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Old-Timey Romance in Long Island City

This couple’s love story: 4 am shift change in Manhattan, waiting to hail a cab, meeting a perfect stranger in the lamplight — so romantic! With the help of Roey Mizrahi Events, they did a stellar job incorporating that same capricious whimsy into their wedding day. (Note the dress!) Gabriel Mellan was there to capture some stunning images from the enchanting event. You’re probably going to need tissues for the video, too.

Urban Space

From the Bride… I first met Bradley at 4am on the desolate streets of Manhattan trying to get a cab. If you’re a regular Manhattanite then you know about shift change. That’s the one hour where it’s nearly impossible to find an open cab. After the perfect meeting, 6 months of long distance east to west coast dating, and one year of living in the same state Bradley proposed to me in Sardegna, Italy.

Right away we knew exactly what we wanted out of a wedding, top hats and moustaches. First it needed to be in the city of blinding lights (especially since we met there). Second we wanted it to feel enchanted and old-timey. Thirdly we wanted to feel like it would never end for that unforgettable experience. Bradley and I are romantics and we love the style of the early 1900′s.

The big day was Sunday September 4th. We choose the 2nd floor of the Metropolitan building to host our wedding. The room itself fit perfectly in with our 1900′s romantic aesthetic. We choose to do the flower arrangements ourselves. Even though it was stressful, with the amazing help of friends and family it all came together flawlessly. My mother-in-law helped me find old milk glass vases on ebay to house the arrangements. I wanted every table to look completely different and not have one centerpiece, but instead let it be made up with myriad vases and candlesticks.

Bradley and I are huge JJ Abrams fans and we wanted to find a fun way to work JJ’s theory of mystery boxes into our wedding. We created a mystery box that we placed on everyone’s table. Inside was a disposable camera attached to an I-spy game. We put things like,”I-spy a drunken aunt getting her groove on the dance floor” in the game. It turned picture taking into a fun activity four our guests but we also got the type of pictures we were hoping for as well!

For the dessert bar we hired Nine Cakes to design our dessert buffet. We went for an enchanted forest theme cutting tree bark into cake platters and serving delicate treats on it. We also designed an old-timey photobooth run by Wet Paint with props like hand-made wooden moustaches, quote bubbles and top hats. My dress was just about my favorite part of the whole wedding process. I found a dress I loved but I didn’t like the color and certain things about it so I took my idea to Esin of Sew Elegant where she personally made me my wedding gown from top to bottom in the exact fabric and color of my choice. She was my fairy godmother!! My husband also had his tux personally designed by AieVee to fit the early 1900′s theme. With impeccable planning by Roey Mizrahi our wedding went off without a hitch and it was one truly unforgettable experience.

Side-note: Two days before the enchanted wedding of our dreams Clarissa’s grandmother Teruko Shull passed away unexpectedly in her sleep. She was a mother to Clarissa and even though her passing was bittersweet it was the hardest thing we went through. Our wedding was dedicated to her amazing soul and without her we will never be the same but because of her we will grow much stronger. 

From Roey Mizrahi… Clarissa and Brad were referred to me by a common friend of ours (one of the bridesmaids). Upon our first meeting there was already an instant connection and understanding which as both a planner and a bride and groom you’d like to feel. I could already envision the type of wedding they wanted and the type of unforgettable celebration they had already begun creating. They were both so hands-on in the entire process and every detail and decision had a purpose. The wedding showcased perfectly how unique and creative they are. They were absolutely inspiring to work with and I am touched every time I look at the photos or watch the video and am reminded of the time spent working with them to execute the wedding of their dreams.

Photography: Gabriel Mellan | Videography: Stephan Malik | Event Planning: Roey Mizrahi Events | Wedding Dress: (Custom made)- Esin of Sew Elegant | Cake: Nine Cakes | Shoes: Jean-Michel Cazabat | Catering: Red Table Catering | Hair: Bloom Beauty Lounge | DJ: Terry Diabolik (of Finger on the Pulse) | DJ: Free Magic | Officiant: Reverend Laurie Sue Brockway | Accordion: Nathan Stodola | Ceremony Musician : Romanza Music | Dessert: Nine Cakes | Photobooth: Wet Paint | Wedding Venue: Metropolitan Building

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Cultural Wedding at The Foundry

If ever there were a sweet couple meant for The Foundry‘s rustic bare beauty, this bride and groom would be it. They took their cultural backgrounds, layered in color and elegance and the result is a vibrant day with touches of grace. Click here for so much more from Karen Wise Photography.


From Mario Rivera, Lifestyle Event GroupCamille and Jonathan’s concept for their wedding developed over time. They knew they wanted a Spring rustic and elegant wedding, however, during the process we learned more about the couple which revealed a lot about their current relationship and what their union would signify; the joining of their own little families to become one big family and their deep but very different cultural roots.

The Foundry in Long Island City, a beautiful bare venue built during the 19th century was found to host Camille and Jonathan’s day of events. Their ceremony highlighted both cultures, Jonathan’s mother flew plumerias and orchids in from Hawaii to put together traditional Samoan leis for the bridal party, and Camille’s mother chose a poem written by her favorite Puerto Rican poet that she read in Spanish and English to the wedding guests.

For their reception, the design of the room highlighted the bride’s desire for a graceful rustic wedding. Guests sat at mahogany wood tables adorned with antique glass, spring flowers, ambient candle lighting and handmade kraft paper menus to display the family style menu selection. Our chef composed a menu that carefully combined cuisine from both sides of their worlds for guests to enjoy as a family.

Guests danced the night away under the incandescent lighting, took silly pictures in the photo booth, soaked in the views of the city from the rooftop garden and enjoyed the groom’s family’s special Samoan performance.

Photography: Karen Wise Photography | Event Planning: Mario Rivera - Lifestyle Event Group | Wedding Dress: Alita Graham For Kleinfeld Kollection | Cake: Cheryl Kleinman Cakes | Catering: Lifestyle Event Group | DJ: Upscale Sound | Grooms Attire: Vera Wang | Designer: Sibel Kurun | Leis: Handmade With Love + Shipped From Hawaii By Groom's Mother | Sister+Mom's Performance Dresses: Handmade With Love By Groom's Mother + Sister | The Foundry: The Foundry, L.I.C.

Karen Wise Photography is a member of our Little Black Book. Find out how members are chosen by visiting our FAQ page.
Karen Wise Photography

Modern Long Island City Wedding

Despite an awe-inducing love story literally made for the movies (read: summer camp sweethearts), when it came to wedding planning, this gorgeous bride had one priority in mind: absolutely no “wedding cheesiness.”  To help orchestrate her vision, she hired the uber-talented VAvoom Events to create a chevron meets gold meets modern dream come true.  See it all captured by Hannah Persson right here.

And a crazy cool film from Orr Bortman


From the Bride… Throughout our 16-month long engagement and planning process, my mind changed several times, but one thing always remained: I was trying to avoid as much wedding cheesiness as possible. The problem with that, however, was that the story of how Jesse and I met just oozes “aww’s” and “ahh’s.” My now-husband and I met when we were 12 and 14, respectively, at sleep-away summer camp in upstate Massachusetts. We were smitten back then but that relationship quickly faded as most pre-teen summer flings tend to do. Go ahead, get the “aww’s” out of your system now!

Fast forward about 15 years, and through the magic of Facebook we reconnected. After about 10 months of dating, Jesse proposed to me on a beautiful balcony overlooking the ocean in Mexico. We were over-the-moon.

After returning home and feeling very overwhelmed, we knew we needed help and immediately hired our amazing wedding planner, Amanda Pierce from VaVoom Events. Amanda totally “got” my vision of a (non-cheesy) New York City whimsical wedding day and pointed me in the direction of Studio Square Events, an amazing loft-like event space in Long Island City with floor to ceiling views of the Manhattan skyline. Jesse and I knew this was our place. As a bonus, the ground floor is an open to the public outdoor beer garden which was perfect for our September wedding after-party.

Studio Square also works exclusively with Sterling Caterers, who truly and deliciously fulfilled our vision of eclectic NYC-style cuisine (complete with a Bacon Bar in cocktail hour and NYC street cart dinner station).

Next, we began the search for a photographer who could capture our day in the not-so-typical fashion we craved. Again at the suggestion of Amanda, we found Hannah Persson after seeing several of her weddings featured on Style Me Pretty, and immediately fell in love with her artsy style and upbeat, infectious personality. Check.

The rest of the planning process was a blur of Pinterest, google searches, chevron, chevron, and more chevron. And as a little homage to my golf-obsessed hubby, we planned a little surprise for him during the reception – a full putting green setup complete with personalized golf balls.

Our wedding day really was everything we hoped it would be and so, so much more. We are so lucky to have found and worked with the vendors we worked with, as they truly made our dreams come true. We could not have asked for a more perfect day.

From Hannah Persson… I was so excited when Ali the bride, and Amanda, the event planner/designer called me, saying they had seen my work on Style Me Pretty and had to have me shoot the wedding! As soon as I began to hear about all the details — the jumbo balloons, the chevron aisle runner, the pink champagne with gold sugar rims, the L-O-V-E balloons, the GORGEOUS venue Studio Square — I was anticipating this day from the get-go! It’s an added bonus for the photog when everything takes place in one space. The awesome videographer and I were running up and down floors – it was really cool that the cocktail hour space, the ceremony, and the reception each had it’s own floor in the awesome converted warehouse in the upcoming LIC. The bride got ready at the W Manhattan, and then we did the perfect photoshoot at Gantry Park with the vintage Pepsi Cola sign. Everything was planned to perfection because of Amanda at VAvoom events. She really outdid herself with this one, and we are all so happy with the day. It couldn’t have been more magical. Witnessing the sun set behind the beautiful Manhattan skyline was one of the coolest wedding experiences I’ve had. And the couple is so incredibly sweet, along with their entire family. Pretty perfect day.

Photography: Hannah Persson | Floral Design: Pedastals Florist | Catering: Sterling Affair | Band: Times Square Orchestra | Event Design & Planning: Amanda Pierce Of VAvoom Events | Photobooth: NY Digital Memories | Venue: Studio Square Event Space | Video: Orr Bortman | Video: Orr Bortman