If you were to ask Andrew Ginsburg how he and Samara Hollander ended up together, he would say, “It was in the stars.” After all, the couple met and fell in love in a college Astronomy class. As their relationship continued to flourish, the two moved together from New York City to Connecticut before settling in Aspen, where Andy proposed to Samara seven years after they began to date.
Once they decided to wed in Connecticut, the couple searched for a single venue that could accommodate everything from their rehearsal dinner to Sunday brunch – and found just what they dreamed of in a breathtaking manor in the town of Thompson. “It was really important to us that the location give the feeling of a weekend getaway without guests having to travel too far,” Samara explains. A traditional Jewish ceremony was also significant to the couple. “Andy and I are not very traditional people, but when it came time to plan our wedding, we both felt strongly that the ceremony be carried out by a rabbi and that Jewish rituals be performed along with a mixture of personal touches,” explains the bride.
Intent on making the overall style of the wedding uniquely glamorous and full of stunning details, Samara sat down with her stationer and found ways to make every aspect of the wedding stationery striking without being over-the-top. Together, they designed custom invitations, menu cards, programs, place cards, welcome packages, yarmulkes, and more, all tied together with a scripted monogram accented with a single crystal. “I spent a lot of time getting [the monogram] just right, so I am very proud of how it came out,” Samara shares. Although Andy was happy to help with any tasks assigned to him, the bride relied mainly on her mother’s advice when it came to final decisions. “She was amazing, and I couldn’t have done it without her by my side,” Samara fondly recalls.
Bridesmaids dressed in floor-length purple dresses carried delicate nosegays of ivory roses down the aisle before Samara appeared in a beautiful strapless gown embroidered with delicate beading. The bride held a bountiful bouquet of mixed florals in shades of white, cream, and purple as she walked arm-in-arm with her father down a cobblestone pathway that led to a sprawling lawn. Guests sat in bright white chiavari chairs around a romantic chuppah that was elevated and adorned with sheer white fabric to serve as the perfect stage for the vow exchange. The understated ceremony proved to be sweetly sentimental when the rabbi incorporated passages from letters that he had requested Samara and Andy write to each other explaining why they wanted to marry. And although the two hadn’t read each other’s letters in advance, “our words mirrored each other’s,” Samara confides.
At the conclusion of the ceremony, guests shifted to a gorgeous garden where toasts were given in honor of the couple. Next, everyone was ushered to an indoor/ outdoor cocktail area where a magnificent display of hors d’oeuvres awaited, including clams, oysters, shrimp cocktails, crab cakes, tacos, and even pizza. An amazing selection of tray-passed appetizers ranged from Kielbasa Wellington and Parmesan cheese puffs, to Cuban grilled-chicken skewers and Asian meatballs. Specialty drinks included a variety of wines, lavender mojitos, and Champagne. “No one left our wedding hungry!” Samara laughs.
The reception area revealed hundreds of candles and dramatic lighting that danced off tabletops with sparkling centerpieces. Crystal trees surrounded by small arrangements of purple, white, and ivory florals adorned some tables, while towering displays of hydrangeas and orchids ornamented others. “I was shocked by how many details actually go into a table design,” Samara admits. “People may think it’s just about choosing a linen style and flower arrangement, but it is so much more than that.” Samara and her mother had carefully selected every single item that was arranged on the tables, including intricately embroidered linens, glamorous mirrored chargers, purple-hued wine glasses, and even the silverware and china used for each dinner service. “We were very aware of all the little things that made the whole look so perfect,” adds the bride.
The wedding cake included 900 handmade sugar flowers that surrounded each of the four tiers. “The flowers took the cake designer four months to make – they were incredible!” Samara exclaims. Once servings of the special confection were enjoyed by all, it was time for the couple’s first dance. Andy and Samara had taken dance lessons in preparation; however, the couple hadn’t considered the effects of Samara’s gown in their routine. “Dancing with the dress was much more complicated,” remembers Andy. “We were thinking of not doing the dance until the music started to play, but it all came so naturally – it was the best we had ever performed!” The celebration continued until 4AM, and it was clear everyone had a joyous time. “Not to sound clichéd, but I would not change a thing,” states Andy of the couple’s big day. “I think Samara did an incredible job planning the wedding, and everything turned out perfect.”