We love Karen Wise. Love her like family. So we just couldn’t wait to see how she, after photographing hundreds upon hundreds of weddings, approached her big day to her talented beau. We knew it would be oh so stylish, we knew Heather Waraksa would send along drop dead gorgeous images, but we did not know we would get two swoon-worthy events for the price of one! So we opened this beauty up, let out a collective squeal and began counting down the minutes until we could share it with all of you. Well, the time has come. The gallery is full, the image boards are bountiful and the description from the bride as told from the other side of the lens cannot be beat. So close your office door, block out some time on your calendar and get ready to make your Thursday so much more stylish!

And just when you think you couldn’t possibly be happier with all this wedding goodness, Karen and Chandler’s New York City Civil Ceremony is going to just make your day and then some…and don’t forget, the full gallery is well…full…of both of these gorgeous events!

Click here to see the entire gallery of images!

From the Bride, Karen Wise, on her Montreal Wedding…As a wedding photographer who has photographed over 300 weddings, I found making choices for my own wedding both simple and quite challenging. In the past few years, I had taken note of what I’d like to have at my wedding after seeing so many unique events. The most difficult part about wedding planning was choosing our location. Chandler and I knew we wanted our wedding to be outside of New York City. I’ve photographed weddings at MANY New York venues and Chandler, being a director/cinematographer had worked almost everywhere in NY too. We wanted to choose something new and unique to both of us. I grew up in Montreal and so looking there seemed like a good idea. My family still lives there and Chandler and I always enjoy visiting. At first we thought we’d want our wedding to take place amidst the pine trees and mountains north of Montreal in Tremblant where we ski every winter. However, since we knew we’d have guests coming from all over and as far away as Vancouver, LA and Barbados, we changed our minds and decided to keep it simple. Old Montreal seemed like the best option, as it is located in the most quaint and historic part of the city. We knew it would lend a picturesque backdrop to our pictures.

Thankfully we were able to bring our photographer (my colleague, the talented Heather Waraksa) from New York. She had photographed our civil ceremony in October, and we loved working with her! We hired Four Branches from Brooklyn to design our chuppah and Mr. Boddington’s Studio in NYC to design our invitations. The rest of our vendors we searched for locally, starting from scratch, researching Canadian vendors from afar. I found that it took a few months to seek out the best talent, as not every one of our vendors had a website or was well-advertised on blogs as they are here. I love beautiful design, so the style of our stationery, the fashion, colors and textures of the décor were fun for me to coordinate. We worked with very talented local Montreal vendors like Flore (floral design), Kostar (lighting design), Cocoa Locale (baker), Caroline Théoret (makeup/hair) and DJ Toddy Flores who rocked the party!

We danced our first dance to Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love” and had all of our guests join in. Chandler and I had briefly choreographed it in our Brooklyn kitchen but only rehearsed it once in the elevator heading down from cocktail hour. Not a lot of time to perfect it, but supposedly it was a hit! Nick Drake and Cat Power were amongst our initial choices but in the end we decided that upbeat was the way to go. DJ Toddy Flores rocked the rest of the party mixing from a list we’d made of our favorite tracks (mostly 80’s and Hip Hop). Verses, Hotel Nelligan’s restaurant’s steak au poivre and Arctic char melted in your mouth. The chocolate chai and vanilla rose cupcakes from Cocoa Locale were perfection.

From the Bride, Karen Wise, about her NYC Civil Ceremony…Our civil ceremony took place in Manhattan, NY. It was photographed by Heather Waraksa, and Saipua provided the bouquet and boutonniere. I wore a light-colored Burberry coat, Louboutin nude patent leather shoes and a red dress with white gloves… I was inspired by Mad Men at the time that I created my outfit!

We knew we would be planning a bigger wedding in Montreal, Canada in the Spring, but we wanted to do this little ceremony first, partly to get my green card process under way. Although we had been dating for 3 years prior to the ceremony, our parents still hadn’t met, so we thought this would be a fun day to have both sides meet! My sister was also there, as well as Chandler’s brother and sister-in-law.

It was a beautiful sunny day in the Fall, it was windy and cool, but really pretty for the photos. We started the day at my home/studio with hair and makeup and then did a few portraits around Park Slope before jumping in a car service to drive to City Hall before the 3pm closing. Since we had a few hours before our reservation at del Posto restaurant in Manhattan, we had some tea, drinks and a snack at The Standard Hotel while we waited. Heather shot some photos after the ceremony in the newly designed City Hall. The light was beautiful as it poured in through their large windows. We also got the chance to shoot in the streets and in front of the Standard before saying goodbye to Heather.

Montreal Wedding – Wedding Photography: Heather Waraksa / Floral Design: Flore / Wedding Dress: Monique Lhuillier via Mark Ingram Bridal Atelier / Make-up + Hair: Studio Caroline Théoret / Cupcakes + Wedding Cake: Cocoa Locale / Stationery: Mr. Boddington Studio / Calligraphy: Primele / Signs: Baumbirdy / Vintage Hair Piece: Sara Gabriel via Gabriella New York Bridal Salon / Earrings: Clay Pot / Bride’s Rings: Jessica Fields via Clay Pot / Bridesmaid Dresses: Ann Taylor / Groom’s Suit: Custom Men / Groom’s Shoes: Bruno Magli / Bride’s Shoes: Kate Spade / Flower Girl’s Dress: April Cornell via La Cache / Lighting: Kostar Lighting

NYC Civil Ceremony – Wedding Photography: Heather Waraksa / Flowers: Saipua / Coat: Burberry / Shoes: Christian Louboutin / Groom’s Suit + Tie: Banana Republic / Earrings: Alexis Bittar / Red Dress: Diane von Furstenberg / Hair Piece: Renee Rivera via Bergdorf Goodman / White Gloves: Gabriella New York Bridal Salon / Negligee: La Perla / Hair: Martha Ellen Mabry / Make-up: Sally Duvall / Hand Bag: Moyna

Ann Taylor, Monique Lhuillier and Sara Gabriel are members of our Look Book. For more information on how members are chosen, click here. Karen Wise Photography and Gabriella New York Bridal Salon are members of our Little Black Book. Find out how members are chosen by visiting our FAQ page.
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