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Modern Black Tie Gatsby-Inspired Wedding at 501 Union

Darlings, this wedding is simplicity done right. It’s black-tie-gatsby-goodness without all the fuss, but a dose of pure pretty instead. Set amongst a candlelit 501 Union and scattered with creamy ivory roses from Designs By Ahn, gilded glassware and chiavari chairs, the gallery from CLY By Chung is filled with jaw dropping moments. See them all here.


From the beautiful Bride… Justin and I first met when he had just moved to New York. I remember thinking he was one of the funniest and warmest people I had ever encountered. Years later, when we actually started dating, I was amazed he still had the photo booth picture that we took the night we met. What I love most about Justin is that he’s full of surprises- even managed a few at our wedding! We’re so lucky to have had that second meeting that lead to sharing our wedding day with our closest friends and family.

Justin works in film lighting and I work as an accessories designer in fashion. So, between the two of us we were pretty hands on in the wedding creation. 501 Union was still being built when we signed, but we really loved the simplicity of the venue. The skylights, brass fixtures and the layout of the grand room all tied into our modern, black tie “light”, Gatsby influenced experience we were hoping for. With the help of our friends we were able to put our own personal touch on the event. From invites and programs to escort cards and favors, we were able to customize the experience. Betty Brooklyn helped create a beautiful menu for our guests and 501 Union made our speakeasy cocktails. Justin added a bit of himself with a photo/slow motion booth- which was fantastic!

A special thank you to Chung from CLY. We feel so fortunate to have had him and his team capture our special day!

Photography: CLY By Chung | Ceremony Venue: Church Of St. Josephs In Greenwich Village | Reception Venue: 501 Union | Caterer: Betty Brooklyn | Hair And Makeup: Vicky C5 | Ceremony Dress: Oscar De La Renta | Floral: Designs By Ahn | Groom’s Attire: Giorgio Armani | Reception Dress: 3.1 Phillip Lim

501 Union, DESIGNS BY AHN and Betty Brooklyn Catering Co. are members of our Little Black Book. Find out how members are chosen by visiting our FAQ page.


Betty Brooklyn Catering Co.


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Chic Elopement in New York City

From the outfits to the backdrops, this couple’s New York City elopement is the bees knees. A.k.a wildly GORG. It’s a tale of a beautiful bridge, a stunning cityscape and intimate “I Do’s” captured by Alicia Swedenborg. And if the gallery is any indication, this couple has portraits that will shine bright for a lifetime. See them all right here.

From The Bride…Shaant and I met on August 13th of 2008, his 24th birthday! Despite the fact that Shaant had met my entire family and I was very close with his, we had never met each other (2 years prior I was visiting his family in the US for a 5 week trip, while he was in Armenia, so we had missed each other). I used to see his father almost every day for a cup of coffee or dinner at his restaurant during my summers in Armenia. So, naturally, I was very quickly introduced to Shaant when he came to visit that summer. Even though at first Shaant thought I was yet another one of his dad’s acquaintances that he would meet and then forget, it didn’t take very long for us to start enjoying each other’s company (especially since I was a math major and he was a math teacher). We went to a party one night within 10 days of meeting each other, and a guest asked Shaant if he loved me. With a straight face, Shaant replied “Of course I love her, she’s my wife”. It became an on running joke that we were married for the rest of the trip and the year (again, we hadn’t even started dating yet!). Shaant left Armenia in a couple weeks, and we wrote to each other occasionally over Facebook.

That same summer I had received my green card and had to travel to the USA that December. After a little pleading from Shaant (who probably already liked me by then), he convinced me to come up from Washington DC to visit him in NY for the weekend. That weekend in NYC was amazing, and I fell in love with the city. We went (and ate) everywhere! But, at the top of the Great Lawn in Central Park, even though everything was covered with snow, that is when I knew I had to move to New York. This is why, a little over 4 years later, he proposed in that very same spot!

That magical weekend finished, and I went back to England where I was studying. Now, Shaant and I were talking much more frequently. He convinced me to meet in Berlin that February where his sister (who is my friend) was studying. I only told her I was coming, so Shaant showing up surprised her nearly to death! We explored the city and treated it like a European winter wonderland. We drank beer by the liter, had snowball fights, saw museums, and played hide and seek in memorials. In the cathedral in Berlin, Shaant even took me to the altar and had his sister officiate our fake wedding! All the while, we still weren’t dating. In Berlin, he confessed that he liked me, but I wasn’t ready yet, so I only responded with “let’s go make a snowman.” He must have been quite depressed and a little confused, but at least he got to make his first ever snowman. He drank too much that night, and I helped nurse him back to health and even slept next to him to make sure he didn’t get too sick. That must have made him even more confused! It was an unusual adventure for a couple that wasn’t a couple yet!

After we left Berlin and returned to our respective countries, I realized that I also liked Shaant. The chatting online continued and moved in that direction. It was not hard to convince him to buy tickets to come with me on my Easter vacation from London to Yerevan. So, on April 9th, he flew to London. I met him at the airport, we ran together and spun and kissed. It was better than the movies! We started dating on that day, went to Yerevan, surprised our dads with the news (and Shaant wasn’t even supposed to be there!), had a fantastic week, and then returned to our lives apart. Now, I HAD to move to New York. Thankfully, I had already applied to Columbia University for my master’s degree, and within a few weeks I got in! Fate was on our side!

I visited New York in June of that year, and reminded myself how much I loved the city and how much we loved spending time there together. I finally moved there in early September, ended our long distance relationship, began school at Columbia, found an apartment near Shaant’s, and we had a great year! New York is almost the third member of our relationship.

The primary theme of our relationship has been travel (well, besides for food). Most of the time, it was voluntary and a lot of fun. However, the job I got after graduating Columbia sent me away a lot. I went to Spain for a few months alone, and even when I came back, I had to go to Boston basically for all weekdays. Shaant visited me when he could, and my time in New York became even more precious, but it was a strain. While that was definitely difficult, we each had a lot of time off that we used to travel. We have gone, with family and alone, all over the world. From Costa Rica to Italy, we have traveled and seen some great sights (15 countries in 5 years)!

Eventually, the distance from New York to Boston drained on us, so Shaant moved up to Boston with me for a year. We continued our theme of eating and traveling, and now we got to annoy everyone with comments like “Boston is great, but it’s nothing compared to New York.” We had a great year in Boston, and traveled the most of any year, but we decided that now was the time to try and start working towards our dream of opening a restaurant. So, we both left our jobs and started packing for Armenia to help Shaant’s dad expand his successful Armenian restaurant back to the United States. In the meantime, on June 1st of 2013, Shaant took me again to that spot at the top of the Great Lawn, got down on one knee, and then got up again to hug me when I started crying. He asked, “so is that a yes?” and I said, “but you haven’t proposed yet!” Obviously, once he did propose, I said yes!

Now we live in Armenia, engaged for this August 9th (although some people know we are secretly married…). The wedding is going to be one Armenia will remember for years to come. Plane loads of foreigners are coming to go to one of Armenia’s first ever outdoor weddings! The wedding planning, like the relationship itself, is sometimes hard, sometimes unpredictable, but we know it’s always going to be awesome!

We went to city hall on April 9th, 2014, on our 5 year anniversary (and exactly 4 months before the big day). Only very close friends and family know, which made it even more special. And we celebrated at Eleven Madison Park that same evening, with an unforgettable 14 course meal!

Photography: Alicia Swedenborg | Bride's Shoes: Aldo Carvella | Groom's Attire: Armani Collezioni | Groom's Shoes: Aldo | Bride's Attire: H&M | Bride's Jewelry: H&M | Bride's Skirt: Topshop | Groom's Bowtie: Tommy Hilfiger | Groom's Shirt: Brooks Brothers | Venue: New York, New York

Alicia Swedenborg is a member of our Little Black Book. Find out how members are chosen by visiting our FAQ page.
Alicia Swedenborg

Romantic Fall Wedding

This is the kind of crazy gorgeousness that happens when one adorable duo ties the knot in a romantic fall wedding at the New York Botanical Gardens.  It’s breathtaking landscape meets lush florals from Xquisite Events meets one of the most amazing candlelight ceremonies you will ever see.  In other words, it’s amazing.  See it all captured beautifully by A Guy + A Girl Photography right here.


From A Guy & A Girl Photography… After spending the afternoon exploring the expansive gardens and taking photos, Alex and Martin’s traditional Jewish ceremony was held after sunset in the garden by candlelight, creating a cozy feeling in the warm October evening air. The florals were incredibly beautiful. Alex’s gorgeous lace Anne Barge dress fit her like a glove and looked perfect through hours of non-stop dancing. Toward the end of the celebration, Martin and all of his college buddies stood up and serenaded Alex with a classic acapella version of “You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling”, a la Top Gun.

Photography: A Guy + A Girl Photography | Floral Design: Xquisite Events | Wedding Gown: Anne Barge | Invitations: William Arthur Fine Stationery | Shoes: Manolo Blahnik | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Dessy | DJ/Band: Hank Lane Music | Makeup: Linda Gallo | Venue: New York Botanical Gardens

Anne Barge, Alfred Sung, Dessy Collection and Dessy Flower Girls are members of our Look Book. For more information on how members are chosen, click here. a guy + a girl photography is a member of our Little Black Book. Find out how members are chosen by visiting our FAQ page.
a guy + a girl photography