• Julia Kosinski & Saul Cardenas
  • Melanie Fernandez
  • Wedding Advice Series
Julia Kosinski & Saul Cardenas

April 11, 2015

Ceremony and Reception: Tappan Hill Mansion, Tarrytown, New York

Photographer and Videographer: Sarah Merians Photography and Videography

First Dance song. And why?  

Crazy Love by Van Morrison. We wanted a song that was sweet and classic (and it’s one of my favorites).

How you met your husband.  

We met while studying at the University of Miami School of Law. I was a second year law student and Saul had just begun his first year.  He had supposedly seen me around campus since his first week there, and after about a month or so, he asked one of our mutual friends to help set him up with me! We met up one night with a bunch of friends and ended up talking for hours. Later that same week, he asked me out on an official date (on his birthday!) and the rest is history.

Tell us about the engagement.  

Saul popped the question on New Year’s Eve at the beach near our home in Connecticut.  He casually invited me to an NYE toast at the beach before meeting up with our friends to celebrate that night. I was reluctant because it was freezing outside but I agreed to go. After cheering to the New Year several times in a row, he got down on one knee in the cold sand and asked me to marry him – freezing, but ecstatic, I said yes!

Venue Shopping - what made you decide on your venue?

This was tough! We looked at many venues before choosing Tappan Hill.  Tappan Hill was actually my father’s pick because it’s operated by Abigail Kirsch, a New York catering company, known for its food and service.  Tappan Hill is an old estate in Tarrytown, New York, right on the edge of the Hudson River, and after one visit there, we fell in love with it.

Describe your wedding look and how you came to the “look” decision.

I knew I wanted a soft, romantic, intimate feel, with nothing too glitzy or overdone – just simple elegance.

How did you pull it off? (venue, inspirations, items, etc.). What sources or people helped you, including wedding planners, pinterest, etc., and what was their advice? 

Our wedding coordinator was amazing, as was our florist who really helped us design the space. That plus lots of Pinterest and House of Lilac blog for inspiration!

Your dress and accessories: describe the dress shopping experience a little and the accessories you wore. What made you say yes to the dress?  

After going to 4 different stores in NYC and CT, I found my dress, made by Rosa Clara, at a small boutique in Connecticut. To spruce it up a bit, I wore a belt, hairpiece, and a barely-there veil.  For my jewelry, I chose a pair of diamond earrings I borrowed from my mother as my something borrowed.

Your bridesmaid dresses. Where were they from? What inspired you to choose the certain style(s)?  

For my bridesmaids, I chose an Amsale dress in silk chiffon in the color Slate. I loved the Amsale dresses because they looked so flattering on and I chose the Slate color because I thought it was soft yet colorful enough for early spring and also would go well with everyone’s different skin tones.  I let my bridesmaids choose from 6 different styles (all floor-length) and they all looked gorgeous! 


Flowers: Tell us a little bit about your arrangements, types of flowers you used, how they fit with your “look”, and if and how your florist contributed to the design.  

Our florist was amazing. They really helped us so much with advising us on which flowers to use, and they knew our venue well, which helped a lot with planning.  I wanted whites, ivory, soft pinks and blush tones and candles to create a romantic feel, and I was so happy with how everything turned out.  For the centerpieces, we primarily used white dendrobium orchids, white hydrangeas, vendela and talea roses, white amaryllis, and double white lisianthus, with accents of greenery.

Details: Talk about any special details you incorporated throughout the wedding. 

My husband is Colombian American so we knew we wanted to incorporate Spanish into our wedding ceremony, and I come from an interfaith family so it was important to me that we incorporated Jewish traditions as well as Catholic traditions.  We got married under a chuppah, with both sets of our parents underneath the chuppah with us to symbolize the unity of both families.   We were fortunate to have had two incredible people co-officiate our ceremony: a Jewish cantor who does interfaith weddings and my husband’s cousin, Bernardo, who is a minister.  The ceremony was beautiful as our cantor said prayers in Hebrew, then English, and Bernardo would then say them in Spanish, and vice versa.  We really wanted to make our ceremony personal to us as a couple and feel like we really achieved that.   


We also displayed family photos of our grandparents who were there with us in spirit and pictures of our parents on their wedding days to make the space more personal. 

What you found most overwhelming and difficult about the wedding planning process.  

I wanted everything to be absolutely perfect and move smoothly with planning, and during the planning process, there are bound to be a few bumps along the way. The most difficult part of the planning process was accepting that not everything would go according to plan.  

Looking back, you would have done this differently.  

Looking back, the only thing I would have done differently is I would have brought a second dress to change into. Out of all the things I planned for, the one thing I didn’t plan for was that at some point during the night, I’d want to change into a more comfortable dress for dancing. That’s the only thing I’d change though about our entire event, everything else was perfect.

Your favorite moment all day/night.  

During our wedding ceremony, the sun was beginning to set right in front of us over the Hudson and I felt the sunshine on my face, and while I was holding my husband’s hand as our co-officiants married us, surrounded by our loved ones, I felt a warm gust of wind blow through the chuppah and it was just an incredibly spiritual moment. I knew that I was exactly where I was supposed to be with the person I was supposed to be with.  

Your advice to any bride planning a wedding is...

Try to take a moment during your wedding to just take it all in. The day (and weekend) goes by so fast so try to really enjoy every moment of it.

  • Melanie Fernandez
  • Wedding Advice Series

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