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)