Bride of the Week: Betsy Low Bertoni
To have her groom, Steven Bertoni, tell it, he “got lucky at the track” the day he met Betsy Low. Since the pair were first introduced over the famous Travers Stakes horse race, the oldest of its kind for thoroughbreds in the U.S., in the summer of 2006, horse-racing metaphors came easy to describe this couple’s chemistry. Says Betsy of that fateful weekend in Saratoga Springs, NY, “Sparks flew immediately and I gave him my number. We both came home winners.”
The bride was inspired by the ballerina works of Impressionist painter Edgar Degas in the style and hues of her wedding. “I wanted to capture Degas’ pastel color palette and the tranquil feeling of these works,” explains Betsy, who was very involved with every aspect of her nuptials.
When it came time to pick a location for their wedding, though Betsy grew up in California and Steven in New Jersey, they knew instantly that they must marry in the town where it all began. So, on October 8, 2011, the couple tied the knot at the historic Bethesda Episcopal Church then celebrated across the street at Universal Preservation Hall, Saratoga’s Historic Center for the Arts.
Surprisingly, there was very little horsing around with an equestrian theme in this splendid affair. Rather, the bride was inspired by the ballerina works of Impressionist painter Edgar Degas in the style and hues of her wedding. “I wanted to capture Degas’ pastel color palette and the tranquil feeling of these works,” explains Betsy, who was very involved with every aspect of her nuptials, down to her DIY project of hand-fashioning all of her ushers' boutonnieres out of lavender and rosemary on the morning of the wedding. For her stunning bridal bouquet, Betsy left the flowers in the hands of Ariella Chezar.
Touches of the distinctly serene, dusty pastels of Degas’ works were everywhere in the event. Betsy’s eight bridesmaids wore various shades of chiffon, floor-length gowns made by an array of designers including Monique Lhuillier, Thread Social, Joanna August and The Calvin Klein Collection. They each carried a different colored bouquet, accented with flowing ribbons, which complemented their gowns. “Each girl’s look was different and interesting, yet coordinated as if styled for an editorial shoot,” recalls Betsy. “As different and contrasting as every detail was, it was all intentional and I made sure it visually appeared as such.” Hoping to capture every beautifully styled aspect of the day, Betsy turned to the team at Renzi & Hawkens Studio for their unique photojournalistic style.
Betsy’s own look was the masterpiece of the event. A Vera Wang gown worn by Michelle Williams on the red carpet inspired her dream dress—even though the actress's dress was yellow. When Betsy and her bridesmaids visited the Vera Wang boutique, they learned that, while a white version of the celeb’s gown never made it into production, a lone sample was hanging in the flagship store’s basement. As luck would have it, it fit Betsy beautifully. But keeping in line with her Degas’ color scheme, the black sash was swapped out for a soft teal ribbon.
In the end, a nod to the famed racetrack in town was added as well. The groomsmen’s Vineyard Vines ties featured jockeys and the ring-bearer carried a horseshoe festooned with various cascading ribbons. Was all the attention Betsy paid to the details worth it in the end? You bet.