Ariane and Steven Kladas
September 8, 2018
Photos by The Root and Bud
Arriane Aktarian and Steven Kladas were married on September 8, 2018, at Bloom Meadows in Williamstown, Massachusetts. Steve and I met the day after I moved home from college. We were working together at a local restaurant. We quickly became friends and started dating shortly after.
Steve proposed on our five-year anniversary of dating. We were staying overnight in Newport to celebrate, and he surprised me by cancelling the hotel reservations I had and upgrading our accommodations to Hotel Viking. I thought he was joking at first when we pulled into the driveway; the place was so gorgeous. He planned to propose on the roof deck, but he was afraid I would notice the box in his pocket, so he waited until we got back to our room to change for dinner. We went to dinner after the proposal and I was so excited that I didn’t even realize I was holding the menu upside down.
We started planning almost immediately and picked a date two years away. We only went to see one venue—Bloom Meadows. At the time, it was still in the construction phase, and we made our decision based on blue prints and renderings. As an exhibit designer, my clients trust my renderings and drawings to make decisions from, so I figured I could do the same. We live in Central Mass and have family and friends from Vermont and New York. Bloom Meadows was the perfect middle point for everyone to travel to and the perfect venue for the vision we had of our wedding. It’s charming and intimate and nestled on a gorgeous piece of land in the Berkshires.
Being a designer, I was hands on with a lot of the details. I designed every piece of my invitation suite and all the day-of signage and stationery. I worked with the Laughing Owl Press in Kane, Pennsylvania, to create letterpress invitations and RSVP cards. I went with a clean black font and white paper. We wrapped the invitations in vellum and tied them with black hemp. Elevation3d, the company I work for, was kind enough to produce custom acrylic table numbers, signage, and a seating chart. I am Cuban and my husband is Greek, so we gave a nod to our cultures by labeling certain elements in Spanish, Greek, and English.
We chose the Hudson Cake Studio in Hudson Valley, New York, to make the cake. With our busy schedules, we couldn’t make it out there for a tasting so Kerri, the owner, sent us mason jars filled with cake samples. She was so accommodating and great to work with.
Steve picked up his tuxedo a few days before the wedding, and when he went to try it on, one sleeve was significantly longer than the other. We’re convinced they tailored the same sleeve twice!
We were able to get into the venue a couple days before the wedding, so we could assemble the tablescapes and interior decor. We used vases, table runners, and brass candlesticks to create a unique and edgy bohemian look. We did our best to use flowers and decorations that would last past the wedding day. We incorporated the wedding favors into the the place settings and used them as place cards. The table florals were made up of air plants, pampas grass, and ivory roses in contemporary bud vases.
I knew I wouldn’t have time to do everything myself so, for personal flowers and ceremony decor, I worked with Melissa from Poppytree Floral Designs in West Sand Lake, New York, and Weathered Wood in Troy, New York. We went back and forth with inspiration boards and sketches to create the perfect mix of florals and natural elements. Melissa truly brought those ideas to life. We went with a limited color palette for the event, so our bouquets were made up of mostly natural elements like pheasant feathers, pampas grass, and cotton stems. We added a giant ivory king protea to my bouquet. These elements carried over to the ceremony backdrop, which was a circular weathered wood structure, and the adornment for our Angel Chair—our way of remembering family members who are no longer with us.
The bouquets and color palette looked fabulous against the bridesmaids’ black gowns. My attendants picked out their own gowns, allowing them to find something that was flattering to their figures and true to their personalities.
We really wanted to create a unique experience, so we decided to go with open-flame catering. They started roasting chicken and a leg of beef at 10:00 am. As guests arrived, there was a pleasant trail of smoke rising from the meadow and a wonderful aroma. The guests were offered lemon and cucumber infused water as they took their seats for the ceremony. When we were exchanging rings, I accidently grabbed Steve’s right hand and tried to put the ring on it. Then I took his left hand and couldn’t get the ring on that one either! At that point everyone was laughing, and Steve ended up putting on his own ring.
Everything was held at the same location, so it was a smooth transition from the ceremony to cocktail hour and into the barn for dinner and dancing. The buffet-style dinner was set up outside, giving it an interactive feel and allowing guests to get up and move around. They left the fire crackling, adding to the ambiance. The King of Hearts Band played during the ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception; they got everyone on the dance floor! We wanted to make sure our guests had everything they needed the entire night, so we offered flip-flops for tired feet, late-night sandwiches, and even a ride back to Jiminy Peak in a big yellow school bus.
Root and Bud, our photographers and Josh Ayantola from Ayan5 Media, our videographer, took full advantage of Bloom Meadow’s beautiful seventy-acre setting. We walked through the meadow and through the woods for our first look. There were crickets everywhere! I joked, “If you see me wiggling around on the altar, it’s because one of these crickets jumped into my dress.” Shortly after, I went to use the ladies room and sure enough, I found a huge black cricket in my dress! I came out of the bathroom yelling, not realizing my family and the wedding party were out there waiting for me.