Real wedding: Melanie + Jesse

Here’ s a fun outdoor Brooklyn wedding for you…super simple but super sweet!

US
Jesse & I met in college, 13 years ago, nearly to the day, although it took us 11 years to finally get together. That said, everything with our relationship fell into place at the right time, including our wedding. We became engaged in July 2009, but only set our August 1 wedding date in late June 2010. 6 weeks in advance is barely standard for most couples to send out their invites, never mind to start planning their wedding! To say we put the wedding together quickly would be an understatement.

We debated a destination wedding for some time but in the end we realized it made sense to get married right here in NYC where we met, live and fell in love. Once we decided on the date we knew the wedding would be outdoors in Brooklyn Bridge Park. We moved quickly and got the location permits, locked in the venue and found all of our vendors were miraculously available. Our far-away friends and family bought plane tickets, probably before our invites were even mailed out! Luckily, I already had the perfect dress.

For us, the key element to getting married was that we have our favorite people in the world with us to witness our union. To that end, the ceremony was of the utmost importance. Beyond that, photos, food and music would follow. It’s funny how everything has a way of working out…

CEREMONY
We were married in front of our friends and family with the Brooklyn Bridge and all of New York City as a backdrop. It was magic hour- the sun was just beginning to set. We had to pause during our vows for a subway car to rumble by on the bridge, which made everyone laugh. It was very New York and absolutely perfect.

We selected The Ronettes’ “Be My Baby” as our recessional song. The first few beats started playing as we had our first kiss as husband and wife: it was cinematic- just as I’d always pictured it!

Many people told us after our ceremony that they don’t usually cry at weddings, but ours got them. There was not a dry eye in the park! I think it was very honest and real and it had been a long time coming. We were wed by a dear friend from school who was there when we met. He led the most touching ceremony, which we collaborated on. Of course, we wrote our own vows- we didn’t feel there any other way to express how we truly felt.

Following what was a decidedly moving and emotional ceremony, Jesse surprised me by hiring a 1962 Checker taxicab to take us on a private ride across the bridge. He even made us a mixtape to enjoy during the journey- a hallmark of our relationship! This served as a way for us to have a modern-day yichud, an old Jewish tradition where the bride and groom have some alone time after their wedding ceremony. After that, we were dropped off at our reception venue where the fabulous Prewar Ponies enlivened our cocktail hour with a set that took an unhurried journey through the Jazz Age. They ended their show with a surprise request that we had made weeks earlier in a flurry of excitement but quickly dismissed as being too difficult to nail: “Sweet Child o’ Mine,” re-imagined as a swingin’ standard from the Roaring 20s.

DRESS
Shortly after we got engaged, I needed to shop for an unrelated special occasion dress. Jesse actually spied a lovely short white number in a little shop in NoHo and when I went for a closer look, I noticed the “wedding” label on the hanger. The salesgirl asked if I was getting married and I nearly surprised myself when I said, “Why, yes!” I agreed to try on the dress even through I didn’t think I was looking for THE dress yet. As soon as I saw myself in the mirror, I gasped (!) and knew it was the one. I bought it on the spot, no alterations needed. Even though it sat in my closet for several months, it was gorgeous, unique and very me.

FLOWERS
The day before our wedding, my friend Jamie and her husband took me to the wholesale flower district where I bought 3-dozen mango calla lilies as well as a few dozen orange orchid-like flowers for our Mason jar centerpieces. She and I handcrafted the bouquets and boutonnieres ourselves, which made them all the more special.

INVITATIONS
The fabulous 1960s-inspired invites were a design that Jesse & I conceived of and wrote together. We worked with a super-talented designer that I know to bring them to life. Anyone who saw them knew right away that they were very us, and they got a laugh and a smile from everyone who took them out of their sparkly gold envelopes.

CUPCAKES
We knew that we wanted to serve up some delicious cupcakes with one giant cupcake as the topper. It was a tough job, but we scoured the city looking for the perfect marriage of cake and frosting. In the end, Chikalicious won out, but in the journey to find the best cupcakes New York City had to offer, we were all winners. We had about a dozen flavors at the wedding, each more amazing than the next.

PHOTOS
Jesse & I are both photo geeks so selecting our photography vendor was a serious consideration. We wanted to make sure we’d have someone who was able to capture emotion and would give us photographs that would amount to more than your typical photo album.

Before the wedding, we took a trip out to Coney Island for an engagement shoot with our wonderful photogs, Dustin & Whitney from Oh Darling! Photography. We thought it would be a good idea to spend some time with the laid-back duo in advance of the wedding to become more comfortable as first-time photographic subjects. We had a great time posing for pictures and laughing as the sun went down on New York’s oldest theme park.

Our photographers set up a Smilebooth at our reception so that everyone could take self-portraits and it quickly became the biggest hit of the evening. The party was filled with a bunch of film directors and very willing hams who did not shy away from letting their silly side show (also – thanks open bar!) Mostly, though, it was a casual and perfect way to capture all the love and happiness that defined our wedding day.

Vendors:

Shoes: Badgley Mischka
Suit: John Varvatos
Veil: Bridal Veil Falls
Invites: Cassandra Berger
Photography: Oh! Darling
Photobooth: Smilebooth
Ceremony: BK Bridge Park
Venue: ReBar
Cupcakes: Chikalicious
Flowers: We did them ourselves with flowers from the wholesale district!
Band: Prewar Ponies
DJ: Seth Johnson

[images from Oh! Darling Photography]

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Real wedding: Lauren + Lawrence

Lauren + Lawrence had all the right pieces and vendors in place for this gorgeous wedding…such a charming affair!

I am so glad to be writing here because, as you’ll see, we relied on Brooklyn Bride every step of the way!

So much has been said here and elsewhere about Blue Hill at Stone Barns, so I’ll just say this: the 64-person private dining room is the holy grail for a couple who wants a long, drinky dinner-party in lieu of a dancey-reception. I’ll also say this: what really stole our hearts (even more than the food, if you believe it) was the Blue Hill private events staff. Throughout the whole process, but especially on the day of the wedding, Estelle Silbermann and Michael Greenberg were like spiritual leaders. No choosing linens or wines or chairs or creating table numbers, blah blah blah. They print menus and put them on cute mini-clipboards and put them at each place setting! They manage the iPod. They bake the cake! They take your guests on a private tour of the farm on the afternoon of the wedding! They’ll even do the flowers but I wanted the inimitable Saipua.

FLOWERS: Sarah and Amy from Saipua made a special trip up to Sleepy Hollow to scope out the space — they created wreaths and swags to give the dining room the folksy feel we wanted.

CLOTHES, ETC: My dress was Jenny Packham. I bought it from Mark Ingram (all in all a much less intimidating, less awful experience than I expected). Shoes were Prada. Hair clip was Jennifer Behr. Lawrence wore a JCrew suit, his shirt and tie were from In God We Trust. Virginia Bradley did my makeup, and this was something I did not think I wanted, but am so glad I hired Virginia and recommend her wholeheartedly.  Anna Sheffield of Bing Bang made our custom rings.

STATIONERY: Our invitations and save-the-dates were Anna Bond from Rifle Design. Lawrence conceived of the map, sent Anna a sketch, and she made it look perfect.

PHOTOGRAPHER: Leo Patrone was our photographer and he rules. He brought warmth and humor to something that was, for us, an uncomfortable process of being “looked at” nonstop for three days. We found him here on Brooklyn Bride — when I learned he’d shot the wedding of a guy I went to high school with! We had a lot of fun with Leo in our apartment in Bushwick, and at Roberta’s.

STUFF: We had tote bags from Custom Ink.com, luminaries from Paper Acorn via Etsy. Cake toppers from Melabo via Etsy. For favors, we filled mason jars with chocolate covered espresso beans from nutsonline.com and then glued toy farm animals to the tops. Oh, and we had a quaker-style wedding certificate for everyone to sign, and we also made a seating chart poster from a great, affordable site: DocumentsandDesigns.com.

[images from Leo Patrone]

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Real wedding: Alex + Alex

Starting off the week with a gorgeous wedding sounds good, right?

All this drapery is killing me!  Too beautiful for words

Thank GOD someone used those adorable Jonathan Adler salt/pepper shakers as cake toppers…I’ve been waiting forever to see that!

Vendors:
Dress: Vera Wang
Jewelry & Shoes: Burnt Sugar
Bride’s Belt: Katie Nash
Location: Farm Kitchen
Florist: Lori Gosselin
Groom’s Ring: Annie Fensterstock
Bride’s Ring: E.E. Robbins
Photographer: Desiree Haigh
Bride’s Hair: Shandra Koehler

[images from Des Haigh Photography]

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Real wedding: Kelly + Seth

I hope you’re catching the theme today…monochromatic bridesmaids bouquets in a rainbow of colors, killer details, and seriously cool couples!

I’m loving the turquoise walls with the black and white floors…such a chic combo!

Kelly had her heart set on Congress Hall in Cape May, NJ, from day one. That’s where our wedding HAD to be, and it really did provided the perfect backdrop for our special day. Our goals were fairly modest: simple, chic, elegant, totally us. The idea was to have the venue speak for itself. Choose a location, pray for great whether, and the details will fall in place. And, as luck would have it, they did.

About a year prior to our wedding Kelly and I hosted a Memorial Day weekend get together at her parent’s summer home down in Sea Isle. It was during this truly amazing weekend of friends and fun that the seed was planted. “Let’s get married down here at the Jersey shore,” Kelly said. “Sure,” I thought. “Why not?” We had looked at other venues in Avalon as well as a few in Bucks County, PA (me being a country boy, I always imagined a country wedding in the woods.) No other place could out-impress the splendor and elegance of Congress Hall, not to mention the surroundings of a quaint Victorian town like Cape May. Kelly would describe it as being vintage with a modern edge – that mix of high/low she tends to gravitate towards at J. Crew. The lace skirt with the chambray shirt. Uncompromisingly chic with a down-to-earth coziness, Cape May seemed the perfect weekend destination for our families and friends. Travelers from New York, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Virginia, North Carolina, Eastern PA and beyond would all agree – it was worth it.

After having agreed on the location of our wedding, Kelly and I put ourselves to the task of finding the right photographer to document our big day. That’s where Diana of Di Bezi photography comes in. Kelly did an amazing amount of preparation researching a wedding photographer. She really wanted our wedding to be photographed by someone who had an eye for fashion and style. Kelly had found Diana through Brooklyn Bride and was immediately impressed with her work. Kelly presented Diana with a binder of fashion photography to show her the kind of shots she was looking for. Diana, having come from a background in the NY fashion world, was exactly the photographer we wanted. We were both thoroughly impressed with her work and, most importantly, her ‘eye’ and sense of style behind the camera’s lens: unpretentious, cool, fun, and classic.

Next it was on to one of Kelly’s passions – flowers. She had gone to the farmers market at Union Square a year prior to our wedding, and took photos of all the flowers that would be in season at the time of our wedding. It was here that she fell in love with the season’s floral bounty: Zinnias, Dahlias, Teddy Bear Sunflowers, Hydrangeas, Hanging Amaranthus – just to name a few. Using this inspiration, Kelly started a journal of photos, tear sheets, and color schemes all of which went into designing the look of a high summer, beach wedding.

Now it was on to the details. As Kelly and I began planning our wedding, we both felt that there should be a central theme; a design aesthetic that reflected who we are as individuals and as one union. Kelly’s love of fashion carries over into her professional life as a designer for J. Crew. My love of music is expressed through my guitar playing in my band, Les Savy Fav. So, in the earliest stage of planning we knew two things – our wedding was going to have to look good and sound good. We decided to plan and art direct our wedding ourselves. Our decision was to keep it simple, and not spend too much time on unnecessary fluff. We designed every aspects of our wedding – from the save-the-dates & invites (printed at Moontree Letterpress in Brooklyn – to our custom made pins (with a pair of fabric scissors and an electric guitar) and tote bags for our wedding party, full of dandy  accessories for the grooms men, and Kelly’s favorite personal items for the bride maids. We even set up a website with some help from our tech-savvy friends. All of these little details began to flesh out the bigger picture that would be our wedding day.

The Wedding went off without a hitch, and our bridal party rocked it. We’re so happy with how our wedding came out. We even sang a John Lennon song at the ceremony, a last minute addition that I thought up seeing is how most of my grooms men are in Les Savy Fav! Natural performers! Kelly danced the night away along with most of our guests thanks to our spectacular DJ. It was easily the best night of our lives. We planned every detail and I think it really showed. It wasn’t just anyone’s wedding – it was our wedding.

Vendors:
Photography: Di Bezi
Flowers: Blooms, Cape May
DJ: Neil O’Brien
Custom Printed Tote Bags: Pete’s Print Shop, Brooklyn
Custom Pins: PBMS, Hong Kong
Location: Congress Hall, Cape May NJ
Graphic Design: Seth Jabour
Letterpress: Moontree Letterpress, Brooklyn
Bride, MOB, & Bridesmaids Hair: Silvia Cincotta, New York
Bride, MOB, & MOH MakeUp: Eduardo Martinez, New York
Bridesmaids Makeup: Meredith Harper, Cape May, & Los Angeles
Brides Dress: Vera Wang
Bridesmaids Dresses: Vera Wang
Bridemaids Jewelry: J. Crew
Grooms Suit: Isaiah
Groomsmen Suits and Accessories: J. Crew
Brides Shoes: Miu Miu
Brides Bracelet Cuff: Miriam Haskell

[images from DiBezi Photography]
DiBezi Photography is a member of Brooklyn Bride’s preferred vendor listings

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