Real Weddings

A Classic New York City Wedding

Photography by Josie Brooks.

Arriving in a classic, restored New York City taxicab, Jennifer and James were married within an industrial landmark and former bridge in Manhattan. After being romantically photographed with film around the city, a colossal arch of cherry blossoms stood lavishly as the ceremony unraveled amongst the tiled-covered vaults designed by Spanish architect Rafael Guastavino. The arched ceilings were softened with warm-toned lighting, and tablescapes were adorned coalescing ivory florals and gold vintage candelabras surrounded by Guastavino’s monumental columns.

 

This classic New York City wedding was artfully captured by photographer Josie Brooks.

Jennifer & James Wedding

Jennifer & James Wedding

Our Story

Names / Jennifer Oliva & James Greco

Location / New York City, United States

Wedding Date / September 10th, 2022

Guest Numbers / 200

Budget / $160,000

Jennifer & James Wedding

Jennifer & James Wedding

How We Met

We met through mutual friends back in 2012. My best friend and his best friend are cousins. Our two groups of friends hung out every now and then for a few summers in a row which made us familiar with each other. We both wound up in long-term relationships with other people, however both those relationships ended in 2019. Then, James reached out to me to go on a date, and well, the rest is history!

 

Our Engagement Story

James and I have a “favorite day of the year” where we plan a sunny day to spend in NYC. As NYC is where I was living when we first began dating, there are so many spots that are special to us. In September 2021, we had one of those “favorite days”. We went bike riding, enjoyed spicy margaritas, walked by the water, had lobster rolls and did all of our favorite things. We wound up in Battery Park sitting in the grass when he pulled out the ring and asked. I am unsure if another “favorite day” can ever top this one!

 

What we love most about each other…

We both love how easy going each other is. We rarely butt heads and are usually laughing. It takes a lot to work either of us up. Being together has been so refreshing for us both.

Jennifer & James Wedding

Jennifer & James Wedding

The Setting

 

Wedding Location

Our ceremony and reception took place at Guastavino’s in New York City. New York is the city of both of our birthplaces, it was the scene of our first date, it holds many of our ‘firsts’, and was also the location of our engagement so it holds a very special place in our hearts. We knew we wanted a New York City wedding and Guastavino’s has that New York aesthetic being it is actually connected to one of the bridges, while the inside is so romantic with beautiful tall well-lit columns. They also have a private garden which is very beautiful and rare for being in the middle of the bustling city simultaneously!

 

Aesthetic

The overall aesthetic of our wedding was a timeless, classic, old New York vibe. We are a couple who loves and appreciates classics and vintage.

 

Preparation

We both got ready in separate rooms at the Lotte New York Palace hotel. We each had breakfast and champagne with our bridal parties and families separately before our first look, which took place downstairs in the courtyard of the hotel.

Jennifer & James Wedding

Jennifer & James Wedding

Photography

Josie Brooks photographed our wedding. We were drawn to Josie’s style of wedding photography being we were going for a timeless feel. She captures a good amount on film and edits a lot in black and white. We also adored her flash photography.

 

Videography

We used The Neskes for our videography. Their videography captures a very touching feel and really triggers emotions – it was perfect for our love story.

Jennifer & James Wedding

Jennifer & James Wedding

“New York is the city of both of our birthplaces, it was the scene of our first date, it holds many of our ‘firsts’, and was also the location of our engagement so it holds a very special place in our hearts.”

Style Notes

 

Ceremony Décor

Our ceremony décor didn’t take much as the space was so beautiful already. We stood under a big arch of cherry blossoms and branches during the ceremony.

 

Reception Décor

We wanted our reception décor to be dreamy. For our table centerpieces we used a mix of ivory florals and gold vintage candelabras with mini candle lighting on the tables. We also used a lighting company to produce warm-toned, dimmed lighting to highlight the venue’s columns and achieve a romantic dreamy look.

Jennifer & James Wedding

“The overall aesthetic of our wedding was a timeless, classic, old New York vibe.  We are a couple who loves and appreciates classics and vintage.”

Wedding Planner & Stylist

We did not use a wedding planner or stylist. I was adamant about doing this ourselves, as we had a laser focus on the style we wanted. Our venue did provide a same day coordinator, who worked with all the vendors that day and even prior to make sure everything went smooth. This was a huge help!

 

Flowers

My bouquet was a cascading bouquet of white phalaenopsis. My bridesmaids had tight bouquets of white roses, white phalaenopsis, and white hydrangeas. We draped greenery and white florals over the spiral staircase that our guests used to travel from the ceremony, to cocktail hour, to the reception. We also had 2 large trees with white florals arched together for us to stand under for our ceremony. Our centerpieces were mixes of branches, white florals, and gold vintage candelabras.

Stationery

We didn’t do ‘Save the Dates’. We just did a formal invitation which was an ivory invite with a black gated look as a cover. These were made by Paper Rose Invite. Our menus were made by James and me. We purchased a template with a beautiful black scripted font and printed them on special paper.

 

Favors & Bonbonniere

Our wedding favors were hand painted bottles done by a local vendor, filled with handmade limoncello made by James and me! The significance of limoncello is two-fold. One being it represents both of our Italian heritage, and second, it is a nod to our original wedding plan which fell through due to COVID-19, which was a wedding in Italy.

 

Cake

Our cake was a 6-tier white cake with cascading phalaenopsis florals. It was a marble cake with cannoli cream filing made by Sweet Ash Cakes. We saved the top layer which is in our freezer and we’ll eat it on our first wedding anniversary.

 

Food & Beverages

Our cocktail hour was passed hors d’ourves as well as a buffet style of different food stations. Our dinner was a sit down dinner. Drinks were served at the bars, as well as a few different table wines available on each table.

Jennifer & James Wedding

“We used warm-toned, dimmed lighting to highlight the venue’s columns and achieve a romantic dreamy look.”

Fashion & Beauty Notes

 

Bride’s Dress & Shoes

I chose Eva Lendel’s ‘Alegra’ dress. It was a strapless fitted bodice, with a fitted body and removable train. The back had a bow which I customized to be floor length, and I also customized buttons down the whole back of the dress to give an extra flare for when I removed my train during the reception. For my shoes, I went with a Stuart Weitzman pointy toe classic white pump.

 

Wedding Rings, Jewelry & Accessories

My engagement ring is a four-prong, high setting oval diamond with a diamond band. My wedding band is also oval diamonds. James went with a classic gold wedding band. I wore minimal jewelry on my wedding day as I felt my rings were truly enough. I opted for flowery earrings to compliment my up-do.

 

Hair & Makeup

I wore my hair in a pinned up-do with loose front pieces shaping my face. For my make-up I wanted a classic black winged eye liner with matte and soft neutrals.

 

Bridesmaids Dresses & Shoes

My bridesmaids were in Watters Design dresses in the color ‘ballet slipper’. The color was such a beautiful complement to our décor and the fabric was a beautiful shiny charmeuse. There were a few different styles, so each girl got to wear something that she felt comfortable in.

 

Groomsmen Attire

The groomsmen wore classic black tuxedos. James wore a custom black tux made by Dumancela Couture Clothiers with a black bow tie.

 

Flower Girls

Our flower girl dresses were from Etsy. They were made by a woman in Ukraine who had to flee her workshop when the war broke out. The dresses were a classic white satin with a tulle bottom and a satin bow on the back, mimicking the back of my dress. The ring bearers wore classic black tuxes with black bow ties to match James.

Jennifer & James Wedding

The Details

 

Transport

We arrived at our wedding in a vintage taxicab provided by Film Cars. It was beautifully and respectfully restored, and our driver played Frank Sinatra the whole way to our wedding! Exiting our wedding, our plan was to ride back to the hotel via bus with our guests, but the bus left without us so we actually Ubered back to the hotel.

 

Honeymoon

We did a month-long honeymoon in Italy. We got to travel to hot spots like Rome, the Amalfi Coast, Sorrento, Positano, Taormina, etc. But our favorite days were spent visiting James’ family in the less-populated Molise region and visiting places off the beaten path like Favignana and Trapani. We stayed in a bed & breakfast in Trapani and ate the most delicious Sicilian pastries. Another highlight was a soccer game we went to in Rome (Roma vs. Napoli).

Jennifer & James Wedding

Wedding Songs

Our first dance was XO by John Mayer. Our last dance song was Open Your Eyes by Bobby Caldwell. This song was so special to us as we both have a specific memory of it playing while we were cuddling up to each other in the back of a taxicab in New York City after our third date.

 

Entertainment

We used the band Man Down. Man Down is a band that my friends and I loved and followed for years. They’re style is so unique, as their sets are giant mash-ups with each song playing the best part of the song for about 30 seconds, then seamlessly switching to a next great hit. You can’t not dance when they are playing.

 

Celebrant

Our officiant was Father Joseph Ciccone from St. Joseph Mission Church. He is a Catholic priest, and we chose him as we heard so much about his ceremonies and how beautiful and sentimental they were, which was true. Our ceremony was truly our favorite part of the wedding.

 

Readings

We did not write our own vows, as James and I can both be quite shy, so we didn’t want to publicly read. As an alternative, our officiant asked us to write a one pager of 3 things we love about each other as Pre-Cana ‘homework’ assignment. At the ceremony, he read these aloud, and it had many of our family and friends tearing up.

Jennifer & James Wedding

Our Advice

 

A memorable moment…

One of the most memorable moments during the day was arriving at The MET to take pictures and having an audience of strangers cheering for us. We felt so much love from complete strangers it was truly a beautiful moment! A memorable moment from the night was our last dance together in our venue to our favorite song. It was just James and I on the dance floor, while everyone else was outside waiting for our sparkler exit. It was such a beautiful peaceful moment, I encourage everyone to do a last dance!

 

One thing I wish I knew before I started my wedding plans…

I truly have no regrets with our wedding it was the most perfect day. I guess if I could go back, I would tell myself that it all will work out as it should so spend less time obsessing over the details, and more time enjoying the process. If I could give any advice, it would be to only worry about you and your spouse on that day. Things will go wrong, in our case, buses might not arrive for your guests, you might stain your dress, but always keep in mind why you are there – to celebrate the love between you.

Sources of inspiration…

I used Instagram as a resource for finding vendors by searching tags. I used Pinterest and Instagram to find inspiration within our aesthetic.

Our Contacts

 

Wedding Venue / Guastavino’s

Photography / Josie Brooks

Videography / The Neskes

Bride’s Dress / Eva Lendel

Bride’s Shoes / Stuart Weitzman

Wedding Rings / Diana/Labelle

Hair / Senada Ceka  

Makeup / Lauren D’Amelio Ventre

Stationery / Paper Rose Invite

Florist / Eltingville Florist

Cake / Sweet Ash Cakes

Catering / Guastavino’s

Celebrant / Father Joseph Ciccone from St. Joseph Mission Church

Entertainment / Man Down

Transport / Film Cars

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