SUNY New Paltz grad Liz Manko has spent plenty of time hiking Westchester’s most scenic landscapes. So when she and her then-fiancé Philip Wilkins looked out on the view from Tarrytown’s Sunset Cove, they knew they’d found their wedding location.
“We felt right at home,” Manko says. “We always wanted a brunch wedding and we knew everyone could just be together, making conversations and mingling.”
Classy, cute, and kitschy have been hallmarks of the couple’s relationship ever since they first met. Philip, a U.K. expat, is a coach and club pro at his local squash court; Liz, a yoga instructor, was invited to teach a class on the grounds and, as she says, “chemistry happened almost immediately.”
Keeping with their style, the couple crafted a beautiful, outdoor ceremony that was equal parts timeless elegance and sustainable boho-chic. Traditional three-piece suits and a fine lace wedding gown from Wilderly were offset by a peacock purse and feather accent, handmade bridesmaid dress, and old-school cool party favors: bamboo fans and tiny bottles of English Pimm’s, a traditional Wimbledon beverage of choice.
Bouquets and matching boutonnieres were handmade from lavender and organic, hand-carved wood — designed to last a lifetime of wedded bliss — while the centerpieces eschewed flowers in favor of small, tasteful, and environmentally friendly succulents.
Invitations were also handmade, by a friend of the couple who is conveniently a graphic designer, and the officiant was Manko’s longtime friend and yoga teacher, Ben, who wrote a lovely and personal ceremony. “Each guest knew the memories he spoke about,” Manko says. “It was specifically tailor-made for us. We knew nothing of what he wrote till the day.” To underscore the event, the couple passed on having a DJ or a band in favor of subtle, tranquil live harp.
The bride and groom made excellent use of their venue’s gorgeous property, staging in front of gorgeous architecture and in the vintage greenhouse and antique library of the nearby Belvedere Estate, before finally holding their ceremony beneath the crystal blue sky looking out on the new Gov. Mario M. Cuomo Bridge and Hudson River. “We could not have asked for a better day, weather-wise,” says Manko.
After, guests and the newlyweds enjoyed a fine brunch of bagels and pastries, eggs and omelets, salmon over quinoa, eggplant rollatini, penne a la vodka, carving stations, and more. The happy couple cut a naked red velvet cake, but also offered four additional cake flavors for guests to choose from, ensuring every guest their perfect choice, which perfectly sums up Manko’s hope for the day.
“Everyone felt at home while celebrating in a grand way!”