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Monday, February 26, 2024

Make It Yours: 5 Couples on Their One-of-a-Kind Capital Region Weddings

Writing your own vows is nice, but these couples went next-level with the elaborate ways they let their personalities shine through during their 2022 "I dos."

Sabrina and Sam Touhey
September 10
Old Daley on Crooked Lake, Averill Park
Photography by Hitlin Photography Inc.

Upstate New York is quite a ways away from Hawaii, but that didn’t stop Sabrina and Sam Touhey from hosting their wedding on island time. “Sam and I love traveling,” Sabrina says. “It was always a plan to have a destination wedding, but we had so many people we wanted there that we decided to bring the travel to the guests.” So, naturally: an island/travel-themed wedding, complete with pink and yellow bridesmaid dresses, tropical florals, an airplane departure board seating chart, cigar tastings, a tiki-inspired bride and groom table, and a cake shaped like a suitcase. When Sabrina and Sam learned that Old Daley on Crooked Lake’s lake house used to be decorated like the Copacabana, they knew it was the perfect place to celebrate their special day.

But while their wedding embraced the spirit of getting out of town, Sabrina and Sam are locals through and through, and no strangers to the Capital Region wedding scene. Sabrina is the lead singer in local wedding band Funk Evolution, and therefore knows how to keep a party moving. “If I’ve learned anything from singing at weddings,” she says, “it’s that the guests will remain on the dance floor as long as the bride and groom are there having fun, too.” Of course, given their musical background (Sam is a drummer), the grooving didn’t stop at the dance floor; both bride and groom joined The Accents on stage, performing Long Train by the Doobie Brothers, Livin’ on a Prayer by Bon Jovi and Runaway Baby by Bruno Mars with the band. “It was so surreal the morning of, thinking it was actually my turn to be the bride,” Sabrina says. “But it was a day I wish I could live all over again.”

 

Maddie and Kevin Symons
May 14
90 State Events, Albany
Photography by Hannah Lux Photography

A couple’s wedding is supposed to be a gathering of their closest family and friends, but for Maddie and Kevin, there were two family members who weren’t able to be in attendance. “We pretty much treat our cats like we would our own children,” Maddie says. “We knew from the start that we wanted to include them somehow in our special day.” But fur babies aren’t allowed at 90 State Events, so the couple had to get creative. Enter: The Elsa and The Enzo, two signature cocktails named for their pets and served in cups stuck with custom stickers depicting the cats. (Pet-inspired cocktails are somewhat of a trend; Feldmaier and O’Riley’s Roaring Twenties wedding [see below] featured The Gatsby and The Pearl, named for their two pups.) “The Elsa was a pink lemonade margarita,” Maddie says. “And the Enzo was Dr. Pepper cream soda with Jim Beam bourbon. They were a big hit.”

 

Brianna and Kevin O’Riley
October 7
Canfield Casino, Saratoga Springs
Photography by Hitlin Photography Inc.

If there’s one thing that makes a wedding memorable, it’s a couple’s dedication to a theme. And dedication is certainly not something bride Brianna O’Riley lacked leading up to her October 7 wedding at the Canfield Casino.

After attending an elegant “Gatsby” party in New York City, Brianna and now-husband Kevin knew they wanted that vibe for their big day. And when they toured the Canfield Casino, they knew it was the perfect place to host such an event. “It was an actual casino back in the ’20s and it really still carries that beautiful, vintage look to it,” the bride says. “The bar room and parlor room are so cool, and I could really envision our guests mingling in there dressed like they were at one of Gatsby’s parties.” So, she told all of her guests to wear all black (Kevin, on the other hand, wore an all-white suit), and made each lady in attendance a feather headpiece that was waiting at her reception table. Brianna also made all the feather-and-pearl centerpieces at the tables as well as a golden flower wall.

When all the head-turning details were set, Brianna had one more bold move up her sleeve. “I cut my hair the morning of the wedding” she says, “because my dress had the most beautiful back. Well, it was actually completely open. The way my veil fell on it was so beautiful and created such drama, and I needed that to show.” When Kevin walked down the aisle, though, his soon-to-be bride’s hair was the last thing on his mind. “When we were up on the altar, I turned to him and said, ‘So, what do you think?’” Brianna says. “He said, ‘You look beautiful!’ I said, ‘No, what do you think about my hair?’ He was like, ‘Oh, wow!’ I laughed because I was like, ‘How do you not notice this?’ But that moment up on the altar actually made us both calm down and relax. It’s a moment I will always remember.”

 

Jenna and Mitch Macomb
June 11
Private property, Ghent
Photography by Amber Bauhoff

When it comes to picking a venue for your wedding, sometimes the perfect place hasn’t even been built yet. “Whenever I imagined my wedding, I always pictured it in a barn,” Jenna Macomb says. “My parents have been talking about building a barn for many years now, and our wedding was the perfect push for them to move forward.” Yep—over the course of several months, Macomb’s dad built a barn on his property for his daughter to get married in; the casual reception was held in the backyard, with guests passing under an arbor (also made by Macomb’s dad) to get there.

Mitch’s parents, too, brought something unique to the wedding day: a flash mob, orchestrated by Mitch’s mother. “It was to the song ‘Fancy Like’ by Walter Hayes,” Jenna says. “There is a line in the song that says ‘fancy like Applebee’s,’ which they had changed to ‘fancy like Dairy Queen.’ My husband and I are frequent fliers at Dairy Queen. We later found out that everyone had been getting together at people’s houses and the local firehouse to practice for about six months.”

The best part? Both personal touches will have lasting impacts—Jenna plans to host an anniversary party in the barn, and “Fancy Like” will forever elicit a physical reaction. “Everyone still talks about how much fun they had,” Jenna says. “And my mother-in-law still breaks out into the routine when she hears the song playing.”

 

Alexandra and Mike Tereski
September 23
The Promise Gardens of the Adirondacks
Photography by Hannah Lux Photography

For Alexandra and Mike Tereski, their September 23 wedding was, first and foremost, a party. “Honestly, we tried to make our wedding a big celebration, and that alone made it truly unique,” Alexandra says. “We really tried to encourage our guests to let loose after the ceremony, and we thought sweatsuits reflected our personalities best.” 

Yes, you read that right—after tying the knot, the couple swapped their formalwear for black and white sweatsuits, customized by the bride’s sister. “Instead of getting tired and ruining our dress and suit, we changed and rejuvenated,” Alexandra says. “It was a nice, quick moment of stolen time laughing with my husband, anticipating everyone’s reactions. We always strive to be happy and enjoy the moment…It’s much easier to bust a move in a sweatsuit!”   

Natalie Moore
Natalie Moore
Natalie Moore is the director of content at Capital Region Living and Saratoga Living.

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