Real Brooklyn wedding: Andrea + Josh

I can’t even believe how adorable and simply beautiful the tasseled huppah came out!  The ultimate DIY gift from friends of the groom…and such a great idea to boot!


Andrea and Josh wanted their wedding to be a shared event where the bride and groom were as much the focus as their family and friends, all joining together in celebration of their marriage. To do this, they asked their guests to participate in a variety of ways throughout the wedding, making it a perfectly homespun and crafty Brooklyn affair.

In preparation, family members helped make the luminaries and the signing quilt, while the groom’s architect friends designed and built a huppah (a Jewish wedding ceremony canopy), topped with over 100 handmade strung paper tassels.

When the day of the wedding arrived it was a perfectly autumn afternoon: 65-degrees and sunny with leaves taking hues of deep green, yellow and fiery red. The ceremony was outdoors on Prospect Park’s Long Meadow starting at 1pm, and was introduced by the bride’s two friends as the fluitist and officiant. With the park’s lawns and trees as their backdrop, Andrea and Josh read each other vows as the huppah’s tassels swayed in the breeze. Sharing the park with their guests was important to Andrea and Josh since they spent much of their time there, relaxing on the weekends and running and biking before work. So having a kids soccer game going on next to the ceremony was a perfect complement, if not an adorable forecast of Andrea & Josh’s possible future: someday brining their own children to the park.

After the ceremony guests were invited to a reception held in the Picnic House, a lodge with large windows overlooking the Long Meadow. Guests were treated to a variety of homemade beers crafted by the bride’s father and a series of passed hors d’oeuvres, starting with savory and ending with sweet. Dessert was highlighted by homemade pies made by the bride’s family. The afternoon was filled with laughs, conversation and dancing while a slideshow featuring family photos of the bride and groom as kids played in the corner, and a jazz trio led by the groom’s step-brother carried guests through the afternoon. At sunset, Andrea and Josh were whisked away by a pedi-cab, driven from the park and through Brooklyn’s Grand Army Plaza as passers-by wished them congratulations, sending them into the night.


Location: Prospect Park Picnic House
Caterer: Great Performances
Homemade Pies: Stone Soup (bride’s sister’s boyfriend)
Homemade Beer: Bride’s father
Photographer: Brookelyn Photography
Florist: Sprout Home
Terrariums: Bride & Groom
Dresses: Bride – LulaKate, Bridesmaids – Lynn Lugo
Shoes: Kate Spade
Suit: Hugo Boss
Jazz Musicians: Trio Slaye with Josh Reed (groom’s step-brother)
Get-away Pedi-Cab: Revolution Rickshaws
Signing Quilt: Bride, Groom & Bride’s mother
Huppah: friends of the groom
Luminares: Groom’s step-mother
Officiant & Flutist: Friends of the Bride

[images from Brookelyn Photography]

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Real wedding: Jo + Simon

The all-white space of Studio 450 really created the perfect backdrop for this utterly modern affair….

We were married at 4pm on the roof terrace on July 30th, a perfect hot summer’s day, I chose to arrive at the ceremony via the freight elevator with my father walking me out and down the “aisle” with my bridesmaids and flower girls following, the elevator opens right on to the roof terrace and it just seemed a little more theatrical and fun than the traditional way of walking up the stairs! Before the ceremony each guest was given a glass of white sangria and a wicker fan with the order of service attached to it. We had a State officiant marry us as neither of us are religious and we wanted to write our own vows and create our own ceremony. We had a lady – Kelly Lemons – marry us, as we’d been to a lot of weddings officiated by men so we thought why not mix it up a bit! We wrote our vows at one of our favorite restaurants (Buttermilk Channel in Carroll Gardens) on a paper tablecloth which we’ve now framed and hung in our apartment. Our dear friend Cariad Harmon performed a song she had written for us with a guitar accompaniment, we’d asked her to keep it as a surprise and it brought the house down! We had two readings performed by friends, one was Us Two by A. A. Milne and the other was an excerpt from Captain Corelli’s Mandolin.

After the ceremony guests mingled for a couple of hours and photos were taken on the roof terrace which has an indoors and outdoors area. We had the Lobster Place from Chelsea market set up a raw bar with three different types of local oysters they shucked in front of guests and a central table set up with different charcuterie, cheeses and antipasti for nibbles while guests drank prosecco, beer, wine or cocktails. At around 7pm (we timed it for the sunset) guests were taken downstairs to the main loft space for dinner and speeches. The meal was served family style to ensure it stayed casual and fun and to enable people to try and share lots of different dishes. We had nine dishes in total, including lamb with mint sauce, duck fat smashed potatoes, roasted asparagus with quail eggs, hangar steak with chimichurri sauce and crab cakes with three different types of remoulade – guests were fat and happy by the end!  We decided against having a wedding cake and chose instead to cut the first slice of a Key Lime Pie while backstage ten other pies were being cut and brought out for dessert. We finished with shards of dark chocolate on glass blocks being brought out with coffee and a shot of frangelico for everyone to enjoy as the best men did their speech.

We knew we wanted to keep it simple it terms of look and feel, the views at Studio D really are the best backdrop and décor that you could ask for. We just had white balloons to decorate the roof terrace and the flowers for the tables, bars and bouquets were very simple and fresh consisting of white roses, freesias and an assortment of green leaves. We had 250 votive candles to light the space at night and the sunset was sensational, bouncing off the all white space with incredible colors!

After the dinner we went back upstairs to the roof terrace and penthouse for drinking and dancing until 2am, if only it could’ve been longer!


Location: Studio 450
Caterer:  Michael Zulli Catering, NYC; The Lobster Place for the oyster raw bar.
Florist: Spruce, Chelsea NYC
Hair/makeup:  Hair: Kristan Serafino  Makeup: Lauren Cosenza
Dress:  Nicole Miller  
Shoes:  Christian Louboutin 
Men’s suits: Groom: Paul Smith; Best Men: Zara 
Bridesmaids dresses:  Various boutiques in London, UK
Flower girl dresses: Gap (!)

[images from Tory Williams Photography]

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Real wedding : Meredith + Andres

I haven’t been to visit Mass MOCA since my college days, but it really is an amazing pace to get married…especially when you’ve got rad art surrounding you!

We met the first day of college and had been together for nearly ten years by the time we walked down the aisle.  Our wedding drew on the experiences we had accumulated and the passions we had nurtured together–for art and music, especially–over the years.  The venue choice was an easy decision: we agreed that something felt sacred and tranquil about gallery spaces, and we had always loved visiting Mass MoCA.  Moreover, we were honored to be the first couple to be married in the incredible Sol LeWitt galleries.  In planning everything from the ceremony to the reception, we were particularly eager to blend our separate cultural traditions in ways that reflected how intertwined they had become in our own lives.  We think the chuppah embodies this idea beautifully: designed by Andres’ mother, it was hand-embroidered by artisans in Suzhou, China with a poem from the ancient Book of Songs.  Friends and family contributed other favorite details, as well.  Meredith’s uncle, a New York City-based artist, potato-printed our ketubah as he had his own many years ago.  As a wedding gift to ourselves, we worked with Swedish artist Andreas Samuelsson to make a custom print that we displayed at the wedding and used to create table markers and place cards.  Each illustration represents a happy memory from our first decade together.


Flowers and event design: Crocus Hale
Catering and coordination: Mezze Catering
Photography: Heather Waraksa
Venue: Mass MoCA
Attire: Silver gown by Nicole Miller, veil by Bride’s Head Revisited, shoes by Suzhou Cobblers; Red gown by Tadashi; groom’s tux by Hugo Boss
Custom print: Andreas Samuelsson
Yarmulkes: Us!
Rings: Diamond engagement band by Lola Brooks, gold wedding bands by Carla Caruso
Toppers: Goose Grease
Invitation and program: HeatherJeany
Music: Golem

[images from Heather Waraksa]

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Real wedding: Laura + Daniel

This wedding has the most adorable little details with bright pops of yellow mixed into graphic black and white…classy and modern all at the same time!


Reception: Studio 450
Dress: Vera Wang
Wedding Planner: Jillian Event Design
Flowers: Sprout
Cakes: Baked
Music: DJ Gaza
Invitation: Mr. Boddington’s
Catering: Real Food Catering

[images from K Foley Photography]

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Real wedding: Janice + Clinton

Who we are as a couple:

Our style is definitely modern and minimal, but with a pinch of stylish fun. We both work in the design industry, so we need things to look good while working well. We also have a keen sense of humor and always like to make sure those clean, modern spaces and visuals are balanced out with a playful wink.

How we went about planning the day:

We decided early on that we didn’t want a wedding planner since we’re both overly concerned with the details and would have inevitably driven them crazy with our micromanagement. We wanted this wedding to be exactly what we envisioned, as we only plan to get married once :)

After endless searching for an event space that fit our style and our budget, we finally found Maritime Parc. The Aviary on the third floor was great, very modern and white, but still warm and inviting with exposed wood beams. It was also the perfect size for our headcount of just under 100 guests and the perfect location to host our “Friday Night Fete”.

In keeping with the modern and minimal theme, we decided black and white was the most appropriate color palette. The color scheme  was inspired by the black and white motif in the Montauk hotel rooms at the Sole East Beach, where we stayed the weekend Clinton proposed. So this color connection has a deeper meaning to us. Everything printed, online and in the event space was black and white (or gray). To help include our guests into our event, we invited them all to wear black and white and become part of the grand design. To add the “stylish fun” into the mix we created a suite of black and white graphics and patterns to adorn everything from our invites to the tiny 1″ buttons the guests happily wore at our reception. Every visual element was thought through and intentional. This includes the bold, simple and sometimes delicate typography. As well as the intricate patterns on the invites which symbolize the convergence of our ideas, ideals, beliefs, and lives becoming intertwined, and inseparable.

How we felt it all turned out:

We absolutely loved the outcome! All the elements worked harmoniously with each other and we couldn’t have asked for a smoother transition between events of the night.

Some stand out elements were:
- the texture in the bride’s dress jiving with the graphics and patterns on the invites
- the flowers, lighting and table settings looking magnificent in the space
- the great mix of classic R&B and Soul resonating with all our guests
- the tasty mix of hors d’oeuvres like Grilled Asparagus, Pulled BBQ Chicken Empanadas, and Duck Fat Fries
- our custom signature cocktail, the Ginger Breeze made with candied ginger
- the great naturally lit top floor event space turning into a perfect evening with the NYC skyline as a backdrop
Everything had the right amount of style and the right amount of comfort.

Some stand out moments were:

- the mother/son dance where the Groom did the running man with Mom
- the Aunt and Uncle of the Bride, who have been married for over 50 years professed their love for one another is still as strong now as on their wedding day

And of course we loved the work of our photographer Jenny J, who we felt captured both of our personalities perfectly while documenting the day from start to finish.


Janice’s Outfit:
Dress / Veil - Vera Wang
Shoes – Benjamin Adams
Jewelry – Swarovski
Wedding Band – Cartier

Clinton’s Outfit:
Suit - J. Crew
Shirt – Brooks Brothers
Cufflinks – Kenneth Cole
Shoes – Paul Smith
Belt and Tie - Agnes B.
Wedding band - Stuart Moore, NYC

Lead Photographer: Jenny Jimenez
Second Photographer (food & drink details): Aga Matuszewska

Event Space: Maritime Parc
Flowers: Jennifer Palacio for Laura Clare Design
Lighting: Infinity Studios Lighting
Music: illvibe Collective
Space Planning and Decor: Janice Simpson (Bride)
Furniture and Props: Taylor Creative Inc
Graphic Design: Clinton Clarke (Groom)
“Day-of” Printing: Cast of Characters
Invite Printing: Bella Figura Letterpress

[images from Jenny Jimenez]

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