Sometimes I come across weddings that just have so much style I can barely contain myself. Weddings that introduce you to a couple the minute you sneak a peek at all their gorgeous images. Weddings just like this one captured by Alec Vanderboom and planned by La Vie En Rose Events. It’s a New York City stunner packed with personality, and you can see every stylish moment right here.
From the Bride… Alan and I met when we were about 12 years old – I went to an all girls school here in the city and Alan went to my “brother” school. We were friends for over a decade before we started dating, and I think that our friendship with one another really set the tone of our wedding, which was all about everyone being their best selves – feeling fabulous and relaxed and just enjoying a quintessentially New York soiree. Our invitation asked our guests to “dress to thrill”. As I wrote to my friend, “I’m not working this hard to plan a party if everyone’s going to show up in subdued outfits and make small talk all night…”
Alan and I both grew up in Manhattan, so we knew right away that we wanted to get married somewhere in the city, at an iconic and unique venue. The Woolworth Building was absolutely perfect, especially as it turned 100 years old just a few weeks before our wedding. The lobby of the building is incredibly ornate – it was dubbed “a cathedral to commerce” when it was built – so I wanted to keep everything else pretty clean and streamlined in contrast. I thought it would be interesting to use light as decoration, rather than botanicals or fabric; we had an amazing lucite chuppah and strung white bistro lights across the top and down the interior of the four columns.
We spent the day getting ready in a suite at the Ace Hotel, eating french fries, listening to records and drinking champagne. My hairstylist, Erika, brought her little dog Betsy with her to hang out with us as well. My bridesmaids wore long “infinity” dresses by Tart in crimson, charcoal, and platinum. All the groomsmen wore grey suits, white shirts and black ties, as well as red dress socks and red digital “casio-style” watches, which Alan had given them as thank-you gifts.
At the ceremony we had a few rows of bentwood Thornet chairs and everyone else gathered around. I didn’t like the idea of being “given away” (it made me sad!) so Alan and I decided to walk down the aisle together, which turned out to be crazy fun. I wrapped my bouquet in a lace handkerchief that every woman on my dad’s side of the family has carried at her wedding, beginning with my great grandmother in Russia. My engagement ring is an art deco cocktail ring that belonged to Alan’s great grandmother, so I really felt like I was carrying our family history with me. My mother gave us a handkerchief that had belonged to her father – who I never met – in the 40’s, and we used that to wrap the glass that Alan broke at the end of the ceremony. One of our oldest friends officiated, which was really wonderful, and we had incredible musical performances from our friends and family instead of readings.
At the reception we filled the rooms with cherry blossom branches, palm fronds, potted orchids and tons of candles. We kept the food simple – lots of childhood favorites. My mom is from Montreal and Alan’s mom is Cuban, so we decided to have a smoked meat sandwiches and an empanada station. Instead of a wedding cake we had passed choco tacos, which were a big hit. Then at midnight we passed around grilled cheese sandwiches and paper cones of french fries. Drinks were plentiful – we had a full bar plus three amazing signature cocktails. The Wooly used to be a social club, and the current owner has done a fabulous job restoring it to have a great art deco vibe, so we wanted the cocktails to be strong and glamorous as well.
As little favors I had 1.25″ buttons made with vintage photos of each of our grandparents on them. We had them displayed on the bar along with short bios of each person. It was pretty awesome to see everyone wearing them – even the staff got in on it.
I bought my dress online for 60% off, but it was about 4 sizes too big for me. I had a ridiculously talented seamstress – Nayantara Banerjee (“The Williamsburg Seamster”) – who managed to remove TWENTY FIVE YARDS of fabric from the dress and it fit like a glove. Since the gown had a lot of beading at the waist and neckline I wanted my jewelry to be more simple bold and modern. My mom gave me some incredible white resin Oscar DeLaRenta earrings and I bought some vintage lucite bangles online (my shoes has lucite heels as well…I guess there was a sort of unintentional theme there).
Ultimately the day was really a lighthearted but genuine tribute to our family history and to the history of our beloved city.
Photography: Alec Vanderboom | Cinematography: MK Super8 | Event Coordination: LVR Events | Flowers: Denise Fasanello Floral Design | Wedding Dress: Reem Acra | Invitations: Oblation Papers & Press | Invitations: Papel New York | Bride's Shoes: Stuart Weitzmen | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Tart | Makeup: Aidan Keogh | Groom's Suit: Acustom Apparel | Wedding Venue: The Woolworth Building (The Wooly) | Gown Alterations: The Williamsburg Seamster | Lucite Chuppah: Custom Ceremony Designs