While they had thought of eloping, their Preist convinced them to have just a handful of their favorite people in attendance as they shared vows in their own backyard.
We share our home in the village of Cold Spring, New York, with our two rescue dogs (Finn and Dolly) and cat (Frosya). We love hiking, traveling, gardening, and generally spending as much time as possible outside. We’re both close with our families.
Polina works as an account executive in the ad tech industry and thoroughly enjoys trashy reality TV (90 Day Fiance, specifically). Kat works as a Sales Director in the natural and organic food industry and enjoys breaking things around the house so she can then (try to) fix them.
Polina proposed to Kat at a John Prine concert while he was singing our song- “In Spite of Ourselves.” After the concert, Polina surprised Kat with an engagement party at one of our favorite Brooklyn bars, Halyards, with all our close friends in attendance.
How did COVID-19 affect wedding planning?
A global pandemic (mostly stressful, sometimes funny). We were supposed to get married in Hawaii and had already put the down payment on the officiant, wedding photographer, and flowers. Covid-19 got in the way of those plans, and we had essentially put our wedding on hold indefinitely.
We decided very last minute, about six weeks out, to keep our original date of 10/10/2020 and get married in our town, which we have come to love. We’ve been working on fixing up the house the entire time we’d been here, so we decided to get married with just a few close family members on the beach near our home and have a little backyard shindig to celebrate.
The entire neighborhood rallied together to help us. Our neighbors helped us finish projects in the backyard, making the space look beautiful and inviting, as well as cater the food, decorate, etc. Though it wasn’t what we had initially intended, the day was absolutely beautiful, and I’m so glad that we did it this way.
Talk us through your wedding inpsiration.
The theme of the wedding was thrifted backyard chic. Most of the furniture and decorations were things that we’d found either on the side of the street or next to a tractor in someone’s field off an ad on Craigslist. We wanted the wedding to represent us and the new home we’ve been investing so much time in. It’s a fixer-upper with lots of character and beauty!
We had so many DIY projects. Kat built doors on our garage that previously had none, stairs leading up to the backyard, a full rock garden, and a feature burnt wood wall, wrapped all of our back patio columns with wood, and installed a ceiling light and fan. Polina painted the garage wall and helped with the gardening.
Talk to us about the big day! We want all the details.
We woke up well before dawn to get ready, and photos were taken at one of our favorite places (Little Stony Point) at sunrise. After the shoot, we met a small group of family and friends by the beach and had our ceremony looking out onto the Hudson with Storm King Mountain in the background.
The ceremony was led by Reverend Jim Rooney, a gay, previously Catholic priest who has become a good friend. His energy is truly magic. We incorporated the wine ceremony into our vows but did it with Don Julio instead. Kat’s first line of her written vows was “hey.”
We loved the ceremony so much. We had originally planned on eloping, but Reverend Rooney convinced us to include our loved ones so that they can share in our love, and it was absolutely the right thing to do. It felt so special and intimate to have our favorite people witness this huge turning point in our lives.
More family and friends arrived back at our place for a socially distanced happy hour and dinner catered by our neighbor, who is not a professional chef, but who did an incredible job. We spent the rest of the night with some close friends outside.
We also loved having people at our home that we had spent so much time and energy investing in and having them enjoy the space. Also, Jason, our soon to be brother in law (Kat’s sister’s fiancé), showed up in a shirt with our faces printed on it.
Do you have any advice for other couples planning a wedding?
Don’t feel forced to spend a lot of money. Our friends and family were all impressed with how great everything looked, all for under $10K. Invite only your favorite people to the ceremony and in general.
The way you work through wedding planning is a good indicator of your life together. It will be super stressful at times, exhilarating, fun, and sometimes tedious. And you’ll always argue about money! When you get frustrated with each other, remember what you’re planning, and don’t sweat the small stuff.
Lastly, is there anything else you’d like to share with us?
Polina’s parents did not initially want to come. They have both had a tough time coming to terms with my sexuality and that she was marrying a woman. It was devastating for Polina to think that they wouldn’t be there. Though they didn’t come to the ceremony, they went to the reception and probably had the best time out of everyone there. Polina’s dad made multiple toasts, they made friends with everyone (including Kat’s family, who they were meeting for the first time), and danced and drank into the night.
Photography by Christine Ashburn
Accessories Vrai & Oro, BHLDN, Shinola
Bridal Boutique BHLDN
Celebrant Reverend Jim Rooney
Ceremony Venue Little Stony Point Beach
Engagement Rings Vrai & Oro
Florist Bo Corre
H&MU Bianca Murray
Prop or Furniture Hire Durante
Shoes BHLDN, Frye
Suit Designer Bindle & Keep
Wedding Rings Catbird