Alexandra Weiner and Andrew Abshere’s relationship started with a lie. It just wasn’t told by either of them. Despite both attending Vassar, they did not meet until after graduation, at the birthday party of a mutual friend. Alexandra attended the soirée with her boyfriend at the time, and Andrew asked the mutual friend about her. “He responded that I had always had a crush on Andrew and that I was single. Neither were true,” Alexandra laughs. Instead of a date, the pair struck up a friendship, but it didn’t take long before they realized their connection was stronger than that of just pals. “Shortly thereafter the boyfriend was gone and Andrew and I went on what he would later realize was a first date,” Alexandra smiles.
Two and a half years later, Andrew surprised his beloved with a trip. Despite the cold, grey weather, he insisted that they get out of the car to enjoy the view. “At some point he started talking and then very suddenly what was happening dawned on me,” reveals Alexandra. The overwhelming emotions make the memory a blur, but her sweetheart later informed her that she said yes after hysterically laughing for several minutes. “In retrospect, the fact that Andrew intended to propose should not have been a surprise at all – based upon a series of odd behaviors by both him and my mother – but at the time I was completely unaware of his intentions because he’s incredibly spontaneous and romantic. I did not think anything more than that he was being very sweet,” the bride admits. In fact, weeks into their relationship, he took her on a spontaneous road trip, which is why he proposed on the side of the same road.
An estate among the forest and a lake reminded Alexandra of her family’s home in Connecticut, immediately bringing to mind the summer parties she throws every year. “Though we always knew we wanted a formal, black-tie wedding we also knew that we wanted it to be fun and carefree for our guests!” she exclaims. The venue was the perfect site to combine summer camp activities during the day with an elegant fête at night. Even the menu fit this juxtaposed vibe, as it included formally plated fried chicken. “I have expensive taste in everything by food,” the bride jokes.
However, the location choice mostly paid off with the alfresco ceremony. The lush, artfully unkempt chuppah would have been enough of a statement, but it was coupled with sweeping views of the mountains and forest trees as well. Guests could be forgiven for not noticing the beauty, considering the personal and touching vow exchange between the bride and the groom. “I can tell you that they hit very hard and that I experienced the most moving and emotionally charged moments of my life,” confides Alexandra. After sealing their marriage with a kiss, the picture-perfect couple walked up the aisle as their loved ones rained rose petals over the newlyweds.
As with many brides, the wedding dress was an important aspect of the day to Alexandra, and unlike many brides, she married the love of her life in a one-of-a-kind gown. “I love fashion and clothing and I always feared that the likelihood of finding a dress that both already existed and yet felt unique to me was small,” she explains. With thoughts of the dress worn by Audrey Hepburn in the film Sabrina in her head, Alexandra visited Mark Ingram Atelier. None of the gowns she tried on seemed to match her vision, but then the design team at the salon suggested they make a custom ensemble. “The result was more than anything I could have hoped for,” the bride gushes. “It is me as a dress.”
Following the ceremony, guests enjoyed a barn reception with an elegant twist through the décor. A cluster of chandeliers was suspended above the dance floor and beautiful drapery adorned the ceiling. Centerpieces of pink blossoms paired with candelabra wrapped with vines of greenery. The cake, a high priority for the bride with an admitted sweet tooth, alternated between square and round layers and was adorned with vibrant sugar flowers and gold details.
For couples beginning the wedding-planning process themselves, Alexandra advises them to “follow their instincts and not get too bogged down in other people’s opinions.” Though she acknowledges outside pressure can make that difficult, that is the advice she and Andrew took, and they were able to have the weekend of their dreams.