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Organic DIY Wedding in Brooklyn

I remember when I first heard the term DIT. Not DIY. But DI-T. Doing it together. And I thought that it was so much more appropriate for the weddings we feature because rarely are the projects involved a solo act. Weddings just like this one – held in a loft in Brooklyn – where every element was made by the hands of friends. Click here for more from photographer Loreto Caceres.

From the bride…Ken and I got married on a perfect, sunny day on September 14th in Dumbo, Brooklyn, surrounded by our family and closest friends. The wedding itself was relaxed and fun and, looking back on it, I truly feel like one of the reasons it was so wonderful is that so many of our friends pitched-in in different ways – to help make it happen.

One of our closest friends, Lindsey, officiated our wedding and she put together a service that was personal, honest, funny and romantic. As I look through the photos, I’m struck by how much laughter there was during our ceremony. We wrote our own vows – and I was sure to include in mine the promise never to call Han Solo “Hans Solo” mistakenly again; because Ken is a huge Star Wars fan and has been HORRIFIED to hear me mess up that name on more than one occasion.

When we were dating, we spent a lot of time exploring Brooklyn on our bikes – and getting married in Dumbo, and taking our pictures in the park we’ve ridden to and under the bridge we’ve ridden over so many times made the whole day feel familiar and closely-tied to some of our very fond memories.

As I said – our friends really pitched in a lot to make this wedding happen! And there were a lot of DIY elements that brought this day together. Dumbo Loft is a raw space, so we were able to bring in whatever we wanted to make it really feel like our own. We had a traditional wedding, but we did little things differently, in ways that were important to us, so that it felt unique and true to us. Instead of walking down the aisle with my parents, Ken came out and got me and we walked down together – so that instead of him waiting for me to come to him, we were entering into this day jointly. And instead of using a traditional processional song, we chose Yr Face by Oberhofer – which is romantic and uplifting, simple and sweet.

My college roommate, Lana, along with her mother, offered to design and arrange the bouquets and centerpieces for our wedding. For vases, they coffered coffee tins with birch bark they found in the woods in upstate NY – and the resulting effect was so stunning, you’d never have known that they were handmade and basically cost nothing. After asking me about a color scheme (green and white) and the kinds of flowers I like and don’t like, Lana came up with a concept that was rustic, romantic and quirky all at once using primarily dahlias, antique hydrangeas, foxtail, hydrangea, kale flowers, white snowberries, queen anne’s lace, peppergrass and other local greens. Among the photos we have of the wedding, the ones of our flowers are some of my favorite – not only because they were even more beautiful than I’d imagined, but because the represent the love and hard work of a very good friend — who I gave very little direction and put together something that was exactly what I wanted and absolutely perfect.

For the altar area, another old friend – Jothan, who Ken knows from college – offered to make us a structure as his wedding gift to us. Based on what we liked and didn’t like, he found birch beams to purchase (to tie together with the birch bark vases of our flower arrangements) and built an awning-like structure that he then draped with white fabric to create an airy, light and romantic mood.

We flew the caterer – also a friend of Ken’s – in from Wisconsin to make the delicious farm-to-table food that we’d had twice at his pop-up-restaurants in New York (those were great dates!) OUR FOOD WAS DELICIOUS. For appetizers we served three Underground meats salamis served with pickles, mustard and crackers, three cheeses served with crackers and jam, cut vegetables served with a white bean puree, and romesco. For the main meal, smoked pork, two types of sausages and roasted pork loin, tomato and herb salad with sweet corn and grey sea salt, green bean salad, with oven dried tomatoes, pumpkin seeds and shaved gruyere, braised kale with fall onions and bacon and wheat berry, with grilled onions, carrots and parsnips. And for dessert – instead of cake – we had pie from Four and Twenty Blackbirds, lemon chess, birch beer float and fig & plum crumble.

Our engagement photos (not pictured here) were taken by our friend Dave Bunting. Our DJ, James Mulry, is an old friend of Ken’s and he hit every note perfectly – and had people dancing that I’ve never seen dance before! Ken designed our save the dates – using pictures from a photo shoot we set up ourselves in our basement. And he designed our wedding programs (written by me!) Our place cards were handwritten by one of our out-of-town guests, two nights before our wedding, using sparkly stickers she bought for dollars at a stationery store.

I love air plants. So we decided to give assorted air plants as wedding favors. I didn’t realize that some of them were going to flower – and it was such a nice surprise when, a few weeks after our wedding, guests started sending us photos of their newly-flowering air plants.

My dress. I love my dress! After scouring the internet for dress ideas, I found this Rebecca Taylor gown (it’s not traditionally a wedding dress… and it also comes in dark blue) and decided that I had to have it. I went to the Rebecca Taylor boutique in Tribeca with a few friends, tried it on and loved it. Two days later, I went back with my Mom, saw her get tears in her eyes when I put it on, and bought it on the spot. I tried on one and only one wedding dress and never looked back.

The bridesmaids dresses were much harder to figure out. Initially, I wanted navy blue dresses with little cap sleeves. Somehow, we wound up with stone gray and apricot wrap dresses from BHLDN and I love them!

Anyway – clearly I could go on and on! It was a perfect day. I felt so much love and so much in love. Make sure to check out the awesome photo our photographer captured of a woman with a screaming baby walking in front our group shot of the wedding. That was a priceless, hilarious moment. Loreto Caceres did a great job of capturing lovely, candid moments and all the tiny details that I want to remember forever. I’m so happy to share all of these pictures… the wedding was truly a collaboration between many of the people who are big, important parts of our lives and dear friends.

Dress: Rebecca Taylor | Flowers: Lana Klemeyer & Linda Maier | Wedding Invitations: Blue Tulip Design | Ceremony Venue: The Dumbo Loft | Reception Venue: Dumbo Loft | Engagement Ring: Carrie Bilbo | Bridesmaids Dresses: BHLDN | Catering: Jonny Hunter - Underground Food Collective & Forequarter Restaurant | DJ: James Mulry | Groom's Suit: JCrew | Accomodations: Sheraton Brooklyn | After Party: Last Exit Bar | Altar Structure: Jothan Cashero | Boutonnieres/Air Plant favors: Eucca | Bridal Shoes: BHLDN | Dessert/Pie: Four & Twenty Blackbirds | Engagement Photography: David Bunting Photography | Guest Book: Artists and Fleas | Hair Accessories (Bride): Twigs & Honey | Hair/Makeup (Bride): Lucy Flint (Miss Harlequin) | Hair/Makeup (Bridesmaids): Sara Noerper | Rehearsal Dinner Venue: ReBar | Wedding Photography: Loreto Caceres Photography | Wedding Programs, Save-the-dates and website: Ken Stanek (The Groom!) | Wedding Rings: Bario Neal

BHLDN, J.Crew and Twigs & Honey are members of our Look Book. For more information on how members are chosen, click here.

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Colorful Botanic Garden Wedding

I have to say – if the title of this post alone doesn’t get your heart racing a million miles a minute, then I don’t know what will.  Because this, loves, is the type of wedding that marries colorful hues with layers upon layers of romantic details and some of the prettiest blooms you will ever see from Clark’s House of Flowers.  Take in every inch of lovely captured beautifully by Angela Newton Roy right here.


From Angela Newton Roy Amanda and Matt envisioned a wedding day at Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanic Gardens in NYC that incorporated their love for ballroom dance, the coziness of the fall season, and their friends and family, polished off with every ounce of sophistication, charm, and warmth that you would expect from these two. Aside from the fact that the venue is located in the groom’s hometown, they chose Snug Harbor for the beautiful gardens and the romantic 19th century charm that it offers. The bride wore a delicate lace dress from Allure Bridals, perfectly accented with heirloom family jewelry and Bruno Magli suede blue shoes. Her bridesmaids looked stunning by her side in Dessy dresses that were the perfect shade of red.

For their first moments seeing each other, we visited the Chinese Scholar’s Garden. Surrounded by tall bamboo, a pond full of koi fish, and beautiful Chinese architecture, it was the perfect backdrop for these special memories. They were married outside in the Italian Garden at Snug Harbor, surrounded by roses, marble reflection pools, and serenaded by violinist’s from the Staten Island Conservatory of Music. The bride chose a gorgeous fall color palette of oranges, reds, and yellows, with orchids adorning her hair and accenting her bouquet of red calla lilies.

Sunflowers, daisies, cockscomb, hydrangeas, and roses were introduced for the reception florals, and each table was named after a different ballroom dance – how cute! – as a nod to their shared love of (and expertise in) ballroom dance. To give the alcoves in the reception hall a cozy feel, the bride’s mother handmade pillows with stitched buttons for their initials “A” and “M”. After guests worked up an appetite dancing, they were offered sweet treats at the cookie bar, with a array of homemade cookies made by the bride, her mother, and her two sisters. From handwritten love letters to each other, to the perfect first dance dip, the love and chemistry shared between these two was unmistakable, and was by far the best accent to their perfect fall wedding!

Photography: Angela Newton Roy | Floral Design: Clark's House of Flowers | Ceremony Venue: Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanic Garden | Reception Venue: Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanic Garden | Bride's Shoes: Bruno Magli | Bridesmaid Dresses: Dessy | DJ: Sound Explosion DJ's | Ceremony Music: Staten Island Conservatory of Music | Assistant Photography: Christine Alyssa | Bridal Gown: Allure Bridals | Bride' Jewelry: Family Heirlooms | Cake Baker: Palermo's | Groomsmen Attire: Men's Wearhouse | Hair + Make-Up: Chrysalis Salon

Alfred Sung, Dessy Collection and Dessy Flower Girls are members of our Look Book. For more information on how members are chosen, click here. Angela Newton Roy Photography is a member of our Little Black Book. Find out how members are chosen by visiting our FAQ page.
Angela Newton Roy Photography

Queens County Farm Museum Wedding

When I was scouting locations for my own wedding we looked at totally off the beaten path places – like an old racetrack or a gorgeous piece of farmland. We ended up switching gears entirely for a city wedding but this bride totally stuck to her vision and guess what? Her wedding at Queens County Farm Museum turned out just a notch or two above perfections. Click her for more shots from Dutton + James.


From the bride…Even before Evan and I got engaged, we knew we wanted to have our wedding at the Queens County Farm Museum. We wanted something very non traditional that would really wow our guests, and we definitely accomplished that. The whole evening everyone asked “Where did you find this place?”. We received so many compliments on how beautiful and different it was. It was everything we had wished for and more.

The whole day was completely perfect. I can’t think of one thing that went wrong. The weather was absolutely amazing, it was sunny and 70 degrees. Our ceremony was timed perfectly with the sun setting over the fields of kale and lettuce. As soon as our ceremony started, one of the cows grazing in a nearby pasture came over to watch. It was like he knew exactly what was going on!

As a Fashion Designer, I chose my colors based completely on the J Crew “Dusty Shale” color. As soon as I saw it on their website, it totally inspired me and I based everything from the flowers, the linens, to the entire theme of the wedding around this color. I was obsessed. I did a lot of DIY, and Etsy purchases for the decor. The hand made birch cake stand, and birch card holders were from Etsy. The seller was so kind and easy to work with and was able to make anything I wanted. I found the table number chalk boards from Michael’s for $1 each! The menu chalkboard sign, my husband actually found on the side of the road and I coated it with some chalkboard paint, and hand wrote it myself. The other chalk board sign, we found in the garbage room of our building and I immediately took it and wrote “Eat, drink and be married” on it myself also.

I wanted our flowers to compliment the Dusty Shale color, but somehow make it seem more of a Fall color since we got married in September. I didn’t want the Dusty Shale to read too Spring, so Bridget from Violet and Verde was able to create the most gorgeous flowers with the hints of burgundy ranunculus and dahlias. She understood my ideas completely, and when I first saw the room set up with the flowers, I actually teared up with joy. I couldn’t have asked for more beautiful flower arrangements, and the chuppah was absolutely to die for.

The entire day was a complete success, and we were so overjoyed with how wonderful our wedding day turned out. We couldn’t have done it without such amazing vendors, and friends and family to be apart of our special day.

Photography: Dutton + James | Wedding Dress: RK Bridal | Floral Design: Violet And Verde | Cake: Momofuku Milk Bar | Invitations: Bow & Arrow Paper & Design Co | Ceremony Venue: Queens County Farm Museum | Reception Venue: Queens County Farm Museum | Bride's Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Bridesmaids Dresses: J Crew | Catering: Bon Soir Caterers | Hair: Styles On B | Groom's Shoes: Cole Haan | Grooms Attire: J Crew | Bridal Hairpiece: Ruche | Bride's Earrings: Givenchy | Groom And Groomsmen's Socks: Target | Groomsmen Attire: Jack Silver Formal Wear | Groomsmen Ties: Calvin Klein | Makeup: Gloss Makeup By Renee

J.Crew and Ruche are members of our Look Book. For more information on how members are chosen, click here. Violet and Verde is a member of our Little Black Book. Find out how members are chosen by visiting our FAQ page.
Violet and Verde