I’d known Julia and Auroni for a little over a year before their wedding day finally came. Together we went through plenty of schedule changes, a cliffside engagement session, chats over coffee and empanadas, and more. Come labor day weekend 2021, it was finally time for their Tarrytown House Estate wedding. An incredible bonus to this particular wedding: the presence of not one, but TWO dogs. I highly recommend bringing dogs to all weddings.
It’s super convenient that everything is able to be done on site at Tarrytown House Estate. There are big conference-like rooms that are spacious enough to use for getting ready. For Julia and Auroni, there were two instances during their Tarrytown House Estate wedding in which they had to utilize this space for hair, makeup, & outfits. Once before the Indian ceremony in the morning, and once again in the early evening before the “American” reception.
While getting ready, I like to ask all of my couples how they’re feeling. Are they nervous? Excited? Calm? When I asked Julia how she was feeling before the ceremony, she instantly teared up, saying “I’m just really happy.”
The space used for getting ready can double as a pretty good portrait-taking location. The particular room Julia and her bridesmaids used had some spectacular views of the Hudson Valley. Rolling hills and water are always beautiful portrait backgrounds. Once you leave the room, there’s a big, winding staircase, another prime spot for photos.
Something I should mention about this particular venue: the grounds are QUITE expansive. When I say expansive, I mean huge. From the statue garden, to the patio/deck, to the multiple lawns. Having this many options for your first look can be overwhelming, but it just means we’ll get to spend tons of time taking your couples portraits. And if it helps, we’ll even come scout some spots with you before your wedding day — we always do.
Luckily for Julia and Auroni, they had two first looks. The initial first look was done in their Indian ceremony attire; they looked like walking art. The second first look was done with Julia in her white reception dress and Auroni in a very dapper blue suit.
I got to experience something for the first time at Julia and Auroni’s wedding: the Baraat. If you aren’t familiar with what a Baraat is, allow me to enlighten you. It is a celebratory wedding procession involving the groom and pretty much all the guests. The groom is usually on a very cute well-dressed horse, and everyone is accompanied by live music. There’s also a ton of dancing and plenty of photo-ops.
There are several different traditions that take place during an Indian wedding ceremony. After the Baraat, each member of the wedding party took their turn to walk down the aisle leading to the Mandap. The Mandap is the structural altar where the wedding takes place, signifying a fruitful married life.
Traditionally, the groom waits at the entrance of the Mandap for the bride. For Julia and Auroni’s wedding, Julia was carried to the altar by her brother and cousins, her face covered by leaves. Once at the Mandap, a canopy of sorts is placed over the bride and groom, where the they see each other and exchange garlands.
Oh, and before entering the Mandap, the groom must remove his shoes. This ties into the “everyone steal the groom’s shoes!” tradition. Whoever takes them gets to give them back in exchange for some cash.
The ceremony did not only consist of Hindu traditions, though. Julia comes from a Jewish background, so the ceremony concluded with the breaking of the glass. Mazel tov!
With the conclusion of the ceremony came the *second* first look for Julia and Auroni.
The two of them took some time to change from their ceremony attire to their reception-wear. There was some extra time scheduled into the timeline, so Julia and Auroni were able to take some more portraits without missing their cocktail hour. Meanwhile, I think their dogs even went on a little walk.
I highly recommend carving out at least 15-20 minutes of golden hour for portraits, btw.
Going into this wedding reception, I was already excited. In the weeks before, Auroni mentioned wanting the vibes to mirror “night club meets John Wick.” The energy their DJ brought was amazing, and the color scheme for all the uplighting in the venue itself certainly brought Auroni’s vision to life. Photographing their details was super fun. More importantly, I got to listen to plenty of Beyoncé. Thanks, DJ Kwame Owusu-Kesse!
VIPs of the bride and groom gave their speeches. Meanwhile, a delicious dinner was served. There were laughs, tears, and lots of “cheers”-ing.
In conclusion: Tarrytown is such a beautiful, modest hidden gem of a town. The grounds of this venue are massive, and there is truly something here for everyone. If you’re planning a wedding at Tarrytown House Estate, let us know! We’ll help you scout photo spots and use our past experience here to make your wedding day flow seamlessly. In other words: we can’t wait to come back!
The wonderful vendor team:
Planner: LCR Events
Beauty: The Makeup & Hair Co.
Gown: Azazie / JJ’s House
Suit: Indochino / The Black Tux
Cake: Sweet Lisa’s
Jewelry: OKG Jewelry / James Allen
Baraat DJ: DJ Avhik
Reception DJ: DJ Kwame Owusu-Kesse
Invitations: Indian Wedding Cards
We're Sava, a small studio of photographers who bonded over our similar educational background, love of art, & general affinity for timeless wedding photos. Based in NYC, will travel, will pick up your coffee order on the way.
When we work together, I'll do everything I can to get to know you and your partner, ensuring your photos feel authentic to your personalities. Our relationship will be collaborative, not one-sided. We'll share ideas, inspiration, and I'll answer all your burning wedding related (or not) questions.