The Wedding of…
Joanna Harris & Daniel Zakzewsk
Ceremony & Reception: The Garrison
Gown: Nouvelle Amsale at BHLDN, Westport, CT
Photographer: Ciro Photography
Cinematographer: Right Up Front Media
Makeup & Hair: Bridal by Alexandria, Kelly & Merita
Florist: Maple Fields Floral
Cake: The Pastry Garden
DJ: Spin Doctor Entertainment
String Quartet: The Tammy Moser String Quartet
Dan and I met while we were undergrads at Lafayette College. He was a senior and I was a sophomore, so we dated casually. After he graduated, we kept in touch and very naturally our relationship grew into something more.
A while later, when we were both living in Connecticut, Dan surprised me on a Friday night in June. I was working from home at his place when he said to pack my bags and whisked us off to Newport, Rhode Island. We went on a beautiful sunset-sail, and as the sun was setting, Dan got down on one knee and proposed! We celebrated with champagne and dinner, and spent the night there.
We chose The Garrison to be our wedding venue for so many reasons. The view speaks for itself. You can see the Hudson River and mountains from inside the venue, thanks to the large, picturesque windows putting it all on display. We had a winter wedding, but it felt like an indoor/outdoor experience.
When we saw the bridal suite, with the perfect setup for hair and makeup, we knew that would be a great perk for the day of. It’s a crisp, chic, stylish venue that lets you add your own flare. The location was great for Dan’s family coming from New York and mine from New Jersey, and it’s near and dear to me, having grown up ice skating on Bear Mountain nearby.
Working with Bridget Bell, the wedding and special events manager, was a great experience. We had to work with changing Covid restrictions and Bridget was incredibly flexible, friendly, and helpful! She was awesome from the moment we met her and throughout the planning process. The Garrison as a whole was amazing to work with. They have catering on site, and it’s all delicious, high-quality food. We love that we could go to their restaurant and try different dishes.
Our ceremony was wonderful. My uncle, who is a pastor, officiated. We hired a string quartet, and I arranged a piece for them to play. Dan’s father, a carpenter, made our arch, and my siblings read bible passages and a poem. Everyone was involved in some way and our cinematographer live streamed the whole thing for those who couldn’t be with us.
Cocktail hour had to look a little different because of Covid. We couldn’t have our guests mingling around, so all our guests had a spread on their individual tables, with little plates of everything for each person, making it really easy for them to try everything! I can’t even describe how amazing the dishes were. Everyone was raving about the hors d’oeuvres. My personal favorite was the banh mi with braised pork belly and carrot slaw.
The room was beautiful, with the sunset on display throughout the cocktail hour. The reception was held in the same room, and we kept our decor simple and neutral. The Garrison had tons of great tables and decor pieces that we could use, including a very beautiful, rustic sweetheart table and a comfy couch for two. We added some mismatched centerpieces of candles, pine cones, and flowers. I also made a welcome sign using a vintage mirror we found while thrift shopping.
We had our first dance, our father-daughter and mother-son dances, and then our DJ played a great mix throughout the night. It was enjoyable music people could sing along to and enjoy while eating. Bridget did a great job coordinating the night so it flowed really well.
All the food was delicious, as we knew it would be! We started with a baby mixed greens salad, followed by penne alla vodka with shallots and shaved parmesan cheese. Our entrée options were boneless short ribs of beef with veal jus and seared salmon in a pomegranate glaze. Both entrées were served with roasted Brussels sprouts and orzo risotto. Our dessert was chocolate-covered strawberries, mini cupcakes with three different flavors, and our wedding cake, a spice cake with pumpkin mousse, cream cheese, and butter cream icing. Everything was as delicious as it sounds!
We’d like to thank everyone who came to our wedding. We appreciate your effort to be with us to celebrate our big day! Thank you to our parents, who’ve always been there for us, and to Bridget Bell, who was instrumental during our wedding planning process. We couldn’t have done it without you!
The Garrison, Garrison, NY