As I mentioned, we are always looking for great submissions for our What They Did Right feature, and I was thrilled when Debbie sent me pictures (and the story behind the pictures) of her gorgeous New York City Wedding. Debbie didn’t work with a planner, but the first step that she did right was hire an amazing team of vendors to work on her wedding. Assembling this team would pay off for Debbie later when she encountered a situation that would probably keep most brides up at night: a last minute need to change her venue!!!!! I’m going to let Debbie tell you the story in her own words… along with a spattering of some of my favorite photos from their Spring Wedding at Angel Orensanz. Thanks to Shawn Connell at Christian Oth for these great pictures!
First of all, I should tell you that I love your blog! I do wish I had found you before I planned my wedding! (What I didn’t do right – not hiring someone to help coordinate my wedding!)Second, I have to share that I really, really loved planning my wedding. I just threw my whole self into it, and tried to make it as personal and unique to me and Brian as possible. And my wedding was wonderful – I think about it happily every single day since, and keep lots of keepsakes and photos around, both at the office and at home, which make me smile whenever I see them. It was a day so filled with love and family and friends, and I was overwhelmed both at how much love I felt for my husband, and at how happy everyone was for us that we were making that special commitment to each other.
So what did we do right? Besides choosing to marry each other… one of our best decisions was hiring the most talented design-oriented vendors we could find to help create the vision we had for the event. That meant hiring Matthew Robbins (formerly Artfool) for the floral design (but really so much more than just flowers) and Lisa Hoffman of Ceci New York for not only invitations and save the dates, but also programs, menus, table cards and escort cards/favors. However, I didn’t have the endless budget that I think a lot of their clients do, which meant working very closely with each of them to come up with some creative ways to achieve the look and feel we wanted and still stay within our budget.
One of our other best decisions was moving the wedding venue four and a half months before the wedding. Yes, you read that correctly. We had booked the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens a year and a half in advance, with assurances that the annual cherry blossem festival would not fall on our weekend… and then just less than five months away, were informed that the Gardens (which are run separately from the Palm House) had indeed moved the festival to our wedding day. After speaking with our vendors and the coordinator at the Palm House, we decided we didn’t want to put our guests through the chaos of arriving, parking and entering the Gardens during the festival. Once we realized we couldn’t go forward with the Palm House, we only looked at one venue – Angel Orensanz – and had it booked for our date within 72 hours of getting the news about the festival. A lot of people thought the two venues were incredibly different and couldn’t understand how we would be able to switch, but Matthew was a real rock, and assured me that both spaces were atmospheric, romantic, and would work perfectly for our cherry blossem garden theme – Angel would just give it a little more of an edge. In the end, we can’t imagine having gotten married anywhere else and think it was a real blessing.
A few of my favorite details: Matthew decorated the iron chandeliers at Angel Orensanz with cherry blossem boughs, which added a fantastical touch to the space. The favors were custom designed bridge-sized playing cards, with our initials in the middle and the artwork from our save the dates (butterflies, grasshoppers, ladybugs and dragonflies amid tall grass and flowers), because Brian’s family and close friends are all bridge fanatics (of course, I’ve had to learn to play as well!). The decks of playing cards were wrapped in one of three shades of blue “belly-bands” and hand-calligraphed to function as escort cards.
We were thrilled with the job that Shawn Connell of Christian Oth Studios did of capturing the details and the feeling of the day. We also hired the wonderful April Reed to make our cake, and working with her was such fun! She made an eyelet cake, with green fondant peeking out from underneath white fondant eyelet cutouts, a design that mirrored my Carolina Herrera eyelet dress with green grosgrain ribbon. (One friend remarked “wow, your dress matches the cake!” Um, actually….)
I love that Debbie got a shot with her and Brian and all of their guests! So awesome!! Remember, if you think you did a lot of stuff right with your wedding, please send us your pics to firstname.lastname@example.org
I was so excited when Shira Weinberger sent over the link to her blog of photos of Rachel & Glenn’s wedding, which Always a Bridesmaid coordinated last month. Rachel & Glenn were referred to me by someone in the industry (which is always such a compliment to be recommended by fellow event professionals) and I was blown away by how a) lovely and b) low key they were about the whole wedding thing they were. As I got to know them, I realized that it wasn’t so much that they were low key, as much as they simply had their priorities for the day extremely in order: this was about celebrating their love and faith in front of friends and family. They could decide on the linens later, and white always appealed to the bride for flowers, but making sure that their guests were there for the ceremony, well fed, comfortable and having a great time- that was the thing! My team just adored them and was so thrilled to be a part of their day.
So, besides keeping people first, what else did they do right? Well, for one, they gave themselves plenty of time with Shira to take photos. They really took advantage of their weddings backdrop- the awesome city! They hit up Grand Central and the South Street Seaport before heading to Angel Orensanz. This venue can give people a bit of sticker shock when they first hear the price, but it’s actually possibly one of the greatest wedding deals in the city. Not only do you get this amazing gothic backdrop that is RICH and DEEP with history, but you get the phenomenal lighting that you will see below.
Additionally, Rachel and Glen worked with Melanie of MelaRosa to create floral pieces that were at once modern and yet still warm and fitting with the venue. I think they did a fantastic job. Their wedding was rich with Jewish traditions, starting with a Tish and including Ketubah, Mothers breaking of the plate, Bedenkin, Ceremony, Yichud, Horah, and Mezuika. I actually had only recently learned about the “breaking of the plate” by the mothers of the bride and the groom tradition from a Rabbi this past summer: it indicates that just as the broken plate is final and can’t be pieced together again, so is the marriage… similar to the tradition of breaking the glass.
Thanks again to Shira for sending me these- she did a spectacular job! There are a lot more pics from this wedding on her blog.
And MANY many blessings to Rachel & Glenn! Congratulations on your marriage!
So for the last two weekends I’ve been blown away by the dresses of Ulla-Maija. I sort of had an Ulla-Maija revelation, because she is at once extremely versatile, and yet super fashion forward. PLUS her dresses are impeccable in their construction. I will admit that some of them may be a bit too fashion forward some brides, but she is such a fashion designer, simply working in white. Just love it. Here are a few looks from her most recent show as well as her Spring ’09 collection. Here is the dress that my bride this past Sunday wore. It was so fitting of her personality, but also of the venue. They were married at Angel Orensanz, and the train that you see was detachable. If you aren’t familiar with the venue, here is a really crappy quality photo taken from Anna’s blackberry (but it does give you a sense of the look and feel). I think this gown was PERFECT for a place that is at once grand, yet quirky and Downtown.
Danny Weiss sent me over these amazing photos of Lauren & Dan’s wedding at Angel Orensanz. We didn’t plan this wedding, Oh So Fab did, but it’s so fantastic, I wanted to post it here. One of the first things they did right was hire this awesome photographer! Check out the amazing shots he got of the couple in the streets of NY.
He’s a pediatric dentist and she’s a nutritionist and apparently they danced ALL night! So what else did they did right? Well, they booked this STUNNING venue! Angel Orensanz can give some people sticker shock, but in addition to including the tables and chairs, the rental includes this spectacular lighting design and the cool chandeliers (though these were tweaked and spruced up a bit) . I also think it was great that they FOUND a look- fantasy garden – and they RAN with it! Sometimes I think couples have great vision, but get nervous that it will be “too much”… clearly this wasn’t TOO MUCH at all! It was stunning. LOVE the cloche and the moss!!! And the little escort card NESTS!!!!! SO gorgeous.