In 2007, Neeti Narula and Andrew Keches started out as friends during their freshman year of college at Lehigh University. A year later, they started dating. “At first it was a funny transition for both of us, as we had a similar group of friends that we were close with,” Neeti recalls. “But many movies and cheap dates began to quickly change things. We continued dating through college, and both moved to New York City in 2010 to begin careers in accounting and finance.” Five years after their move, Andrew proposed on his 27th birthday.
The wedding planning process began with choosing the ideal location. Andrew and Neeti decided that their wedding would include ceremonies from both religions, so the venue needed to have enough room to accommodate the grand celebrations. “Though neither of us grew up in the Hudson Valley, we have always admired how beautiful the area is for a place so close to the city,” says Neeti.
“THE LOVE OF ALL THE FRIENDS AND FAMILY THERE TO CELEBRATE WAS TANGIBLE”
“As soon as we arrived at Locusts on Hudson, we knew it was the right place for us. It felt updated and modern, yet exquisite attention to detail had been paid to preserve the history and rustic charm of the property as well. We still get butterflies just thinking about that place!”
Although the couple had multiple events to plan for a full wedding weekend, they made sure to incorporate small and meaningful details. Wellfleet oysters, for example, were chosen for the cocktail hour as an ode to all the summer weekends they had spent in Cape Cod with Andrew’s family. They also incorporated watermelon into each meal – the favorite fruit of Neeti’s late brother.
After 14 months of planning, the bride and groom-to-be kicked off their wedding experience with a Wednesday night dinner for two at Locusts. On Thursday, the couple enjoyed lunch with their parents, followed by a rehearsal dinner with their wedding parties. Friday was the day of their Sangeet, and began with a daytime scavenger hunt and downtime at the property’s pool.
The Sangeet was held in a large 200-year-old barn, and the night included Indian dancing, henna, fresh coconuts, Indian food, craft beers, fun accessories and Indian clothes. With a tropical theme in place, the space was dressed in palm trees, birds of paradise, and ginger root plants. Per the groom’s request, after all the Indian music that night, they finished with one of his favorite songs by Hootie and the Blowfish.
When the bride woke up the next day, she was surprised by the deep sense of calm she felt. “The love of all the friends and family there to celebrate was tangible,” she says. Two lavish wedding ceremonies later, guests were enjoying a sunset cocktail hour by the pool with views of the Hudson River.
Despite the long day, the newlyweds and their guests danced the entire night. “Throughout the night, we found ourselves looking at one another, and then at our surroundings,” says the couple. “It was the best feeling in the world – to be married to each other, and to be surrounded by everyone we love the most. It was an unforgettable feeling. We were high on love – from each other, and from everyone surrounding us.”
Location: Locusts on Hudson, Staatsburg, NY; Floral & Event Design, Planner: A Votre Service Events, New York, NY; Wedding Dress: Marchesa; Sangeet Dress: Maish Malhotra; Sikh Dress: Ritu Kumar; Linen: Party Rental LTD., Teterboro, NJ; Lighting: Eggsotic Events, Hampton, NJ