Classic Central Park Boathouse Wedding
May 21, 2014
Classic WeddingsEvent VenueFall Weddings
Oh SMpers, do we have a pretty little dose of classic wedding goodness for you this morning, courtesy of the amazing Ang Weddings And Events and Christian Oth Studio. Although this Bride says she didn't have a picture in her head of what she wanted her wedding to be, she knew how she wanted it to feel. Timeless and elegant—it's that to a T and sooo much more. See the entire affair right here!
View as
From the beautiful Bride… Paul and I met the summer we graduated from college in Lehman Brothers' investment banking analyst training program in New York. For six weeks, we sat in a classroom alongside new colleagues from all over the world, and Paul (who would be based in our Houston office) and I (based in New York) were one chair apart as a result of alphabetical seating. We fell into the same circle of friends, and when he moved to Houston at the end of training, we stayed in touch and ultimately began dating long-distance. In the summer of 2008, Lehman transferred Paul to New York (perfect timing--it proceeded to go bankrupt several weeks later).

Following four years together in New York, we decided to relocate to San Francisco for a job opportunity. Paul gave me one last wonderful memory before we left: after the movers had cleared out my things, he proposed in my apartment, which was in a brownstone on a historic tree-lined block in the West Village and was my favorite place in town. Though we wound up loving the West Coast, we couldn't imagine being married anywhere but the city where we fell in love. Conveniently, it was very near where I grew up, and someplace we thought his friends and family, largely based in Texas, would enjoy visiting.

I didn't have a perfectly detailed picture in mind of what I wanted our wedding to be, but I knew what we wanted it to feel like. It had to be in the fall (my favorite season for its crisp, cool air), with 200+ attendees (I have a large extended family), and at night (New York City has always seemed most magical to us after dark). It would be traditional, from the invitations to a church ceremony to a sit-down dinner. And it had to feel timeless and elegant: classic and formal and yet full of energy in the same way as our favorite New York bar, Bemelmans, feels when a jazz trio starts a set. We looked at a wide range of venues, mostly museums and clubs, but we ultimately settled on the Central Park Boathouse, in part because we loved the idea of telling our grandchildren we were married in Central Park (which we assume will be there long beyond us).

We carried the classic feel through many of the day's details. Our guests arrived at the cocktail hour to the sound of a jazz quartet playing Paul's and my favorite standards. And my dress, with its lace sleeves, buttons, belt, and ball-gown silhouette, could have walked down the aisle in the 1950s as easily as in 2013. But my favorite was the stationery. I am rather old-fashioned in my love of paper and correspondence, so I wanted everything we printed to be done as it would have been when mail mattered. We had an artist hand-draw a black-and-white cartoon map of Manhattan for our round save-the-dates, and we went with a very traditional engraved invitation suite from Bell'Invito, with midnight-blue calligraphy, gilded beveled edges, and a separate reception card. We had envelope liners and belly bands cut from gilded silkscreen Japanese paper in a midnight-blue-based pattern whose flowers tied in with the Central Park venue; I loved the paper so much that we also used it as a liner in our ceremony programs and to accent our menus and day-of signs. We went with white and ivory flowers for my bouquet and the reception, accenting with Juliet and massage roses to carry a bit of the accent color from the liner paper into the floral arrangements.

Though we had planned every moment, the one make-or-break element you can't control is the energy your guests bring to the wedding. For us, their infectious enthusiasm-- from the hysterical speeches to their refusal to stop dancing between courses or even to leave at the end of the night!-- was better than anything we could have organized. (I credit much of that enthusiasm to our incredibly talented dinner musicians, the Blaire Reinhard Band, who played a versatile set that made it impossible to sit down.) As Paul and I drove out of Central Park and down Fifth Avenue in the wee hours of the next morning, we marveled at the fact that not a thing could have been better.