Saturday, August 30, 2014

And summer comes to a close....

Why, hello there! Summer has flown by, most especially in terms of summer blooms and blossoms. Tracking the progress of my flower garden, I see the ebb and flow of the flowers....the purple cone flowers and black-eyed susans took center stage after the lilies had faded away. Now my sunflowers are slowly coming awake. Recently, I picked some Queen Anne's lace as it thrives in all areas wild and untamed and brings a very lovely and delicate beauty to any room....a favorite of mine for charming (and free!) bouquets.

(c) Hudson Valley Green 

If you happen to be in the market for floral centerpieces or bouquets for your wedding or other event, consider supporting a local flower farm. There are several in the Hudson Valley and surrounding vicinity. Purchasing flowers grown locally dramatically reduces the environmental impact of cut flowers. And many of the flower farms in the area are organic or use less pesticides that conventionally grown flowers. For a quick read on the true environmental cost of conventional cut flowers, read this 2012 Huffington Post article.

Some flower farms right here in New York:

41 Kaye Road, Millerton (Dutchess Co.)
 (518) 567-1951

Ryder Farm 
400 Starr Ridge Road, Brewster (Putnam Co.)
 (845) 279-4161

High Meadow Flower Farm 
91 Bittersweet Way, Warwick (Orange Co.)
(845) 986-3652

Silverpetals Farm
Gallatin (Columbia Co.)

I guarantee that flowers from these farms would be like no others you would get from a traditional think global and shop local for flowers for your next event! 

 ...Or just pick a bunch of free Queen Anne's lace from a sleepy roadside and
 place them in some upcycled glass jars...easy peasy lemon squeezy.

Happy Planning, 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Becoming an Official Officiant!

One of my closest friends recently got engaged and ended up popping the question to, not that question but the "Will you officiate our wedding?" question which I, of course, answered with a resounding "YES!". Wedding ceremonies are such a intimate celebration of two people's love for each other and to be so involved in the ceremony is truly an honor.

Because so many couples are opting to celebrate their wedding in a secular venue and need more unconventional officiant options, I decided to chronicle my journey of becoming an official officiant here on the HVG blog.

(c) The Life You Love Photography, Rachel & Wayne Wedding

I began my journey of becoming an officiant by conducting a bit of research. I found that I could become an ordained minister of the Universal Life Church which would allow me to perform wedding ceremonies in certain counties and states (I will be performing the ceremony in Boston but more on that to come later...)

Step 1.  Visit the ULC website, click the "Get Ordained Now!" button, and fill out ULC's online form. This consists of populating the name, address, and email address fields. That's it and it's free! Essentially anyone can become an ordained minister of the ULC. From what I can glean from their website, the ULC is a nondenominational organization which has the sole purpose of allowing people to officiate the marriages of their friends (this might not be completely accurate but it's still pretty cool).

Many Town and City Halls require proof of ministry, so I will purchase the official ULC ministry certificate for about $30. The ULC website also offers some very pretty marriage certificates for as little as $5. 

Step 2.  Now that I'm an official minister of the ULC, my next step is to verify that the City of Boston and the State of Massachusetts recognize marriages performed by ULC ministers. It appears as if the City Hall does recognize ULC ministers; if not, I will be able to file for a "One Day Marriage Designation" which will allow me to perform the ceremony.

Steps 3 and 4.  File all necessary paperwork with City Hall and start to plan the ceremony. Planning the ceremony will be the really fun part but more on these two steps to come as the big day gets closer!

Anyone officiate a friend or family's wedding? Please share your advice and/or recommendations! 

Happy Planning, 

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

A little bit of this, a little bit of that...

Happy Summer! 

Although the summer solstice isn't here quite yet, summer is upon us. In our garden, the tomatoes have been transplanted and my sugar snap peas are loving life right now. Thrilled to have a garden that is really growing this year!

I had taken a bit of a break from blogging to focus on schoolwork as I am desperately trying to finish up my masters degree. I recently completed a very challenging virology class in which I received a B for all of my blood, sweat, and tears. 

To celebrate the end of my virology class and a bio-statistics course, Mr. HVG and I enjoyed a quick trip to the Florida Keys to do some kayaking, fishing, and imbibing of boat drinks. We had a fantastic time and highly recommend the Keys for a honeymoon or vacation. The Keys have the right mix of action-packed fun (think snorkeling, diving, and sport fishing), romance (the sunsets are just perfect), and delicious food (a must is Azur in Key West). 

Sunset in Key West, Florida
(c) Hudson Valley Green

But now that we are back from vacation and my current course load has lightened a bit, I'm back to blogging! Look for a wedding-related post this's sure to be a good one! 

Happing Planning, 

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Food Truck Weddings!

To be honest, I hadn't given much thought to food trucks as wedding caterers....not until Brandon, owner and head chef of the Wandering Dago, contacted me. After that, well, food trucks were all I could think about.

(c) Wandering Dago

Having evolved over the years from the basic pretzel, knish, and dirty water dog (a personal favorite of mine) to true culinary masterpieces, food trucks have taken center stage. Move over kitschy kitchens and bourgie bistros, the food truck revolution has arrived. 

And so has Wandering Dago. Originating from Montana, Brandon made his way to the Hudson Valley by way of Colorado and Brooklyn. He and his partner-in-crime, Andrea (an environmental lawyer) moved to Schenectady and started in the college town-food truck industry but it just didn't click. So what's a food truck guy to do?

(c) Wandering Dago

Well, if you're Brandon, you put your thinking cap on (which also happens to be a chef hat) and you start cooking....but not for people just strolling down the sidewalk - no, you start cookin' for weddings.

And not just small backyard shindigs, we're talking big, 300-guest weddings. With a fully stocked commercial kitchen in the truck, the Wandering Dago comes prepared to create delicious dishes using locally sourced meats and vegetables grown in the their very own garden. Brandon works with the future bride and groom to create a completely custom menu tailored to their wants, needs, and budget.

Once the menu is set and the big day has arrived, the WD truck arrives at the venue early in the morning to begin setup. Brandon supplies the tables for food service and although he recommends buffet style (see his great blog post here), he can also accommodate family style, full service, or truckside service. The WD crew works hard to prepare amazing food and provide excellent service to the newly weds and their guests!

(c) Wandering Dago

(c) Wandering Dago

(c) Wandering Dago

While a food truck is not as conventional as a traditional caterer, there are so many bonuses. There's no need to rent a kitchen tent when hiring a food truck. The entire kitchen is self contained and hidden. Plus a food truck adds that hip, sort of quirky vibe for a truly unique event. Additionally, the cost per person can much less expensive than a traditional banquet hall or caterer.

For more information on how to hire WD for your next event, please hop on over to his website:

Schenectady, NY 
phone: 720-271-9728

Happy Planning (and Eating!), 

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Happy Earth Day!

Happy Earth Day! I hope everyone gave Mother Earth a little TLC today 
and had time to enjoy the sunshine! 

In other news, I must apologize for being an infrequent blogger as of late. I am currently completing a graduate level course in virology (the study of viruses) and honestly, it's just really flipping hard. The majority of my free time has been dedicated to studying and not doing the fun stuff like blogging about new wedding trends or fantastic new businesses in the Hudson Valley. 

(c) Hudson Valley Green

I promise I'll be back soon. In the mean time, please check out the HVG Facebook page for great little tidbits of information. Thanks for being so patient and understanding! 

Happy Planning,