A DIY Wedding in an Abandoned Mansion: Kyo + Tim

On a hill just outside of New York City sits an old, decrepit country estate that served as the most extraordinary location for Kyo + Tim’s vintage wedding. Built in 1912, this three-story mansion houses a massive library, an expansive ballroom, an open conservatory, and even an indoor pool on the second floor! Abandoned until just a few years ago, the wear and tear of the building adds to the charm while the original details still shine through to create such an awe-inspiring space. Kyo designed everything from the invitations to the place settings to the genealogy chart to the hand-painted signs. Thanks so much to The Melideos (formerly Sweet Little Photographs) for sharing their photos with us!

romantic wedding dress

wedding bouquet

From Kyo, “The inspiration for our wedding came from the venue.  As soon as we saw the beautiful decrepit old mansion, we put down our deposit right away!  We loved that everything was seemingly falling apart, it added a lot of charm to our wedding without having to touch a thing!  I designed and made everything else from the invitations to the table runners to enhance the timeless elegance of the space.”

wedding invitations

The ceremony took place in the gardens where columns from a Greek-style theater still stand amid now-empty pools and overgrown statues…

outdoor ruins wedding ceremony

Most memorable moment of your wedding day? There are so many!! But probably the ceremony. I always dreamed of walking down the aisle, eyes locked with Tim, hoping to make him cry. However, the flower girl LOVES the spotlight! She took her sweet time walking down the aisle, then running all of the way back up. I had to stop mid-way down the aisle and tried to grab her as the flower girl just stared up at me before her mom whisked her away. I never made eye contact with Tim, but we couldn’t stop laughing until halfway through the ceremony. That was definitely more memorable than just your regular ‘ole walk down the aisle.

wedding exit



abandoned mansion wedding

bride and groom in bathtub

bride and groom in abandoned pool

wedding guest book

The actual ceremony was about the two of us, the rest of the party was about our guests.   We incorporated a lot of personal touches to make sure all of our guests knew that we were so grateful to have them celebrate our marriage.  The hand written note to each guest was a huge success and really made each person feel like they had a place at the wedding.  We would highly recommend the notes to other couples!

wedding signs

genealogy seating chart wedding


wedding dessert table

Any advice for those planning now? Enjoy everything!!  I love little craft projects and Tim loves organizing and making spreadsheets so planning a wedding was pretty easy for us. All of the hard work will pay off in the end.  Have as much fun as you can on the day of and don’t sweat the details.  Everything WILL fall into place!  If they don’t, just laugh it off.  Why? Cause you are married!!  Nothing else actually matters.

Photography: The Melideos // Venue: Alder Manor, Yonkers, New York // Wedding Dress: Ulla Maija from the Bridal Garden, NYC // Groom Suit: Ralph Lauren Purple Label // Floral Design: A friend, LeeAnne Rickey // Invitations/Paper Goods: Kyo Yamanaka // Cake: Baked NYC (Red Hook, Brooklyn) // Catering: Chefs at Work (sole caterer for Alder Manor)

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  1. OOOOH the paper, bathtub shot and bon bon table are just INSANO!!!!


  2. LOVE their venue – how cool – and perfectly styled!! Kyo if you’re reading these comments – I am dying to know about that sequin dress in the last photo!

  3. This is the sweetest wedding! From the venue to the details, Kyo and Time look so happy and happily in love! It makes me smile. LOVE THIS wedding! Congratulations to them! Cheers!

  4. OMY GOSH! What an absolutely incredible venue!!!! I love the history! And that stationery set is to die for.

  5. What a gorgeous wedding and an incredible venue! I’d love to hear more about the personal handwritten notes to each guest. I love the idea! How was that executed?

  6. A-freaking-MAZING! Need I say more?

  7. Thank for your comments guys!! The sequin dress was from Club Monaco. It think it looks great with the sparklers! As for the personal notes, we wrote them in the name cards. We made them as a greeting card/name cards.

  8. This is seriously one of the most beautiful weddings i’ve ever seen! I love it!

  9. The difference between East Coast and West coast often times comes down to architecture. The true estate and or castle are few and far between in CA . I love this venue and this wedding- classic styling – if you need more inspiration check out this wedding http://www.idovenues.com/wedding-venue-kohl-mansion-catering/- as close as we get to mansions in California !

  10. OH my gosh – an abandoned mansion!!?? Are you kidding me – that place is crazy beautiful.

  11. OMG the location is so awesome!! i want to go back in time 6 years and get Married THERE! BEAUTIFUL!

  12. the best wedding ever!!!!!
    I want to live in that mansion! Hehe

  13. OMG! I went to grade school with Kyo! and just happened upon this! Congrat’s Kyo, what a gorgeous wedding and a beautiful bride you make!! :)
    Tina Magee-Jenks (Grantham)

  14. WOW wow wow… the location is perfection! Every detail is so well done, congrats!!

  15. Beautiful!! I am curious where you got your guestbook and the printing on the cover done? I am looking for something just like this and am having trouble finding one!!

  16. Hi Tina!!

    Summer – I hand bound the book myself. I bought an old vintage book, striped it and printed/added new pages to it. Let me know if you want me to personalize one for you and we can work it out!

    • Hi Kyo! I am super interested in having my wedding at Alder Manor in Summer 2016. I am really interested in getting your perspective from someone that lived it? What did catering include? How was the service? Do they charge pp? Any and all information you can provide would be wonderful!

  17. that venue is absolutely AMAZING!!!

  18. I love this wedding, the venue is soo beautiful! I love her dress, do you know what style the dress is?

  19. Oh, this is lovely. What an amazing venue. The dress is so pretty too and I love the idea of the handwritten notes! What a special touch.

  20. They’re seriously making me want to go back and get married again. Love absolutely everything about this wedding. They’re such a beautiful couple…gorgeous kids, if they decide to have them. Congrats!

  21. Her dress is stunning! I was dying to know by who it was. Ulla Maija! Mine is too and I also bought the dress at the Bridal Garden in NYC!!! Best kept secret in NYC, if you ask me.
    Lovely dress. Lovely wedding!

  22. This has to be one of the best weddings posted! I am in LOVE with every single detail! And the DRESS!!!!!

  23. This wedding is to die for… So elegant and gorgeous! And they look so happy!

  24. How marvelous! I love everything! And what a romantic place, an abandoned mansion… what a lovely idea!

  25. Wow thought at first this could turn into a bit ‘the shining’ however it ends up elegant, classic and beautiful!

  26. Wow, simply stunning. I love all the typography on your invitations and for the guestbook…. is it hand drawn?

  27. Omg gorgeous!! I also dream of doing an abandoned mansion/castle wedding one day, how do you look for them? Rather, how did you look for your venue? What was your process? And how did you manage with the catering and seating?


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