Real wedding: Jamie + Brian


This wedding is just beyond!  The colors, the location, the photography!  All perfection!

so basically, the goal for our wedding was to have it be a celebration of everyone who was there. and, instead of having it just about the love between brian and myself, it was about celebrating the love that was shared between us, and between our families and friends.

the venet sculpture at art omi called arcs in disorder inspired the ceremony. we wanted it to be intimate and personal so we had the guest circle around us and there was moment of the ceremony where we passed the rings around the circles.

my favorite memory… it’s so difficult. the entire ceremony itself with all the moving readings from my mom and from friends and family as well as our vows — it was more beautiful than we ever could have imagined!

and then afterwards, the slight sun showers and the double rainbows that came out later in the evening were absolutely unreal!!!!  the only time brian and i had seen double rainbows was the day he proposed to me in panama… and the double rainbows were two circles in the sky! (the picture is attached).

diy projects: everything was diy! the colored picture frames (etsy), the flowers (my bridesmaids and family friends did the bouquets), the wedding dress! (it was bought then i embellished it), the shoe clips (etsy), the table cards, the table numbers, the dessert tray tags, all of it!

as for advice, i’d say this: don’t feel like you have to do your wedding in the traditional manner. the more you make it your own, the more you will be able to feel like yourself and the more you’ll be able to enjoy each and every second of it!


venue: art omi sculpture park
catering: tommy carlucci:
i altered/embellished a dress from
groom’s suit: hugo boss

[images from 3photographers]

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Real wedding: Melanie + Jesse

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

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…

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.


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, luminaries from Paper Acorn via Etsy. Cake toppers from Melabo via Etsy. For favors, we filled mason jars with chocolate covered espresso beans from 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:

[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!

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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