Gold seems to run through the veins of SMP, so this Bride’s gorgeous gilded Sarah Seven gown made us stop in our tracks. It’s simply beyond. The best part is, that gown is just the beginning of a style-infused fête captured by Sean Kim Gallery and planned by Pickles And Pies. Every gorgeous detail sitting in this gallery will make you want to stop and stay awhile, and you can do just that right here.
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From The Bride…Adam Mullinax and I (Sara Mintz) wed on the first day of winter, the unseasonably balmy 21st of December, 2013 at the Metropolitan Building in Long Island City, Queens. We embraced the gritty turn of the century elements of our venue, which was built the same year as the Queensboro Bridge and was originally an electrical parts factory. As a foil for the venue and neighborhood’s industrial qualities we wanted to imbue the space with festive warmth and a look of unique, faded elegance. Thus, we included antique and vintage details throughout, lots of candlelight and dim light emitting from antique crystal chandeliers, and lush floral designs within a restrained and elegant palette of white, green, and black with pops of orange from kumquat branches.
My amazing, talented, and absolutely lovely florist, Ariel Dearie, did the majority of our florals, but to help make sure I wasn’t fretting throughout the day (and the ease on our budget didn’t hurt either) one of my older brothers picked me up and took me to the floral district in NYC first thing in the morning on our wedding day. I picked up bunches of privet berry branches and white ranunculus (which were featured in the arrangements) and the bridesmaids and I assembled their simple bouquets ourselves while having our hair and makeup done. I had picked out a coppery silk satin ribbon to add a touch of coordination to their “choose-your-own” navy dresses, which subtly coordinated with the groomsmen’s raw silk copper ties.
The groomsmen wore any gray or navy suit they already owned with white shirts in addition to their matching ties. The slight variations in textures and hues paired well with patina of the venue. More importantly, we really wanted everyone who generously participated in our wedding to feel relaxed and at their best, so we allowed our party to wear anything they wanted within two universally flattering colors, navy and grey. I fell in love with an allover gold Sarah Seven dress, which helped initially dictate our color scheme, and Adam wore a three piece navy blue suit, which I complimented with navy blue satin pumps (also my something blue!). After processing, we invited the wedding party to sit in the front rows as everyone sat down for the ceremony. We also opted against formally announcing the wedding party, so they were at liberty to relax and have the same experience as the rest of our guests, once the ceremony began.
Many of the smaller design elements we brought in ourselves like the antique cognac leather medicine box found in Cold Springs the summer before our wedding that we used to receive notes from our guests in lieu of a guest book; a gilded glass sign display found at Housing Works on the UWS that we placed in the Metropolitan Building’s foyer, to direct guests to the second floor; the embroidered table cloth found on Etsy that we used to cover the table that held glassware for the bar; the mix and matched brass candlesticks adorning each of the tables; antique knives used for meats and cheeses during cocktail hour and thrifted sterling silver plated platters the servers used for passed cocktails (we were insistent that we avoid that initial crush at the bar after the ceremony!); the antique cake knife and server used for our cake cutting, which makes me smile every time I see it in the kitchen drawer. Our event coordinator, Erin Crosby, constructed our birch chuppah and we used an antique tablecloth of hers and Adam’s old bar mitzvah prayer shall as a personal and meaningful canopy. With a little extra work, we found most of these items for the same (or less!) cost as their rental fee equivalent, and we now get to use them regularly, as reminders of the day. Erin also has a wonderful inventory of very reasonably prices rentals, like her collection of mix matched vintage dinner plates that we used for our dinner service. If you are marrying in the NYC area and are looking for unique rentals, event coordination and/or planning, or event design, Erin offers all of these services! We used vintage stamps on our invitation suite with NYC, MA (where I am from) and NJ (where Adam is from) pictures, in a blue, gold, and cream palette as the first hint about the wedding’s look.
For small elements that couldn’t be vintage, I hand crafted as much as possible. I was inspired by Design Sponge’s wedding inspiration shoot and modeled my gold cake topper on their red garland topper. I handmade and individually wrapped hundreds of salted caramels (with some generous help from Erin and my maids of honor) that I then packaged in hand assembled holiday crackers, a fun and festive nod to the season. I wanted the cracker to be visually consistent with the overall event, however, so I followed Martha Stewart’s directions and hand covered each paper roll (generously hoarded by friends and family, specifically for this craft!) in antique wallpaper, and then wrapped the roll, caramel, and “snapper” in matte brown parchment paper tied with simple cream kitchen twine. We placed them in a chest of drawers so they were hidden at the beginning of the event, but could be effortlessly revealed at the night’s end by simply opening the drawers and adding a “Thank you for coming, please take a cracker” sign atop the chest. I saved one to snap in celebration of our first anniversary.
In addition to the favor chest, we hand-picked all the furniture from Eleanor Ambros’ (the venue’s owner) vast and wonderful collection the week before the wedding and chose placement throughout the space. This allowed us to incorporate our palette of gold, cognac, navy, and ivory in a subtle and organic fashion and the vintage and antique worn pieces contributed to the overall scheme. This was one of the most fun parts of planning, for me!
We kicked off the reception with our first dance to the The Zombies, “This Will be Our Year”, followed by my father daughter dance to “Moon River” sung by Audrey Hepburn, and Adam’s mother son dance to “This Old Heart of Mine”, by the Isley Brothers, which turned into a perfect, but unplanned moment when all immediate family joined in on the dance floor for the end of the song. Rob Hitt was our amazing DJ who perfectly captured our wish for classic, great and highly dance-able music that all guests could enjoy and appreciate for the majority of the evening before delving into hip hop and pop for the last hour of the night.
All the cliches are true–it can be stressful, it’s a lot of work and you have to be creative if you want to maximize your budget, but it pays off and it’s totally worth it in the end–try and enjoy the planning stages for the aspects that naturally appeal to you. For me, it was the event design and hand crafted elements. In fact, I enjoyed the planning process so much I’ve started helping like minded brides in the Boston area. Please reach out if you’re looking for help with your vintage-inspired, handmade, but budget conscious wedding (or party!).
Photography: Sean Kim Gallery | Event Design: Sara P Mintz | Event Planning: Erin Crosby Of Pickles And Pies | Floral Design: Ariel Dearie Flowers | Wedding Dress: Sarah Seven | Cake: Momofuku Milk Bar | Shoes: Stuart Weitzman | Catering: Hearth & Table | Makeup: The Luminous Bride, Jules Waldkoetter | Grooms Attire: J. Crew Ludlow Shop | Graphic Design: Erin Crosby Of Pickles And Pies | Rentals: Broadway Party Rentals | Venue: The Metropolitan Building