Dinner Party on a Farm

Sondra Fein & Gregory Epstein
Blue Hill at Stone Barns Pocantico Hills
June 15, 2008

Sondra and Greg didn’t want a conventional wedding. “We wanted everything about it to speak to our beliefs,” she says. They decided to marry at a sustainable farm, beneath a natural chuppa designed by the bride. It was arboreal, with four trees as posts and interwoven foliage as the canopy. It took on a deeper meaning when their florist suggested they replant the trees after the ceremony. “It was such a romantic idea,” Sondra says. And so it became a central theme: “Our rabbi talked about the trees as a tangible metaphor for our growth as a couple and the growth of our marriage.” Two were planted on Greg’s parents’ property and the other two on Sondra’s parents’ yard. “When we have children, we can replant the seedlings, and one day they can use them in their own weddings. It’s almost like a family tree, literally—a beautiful tradition started at our wedding.”


Bride’s Gown (Gray): J. Mendel
Bride’s Gown (White): Chanel
Groom’s Suit: Ermenegildo Zegna
Hair & Makeup: Simone Ciorobara of Valery Joseph Salon; Lori Klein
Cake: Ron Ben-Israel
Flowers: Sandra Clothier
Cocktail & Reception Music: Norberto Goldberg; Rachelle Garniez (through John Ragusa Music)
Officiant: Rabbi Daniel Alder

Sondra Fein
& Gregory Epstein “I wore two dresses. I liked a soft-gray gown on Style.com, but was told that it was unavailable. So I bought another. Later, I spotted my original dress in a window. It was the last one, and in my size! So I wore that until we cut the cake, then changed into the second one, which I had shortened to tea-length for dancing.”

“We did a full buyout. Blue Hill seats 125, so we were pushing it at 140. So that everyone would fit, we turned the bar space into the college-kid area. They thought it was amazing.”

“We had incredible appetizers (all locally-grown and seasonal) and an elderflower Champagne cocktail. I wanted to stay with the feel of the barn: Nothing fussy, no cut glass, no silver bowls.”

“Ron Ben-Israel made our cake. He’s really serious about sugar flowers and wanted to know precisely what would be used in the bouquets.”

“We wanted traditional Jewish music, but also something jazzy to go with our dinner party atmosphere. Our musician, Rachelle, plays the accordion beautifully, and she can also jump into Ella Fitzgerald-type stuff.”

“Since we were using only local and seasonal flowers, we had to wait until the last minute before we could tell him. We used peonies, viburnum and sweet peas, and he matched them all so well.”

Dinner Party on a Farm