Amanda Ordonez was a freshman at SUNY New Paltz the first time she spotted Cody Medina, her now-husband. She lived in the same dorm as him and felt butterflies from the start. Little did she know that Medina felt the same way.
“I used to tell my friends how cute he was and he told his friends that he was going to marry me one day all before we even started dating,” she says. “Eventually I went out with him and his friends one night and we never turned back.”
Medina swept her off her feet that day, and the two stuck together all the way through college and into their bitty first apartment in Beacon. As their relationship progressed, Ordonez knew that when the time came for Medina to propose, she wanted their friends to be present.
Luckily, her beau delivered.
“On my 25th birthday, Cody was able to somehow gather all of our friends…to surprise me,” Ordonez recalls. Thinking the celebration was just for her birthday, she was delighted to have her friends, many of whom live in New York City, take time out of their days to celebrate with her.
Little did she know that the party was only getting started. Earlier in the day, Medina stole away to pick the perfect ring and ask Ordonez’s mother for permission to marry her daughter. When he returned, he asked Ordonez’s friends to distract her until he arrived in a suit and dropped down on one knee. When he asked for her hand in marriage in front of the entire group, she said “yes,” unable to imagine a proposal more perfect.
But the proposal was only an amuse bouche for the wedding day.
After seeing photos of Arrow Park in Monroe, the couple committed to it as the first and last venue they visited. Not only did they love the open, retreat-style atmosphere, they appreciated the fact that they could book the destination for an entire weekend. Add to that the fact that they could host the rehearsal dinner, ceremony, and after-party onsite, and they were sold.
Ordonez walked down the aisle at Arrow Park on a glowing fall day in October. As the sunlight danced across Hudson Valley leaves, the couple said their “I dos.” They held the ceremony outdoors, surrounded by family and friends, with deep crimson blooms adding an aura of romance to the occasion. The bride donned a stunning off-white lace dress by Wtoo by Watters that glimmered with a gold underlay. The groom was just as dapper in a sleep black suit with a boutonniere to match the moody florals of the ceremony.
Once they made the marriage official, the party retreated indoors to the reception space, which sparkled with rustic twinkle lights strewn along wooden beams. Before they danced the night away, Ordonez’s brother led her in a touching father-daughter dance.
“With my dad being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, he was not able to be there the day of the wedding,” she says. “My brother did an amazing job stepping in for him, walking me down the aisle, and doing the father-daughter dance with me. It was a very emotional moment not having my father there, but it was definitely one that I cherish.”
As the daylight faded out of existence, Ordonez and Medina hit the dance floor surrounded by their closest family and friends. For their sweet finish, they cut into a rustic cake from The Cakery and sent guests home with treats from their D.I.Y. candy bar. The celebration was picture-perfect from start to finish, and the newlyweds couldn’t be happier that their early daydreams turned into wedding day realities.
“Everything will work out in the end,” Ordonez promises. “There will be so much stress leading up to the big day with all the last-minute details, but, on the day of, just take a breath and drink in every moment of that day. Whatever happens, happens at this point and what matters at the end of the day is that you had a blast.”