We knew from the day that we got engaged that we wanted to have a spring wedding, and that had a huge role in influencing the color palette and overall aesthetic – especially since most of our favorite flowers are only in season during the spring and summer! We went with a theme of blush pink, sage green, champagne and gold – and that was infused in all the details, from the stemware to our paper suit designed by Ladyfingers Letterpress to what we wore. Ali’s suit was custom made by Bindle & Keep and had a pink lining, and she wore a pink Ferragamo tie that my dad gave her as a gift. I wore a blush pink custom gown designed by Christian Siriano, which had rose gold appliqué and crystals throughout, and a custom clutch given to me by Edie Parker, which was inscribed with “N&A” in champagne and gold lucite. Virtually every detail came back to our original color palette and inspiration – even the tassel background we DIYed for our photobooth.
Virtually everything felt customized and special – and I loved that! I have a design background and work as an editor in fashion now, so it was really a labor of love to spearhead those elements of the wedding (while Ali handled more of the logistical, organizational details – she’s the queen of spreadsheets).
We were really, really excited to work on our favors – they were all personalized and felt really special. I’m sort of obsessed with place settings, and I wanted to create something really bespoke for everyone. I found Laura Hooper Calligraphy and she makes these beautiful laser cut wood nameplates; each place setting had its own nameplate which was painted gold, and it was a nice detail which everyone could take home. Then we also worked with Hartland Brooklyn, a local letterpress and design studio, to create a sheet of tattoos that were special to us; after all, we’re two Brooklyn queers with a handful of ink of our own, and it felt like a fun thing to do – so they designed a temporary tattoo pack with illustrations of our pug Frankie, tuxedo cat Lily, and pretty florals that were in our arrangements. They were so cute and by the end of the night there were a lot of pug and peony neck tattoos on our friends. Finally, we also made custom rose soy-based candles and matchboxes for everyone to take home; our florals had an amazing fragrance that filled the space, and I loved the thought of people being able to take that scent with them – especially for family who traveled far to join us at our wedding! It was definitely one of my favorite details to conceptualize!
But really – we thought about nearly every detail. We had Laura Hooper Calligraphy create a custom cake topper, as well, and we had cocktail napkins made. We even made a small welcome bag for our family that came in from out of town, again with a tote designed by Laura Hooper Calligraphy, and filled it with little New York items – a Zagat guide (an essential for visitors, obviously), Grady’s Cold Brew Coffee, Mast Brothers Chocolate… It was so fun to think of things like that.
Being a same-sex couple, I think the most special feeling was having so much love, support, and happiness around us – and that is not something I take for granted. The love in the room was palpable, without compromise, and heartwarming. It was really incredible to feel that from all our friends and family – grandparents included!
We worked with our favorite floral studio in our neighborhood, Sprout Home , to create our dream florals. They did the most amazing job – and Kalena, one of their designers, has got to be one of the sweetest and most patient people I’ve ever met. We wanted to feature peonies, garden roses, and succulents (an ode to my mother’s garden in California), and have really full, gorgeous arrangements fill the space. We had three arrangements on each rectangular table – one large, taller arrangement and two smaller arrangements. They were so beautiful and I wished we could have made them last an eternity. Sprout Home also designed the florals to cover our Chuppah – which then made their way onto mine and Ali’s sweetheart table. I absolutely loved my bouquet, too! We wrapped it in this beautiful blush pink, velvet ribbon which looked so gorgeous. Can you tell the flowers were one of my favorite parts?
Christian Siriano is one of my closest friends, so there was no question that once Ali and I were engaged, he would be the one working on my wedding dress. I came into his studio with lots of inspiration and a general idea of what I wanted to do look like for our wedding, but I mostly entrusted Christian to put his talents to work and create something beautiful. It was definitely a privilege to work with a designer who already knows my sense of style and my personality – and he absolutely created my dream gown! The gown was layered in hand dyed blush pink tulle, and covered in rose gold roses and crystal appliqué. I had full, sheer sleeves so it looked like the crystals and roses were sitting right on my skin – it was so much fun to wear that I refused to take it off – even at our after party when we went bowling across the street at Brooklyn Bowl.
Our cake was made by The Wythe in-house pastry chef, and it was an earl-grey saffron cake with vanilla buttercream. I have celiac’s disease, so unfortunately I couldn’t eat it, but I’m told that it was the best wedding cake ever. My family is Persian and English, so I loved the idea of mixing flavors from both cultures into the cake. We also had an assortment of fruit, flourless cake, petit fours – but the cake was so beautiful, and we covered it with flowers from Sprout (a cascading mix of garden roses and peonies), and topped it with a laser-cut wood topper created by Laura Hooper Calligraphy. I’m pretty sure I’m going to request a special gluten-free version of the cake to celebrate our anniversary!! Overall, The Wythe in-house catering was incredible. We’ve been to and loved many of their sister restaurants, and definitely prioritized good food when finally selecting our venue (I mean, let’s be honest- wedding food is mostly mediocre at best), and I can confidently say the food at our wedding was incredible. We worked with their chefs to create special dishes that paid tribute to our heritage and cultured – a spring salad with smoked trout for Ali’s Russian, Jewish heritage, and lots of saffron, dill, and harissa to celebrate my middle eastern background.
This may seem really controversial, but…. LAY OFF PINTEREST! I know, I know – Pinterest can be an amazing resource for finding inspiration, DIY ideas, and creating a mood board to share with your vendors, but overall it just made me feel like there were all these extra, superfluous things that I needed to have or do that…. we really didn’t need at all. We tried to stay focused on things we actually really did need and want – great music, great food, and fun details to keep everyone entertained (our Photo Booth was a big winner), and create an event where everyone was happy and celebrating — and I really think we pulled it off!
It was really important to us to work with vendors who were either women or LGBT owned. The wedding industry is enormous but we wanted to work specifically with talent from our own community, who shared our values.
Our photographer, Erica Beckman of Clean Plate Pictures, was a friend-of-friends for many years who we have shared community with. She made us feel so comfortable and at ease, and really stayed on top of everything throughout the day of our wedding to make sure all our special moments were captured – and the photos themselves are stunning and so magical. Photography was definitely something we prioritized in our budget and I think it’s a really, really worthy expense. It’s true that the day goes by so quickly, and being able to trust a photographer to capture everything as its happening (much of which you won’t even realize happened until you’re looking at your photos later) is so special and priceless.
We also worked with a queer-owned letter press studio, Ladyfingers Letterpress, to create all of the papers for our wedding and day-of materials. They were a couple who shared so many of our pre-wedding experiences and anxieties, and actually formed their business after dealing with frustrations in planning their own wedding! I loved, LOVED working with them and they are SO talented.
Our DJ, Amber Valentine, is a longtime friend who also throws some of the best queer parties in NYC. She was able to customize the music and remix things to suit our party needs, she even incorporated some Persian music that my family requested!
Our day of planner, Jove Meyer Events, was also gay and helped us find a LGBT Rabbi to officiate, too! It may seem like a little thing, but after meeting with and speaking to tons of vendors who made us feel uncomfortable, who didn’t speak our language (“so which one of you is the bride?” Um, we both are!), we wanted to work with people who would go out of their way to make the entire wedding process feel like it was inclusive and about us, and that was invaluable. Plus, being able to support women and LGBT owned businesses added a bit of social consciousness to our wedding planning process!
Photography: Clean Plate Pictures | Cinematography : NST Pictures | Event Planning: Merren Events | Event Planning: Jove Meyer Events | Floral Design: Sprout Home | Wedding Dress: Christian Siriano | Invitations: Ladyfingers Letterpress | Bride's Shoes: Paul Smith | Bride's Shoes: Christian Louboutin | Catering: Reynard At Wythe Hotel | Makeup: Clarissa Luna | Hair: Adam Maclay | Calligraphy: Laura Hooper Calligraphy | DJ: Amber Valentine | Band: Post Modern Jukebox | Suit: Bindle And Keep | Officiant: Modern Divinities | Hotel: Wythe Hotel | Photo Booth: MVS Studio Inc.