Its not every day you see a wedding with practically no flowers used…but thats just the case with Amber + Joe’s wedding! They had some pretty talented family and friends helping them out, but Amber can explain it better…
us: We met in our first class in the graduate program in anthropology at The New School for Social Research. We were casually disinterested friends for two and a half years before we were in a study group together and realized we were in love. We decided to get married because we love each other so much, and a wedding seemed like a really good way to celebrate that with the people in our lives. We both love books (ok, we’re nerds), our friends, and don’t care for impersonal wedding traditions, so we decided from the start that we could make our wedding whatever we wanted it to be. When things got stressful we would just say to each other, “At the end of this we get to get married!” Most of all, we wanted everyone to have fun.
Our parents helped us so much, but as struggling anthropologists, we still had a very small budget to work with, so we and our friends constructed, created, wrote, and made every part of our wedding. It was truly collaborative, and truly us.
Fast-forward to Part II. Nathaniel and I own a very old colonial home up in the hills of Litchfield County, CT. We found the house together while we were dating, and that is where he proposed. Because the house is in the midst of a large, lush green clearing, it made practical and romantic sense to have our wedding there. The plan was to hold a tented reception starting at 5 p.m. that Saturday, where all of our out-of-town guests would join us for a “country chic” wedding celebration.
Unlike Friday, Saturday was a meteorologic mess. Our vision for the whole evening shifted. I had imagined a second ceremony, with our families processing down our long driveway toward the crowd of guests gathered on our front lawn. I had met with Jenny Ebert, our incredibly talented photographer, to discuss capturing shots of dappled light and interestingly-cast shadows on everyone and everything. I had even considered having a hat made for the ceremony.
Instead, it was dark and damp and sprinkled all day. At 6 o’clock (we were running late), as the last luminary was lit along the driveway to announce our entrance, there was a rumble up above. Just as our van pulled into the top of the driveway (carrying me, the bride, and our two families. Nathaniel was already there entertaining our guests), the skies opened up and proceeded to dump water for the next 8 hours. Thank goodness for our beautiful tent.
As opposed to any sort of graceful entrance, I had to RUN from the van into the tent, under the shelter of 4 umbrellas (thank you, Mom and Dad). My ivory (Amsale) gown was hoisted up around my knees and my blue (Marc Jacobs) heels were soaked through. And there I was met by my handsome groom, dressed in his dapper pinstripe suit (Ralph Lauren- and no tie!) Nothing could have possibly ruined that moment. It was a blast. It made for a very dramatic entrance, and guests cheered and laughed at the whole spectacle.
Nathaniel and I exchanged the vows that we had written to each other, and then he shocked everyone by serenading me with, “My One and Only Love,” once everyone was seated at their tables. Though I had begged him to sing (he has a voice that makes you weak in the knees), he had refused saying he was too embarrassed. It was the best wedding gift I could have asked for.
Because we’re both in creative professions, we tapped into the many resources of our astonishingly talented friends for the party. A friend of Nathaniel’s sang our first song (David Liang of the Shanghai Restoration Project), and accompanied him while he sang to me. Two former graphic design colleagues of mine arranged the seating cards, strung between two birch poles. One of them is now studying fashion design, so she hand-made abstract flower pins for guests to wear on their lapels. My current business partner (Ashley Rosebrook of Rosebrook hats) did the table layout, using different types of ferns, mint julep cups and votive candles, instead of flowers.
We hired a band for the first half of the night, and asked them to exclusively play music from the Big Band era, so the older half of our guests could groove on the dance floor for a bit. The evening had a very “Gatsby” vibe, until our DJ, Michael Smith, took over. The whole energy level and volume went from cozy, swinging and romantic to jumping, shouting…and, well, breaking the dance floor. We actually DID break the band-stand somewhere in the midst of the night, as the younger portion of our guests (and some older, including my father) partied and danced until after 2 a.m. The moral of our story is that rain can not only create “wet knots that are harder to untie,” but a spectacularly fun atmosphere for a wedding.
[Maureen just launched a new site with her business partner called Pinhole Press, so check it out!]
Jenny Ebert recently sent me the fab wedding of Maureen and Nathaniel, 2 incredibly talented people who just HAPPENED to have 2 weddings in 2 totally different styles. I’ll let Maureen tell you about it…
Though technically, Nathaniel and I had one actual wedding… we sort of had two.
We were married on a Friday night in June this past summer, at the gorgeous Church of Our Saviour on Park Avenue. Our closest local (New York) friends came to witness the ceremony, so it was small and intimate. Thematically our wedding(s) didn’t really have a theme or a color scheme, other than to embrace the surrounding elements at each event. So, Friday night was about chic modernity, with a bit of “sparkle,” to emulate the twinkling lights of New York City. The 8 bridesmaids wore their own dresses— the only criteria being that they either be champagne or pale gold. Nathaniel’s dark grey suit was custom-made and his entourage wore matching ties and charcoal suits, as well.
I wore my Mother’s dress, which was thrilling for both of us. I worked with a local designer, Gregory Nato (who recently launched his own line of bridal dresses called “Fancy“) Because my parents were married in December, my mom’s gown was heavy and long. Very full-coverage. So Gregory and I met numerous times and he totally re-shaped the dress. It was cut to the knee, and he re-built the whole top, including a low-cut back with about 5 of her original buttons. He even cut the train, so I had a short train going down the aisle! I removed it after the ceremony. My shoes were Guiseppe Vanotti, adding some definite sparkle there, as well.
We dined afterward on the roof of 60 Thompson along with our wedding party/spouses and our immediate families. It was a crystal clear evening and everything twinkled as we hoped it would. Our guests enjoyed the spectacular views of New York while they ate a casual but exquisite meal, catered by Kittichai. Overall, the evening was contemporary in look and feel, and everything we possibly could have hoped for in our wedding.
Stay tuned for pictures from the second wedding this afternoon…
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