Fantasy Art Themed Wedding Becomes A Reality for a Westchester Couple

November 19th, 2014

When Weiyi and Jason talked about their dream wedding, they spoke of exchanging vows in a beautiful, magical forest, subtly reminiscent of the fantasy art themes found in Dungeons & Dragons, the game that first brought them together when they met at a sci-fi convention years earlier. Diane admits, upon originally hearing about their vision, she had a brief “oh my goodness” moment, and wondered how it could be done. But, that feeling was gone as quickly as it had come, and she decided, as usual, that she was definitely up for the challenge.

“It was impossible not to be inspired by Weiyi and Jason, because they were so excited about their wedding, and so clear in their vision of what their perfect day would look like. I’m always passionate about my work, but their enthusiasm really motivated me to create an absolutely picture-perfect event for them.”

Westchester Fantasy Wedding Alter and Chuppah
Even more exciting for Diane was the connection she had with the groom, Jason, and his family. She had created his castle-themed Bar Mitzvah 16 years before and felt very honored to be included, so many years later, in another joyous celebration.

The first “test” came a few weeks after the initial meeting, when Jason and his mom came in to see a sample of Diane’s thoughts for the wedding. Diane only had to hold her breath for a moment before it became clear that Jason was ecstatic – literally jumping for joy when he saw how well she had brought his and his fiancé’s ideas to life. She even got a hug from his mom! Soon after, the bride-to-be came by to see the work, and insisted on a hug of her own!.

“Any time you get two spontaneous hugs from a client before the event, you know it will only get better from there.”

It was smooth sailing as she called on all of her creative talents to design every aspect of the event, with no detail overlooked.

Design highlights included a carefully crafted chuppah, a traditional Jewish symbol of the home the couple will build together, to signify the merging of Jason’s faith with Weiyi’s Chinese heritage.

birch framed chuppah with curly willow vines

The colors of yellow, seen as sacred and noble and red, which denotes love, good fortune and happiness, were woven throughout, and traditional Chinese ribbons of the same colors adorned the aisle.

Traditional Chinese yellow and red ribbons along aisle

Custom made natural birch/wisteria tables trimmed with autumn foliage, and the birch poles holding the bouquets, set the stage for the bride and groom as they walked down the aisle.

Custom-built birch aisle stands and boxes, to hold yarmulkes and programs.

The wedding programs, designed by Diane and the X-Quisite Team, used a font inspired by the world of Dungeons & Dragons.

“It was a lot of fun thinking about how we could take every aspect of a traditional wedding and turn it into an opportunity to invite guests in to Weiyi and Jason’s beautiful fantasy land.”

The wine pergola, embellished with vines, foliage and flora of the season, carried the magical look from the ceremony to the cocktail hour, while a fantasy-inspired cocktail list ensured guests had an opportunity to participate in the fun. Even the escort table stayed true-to-theme, with an oversized centerpiece of vines, branches, pods and berries. The blooming branch and red blossom motif from the programs was included on the escort cards and custom designed dinner menus.

Fantasy Wedding Wine Pergola

The finishing touches were added to the cocktail hour décor with succulents

Escort Card Table Flower Arrangement

When guests passed under a vine archway and into the reception tent, it was as if they were entering another world apart from the one we live in every day. Inside, Diane used dramatic table design, décor and lighting to ensure the atmosphere reached into every corner, eventually spilling out into the night.

Lit up staircase to the reception tentLit up staircase to the reception tent

Entrance to the wedding reception tent

The custom-made dance floor was framed by oversized roots and featured a glowing path inviting guests to dance the night away in a friendly forest. Tent poles on either side were transformed into magical overgrown trees dripping with Spanish moss and hanging amaranthus. Leaf and tree branches were projected throughout, and warm amber up-lighting enhanced the natural setting.

Fantasy forest wedding with custom dance floor

Wedding poles were turned into trees with fantastic lighting design

The perfect blend of elegance and fantasy, guest tables featured wrought iron tree centerpieces with curly willow branches and thoughtfully selected flowers. Each blooming tree had its own personality, with a combination of autumnal flowers, orchids, exotic textural pods and foliage. Candles floated among natural stone accents in small “ponds” at the base of each.

“Thinking about the environment where Weiyi and Jason are most comfortable, along the lines of a Dungeons & Dragons naturescape, I set out to ensure every aspect of earth was represented within the theme, textures and colors, including fire, water, mountains, caves and the sky. I wanted the bride and groom to truly feel they were living in that world for one magical evening.”

Once again, the focus was traditional Chinese colors of red and yellow. While Diane initially wondered whether these tones could be combined to create the warm and elegant atmosphere Weiyi and Jason envisioned, she was able to pull it off beautifully with golden table linens, shimmering red satin napkins, red seat cushions, and golden crinkle bows on the chair backs.  Custom designed menus, rattan charger plates, amber water goblets, natural stones, driftwood and amber votives created the perfect finishing touches on the tables.

Guest Tables at the Reception

The centerpieces florals include bright red tulips, hanging green amaranthus, red button dahlias, red james story orchids, golden yellow oncidium orchids, gold coxcomb, red berries, red gomphrenia, buplerum, yellow pin cushion protea, red protea, yellow crespedia and golden yellow celosia

Tabletop details include rattan chargers, golden crinkle table linens, custom amber water goblets, rattan charger plates and branch motif custom printed menus. Elegant golden crinkle bows finished the chair design adding a flavor of elegance to the setting.

Custom made bar from barn door

The bars found in each corner of the tent, designed and constructed by the X-Quisite team, were made of rustic barn wood and trimmed with honeysuckle vine, Spanish moss and seasonal foliage.

The sweetheart table, where the new bride and groom ate dinner together as a married couple for the first time, was a lush private paradise.

Vine Arch over Sweetheart Table

Sweatheart Table Flower Bouquet Decorations

Since Weiyi and Jason had chosen a venue with a tremendous amount of natural beauty, it made sense to offer guests an opportunity to enjoy it. Custom designed birch and wisteria vine loveseats and tables created the perfect space for a quiet conversation or soaking up the Hudson River views.

Custom Designed Rustic Furniture

Using every opportunity to capitalize on the existing beauty of the venue and embellish the theme, Diane lit all the trees on the driveway to draw guests’ attention to their beauty, and highlighted the pathway with bronze candle lanterns as a guide.

Fairytale lighting outside wedding reception

When it came time for the happy couple to ride into the sunset, it was with memories of an amazing day that took place in the perfect setting.

Sunset Escape Overlooking the Hudson River

“Weiyi and Jason’s wedding was a celebration of their love, and a way to share that love and their idea of paradise with their family and friends. I’m so privileged to have been part of it all, and proud that I was able to bring their vision to life. With their wedding day as the foundation, I wish them a lifetime of beautiful memories.” – Diane Amante

The amazing transformation of Monteverde can be seen in this time lapse video, a true testament to the amount of work that went into making this a truly magical wedding day!

Wedding Decor: X-Quisite Flowers and Events, Inc., Diane Amante

Venue: Monteverde, Cortlandt Manor, NY

Photographer: Arnold Brower

Time Lapse Video: Christopher M. Pasi