« The Unfake Wedding of Carolyn + Brian, v.1 | Main | The Unfake Wedding of Marie + Vic, v.4 »

The Unfake Wedding of Dara + Jesse

What happens when it rains for your outside wedding? You take it inside. ‘'Nuff said right? Is your day ruined? Hell to the no. Just check out this super chic, yet rustic wedding that took place in May this year in Big Indian, New York.

Welcome to the Unfake Wedding of Dara & Jesse!

Dara Kelly and Jesse Clauson on May 15, 2011.

The most important question: wedding night…did you or didn’t you?


Please take the time to tell me all the vendors you used.

Photographer  The Lovely Lens

Videographer Reaching Roots

DJ  DJ Bri Swatek

Reception Venue  Full Moon Resort

Ceremony Venue  Full Moon Resort

Guest Hotel  Full Moon Resort

Flowers  Elderberry Design and Flowers

Dress  Sophia Tolli #Y2945 from Pearl Bridal

Accessories Necklace was my husband’s family heirloom, earrings were my mothers. Shoes by Aldo.

Hair  Jen Donnovan at LeShag Beauty Emporium.

Makeup  Meredith Hayman

Groomswear  J.Crew, Tie Obsessed

Cake Deisings Bakery

Officiant Rabbi Yael Romer



Who was your favorite vendor and why?

The Full Moon Resort because of how amazing they made our wedding. It was the perfect blend of everything we wanted. It had the country charm, beautiful setting, intimate feel, laid back...it was just amazing. Lindsay was our event coordinator and she made sure everything went smoothly. The whole staff was so completely welcoming and nice...just really great people.

Was there a “method to your madness” in choosing your vendors?

I researched a lot on different websites and Googled local vendors to see who had good reviews. I spent more time than I probably needed to but it definitely paid off because I loved them all.



How long did you take to plan your wedding?

I started planning right after we got engaged. About a year to a year and a half.

How many guests did you invite versus how many came?

235 invited 110 came. I invited a lot of coworkers that cant take the same days off, and we also included a lot of my husbands distant family.



What was your budget ? 


Did you include rings and/or the honeymoon in your budget?





Were you over or under budget? By how much (you can give a percentage)?

Over by about $5,000-$7,000

How large was your bridal party?

4 bridesmaids 3 groomsmen.

Did you have favors for your guests? If so, what were they? How much did you spend?

We gave home made wine to our guests. It was an early wedding present from my husbands cousins who made the wine and his uncle paid for the bottles.

Did you include any special family traditions?

We had a Jewish wedding so we included the Ketubah ceremony, circling of the bride and groom, stomping of the glass, 7 blessings, Yichud (private time after the ceremony for the bride and groom to celebrate)




What was your biggest day-of crisis and how did you handle it (or rather, not handle)?

Nothing really went wrong but it was raining on and off and our wedding was supposed to be held outside. Instead of having my guests get rained on we moved the ceremony to the ceremony tent. We also had our Ketubah design screen printed on to our Chuppah and they put up the trial piece rather than just the one we wanted (the screen printer had an extra piece to practice on to make sure the design came out well and she had a ton of circles on the practice piece as opposed to the single circle we wanted on the actual Chuppah). We went with what they put up. No harm no foul. It didn't look bad and I don't think any one really noticed.

What was you biggest wedding planning crisis and how did you handle it (or rather, not handle)?

We fired our baker two weeks before our wedding. He was extremely rude to us and had been very unprofessional so we called the local baker we usually use for holiday get-togethers and they were able to make us a cake. They were actually much easier to work with, cheaper, the cake tasted better, and it was presented exactly the way we wanted.

Who was the biggest pain in the ass on your wedding day (you can opt out of this if you’d like)?

I think I'll opt out on this one!


What was the biggest waste of money that you loved?

The videographer!!!!! I cannot express enough how happy we are that we got one. There will never be a way to go back in time and relive that day and it is the closest we'll ever get. Pictures are wonderful but there's nothing like having a professional wedding video. So happy we did that.

What was the biggest waste of money that you wish you’d passed on?

Nothing! The wedding was definitely expensive but it was completely worth it to us.

What did you love that was also the cheapest?

The table numbers! They added some pop to our tables. I got them from AC Moore and bought yellow spray paint. One of my bridesmaids painted them for me and they came out great.



What was the most unexpected thing that happened (not necessarily a bad thing, just a surprise)?

I didn't think we were going to get a private moment to see each other before the ceremony and Ketubah signing but my bridesmaids, videographer, and photographer made it happen. I am so grateful for that. It was so nice to be able to take in that moment, and the look on my husbands face was priceless.

What was the most ooey-gooey, tear-jerking moment?

The first time my husband-to-be saw me.


Did you DIY? What parts?

Yes! We collected corks for our place card holders, made our place cards, invitations, save the dates, made our own labels for the wine bottles, table numbers, I collected bud vases and blue ball jars for over a year for our center pieces, made our chuppah cover, made cookies for everyone staying at the resort as a welcome gift with a note welcoming everyone to make them feel more at home, and cut out squares for our wedding quilt/guest book.


T30SB Commentary: Honestly, I’m not a big fan of the garter/bouquet toss tradition, so I’m not always one to post those pictures, simply because they don’t appeal to me (my blog, my rules!). However, I simply adore the look on the bride’s face here!


Where did you go on your honeymoon?

The Valentin Imperial Maya resort in Cancun, Mexico

If you could do it all over again, what would you change, if anything?

Absolutely nothing! I took a lot o time planning everything but it was completely worth it.

Dara Kelly and Jesse Clauson on May 15, 2011.

Congratulations to Dara and Jesse!

Reader Comments (1)

Beautiful! We're having an outdoor wedding too so it's nice to see how other people handle the rain situation. Love the yellow shoes! (and everything else!)

June 30, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKelly

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>