Beautifully contrasting the industrial cityscape with a romantic femininity and with an abundance of wild florals created by the incredible Sullivan Owen, this wedding inspires a new take on New York City and has us reimagining the traditional minimalism of most city ceremonial rituals.
Behind the concrete walls and exposed bricks of the industrial buildings of the East Village, an intimate garden ceremony is held at New York Marble Cemetery. A lush oversized floral arbor is draped lavishly with dramatic fall foliage, heirloom hydrangeas, roses and dahlias. Cast iron urns spill with foliage and florals, rose petals softly scattering the aisle. Overflowing almost unruly bouquets of dahlias, English roses and early fall foliage feel as if they have been foraged from the garden. The Bowery Hotel, low – lit by chandeliers and tall rusty candelabras and against its backdrop of exposed brickwork (styled with jasmine and green foliage) exudes the infinite romance of an old world.
NYC photographer Kate Ignatowski with her light- filled images capturing the delicate details and moments of candid emotion with a dreamy softness..
HOW WE MET: After a month of correspondence over email after being “digitally arranged” we finally decided to meet in person. We’ve been together since day one.
OUR ENGAGEMENT STORY: Any man can attest that once the ring is in his possession, he’s going to get it on his bride’s finger as quickly as he can. It was a Tuesday mid August and Patrick called to say he was coming home early from work, which never happens. He walked in the front door looking rather flush, gave me the longest hug and started in with the kindest words I’ve ever heard. Before I knew it, he was on one knee pulling a ring from behind his back. I was so overjoyed and speechless he had to ask me twice to make sure I said yes!
MARRIAGE TO US MEANS: There's always something to look forward to, whether it’s sharing aspirations, creating a family or simply just looking forward to coming home from work.
WEDDING LOCATION: We wanted a “secret garden” feel to our wedding as we both have a fondness for the outdoors and botanical gardens. Although, having chosen New York City as our destination we quickly realized that finding a patch of grass in a concrete jungle would prove to be difficult. My maid of honor mentioned a “secret garden” in the East Village that was only open once a month. It ended up not being a garden at all, but a cemetery with immaculate landscaping nestled between buildings in the East Village. I immediately knew upon entering the New York Marble Cemetery this would be where we’d get married. I loved the idea of our life beginning and having those lives of the departed right underneath of - very circle of life.
THEME/STYLE: Our theme of choice was an elegant 'secret garden', with touches of our personality threaded throughout.
PHOTOGRAPHY: For our photography we chose Kate Ignatowski. Kate has a warmth about her photography that is expressed through her images and clearly is expressed on her subject’s faces. When I met Kate in person, I immediately felt a closeness and level of comfort that is SO important on your wedding day.
BRIDE’S DRESS: Israeli designer, Pnina Tornai, designed my lace mermaid silhouette gown with a plunging low back. The gown has Swarovski beaded spaghetti straps and an illusion bodice. This was the first dress I tried on at the insistence of the bridal consultant at Kleinfeld Bridal in New York City. I of course tried on at least 20 more dresses, but went back to the first.
BRIDE’S SHOES: Caged bronze metallic Manolo Blahnik heels.
BRIDESMAIDS DRESSES: My bridesmaids chose their own floor length dresses in varying hues of blues.
BRIDESMAID’S SHOES: Neutral heels that would allow them to dance all night.
FLOWERGIRLS/PAGEBOY OUTFITS: Just one ring bearer, the bride’s nephew, who wore a black tuxedo.
WEDDING RINGS: All custom designed by Kenn Kushner: Brides’ ring is a Platinum and diamond wedding band. Brides’ engagement ring is Platinum with a Modified cushion cut diamond. Groom’s wedding band is 18K rose gold.
GROOMSMEN ATTIRE: The Black Tux
STATIONERY/INVITATIONS: Our save the dates were an illustrated portrait of Patrick and I from an artist in Thailand named, Tippmas Srisilpanundana. On the back we wrote “Watercolor and Pencil edition of 150 (number of guests.) Our wedding invitation suite was hand drawn by Lady Fingers Letter Press. The Bowery Hotel chandeliers were the inspiration for the custom invitation gold leafed envelope liner! We also did all of our RSVP’ing online through our wedding website to cut down on paper waste and waiting for people to fill in cards and send them back.
FAVORS/BONBONNIERE: At the reception we had live performance artists The Bumbys perform and give their “appearance assessments” to all of our guests. We also later sent handmade personalized candles from New York designer Riles & Co with the special scent of “wildflowers” to recall our secret garden ceremony.
FLOWERS & BOUQUETS: Our florist, Sullivan Owen, is like the mad scientist of florists. Keeping in mind the wildflower, secret garden theme, our bouquets were overflowing with dahlias, English roses and early fall foliage as if they had just been plucked from the garden. Sullivan also added beautiful hand-dyed velvet and silk ribbon that trailed down the bouquet giving it such an elegant finish. I’d say my favorite was the jasmine and greenery arch behind where we sat for dinner, not only did it smell beautiful it made for a much better backdrop than a boring brick wall. (Totally Patrick's idea!)
VIDEOGRAPHY: East West Productions worked on our wedding videography.
PREPARATION: We got ready at The Bowery Hotel, ordering breakfast and bagels in between having our hair & makeup done. Before we headed to the ceremony we raised a glass of champagne each and then had a dance-off to Beyoncé to get in the mood (and get the jitters out!)
CEREMONY DÉCOR/ RECEPTION DÉCOR:At our ceremony we had a very lush oversized floral arbor with dramatic fall foliage, heirloom hydrangeas and roses, dahlias draped extravagantly across the structure. Sullivan created a custom visual break in the span of the arch that kept in line with the “undone, wild, ruin” theme consistent in the Marble Cemetery. We also had cast iron planters and urns toward the back of the aisle and in front with wedding foliage and floral spilling out across the lawn. Multi colored Rose petals lined the aisle. At the reception the tables had varying sizes of arrangements, but I loved the tall rusty candelabras filled with greenery and flowers and burnt yellow candles.
CAKE: A naked four-tiered cake from Momofuku Milk Bar. Flavors: Apple Pie, Strawberry Lemon Cake, Chocolate Malt and Birthday Cake. We also had a Cake Truffle Croquembouche from Momofuku Milk Bar and lastly, Ice Cream sandwiches from Melt Bakery.
ENTERTAINMENT: At the ceremony we had more of a laid back vibe with simply a guitar and cello duo: NY Ceremony Music. Reception: Sound House – Band. After party: DJ Cosmic Kaz for after-party. Both the band and DJ played a lot of funk, hip-hop and classics to keep everyone on the dance floor.
FOOD & BEVERAGES: The classic Italian restaurant inside The Bowery Hotel catered for the reception. Gemma Restaurant served a family style dinner. We loved the idea of the long tables and large platters to be shared across the table just like at home. Gemma Restaurant is known for its delicious Italian pasta dishes, so we had a few options with fish and steak as well.
HONEYMOON: We went to France for nearly three weeks because we wanted to immerse ourselves in the culture and eat some of the best food in the world! We loved the small towns we just stumbled across. Including Saint Paul de Vence and the wonderful restaurant/hotel: Columbe D’Or. I also wrote about our trip here: http://www.oceanviolet.com/postcards-from-france-part-i-paris/
GIFT REGISTRY: We registered on Thankful Registry and I loved the gifts of experience and personal touches the most. Cooking classes, dinner at our favorite restaurants and custom stationery.
CELEBRANT: Our friend and filmmaker, Adam Hootnick. He is a brilliant storyteller who captured our wedding with his words so wonderfully.
ANY OTHER SPECIAL DETAILS: The ceremony itself felt very intimate. At one point, Adam, surprised us by revealing that each of our guests brought one flower for us. Adam told us to turn and look at our guests who were holding the flowers in the air to “celebrate and remember that we were “like wild flowers... beautiful and unique, true to themselves, and growing freely along their own path.” Around midnight we had a late night snack passed on silver trays. Burgers and fries from cult-favorite burger joint – Shake Shack! The burgers had stickers on them that read “Happily ever after meals.” It was the perfect sustenance to keep the party going into the wee hours.
SOURCES OF INSPIRATION: Our travels and our favorite things (gardens, candles, good music, our friends and family) and The Lane of course! I’d like to believe Patrick and I are both creative people so we would come up with grand ideas and Sara and Sullivan would help them materialize.
A MEMORABLE MOMENT: I lost my voice the morning of the wedding! There wasn’t a remedy out there that could fix it. Since I was really only able to whisper and make wild hand gestures to communicate, I was relegated to be unusually silent. Although I couldn’t speak, I was able to truly observe our wedding and enjoy every minute of it. Silence isn’t always such a bad thing.
ONE THING I WISH I KNEW BEFORE I STARTED MY WEDDING PLANS… Everyone will have their own opinions and share them surprisingly very freely! In the end, the only ones that matter are the brides and the grooms. As my grandmother wisely told me, “If you want to piss a few people off, have a wedding!”
IF I COULD GIVE OTHER BRIDES TO BE ONE PIECE OF ADVICE… No one will see your shoes, so make sure they are comfortable.
JESSICA & PATRICk'S CONTACTS:
PHOTOGRAPHY: Kate Ignatowski
BRIDE'S DRESS: Pnina Tornai
BRIDESMAIDS DRESSES: Shades of blue, chosen by the bridesmaids
BRIDESMAIDS SHOES: Nude, chosen by the bridesmaid
WEDDING RINGS: Custom designed by Kenn Kushner
MAKEUP: The Anti Bride
FLORIST: Sullivan Owen
CATERING: Gemma Restaurant
WEDDING STYLIST: Confetti & Co.
WEDDING PLANNER: Confetti & Co.
CELEBRANT: Adam Hootnick
HONEYMOON DESTINATION: France; Saint Paul de Vence / Columbe D’Or / http://www.oceanviolet.com/postcards-from-france-part-i-paris/
VIDEOGRAPHER: East West Production
GIFT REGISTRY: Thankful Registry
CALLIGRAPHY: Hello, Bird