If this breathtaking Brooklyn wedding doesn’t make your entire weekend (+ week + month + year), then I don’t know will. And I am sooo serious, lovelies. Because this wedding? This DIY masterpiece held at the ever-amazing Green Building? It’s downright amazing. With a bride and groom who couldn’t be cuter (don’t miss their true love fairytale below), a plethora of vintage-inspired details and a cozy meets intimate vibe that is all kinds of wonderful. See it all captured by Heidi Benjamin Photography in the full gallery. It’s a beauty.
From the Bride… My wedding was a magical day, to say the least. Each time I look through our photos or watch our video of the day, I’m immediately taken back to the day – the blizzard, our nearest & dearest, the cozy atmosphere we created in The Green Building, the sheer joy of it all. I hope that by looking at these photos you feel like you were right there, too!
Michael and I met one cold night in December 2009 while shopping for ribbon at Kate’s Paperie on W. 57th Street. We chatted for a bit but left without exchanging numbers. With every step outside the store, I wanted to go back and introduce myself, but I was too shy. Our story is epic– and includes posting a Craigslist Missed Connection notice and a time span of many months plus help from our good friends. Finally, we found each other again! “Kate’s Paperie Boy” and I celebrated my Sound of Music opening night performance over martini’s and sealed the night with a kiss. We’ve been together ever since!
We managed to pull off the whole she-bang – from engagement to “I do!” – in about three months. It was pretty fast, but once we got engaged we just couldn’t wait to get married! We got engaged just before Thanksgiving – right at the height of business for my baking company – so after we nailed down the date, the venue, the dress, and the officiant, we had to put most of the rest of the planning on hold until after the holidays. The majority of the details were figured out the month before! Sounds crazy, I know, but the good thing about it was that I didn’t have time to second guess myself. I had to trust my instincts and own personal style and go with it. The wedding that we ended up having was so personal, so heartfelt, and so us. I wouldn’t change it for the world.
Although we looked at various venues Upstate, we decided on The Green Building here in Brooklyn in order to make it easier on our guests traveling in from out of town. Neither of our families live on the East Coast. This wound up being an enormous blessing, because we had a blizzard on our wedding day! Thank Heaven for public transportation! It was an added bonus that The Green Building is simply gorgeous! Those vaulted ceilings, chandeliers, and rows and rows of exposed brick – quite the romantic backdrop.
After reading A Practical Wedding by Meg Keene (A must read for every Bride on a budget), I became charmed by the fact that for hundreds of years weddings happened in the home – in parlours, in living rooms, in backyards. Anyone who’s ever lived in NYC knows that it would be difficult to fit ten people, let alone two large families and a group of friends into a living room, so we decided to bring our living room – our parlour – into The Green Building. We wanted it to feel like an extension of our individual apartments in one, new space – our first dinner party as a married couple. Almost all of the items – decor, serving-ware, furniture – are items that we have each collected over the years. Bringing our own things also helped keep costs down! Also, as we met buying ribbon, there was a slight ribbon theme in the decor and graphics – how could there not be?
Having a small baking business in Brooklyn, I know quite a few amazing vendors, so when it came time to decide on flowers, dessert, food, and a few of the furniture rentals, I went with my favorites. This only added to the feeling that our friends and family were truly surrounding us on our big day – supporting and celebrating this enormous, crazy, wonderful commitment.
Some of our favorite details…
Our cocktails: My company, Butter + Love, uses a lot of jam, specifically Bonne Maman jam. I have a hard time throwing things away, so by the time we got engaged I had collected almost 300 Bonne Maman jam jars! When trying to figure out what to do for our signature cocktail, I had the idea to pre-mix the cocktail in the jars – when it came time to hand them out to guests all the bar tender had to do was unscrew the lid, add some ice and add a straw and stir stick! They looked adorable all piled up on the bar. And I love a gingham lid.
Our favors: I made Red Velvet sandwich cookies (with a cream cheese/white chocolate ganache) and piled them in clear boxes topped with a hand-made pom pom on top. Adorable and delicious!
Our cake: I wasn’t going to have a wedding cake – and rather, have a dessert table using the amazing creations of my talented friends. However, when Jen (of Liddabit) heard that she told me she was making me a cake and wouldn’t take no for an answer! I gave her my recipe for Guinness Chocolate Cake and she created a four-tiered, choclate-y buttercream masterpiece! We loved it!
Our cake toppers: Michael’s father, Steve, hand carved our initials out of wood from his home in Portland, Oregon. He wasn’t sure which grain would best suit our decor, so he made three sets out of three different types of wood! We were able to place the other two sets around the room. It was a very sweet gesture.
A few things that made this wedding-on-a-budget possible…
1) Recruiting friends and family to help with set-up and tear down. It takes a village to throw a budget-friendly wedding. We are forever grateful for the help we had.
2) We had a small ceremony, followed by an intimate dinner, and then opened up the reception to a larger group of guests, serving light, party food. This allowed us to have the sit down, family style meal we wanted while not breaking the bank.
3) We had an off-season wedding and got married on a Friday night. Thinking a bit outside the box with when/where your wedding happens opens up a lot of possibilities for a unique day!
A note about one of the photos — There is a photo of our wedding rings wrapped in ribbon – that is the ribbon Michael bought the night we met. Cue: Awwww.
Photography: Heidi Benjamin Photography | Officiant: Stephen Gire | Video + Photo Booth: Jason Koontz | Wedding Planning + Event Design: The Bride & Groom | Wedding Venue: The Green Building, Brooklyn | Wedding Rings: Erie Basin | Bride’s Dress: Catherine Deane | Bride’s Shoes: Corso Como | Veil: Laura’s Couture Collection, Shawnee Mission, Kansas | Bride’s Jewelry: Earrings, Lovely Bride | Hair + Makeup: Rachel Downing | Groom’s Attire: Benetton | Men’s Ties + Pocket Squares: DIY by the Bride | Bridesmaid’s Dresses: Various | Cake: Jen King of Liddabit Sweets | Flowers: Bride’s Bouquet, Bridesmaid’s Bouquets, and Mantle Bouquet: Stem, Fort Greene, Brooklyn. All other flowers were purchased at a local neighborhood bodega and arranged by the Bride & Groom’s friends and family. | Stationery: Graphic Design by the Bride’s brother, Jeremy Walla | Dinner Catering: Holly Sheppard, Fig & Pig Catering | Dessert Table: Butter + Love (the Bride’s baking company) + Liddabit Sweets + Whimsy & Spice + Salty Road Taffy + Macaron Parlour + Danny Macaroons | Reception+ Party Caterers: Lonestar Empire Rice & Miso Everyday | Band: Petr Cancura | DJ: Jordan Phillips | Reception Decor + Props: DIY by Bride + Groom | Rentals: Patina Vintage Rentals | Getting Ready Venue for the Groomsmen: The Brooklyn Inn