Grasmere Farm Rehearsal Dinner by Charmed Places

January 30, 2012 – Dawn Strong

When you are lucky enough to hold your rehearsal dinner at a location as breathtaking as the Grasmere Farm, you can pretty much guarantee a fabulous soiree. This historic stone barn in Rhinebeck is about as gorgeous as it gets… and when you fill it to the brim with beautiful florals by The Greenhouse at Rhinebeck and some amazing lighting by Salvin Design, well… you have yourself one seriously stunning fĂȘte. Plus, with Lydia FitzGerald of Charmed Places planning the entire affair to absolute perfection and Photo Pink on hand to capture it all, the gallery is literally overflowing with the pretty we need to jump start the work week. Join me there for more!

Rehearsal Dinner
Rhinebeck, NY Summer 2011
Photo Credit: Randy Ahart
(click photo for complete gallery)

From Lydia FitzGerald of Charmed Places… This event is near and dear to my heart. It was a labor of love to plan and execute and both my clients, their guests and I were extremely happy with the outcome. The dinner took place at Grasmere Farm in Rhinebeck, New York, which is not yet known as an event venue. The last private event to be held at Grasmere prior to this rehearsal dinner was the rehearsal dinner for Chelsea Clinton the summer before. With that level of event preceding ours, I knew I had to work with my clients and vendors to create an event that honored this occurrence, as well as the space itself and of course, my client’s wishes – one of which was not to upstage the wedding the following day. Yikes! Hard to do when working with such a naturally beautiful and grand location. The barn at Grasmere is a raw space with no power or running water. Among other things, I had the space power washed and a load of gravel delivered and raked to ensure that the beautiful lounge setting on the massive gravel courtyard in front of the stone barn would make a statement to guests as they arrived.

On the day of the event, guests were directed to an unmarked entrance to the property. A long and winding drive lined with lanterns that we installed that took them past massive fields, a large pond and up to entrance to the courtyard and barns. After several consecutive days of rain we were fortunate to have a beautiful and sunny day. Guests spent cocktail hour in the courtyard sipping on champagne and a specialty cocktail of marinated blackberries, fresh mint, vodka and seltzer, listening to spanish guitar melodies provided by a live musician. With one entire side of the 7,000 sq ft barn exposed, we made sure that guests were moved inside the barn for dinner before sunset so they could take in the view of rolling lawns, haystacks and blue sky before night came. Dinner was festive but intimate, with the lighting design of the barn’s interior becoming more apparent as day became night. With September being the start of harvest season in the Hudson Valley, guests sampled local produce in an heirloom tomato salad with champagne vinaigrette and grass-fed Hudson Valley beef with local chanterelle mushrooms. Many toasts were given, and a lovely and sweet video montage of the couple was played for guests. When it was time to leave, no one wanted to go! At the end of the evening the bride ran up to me, grabbed me and exclaimed, “Thank you for making this evening so special!” Mission accomplished!

Event Planning: Lydia FitzGerald of Charmed Places / Venue: Grasmere Farm in Rhinebeck, New York / Photography: Randy Ahart of Photo Pink / Event Design + Florals: Lisa Riso of The Greenhouse at Rhinebeck / Lighting Design: Salvin Design / Catering: Main Course Catering