I’ve been to three weddings in my life: one when I was ten, one that served pudding instead of dinner and one that was my grandfather’s (weird, I know). All were within an hour and a half of my house, and none were in Saratoga Springs. So when the saratoga living team decided to name Saratoga one of the world’s greatest destination wedding locations and needed some amazing wedding stories to support that claim, I had to call for backup. Enter Tonya Pellegrini-Lawrence: Downtown Business Association powerhouse, event-planner extraordinaire and one of the coolest women I’ve met in Saratoga (who, by the way, has one of the greatest stories of how she met her husband I’ve ever heard—ask her about it).
Tonya came into our offices with fantastical tales of weddings gone wrong, weddings gone so, so right and one destination wedding so amazing, it made me want to literally get up and propose to my boyfriend right then and there. (Luckily, I know that he doesn’t actually read any of the stories I write, so he won’t see this little tidbit.) The couple was Bonita Banerjee and her husband to be, Alex, and instead of traveling to Saratoga from Washington, DC to have one unforgettable wedding ceremony, they decided to have two—a Hindu ceremony in the morning at the National Museum of Dance and a traditional, Western-style, white-dress wedding in the afternoon at Saratoga National Golf Club. And to top it all off, Bonita, whose parents live in Scotia, was coming up to the Capital Region just a week after Tonya told me her wedding story and bringing with her 1600 unbelievable wedding photos, shot by the talented Guilderland-based photographer Matt Ramos.
The photos in the above gallery, featuring text written by the bride herself, give a behind-the-scenes look at that unforgettable, totally exhausting, totally worth-it day. Sure, I may not have actually been there in person, but this wedding totally trumps the three I’ve been to. By far.