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Marriage Matters: Central Park Anniversary

Can I just say – after 12 years of marriage, 3 kids and life’s ups and downs thrown their way, these two still got it. I’m talking about that madly-in-love glow you only get when you’re with the one who makes your heart full. They planned an anniversary session in New York City with one beautiful Nha Khanh tulle gown to celebrate the love, and Julie Paisley came along to capture. Read their amazing love story and go peek through every image inside THE VAULT!

It’s probably not common to actually end up with the boy whose name you wrote on your high school notebooks, but I did. Michael and I dated through high school and college, and six years later we got married. Michael proposed to me in November in the middle of an empty field with candles and flowers, but, the best detail of all was a propane heater. That’s one of many things I love about this man, his biggest concern was always taking care of me, but now after twelve years of marriage and eighteen years together, it’s taking care of me and our three children. 

Michael was in an accident a few years ago, and after a stint in ICU and a couple of surgeries, perspectives changed for both of us. We both realized that this person that we had by our side for so long could someday not be there. We started to travel more, and do more of the things that we didn’t make time to do.

We traveled to NYC so that we could have a vacation to date each other. We had not planned on this shoot with Julie Paisley. In fact, part of the trip was for me to attend her photography workshop because I’m a photographer. At the time it seemed like a strange turn of events, that we became the subjects of her photography, but now I know it was because there was something so much better waiting for us. As soon as we found out that Julie would be photographing us, I enlisted stylist Krissi Farrimond to style us, and she arranged for Kiara Hargrove to do my hair and make-up.

So, here we were in New York City, one of my favorite places, and I am literally about to live out a fairy tale after twelve years of marriage with this gorgeous man. A few kinks came in the timeline, and we were in a mad dash to get to Central Park for the shoot. We sprinted through Central Park, dressed as if we just fell right out of a Disney princess movie where the prince wears J.Crew and the fairy godmother is a talented stylist. I tiptoed through falling leaves in Central Park while my husband, dressed ever so handsomely, held my hand. We had just experienced one of my favorite memories of us together.

Our wedding, the three amazing births of our children, there are so many special memories, and that night we created a new memory for just the two of us that we could share with our children. After the shoot we went to dinner at one of our favorite NYC restaurants. I will never forget the feeling of that night. Even after we got home from New York City, I still couldn’t believe it happened!

There’s just no way to write a love story that you’ve lived because words could never adequately describe the heart break of him being hurt and the joy of him being okay. I could just never even tell you what is invested in the years we have together. If I started from the beginning, eighteen years ago when we started dating, I couldn’t bring your heart to feel what we do now. I can’t paint that picture with words, but man I feel like Julie captured it with film.

And now our children and grandchildren can have these images to remember our love story! My advice to brides and grooms, is don’t overlook this. After the wedding is long over, still get dressed up with your spouse, hire a fantastic photographer, document this time in your life, and go to dinner. Date each other, because daily life isn’t a fairy tale, it’s kids and work and everything else begging for your attention. You have to make time to have a fairy tale. You have to put effort into a fairy tale. I dreamed about marrying him back when I was writing his name on my notebooks, but there was something so much better waiting for me. It’s so worth the effort!

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Photography: Julie Paisley | Event Design: Krissi Farrimond | Dress: Rent The Runway | Hair + Makeup: IndiVidualized Beauty | Groom's Attire: JCrew | Venue: Central Park

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Spontaneous NYC City Hall Elopement

Completely over the stress of planning their wedding and meeting the demands of everyone around them, these cuties threw it all to the wind and ran off to City Hall. And are we glad they did – because these pics by Cynthia Chung are too sweet for words. Their genuine love for one another is evident in every single photo and isn’t that what weddings are all about? See them all in our VAULT right this way!

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From the Bride… We planned our $2k elopement in 10 days and it was truly the most fun I ever had during our wedding planning. Although we’d been engaged for a year and a half and there was only two months left till our big day, we were constantly dealing with family drama and our wedding no longer felt like ours. When you’re crying almost every night because of your wedding and absolutely dreading it, you know something has to change.

We have been people pleasers our entire lives. I finally broke down one day and decided I couldn’t allow myself to have a wedding neither of us absolutely did not want. So we took the plunge and decided to get married at City Hall on our anniversary on a Wednesday morning.

I told my photographer all the anxiety I felt about my wedding and how Chris and I finally decided we were going to elope. She was incredibly supportive and helped make our day extra special by capturing it all. I bought a Badgley Mischka dress from Century 21 the weekend before and asked my florist to make me a simple bouquet of white anemones, which she kindly delivered to work for me. I put my faith into a wonderful makeup artist I discovered on Instagram and without a trial, asked her to come to my apartment at 7 am to help me get ready. I felt like Cinderella getting ready for the ball with all my amazing vendor helpers.

Right before we entered the chapel room, my mom whispered to me that I was the most beautiful bride and my eyes started watering. When Chris began to say his vows, I immediately began to cry.

After our ceremony, we blew bubbles outside the steps of City Hall and took pictures at the Ludlow Hotel, where we were staying for the night. We had lunch at the Dirty French, where the amazing staff kept bringing out complimentary dishes in honor of us being newlyweds. We spent the rest of the afternoon at the Bowery Museum and had a private dinner at the Stanton Social. The next morning, we had breakfast together at the hotel and went straight to work.

It’s unbelievable how fast the day passed for us, and that I get to call Chris my husband now. The sight of his wedding ring on his hand always makes me smile, and I am so excited for our future together. Although we are still having the big 150 person wedding and honeymoon in Mexico in December that our family wants us to have, we have absolutely no regrets for having the small and intimate wedding we always wanted. I encourage any couple who’s in the midst of wedding planning to really take a step back and see if the vision you have for your day is really yours, and to honor what both of you want.

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Peruse more elopement inspiration here!

Photography: Cynthia Chung Weddings | Floral Design: Uprooted Flower Truck | Wedding Dress: Badgley Mischka | Ceremony Venue: NYC City Hall | Reception Venue: The Ludlow Hotel | Bride's Shoes: Kate Spade | Hair + Makeup: NYC Glam Girls | Groom's Attire: Zara

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Modern + Elegant Jewish New York City Wedding

One look at this gown and you’ll be asking your atelier to add sleeves ASAP. For this stunner of a look is not only timeless, but it’s sophisticated, glamorous, and if it was good enough for royalty – well, who are we to object? It’s the type of silhouette and celebration that’s got each and every one us asking for a wedding redo, because when it comes to the pairing of Ang Weddings And Events, Nine Cakes, and Mademoiselle Fiona behind the lens, well we’re in wedding wonderland. See it all in THE VAULT!

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From the Bride… Jason and I serendipitously met at a grocery store while we were both in high school (in neighboring towns) and kept finding our way back to each other through college, long-distance moves and simply growing up. When Jason and I got engaged (on the Pont des Arts in Paris a few years ago), the last thing that entered my mind was planning a wedding. Instead, I couldn’t stop thinking about how lucky I was to have found my match and that we chose each other forever. While my energy quickly turned to thinking about the wedding we’d have to celebrate our marriage, that initial thought never left my mind and still hasn’t to this day.

At the time that we got engaged, we were living in San Francisco and about to make a move back to the east coast, where we both grew up, to New York. Once we arrived back in New York, the planning was in full effect. We quickly chose The Foundry in Long Island City as our venue; it felt so much like us and the way we wanted our wedding to be – beautiful but not fussy, interesting but not complicated, full of possibilities but not overwhelming. Once the venue was secured, it was pretty remarkable how easily the rest fell into place.

We wanted the mood of our wedding to be romantic but maintain a beautiful simplicity to it. Every vendor we found contributed to this mood and beautifully executed our vision – from our band, who flawlessly played music that was personal and meaningful to us (I walked down the aisle to Sigur Ros and we had our first dance to Ben Folds) to our caterer who crafted some of our favorite foods like mini lobster rolls and grilled cheese in a beautiful but approachable way, to our florist who made the most gorgeously lush arrangements reminiscent of a romantic garden.

More important than our vision for what the wedding would look like, though, was our vision for what the wedding would feel like. It was paramount to us that our wedding was intimate, personal and family-oriented, so Jason’s dad officiated the ceremony (one of the best wedding decisions we made), we placed old family photos on book shelves for guests to look at, we had long rows of tables at dinner so our guests could feel like they were at a family dinner, and we incorporated family traditions and heirlooms into the ceremony like the ketubah and chuppah covering. I even created all of the candle favors as a personal way to thank our guests for being a part of our wedding day.

Throughout the entire planning process, we focused on one goal: to throw a memorable party for the people in our lives who meant the most to us – the family and friends who felt like family – that fill our lives with love, support and happiness. Looking back on our wedding day, I think we did just that.

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See even more head-turning trends here!

Photography: Mademoiselle Fiona | Cinematography: Bayly And Moore | Event Planning: Ang Weddings And Events | Floral Design: Poppies And Posies | Wedding Dress: Anne Barge From Lovely Bride | Wedding Cake: Nine Cakes | Invitations: Wedding Paper Divas | Bride's Shoes: Zara | Catering: Michael Stuart NY | Hair: Face The Day NY | Band: The Story Tellers Of New York City | Favors: Riles And Co | Tuxedo: J. Crew | Wedding Venue: The Foundry | Chuppah: Your Chuppah NY | Clutch: Whiting And Davis | Ketubah: Jennifer Raichman | Rentals: Broadway Party Rentals | Rentals: Patina Rentals | Save The Date: Ello There

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
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