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Weddings

The Ashokan Center Reviews

The Ashokan Center

The Ashokan Center

Olivebridge, NY
5.0 out of 5 rating, 25 Reviews
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Reviews

5.0 out of 5 rating
5.0 out of 5 rating
25 Reviews
100% recommend it
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Awards

25
WeddingWire Couples' Choice Awards 2023 Winner
WeddingWire Couples' Choice Awards 2020 Winner
  • Maggie
    Maggie B. Sent on 05/16/2024
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    Amazing Family Venue

    We could not have been happier with our wedding at The Ashokan Center. We were looking for a low-key venue that allowed us to prioritize time with our guests and created a relaxing atmosphere for our families (including those with young kids) and friends to hang out in a beautiful outdoors environment. Lisa and the whole team were incredibly responsive and helpful, and we truly could not have found a better venue for us.
    Highlights include:
    - Delicious, veggie-filled, buffet style meals and the flexibility to save a couple plates for those arriving late. All meals were provided by Ashokan and we were able to bill some breakfasts and lunches to guests at our discretion. We worked with Chef Bill to deign our whole menu and he was an absolute DREAM to work with.
    - 5 hr open beer & wine bar through the venue for the wedding night. We hired a bartender with a liquor license through Ashokan, designed our own liquor menu, and provided our own liquor and mixers. We brought our own beer & wine for all other meals - this really helped save on cost!!
    - Gorgeous grounds with many hiking trails for guests to enjoy
    - Lots of onsite housing! We had 80 people stay onsite in their 20 private rooms/cabins and four large bunk rooms. The rooms are a little rustic, but clean and have everything you need - it was PERFECT for our group. There are also hotels 20 minutes away in Kingston.
    - A list of suggested vendors. You're required to do your catering through them (such a relief, Chef Bill was an absolute joy to work with and pricing was really reasonable) and pay the site fee, but you have tremendous flexibility beyond that.
    - This venue is definitely not for everyone, but if you're looking for a low-key, family & friend oriented wedding weekend Ashokan Center could not be a better choice!

    The Ashokan Center's reply:

    Thank you so much Maggie! We appreciate your enthusiasm and honesty in sharing your experience with others; your joy shines through and will be contagious! Such a pleasure to work with you and your families to create and share your wedding celebration! Keep in touch!
    Lisa
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    Courtney L. Sent on 01/17/2024
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    Great venue

    We had our wedding here, and it was so wonderful! Lisa was great as well as the whole staff!

    The Ashokan Center's reply:

    Thank you Courtney! It was a pleasure to celebrate with you and all your family and friends,

    Best wishes always!
    Lisa
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    Sarah F. Sent on 02/01/2024
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    A dream venue with social mission

    The best decision my husband and I ever made about our wedding was getting married at Ashokan. From the second we stepped onto the site, everyone was warm, welcoming, and dedicated to the mission of the center. The core values of sustainability, social good, and community are central to my husband and I, and it was incredible to see this brought to life at Ashokan.
    This venue is perfect for couples that want a wedding that is a little more DIY and camp-style. My husband and I had a blast coming up with events and games, making s'mores with friends and family, and having a gorgeous ceremony with the sounds of a nearby waterfall (one of two on the property!). The day of my wedding I went for a run, swam in the lake, and tie-dyed with friends. It was everything we wanted.
    When you get married at Ashokan, you are part of a community and history greater than oneself, and that is so palpable. Lisa (the event coordinator you'll work closely with), Chef Bill, and everyone at Ashokan is friendly and down to earth. They're straight shooters, but also work tirelessly to make your wedding spectacular. And it was! This place is truly special.
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  • C
    Carrie R. Sent on 01/17/2024
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    A very special place!

    The Ashokan Center is a very special place with a generous, lovely staff and gorgeous property. The venue was a perfect fit a weekend wedding with lots of activities for guests to do. Everyone we worked with was incredible. I highly recommend this place!
  • Margot
    Margot Sent on 06/07/2023
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    I still can't believe our luck

    We wanted a low-key wedding where we could have a bonfire and camp with our friends, and this was the perfect place for us. Lisa was an absolute joy to work with, and Chef Bill is a phenomenal cook. Our friends+family kept coming up to say how happy they were, how relaxed they felt, and how well-cared for they felt. We had blacksmithing and archery workshops the morning of the wedding, and people loved the incredible hiking trails on site. We couldn't be more grateful to have been married at the Ashokan Center

    The Ashokan Center's reply:

    Such a pleasure to host and celebrate with you and your families! What a great way to begin our 2023 wedding season! Best wishes to you all - looking forward to seeing you again!
    Lisa
  • E
    Emma F. Sent on 11/21/2022
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    Awesome venue and experience

    We held our wedding at the Ashokan Center on the last weekend of October. It was so nice to have planning, catering, and on site accommodations all in one spot, and the staff were super relaxed and accommodating. Our guests also enjoyed a guided hike and blacksmithing workshop. The Ashokan Center was an amazing venue all around!

    The Ashokan Center's reply:

    Thank you Emma! It was such a pleasure to host your friends and family for your wedding celebration! Thank you for choosing to support the center and we send our very best wishes to you always! Keep in touch!
    Lisa
  • A
    Anna R. Sent on 11/12/2022
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    Wedding at The Ashokan Center

    Our wedding was absolutely perfect! Lisa made the planning process easy and chief Bill worked with us to accommodate food allergies and preferences. The campus is as beautiful as it has ever been, but the new buildings/dance space/bunks make it very comfortable. They also have a wonderful list of vendors they have previously worked with which helped us tremendously. They were very flexible with meal times, provided a bonfire each night, and the entire campus was reserved for our event. We wanted a relaxed, camp-like atmosphere and that is exactly what we had. I could see the potential for people to make it much fancier, but we let the beautiful surroundings be the spotlight instead of bringing in tons of decorations. We had about 80 guests in total and we could have easily fit more into the space, but also did not feel like a tiny wedding getting lost in a huge room. They are also a wonderful educational center and you can be confident that you are supporting an organization that is continuing to provide environmental education to all ages! We cannot recommend them highly enough!

    The Ashokan Center's reply:

    HI Anna!

    Thank you so much for these kind words! It was our pleasure to celebrate with your family and friends! Wishing you the very best always!
    Lisa
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    Lisa M. Sent on 11/12/2022
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    Dream location and Amazing Staff!

    We dreamt of a wedding where friends and family could gather in nature and celebrate all weekend long. Where we could stay up late, have music, and have complete privacy! The Ashokan Center was our dream location, and within our budget too! Lisa Hurley and the Ashokan Staff were so helpful in planning our special weekend. They were professional and helpful throughout the weekend too! Our guests all said it was the best wedding they had ever been to! We chose to have all 110 guests for Friday, Saturday and Sunday brunch, so we fed them five meals! However you can do something different and fit it into your budget, like only inviting smaller amounts of guests to the Friday and Sunday events, and inviting everyone to the Saturday (Wedding day) festivities... etc.

    The Ashokan Center's reply:

    Thank you for your kind words, Lisa! It was our pleasure to celebrate with you, your family and friends! We send our best wishes to you both, always and forever! Keep in touch!
    Lisa
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    Rebecca M. Sent on 11/11/2022
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    Ashokan Center Wedding

    We had an absolutely wonderful wedding weekend at the Ashokan Center. Everyone made us feel so welcomed and were so flexible with us to make it the wedding we envisioned. We are so grateful to the staff at the Ashokan Center for helping us celebrate our day with amazing food, beautiful scenery, and such hospitality. 100% would recommend the Ashokan Center to host a magical wedding in the woods!

    The Ashokan Center's reply:

    Hi Rebecca!

    So wonderful to celebrate your wedding weekend with family and friends! We appreciate your support and wish you and your beautiful family the very best always!
    Lisa
  • Douglas
    Douglas F. Sent on 11/11/2022
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    Wish we had more stars to give

    The Ashokan Center was our dream venue. It was perfect in every way. Perhaps for some it might feel rustic, but to us it was the perfect blend of authenticity and freedom to create a unique weekend for our guests. From our first contact with Lisa, and onto our interactions with Chef Bill, James, and the entire staff, we felt welcome and supported in our vision. We had many guests who stayed onsite, both in Ashokan's lodging, and camping, and it was amazing how we were able to create a little loving community in the woods for an entire weekend. We can't imagine getting married in any other place. Thank you, Ashokan Center!

    The Ashokan Center's reply:

    Thank you Doug & Lizzy! Such a pleasure to celebrate with you and your families! Best wishes always!
    Lisa
  • L
    Lorna B. Sent on 11/20/2022
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    Magical Venue

    Lisa and the entire team at the Ashokan Center were out of this world for our wedding. We were open about our budget in the beginning and we were told "Oh, we can totally work with that!" This location has so much to offer: plenty of space for friends and family to stay, an incredible chef, hundreds of acres for you and your guests to explore, activities to include (we chose archery!), and many ceremony sites options. There are so many ways to make your wedding unique with this venue without having to stress the big stuff. The center was supportive, but also understood what the timeline of the build-up to a wedding is like and know when decisions need to be made and when things need to get done. It is rare to find such a down-to-earth, unpretentious, yet talented and profession team for a wedding venue as they have at the center. We hope to continue our relationship with the center and attend their Hoots for the rest of our lives. The Ashokan Center is magical and we cannot recommend it highly enough!

    The Ashokan Center's reply:

    Lorna! I am so touched by your sweet sentiment! It was our pleasure to host your friends and family for your wedding celebration! We absolutely look forward to seeing you all at the center again very soon!

    Wishing you well always,
    Lisa

  • Lauren
    Lauren M. Sent on 02/23/2022
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    Thank you, Ashokan!

    We are so pleased that we found the Ashokan Center for our wedding! We found them in January 2020 during our venue search, and knew immediately that it was the right fit. We were looking for a space that we could rent for the duration of the weekend (with onsite lodging at a wide range of price points), which is what first caught our eye. We were captivated by the beautiful, secluded natural setting, the gorgeous and well-maintained facilities, and the fact that Ashokan is a nonprofit aligned with our interests in music, living history, and the environment. They’re entirely solar-powered - how awesome is that?

    The onsite catering was another huge bonus for us - Chef Bill and his team are remarkable, and we loved the process of customizing our meal offerings.

    We postponed our event once due to the pandemic, and are so thankful for Ashokan’s generosity and flexibility during the rescheduling process. They helped make a very difficult situation much easier (and they have a fancy new air filtration system!)

    Since the wedding, everyone has been raving about the weekend. I've heard great things from guests about Ashokan’s whole team - how hard they all worked, how well-managed the venue is, and how warm and friendly they all were. Our other vendors loved being there, and our guests had an incredible time. We had a very clear vision of what we wanted our wedding to be - namely, we wanted it to feel like “us.” We’re so thankful to Lisa, Bill, James, and all of the staff who gave us the trust and space to make this event our own. Can’t wait to return for their other events!

    (Photos by Peter Demuth Photography)
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    Jane R. Sent on 02/15/2022
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    Everything we dreamed of

    The beautiful location, friendly staff, and one of a kind experience of an Ashokan Center weekend made our 9/2021 wedding truly more special than we could have dreamed of. I would strongly recommend this venue for any couple who wants to make the most of their wedding by creating a weekend-long experience set in nature (with WiFi, clean and modern accomodations, and classy food).

    Planning and enacting the event with the staff was easy and smooth. Lisa the wedding planner is friendly and responsive, always ready to answer whatever random question we or a guest had leading up to the event and the weekend of. Chef Bill creates DELICIOUS meals, and he provides many menu options but is also open to special requests. James the caretaker was accommodating and quickly available all weekend, always with a smile. All staff were friendly, professional, and ready to help us and our guests with anything. Thank you, Ashokan Center, for an unforgettable weekend!

    The Ashokan Center's reply:

    Thank you for the kind words, Jane! We also have fond memories of hosting your celebration with friends and family! Best wishes to you both and please keep in touch!
    Lisa, Special Events Coordinator
  • A
    Annie M. Sent on 09/19/2021
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    Over the top wonderful

    Our wedding at the Ashokan center was truly everything we've ever dreamed of and more. The staff was so friendly, helpful, and welcoming. Chef Bill made one the best meal I have ever had a wedding, and our guests all raved about the venue. If you are looking for a wedding weekend where your guests can stay and be together all night... look no further! Thank you Lisa, James, Bill and everyone else who made my dream a reality!
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    Victoria S. Sent on 02/20/2022
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    Highly Recommended

    We cannot explain well enough how amazing Lisa and the crew at Ashokan were, especially as we had to deal with postponing our wedding due to Covid. Lisa worked with us through that challenge and through the million other challenges that arise during wedding planning. The entire staff was so friendly and helpful, and Chef Bill made AMAZING food that accommodated both our vegan and non-vegan guests. They and the beautiful setting of the Ashokan Center made our wedding weekend such an unforgettable event. Highly recommended.
  • Anna
    Anna Sent on 09/26/2019
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    The perfect 'summer camp wedding' venue

    The Ashokan Center was absolutely perfect. We wanted to host a weekend event so we had more time to spend with our guests. The Ashokan Center offered not only a stunning location, but fun activities such as archery and blacksmithing for guests to try on Saturday. The food is done on-site, and was absolutely delicious. There is a range of ceremony locations, from fields to waterfront. The staff are professional, responsive, and just really nice!

    The Ashokan Center's reply:

    Thank you so much, Anna! What a pleasure to celebrate with your friends and family for the weekend! Thank you for choosing The Ashokan Center! We wish you all the very best!
    Lisa
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    Ian M. Sent on 09/02/2019
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    Anna and Ian McGrew’s Wedding

    This is one of the hardest reviews to write because we can’t even put into words how perfect the day was. And it was perfect because of the people we got to work with at the Ashokan Center. They are a family that welcome you in a make you feel like one. The service that they had for us was beyond our wildest dreams. Everything was done before we even had to ask. 100 out of 10.

    The Ashokan Center's reply:

    Truly our pleasure! We are pleased to be able to celebrate with you and share our beautiful center, making memories with your friends and family. You are welcome to come for a visit anytime!
    Love to all of you!
  • L
    Lauren Sent on 09/02/2019
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    Absolutely perfect for us

    The Ashokan Center was the wedding venue of our dreams. We knew that we were looking to have a wedding weekend in a rural or wilderness setting where all of our guests could stay on site, unplug, and really enjoy our time together. From the first email with Lisa, Ashokan's wedding coordinator, through every detail during our weekend, the Ashokan staff bent over backward to make our weekend run smoothly and ensure that everyone had a good time. The experience of getting "away from it all" with our guests is one we will always treasure. Knowing that the costs of renting out the Center go towards their amazing environmental education programming made us even more happy to get married there. In short, we can't recommend Ashokan enough. Thank so much to Lisa, James, Bill and everyone else at Askoan for making our wedding weekend perfect!!

    The Ashokan Center's reply:

    Thank you so much Lauren! We enjoyed celebrating with your family and friends very much and wish you all the very best in the future! Keep in touch,
    Lisa
  • Jesse
    Jesse E. Sent on 08/18/2019
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    Dream Wedding in the Woods

    Lisa (on site coordinator) and Bill (chef extraordinaire) helped every step along the way. They were very responsive with our hundreds of bulleted list emails, and they worked hard to iron out every last detail. The staff is professional, dedicated, and super friendly.

    The meal planning process was collaborative and clear, with Bill's inspiration and our direction, each of the meals was truly amazing. The food was locally sourced and seasonal, and the beer and wine followed suit. We had plenty of guests tell us they'd never had such fantastic food at a wedding. Their food was one of the top three reasons we chose to have our wedding here!

    Another reason was the breathtaking setting. We were so sick of going to all these typical venues that didn't really suit all our needs, or the staff were rude or unprofessional (how does the industry have so many of these?), that we were just going to get married at town hall. We were at the point where we were going to cancel on our first site visit with Lisa, but we decided to just go ahead with it. We are SO glad we did. The forest, the stream, the waterfall, the trails, the buildings, and so many more aspects of The Ashokan Center make this place one of the most unique spots we've been. And what you spend here goes to their nature/outdoor education, music/dance conferences, and retreats. It was the cherry on top, knowing our money would go to furthering nature programs and creative education. Also, know that this is a casual wedding venue. This is not a cookie cutter wedding hall. If you keep that in mind and communicate properly, then your wedding will be an unbelievable success. Ours most definitely was!!!

    The Ashokan Center's reply:

    Thank you Jesse! We appreciate your support and it was our pleasure to host your wedding celebration here at the center. Such a great time! Keep in touch!
    Lisa Hurley
    Special Events Coordinator
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    Matthew T. Sent on 10/07/2019
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    Top marks all round!

    Total professionals and very easy to work with. A lot of the things that had been keeping me up at night re: the planning soon evaporated once I finally was able to visit with Lisa, Chef Bill and the rest of the team. The whole operation at Ashokan is very smooth and well suited to couples who are interested in planning a wedding with a fun, rustic component built in. If I could relive my wedding weekend there again, I would do so in a heartbeat!

    The Ashokan Center's reply:

    Thank you Matt! We are so happy to be part of the memory-making that took place during your wedding celebration! We wish you the very best always! Keep in touch...
    Lisa
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    Lydia Sent on 09/02/2019
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    Excellent fall venue.

    I am so excited for a chance to give the Ashokan center a rave review. We got married last October and couldn't be more happy with our choice.
    Staff: Responsive, kind and flexible. We lived six hours from the venue and so I was nervous. They answered every questioned, eased my nerves and were excellent at thinking up things to consider, recommending vendors and working with us on small details that really get you like chairs and linens.
    Food: Chef bill was excellent! We are a latino couple so we were worried about catering in a less latino area. Chef Bill worked with us and made us a tropical pork meal with a tamarind sauce and empanadas the guests loved. He also made vegetarian and gluten free options.
    Venue: There are so many beautiful places to pick from it is easy to accommodate any size wedding. Ours was about 100 people. We originally choose in front of the reservoir where the sauna is but when seasonal flooding made that not an option. The Ashokan center's kind and responsive staff sent us pictures of every other option and recommended a gorgeous site next to the pond and the barn. It was picturesque, peak fall and great for accommodating a big crowd. We did an outdoor cocktail hour in front of the reception space and an indoor reception. It was perfect for the weather, just as it got cold we moved in.

    BONFIRE!!! Honestly one of the best parts of the wedding was the bonfire welcome party and after party. Our guests had so much fun sitting by the fire and hanging out. They set everything up with firewood and a water bucket. It gave us a great chance to connect with guests in a more casual way and we partied until 2am, some till 3. It was a blast.

    Honestly many of our guests still say it's the best wedding they've ever been to a year later.

    The Ashokan Center's reply:

    Thank you Lydia! Truly a pleasure to celebrate with you, your family and friends! Best wishes to you always! Keep in touch...

    Lisa Hurley
    Special Events Coordinator
  • B
    Brooke Sent on 09/10/2019
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    Highly Recommend the Ashokan Center

    The Ashokan Center was the a wonderful place for a weekend-long wedding. It was amazing to have the whole place to ourselves--acres and acres of hiking trails, fields and hills to explore, and beautiful settings for all of our wedding activities. It was a great value, and the staff were willing to help us make our ideas a reality on site. Our guests loved the daytime activities and sauna, the fabulous food and the natural surroundings. The only thing that I think the Ashokan Center could work on is pricing for the accommodations. It was super affordable for singles, but got expensive for families with children who needed a larger private room together. I'm grateful to the Ashokan Staff for helping make our wedding weekend so smooth, easy, and wonderful.

    The Ashokan Center's reply:

    Thank you so much Brooke! We had a wonderful time hosting your wedding celebration here and wish you both all the best always! Keep in touch,
    Lisa
  • Leah
    Leah A. Sent on 02/02/2022
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    Great spot for a weekend wedding

    My husband and I got married at The Ashokan Center in December 2021, and we're so glad we did. The grounds are beautiful even in winter, and the accommodations are really comfortable. Besides being a great wedding venue, the activities they offer are great. Our group loved the guided nature walks as well as the space to have a midday yoga class. We were especially impressed by the food served. We had plenty of options to choose from. Their chef is extremely talented and creative.
  • Jamie
    Jamie Sent on 08/14/2021
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    Rustic wedding retreat

    The perfect place to have all your guests in one place . Breathtaking views.. perfect place to get married.
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    Carly Sent on 09/02/2019
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      5.0 out of 5 rating

    Catskill Oasis

    The Ashokan Center is a gorgeous venue, perfect for a wedding that aims to make every guest happy. We had the indoor dance hall for partygoers, the nearby lawn area for yard games, and the lower pavilion for beer pong and later the bonfire. Everyone at the wedding found the perfect spot for them, allowing the bride and groom to mingle wherever they wanted to.

    Chef Bill Warren's food, from appetizer to the following day's brunch, was amazing. Everyone raved about how delicious everything was, there was not a single complaint.

    The onsite accommodations were perfect for out of towners and guests who wanted to enjoy themselves without worrying about the drive home.

    The venue is flexible too - we brought in a photo booth company, a cocktail bartender & bar, and our own wedding cake too. The groom is a craft beer enthusiast so we not only had the local kegs through Arrowood, we were also able to bring in a few kegs from his other favorite brewery.

    If we had to do it all over again, we would do it exactly the same way. The Ashokan Center offers a beautiful setting that you can then customize to create the wedding of your dreams - be it rustic, chic, whimsical, relaxed, fancy, or a mix.

    The Ashokan Center's reply:

    Thank you Carly! We had a blast hosting your wedding celebration; your friends and family were so much fun! We wish you all the best...keep in touch!
    Lisa Hurley
    Special Events Coordinator
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