The Rebecca Booker and Gregory Shenkman Wedding
By By Cailey Rizzo; Photography by Gulnara Studio
Rebecca Booker and Gregory Shenkman were set up on a double date by their mutual friends in June of 2006; four years later, in July of 2010, Greg had picked out the engagement ring and it was burning a hole in his pocket. The weather only exacerbated Greg’s nerves since it was right in the middle of an infamous summer-in-Manhattan heat wave.
The couple chose to head to Babbo, a nearby restaurant, hoping to escape the heat, but they found no refuge there, either. “It was really hot in the restaurant, almost one-hundred degrees,” Rebecca says. “I don't know if he was sweating because he had the ring or because it was so hot.”
At one point in their dinner, Rebecca noted how the heat had forced her to switch her cocktail ring to a different finger. At that point, Greg pulled out the engagement ring and said, “I hope this one will fit you.” Rebecca of course said yes, and the couple began planning their wedding for Labor Day weekend of the following year.
When looking for a venue for their wedding, Rebecca and Greg knew exactly what they wanted: a place that would allow their bridal party to stay on-site with them, a location that was easily accessible to friends and family, and a waterfront view. They visited Locusts-on-Hudson after finding it online. Rebecca says she was drawn to the rich history of the manor, and they immediately fell in love with the rustic atmosphere, which included a pool, a stable, and a gorgeous view of the Hudson.
The couple decided that they didn’t want to overpower or diminish the venue's rustic charm, so Locusts-on-Hudson itself became the theme of the wedding. The rose-like pattern on the windows of the barn were copied and turned into a pattern on the menus, programs, and envelope liners. Rebecca also incorporated peacock feathers into the décor, using their colors to contrast with the natural colors of the manor. Feathers would also appear on the invitations, at the place settings, and in floral arrangements.
Greg and Rebecca are an interfaith couple and wanted their ceremony to honor both of their religions. There were two officials present, a rabbi and a priest, who worked together to help the couple and their loved ones see the similarities between their two religions.
When it came time for the party, the dinner was served family-style and featured all local food from nearby markets and farms. The catering was done by Oliver Kita Fine Catering with a menu consisting of a tomato and mozzarella salad, seasonal vegetables, salmon, beef tenderloin, and pork. For dessert, the guests were presented a dessert bar featuring sweets such as macarons and mini-tarts. Each guest was given a box and took home their favorite desserts as favors.
“We wanted the day to feel like a vacation,” says Rebecca. “It was a holiday weekend, we wanted people to be able to get away. Everyone was there to celebrate and relax, and we all had a blast.”
Ceremony and Reception:
135 Old Post Road, Staatsburg
Events That Matter
New York City
Oliver Kita Fine Catering
18 West Market St, Rhinebeck
149 Mill Hill Road, Pine Plains
The Arthur Stewart Big Band
Hank Lane Productions
Wedding Gown: Monique Lhuillier, Mark Ingram Bridal Atelier, New York City
Shoes/Accessories: Jimmy Choo, Saks Fifth Ave, New York City
Bridal Hair/Makeup: Sandra Downie Event Design, Connecticut
Dresses: Jenny Yu, New York City
Bridesmaids Accessories: Vintage 1920s/30s necklaces from Janiel Deco Jewels in New York City
Isaiah Tux from Barney’s, New York City