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Kate Baldt’s Garden Party Wedding in Princeton

By Alexandra Macon

Katherine Baldt (“Kate”), an interest rate derivatives trader at Goldman Sachs turned charter school CFO turned stay-at-home mom, met Lewellyn Easterling Woodbury IV (“Lew”), vice president at Raymond James, at Gatsby’s, a bar on Spring Street in New York, in 2007. Kate accompanied a mutual friend to watch a March Madness game. Lew was there watching watching his University of North Carolina Tarheels with his college buddies. “I stupidly volunteered to participate in a game of credit card roulette despite having only had one beer while the rest of the group had run up a huge tab,” explains Kate. “I lost, naturally. But, I was a good sport, and I guess made a good impression!”

Courtship was slow going according to Kate. “We were both intrigued after meeting one another, but we each had pretty busy social lives with big groups of our own college friends in the city, and we both worked pretty long hours in finance jobs, so it was hard to cross paths initially. Lew also played it pretty cool, but I think ultimately we both knew we were going to be ‘a thing.’ It just felt like it was supposed to be.” The couple started dating in the late spring of 2007 and got engaged over Memorial Day weekend in 2010.

Lew proposed with an emerald cut diamond flanked by two emerald cut baguettes on the beach while the two were visiting his family in Wrightsville, NC. “We’d been open about the fact that we both were on board for the long haul and ready to make it official, so I knew it was imminent but the moment itself still managed to be a surprise,” explains Kate. They were staying with his mom, his two sisters, and their families, and after Lew popped the question, they all celebrated around the dinner table that night. “Lew’s dad passed away before we met,” says Kate. “It sounds silly, but I really missed his presence that night. I felt so grateful for Lew and the privilege to become a part of his family and really wished that I could have spent some time with this person who so clearly shaped my future husband.”

The couple decided on an early summer wedding in Princeton, NJ, where Kate is from and went to school. “I really wanted to show his friends and family my corner of the world and had always thought Princeton would be an amazing place to host a wedding,” says Kate. “The campus and the small town boast so much important history and beauty, and I knew people would love it.“

Kate envisioned a timeless garden party feel for her reception. “I wanted it to be casual yet elegant and feel dreamy,” she says. For her dress, she wanted something classic yet fresh and relatively sleek. “I’d torn through several wedding magazines and kept coming back to one ad I’d seen,” she remembers. “I was thrilled to find the Monique Lhuiller dress at Kleinfelds in New York, but discovered it was actually a corset top and skirt combo.” For her hair, she opted for an up-do as the reception was outside. “I wanted a simple, high bun to tuck under my veil. My makeup was pretty light as I knew it was going to be a warm summer afternoon.”

A self-confessed foodie, the meal at the reception was very important to the bride. “We had delicious passed hors d’oeuvres, several made with fresh New Jersey produce, and a raw bar during the cocktail hour. For dinner, we did filet mignon and Mahi Mahi. The salad was actually my favorite part—it was topped with caramelized figs that melted in your mouth.”

The bridesmaid and groomsmen’s toasts were given the night before at the rehearsal dinner, so guests were able to enjoy uninterrupted conversation over dinner. “My dad gave a very humble blessing, and then Lew’s uncle (his best man) and my sister (my maid of honor) both gave very touching toasts,” remembers Kate.

After the reception, buses took guests back to the Nassau Inn, where the group partied in the Yankee Doodle Taproom until late. “Lew and I ended up in his hotel room with a few of our close friends, eating cheesesteaks from Hoagie Haven—a local gem—at 3:00 a.m.!” says Kate. “Needless to say, we were a little worse-for-wear at the brunch the next morning . . . .”

After all of the festivities had ended, they both had to be back to work the following week. “We were counting down the minutes until Friday when we left for our honeymoon in Hawaii,” says Kate. “We stayed at the Four Seasons Hualalai on the Big Island—and it was absolutely perfect.”