Real wedding: Jess + Chris

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Jenny always sends me the best weddings!  This one took place in Red Hook, which I think might be a first for me, so I was excited to see how cool everything turned out!  Jess gives all the juicy details below…

Chris and I were married on September 12, which, as near either of us can guess, just about marked our twelfth year together. We met in college in Indiana, where I’m from. Since then, we followed each other to Texas and then to New York, and have grown together and supported each other through various crazy plans, impoverished states, graduate degrees, and a couple of different careers. Now I am a lawyer in the city, and this year, Chris completed his PhD and got an assistant professor position here. It’s been a big year, and a good year to get married!

We have lived in Brooklyn since 2001 and most of the people we wanted to celebrate with us live here, so we never considered getting married anywhere else. Brooklyn is home! We got engaged on October 2008, but didn’t really start planning until mid-to-late Spring. We wanted to have our favorite people there, and to plan a ceremony and party that fit us – warm, low-key, and classy. We *think* our wedding was those things – but we *know* that almost everybody (including us) cried at the ceremony, that the dance floor was packed at the party, and that it was the happiest day of our lives (so far).

Ceremony:  Louis J. Valentino, Jr. Pier in Red Hook. We chose it because it is an intimate, secular spot and a “real place” that we can visit on our anniversaries (or anytime).

Reception: Botanica. Gorgeous, close to the pier, with amazing crafted cocktails and the perfect size for our 80 guests.

Officiant: Lisel Burns, Clergy Leader Emerita from the Brooklyn Ethical Culture Society.

Wedding Party:  We asked friends and family to be involved in and help with our ceremony, and had planning help from several good friends whom I also invited to hang out with me as I got ready for the wedding, but no matching dresses or having to stand in a row in front of everybody at the ceremony.  Chris’ two brothers were his de facto groomsmen.

Photographer:Jenny Jimenez.  Jenny’s photography is beautiful without being overprocessed, photojournalistic but also creative.  And her subjects all look so comfortable, her warmth just comes right through her lens. She is Seattle-based, but as it turned out she was open to coming to New York for a visit in early September since she has family nearby. Jenny captured beautifully every important moment, made us and our guests look fabulous, and took a lot of care in scouting some amazing locations and shots ahead of time.  And she’s a great dancer!
As far as we were concerned, those were the big things. Here are the rest:

Dress: Nicole Miller. (Okay, now that I visit your archives, I see that my dress was uberpopular this year, hahaha. One thing I love about it though is that it sort of looks different on everybody!)

Shoes: Oscar de la Renta

Chris’ suit: Custom, from L&S Men’s Clothing in Midtown.

Hair/makeup:. Erica Gray

Flowers / decorations: Nicolette Camille Floral Design

Alterations: Susan Ruddie / The Wedding Dresser.  Not only was her work incredible (I’m only 5’1” and my dress was not, it required some major surgery!), but she makes house calls, at least in Brooklyn. I am a terrible klutz, so the idea of traveling with my dress was terrifying. Susan even delivered it to the hotel so that I would not have to schlep it anywhere.

Cake and desserts: Trois Pommes Patisserie / Emily Isaac. Our friend Carrie made our cake topper.

Rings: Mine are both by Ayesha Mayadas from Clay Pot. Chris’ is by Blanca Monrós Gómez.

Music: Our friend Mike played acoustic guitar before and after the ceremony. Our other friend Mike was our DJ.

Coordination: We did not officially hire a coordinator, but Christine Viola of Exquisite Affairs Productions had worked and befriended a dear friend of mine, and she offered herself to answer a lot of our dumb questions (“Where should we stand during the ceremony?” “Are balloons a stupid decoration?” “Do we have enough tables and chairs?”) and held our hands through some last-minute issues that came up. She gave great guidance and was always positive and patient. If she had not already been booked on our wedding day, we would have hired her in a flash.

Other personal touches: As a small surprise, I had Chris’ grandfather’s watch restored and gave it to him before the ceremony. I had also found on Etsy some vintage linen hankies embroidered with our initials, knowing we’re both huge saps and would need them.

I have too many hobbies and a blog to document some of them, the major one being knitting, but I viewed our wedding as a little bit of an opportunity to try a new one – Gocco. Each Gocco project is documented, including lessons learned and resources, at Fig and Plum:

Invitations: http://www.figandplum.com/archives/000901.html

Coasters & CD Covers: http://www.figandplum.com/archives/000913.html

Tote bags: http://www.figandplum.com/archives/000906.html

And um, I also knitted a shrug: http://www.figandplum.com/archives/000908.html

I asked Chris whether he had anything to add, and he said that the parts he remembers the most from our day are the elements we knew we wanted from the very beginning (those “big things” above), even though we obviously had a lot of other things to think about later. I feel the same way.

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Balloon garland…why didn’t I think of that??

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[images from Jenny Jiménez Photography]

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Real wedding: Kayte + David

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How beautiful is this wedding?  There’s such great little details (like the paint tubes as escort cards) that are just absolutely perfect!

The most important part of our wedding was to gather our family from across the country and show them a good time. The key to that is great food, plenty to drink and a killer band! We chose The King Plow Art Center because of it’s industrial vibe and the inspiring selection of art in the gallery room. We choose W Scott Chester Photography because we knew they could creatively capture the energy of the party and the personalities of our friends and family. With the help of our coordinator Suzanne Reinhardt from Magnolia Events and Bold American Catering and Decor, we designed our wedding in classic black and white with splashes of bold colors to play off the amazing artwork. We kept the centerpieces low to the tables, and used canvas’ on mini easels as table numbers and oil paint tubes as seating cards. The bridesmaids and myself each had custom hair accessories made by House of Telsa, a boutique found on Etsy.com. The groomsmen wore suites, each with a different purple tie given to them by David and he wore a pink tie (the first gift I gave to him years ago). Using the same fabric as my birdcage veil by House of Telsa, I had a custom belt made for the ceremony, I also had custom pockets and a sweetheart neckline added to my Melissa Sweet dress. The reception started with a Georgia Peach Sweet Tea Cocktail Hour with music by DJ Fluff and light hors d’oeuvres in the gallery. For the rest of the night Hitman, a blues band from Savannah, rocked out and themed food stations consisting of fall flavors, southern classics and a stir fry noodle bar were set up around the gallery. The wedding cake by Matty Cakes was decorated with crystal dress trim and was tiered in pumpkin cake and carrot cake with cream cheese frosting. The amazing night ended with a sparkler exit!

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Real wedding: Heather + Russ

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Cool can’t even begin to describe this wedding that photographer Jennifer MacFarlane sent over last week…all tradition was thrown out the door for a totally unique event!  I’ll let her tell you more…

The vendors were all friends and friends of the family. Russ is a photographer from Staten Island and Heather is a dancer from Queens. The ceremony and receptions took place at the NYC Fire Museum.

Another highlight, which you can see in the photos, is when Russ broke the glass and brought the whole chupah down on the officiant….which made for one of the funniest photos of my career!
The highlight of the night was Russ and Heathers 1st dance which started with a choreographed dance to “I had the time of my life” from Dirty Dancing, mid song the record scratched and to the reggae dancehall favorite “Lyrical Gangsta” then to Heavy D’s “Now that we’ve found love”.  Each second the dance moves getting saucier and sillier…which set a precedent for the rest of the night!

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Engagement and wedding rings were custom made by Little King Jewelry

Cake was by Jasmine Bojic, the pastry chef at Tavern on the Green

Our cake topper was custom designed by my cousin’s girlfriend, Crystal Hanehan

Heather’s ceremony dress, pink/gold, is by Phillip Lim and the reception dress, teal leopard, is Nanette Lepore.

Heather had a custom hairpiece by Etsy artist Myra Callan of Twigs&Honey

Catering and decorations including flowers were by Chez Vous. The proprietor and chef of Chez Vous is a close family friend, Ettore Mazzei.

And although she is currently based in London, our friend Siobhan Benson http://www.taylortaylorlondon.com) flew in to do our hair.

[images from Jennifer MacFarlane]

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Real wedding: Lauren + Darryl

stacey ilyse photography

stacey ilyse photography

When Stacey Ilyse sent me this wedding a few weeks ago, I totally feel in love with Lauren’s dress and the low-key feeling surrounding the day…I’ll let Stacey tell you the rest.

They are both very low key, quiet people who really just wanted an evening of spending time with their closest family and friends.   There was no bridal party, Lauren got ready at the Tribeca Grand Hotel, and had her sister, 2 of her closest girlfriends “the unofficial bridesmaids” with her, one of whom did her makeup, and her long time hair stylist spend the morning with her getting ready.

The car service that was hired for the day never made it to the hotel, so we just all jumped in a cab and made our way uptown for the ceremony… following the ceremony Lauren and Darryl loved the idea of the NYC cab, so we took one back downtown to Tribeca, to The Harrison, where they had approx 70 guests,  for a lovely night of eating amazing food and dancing.

The best part about having their reception downtown was getting to take advantage of the amazing Tribeca hardscape, with all the cobblestone, and graffiti alleys we found.
Shoes: Giuseppe Zanotti
Dress: Amsale – very cool dress that turned into a short cocktail looking dress as well just by taking apart the skirt.
Make up: best friend
Getting ready: Tribeca Grand Hotel
Photographer:  Stacey Ilyse Photography
Location: The Harrison, Tribeca NYC
Ceremony:  UWS
Flowers: simple bouquet of peonies as well as 1 peony for her hair as well.  And on the tables.

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