This couple is extremely special. I normally don’t share personal stories on this blog as I feel that its about the connection within the images but this was just too important! The groom’s family has owned the Mount Gulian historic estate in Beacon for many years. Chison and Henry met when they were both students in Tokyo. They both got recruited as part-time staff at Tokyo’s first Abercrombie & Fitch store. They first met on Chison’s first day working there in the elevator! Henry’s first comment was “wait, your name doesn’t sound very Japanese?”. Chison explained her Korean heritage and her background, and Henry was fascinated! After talking all the time at work and going out with all the other A&F staff for drinks and nights out, they hit it off and it wasn’t long before they went on their first date.
They decided to wed at Henry’s family’s historic Mount Gulian in September of last year. Chison had a vision for their invitations to include elements of their heritage as well as some of their backstory and Lion in the Sun nailed it! They chose beautiful details to complement the site and decorate the accompanying barn. Their emotional outdoor ceremony was officiated by Henry’s dad who spoke in depth about their connection to the venue location and its historical significance. They planned plenty of time for portraits and danced the night away on an unseasonably warm September evening.
The story of Henry’s family history with Mount Gulian dates back to the 1630’s with the arrival by Abraham Isaac Verplanck from Holland in what was then the New Netherlands Colony. The Verplanck family settled and became British citizens after Britain took over New Amsterdam in 1664, making it New York. In the 1683, one of Abraham’ sons, Gulian (or William in English) sailed up the Hudson River looking for land. A small tract of 85,000 acres was acquired from native Indian owners for the princely sum of $1,200 worth of goods. In 1730 that Gulian’s son – also a Gulian – built a homestead called Mount Gulian on this very spot. Fast forward to 1931 when the original house burned to the ground (suspected arson, actually) while still owned by the Verplancks.
Soon after the fire, Henry’s maternal great grandmother, Virginia Darby Verplanck inherited the property, which in turn passed to her son Bache Bleecker (from another family of early Dutch settlers), who is Henry’s grandfather – who was at the wedding with us! In 1966, Bache and his wife Connie had the foresight and inspiration to establish the Mount Gulian Society, which initiated and organized the complete restoration of the house and site, which has been open to the public as a museum and venue since 1976. They acted as Trustees for many years and have now turned that mantle over to other Verplanck family members.
I am so honored to have been chosen to photograph their wedding and I hope you enjoy these images as much as I enjoyed taking them.
Venue: Mount Gulian
Florals: Wild Floral Design