I am a little in love with this next duo. So much so that we wanted to share their so-cute-so-ME rehearsal dinner before we dove head first into their even more lovely wedding. And not just because the main event is an ice cold margarita and a really good looking fish taco. But because the photographs from Heather Waraksa are so stinking cute, we are only sad we couldn’t be there ourselves!
From the bride…We knew that we didn’t want a traditional rehearsal dinner, so we decided to do a more casual welcome party where everyone would be able to attend. Something that was particularly unusual was the mariachi band at the welcome party at La Brisa. They were fantastic and made it such a lively event! We also made sure that our guests were able to get to know Montauk, so on Saturday we arranged for paddle board lessons, tastings at a local brewery, and a screening of one of our favorite films at the local movie theater.
And now for the wedding. The picture perfect, cuddle up with the gorgeous blankets that the couple gifted, so personal and yet so ridiculously elegant wedding photographed to utter perfection by Heather Waraksa. Complete with a momofuku cake and a bouquet dressed with 100 year-old blue ribbon from the bride’s great-grandfather’s flower shop. I told you it was a keeper. And there is SO much more right here!
From the beautiful Bride… My gown was from Valentino Resort 2013 and I had seen it on Style.com. I’ve always known that I did not want a traditional wedding dress and that it didn’t particularly have to be white. I made several appointments at bridal salons, but on a whim I decided to go to Valentino with my mother before to see if they had the dress. When we arrived and showed them the picture of the white dress with green beads they said they didn’t have that one, but they did have a version in pink. However, when they went into the back they came out with a surprise. They had just gotten the green dress in, in one size too big for me! We were ecstatic! The salesperson said it was the only one made for stores in America and it had literally just arrived so they didn’t know they had it. I tried it on and instantly knew it was meant to be. I did however, then call my maid of honor and father to see it for final approval. It was truly a work of art and I felt so happy and like myself (but better) in it. I bought it just a few weeks after getting engaged. I then found a perfect pair of Valentino white, rock-stud wedges on eBay which were comfortable and matched perfectly. I love the dress so much, I just had it hemmed a bit so I can wear it again!
About the wedding: We wanted the wedding to be a whole weekend of fun. We actually started planning the wedding in Brooklyn where we live, but realized we would prefer to have our closest friends and family stay with us and for everyone to be together for as long as possible. After a bit of searching, we decided on Montauk because it was accessible from NYC, but felt like a destination. Ruschmeyer’s was perfect because we were able to get rooms on the property for all of our family and close friends.
As for the wedding itself, it was extra special because Todd’s father was able to officiate. We got married under a tent which ended up being very cozy and warm. Everyone was greeted with a glass of prosecco (or two) and with 135 guests, it felt very intimate.
The food was definitely very special. As a former event planner and an always foodie, I knew that we didn’t want typical wedding fare. Chef Roy Wohlars at Ruschmeyer’s really did an amazing job. Each of the four courses was absolutely delicious and the food was abundant. He prides himself on focusing on local ingredients and everything was exceptional without being fussy. We served dinner family-style so everyone could get a bite of everything. I am still getting e-mails about how much people enjoyed the experience of eating at our wedding!
What made it unique: Making the wedding personal was extremely important to us. We tried to incorporate as much of our personal style and values in to the wedding as possible. During the ceremony, besides the fact that my father-in-law married us, Todd and I each recited song lyrics that were meaningful to us as our vows.
We were also able to incorporate some 100 year-old blue ribbon from my great-grandfather’s flower shop into my bouquet. The added bonus was that our florist is only located a few blocks away from where his store was in Brooklyn. We also got married under a chuppah inspired by the flower garlands we saw on our travels around India and Thailand. Travel is a big part of our lives; I own a travel business and Todd used to be a pilot. We also moved to Paris for a bit, so I was also set on having a croquembouche (a traditional French wedding confection) at the wedding and was thinking of forgoing a cake. Luckily, Momofuku’s Milk Bar has both, so in addition to our wedding cake, we had a tower of birthday cake truffles, for a bit of Paris meets Brooklyn.
Going along with our love of travel, we were able to take our wedding portraits at the Montauk Airport–a place Todd used to fly into regularly when he was a pilot. It was really special to incorporate his love of aviation into our wedding. It’s a tiny air field, so luckily there were several planes parked there for the day, so we got some amazing shots.
We also knew it could get a little chilly in Montauk in the evening, so as a give away we ordered these fantastic, colorful Mexican blankets. I may have ordered a bit too many, but I have friends that I think took 4 or 5 home with them! I am constantly seeing them at friends’ homes and even in pictures on social media, so it’s nice to know everyone could take a little piece of the weekend home with them.
A memorable moment: I knew the whole day would fly by and consciously tried to stop a few times in the evening to take it all in. My greatest memory was just being on the dance floor, dancing up storm with my husband while looking around and thinking, “Wow, I really love all of these people!”
Their engagement story: Todd and I met in April of 2005 at a bar in St. Louis. We were both students at Washington University and this bar was a popular Tuesday night destination for the college set. I was taking a photography class and was a little behind on a project, so I brought my camera to take pictures. The assignment was “action shots” and when a cute senior guy came over to help me take pictures, I could not refuse. However, when I went to develop the pictures (yes, in a dark room), I realized they were all of some other guy who I didn’t know. The next week I saw that guy from the pictures at a party and his name was Todd. We started dating and Todd graduated 6 weeks later. He moved back to LA and I went home to New York for the summer. He came to visit me and we stayed together through my junior year abroad in London and then my senior year when I was back in St. Louis. Finally, as luck would have it, Todd moved to Brooklyn with the band he was in at the time and I moved to the East Village for graduate school. We moved in together in 2009 in Williamsburg, then went to Paris for a summer and came back to New York. After almost 9 years of being together, on October, 31st 2013 Todd proposed. He asked me to meet him at a subway stop in Brooklyn and he had prepared a whole picnic that we were to bring to Brooklyn Bridge Park. I was completely oblivious to the plan and was not expecting anything, after all it was Halloween. Unbeknownst to me, he had previously gone to the park and picked a spot, which was auspiciously the same spot another couple had chosen to have their wedding that day. So when he insisted we sit and picnic next to this wedding, again I didn’t think anything of it. I was pretty shocked when he asked if I would marry him and took out a gorgeous ring he had designed using my grandmother’s diamond from her engagement. We then went out for dinner and champagne.
Words of wisdom: Try not to worry too much about the details, rather pick great vendors and work with people you love. Grab coffee with them, chat with them, make sure they get you. Our planners, Mayra and Xochitl were so much fun to work with and it made everything easier knowing they knew us and understood what we wanted. Same goes for our photographer, Heather Waraksa who was incredibly easy to work with and we knew her style was what we were looking for, so anything she did would be great. Amy Febinger and her team really took our (sometimes crazy) ideas for floral arrangements and made them into a reality. Overall, it was about the right people and the details will fall into place.
Photography: Heather Waraksa | Cinematography: Kiss the Bride Films | Floral Design: Bourgeon | Wedding Dress: Valentino | Cake: Momofuku | Stationery: Mr Boddington's Studio | Bride's Shoes: Valentino | Engagement Ring: Custom By Bittersweets | Makeup: Luis Rodriguez | Hair: Mia Santiago | Entertainment: Hank Lane Music | Groom's Attire: J. Crew | Groom's Shoes: Paul Smith | Wedding Venue: Ruschmeyer's | Anniversary Wine Box: Etsy | Day Of Coordination: Just About Married | Decor Rentals: Patina Rentals | Earrings: Sara Weinstock | Groom's Ring: Bittersweets From Catbird | Guest Welcome Bags: 4 Imprint | Photo Lab: Richard Photo Lab | Planning And Event Design: AaB Creates | Rehearsal Dinner Venue: La Brisa | Wedding Ring: Kwait