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This Couple Hand-Wrote a Letter to Each of their Guests at Their Wedding in the Catskills

By Shayna Seid | Photography by 

Belathée Photography

|Planning by 

Lacy Geary

Lee Allen Rotenberg, founder of home remodeling software Ivy, director of industry solutions at Houzz, and most recently the creator of motherhood community Olive, and Zachary Nils Tcheyan, a VP in the asset management division of Goldman Sachs, were set up by their mutual friend, Lizzy Lane, and their first date took four years in the making. Lee was living in Tel Aviv but visited New York City often for work, and Lizzy really wanted her to connect with her coworker, Zach, so she convinced him to write an email asking Lee out. He signed his with “You may be my soulmate, Zach,” and she jokingly replied that they “had no other option but to eventually get married.”

They ended up meeting four years later at Rintintin and understood pretty quickly that they “fit like perfect puzzle pieces.” After around a year-and-a-half together, he proposed in their hotel room at The DeBruce in the Catskills. And as an engaged couple, they wanted to host their wedding somewhere that was “uniquely theirs,” and again chose the Catskills, which is their sanctuary away from the city and where they fell in love.

Lee and Zach wanted a venue that was unpretentious, natural, and peaceful and loved Hayfield in Maplecrest. They planned for their June ceremony in the field, followed by a reception in the barn. And for their welcome dinner and pool party, guests enjoyed Scribner’s Catskill Lodge to enjoy more of what the area has to offer. To help coordinate the entire weekend, they hired Lacy Geary, who also guided the bride with her wardrobe.

The bride chose a Bronx and Banco dress from their wedding collection for the welcome dinner, as she wanted to kick-off the festivities in full gear, and for the ceremony, Lee chose A La Robe‘s Juliette gown with an embroidered silk organza floral overskirt from Spina Bride. “Once the wild dancing part of the night started, I took off the organza floral overskirt, so I could really boogie,” Lee explains. To complete her look, she chose Bella Belle’s ivory floral lace wedge wedding shoes.

One of Lee’s bridesmaids, Sarah Storms, is a stylist, so she sent fellow bridesmaids a mood board to aide them in picking their own dresses. They all looked elegant in muted gold, moss green, and mauve pink, and everyone got ready with natural makeup artist Jessa Blades on the day-of. The groom looked dapper in a custom, navy P. Johnson suit with their initials and wedding date embroidered inside and Gucci loafers.

To sign the Ketubah, which was hand-painted by the mother-of-the-bride, and also keep the tradition of not seeing each other before the ceremony, the two sat on opposite sides of a round couch. “It was a really powerful experience to be in the same room as him but not get to see him,” Lee describes. “At one point, I reached back to touch him.”

For the ceremony, the couple wanted to create a space of love for their guests, and as people made their way to the space, groomsmen held boxes of handwritten letters to each guest from Lee and Zach. “Many of our guests said this was the highlight of the wedding because it was so touching, and they couldn’t believe we had written every single guest a personalized letter,” the bride says. “To us, it was an easy task because we decided to only invite guests to our wedding that we felt we could write these letters to.”

Seating surrounded the chuppah in a circular design, and the ceremony booklets featured a crest designed by Lizzy, who introduced the couple. To kick things off, the wedding party danced in behind a trumpet playing “Get Ready” by The Temptations. The mood then shifted, as “Claire de Lune” started playing, and the bride walked in from the barn with her parents.

The ceremony started with their rabbi stating that their wedding rings would be passed around to everyone to imbue them with love, so by the time they had placed them on their fingers, they had been touched by all guests. And to modernize the breaking of the glass tradition, both Lee and Zach stomped on the glass to signify the start of their married life together.

The barn reception felt like a majestic garden with branches by Amy Osaba Design wrapping around the wooden beams, and the tables were set with beautiful La Tavola linens. For the family-style dinner, catered by Comparti, grass-fed skirt steak, cedar plank salmon, and red rice and black lentil pilaf were served among other delicious dishes.

Once well-fed, guests enjoyed the dance floor with 45 Riots. The newlyweds had their first dance to “Say A Little Prayer” by Aretha Franklin, and then the hora kept the energy high for the remainder of the night.

To make their exit to the after-party, Lee put on a denim jacket that had their wedding crest hand-painted on the back by Lizzy, and they met everyone at the bar at Scribner’s Lodge for more celebrations to end the perfect day.