Uniquely Affordable Finger Lakes Weddings

    

By: Genna Knight

Tying the knot in the Finger Lakes? If so, you have already found your romantic setting, but how do you plan a memorable celebration that suits your taste, fits your budget, and distinguishes itself as a union unique to you and yours? This is a tricky task regardless of where you decide to host your big day and particularly, when you are narrowing your choices from fancy resorts, charming inns, lakeside wineries, and gorgeous waterfalls. The good news is, in a region rich with history, beauty, and charm, your Finger Lakes wedding is bound to be beautiful, but only you can make it extraordinary by making it your own. Consider some of the region’s unconventional and inspirational resources to create a fabulous Finger Lakes celebration that you, your family, and your friends will remember as undeniably yours

Whether you are thinking classy, clever, or casual, let your vision of the ideal occasion come to life in the Finger Lakes. Hire your favorite vintner, chef, and farmer to cater a feast made from homegrown Finger Lakes ingredients, and then set the table for your guests in a beautiful sunlit field at your favorite local farm. Tie the knot among the vines, host your dinner in a candlelit wine cellar, or go grass roots and marry like a local at one of the regional farmer’s markets. For example, the Ithaca's Farmer's Market offers a beautiful and affordable place to host a wedding and reception--at the Steamboat Landing on the inlet of Cayuga Lake. Cater the affair with finger foods from Ithaca Bakery, and serve regional wines and Ithaca Beer Co. brew. Kick off the event with a Dinosaur Bar-B-Que rehearsal picnic at Taughannock Falls State Park. Erin and Charles of Brooktondale, New York, did just that, giving their out-of-town guests a true taste of their life together in the Finger Lakes.

In a custom-made ceremony surrounded by friends and family, the bride and groom were each escorted by canoe to the dock at Steamboat Landing, where they exchanged vows on a warm August afternoon with a backdrop of beautiful Cayuga Lake. Following the ceremony, as the sun set and their guests cheered, the newly married couple and their ring-bearer dog led the crowd to the open-air Farmer’s Market pavilion to kick off an evening of Ithacan cuisine, hometown brew, and salsa dancing.

Strings of Japanese lanterns hung in the rafters and round tables staggered the market floor, each adorned with a summer bouquet of sunflowers and a colorful mix of wild blossoms hand-picked from the couple’s backyard. Ithaca Bakery caterers strolled the pavilion with trays of appetizers for mingling guests while the bride and groom twirled to the live salsa band. In a region where locals and guests relish in the rich culture, diverse lifestyles, and natural beauty--from its exquisite wineries to its deep gorges--there is no season too cold or idea too lofty to accommodate your style. Celebrate your wedding with memories of the Finger Lakes.

photos: Jesse Blanner