I love a Bride with a vision, particularly when that vision is as beautiful as this. Because the pretty things that danced around in this lovely Bride’s head during her planning process turned out to be whimsical perfection. With details that make your heart flutter and a love that will make it do flips, every image from Anne-Claire Brun is happiness defined. See them all here.
From the Bride…As much as I like to claim it was love at first sight, Jeff and I ran in the same circle of friends and chatted in passing on a few occasions. However, we were never formally introduced. To be exact, it took three times before an opportunity presented itself. As they say, third time’s a charm! The third meet was on a beautiful summer night in 2008. Jeff and I were at a friends’ rooftop party in Lower East Side. It was here when a good friend introduced us to each other as the “other friend” who did not “drink.” Yes, both Jeff and I are quite a rarity, especially in New York City. We chuckled at the candid introduction, as both of us were obviously used to this label. Then the song “Oblivion” by Anything Box came on. We both started singing it together and began discussing our music interests, which ranged from hip hop to indie rock and more. Through these two commonalities, our conversation surpassed small talk and into sharing stories about our upbringings in small town America as Chinese kids in restaurant families. From then, a wonderful friendship began. We literally have been inseparable since Jeff and Sandy have been inseparable since.
During our two year anniversary in October, Jeff planned out a secret outing that he would not unveil. The day started at our favorite Brooklyn brunch spot – Brooklyn Label. Afterwards, Jeff hurriedly and nervously drove us an hour and half out of the city still giving me no hints. I initially assumed this was going to be a nice pumpkin-picking afternoon. However, once the car pulled up the road, I saw a massive field speckled by large weave baskets with neon-colored fabrics waiting to be filled with…hot air! We took off into the air and had a beautiful ride over Northeast’s fall foliage. It was not until we landed did Jeff pulled me to the side and got on one knee and popped the question. Of course, I said YES!
Within weeks of the proposal high, we began our search for the perfect venue. Jeff and I knew we wanted an outdoor wedding with a view in Brooklyn, since it’s where we live. Initially, we thought we were going to go for another venue in Prospect Park, but when we approached the Boathouse after walking across the park, we immediately knew this was the spot. The Venetian styled building sits spectacularly by the Prospect Park Lake. Upon entering the space, we immediately fell in love with the flow of space…AND you can rent a mini boat for you and your guests to ride after the ceremony! We finalized the date within a month time.
Unlike most, I decided not to limit myself on colors, so we went with yellow gold, gray silver and light coral to compliment the romantic setting. Additionally, I wanted to make sure there was a bit of an Asian flair, since my husband and I are Chinese. I took these choices and went on hunt to find our florist. There are so many choices out there, but I wanted to work with a creative small shop. I stumbled across Park Deli, a floral shop (that also sells skateboards!) located close to the venue. Michael and Valentine, owners of Park Deli, were fabulous to work with! We wanted Asian ceramic vases to represent our heritage and they found these simple cream Japanese-style containers. The flowers and colors we selected with them in the beginning really brought all the décor and the bridesmaid’s dressed together.
With two main things checked off our list, I began day dreaming about how I would like the big day to look. The ceremony takes place on a small pier outside facing the Lullwater Bridge and landscape. As to not get lost in the view, I knew we had to create a focal point. I stumbled upon Everly Lane on Etsy who creates fun tissue tassel garlands. After measuring the pier, I created an image of how I wanted the garlands to hang above us on our special day. I sent this to Everly Lane with my color selection and in a month it came in! We had Park Deli install it the day of.
I definitely partook in a lot of the design, since we did not have a wedding planner. For the entrance, I went to a flea market and bought an old antique frame that would hold the guests name cards and table assignment. For the guestbook, I designed a massive puzzle and had someone at my work, which is an architecture firm, help me laser cut it out. The guests were instructed to write warm words on the “white” side of the puzzle and place it in an apothecary jar. To keep guests cool outside, I ordered the Chinese sandalwood fans that were placed on each chair. It’s amazing how much guests enjoyed these favors! During my down time, I started painting our cake toppers with each having a bit of our physical character. Park Deli then provided a few of our selected flowers to be sprinkled on the cake. I found this to be a quick and affordable way to decorate a wedding cake!
There is an upper level to our venue, which has a balcony that overlooks the ceremony steps and lake. We decided to take advantage of this upper level and stationed a makeshift photo booth. Our friend, Ken, helped us set up the equipment and space, while my bridesmaids created the backdrop. It was the groomsmen’s responsibility to go shop for props…and shop they did! You can check out the slideshow I created here – Jeff & Sandy Photo Booth Video (http://vimeo.com/52757840).
Luckily, my husband’s sister owns an apparel production company in Manhattan, so she was able to create any textile needs I had. Therefore, I browsed the Fashion District for fabrics to bring my vision together. I finalized with table runners in gray and light coral to ground the dining tables, while the main table linens were basic white to keep the space light and airy. For the longest time, I wanted a theme for our reception and fell in love with the phrase “Eat, Drink and be Married!” With the help of my bridesmaids, I created three favor jars for each table that were individually labeled with one word of the phrase. The labeled jars contained favors that represented each word – “Eat” contained chopsticks; “Drink” contained striped straws, “Married” contained sparklers. In Chinese, fireworks (a.k.a. sparklers) were used to ward off evil spirits and we thought this was a perfect way to end the night.
All this of course would be a visual lost if Anne-Claire did not capture it! I think the photos speak for themselves! We scheduled our first meet at a coffee shop and were immediately enamored by her personality and work. She was so down to earth and patient in telling us how the day would go from getting ready to the end of the night. It rained for a few hours before our ceremony, which worried me. However, she never fretted and assured us the pictures would turn out great. I truly believe that getting along with your vendors makes this entire experience better.
My most memorable moment of our special day was our boat ride around the lake during sunset with our closest friends, right after Jeff and I said our vows. It was during this quiet moment when my husband and I were able to take a step back and enjoy all that had transpired. As we returned to the dock, we saw how all the guests were also enjoying their drinks inside and outside! It truly was a beautiful day and we thank everyone who assisted and supported us.
Photography: Anne-Claire Brun | Location: Prospect Park Boathouse in Brooklyn, New York | Catering: MoveableFeast | Officiant: Steve Schor (friend) | Florist: Park Deli BK | DJ & Music: Rok One (friend) | Beauty: Izumi Okada (friend) | Decoration: Everly Lane | Dress Shop: White Gown | Dress Designer: Lis Simon | Brides Shoes: Dana Davis | Bridesmaid: Dessy | Flower girl 1: Janie & Jack | Flower girl 2: J. Crew Kids | Suits: J. Crew | Ties: Tie Bar | Shoes: Converse | Ring Bearer: Janie & Jack | Ring Bearers Bow Tie: Etsy