GATHER GREENE WEDDING IN UPSTATE NEW YORK - Sofreh Aghd Wedding
You're the road of love, and at the end, my home,
One of the crowd, and yet I see you crowned;
I see you in stars, in the sun, in the moon,
Here in the green leaves, and high on the throne.
"Kolliyaat-e Shams-e Tabrizi" - Rumi
They say that traveling leaves you speechless and turns you into a storyteller. I really love meeting people from different backgrounds, cultures and continents, connecting with them on a personal level and having the opportunity to tell their story through a, possibly, different perspective. Because the common denominator of all human beings is love. And what eventually connects us all deeply, notwithstanding our different origins, is storytelling. I think that these words best describe the whole story of this Gather Greene Wedding, where I had the opportunity to be Ranna and Ben’s wedding videographer in Upstate New York.
Ranna & Ben had to postpone their wedding due to the pandemic. But, eventually, they had the chance to live their dream day to the fullest together with their beloved family and friends. A totally laid back style in nature, starting with a morning open air yoga session, walking in the woods with friends, cocktail and traditional Persian music near a pond, a meaningful and emotional ceremony with a strong spiritual connection with the elements of the Sofreh Aghd, dinner, party and late night session of drum meditation… It was such a pleasure for me to meet them and their crew and to capture the celebration of their love in the whimsical rolling hills and enchanting wooded environment of Gather Greene, where they got married.
Destination Wedding in Gather Greene Upstate New York
New York City is definitely the most “European” City of the US. A place that always lives with fashion, music and an evergreen cinematic vibe. However, there is plenty to see in New York beyond the Big Apple.
Upstate New York with its’ majestic mountains, abundance of lakes, and charming small towns, is anything but plain and forgettable. Being also close to Canada, it offers a variety of stunning locations and beautiful lakes, gorges, woods and waterfalls, and all within a relatively close distance from the heart of NYC. There is plenty of choice for hosting special occasion events, ranging from intimate elopements to bigger weddings, always with an emphasis on elegance, yet surrounded by the beauty of nature.
Tying the Knot in Upstate New York: Gather Greene Wedding Venue
Ranna and Ben chose Gather Greene as their wedding venue. A luxury estate in Upstate New York which is situated in the Hudson Valley near Coxsackie. Gather Greene is design-forward, perched on over a hundred acres overlooking the Berkshire and Catskill Mountains, and offers dramatic landscapes, stunning views, and modern amenities. From the custom designed wood-cabins, offering bespoke accommodation, to the quarry pond, wildflower field and the woods, there could not be a moodier backdrop with a more cinematic atmosphere for this beautiful story.
Although I have had the opportunity to travel to the US East Coast in the past, this was overall my first trip to film a wedding in New York. It was a great pleasure working with such a lovely couple in such breathtaking location. I definitely look forward to telling more beautiful stories of elegant, yet adventurous and bohemian couples that plan to get married in Gather Greene New York.
An International love story
This love story is all about blending. First, about blending different cultures. Bringing together Ranna & Ben’s Persian, Lebanese, and Polish backgrounds and origin. But also, about blending their respective different personalities.
Ranna thinks with her heart and she is a deeply emotional person. She finds joy in connecting with people and in connecting them to each other. Ben, on the other hand, is an engineer. He is a logical thinker who strives on efficiency, yet he is also a very skilled gardener. They have been together for over ten years – through this time, they have experienced countless stages of life and still they’ve chosen each other.
The story is also not only about them but also about the family and tribe that have made them who they are. The love they have is amplified by their support system, those cheering them on throughout the way.
Their engagement was very romantic and symbolic with just the two of them. It happenned in Lebanon at the highest point in Ehden, in the region where Ben’s family is from. Ben brought with him hand-written letters from everyone who is dearest to Ranna, so they could be there with them in the moment as well.
They dream of growing old and living adventurously together. Making memories in unconventional and thrilling ways is what really matters to them.
Story of the Day
“You Embody Wonder and Amusement, in every sense of it” – Ranna
Ranna and Ben discovered my wedding videography portfolio online and, as they said, they loved the artistry and passion behind my work. They appreciated the fact that my films were unlike any others they had ever seen, and that they felt multi-dimensional. When they contacted me shortly after to be their wedding Videographer in Gather Greene they said they loved the arthouse touch and European aesthetics of my work. We both agreed that what is most important in a wedding film is to capture the true emotions of the day, as well as bespoke storytelling elements that are relevant to each couple’s story – something I consider paramount to my work.
Outdoors Wedding yoga session in Gather Greene
The wedding day started with an early morning outdoors yoga session. Ranna insisted to have this ritual filmed as it felt very important for them. The highlight of this session, was that at the end all friends sat in circle and, one after the other, all of them shared a memory with the couple or a good wish for their married life.
After the Yoga everyone had breakfast from a canteen food truck and then went back to their cabins in the woods to start getting ready. The preparations of the bride and groom were quite laid back. Ben got ready in a cabin with a couple of his closest friends. One of them, Lorenzo, had a surprise for his friend. He got dressed in a bridal gown and he surprised Ben for the first look as his bride, right before Ranna made her appearance for the actual first look. This short funny section was actually included in the bloopers of their feature film.
Wedding Cocktail by the Gather Greene Pond
In the afternoon and before the ceremony, the couple welcomed all their guests on a couch by the quarry pond, and spent some time with them. For group pictures, dancing on traditional persian music and enjoying cocktails by the pond of Gather Greene. This was a very important part to connect with the guests, as usually wedding days are hectic and the couple don’t get the opportunity to spend much time with their guests.
Persian Wedding Ceremony: The Sofreh Aghd
The Persian Sofreh Aghd is a beautiful ceremony that takes place at the time of the wedding. The bride and groom sit in front of the aghd spread before their guests. Each element on the spread is symbolic, significant and intentionally chosen with a specific purpose to represent a healthy and happy life as husband and wife:
Mirror: Symbolizes a physical and spiritual reflection and overall brightness in the married life of the couple
Sugar Cones: Used during the ceremony over couple’s head, to shower the marriage with sweetness.
Honey: Symbolizes the sweetness of love to bless the union .
Candles: Symbolizes energy and clarity in the couple’s life together.
Erbs and Spices: To keep the evil eye away from the couple.
Wild Rue: An herb which is burned as part of a ritual and tradition for purification.
Book: Symbolizes the blessing for the couple, to guide them with words of love.
Walnuts, Wheat, coins: Symbolize abundance and prosperity.
Eggs: Symbolize fertility.
The whole ceremony was emotional, reminiscent of Ranna and Ben’s path and different origins and symbolized the blending of all these elements.
After the ceremony there was an outdoors dinner with a lovely table setup and fish from the lake, followed by coffee, deserts and cigars. The beautiful night ended excitedly with a crazy dance party before heading back to the quarry pond for a drum circle meditation around a bonfire.
The whole event from start to finish was beautifully conceived and realized and also very emotional, and I feel honoured to have witnessed it, and to have been chosen as their wedding videographer in Gather Greene New York.
Planning a Wedding in New York
If you are planning a destination wedding in New York, New England, Hudson Valley, or in the Berkshires, then finding an amazing team of professionals to help you pull it off is very important. Especially your photographer, videographer, and your wedding planner should be on the top of the list. Working with Magda the wedding planner from Magdalena Events and her team, was a breeze. Having both a European background and similar aesthetics, we were able to connect and have a great coordination throughout the event. She did a great job with everything and I cannot recommend her enough as your wedding planner in Gather Greene or, generally speaking, in New York.
We also had a perfect collaboration with Chellise, Ranna and Ben’s New York wedding photographer, and her team. Her quest for vintage looks, shooting a lot of polaroids and film, match my own personal aesthetics, but also, with the unmistakable NYC humour and working speed they are great people to have a good connection on a personal level in the first place. As a destination wedding videographer in Gather Greene, I was very grateful for these collaborations, since New York was somewhat new territory for me. All the vendors were very professional, polite and flexible and everything was organized as it should be.
Wedding Videography in Gather Greene New York
I feel really blessed to be a destination wedding videographer. To be able to travel to iconic places all over the world, and to film ceremonies in breathtaking locations like Gather Greene, overlooking the mountains. Be it in Hudson Valley, in New England or in Berkshires. Upstate New York is full of amazing destination wedding locations!
My work has brought me to meet new people and to tell different love stories each time. There may be different locations, different origins, different type of ceremonies, but the common denominator is love. As you can see by checking out my portfolio, each film is different, bespoke and tailored to each couple. In order to be able to dedicate all the necessary attention and the required amount of pre and post production work to each story, I only accept to book a limited number of weddings every year.
Are you planning to get married in Gather Greene or simply to elope there? I would love to be your wedding videographer in New York. My base is in Europe, but I work all over the world, so I am just one flight away from your dream wedding venue. Check out a few of my films in the blog and let’s create some magic for your wedding videography in Gather Greene New York, together!