This Online Editor Planned the Ultimate Offline Celebration
May 9, 2016
Tri State
ModernEvent VenueFall Weddings
Most Brides and Grooms plan an after party to keep the celebration going all night. But if you ask me, what this Bride (an editor at Real Simple) and Groom chose to do is so much more fun! After their New York City-inspired I Dos (apple escort cards and a Momofuku Milk Bar cake), they headed to the adjacent bowling alley, where the party continued, Jenny Packham wedding dress and all. See all the fun from Sarah Tew Photography and Crown Street Productions in The Vault!
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From The Bride...I met John in a bar while we were both journalism graduate students at Northwestern University. We were friends for a few months, but we didn't start dating until two days before I moved to London for an internship. We spent that summer exchanging emails, and he finally came to visit me over Labor Day. That kicked off two years of long distance dating—I moved to New York City to pursue a career in journalism, and he stayed in Chicago to work for a start-up that had formed out of his graduate school work. Finally, in September 2011, John moved to NYC.

We both love the city— it's where we live and work, and it's the first city we lived in together. It's where we cemented our relationship and where we got engaged in November 2014, on a bridge in Central Park that we love. We knew even before we got engaged that we wanted to celebrate our wedding in NYC. I felt strongly about choosing a venue that showcased the city, and I fell in love with Current at Chelsea Piers when it was still just a construction site. I loved how it juxtaposed the natural beauty of the Hudson River with the sparkling lights of the city, plus it promised a sleek, modern design with a showstopper of a ceiling. It felt like our favorite parts of the city mashed together, and, as West Siders, the idea of having a wedding on the Hudson River was especially appealing.

Visiting Current in the months before our wedding and watching it morph from a construction site to a venue made it feel like our project. I wanted the space to look both lush and urban. The first element I knew I wanted was a floating Chuppah, with candles and flowers (which Atlas Floral Decorators brought from my imagination to life). I'm Jewish and John is Catholic, so this modern take on the traditional felt like just the right centerpiece for our ceremony.

While the big picture of planning was, of course, important, I really wanted the small details to bring everything together. A few of my favorites: We used apples as escort cards, with paper "leaves" pinned to the top (a nod to the fall season and, of course, the Big Apple). We both love playing games, so we used Jenga pieces as a guest book, asking people sign their names and include their best advice or a memory (we've loved playing our custom game in the months after the wedding). And as a journalist, paper details are extremely important to me, so I worked with a designer on a custom, graphical program and a playful menu for the tables.

Rather than having one big centerpiece on the tables, we used several flower vessels, with lots of candles, for visual interest and different points of entry for the eye. I tried to keep the focus on rich, fall colors, with touches of metallic silver. Abigail Kirsch is known for having lots of food, and they did not disappoint. From the inventive appetizers (mac and cheese cupcakes! pumpkin soup shooters!) all the way to the pizza and pretzel cart on departure, our guests left stuffed. We also love visiting Momofuku Milk Bar on the Upper West Side, so choosing their apple pie wedding cake was one of our easiest decisions.

On the day of the wedding, we took photos at The Highline—one more great example of the natural meeting the modern. Our mutual friend, Angela, became ordained for the occasion—she brought us together more than six years ago in graduate school, so it only felt appropriate that she bring us together in this official way. Everyone warned me that the ceremony would be a blur, but for me it was one of the clearest memories from the day—we delivered our own vows and we each had one of our siblings give a reading, which was especially meaningful. Afterward, we danced all night to Element Music's Radio Underground—my family and friends are big dancers, so finding the right music was a must. And, because we weren't ready for the party to end, we finished the night by bowling (yes, in my wedding dress) at Bowlmor in Chelsea Piers.