First of all, we want to applaud Hannah and John for embracing the rich, warm seasonal colors of autumn! From Orchard Cove Photography, this brilliant celebration at The Central Park Boathouse is a glorious reminder that fall weddings are spectacular!!
We previewed their wedding yesterday morning, on the Little Black Book Blog ... the ceremony taking place at The Church of the Heavenly Rest and their reception at New York's Central Park Boathouse.
From the beautiful bride ... I think our wedding could be described with two words - Romantic...and FALL! Everything from the church to the reception was meant to make people feel like they were in the middle of a beautiful, bountiful fall day. From huge branches in the church, to small arrangements of cabbage roses, dalias, pears, pumpkins and berries on candlelit tables, we wanted to convey warmth and love.
At the boathouse, our goal was to "bring the park inside." We had large trees everywhere that had beautiful colored leaves that began falling in the middle of the evening! Each long table had small bouquets of flowers and a cornucopia of fall elements strewn everywhere. Every table was different, giving it a natural and not-over-planned look. The lighting was created mostly by dozens of small tea lights and votive candles that seemed to be everywhere, from the table where we had a Polaroid camera and album for our guests, to the cookie table that appeared after dinner! Even our cake, done by the unequaled Sylvia Weinstock, had tumbling berries, flowers and branches cascading down it. The whole effect was spectacularly romantic, warm and autumnal.
We also wanted to add some unexpected touches. My bridesmaids, in beautiful Amsale dresses, were given big, dramatic, jeweled necklaces from Roberta Freyman's shop. I picked out a different necklace for each girl, and they made such a great statement as they walked down the aisle - the exact opposite of Park Avenue pearls!
My own attire had a touch of the unique as well. My dress was all lace, in a soft antique-ivory from Rivini. My veil was a wonderful family heirloom - over 120 years old and custom lace, it had been worn by almost every woman in my family, and every bride's initials were woven into the lace. It certainly looked different than any of the veils on the market today, and wearing such a beautiful antique made my entire look soft, romantic, and completely timeless.
One of my favorite moments was when the doors opened and we walked into our dining room at The Boathouse, filled with gorgeous decorations and everyone we loved, and stepped onto the dance floor, it was just us. For the first time that day, we both started to really breathe, and realize that we had done it! We were married, and we were dancing to our favorite song (Everything by Michael Buble). John and I had tried to do what can loosely be termed "practicing" in the weeks leading up to the wedding. We were a little nervous about remembering what we had decided to do - but in the end, none of it mattered. He twirled me into his arms, and I closed my eyes and realized that the night, and our lives, were just beginning.
One of John's favorite photographs is from the very end of the evening. Everyone was given rose petals to throw at us as we exited the reception area and headed out toward our vintage New York taxi cab. We said goodbye to our parents, and everyone joyfully threw their little handfuls of petals. One of his groomsmen had absconded with the huge box of petals that everyone had taken their handfuls from. In a moment that was perfectly funny and unplanned, he summarily dumped the entire box on our heads. It was so fitting for him, and for us - as we're never ones to do anything exactly by the book.
A little advice from the bride and groom ...
When John and I first got engaged, we spent some time figuring out what was REALLY important to us, those things that we felt really strongly about, together, and those things we didn't want to lose sight of in all the wedding madness. This is such an important thing to do, and I think the best advice I can offer. There are so many options, and opinions, swirling around you as you plan a wedding, there will inevitably be compromises you have to make. And that's ok! Not everything will happen exactly as you had pictured it. Because it's not just you planning this event….it's your friends, your family (especially your family).
But, if you decide together on the (few) things you will fight for - it makes giving in and making allowances in other areas so much easier and less stressful. It's akin to picking your battles - but doing it at the very beginning. You absolutely can't control everything, but you can control how you react to the ups and downs, and feel good about when you fight, and when you concede.
The other thing I would say is talk to each other...all the time. So often girls feel like anything wedding related goes in one ear and out the other for their fiancees. But the wedding isn't just one person's...and it should represent both of you. No matter what you envisioned when you were 9 years old, the final day should make everyone feel like they are celebrating YOU BOTH. And making sure that you both are equally involved and aware of everything going on can only lead to good things. Not only will you both feel attached to the event, but you'll both know and understand the stress that each is under, and can comfort each other so much better. It can definitely be a stressful, and emotional time, and a time when you'll need your best friend more than ever!
Finally, I'll say that it's critical to remember why you're doing this in the first place. John was so good about countering every worry I had with the simple truth that "it doesn't really matter. What's important is that at the end of the day we'll be married." It sounds silly, but keeping each other grounded throughout the engagement and wedding planning process is so important, and keeps you remembering that this is truly supposed to be one of the happiest times of your life!
Photography - Orchard Cove Photography / Ceremony Venue - The Church of the Heavenly Rest / Reception Venue - Central Park Boathouse / Event Planning - Elizabeth Allen / Hannah's Dress - Rivini via Mark Ingram Bridal Atelier / Bridesmaid's Dresses - Amsale / Hannah's Hair - Aldo Giacomello / Hannah's Makeup - Kimara Ahnert / Cake - Sylvia Weinstock / Dresser - Couture by Vassa / Florist - Lewis Miller Designs / Lighting - Levy Lighting / Music - Ludlow Street Band (Hank Lane Music)