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.
Flowers: Lana Klemeyer & Linda Maier | Dress: Rebecca Taylor | Wedding Invitations: Blue Tulip Design | Ceremony Venue: Dumbo Loft | Reception Venue: Dumbo Loft | Engagement Ring: Carrie Bilbo | Bridesmaids Dresses: BHLDN | Catering: Underground Food Collective | DJ: James Mulry | Groom's Suit: J.Crew | Accomodations: Sheraton Brooklyn | After Party: Last Exit Bar | Altar Structure: Jothan Cashero | Boutonnieres/Air Plant favors: EUCCA Floral | 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 | 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