June 11, 2013

On the Road: Kim’s Wedding, part 1

Our whole reason for being in New York for half-term was to go to my sister Kim’s wedding. She got married in the Adirondacks, the dramatic mountains in upstate New York where we have spent summers since early childhood. Kim had always maintained that one day she would marry in The Uplands – a charming, eccentric and huge old wooden house in Keene Valley that belonged to a family friend. The whole thing was a scene right out of The Royal Tenenbaums – kooky WASP chic – a three day adventure of frigid lake dipping (we didn’t stay in long enough to call it swimming), dancing to blue grass by a bonfire, toasting and roasting the bride and groom, and cheering them on as they had their first make-out as husband and wife. Here is the first day and half. More on Thurs. 

The view towards Giant Mountain is arguably the most classic high peaks photo op in the Adirondacks. On our first night there, we had family dinner at the Ausable Club, and it was our view from cocktails on the porch.
Just the bag that Kim’s Lanvin wedding dress arrived in made me have a lump in my throat! 
The Uplands – well, part of it. The other half of this enormous old Adirondack camp extends past the left side of the tree.

The organized but not too manicured pantry at The Uplands. Can you imagine having to serve that many cups of tea?

The wedding weekend guide, illustrated by my genius little sis Phoebe Cutter.

One of the most amazing things about The Uplands is it’s owner Phebe Thorne. She is wonderful and stylish and eccentric and energetic and, above all, smart (she used to be a judge). This is her fishing hat.

The wicker porch at The Uplands.

This might be my favorite part of The Uplands – the New Yorker bathroom. Each wall is plastered floor to ceiling with New Yorker covers. There is also an Absolut Vodka ad bathroom elsewhere in the house. It was so fun reliving the memory of each one while I was having a pee.

On Friday, the construction crews were still working like mad to get the new metal roof finished on The Ausable Club before all the guests arrived for the weekend.

After months of fog and clouds in England, we were so excited to see the sun that Christopher started skipping across the golf course and waving his hands in the air. Never thought I’d see that from him.
Adirondack houses are famous for having a screened-in sleeping porch attached to each bedroom for summer sleeping. We don’t usually use them until July or August when it’s warmer at night, but on this trip it was 90 in the day and 80 at night so we made good use of them.

It literally “took a village” – the entire village of Keene Valley that is, to pull of this wedding, and our local farmers/farmstand at Rivermede were a big part of it.

As a Florida girl, one of the things I miss most about living in England is being near water. I crave that rush you get when your body is shocked by sudden immersion into a different temperature, and the feeling of freedom and weightlessness when you are fully submerged. I don’t understand people who keep their head above the water while swimming. If I didn’t want to get my hair wet, I simply wouldn’t go in. On this day, I can’t even describe to you how cold the river was, but I was determined to go in. And so in I went!

Kim and Till’s cake stand, with it’s engraving, being prepared for the next day.

Both Kim and I are very close with our dad, but we have lived with our step-dad since we were 2 and love him like a birth parent. There really was no question that both of them would walk us down the aisle when we each got married. Here they are at the rehearsal. Kim’s Burberry dress was such a stunner.

Mom’s best friend Mimi generously offered to have the rehearsal dinner at her house. With Mimi being the famously gracious and detail-oriented hostess that she is, we knew that it would be like Kim having a Friday night wedding and then a Saturday night wedding. We were right. 

The view from the cocktail porch at Mimi’s.

When Mimi first built her house years ago, she decided to have a big party before it was really done. Kim volunteered to decorate an empty wall by covering it in chalkboard paint and drawing on it. It’s still there in perfect condition all these years later.

The meticulously laid and decorated tables at the rehearsal dinner looking out over the mountains. As soon as the sun faded, the whole porch lit up with twinkling lights. 

The view from dinner, as the sun was disappearing. A perfect night. 


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Marbele mark
5 years 11 months ago

Congrats for your wedding celebration!! I like this beautiful decoration of the venues. You really did brilliant job for selecting most stunning location!!

Seattle venues

7 years 1 month ago

soooooooo beautiful. you can feel the goodness.

7 years 1 month ago

Oh. Can't wait till tomorrow!! ๐Ÿ™‚
Gorgeous photos.


Ann Jacob-Chandler
7 years 1 month ago

Hi Amanda, I found your blog through a mention in Vogue and I'm so glad I did! I love your stories and photos. And, I *adore* that Lanvin dress bag! Ann x


Heidi Wellington
7 years 1 month ago

Stunning pictures and gorgeous story to match, as always ๐Ÿ™‚