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Tuesday, July 23, 2024

The Capital Region Says “I Do!”

No one walks down the aisle quite like the brides and grooms of the Capital Region and Adirondacks. From dazzling jewels to stunning locales, our beautiful slice of upstate New York is charged with love and romance—here's how to make the most of it all when it's your turn to say "I do."

Inn Style
Historic charm meets modern amenities at The Inn at Saratoga.

In a city known for historic buildings that have been painstakingly preserved to maintain the charm of a bygone era, one structure stands out from the rest. The Inn at Saratoga has been hosting visitors to Saratoga for more than 180 years, making it the oldest continuously operating lodging house in town. But even with all that history, there’s still more in store for the Inn at Saratoga. Specifically, your wedding. 

“The vibe of the Inn is really for a couple who are not super traditional, says GM Lauren Hayward of the Inn’s wedding offerings. “The ballroom has a very formal and historic feel to it, while the courtyard—which is a fully private, enclosed space—really feels like a garden party  walls of ivy and flowers and sparkling white lights.”

The Inn specializes in intimate weddings of 95 guests or fewer, as well as rehearsal dinners and showers. The lavish ballroom is the typical setting for weddings, though from May through October, the tented courtyard can host up to 107 people. “For most larger weddings, couples use a combination of both of those spaces,” Hayward says. “For example, they may have the ceremony outside in the courtyard, with their cocktail hour under the tent, dinner inside the ballroom, and then dancing and late-night food outside again.”

When you book your wedding at The Inn at Saratoga, you’re getting more than a venue; the Inn provides catering for all events, and works with area cake shops Bread Basket and J&S Watkins to help couples pick out their dream cake. Catering options include plated dinners, buffet dinners, vegetarian and vegan options, and even the aforementioned late-night station (think: grilled cheeses, ice cream sundaes or a slider bar). The Inn at Saratoga team also serves as day-of support staff for the couple. “Our sales manager takes care of everything on our end,” Hayward says. “We have very few couples who feel the need for a day-of coordinator outside of our staff.”

And the best part? The Inn at Saratoga is staffed by locals who care deeply about making your big day the best it can be. “We genuinely love hosting weddings,” Hayward says. “We love having those special moments and memories as part of the Inn’s continuing history.”

231 Broadway, Saratoga Springs

Smile, It’s Your Wedding Day!
Dr. Andrew T. Frank is ready to help you transform your smile in time for you to say “I Do.” 

Most people wouldn’t consider a dentist a “wedding vendor,” but according to Dr. Andrew T. Frank of Albany Smiles Dentistry, perfecting your smile should be considered right alongside your photographer, venue and caterer. 

“What better time to improve your smile than for your wedding day?” Dr. Frank says. “We have helped many couples as well as family of brides and grooms have confident and radiant smiles on their special day. Beautiful smiles to help create beautiful memories.”

One of the Capital Region’s top cosmetic and general dentists, as well as a sleep apnea specialist, Dr. Frank is a graduate of Emory University and the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine, and has been perfecting his craft through continuing education ever since his residency at the VA Medical Center in Albany. He’s happy to tackle dental work ranging from small enhancements such as whitening to a full smile makeover including veneers, clear braces, crowns, bonding and/or gum contouring, and prides himself on not stopping until both he and the patient are happy and smiling.

Over the years, the field of cosmetic dentistry has been transformed by technologies employed by Albany Smiles including laser technology, digital x-ray imaging and computer-aided design systems that enable the creation of dental restorations using precise digital impressions and milling machines. Such technologies have changed the game for dental restorations, improving patient comfort and accuracy of restorations, as well as reducing turnaround time.. In other words, a smile transformation you didn’t think was possible 10 years ago may be a typical day in the life of Dr. Frank today. There’s only one way to find out—call Albany Smiles, or book your consultation online today.

“You find the perfect dress, perfect photographer and perfect venue,” Dr. Frank says. “Why not have the perfect smile and feel your best on your big day? Improving your smile is an investment that is enjoyed well after your wedding day!”

Mention Capital Region Living for a complimentary cosmetic consultation and gift bag!

1816 Western Avenue, Albany

The Appel of Your Eye
Located in the Altamont countryside, The Appel Inn has been hosting elegant weddings for more than 40 years.

In 1983, two years after purchasing a bed and breakfast in Altamont, Laurie and Gerhard Beckmann were asked to host a wedding on their scenic property. 

The rest is history.

More than 40 years later, The Appel Inn has become one of the Capital Region’s most beloved wedding venues for couples who want a countryside wedding without sacrificing comfort and convenience. The property, nestled on 40 acres, is comprised of several structures: 

First up are the he and she sheds, which offer bridal parties a private space in which to get ready. “The she shed is a bright and airy space allowing for ideal natural light for bridal parties to get hair and makeup done,” Laurie says. “We also have a converted 1800s pig shed that has a more masculine interior, a brown leather couch and a small bar cabinet.”

Once the bride, bridesmaids, groom and groomsmen are ready, it’s time for the ceremony to begin. “The clear-top pavilion allows for guests to fully experience the gardens, trees and flowing creek, yet remain protected from the unpredictability of upstate New York weather,” Laurie says. For winter weddings? Ceremonies are held in front of a six-foot stone fireplace in The Gathering space, a striking, octagon-shaped barn that serves as the Inn’s modern take on a ballroom. Boasting a central dance floor, wall-to-wall windows, cathedral ceilings and that cozy fireplace, The Gathering Space, which adjoins a 250-year-old-tavern, can comfortably seat up to 150 guests.

But that doesn’t mean you need to invite 175 guests to get married at The Appel Inn. “We’ve been offering an elopement package for more than 10 years,” Laurie says. “We realized that not everyone is looking to host a huge event, or may not be able to financially. We offer a beautiful setting in place of the clerk’s office for a ceremony, beautiful photo ops, a small wedding cake, and complimentary Prosecco for up to 24 guests.”

So what do the next 40 years of The Appel Inn look like? “The next generation is already stepping in,” Laurie says. “Our son has restored a beautiful barn on the other end of our property that will be catering to more boutique events in the future, such as showers, rehearsal dinners and microweddings.”

Contact the Beckmanns to learn more about your wedding at The Appel Inn; 2024 dates are still available!

590 NY-146, Altamont
518. 861.6557

Your Honeymoon, Handled
Enchanting Escapes takes the stress out of honeymoon planning, whether you’re heading for a Sandals Resort or on an ultimate European adventure.

So, you’re planning your wedding. But on top of the venue, photographer, catering and music arrangements, you also need to plan a honeymoon? Thanks to Enchanting Escapes, a locally based travel advisor, you can skip the resort research and travel-booking, giving you time to focus fully on your big day. “Planning your wedding is already an overwhelming task, and often the honeymoon is overlooked until the other plans are in place,” says Enchanting Escapes owner Laurie Beckmann. “That’s often late in the game for the best values, availability and options for your honeymoon.”

At Enchanting Escapes, Beckmann and her team are there to help you make sure you get the honeymoon of your dreams—at the best possible price point. And Beckmann knows her stuff—she’s certified in honeymoon and destination wedding planning; is a specialist for many resorts, cruise lines and destinations; and has been to all of the Sandals and Beaches Resorts, including a little-known private island in the Exumas Fowl Cay. “We are travel advisors who travel,” she says of her staff. “We keep up on current resort renovations, locations and destinations while also paying attention to the best values.”

Need help paying for the cost of your dream honeymoon? Enchanting Escapes offers a free, online honeymoon registry. “So many couples are seeking experiences more than dishes and towels for their wedding,” Beckmann says. “We have a link that you can share and guests can contribute financially. They love that they are contributing to the experience of a lifetime.”

And the Enchanting Escapes team doesn’t stop after your trip is booked. When you’re on your honeymoon, they serve as your stateside butler, and are happy to help with any unresolved issues when you return. “We answer our phone at 5am when you have missed your flight or 11pm on a Sunday evening when delays have happened and you need a hotel room for the night,” Beckmann says. “No matter where you are traveling, we are accessible for even the smallest of questions.”

Whether you are planning a giant destination wedding, an exotic adventure, or a relaxing beach vacation, Enchanting Escapes has the insider knowledge to make sure you get exactly what you want. “All brochures are beautiful,” Beckmann says. “But we pay attention to what is outside of the viewfinder.”

All Occasions Photography

Say Yes to Adirondack ‘I Dos’
Mountain views and summer camp vibes make The Lodge on Echo Lake the perfect venue for a rustic-chic wedding weekend.

Who said summer camp was just for kids? At The Lodge on Echo Lake, you can relive your summer camp glory days with all your friends and family, and—oh yeah—get married while you’re at it.

“The types of couples who typically get married at The Lodge are those who have a love for the Adirondacks, whether they grew up here, went to camp here or vacationed in the Adirondacks as a child,” says Emily Stein, the owner of the Warrensburg wedding venue. “Couples love our space, as it allows them the opportunity to use as much of our property as they want—simply for their wedding ceremony and reception or for an entire weekend of activities, from rehearsal dinners and field games to boating on Echo Lake and exploring the Adirondacks…You name it! Couples also love having the opportunity to host a post-reception bonfire with s’mores to close out their evening. Most important is that they love that everyone can be together and stay on the property.” 

Indeed, The Lodge is a lodge, offering private, comfortable on-site accommodations for guests, including a complimentary cabin for the newlyweds, numerous one- and two-bedroom private cabins, and three different homes that can sleep up to 10 guests each. And if guests prefer to stay elsewhere nearby, The Lodge also offers a shuttle service as an add-on service.

But let’s back up. Before everyone turns in for the night, you need to get married. The Lodge boasts five unique outdoor ceremony locations—plus an indoor spot for when the weather doesn’t cooperate. Receptions are held in a rustic-chic banquet hall with vaulted ceilings, floor-to-ceiling windows, a signature antler chandelier over a gigantic dance floor, and a wrap-around deck overlooking the pristine Echo Lake.

One of the things that makes The Lodge at Echo Lake special, Stein says, is the fact that weddings at The Lodge are completely customizable, and they only host one wedding per day. “We don’t pinpoint couples into choosing x or y package,” she says. “We provide couples with packages that are starting points for them, but typically their final selection is not what the package was—they’ll pick some things from this package and some things from that package.” Another perk for couples? When you’re at The Lodge, you feel like you’re in a remote and secluded part of the Adirondacks, when in reality you’re right off Exit 23 of the Northway, making it an easy drive from the Capital Region and Albany airport, if you have guests traveling from afar. “Our venue is exclusive and private, yet not far away at all,” Stein says. “That’s kind of our tagline.”

For more information on planning your dream Adirondack wedding, reach out to The Lodge on Echo Lake today.

175 Hudson Street, Warrensburg

A Ring to Rule Them All
You’ll find the perfect engagement ring—and much, much more—at Joyelles Jewelers, which has been serving the Albany area for more than 30 years.

If diamonds are a girl’s best friend, Joyelles Jewelers is her husband-to-be’s best friend! Located in the Main Square Shoppes on Delaware Avenue in Delmar, Joyelles has been the Albany area’s source for top-quality wedding bands and engagement rings for 34 years.

“Our goal is to assist each client to the best of our ability,” says Joyelles owner Mary Vail. “As a family-owned and -operated shop, we are more interested in maintaining a warm relationship with our customers than in making a big sale.”

To service her customers, Vail provides a wide range of services—including custom jewelry design, jewelry and eye glass frame repair, jewelry cleaning, and insurance appraisals—and jewelry products, from engagement rings to estate jewelry. But while Vail is very proud of the product she sells and the business she has built over the last three-plus decades, she says the best part of owning a jewelry store is the customers. “It’s very rewarding to be a part of people’s special celebrations,” she says. “We help customers choose the perfect gift, design the perfect engagement ring, and repair family heirlooms that are very special to them. We work with generations of families, and know that they will always return. Many people have been with us for 25-30 years. We see their families grow.”

If you’re looking to grow your family—or, in other words, pop the question—stop by Joyelles, where experienced gemologists are on hand to help you select (or design!) the perfect engagement ring for that special someone.

318 Delaware Avenue, Delmar

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