Taking a Look Inside the Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden

The Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden is not only home to Celebrate at Snug Harbor, but it is also a location where culture, history, and art all come together. A prominent Smithsonian affiliate, Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden offer its community and visitors a chance to learn about it’s history and its mission to “provide a vibrant, regional cultural destination that offers dynamic programming in arts, education, horticulture, agriculture, and recreation for diverse cultures and all ages while ensuring a well-managed campus for all residents of Staten Island and surrounding communities.”

SHARP:

Snug Harbor Artist Residency Program, SHARP, offers an eight week fellowship program for eight talented, culturally diverse, and economically disadvantaged artists in a variety of disciplines at the post-BFA college level to help them transition from formal training to professional careers. These participants often display their work in the Snug Harbor art galleries or on the campus. As you walk through Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden, ask about the artwork you see! The featured photo below captures some of the work you can see in an upcoming art exhibit this October.

SHARP
Photo: SHARP Visual Arts

Horticulture Garden Walks:

If you love gardens and history, you’ll love the Snug Harbor Horticulture Walks offered in the varied seasonal gardens. Offered throughout the seasons, you can enjoy learning about the history of each garden while walking through them! The collage below captures the varied walks offered: a Peony Walk, a Spring Walk, a Tuscan Garden Walk, and a Tropical Border Walk. The larger image of the featured collage highlights an upcoming walk through Snug Harbor’s Richmond County Savings Foundation Tuscan Garden. In this walk, you’ll learn about Italian garden traditions while being led by Snug Harbor’s Director of Horticulture, Greg Lord.

Snug Habor Horticulture Walks
Photo: Snug Harbor Horticulture Walks

Education:

An amazing aspect of Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden is the education it offers to students. With hands-on learning experiences and cross-curricular programs, there is an opportunity for all types of learners to walk away with a unique and memorable experience. Snug Harbor’s educational programs range from Beautiful Writing, Art & Meditation, Dragon Boat Festival, Autumn Moon, and Chinese New Year, which ranges from grades 2 and up.
To further your experience, you can register for Wetlands classes to learn about how water affects our daily lives, energy transfer, and wetlands, and the food web. Snug Harbor Heritage Farm classes offer students opportunities to learn about seeds, planting, pollination, flowers and fruits, as well as nutrition. Lastly, the Snug Harbor Pastoral Grounds offer students a chance to learn about different ecosystems, photosynthesis, and different types of trees. Whether it’s a class trip or an adult tour, there’s an experience for everyone!

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Photo: Snug Harbor Education

Events:

If you’re looking for an unforgettable night, look no further than the Neptune Ball! Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden is hosting a magical evening, it’s annual Neptune Ball. With the inspiration from Venetian masquerades, this ball celebrates the performing and visual arts on campus, as well as other beneficial programs offered on the grounds.

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Photo: Snug Harbor Neptune Ball

There is not enough to say about Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden. We’ve only highlighted a portion of what it can offer to guests. To learn more about visiting or donating, please take a moment to visit http://snug-harbor.org/.

All About Flowers

Flowers are a big deal when it comes to weddings. It helps highlight the romance and brings elation to those who are near them. When budgeting for flowers, talk to your fiance about the must-have flowers from beginning to end of your wedding day. From there, decide the types of flowers you want to have and how they’ll match the decor of your venue.

Bouquets:

The flowers in a bride’s bouquet is the finishing touch to the bride’s look. If you’re looking for bouquets that are versatile, consider going for some of the colors and textures in the featured photo. In the bottom right corner, a simple bouquet of lavender with a silk bow embodies the elegance needed for a bride. Above this bouquet is a lovely combination of blush pink roses, white peonies, ranunculus, and a combination of greens, including eucalyptus leaves. But if you’re looking for your bouquet to be the statement piece of your look, go for the cascading bouquet, which features a mixture of garden flowers and leaves. What’s perfect about this look is that you can’t go wrong with color. The combination of color makes it look like you’ve got the perfect piece of your garden with you!

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Photo: Brides.com

Aisle Decor:

When selecting flowers for your wedding consider how you’ll want your pictures to come out during the ceremony. What colors and textures do you want surrounding you? Then, discuss ways to make your vision a reality with your Event Designer. In the featured collage, the photo on the left uses a green moss-like backdrop to accentuate the variety of pink flowers with an ombre effect. To the top right, you’ll see a more subtle approach of flowers for your ceremony, which is flower balls hanging from the gorgeous large tree. The best part about flower balls is that you can use almost any flower, so you’ll have options with colors, and you can have your florist create a variety of sizes to add depth to look. Lastly, the bottom right photo uses purple hues to highlight the copper of the venue. The petals that line the aisle match the assorted triple tower hydrangea arrangement. So creative and beautiful!

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Photo: The Knot 

Reception Ideas:

For your reception, tie in bits of your ceremonial flowers and bouquet. If you had wild flowers or a mixture of garden flowers for your ceremony, consider having centerpieces that embody that same look. The bottom left photo features seasonal flowers in The Great Hall of Celebrate at Snug Harbor.  With the combination of green, yellow, orange, red, and white, the bride and groom had plenty of color options for the rest of their decor. The bottom right photo is a great way to utilize the greens of your bouquet or aisle decor. The hanging greenery of the dinner table match the leaves set as the table runner. What’s great about this look is that you can pair the greenery with almost any venue. Lastly, the top photo captures the elegance of white flowers. The bunched hydrangea and baby blue-eyes arrangements act as a runner for the table. This gives the table a rich and graceful look!

Reception Flowers
Photo: Celebrate at Snug Harbor & Brides.com

A word of caution, you may fall in love with a flower that isn’t in season for your wedding, so consult with a florist and your Event Designer to make sure you’re getting the fabulous florals you want for your wedding! Most importantly, have fun with the selection process! There are so many options to choose from and so even if you aren’t able to get the flowers you thought you wanted, you can still have the perfect arrangements for your wedding.

Stylish Lighting

Part of capturing the magic on your wedding day is making sure you have the right lighting to accentuate the details. When planning your ceremony and reception, consult with your Event Designer about ways to enhance the natural light in your venue for daytime festivities and create ambiance for evening entertaining.  Some of the most impactful lighting options can be achieved through the use of candles, string lights, and lanterns.  These simple options offer enormous flexibility and versatility with respect to event style, mood, and budget. 

Candles:

Can you ever really overdo it with candles? Some of the best ways to incorporate candles into your wedding include decorating the aisle with candles to mark the aisle entrance or asking each guest to hold a lit candle during the religious portion of your ceremony.   Candles easily transition into the cocktail hour and reception by incorporating clusters of candles into your centerpieces.  Or using candles throughout the space to accent windowsills and in seating vignettes. 

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Check our more candle inspiration on our Pinterest page!

String Lights:

Talk about setting the mood! String lights are an excellent choice for wedding lighting because they can go almost anywhere. You can never go wrong with stringing lights above and across your reception, as featured in the collage below. This is a stylish and elegant way to incorporate lighting into your wedding. One of our favorite ways to get creative with string lighting includes having a wall of hanging bistro or string lights as your backdrop, as in the bottom left photo. Additional ways to have a unique twist to string lights include letting them dangle as individual pieces, as a type of chandelier, or to wrap them around a set of trees to create your own, personal backdrop for photos. Special note, be sure to use exterior grade string lighting outside and the indoor grade string lighting for inside use.

String Bistro Lighting Blog
Check out more lighting inspiration on our Pinterest page!

Lanterns:

Including lanterns adds a whole new feel to your lighting decor. There are several options of lanterns to choose from to match your venue’s theme. Favorites for this style are paper lanterns that hang from the ceiling. Paper lanterns can include actual tea-lights or battery-powered lights. We recommend battery-powered lights so that your paper lanterns look lit up throughout your ceremony and reception. To elevate your lighting decor, consider placing tea lights in a hanging glass lantern, as featured in the bottom right corner. Although subtle, the floating effect of the lanterns creates a magical feel to the room. Have we mentioned how much we love the hanging mason jar lanterns in the featured ceremony? By adding the twine to hang the mason jars, this couple really accentuated the rustic feel of their ceremony!

Lantern Lighting Blog
Check out more lantern inspiration on our Pinterest page!

It’s important that you have fun with your space and add lighting options that will bring out all the charm of your venue. Celebrate at Snug Harbor offers options for both indoor and outdoor ceremonies and receptions, which means it can accommodate almost any type of decor you long for your wedding to have. You’ll be able to work with the Event Designers at Celebrate at Snug Harbor, who take pride in creating unique and one-of-a-kind events.

Couples Tribute: Caroline Polachek & Ian Drennan Wedding

Take a glimpse into the wedding day of Chairlift lead singer Caroline Polachek and Ian Drennan, featured in VOGUE Magazine https://goo.gl/28iy6R

Focused on keeping their ceremony and wedding simple and elegant, Vogue Magazine goes into the intimate details of the couple’s big day. Here’s what we loved about their wedding!

The Attention to Detail:

According to Vogue Magazine, Caroline wanted her wedding band to look similar to the band that has been in Ian’s family for years, worn by several family members. Each band has the statement, “I love our world” in it, which makes it even more special. To add, the lead singer goes on to tell Vogue that their florist was able to create a centerpiece created in segments, so that everyone could have a piece of it to take with them. So thoughtful! But what we consider to be the most precious touch of the Polachek-Drennan wedding, was that the two were married by Caroline’s opera teacher, whom she tells Vogue Magazine, later became her mentor.

Chairlift Personal Tuch collage
Photos by: Noah Rabinowitz

The Space:

While all of these personal touches are priceless, they are enhanced even more by the space in which Caroline and Ian chose to marry. Both fans of Chinese architecture, Caroline tells Vogue Magazine, “We loved that people could spread out and wander the paths, meeting each other in motion and sitting down together along the built-in seats instead of being closed in one area together. The circular doorways, central koi pond, and looming stones had an otherworldly tone that made everyone feel very much farther from the city than we were, and because the paths are mostly covered, we could be surrounded by nature regardless of the weather.” With the Chinese Scholar Garden’s beautiful pavilions, handcrafted walkways, and stunning architectural elements, what’s not to love?

Chinese garden
Photos by: Noah Rabinowitz
Chinese Wheel
Photos by Noah Rabinowitz
The space tented pavilion
Photos by: Noah Rabinowitz

 

This lovely wedding is a great reminder to all brides out there that is is so important to visit the space you wish to get married in as soon as possible. You want to be able to go through the motions of the day and be content with the flow of the ceremony to the reception, as well as determine how you’ll wish to incorporate yours and your spouse’s personal touches so that you’re as happy as Caroline and Ian!

Sensational Desserts

Wedding desserts are always a favorite for guests. While the wedding cake is very important, so are the other desserts that accompany it. In fact, some brides and grooms opt out of the cake entirely to solely focus on some fabulous sweet treats. The key to getting it right is to incorporate a combination of desserts that have different flavors and textures to either support the wedding cake or take it’s place at the dessert table. Try to have some sort of cake or tart, a fruity dessert, and most importantly, chocolate!

Cakes and Tarts:

Who doesn’t love cake? When it’s your wedding day, you’ll want a piece of cake to share with your new husband. There are no limits when it comes to cake, either. In the featured collage, Relish Caterers created a delicious almond cake with powdered sugar sprinkled on top, and some peach slices on the side. Next to this cake, Relish Caterers whipped up a cheesecake blueberry compote, and a rhubarb tart loaded with flavor. When it comes to cakes, you want the flavors to vary so that each one stands out.

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Photo and Desserts from: Relish Caterers

Fruit and more fruit:

Isolated fruit is often overlooked when placed on a loaded dessert table. For this reason, you’ll want consult with your caterer about fruit flavors that are popular and won’t go to waste. Relish Caterers created an enticing berry pudding with whole fruits garnished on top. A fan favorite is also the chocolate covered strawberry. In the featured photo, Relish Caterers take this classic dessert up one more notch by adding some edible gold leafing to the chocolate coating. How rich!

Fruit Desserts Blog
Photo and Desserts from: Relish Caterers

Chocolate:

Is it really a dessert table without something chocolate? Relish Caterers takes an intriguing spin on the classic chocolate desserts by combining classic with creative. The featured photos include stacked chocolate chip cookies held together by toasted marshmallows, a chocolate mousse with candied nuts and a toasted marshmallow dollop, a chocolate cupcake with espresso frosting, as well as a blondie crust piece with a fruit jelly garnish on top. The best part about chocolate is that you can almost always incorporate it into a dessert.

Chocolate Desserts Blog
Photo and Desserts from: Relish Caterers

You’ll want to consult with your caterer on ways to incorporate your sweet-tooth preferences into your wedding desserts. Investing in a caterer will be the most important decision you make if you want your desserts to be sensational!

Table Setting Must Haves

Table settings are often an overlooked element when planning all of the details for a wedding reception. But a few minor touches to a table can set the tone for the lavish reception you want your guests to enjoy. Remember that guests love noticing the thoughtful details to help make their memory of your big day last.

Candles:

Never underestimate the power of a candle or two. Candles are the romantic touch every table needs. In the featured collage, the tables on the right have floating candles in tall glasses that vary in height for an aesthetic appeal. These images note that while focusing on a gorgeous centerpiece is a must, so is focusing on what will surround that centerpiece so that it doesn’t look too idle. The largest photo creativity places a candle inside a lantern to make it the focal point of the table, while also having small votives surround the lantern in antiqued holders. The elegance of the candles screams romance!

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Varied Pinterest Inspiration

Identification:

There are so many adorable ways to identify your table numbers so that your guests know where to sit. Brides usually list the guests’ names on a place card on the dinner plate itself, or having a separate location for guests to pick up their place card and assigned table number. Some brides even get creative and avoid table numbers and instead, name their tables after their favorite travel places. The featured photos below include classic calligraphy on a gold-framed chalkboard, as well as a California post card placed on a rope knot. There is no wrong way to do this as long you clearly and elegantly identify your tables or where your guests will sit.

Chalkboard Blog 5 pic
Photo: Brushfire Photography via Martha Stewart Weddings
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Photo: Mustard Seed Photography via Brides.com

Personal Touch:

There’s always a way to add a personal touch to your dinner tables so that your guests can be surprised or touched by your efforts to provide a beautiful reception for them. In the photo collage are a few ideas that guests have brought to life in their receptions in The Great Hall at Celebrate at Snug Harbor. A personal touch could include drink tags with the guests names on them so that no one gets their glasses confused. This can also serve as a place card! The bottom row of photos from left to right feature wedding favors placed behind the bread plate, a small pumpkin to accentuate the fall theme, and a small white rose next to each menu.

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Varied from receptions in The Great Hall at Celebrate at Snug Harbor

While some personal touches may seem like a small gesture, remember that less can be more.  You don’t need a personal touch on every aspect of your wedding. Just remember that table settings are where you want to add your details!

How to Pick the Best Color Schemes for Your Wedding Season

It is common for every bride to feel undecided as to what the best color scheme for her wedding should be. While finding a group of colors that go well together, there are other factors that need to be taken into account so that you can look at your wedding pictures loving the cohesion of hues rather than second guessing your final choices. It is so important to include your favorite colors, but don’t forget to consider the season and the wedding space.

Play Favorites:

Choose colors that make you both happy. Consider your favorite color and your hubby-to-be’s favorite color and try to find a common color that will make the two of you happy to see on your big day. As in the featured photo below of the Tuscan Garden at Celebrate at Snug Harbor, there is a beautiful mixture of colors from the scattered rose petals, floral arrangements, dress, and ties of the groom and his father. While the colors vary, they blend beautifully together.

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Tuscan Garden at Celebrate at Snug Harbor

Seasonal Tones:

The season in which you get married is crucial when choosing your color theme. If you’re looking for tones of blush, powder blue, or pastel yellow, you’ll want to consider a spring wedding so that it matches with spring flowers and greenery. In the featured photo, it’s clear to see how well the pink flowers and alter blend with the trees and grass of the Celebrate at Snug Harbor garden. Summer weddings call for more vibrant colors, such as champagne, purple, or orange. For a fall wedding, you’ll want to consider having one bold color and a few others to compliment the focal color, such as a burgundy with beige and cream. Lastly, if opting for a winter wedding, you’ll want deep pine green with shades of white to highlight the theme of winter.

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Tuscan Garden at Celebrate at Snug Harbor

The Space:

While it’s great to have color themes in mind, it’s best to book your venue before solidifying the color choices for your wedding. In the first feature photo, you’ll see the bride and groom have elegantly matched the woodwork of the door to their birch canopy. The ivory and royal blue tones of the walls are cohesive with the bride’s peach hair piece, blush carnations, and the groom’s navy suit. Don’t forget to look for a space with lots of natural sunlight, if you’re planning an indoor ceremony. The natural light of the Art Gallery at Celebrate at Snug Harbor brings out the peach details to match the navy tones for the wedding guests to see.

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Art Gallery at Celebrate at Snug Harbor

However, if you’re planning an outdoor wedding ceremony, try to let the venue’s outdoor details become your wedding color theme. In the photo of Celebrate at Snug Harbor’s Chinese Scholar Garden, there’s no need for additional colors or a separate theme with the lush greenery. Depending on your venue, your color scheme may already be chosen for you without you even realizing it!

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Chinese Garden at Celebrate at Snug Harbor

Although color schemes are very important for a wedding ceremony and reception, it doesn’t have to be a complicated decision-making process. Your venue sometimes provides the inspiration you’ve been looking for. Celebrate at Snug Harbor offers 83-acres of property to find colors to inspire you for almost any season!

Floral Inspiration for Creative Centerpieces

Planning the floral decor for your wedding will most likely be as stressful as choosing the right wedding dress. There are just so many styles to choose from and so many floral elements to consider, that it’s tough to know where to begin. For this blog, we’ll be exploring inspiration for creative centerpieces to help narrow down the wide world of wedding florals.

The Wow Factor:

If you’re looking to really impress your guests, you’ll want a centerpiece that speaks for itself. For this effect, consider adding different textures and colors on a larger flower holder. With floral textures, consider mixing the soft with the rustic. In the featured photo below, the lavender and soft pink carnations stand out with the charming and dark branches. The tall vase is thoughtfully skinny so that the centerpiece is a conversation piece, yet it won’t be an obstruction for your guests when they sit and enjoy their dinner together. When planning for a Wow Factor centerpiece, you’ll want to consider your wedding venue. Notice how the wood in the centerpiece below compliments the wood in the Great Hall of Celebrate at Snug Harbor. It completely flows with the space and doesn’t look out of place.

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Rustic and tall centerpiece

Focusing On Color:

If tall and textured doesn’t match your style, opt for a centerpiece that is more low key in terms of height, yet speaks volumes with it’s color variety. This featured centerpiece holds multiple types of eucalyptus leaves, pink and yellow solidago, with purple and orange as the accent colors. If you want your centerpiece to look as though you’ve gathered the finest florals from a lush garden, this is the style for you. When including more than one vase at the table, changing up the base of one of the centerpieces with aspidistra leaves will make each arrangement stand out even more. Remember, you’re going more for color here, and so the deep green of at the base will only further accentuate the eye-catching color scheme of the arrangement.

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Eucalyptus, solidago, with purple and orange accents

The Ever-Elegant White Centerpiece:

White flowers at a wedding are timeless.  When undecided on how to have your centerpiece best compliment your wedding theme, white florals will match any indoor or outdoor wedding. You can also get creative with mixing white roses, hydrangeas, and white daisies for the varied hues of white each flower carries. You’ll notice a hint of yellow in the floral combination featured below. Lastly, don’t forget a few green leaves to make the white stand out even more. If you’re going for classic, white florals are unfailing and sophisticated.

White Centerpiece
White hydrangeas, roses, and daisies

Choosing a centerpiece for your reception can be overwhelming if you don’t know what to look out for. Remember to take into account the colors and textures you want your centerpieces to possess. Then, speak with your wedding planner to get his/her suggestions on what would look great in your reception location. The possibilities are endless! Celebrate at Snug Harbor is home to what seems like endless possibilities to host your dream wedding with your favorite floral arrangements.

The Evolution of the Cocktail Hour

Over the past few years, the cocktail hour has moved from the opening act to center stage.  With more and more couples extending their cocktail hour to be 1.5 hours or to hosting “cocktail hour” style receptions, couples are opting to focus extra attention on creating unique culinary experiences for guests to enjoy while mingling before the reception.  

A mix of passed and stationary hors d’oeuvres, as well as action stations, have all become part of the modern cocktail hour.  The cocktail hour is a great way to offer a wide variety of tastes and flavors, ensuring everyone will find something they enjoy or may try something new for the first time without having to commit to selecting it for a dinner choice.

An added benefit to the extended cocktail hour is the ability to skip the formality of a 3 course seated dinner and get everyone up and dancing that much sooner.  After 1.5 hours of indulging, your guests are full and ready keep the night moving with toasts and festivities.  Many couples are opting for a 2 course plated meal or one course with a late night dessert offering.

 

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Truffle Mac and Cheese

 

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Lobster Dog

 

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Tuna with Olives

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