In a quintessentially local wedding, Waccabuc-native Emily Morris married Ryder Bohlander from Katonah at the Waccabuc Country Club on July 16, 2022.
The pair met at John Jay High School more than a decade ago and were good friends in school, but went on to University of Maryland and Hobart, respectively, and lost touch… Until they were both out on a mutual f riend’s pontoon boat on Lake Waccabuc for a day of fun during the summer of 2020. Both had returned home to their parents’ houses for the covid summer and were excited to get out and see friends. “We immediately hit it off and have been inseparable ever since,” Emily shared. The pair dated for a little over a year, and got engaged in October of 2021.
“My family have been Members at the Waccabuc Country Club for over thirty years and I’ve always wanted to get married there,” says Emily, “and to make it even better, Ryder and I were both camp counselors together there in high school.”
Emily always wanted a summer wedding, so the couple picked July, with a bright and whimsical floral theme, and enlisted the brilliance of Brett Cameron, of La Maison Fête in Bedford, to work her magic and make Emily’s vision a dreamy reality.
On Friday evening, special guests were invited to join the families for a rehearsal dinner and welcome reception at Purdy’s Farmer and the Fish in South Salem. It was an intimate evening filled with hysterical speeches and delicious food. The s’mores bar was a definite hit. Emily wore a Tory Burch dress that she’d bought five years earlier and had been saving in her closet for a special occasion!
Saturday’s festivities took place at the Waccabuc Country Club, on an unseasonably perfect day; warm and summery, but not too hot to enjoy. Although there was a bit of rain in the morning – for good luck – by the time pictures started, the sun had come out and was shining bright as the ceremony began on the first hole of the golf course just behind the clubhouse. The lush green backdrop provided an exquisite setting for the couple to exchange vows, officiated by Emily’s uncle, John Morris, who lives in Bedford. Emily’s cousin, Conor, and Ryder’s brother, Mike, each recited carefully selected readings to honor the couple. Emily’s dad, Dave Morris, walked her down the aisle to ‘Can’t Help Falling in Love’ by Elvis Presley, and Emily honored her mother, who passed away in August 2019, by stitching her mom’s initials onto her custom Lela Rose dress as her ‘something blue’, and with Lily of the Valley, her mom’s favorite flower, in her bouquet and in Ryder’s boutonniere. On her right hand, Emily wore her mother’s wedding band, encrusted in diamonds and emeralds, and another ring bearing her father’s family crest.
As Emily desired, Brett kept everything at the ceremony a completely white-and-green color scheme; with beautiful white parasols and paper fans, white chairs, and mostly white flowers with pops of green. But in complete juxtaposition to the ceremony, the reception was a colorful affair, complete with a floral-filled sailcloth tent with rattan accents – a signature of La Maison Fête’s summer soirees – complete with bistro and mini- twinkle lights strung atop the dance floor. “I wanted there to be an element of surprise going from the ceremony into the reception tent, and La Maison Fête executed what I wanted even better than I thought was possible,” Emily recounts. The flowers were all single variety stems of Peonies, Ranunculus and Sweet Peas, placed in whimsical mismatched vases to evoke the feeling of a flower market. The colors in the flowers were mirrored with other accents in the room, like pink Julia Armory linens,
and a round hand-painted watercolor menu complete with the couple’s new crest at the top – “B” for Bohlander, with a Hummingbird. Emily’s bridesmaids – eight of her closest friends – and her lifelong best friend and Matron of Honor, Katherine Burger, all wore an assortment of well-matched pastel floral dresses, which made the room feel even more like a Shakespearean garden. “The colors and textures came together perfectly, creating what I’m happy to say was an elegant, gorgeous and romantic evening,” Emily smiled.
The couples’ first dance
was to Vance Joy’s ‘I’m With You’. Although they’d taken dance lessons, they decided the canned dance wasn’t quite their vibe – so they scrapped it, and just enjoyed an impromptu moment. And Emily’s father chose ‘To sir with love’ for their father-daughter dance. Ryder’s brother and best-man, Rick, gave an amazing speech that had everyone grinning ear-to-ear. And Ryder’s parents, Bruce and Jeanne, were thrilled to welcome a daughter into their family.
The food was delicious; the couple chose to start with Arugula Salad followed by a split plate of pan seared halibut and filet mignon with potato gratin and summer vegetables. “Emily took care of almost everything and made it perfect, I pretty much just got involved to help pick the food – which was my favorite part. The highlight of planning a wedding is definitely the tastings!,” Ryder half-joked.
The night continued into an after-party in the Carriage House, where the band continued to perform until a DJ took over – and everyone danced the night away! “I’d seen a previous event that La Maison Fête did where they had these fabulous silver streamers creating an entryway, with tassels hanging from the ceiling inside, and I knew I wanted that.” There was a pizza truck and other treats to keep guests satiated, a cigar bar, and a disco ball. “We were there until at least 2am – and with credit in part to all of the espresso martini shooters – it was quite a party!” Ryder exclaimed.
Looking back fondly on the perfect day, Emily said, “It was so special to have our families and friends all together to celebrate with us. My favorite moment was probably my first look with my dad and two brothers, Jim and Brendan; we’re all really close and it’s a memory I’ll always hold close.”
Ryder works in medical sales, and Emily, who has a background in public relations, recently started Emily Bohlander Consulting, a boutique agency in Westchester specializing in PR, Events and Social in the lifestyle and fashion space. The couple moved to Emily’s dad’s house in Waccabuc this fall, and are now house- hunting – hoping to put down roots in Pound Ridge.