Milk and Marriage: The Gilbertsville Farmhouse Blog

Milk and Marriage: The Gilbertsville Farmhouse Blog

To New Chapters and Happy Birthdays!

by Sharon Boustani on 04/20/16

It is said that the book of life is divided into different chapters.  Each birthday marks the start of a new chapter. What comes within that chapter depends on you. 

It is April of 2016 and wedding season is upon us - 17 days upon us, to be exact. With that starts another chapter for us at Gilbertsville Farmhouse, another "birthday".  Another year of blessings, trials and triumphs I expect.  2015 was an overwhelming year in many regards.  It was overwhelmingly arduous, physically and mentally, as we completed major renovations to our venue.  It was overwhelmingly busy as we worked tirelessly week after week to give the best that we have to each and every guest. It was overwhelmingly rewarding as we shared in celebrations and promises of love with so many wonderful couples and families.  It was overwhelmingly fulfilling as we met many gracious and loving people - couples, families, friends and other industry professionals.  Our journey has been amazing so far and we are eternally grateful for the stories that are filling our book.

As I return to this blog after an extraordinary year, I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has supported us and our business and who has believed in our vision for Gilbertsville Farmhouse.  Only with the support of everyone around us has it been possible to bring our dream from a mere vision to a reality.  

So, thank you to every couple that has honored us with their trust and love, and chosen to host the most important celebration of their lives at our venue.  Thank you to all the people who support and share our website and social media pages to all of their friends and who "like" (love) our venue.  Thank you to all the industry professionals who support our business and are committed to providing amazing service at our weddings.  Thank you to all of our neighbors who support our business and welcome our family into their community.  

Finally, a thank you to our entire family, especially our parents and children, who have made this dream possible and who drive our efforts everyday. 

In the spirit of so much love, thank you's, new chapters, and birthdays, I would love to share some beautiful photos, taken by the talented Jen Pecka of Jen Pecka Photography from my father's Surprise!70th birthday celebration - one of the highlights of my year.

May all the chapters to come for all of you be filled with such sweet memories...

Lessons In Love

by Sharon Boustani on 10/17/14

October 4th, 2014 was our last wedding of the 2014 season.  Every wedding this year has been special to us and each one had its own meaning.  The best way to describe what our last wedding was for me, is to describe it as a learning experience. That description fits so appropriately since the bride and groom, Emily and Matt, are both very well educated people.  Emily, who is an editor, is a Yale Divinity School graduate and Matt is currently working towards his PhD in Biology at Yale... talk about educated!  But, that's not really the type of "learning" I am referring to.  Their wedding on October 4th was a lesson in simplicity, faith and love.  

First, the simplicity.  Emily and Matt are both gifted people - intelligent and gracious.  They are also simple people - uncomplicated, unassuming and unpretentious.  They were a pleasure to work with from day one.  Their wedding was a reflection of that style.  It was simple, had thoughtful touches and was absolutely beautiful.  I will start with the decor.  Emily decorated the tables with small vases of vibrant fall flowers - there were deep reds, purples, yellows, ambers and gorgeous greens.  Burlap runners lined the tables and moss patches held tiny tea light candles. Piles of books, many great works of literature, added more interest and beauty to the tables.  Matt, a comic book fan, looked very handsome in a navy suit decorated by a handmade (by his new wife) boutonniere made from comic book pages!  Emily looked breathtaking in an ivory gown with diamond beading and a handmade burgundy lace shawl.  Her flower girls and boys held pumpkins, another example of the simplicity, creativity and immense beauty of this day.
Next, the faith.  When Emily and Matt arrived at our venue on the eve of their wedding, the first thing I asked them was, "can we go over our plan B in case of rain?"  The forecast called for clouds and 100% chance of rain.  Emily said this is the plan: "if it's drizzling, we are getting married outside with umbrellas.  If it's pouring, we'll go inside.  That's it." We went over the "inside" scenario very quickly and with  little worry.  Emily seemed very content and sure that her wedding ceremony would take place outside.  Wedding day started off quite dreary. I looked at the forecast again - rain.  About half hour before the ceremony, I went over to Emily and asked for her final decision.  She said "Outside."  As Emily and her dad walked to the ceremony site, the sky opened up and the sun made its way through the clouds to fill the sky with sunshine.  I looked at Emily and laughed to myself.  She called it! - never a doubt. It was like magic!
Lastly, the love.  Emily and Matt's ceremony was definitely a lesson in love. After two of their flower girls read the poem "I Like You" by Sandol Stoddard Warburg (you should look it up and read it), a beautiful poem about the simplicity of love and friendship, their minister read a story about the reintroduction of wolves into Yellowstone Park and the resulting incredible changes in the ecosystem and geography of the area (another story you should look up and read).  The phenomenon is known as a trophic cascade, and it occurs when a top predator is added or removed from an ecosystem, resulting in "cascading" changes down the food chain and ultimately even to the geography of the region.  Odd story to read at a wedding ceremony, but their minister went on to compare Emily and Matt's love in a similar fashion.  Two people, who in this case, as in many, are very different and maybe even opposites in certain ways, come together in friendship and love and spread their love and happiness to those around them.  Their love "cascades" down to their families, friends, co-workers and that love continues to multiply exponentially to eventually change the landscape of the world around them.  It is a wonderful thought to end our 2014 wedding season on.  To think that we have a part in this amazing transformation is a blessing beyond words.
Thank you to L.M. Townsend Catering for delicious food and gorgeous display, Baked Euphoria for to die-for cupcakes, John Howell for your amazing vocals, Nora Starr and Miller's Wheel band for a foot-stomping good time, Bob Nicholson of Syracuse Country Dancers for great dance instruction that left no excuses for sitting out the party, Reverend Arthur Suggs for a lovely ceremony, Morris Tent Rentals for chairs and tables, and Ben Stewart for your amazing photographs (of which I only got a sneak peak, but cannot wait to see!)  The biggest "Thank You" is to Emily and Matt for sharing their day with us.
Emily and Matt are very special to us, as all of our couples this year have been. They had faith in us and our vision and we are eternally grateful to them for this.  To have taken part in each couple's wedding this year, and to have shared in some of their special moments is priceless.  We are grateful beyond words to everyone who has supported and believed in our dream and who continue to make Gilbertsville Farmhouse a success.  2015, here we come!

The One That Started It All...

by Sharon Boustani on 09/26/14

Last Saturday was a very special day for us.  It was Courtney and Kenneth Burgos' wedding day.  Courtney and Kenny are a very special and significant couple for all of us at Gilbertsville Farmhouse.  Not only are they wonderful people, but Courtney and Kenny are the very first couple to book their wedding at our venue.  I can truly say that they are the ones that started it all.  To say they have vision and faith is an understatement.  They believed in our vision from day one and never questioned our commitment or ability to make our dream wedding venue a reality.  For that, we are so grateful to them.  At their wedding, we also got a chance to get to know them more intimately.  We saw them with their families and friends and and learned that they are the true definition of what a country wedding should be... beautiful, fun, laid-back, welcoming, unpretentious and friendly.   For us, Courtney and Kenny's wedding was like watching our first born graduate - it made us feel happiness, pride, love, accomplishment, humility and gratitude.  

When Courtney and Kenny came in for a tour and met us, our venue looked like an average, pretty old, dairy farm, except no cows.  Not only would they become our first customers, but they were our first tour as well.  I was nervous, but I was also excited about our new project and talked them through the entire vision.  I admit, it was a very ambitious vision, one that most people would have trouble "seeing" or believing in.  But, they got it - they "saw" the vision, they loved it, and they booked it!  That was it!  Our first wedding was booked and we were on our way.  We were so happy and grateful to them.  They gave us that first push that gets you going and, like having a newborn baby, we now felt a responsibility to see it through no matter what.
Almost a year and a half later, at their wedding, all of the faith, the dreams, the hope, the love, the vision, and the gratitude came together in one amazing day. The weather was amazing, it started off cloudy and breezy, but then opened up just so beautifully, the decorations were beautiful, and the dress was gorgeous. Kenny is a U.S. Marine (talk about gratitude...that's another whole blog post right there), so naturally, he and his fellow Marines were in uniform...need I saw more?  Everything looked perfect.  But, the real story is in the nature of the bride and groom and their entire guest list.  Everyone, and I mean everyone was so friendly, gracious and welcoming.   Courtney and Kenny hosted their rehearsal dinner at our local restaurant, The Empire House, where they ate, drank and sang karaoke with some of our neighbors.  Well, they had such a great time, they invited some of our neighbors to their reception.  Half way through the night, I saw our neighbors arrive and greeted by hugs and kisses from everyone. They came, they drank, they laughed  and they danced the night away.  That is the definition of a country wedding.  Humbleness, love, laughter and sharing.  
Even the wonderful vendors had a great time at this wedding and did a spectacular job.  Lindsay and crew from Lindsay Monroe Photography, Rosario and crew from New York Pizzeria and DJ Donna Dvoracek were all amazing. The cake by Patty Izard was delicious.  The flowers by Pires Flower Basket were perfect.  Thank you to all!  Thank you as well to Birnie Bus Company, and as always, to Morris Tent Rentals!  
The most special Thank You to Courtney and Kenneth Burgos for sharing such a perfect day with us and for reminding us that love, friendship, faith and hope is what we need to make every day wonderful.  My last Thank You is to Kenny and his fellow Marines for their bravery, hard work and dedication to our country.  Ultimately, you all make days like these possible.

Happy Birthday! ...or Tanjoubi Omedetou!, in Japanese.

by Sharon Boustani on 07/17/14

On the July 4th weekend, we had the pleasure of being part of a very special event. Elana, originally from the Albany area, hosted her 40th birthday bash at Gilbertsville Farmhouse.  Any 40th birthday is special, but when you fly in from Japan to celebrate it with your family and friends, it is awesome!

Elana is a professor who has been living in Japan for the last three years.  I was so intrigued by her adventurous and fun-loving spirit.  When I met her I couldn't wait to hear her story about her life abroad.  We talked a bit about her life and her decision to move.  It is evident that she enjoys living and working in Japan and loves her life abroad.  I envy that spirit and courage.  

Living abroad sounds amazing, but coming home always feels wonderful.  Elana spent the weekend catching up and celebrating with her close family and friends.  They lounged, played, sang, ate, danced and even exercised.  I guess that's how she stays fabulous at 40!  See for yourself in some of the photos from the weekend...enjoy!

One Bride, One Groom, One Heck of a Wedding!: Emily & Nate, June 28, 2014

by Sharon Boustani on 06/30/14

What do you get when you only have three and a half months to plan a wedding?... you get an awesome time!  That's what Emily and Nate's wedding celebration was this past Saturday.  The weather, the decor, the details, the horses, the butterflies, the arbor, the dress, the pick-up, the beer, the honey-drenched roasted pig, the quail, the family and the friends - all of it was awesome and made this wedding so much fun.

When I met Denise, the bride's mother, I knew this wedding would be wonderful. At our first meeting, she already had tons of special ideas.  Her attention to detail rivals the best of the best of planners.  My favorite detail was the release of butterflies during the exchange of vows and the story behind it - it is said that if you desire a wish to come true, whisper that wish to a butterfly.  Since they make no sound, they can't tell the wish to anyone but the Great Spirit.  What better gift to your daughter and son-in-law than to send their wishes straight up to the heavens?

Then, when I met Emily and Nate, I knew this wedding was going to be full of love. They are both such genuine and sweet people.  A man's smile is the key to his soul and every time Nate sees his beautiful new bride, he can't contain his tender-hearted smile. Emily was all smiles Saturday as well.  It was a beautiful thing to get to witness.  

The thoughtful details and the genuine love between this couple are what made this wedding so special. But, when I heard the song chosen for the father-daughter dance, I knew this wedding was going to be so much fun too.  "One Scotch, One Bourbon, One Beer!"  

Emily and Nate, thank you for making us a part of such a wonderful day in your lives.

A special thank you as well to all the professionals who contributed to this day: Sherry Wycoff (Caterer), Theresa Paulson of Junkyard Bakehaus (Baker), A Rose is a Rose (Florist),  Casey Ruland (DJ), Mike Herman (Acoustic Guitar for the ceremony and cocktail hour) Kim McGrath (Officiant), Morris Tent Rentals (Equipment and Chair Rental), Gregory Hall (Horses and Wagon), Legends Bar Service (Bar), Jason Sexton (Photographer).

Our Inaugural Wedding: Congratulations and Thank You, Elizabeth & Chris!

by Sharon Boustani on 06/23/14

Well, it finally arrived...Gilbertsville Farmhouse's very first wedding!  Yesterday, on the first day of summer, and overlooking the majesty of the Catskill mountains, Elizabeth and Chris Johnson exchanged their vows in front of 65 of their closest friends and family and began a new chapter in their lives.  We are so grateful to have been a part of that special moment and the celebration that followed.  We too, began a new chapter in our lives as their wedding signifies the official opening of our new business.

As I am sure that yesterday was a dream come true for Elizabeth and Chris, so was it for our family.  As all relationships are, this event was a result of a lot of work, growth, dedication, love and friendship.  As I listened to Elizabeth and Chris' vows, their loved ones' toasts, full of anecdotes about their relationship with each other and their relationships with their family and friends, that was so clear. As I watched my husband smile when someone told him how beautiful the barn is, when I heard and watched my daughter and sons interact with guests, welcoming them to our venue and directing them to the ceremony, and as I made new relationships with the vendors that helped make this day so fabulous, it was clearer still.  Yesterday was a celebration of all these things for all of us, and it was perfect.

I wish Elizabeth and Chris a lifetime of happiness, friendship, strength, understanding, patience, grace and love.  I thank them for blessing us with the beauty of their special day.  I also want to thank Morris Tent Rentals (, Hudson Valley Vintage Rentals (, Everest Rising Band (, Mo's Pit Barbecue and Cowboy Cuisine ( and all of Elizabeth's and Chris's family and friends (and to ours) for making yesterday amazing!

Welcome to Milk and Marriage: The Gilbertsville Farmhouse Blog!

by Sharon Boustani on 03/27/14

Hey Everyone!...I'm Sharon, the owner of Gilbertsville Farmhouse and and I want to welcome all of you to my blog and inspiration board, Milk and Marriage.  The purpose of this blog is to share with all of you my love of farm weddings and their rustic beauty and romance.  I am a wife and mother of four beautiful children.  I live and work in the city.  Six years ago my husband decided he wanted to buy a property in the country.  Being a city girl, I was hesitant at first but I went along for the ride (literally; a three and a half hour ride) and today we have a beautiful farmhouse on 125 acres in the country.  My initial hesitation slowly became interest.  That interest quickly became discovery.  That discovery lured me in and unfolded into love. The country is nature, peace, freedom, warmth, creativity and love.  My growing love affair of the countryside is becoming an intricate part of my life's journey.  Throughout this blog you will come to know more about me and my love affair.  As most true love affairs eventually lead to wedding bells, so has this one.  My discovery of the charm, romance and natural beauty of the country has led to my passion for country weddings.  I hope that you are inspired by this Blog and that you experience the lure of the countryside and the magnificence of a country wedding as " I do!"

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