A Whimsical Wedding at Basilica Hudson in Hudson Valley
âWe both crowd-surfed and danced all night with 275 peopleâit was incredible,â says Molly Goldberg. That quote sums up the fun-filled celebration of Molly, a product designer at Zola, and Michael Evar over Labor Day weekend in September of 2019.
The Brooklyn-based pair headed north to the Hudson Valley for a weekend of events that included pizza, s' mores, cocktails, and dancing until 3 a.m. The wedding day kicked off with the couple signing the Ketubah and sharing their own vows, then ended with grilled cheese, French fries, and a tequila bar that ran out of shot glasses.
I wanted to push trends, not follow them. No gold, no calligraphy, and no fancy chandeliers.
âI wanted to push trends, not follow them,â Molly says. âNo gold, no calligraphy, and no fancy chandeliers.â
Molly and Michael collaborated with Jeanne Stark of Hudson Valley Ceremonies to blend the natural beauty of the Hudson River with quirky Wes Anderson vibes and plenty of personalized touches. To start, Molly designed her own invitations, which, she says, got straight to the point of what she and Michael wanted to convey about the wedding: âWe described our welcome party as âpizza, sâ mores, beer and wineâ and our wedding as âlove, tequila, and dancing," she says. âIt was the perfect way to set the tone.â
âOur guests knew from the moment they got the invitations that the wedding was going to be special,â Molly says of designing the paper goods herself. She pulled inspiration from Wes Andersonâs films for the whimsical details and interactive moments: the invitation suite included Mad Libs meant to set the tone of the day: fun.
âNo hats or fancy dressesârain boots and biker shorts was definitely the vibe,â Molly says of first meeting Michael at the Kentucky Derby as college students at Northwestern University. âMike and I met dancing in one of those mud pits and were together from that day on.â
Eight years later, Michael popped the question in Red Hook, Brooklyn, on a pier overlooking New York City. But thatâs not allâhe surprised Molly with a small party with friends and family at the local brewery, Other Half. âI burst capillaries around my eyes from crying so much,â Molly says of the proposal. To capture that spirit, the couple hosted a raucous welcome party where guests wore no shoes, roasted sâ mores over a campfire, and played lawn games.
Mollyâs parents helped her get ready on the wedding day, even helping place her veil in the middle of her wrapped ponytail.
âI had a gut feeling that I would be an Alexandra Grecco bride,â Molly says of choosing the bell-sleeved, 1960s-inspired gown by the designer at Lovely Bride. âI loved how all of her dresses have an effortlessly cool feel, and I was drawn to her hand-sewn appliques.â She paired the gown with an Alexandra Grecco veil, Alexandre Birman heels, and pearl bow-shaped earrings from Theia.
âIt was the moment it really hit that we were getting married,â Molly says of the first look. âWe decided to make it even more special by exchanging personal, private gifts.â
It was just a joyful, warm, and vibrant weekend from start to finish and that is truly us.
âIt was just a joyful, warm, and vibrant weekend from start to finish and that is truly us,â describes Molly of the celebration.
Molly and Michaelâs wedding party included bridesmaids in dresses in various shades of pink and children attendants that they dubbed âlove babies.â
The inside of the venue has a rustic-meets-industrial feel so the wedding party (and the bride and groom's mothers!) took advantage by taking more portraits inside the scenic space.
One of the coupleâs favorite memories was the signing of the ketubah, where they brought together close family and friends.
The coupleâs parents pulled them aside to share sweet words and a special blessing before the wedding ceremony began.
Molly designed a more minimalist chuppah, decorated with hanging flowers, as to not take away from the gorgeous willow tree behind the ceremony space.
Both Mollyâs and Michaelâs parents escorted them each down the aisle. âIt was a special moment to share with both my parents,â Molly adds.
Everyone was beaming and crying during his vows.
âEveryone was beaming and crying during his vows,â Molly says of Michaelâs wedding vows he shared as they stood under the chuppah.
As the couple was declared newlyweds, the guests shot paper butterflies out of confetti poppers. Molly and Michale then make their exit to MGMTâs âKids,â which Molly says âdefinitely gave guests the vibe for the reception.â
The reception took place inside the riverfront venue, an industrial space with high ceilings, exposed brick, and massive windows. The couple also loved that they could host a cocktail hour in a room full of 100 different vintage chairs.
Instead of traditional escort cards, Molly and Michael made theirs interactive. Guestsâ names were attached to tequila shots near a sign that read: âTake a shot and take your seat.â
Molly admits that when her planner asked her how many disco balls they wanted, Molly responded âall of them.â The balls hung from the ceiling of the reception space, which also featured lounges full of vintage furniture and rattan accents, long tables covered in stoneware plates, and centerpieces that mixed fresh blooms with fruit like peaches. âThe room looked absolutely unbelievable,â Molly adds.
The menu included farm-to-table food with ingredients sourced from nearby farms and grocers, such as zaâatar roasted cauliflower with dried cherries and mint, and a corn, summer melon, feta and heirloom tomato salad.
The couple also served three signature drinks: an IPA beer brewed by a cousin just for the event, a spicy margarita dubbed "The Whitney" after Whitney Houston, and a "Beeâs Knees" as a nod to their mutual love of Robyn.
Our guests could not stop talking about how special, personal, and thoughtful every little detail was during our wedding weekend.
Dancing was a big deal at the weddingâthe party went until 3 a.m.âand it all commenced with Molly and Michaelâs first dance to âYou Got Itâ by Roy Orbison. âOur planner said that in 20 years of wedding planning she had never seen such a full dance floor,â Molly says of the party, which included the newlyweds crowd surfing.
While the DJ spun, Molly and Michael also cut into their lemon cake with blueberry filling and also munched on late-night snacks of grilled cheese and French fries. âDonât be afraid to break the rules and do something bold or different,â Molly says. âOur guests could not stop talking about how special, personal, and thoughtful every little detail was during our wedding weekend.â