Willow Ridge Farm, a rustic wedding venue in the Hudson Valley, made for a beautiful setting to photograph Avery & Dan’s laid-back celebration
Though Willow Ridge Farm is just 70 minutes from Midtown Manhattan, it could be anywhere in the countryside—it’s that removed from the hustle and bustle of the city. With a pond, a barn, an 8-room home, streams, bridges, and a large tented area for your reception, Willow Ridge is a lovely place for weddings ranging from DIY and simple to rustic or even hippie. The 32 acres of fields, gazebos, barns, and willow trees are used for not just weddings, but retreats, events, and parties.
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Though I’m typically one to regale readers with exciting stories, funny moments, and creative wedding photos, the craziest thing to happen at this Hudson Valley wedding was a summer downpour. Luckily it didn’t last long, and was simply a reminder of why New York is so beautifully green. Right? Right.
For Avery and Dan, both public defenders in NYC, their Willow Ridge Farm wedding was a good pick for hosting their friends and family coming up from the city. They were the most beautiful, sweet, easy-to-work with couple who just wanted to celebrate with nary a care in the world. Did they want a hot air balloon ride in, a petting zoo, or fireworks? No. They just wanted a beautiful Hudson Valley wedding with their tight-knit friend network and family.
A Sweet, Rustic Wedding Day
Getting ready in the main house meant wading through a flurry of activity that was their family and friends rushing about to get ready, their ring bearer tricycling around with the flower girl, florals setting up, and more. After some getting ready photos in separate rooms, it was time for a most amazing first look.
I always urge couples to have a private first look with no one else but their photographer around, and this is why. They were able to see just each other, with no distractions, and enjoy that once-in-a-lifetime moment. Dan was in tears upon seeing his beautiful bride, and it’s easy to see why. Avery was simply glowing in her dress (with pockets)!
Being a Hudson Valley Wedding Photographer + New York’s Lush Greenscapes
One of the biggest reasons I love being a Hudson Valley wedding photographer is the greenery and varied landscape. I enjoy traveling through deserts, but could never live in one. I need greens, water, trees, mountains, and adventure. The beauty of Willow Ridge Farm is that there’s green everywhere, rustic fences, brooks, benches, and weeping willows galore. It’s very peaceful. So, taking candid portraits of these two was just simple and beautiful.
Avery and Dan were far too into grinning at each other for getting many portraits, and guests were going to arrive soon—so indoors we went for some more details before the rustic ceremony under the willow trees. Hey, how else would this New York wedding venue get their name? I’m a sucker for weeping willows, so I didn’t complain.
One of the most special details was Avery & Dan’s wedding rings. They were custom-designed/semi-homemade and featured tiny rubies and a unique engagement ring. How cool is that?! Plus, she had a rhinestone belt she found, and had it weaved into her hair. Gorgeous.
A New York Wedding Ceremony…(and Some Rain)
Adorably, Avery’s grandpa ready a poem at the ceremony! Laughs, tears, and a few family portraits happened before torrential rains came down and forced everyone under the tent, laughing. Also adorably funny? The flower girl who just was NOT having it:
Luckily there was a beautiful smorgasbord of food as catered by Harvest Real Food Catering, and decorated by florist Dana Poplees. No one went hungry, never fear. Planner Jesse Reing made sure everyone was dry and that the show could go on. Less than an hour later, the skies lightened up and games resumed (along with dinner, dancing, and cake of course). Since we’re all Hudson Valley wedding vendors, a bunch of us had worked together before—which made the day all the more pleasant.
Why Have a Willow Ridge Farm Wedding?
Willow Ridge Farm has so many different spots for the ceremony, including pond-side, field-side, near the brook, and more. Dan and Avery chose for their Willow Ridge Farm wedding ceremony to be under the willow trees, alongside a pasture. We did their first look on a bridge alongside a brook, their portraits in a field, some family photos by the pond, and the reception under the tent. Parking wasn’t far away, over a little bridge and in another pasture.
In today’s “bigger is better” mentality, this Willow Ridge Farm wedding was a beautiful reminder that celebrations DON’T have to be crazy and wild. There are so darn many wedding venues in the Hudson Valley to choose from, and most aren’t familiar with the Putnam Valley—or Willow Ridge Farm. In fact, while there are tons of Dutchess County wedding venues and Westchester Wedding Venues, Putnam County—squeezed in between these two east-of-the-Hudson-River New York counties—gets little attention. And while you’ll never happen to drive by Willow Ridge Farm on your daily commute, its out-of-the-way location makes this rustic Hudson Valley wedding venue all that more of a find.
Her Shoes: https://www.badgleymischka.com/shoes/
His Suit: https://joingrey.com/
Kathryn Cooper Weddings | Hudson Valley Wedding Photographer | Hudson Valley Wedding Venues | Willow Ridge Farm Weddings