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New York City Engagement Session

We all know that New York City is one of the coolest places on the planet… that’s a fact.  But throw in an adorable duo who are super excited to say “I do” and a day of lovely captured by Theo Milo and it becomes one of the most romantic places on earth, as well.  Greatest city on earth?  We think so.  See all of the lovely right here.

From the Bride… Even though Peter and I will be getting married next year in my home state of North Carolina, we both liked the idea of getting our engagement photos taken in NYC. Manhattan has always been the backdrop to our relationship and now it is where we have made our first home together. We live in the Bowery, right in the mecca of three hip and trendy neighborhoods (SoHo, Lower East Side, and the East village) and we really wanted pictures to reflect our real lives in our actual hang out spots. I had the idea of an ‘Uptown & Downtown’ engagement shoot theme and spent a lot of time scoping out street art locales around our neighborhood (and not to mention deciding on just the right amount of leather!).

While I love the timelessness of our shots in Central Park, I’m a bit obsessed with how our downtown pictures came out. Our photographer, Theo Milo, did an amazing job working with all of the locations we gave him. It’s hard to believe that all of the downtown photos are within a three block radius of our house – Theo even got our normal coffee spot to look magical. And we lucked out with the bold graffiti wall right across from our apartment, it changes all the time and this had to be the best one I’ve seen yet. Some of my favorites are with our adorable puppy, Bowery, she steals the show! Being a southerner it took me a while to embrace the city, but now I feel so lucky we get to spend this fun time in our lives in the greatest city in the world.

Theo Milo Photography: Theo Milo

Theo Milo Photography is a member of our Little Black Book. Find out how members are chosen by visiting our FAQ page.
Theo Milo Photography

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Classic NYC Museum Wedding

As a West Coaster who spends more than her fair share of time dreaming of NYC weddings, this gorgeous day captured by Jamie Lefkowitz is right up my alley.  It’s classic New York romance meets a sleek, sophisticated vibe meets one crazy cool setting (hello Society of Illustrators).  In other words, it’s pure, unadulterated pretty… and you can see every last moment right here in the full gallery.

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From Jamie Lefkowitz PhotographyI was so honored to be asked to capture Chris and Laura’s wedding day. When we met early on in their planning, they knew they wanted an intimate and classic NYC wedding. Chris’ father is a member of the Society of Illustrators (SOI), which is a historic New York carriage house. SOI is located in the Upper East Side of Manhattan and has a rotating exhibit of famous illustrators (Maurice Sendak was on display the day of the wedding!). Upstairs, you enter into a timeless dining room which leads to a unique third floor terrace. I could not have imagined a more perfect space to meet Chris and Laura’s vision for their big day. Only a few blocks from the venue is Central Park, where we met the groom for the first look. Laura looked radiant in a sleek gown and Chris had a custom suit. The reception was filled with candles and rose centerpieces which created an intimate and romantic setting. The guest embraced their inner illustrator with a guest book to sketch and write well wishes to the newlyweds. It was truly a beautiful wedding and the bride and groom were smiling throughout the day.

From the Bride…  Chris and I are at the point in our lives in which we attend a lot of weddings. When we got engaged, we already had a sense of what we did and did not want to have at our own event. The number one thing we wanted to avoid was fuss, so we tried to keep everything as low key as possible. I was very fortunate in that my mother was enthusiastic about research and planning. Although I feel like all of the pieces just came together, she might disagree! Chris and I felt strongly about having our wedding in a location that would not require our guests to drive. Since his father is a member of the Society of Illustrators, we lucked out with a perfect venue in Manhattan. We found our vendors easily through recommendations of friends and colleagues. Jamie, our photographer, really guided us through the entire process and referred us to some great people. We really just let all of the professionals do their jobs and let the evening happen. It was gratifying to see all of our assorted friends and family members socializing and enjoying the night!

Photography: Jamie Lefkowitz Photography | Wedding Dress: J.Crew | Cake: Baked | Bride's Shoes: J.crew | Band: Gypsy Jazz Caravan | Groom's Suit: My Suit | Bride's Necklace: BHLDN | Floral Design + Lighting: Love & Philanthropy | Lodging: Renaissance New York Hotel | Venue: Society of Illustrators | Wedding Venue: Society of Illustrators

BHLDN and J.Crew are members of our Look Book. For more information on how members are chosen, click here.
Glamorous Manhattan Wedding at Astra

Glamorous, elegant and crazy gorgeous… this, lovelies, is the epitome of a Manhattan wedding.  It’s romantic cherry blossom centerpieces from Designs By Ahn meets a candlelit reception overlooking the breathtaking city skyline meets all kinds of magical moments captured by Cynthia Chung… and it’s all waiting right here in the full gallery.  Enjoy.

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From the Photographer… I have never been to SUCH an international wedding. The bride (half Chinese, half Korean) and groom (Middle Eastern) come from such different cultural backgrounds- it was really amazing to see how they were able to connect and come together to create such a beautiful event full of different people sharing love, drinks and happiness together. It was such a beautiful sight.

From the Bride… I envisioned our Manhattan wedding to be a classy, intimate, early-springtime affair. We wanted to find a small and cozy space, but something with a spectacular view to charm our guests and provide that “New York” moment. We found Astra, a private event space located on the fourteenth floor of the Manhattan Design & Decoration Building, complete with a long terrace that overlooked the Upper East Side and the Queensboro Bridge. It was perfect.

I was inspired by my Asian heritage where cherry tree blossoms are cherished for their beauty and their symbolic meaning of love, hope, and happiness — and the coming of spring! It only seemed ideal to go out all out with cherry blossom branches to decorate the entrance, the ceremony, and the reception. The soft pink florals and branches added the perfect amount of color and texture to the modern, neutral space of Astra. Several vintage gold hanging and standing tea light candles were used throughout to create that romantic and enchanting feel.

For the dress, I wanted something that would combine clean modern lines and vintage romance. I found a simple and fitted ivory satin gown by Vineyard with a lovely train, and customized it by adding a Swarovski crystal beaded belt, a sheer illusion neckline, and buttons all the way down the back of the dress. To accompany the dress, the florist created a soft feminine mix of ivory and cream garden roses, peonies, and ranunculus – hand-tied with an ivory satin ribbon. The groom wore a modern black tuxedo by Tommy Hilfiger, with a boutonniere to match my bridal bouquet. My bridesmaids each wore their own choice of dress in a pinkish color to tie in with the cherry blossom decor. For their bouquets, I decided to use the same flowers as my own, but instead in pink, peach and blush hues.

Food is something that we really connected on in the beginning of our relationship. We knew we had to serve amazing food to our guests, which is another reason why we chose Astra, owned by world-famous chef, Carlie Palmer. We were able offer guests salmon tartare, balsamic tenderloin skewers, crispy scallops, heirloom tomato salad, filet mignon with lobster mashed potatoes, and wild halibut with peas and morels. Instead of a traditional wedding cake, we opted to serve cupcakes from one of our favorite cupcake bakeries, “Baked”, and included some of our favorite flavors such as honey pistachio, tart passion fruit, and chocolate peanut butter with sea salt.

For music, we wanted to play all sorts of genres to please our varied guests and ourselves. Throughout the night we had a mix of 80′s, new wave, pop, electronic, oldies, top 40, and Middle Eastern pop music — which made the groom’s guests very happy! Guests were encouraged to take home Baked cupcakes, and a silver fortune cookie, which topped each place setting and included a humorous insert about love or marriage. After all, love is meant to put a smile on your face!

Photographer: Cynthia Chung | Wedding Dress: Vineyard | Florist: Designs By Ahn | Hair & Makeup: Sachiko Yanase | Officiant: Reverend Lynn Bourbeau | Event Coordination: Gavin Murphy Of Astra | Groom's Tuxedo: Tommy Hilfiger | Music: DJ Enrique Colon | Restaurant: Astra (Manhattan D&D Building) | Wedding Dress Customizations: Vivienne Of Bridal Garden

DESIGNS BY AHN and Cynthia Chung Photography are members of our Little Black Book. Find out how members are chosen by visiting our FAQ page.
DESIGNS BY AHN

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Cynthia Chung Weddings

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