Real Brooklyn wedding: Cynthia + Eli

french bulldog ringbearer

I always know I’ve got a winning wedding combination in my inbox when I see great Brooklyn locations, a great couple, and of course, a French Bulldog as the ring bearer.  And you can’t miss the video by Love+Brain Films…its just the icing on the cake!

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From the bride:

We both moved to New York City at around the same time and after a few months our paths crossed through mutual friends at a picnic in Governor’s Island. We spent the next 4 years making New York City our new home. After we got engaged, we knew we wanted to get married in this city. When we came across 501 Union we stopped looking at other venues immediately and pretty much signed that same night.

We wanted our wedding to be very personal, simple and fun and since the space was already so beautiful it was easy for us to come up with little details around the space that reflected us. I love doing DIY projects. I styled the details: everything from hanging our motto on the bar (BEST NIGHT EVER) to punching out all the confetti found on the wedding program. It was important to us that our French Bulldog, Riley, got to be a part of the night. He had the very important role of Ring Bearer and our little Exotic Shorthair kitty, Izzy, was also represented at the Photo booth. I also made all the photo booth props including a watermelon slice and a New York pretzel. And one last personal touch was our favors which gave our guests the option of either the bride’s favorite candy, Haribo Coca-cola gummies or the groom’s favorite source of energy, coffee beans.

We had an intimate guest count of 110 and a lot of people were traveling from far away to come celebrate with us in Brooklyn. Being surrounded by all our family and friends is the best feeling ever. Most importantly we had an amazing wedding team helping us make the night feel perfect. Our caterer Naturally Delicious was incredible, our photographer Chaz and videographer Courtney are the coolest people ever. Morgan, our makeup artist and Russell our hair stylist made me and my bridesmaids all feel so beautiful on the big day. Our florist, Rhonda, made our vision of our wedding come to life! I was in love with my flower crown, bouquet, all the beautiful floral garlands on our huge farm style tables that made the industrial space look soft, rustic and romantic.

We had big smiles on our faces the whole night and it was truly our #BESTNIGHTEVER.


Photographer: Chaz Cruz / Videographer: Love + Brain Films / Venue: 501 Union / Catering: Naturally Delicious / Florist: August Sage & Violet / Makeup:Morgan Gates / Hair: Styles on B / DJ: Because The Night / Bride’s Dress: Bliss by Monique Lhuillier / Reception Dress: DV by Dolce Vita / Shoes: Saint Laurent / Earrings: Fallon Jewelry / Rings: Tiffany & Co. / Groom’s Suit: Rag & Bone / Bow tie: Lanvin / Shoes: Common Projects / Bridesmaid’s Dresses: JCrew / 2nd Photographer: Silvia Foz

[images from Chaz Cruz]

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Real wedding: Kate + David

501 union wedding

Um, HELLO amazing dress and balloon arch!  Its all glitter and gold for this wedding, and you can be sure I’ll be saving some of these decor ideas for New Year’s Eve this year!

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Photographer: Khaki Bedford Photography
Wedding Coordinator: Emily Synder
Venue: 501 Union
Dress: Nicole Miller
Shoes: Badgley Mischka
Groom (suit, shoes, etc): Ralph Lauren
Bridesmaid dress: Rent the Runway
Hair: Regina Balagul of Danka Panka
Makeup: Holly & Justine (Holly Corsano)
Cake & Cupcakes: Ovenly
DJ: 74 events/Gary Hoffman
Late night snack: Sigmunds pretzels
Catering: Real Foods, Yen Ngo
Invitations: Marie Chang Designs
Save the Date: Love Vs. Design

[images from Khaki Bedford Photography]

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Real wedding: Erin + Brad

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I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of a good 501 Union wedding in Brooklyn…this one is super chic, stylish and minimal, just the way I like it!

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From the bride:

Erin and Brad wanted to find a space that reflected their personality and style and would allow for the wedding and reception to be held in the same location. 501 Union was the perfect venue; it was only a few miles from their apartment and it had an industrial but polished, chic aesthetic. The space was quintessentially “Brooklyn” and with its location, it gave them the opportunity to show their friends and out of town guests the vibe of their neighborhood and lives in NYC.

The couple began their day in the bridal and groom suites at the New York Marriott at Brooklyn Bridge. They headed over to Brooklyn Bridge Park for first reveal and photos their families and the wedding party. The ceremony was held at dusk in the venue’s garden area which provided an airy outdoor ambiance. For the cocktail hour, the guests moved into the lounge for drinks and stepped outside to enjoy tasty bites from Tribeca Tacos food truck. Brad and Erin took photos  on the Union Street bridge over the Gowanus Canal and then headed back to enjoy food and drinks with the guests. Following cocktail hour, dinner was held in the gallery space. Once the wedding formalities were over, the party really kicked off. With awesome music, an instant photo booth and lively guests, the wedding became a celebration to remember.

Thanks to their wedding team, friends and families, Erin and Brad had the awesome day that they hoped for!!


Venue – 501 Union
Planner – Hollis Scarborough with Silvercreek Events and Design
DJ – MD music and Entertainment (Matty Stuart)
Photography –  Golden Hour Studios
Photo Booth – The Booth photo and video
Catering – Govinda’s Vegetarian Brooklyn (Satya Hadra)
Officiant – John Furste (The River NYC)
Cocktail Hour – TriBeCa Taco Truck

[images from Golden Hour Studios]


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Real wedding: Jillian + Joe


What an amazing venue 501 Union is, with the perfect lighting for indoor weddings, and the utterly chic, minimal styling for this couple.  Its so lush, it makes me wish we had Spring back!!


lush pink bouquet


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cake cutting

1st dance

From the bride:

When we first started wedding planning, we immediately agreed on two things – that our wedding should feel like a big party, and that it should feel like us. It’s why we spun every wedding tradition into something that felt fun, relaxed and personal. We also knew that we wanted to get married in New York. It’s where most of our family and friends live so it just made sense.

We found 501 Union after taking a tour of the Green Building, their sister venue across the street. The Green Building was lovely, but 501 Union had more of the glamorous, yet fun atmosphere we wanted. The space was perfect for our 120 guests, but can definitely accommodate a lot more.

We chose to do a first look and all of our family photos before the wedding – something I really recommend doing, so that you can enjoy your cocktail hour with your guests. I was hesitant at first, because I didn’t know if I wanted to ruin the surprise of Joe seeing me for the first time coming down the aisle, but I’m actually very  glad we did it this way. The day goes by quickly, and this gave us an extra moment together before the madness of the wedding began. And really,if anything, it made us both a lot more relaxed for the ceremony – which can be an intense thing, if you’re not used to being the center of 100+ people’s attention.

We chose not to have a bridal party, because we wanted all of our guests to feel special, and to reduce costs for us and our friends.

Instead of cake, we had donuts from Peter Pan – a shop in Greenpoint we visit way too often, or not often enough depending on how you look at it. 🙂

With the help of our awesome officiant, Hope Mirlis, we invented our own unity ceremony – the making of the Manhattan – instead of the traditional mixing of the wines. Despite reservations about mixing a cocktail during your wedding ceremony, this was a huge hit. It felt very personal to us, because we enjoy a cocktails, and it was a refreshing surprise for guests to see something different for a unity ceremony. It also helped lighten up our ceremony and keep it fun.

I have to give a shout out to our caterer, Butcher Bar, from Astoria. Hands down the best BBQ in New York, and they were a fantastic caterer that customized our menu, and really went above and beyond to make our day special.
Our DJ did a great job considering we wanted a lot of different types of music. For our cocktail hour, he played all of our favorite classic rock – music we love, but can’t really dance to. We hence dubbed it “Rocktail Hour.” For dinner he played a mix of our favorite classics from Marvin Gaye, Etta James, Ottis Redding and more. The dance party really got started when he moved through some 70’s disco, 80’s dance hits, and then a smattering of 90’s hip hop and R&B. Did we play Space Jam at our wedding? Yes.
One of my favorite moments from our wedding was when our good friend read a poem she wrote for us. When we first met with her to go through the first draft of the poem, we were both in tears. It never needed another draft. It was already perfect.

If you’re reading this blog, you’re probably here because you’re planning your own wedding and want some inspiration and advice. My best advice is to throw all of the wedding “must dos” out the window from day one, and just plan an event that celebrates the two of you and the people you love in any way you want. Don’t feel like you have to do something because you saw it on Pinterest, and don’t feel like you can’t do something because someone else already did it at their wedding. We didn’t have a photo booth. We didn’t have a 6 course meal with monogrammed napkins. We didn’t have a marching band or a design your own mint julep bar. Not that there are anything wrong with those things. Those things are awesome. We just did what we wanted, tried not to compare our wedding to anyone elses, and everyone had an amazing time! Because that’s the thing. Your guests are there to celebrate with you, eat, drink, dance, and be happyKeep that in mind as you plan.

Speaking of planning, try not to get stuck in decision-making limbo. Planning goes so much more smoothly if you just lock down decisions efficiently and early. If it feels right, lock it down! If it doesn’t, move on. The more things you get in place, the easier it is to envision the day, and the less you have to wonder about as it draws closer and closer. We had a year to plan, and in hindsight, it probably could have taken less time if we were more confident in our decision making.

Also, hire a day-of coordinator. This will make everything so much easier. You don’t want to be looking at the clock on the dance floor, wondering if it’s cake cutting time. That’s what a day-of coordinator is for.

Lastly, and not many people tell you this, but now that we’re on the other side of the planning, it feels really really good! Our wedding was one of the best days of our lives, but now that it’s over, we’re free to start focusing on what’s next. And knowing that we can do that with each other is the best feeling.

Venue: 501 Union
Caterer: Butcher Bar
Photographer: Sandy Soohoo
Donuts: Peter Pan
Day-Of Coordinator: Alexandra Townsend
Officiant: Hope Mirlis
Dress: Theia, from Lovely Bride NYC
Suit: JCrew
Makeup – Kaori Soda

[images from  Jacob Arthur Studio]

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