interview us, develop a story, and provide his narrative,” says David. “We changed very little in the end, and people still come up to me asking to hire him, even though he doesn’t do it professionally.” Inspired by the geometric sculptures at Storm King, Athabold designed an asymmetrical backdrop for the ceremony, featuring two pillars bursting with sprays of yellow flowers, branches, and maple leaves.
After, guests sipped his-and-hers spicy margaritas and Boulevardiers during cocktail hour, which was followed by a seated dinner and a semi-naked cake with tiers of chocolate and red velvet. The rest of the night was dedicated to dancing and partying with friends and family, who captured plenty of candid photos with disposable cameras that were placed on each table.
Much like their proposal, one of the most memorable parts of the day involved a few moments alone. “After the ceremony, Danielle took us to the back room and allowed us to have a moment to ourselves,” recalls Maya. “We had some drinks and snacks. We cried, hugged, laughed, and took time to process everything. It was a beautiful, intimate moment.”
Hudson River Photographer
Danielle Caldwell Events
Party Rental Ltd.
Letters & Dust
MD Music & Entertainment
Bride’s Hair & Makeup
The Luminous Bride