Xavier and I married civilly three years ago but since we are both religious we had longed to marry through the Catholic Church. We thought about many options, but ended up deciding to have an intimate and casual afternoon affair, with about 85 guests. Our eight year anniversary was coming up so we thought why not get married on the day of our anniversary since this year it was conveniently falling on a Saturday. The problem was that it left us with one month to plan the entire wedding. Luckily, Xavier’s sister, Natalie, and her best friend, Indira, were starting an event planning and décor business so they were able to make our dream into a reality…without them I’m sure it wouldn’t have been possible.
It all started with selecting a venue. Natalie & Indira recommended a restaurant located in Brooklyn called MyMoon and described it as the perfect place for an intimate wedding. When Xavier and I went to look at the space, we simply fell in love with its urban ambiance and its exquisite Turkish cuisine. MyMoon definitely set the tone for the NYC theme we chose which made our wedding a truly memorable experience. My event planners suggested deep hues of purple that would perfectly complement the browns and oranges of MyMoon’s décor. We also wanted to pay homage to a theme that was close to our hearts. While my godmother is a breast cancer survivor, Xavier’s aunt had recently lost her battle to breast cancer and we decided to incorporate pink in their honor and in honor of all those women who have battled and keep battling this disease.
Natalie & Indira designed and created the wedding stationary suite. The wedding invitation was a square card in an antique blush color with purple font and a matching blush colored envelope. The wedding information was printed on the right side of the card and layers of purple raffia decorated the left side for a simple and elegant look. They also created a RSVP card, program for the wedding ceremony and place card that complemented the invitations and gave a stylish representation of our affair.
Ceremony & Reception Site
The ceremony was held at Mt. Carmel St. Anthony Church in Yonkers, New York since we wanted to be married by the Deacon there who holds a special place in our hearts. The church is distinguished by its ornate interior and detailed stain glass windows. The afternoon reception took place in the Mediterranean restaurant, MyMoon, located in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Having been the former boiler room of an old factory, elements of the neighborhood’s industrial past added to the NYC feel that we wanted our guests to experience. Its bare brick walls and exposed pipes definitely made it an incredibly unique venue.
Gown & Attire
Several months before the wedding, I spotted a gorgeous, off white dress at BCBG Max Azria. With its sequined bodice and beautifully layered skirt of tiered lace, I thought it was the perfect dress for the small and simple affair Xavier and I envisioned having one day so I decided on purchasing it and saving it until that day came. Since our wedding was during the early afternoon, I opted for wearing a soft updo with an antique haircomb and my mother’s vintage pearl necklace and matching earrings along with my grandmother’s wedding band who unfortunately could not be with us to celebrate. Xavier wore a sand-colored, Perry Ellis three-piece suit that complemented my vintage inspired gown. The bridesmaids wore eggplant colored dresses by Calvin Klein while the groomsmen wore dark brown, Oscar de la Renta suits with matching ties that kept with the deep purple color scheme.
MyMoon needed very little decoration since we wanted to keep the industrial feel that exuded from it – but we still wanted to give the reception our own personal touch. Natalie & Indira designed small flower arrangements to be placed on top of the bare wooden tables. MyMoon provided the place settings with its corresponding menu and ivory linens; each favor, which also served as a seating card, was set on top of each plate. Tables were named after NYC landscapes; with names written in deep red ink, black and white postcards with images of different city sights were placed at each table. For the seating arrangements, Natalie & Indira created 8″x11″ cards with each table name followed by the guests that were assigned to each specific table. Each card was inserted into a wooden frame; all frames were tied together with a purple colored string and the entire montage, surrounded by flower petals, covered a long table that was placed right at the entrance of the restaurant. Tall floral arrangements surrounded different areas of the restaurant including that of the guestbook table which was placed towards the front of the venue. Our guestbook, a coffee table book of black and white photos of NYC, sat open on a picture of the Brooklyn Bridge where we invited guests to join us in adding to our NYC memories.
The first thing I told Natalie & Indira when we were brainstorming the décor was that I wanted different, non-traditional flowers. They created beautiful and modern arrangements of burgundy coxcombs and dahlias, with hints of sparsa, in clear glass vases of varying sizes and shapes that were lined with burgundy banana leaves. The bridesmaids’ bouquets were composed of black calla lilies and burgundy dahlias and then tied with a purple wired, taffeta ribbon. My bouquet was short and crafted with ivory roses and white ranunculus all tied together with an ivory taffeta ribbon adding the perfect detail to the romantic style of my dress.
We wanted to stay away from the traditional tiered cake. We wanted something fun and different that reflected our personalities and the relaxed feel of our wedding. Natalie suggested an Italian bakery, Anna Artuso’s Pastry Shop, and we ended up deciding on red velvet, carrot and vanilla cupcakes with butter cream frosting in various shades of pink. To add a little spark, the cupcakes were sprinkled with a hint of sparkling sugar on top. They were placed on a white, wooden cupcake stand that Indira covered with leaves dyed in a burgundy color. I loved how the cake idea turned out and our guests really enjoyed the simplicity of having individual and delicious cupcakes.
We decided to keep it simple and play music from our very own Ipod; Xavier made a smooth playlist that complemented the relaxed atmosphere. The music ranged from some of our favorite English artists such as Corinne Bailey Ray, Babyface and oldies like the Beatles to Spanish artists such as Juan Luis Guerra who played as we swayed to our first dance.
We wanted to give our guests something meaningful and special. Since both Xavier and I have been touched by breast cancer, we decided to honor our loved ones by pinning our guests with the emblematic pink ribbons. For favors, Xavier and I joined in the Pink Envelope Project and made a donation to the Making Memories Breast Cancer Foundation on behalf of each guest. Natalie & Indira inserted the pink favor cards into small straw bags and tied them with purple string; the same string was then used to tie printed labels with each person’s name thus doubling as a place card and adding to the creative flair of the event.
We were very anxious when it came down to choosing a photographer since after the wedding is over, pictures and memories are all that remain. Natalie contacted Robert Sukrachand on our behalf, after having met him from her own wedding consultation and after seeing his work, my anxiety quickly dissipated. Apart from paying attention to the small details that made our wedding special, Robert truly captured the essence of all the emotional and memorable moments utilizing a documentary style. The portrait session, which took place at an old, abandoned lot in Brooklyn while raindrops were falling, really exemplified the photographer’s talent. Against a backdrop of bricks and cement, each photo tells its very own story and brings forth the joy that everyone felt on our wedding day.
[images by Robert Sukrachand]