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Real Grooms Archives - New Orleans Weddings - Reception, Venue & Planning
Sep 112013
 
american museum of natural history wedding ideas

Photo: Brian Finke

When Jordan first spotted Jessie in 2004 at a Princeton University tailgate party, his friends told him she was way out of his league. "She was a sophisticated senior, and I was an immature sophomore," says Jordan, now 27. Still, she felt a spark. "He was cute and funny," says Jessie, 29, a registered dietitian. "But I was about to graduate and move to New York. The timing wasn't right." They stayed in touch, but things didn't turn romantic until Jordan's senior year, when he called Jessie to tell her he'd accepted a job at a private-equity firm in New York. "That night we went out and had our first kiss," he says. "My wear-down method worked!"

In 2011, after dinner at their favorite restaurant, Cafe Cluny, Jordan dropped to one knee on the sidewalk and asked her to marry him. Her answer: a resounding yes. "We just balance each other out—he's a risk taker, and I'm more serious," she says. Both, however, are huge animal lovers, which made choosing the American Museum of Natural History as their site an easy decision. Says Jessie, a Manhattan native, "We wanted something quintessentially New York but still unexpected."

american museum of natural history wedding photos

Photo: Brian Finke

And with the help of planners Jung Lee and Josh Brooks of Fete, "unexpected" became the theme of the night. Instead of kicking off the March 3, 2012, celebration with a ceremony, 270 guests converged on the Akeley Hall of North African Mammals for a pre-vow cocktail hour amid dioramas of elephants and cheetahs. Roaming through the crowd: the bride and groom. "I wore a navy-and-black tuxedo, so I was practically incognito," she says.

american museum of natural history wedding ideasamerican museum of natural history wedding ideas

Photos: Brian Finke

During the cocktail hour, a herd of oryx kept watch over the bar. Guests sampled cocktail franks (shown), ahi-tuna sliders, chickpea falafel, sushi, seared duck, and mini lobster rolls.

american museum of natural history wedding ideasstrapless oscar de la renta ball gown wedding dress

Photos: Brian Finke

Guests sipped bubbly in front of the gorilla diorama. The bride wore a strapless Oscar de la Renta ball gown and carried a lush, white bouquet of parrot tulips.

custom silk bridesmaid dresses in blue

Photo: Brian Finke

Each of the nine bridesmaids carried a vibrant bouquet of parrot tulips and wore a cashmere shell and custom silk evening pants or a taffeta skirt in a different shade of blue. "We gave the outfits to them as gifts," says Jessie.

american museum of natural history wedding ceremony

Photo: Brian Finke

The ceremony was held in the Powerhouse Room where the couple exchanged vows by a mirrored wall of candles. The recessional? A string version of Jordan's favorite song, the Journey anthem "Don't Stop Believin'. "

american museum of natural history wedding photos

Photo: Brian Finke

One of Jessie's favorite moments? "After the ceremony, Jordan and I were whisked away in a golf cart with a 'Just Married' insect sign!"

american museum of natural history wedding bug mural

Photo: Brian Finke

Guests located their seats courtesy of a huge bug mural: Each insect illustration was printed with a name and table number. "Everyone took photos of the wall all night," says Jessie (here pictured in the Stella McCartney tuxedo she wore to the pre-ceremony cocktail hour).

american museum of natural history wedding ideasamerican museum of natural history wedding centerpiece ideasamerican museum of natural history wedding floral ideas

Photos: Brian Finke

Next up: dinner and dancing in the Milstein Hall of Ocean Life, under the museum's iconic 94-foot blue whale. But the real action was on the dance floor, where wall-to-wall revelers rocked out to '80s and top-40 tunes. "Some even climbed up on ottomans, which made for some very interesting moves," says Jessie.

Tables were covered in a mix of centerpieces, including six-foot-tall camellia branches. "The ceilings are very high, so the tall centerpieces helped create a more intimate atmosphere," she says.

Centerpieces of pincushion proteas added a pop of color to the tables.

american museum of natural history wedding menu ideas

Photo: Brian Finke

Guests' names were calligraphed in pearl ink on dark gray menu cards designed by Fete.

Aptly, guests sat down to either "land" (short ribs and filet mignon) or "sea" (Arctic char and crab cakes) entrees.

oscar de la renta wedding gown

Photo: Brian Finke

Jessie found her wedding dress during an Oscar de la Renta trunk show at Bergdorf Goodman. "The gown caught my eye as soon as I arrived," she recalls. "It was the first gown I noticed, the first one I tried on."

american museum of natural history wedding cake ideaswedding at american museum of natural history

Photos: Brian Finke

The cascade of fondant rose petals on the white wedding cake was inspired by the bride's gown. The cake-cutting song was "Good Life," by One Republic.

"Jordan's friends were so into the music. You just saw a sea of men in tuxedo shirts in front of the band," says Jessie.

The band unplugged at 1 a.m., but the celebration didn't end there. Buses whisked everyone to the West Village for an after-party at The Darby, an exclusive supper club. "All night, we felt as if we'd been transported somewhere magical," says Jessie. "We didn't want the evening to end."

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A Romantic Elopement at New York City’s Gramercy Park Hotel

 Classic, J.Crew, New York, Real Brides, Real Grooms, Real Weddings, Romantic, Vera Wang, Whimsical  Comments Off on A Romantic Elopement at New York City’s Gramercy Park Hotel
Sep 112013
 

Adam had grand plans when it came to proposing to Molly—and he abandoned each and every one of them the second he picked up her engagement ring. "He ran the mile and a half home from work, burst open the door and—sweating and out of breath—got down on one knee and proposed," Molly says.

The couple wed with the same enviable spontaneity, taking just 10 weeks to plan their August elopement at the iconic Gramercy Park Hotel. "The hotel is in our neighborhood, and has always been one of our favorite, local spots. It has a look and feel that we have always loved," Molly says.

"We wanted something very New York, but also something romantic and peaceful," Molly says. The couple's vision may seem at odds with their big city location—but with the help of their wedding planner, Tracy Taylor Ward of Tracy Taylor Ward Design, the couple and Ward created an event that was at once cosmopolitan and serene.

With no guests and their planner and photographer as their only witnesses, the couple exchanged vows at noon beneath the hotel's famous light bulb ceiling. The ceiling did the bulk of the decorating work, but the couple added a framed photo of their beloved dog to a mantle "because we wanted our ceremony to be peaceful and comfortable," Molly says.

Paper With Benefits designed folding wedding announcements complete with custom illustrations of the couple, their East Village neighborhood and their Colorado roots "in order to tell our story," the bride says.

Molly accessorized her embroidered lace Vera Wang gown with a beaded headband by the same designer. "I knew I wanted something classic so my pictures could be timeless," the bride explains. Silver Jimmy Choo heels completed her look.

Adam chose a J. Crew tuxedo, and kept his look classic with a Turnbull & Asser bow tie.

Clusters of dahlia, lisianthus, garden roses, blushing bride, dusty miller and silver brunia comprised the bride's soft white bouquet by Blossom And Branch. Pale blue ribbons fell from the stems, adding a pop of color to the couple's otherwise monochromatic color scheme. Adam's boutonniere was made from the same beautiful blooms, but was tied with a cream-colored ribbon.

"One of my favorite moments was when Adam surprised me with a vintage checker taxicab waiting outside the hotel," Molly says. Scrolled across the back of the Film Cars' cab were the words just married.

Adam and Molly took portraits in Gramercy Park before leaving for their honeymoon along Italy's Almafi Coast. "Although we didn't have a reception after the ceremony because we eloped, we did want to have a lot of romantic and fun photo-ops around the hotel and neighborhood," Molly says. The most-fun photo-op at the park? Perhaps "randomly helping [Devil Wears Prada actor] Adrian Grenier sneak in for some relaxation of his own!"

Wedding Planner: Tracy Taylor Ward Design || Ceremony Venue: Gramercy Park Hotel || Wedding Officiant: Rev. Jeddah Vailakis || Bride's Wedding Dress: Vera Wang || Bride's Shoes: Jimmy Choo || Groom's Tux: J. Crew || Hair and Makeup: SB Beauty || Florist: Blossom And Branch || Stationery: Paper With Benefits || Photography: Trent Bailey Photography || Vintage Taxi: Film Cars

—Jillian Kramer

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A Glamorous Wedding at New York City's Iconic Plaza Hotel
A Modern Fall Wedding in Manhattan

Aug 232013
 
eric christian olsen wedding photo

Photo: Katy Gray

They met on the set of The Loop nearly seven years ago—and it was clear to everyone that actor Eric Christian Olsen was smitten with Sarah Wright from the start. "We had been together for four years, and everyone knew that it was coming," Eric said. But the NCIS: Los Angeles star couldn't stand the thought of Sarah sniffing out his proposal and so, he threw her off his scent. "I spent the three months kind of talking about how I didn't know if I wanted to get married," he said. Finally, after a perfect day in Punta Mita, Mexico, Eric got down on both knees and proposed. And Sarah was completely surprised.

Nearly two years later, the couple wed in front of 75 guests at their property just outside of Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The couple wanted a "simple, classic style that would not take away from the beauty of the Teton Mountains that was already the backdrop for our wedding," Sarah said.

rustic wedding decor ceremony signrustic wedding ideas for flowers

Photos: Katy Gray

Sarah described their wedding as "rustic, classic, homegrown and vintage." The couple used mason jar and antiqued crates throughout their decor.

rustic wedding decor reception ideas

Photo: Katy Gray

Reception tables were draped in white linens and accented with burlap table runners. Mason jars filled with candles and wildflowers—including rosemary, lavender, daisies and Billy balls—dotted the table tops.

rustic wedding wooden escort card ideas

Photo: Katy Gray

The bride used scraps of wood stamped with mason jars as the canvas for the couple's escort cards, pressing each guest's name and table number onto the wood with her own typewriter-style stamps.

rustic wedding decor reception sign

Photo: Katy Gray

A country-inspired sign led guests past the couple's barn and toward the cocktail hour and reception tent.

white wedding flower ideas rustic wedding

Photo: Katy Gray

The bride's bouquet was a mixture of white and blush blooms—including lysimachia, tweedia, chamomile, asclepias and Queen Anne's lace—with just a hint of green foliage. "I wanted to use local flowers that were in season and wildflowers," she said.

eric christian olsen sarah wright wedding

Photo: Katy Gray

Paul Olsen, the groom's father, married the couple. The pair exchanged their own unique vows, which included the laughter-inducing "I vow to be nicer when I am hungry."

outdoor wedding ceremony ideas guest seating

Photo: Katy Gray

Guests sat on hay bales covered with fabric and tied in place with twine. Jugs of wildflowers marked the beginning and end of the aisle. Shepherd's hooks hung beside each row, suspending floating candles in the air.


eric christian olsen wedding photo brides


Photo: Katy Gray


The couple's 8-year-old Akita carried the rings down the aisle beside the ring bearer, 2-year-old Ever Rogel. He wore a J. Crew seersucker vest and pants paired with TOMS shoes.

Sarah wore J. Crew's tulipe bustier dress. 'I loved the light, airy feel," she said. 'It was timeless and had a beautiful sweetheart neckline." Around her forehead, the bride wore a crystal headpiece by Cecile Boccara, which she bought at BHLDN. Her soon-to-be husband also donned J. Crew—but he also added TOMS' loafers to his attire.


eric christian olsen wedding portraitsummer wedding party attire


Photo: Katy Gray


The couple chose their country property as the site for their wedding because "we wanted to be married in a place that means something to us," the bride said. The site also gave Sarah the perfect excuse to know her new family better. "Eric, his mom, dad, brother and I turned the barn into a livable space. I had the chance to get to know his family while working side by side on this project."

The couple kept things casual—their eight groomsmen wore white slacks and blue collared shirts rolled up to their elbows.


mis-matched wedding dresses pink white


Photo: Katy Gray


Six bridesmaids wore knee-length Monique Lhuillier and Ivy & Aster gowns, each their own shade of soft white or pale pink. They carried nosegays of white and blush blooms that popped with clematis—the perfect flower to match their magenta shoes.

wedding bands

Photo: Katy Gray

Eric worked with jewelry designer Jennifer Meyer to craft a custom engagement ring of yellow gold and diamonds for Sarah. The designer also made Eric's ring, a shiny rose gold band.

rustic wedding ideas for cocktails

Photo: Katy Gray

Guests found spicy margaritas, lemonade spiked with vodka, and Leffe and Stella Artois beers at cocktail hour. The couple also served a smorgasbord of barbeque from Big Hole BBQ in Victor, Idaho. The restaurant "set up their smoker behind the tent and made their amazing BBQ served hot on a buffet for our guests," the bride said.


outdoor wedding tent at nightwedding lights at night


Photo: Katy Gray


A white tent covered guests from the cloudless mountain sky. Just beyond its edges, the couple set up games for guests to play—bean bag toss, horse shoe toss and Frisbee.

The couple asked local blue grass band Steam Powered Airplane to play Ray Lamontagne's "Hold You In My Arms" for their first dance. Guests especially enjoyed dancing to "I'm Going to Jackson" and "Sweet Home Alabama."

wedding ideas ice cream

Photo: Katy Gray

After guests indulged on a buffet of beef brisket, fish tacos and pulled pork, they were treated to the couple's favorite ice cream—Whitney's Ice Cream, which had to be shipped in especially for the event. The couple also served gluten-free macaroons and s'mores by the fire pit.


Venue: The couple's property outside of Jackson Hole, Wyoming || Event planning: Jackson Hole Event Company || Stationery: Minted || Flowers: Lily and Co. || Rentals: Canvas Unlimited || Catering: Big Hole BBQ || Ice Cream: Whitney's Ice Cream || Macaroons: Persephone Bakery || Band: Steam Powered Airplane || Transportation: Grand Targhee || Photography: Katy Gray Photography || Videography: Jenny Tunberg || Gown: J. Crew || Headpiece: BHLDN || Shoes: J. Crew || Bridesmaids: Monique Lhuillier and Ivy & Aster || Men's Formalwear: J. Crew || Ring Bearer Attire: J. Crew


—Jillian Kramer

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A Classic Americana Summer Wedding

Aug 212013
 
Vintage Car for Wedding Getaway

Photo: Mackler Studios

The week of their wedding, Kristin said a common prayer to an unusual person: She asked for pleasant weather from her grandfather. "The day he passed away, a red cardinal showed up on my grandmother's stoop," the bride recalls. "Ever since, we just associate cardinals with him. The day before the wedding, I went for a run and a red cardinal flew right in front of me. I know he was watching over us, and the rain stopped just in time for a perfect cocktail hour and unforgettable reception."

Kristin and Michael's magical Long Island wedding took the bride more than a year to plan. "I lived and breathed this day for exactly a year and four months. This is no exaggeration," she jokes. "Just ask Mike!" From the moment Michael dropped to one knee inside the couple's apartment to the seconds before Kristin walked the aisle at St. Peters Church of Alcantara, the bride scrutinized and selected every detail to create an affair that was "a reflection of us as a couple," Kristin says. "Part of my day job is planning and executing events. Obviously, this was the biggest and most important event I ever planned, so it weighed heavy on my heart."

When Michael read his vows to Kristin, he recognized her dedication to their big day. "The endless work you have put into this day for the both of us just shows me the type of girl I am marrying," he said. "Once again, you are the best thing that ever happened to me."

Classic Church Wedding Venue Classic Blue and White Wedding Programs Cathedral Length Bridal Veil Ideas for Bridesmaids Jewelry

Photo: Mackler Studios

The couple wed inside Michael's childhood church. "We wanted a piece of both of our worlds to be a part of our special day," Kristin says. Her piece? The couple's reception venue, Seawanhaka Corinthian Yacht Club. "Since we both spent every summer growing up on Long Island beaches, this was the perfect location for us. My best friend's parents are members at the club—I immediately fell in love with it years ago at first sight when she brought me as a guest to sail with her family."

The yacht club became the inspiration behind the couple's wedding. "Seawanhaka has classic beauty that transcends time and space," the bride says. "We wanted to blow our guests away with this location." Because the yacht club already "screamed nautical," Kristin says, the couple used "natural elements infused with rustic, romantic touches" to enhance the venue and set the tone for the event.

Calligraphy Wedding Invitations Watercolor Save The Date

Photo: Mackler Studios

Kristin's mother drew the couple's save the date—a watercolor-like picture of the beach and a pair of classic Adirondack chairs. "People actually wanted to hang and keep these on their refrigerators," Kristin says.

Champagne While Bride Gets Ready Classic Low Bun Bridal Hairstyle Elegant Bridal Gown With Organza Ruffle Detail

Photo: Mackler Studios

Kristin and her five bridesmaids readied at the yacht club, enjoying Champagne before the bride slipped into her ivory organza Vera Wang gown. "What girl doesn't want to wear Vera on their special day?" she asks. "I feel lucky and fortunate to have been able to. It felt paper thin on my body, and was airy and light—perfect for a hot summer wedding. I appreciate the design, craftsmanship and articulate beauty of every detail that went into the design and execution of this dress."

Yet the gown—perfect as it was—needed one small addition."I had a piece of my late grandfather's flannel shirt sewn into the bottom of my dress," the bride says. "One of my fondest memories as a child is cuddling against the signature plaid shirts he always wore when he would hold me. I was extremely close to him, and wanted to make sure he was a part of our day and close to me throughout the day."

Limousine Wedding Day Transportation Silver Snake Skin Bridesmaids Shoes Floor Length Soft Gray Bridesmaids Dresses

Photo: Mackler Studios

Bridesmaids wore soft gray silk chiffon sheaths from J. Crew, and carried tight, round bouquets of green and apricot roses. The bride's bouquet, a mix of green roses and ladies mantle, was wrapped with rope. "It really added to that rustic, romantic, vintage feel," Kristin says. "I added my mother's cameo that my father gave to her when they were 14 and started dating. I look up to their marriage, and I hope to have the same thing in mine someday."

Checkered Ties For Groomsmen Black and White Groomsmen Suits

Photo: Mackler Studios

Eight groomsmen donned navy blue suits and checkered J. Crew ties. Pinned to Michael's lapel was a white calla lily flanked by berries.

Classic Men's and Women's Wedding Bands Burlap Bunting Decoration Simple White Wedding Centerpieces

Photo: Mackler Studios

Beneath a Sperry tent, dozens of hanging lanterns illuminated rustic decor. Mason jars, medicine bottles, vintage vases and aged birch wood filled table tops covered in flax linen runners. Escort cards sat in miniature Adirondack chairs, and burlap bunting hung from the bride and groom's chairs.
"Simple, low flower arrangements made the vast tent more intimate and allowed for more personal conversation between our guests," Kristin says, describing the couple's mix of high-and-low arrangements of white and green blooms. Each container held just a single kind of flower.

Seawanhaka Corinthian Yacht Club

Photo: Mackler Studios

Video: Mackler Studios

"The band was a major priority," Kristin says. "We wanted to dance and dance all night, and that is exactly what we did." (Check out the video above for proof.)

—Jillian Kramer

Ceremony Venue: St. Peters Church of Alcantara || Reception Venue: Seawanhaka Corinthian Yacht Club || Stationery: Lion In The Sun || Floral Design: Stone Kelly || Rentals: Sperry Tents || Lighting: Luminous Designs || Caterer: Seawanhaka Corinthian Yacht Club || Cake Design: La Bonne Boulangerie Bakery || Ceremony Music: The Kende Trio || Reception Music: The Ernest Mills Band || Transportation: Top of the World Limo || Bridal Gown: Vera Wang || Veil: Vera Wang || Bridesmaids Dresses: J. Crew || Photography: Mackler Studios || Videography: Mackler Studios

Aug 212013
 
Vintage Car for Wedding Getaway

Photo: Mackler Studios

The week of their wedding, Kristin said a common prayer to an unusual person: She asked for pleasant weather from her grandfather. "The day he passed away, a red cardinal showed up on my grandmother's stoop," the bride recalls. "Ever since, we just associate cardinals with him. The day before the wedding, I went for a run and a red cardinal flew right in front of me. I know he was watching over us, and the rain stopped just in time for a perfect cocktail hour and unforgettable reception."

Kristin and Michael's magical Long Island wedding took the bride more than a year to plan. "I lived and breathed this day for exactly a year and four months. This is no exaggeration," she jokes. "Just ask Mike!" From the moment Michael dropped to one knee inside the couple's apartment to the seconds before Kristin walked the aisle at St. Peters Church of Alcantara, the bride scrutinized and selected every detail to create an affair that was "a reflection of us as a couple," Kristin says. "Part of my day job is planning and executing events. Obviously, this was the biggest and most important event I ever planned, so it weighed heavy on my heart."

When Michael read his vows to Kristin, he recognized her dedication to their big day. "The endless work you have put into this day for the both of us just shows me the type of girl I am marrying," he said. "Once again, you are the best thing that ever happened to me."

Classic Church Wedding Venue Classic Blue and White Wedding Programs Cathedral Length Bridal Veil Ideas for Bridesmaids Jewelry

Photo: Mackler Studios

The couple wed inside Michael's childhood church. "We wanted a piece of both of our worlds to be a part of our special day," Kristin says. Her piece? The couple's reception venue, Seawanhaka Corinthian Yacht Club. "Since we both spent every summer growing up on Long Island beaches, this was the perfect location for us. My best friend's parents are members at the club—I immediately fell in love with it years ago at first sight when she brought me as a guest to sail with her family."

The yacht club became the inspiration behind the couple's wedding. "Seawanhaka has classic beauty that transcends time and space," the bride says. "We wanted to blow our guests away with this location." Because the yacht club already "screamed nautical," Kristin says, the couple used "natural elements infused with rustic, romantic touches" to enhance the venue and set the tone for the event.

Calligraphy Wedding Invitations Watercolor Save The Date

Photo: Mackler Studios

Kristin's mother drew the couple's save the date—a watercolor-like picture of the beach and a pair of classic Adirondack chairs. "People actually wanted to hang and keep these on their refrigerators," Kristin says.

Champagne While Bride Gets Ready Classic Low Bun Bridal Hairstyle Elegant Bridal Gown With Organza Ruffle Detail

Photo: Mackler Studios

Kristin and her five bridesmaids readied at the yacht club, enjoying Champagne before the bride slipped into her ivory organza Vera Wang gown. "What girl doesn't want to wear Vera on their special day?" she asks. "I feel lucky and fortunate to have been able to. It felt paper thin on my body, and was airy and light—perfect for a hot summer wedding. I appreciate the design, craftsmanship and articulate beauty of every detail that went into the design and execution of this dress."

Yet the gown—perfect as it was—needed one small addition."I had a piece of my late grandfather's flannel shirt sewn into the bottom of my dress," the bride says. "One of my fondest memories as a child is cuddling against the signature plaid shirts he always wore when he would hold me. I was extremely close to him, and wanted to make sure he was a part of our day and close to me throughout the day."

Limousine Wedding Day Transportation Silver Snake Skin Bridesmaids Shoes Floor Length Soft Gray Bridesmaids Dresses

Photo: Mackler Studios

Bridesmaids wore soft gray silk chiffon sheaths from J. Crew, and carried tight, round bouquets of green and apricot roses. The bride's bouquet, a mix of green roses and ladies mantle, was wrapped with rope. "It really added to that rustic, romantic, vintage feel," Kristin says. "I added my mother's cameo that my father gave to her when they were 14 and started dating. I look up to their marriage, and I hope to have the same thing in mine someday."

Checkered Ties For Groomsmen Black and White Groomsmen Suits

Photo: Mackler Studios

Eight groomsmen donned navy blue suits and checkered J. Crew ties. Pinned to Michael's lapel was a white calla lily flanked by berries.

Classic Men's and Women's Wedding Bands Burlap Bunting Decoration Simple White Wedding Centerpieces

Photo: Mackler Studios

Beneath a Sperry tent, dozens of hanging lanterns illuminated rustic decor. Mason jars, medicine bottles, vintage vases and aged birch wood filled table tops covered in flax linen runners. Escort cards sat in miniature Adirondack chairs, and burlap bunting hung from the bride and groom's chairs.
"Simple, low flower arrangements made the vast tent more intimate and allowed for more personal conversation between our guests," Kristin says, describing the couple's mix of high-and-low arrangements of white and green blooms. Each container held just a single kind of flower.

Seawanhaka Corinthian Yacht Club

Photo: Mackler Studios

Video: Mackler Studios

"The band was a major priority," Kristin says. "We wanted to dance and dance all night, and that is exactly what we did." (Check out the video above for proof.)

—Jillian Kramer

Ceremony Venue: St. Peters Church of Alcantara || Reception Venue: Seawanhaka Corinthian Yacht Club || Stationery: Lion In The Sun || Floral Design: Stone Kelly || Rentals: Sperry Tents || Lighting: Luminous Designs || Caterer: Seawanhaka Corinthian Yacht Club || Cake Design: La Bonne Boulangerie Bakery || Ceremony Music: The Kende Trio || Reception Music: The Ernest Mills Band || Transportation: Top of the World Limo || Bridal Gown: Vera Wang || Veil: Vera Wang || Bridesmaids Dresses: J. Crew || Photography: Mackler Studios || Videography: Mackler Studios

A Romantic Elopement at New York City’s Gramercy Park Hotel

 Classic, J.Crew, New York, Real Brides, Real Grooms, Real Weddings, Romantic, Vera Wang, Whimsical  Comments Off on A Romantic Elopement at New York City’s Gramercy Park Hotel
Aug 162013
 

Adam had grand plans when it came to proposing to Molly—and he abandoned each and every one of them the second he picked up her engagement ring. "He ran the mile and a half home from work, burst open the door and—sweating and out of breath—got down on one knee and proposed," Molly says.

The couple wed with the same enviable spontaneity, taking just 10 weeks to plan their August elopement at the iconic Gramercy Park Hotel. "The hotel is in our neighborhood, and has always been one of our favorite, local spots. It has a look and feel that we have always loved," Molly says.

"We wanted something very New York, but also something romantic and peaceful," Molly says. The couple's vision may seem at odds with their big city location—but with the help of their wedding planner, Tracy Taylor Ward of Tracy Taylor Ward Design, the couple and Ward created an event that was at once cosmopolitan and serene.

With no guests and their planner and photographer as their only witnesses, the couple exchanged vows at noon beneath the hotel's famous light bulb ceiling. The ceiling did the bulk of the decorating work, but the couple added a framed photo of their beloved dog to a mantle "because we wanted our ceremony to be peaceful and comfortable," Molly says.

Paper With Benefits designed folding wedding announcements complete with custom illustrations of the couple, their East Village neighborhood and their Colorado roots "in order to tell our story," the bride says.

Molly accessorized her embroidered lace Vera Wang gown with a beaded headband by the same designer. "I knew I wanted something classic so my pictures could be timeless," the bride explains. Silver Jimmy Choo heels completed her look.

Adam chose a J. Crew tuxedo, and kept his look classic with a Turnbull & Asser bow tie.

Clusters of dahlia, lisianthus, garden roses, blushing bride, dusty miller and silver brunia comprised the bride's soft white bouquet by Blossom And Branch. Pale blue ribbons fell from the stems, adding a pop of color to the couple's otherwise monochromatic color scheme. Adam's boutonniere was made from the same beautiful blooms, but was tied with a cream-colored ribbon.

"One of my favorite moments was when Adam surprised me with a vintage checker taxicab waiting outside the hotel," Molly says. Scrolled across the back of the Film Cars' cab were the words just married.

Adam and Molly took portraits in Gramercy Park before leaving for their honeymoon along Italy's Almafi Coast. "Although we didn't have a reception after the ceremony because we eloped, we did want to have a lot of romantic and fun photo-ops around the hotel and neighborhood," Molly says. The most-fun photo-op at the park? Perhaps "randomly helping [Devil Wears Prada actor] Adrian Grenier sneak in for some relaxation of his own!"

Wedding Planner: Tracy Taylor Ward Design || Ceremony Venue: Gramercy Park Hotel || Wedding Officiant: Rev. Jeddah Vailakis || Bride's Wedding Dress: Vera Wang || Bride's Shoes: Jimmy Choo || Groom's Tux: J. Crew || Hair and Makeup: SB Beauty || Florist: Blossom And Branch || Stationery: Paper With Benefits || Photography: Trent Bailey Photography || Vintage Taxi: Film Cars

—Jillian Kramer

You Might Also Like:
Browse more romantic real weddings in our gallery
A Glamorous Wedding at New York City's Iconic Plaza Hotel
A Modern Fall Wedding in Manhattan

A Romantic Elopement at New York City’s Gramercy Park Hotel

 Classic, J.Crew, New York, Real Brides, Real Grooms, Real Weddings, Romantic, Vera Wang, Whimsical  Comments Off on A Romantic Elopement at New York City’s Gramercy Park Hotel
Aug 162013
 

Adam had grand plans when it came to proposing to Molly—and he abandoned each and every one of them the second he picked up her engagement ring. "He ran the mile and a half home from work, burst open the door and—sweating and out of breath—got down on one knee and proposed," Molly says.

The couple wed with the same enviable spontaneity, taking just 10 weeks to plan their August elopement at the iconic Gramercy Park Hotel. "The hotel is in our neighborhood, and has always been one of our favorite, local spots. It has a look and feel that we have always loved," Molly says.

"We wanted something very New York, but also something romantic and peaceful," Molly says. The couple's vision may seem at odds with their big city location—but with the help of their wedding planner, Tracy Taylor Ward of Tracy Taylor Ward Design, the couple and Ward created an event that was at once cosmopolitan and serene.

With no guests and their planner and photographer as their only witnesses, the couple exchanged vows at noon beneath the hotel's famous light bulb ceiling. The ceiling did the bulk of the decorating work, but the couple added a framed photo of their beloved dog to a mantle "because we wanted our ceremony to be peaceful and comfortable," Molly says.

Paper With Benefits designed folding wedding announcements complete with custom illustrations of the couple, their East Village neighborhood and their Colorado roots "in order to tell our story," the bride says.

Molly accessorized her embroidered lace Vera Wang gown with a beaded headband by the same designer. "I knew I wanted something classic so my pictures could be timeless," the bride explains. Silver Jimmy Choo heels completed her look.

Adam chose a J. Crew tuxedo, and kept his look classic with a Turnbull & Asser bow tie.

Clusters of dahlia, lisianthus, garden roses, blushing bride, dusty miller and silver brunia comprised the bride's soft white bouquet by Blossom And Branch. Pale blue ribbons fell from the stems, adding a pop of color to the couple's otherwise monochromatic color scheme. Adam's boutonniere was made from the same beautiful blooms, but was tied with a cream-colored ribbon.

"One of my favorite moments was when Adam surprised me with a vintage checker taxicab waiting outside the hotel," Molly says. Scrolled across the back of the Film Cars' cab were the words just married.

Adam and Molly took portraits in Gramercy Park before leaving for their honeymoon along Italy's Almafi Coast. "Although we didn't have a reception after the ceremony because we eloped, we did want to have a lot of romantic and fun photo-ops around the hotel and neighborhood," Molly says. The most-fun photo-op at the park? Perhaps "randomly helping [Devil Wears Prada actor] Adrian Grenier sneak in for some relaxation of his own!"

Wedding Planner: Tracy Taylor Ward Design || Ceremony Venue: Gramercy Park Hotel || Wedding Officiant: Rev. Jeddah Vailakis || Bride's Wedding Dress: Vera Wang || Bride's Shoes: Jimmy Choo || Groom's Tux: J. Crew || Hair and Makeup: SB Beauty || Florist: Blossom And Branch || Stationery: Paper With Benefits || Photography: Trent Bailey Photography || Vintage Taxi: Film Cars

—Jillian Kramer

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Aug 142013
 
Bridal Portrait by Jenna Wakani

Photo: Jenna Wakani

At their first introduction, Patrick White made Ariel Brewster an offer she couldn't refuse: A free room, complete with a private bath, inside his Riverside Drive apartment. "The catch was that he lived with an elderly woman—a retired logic professor—who kept student boarders to help her with groceries, household tasks and errands," says Ariel, who, along with Patrick, was attending Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism at the time. After "we'd lived together—and shared eldercare duties—for a few months," Ariel says, the pair started dating.

It was years later, while attending a wedding in Scotland, that Patrick proposed. "One rainy afternoon, we took a gondola up to see Ben Nevis—supposedly the tallest mountain in the United Kingdom—and Patrick proposed at the top," Ariel says. "It was cold, windy and wet, so we were actually crouched behind a boulder when he pulled out the ring."

The couple exchanged vows huddled beneath a tent on yet another rainy day, in what the bride describes as a camp-inspired wedding weekend. "The whole weekend had a cabin-in-the-woods, drinking-around-the-campfire vibe. Gingham, lace and burlap. Old-timey. And wet," she says of their wedding day. "Very wet."

Camping Inspired Wedding Venue Chalkboard Wedding Sign

Photo: Jenna Wakani

"We never wanted to do something big or expensive or traditional," the bride says of the couple's unusual choice of venue—the Loch Lyme Lodge, a summer-camp-turned-rustic-family-resort in New Hampshire. "I wanted something cute and small-town. I had always dreamed about serving strawberry rhubarb pie at my wedding instead of cake--that kind of thing."

The lodge "is furnished with patchwork quilts and old New Yorker covers and very rustic antique furniture—a total hodge podge, but we loved it," Ariel says. "When we visited and were walking around, we said to ourselves, 'This could turn into a really fun summer camp-style weekend for our family and friends.'"

Blue Flower Girl Dresses Blue Flower Girl Basket With Rose Petals

Photo: Jenna Wakani

Rain ruined the couple's plan to wed by the lodge's lake. At the last moment, the ceremony was moved beneath one of two white-and-yellow striped tents, where there was no defined aisle. The last-minute location change "made the flower girl duties kind of tricky," the bride says.

Patrick's nieces and the pair's flower girls Eloise and Simone White were asked to hand guests white daisy mums as they entered the tent. "I think Eloise was a little too shy for it, though," Ariel recalls. "Simone loved it."

Traditional Wedding Vows Bridal Portrait by Jenna Wakani

Photo: Jenna Wakani

The couple, though both writers, declined to write their own vows. "I guess I wanted to avoid all those cheesy poems I've heard a million times at weddings. And the overwrought lovey-dovey stuff. We just wanted to be married," Ariel says.

A justice of the peace—who doubles as a neighbor and family friend—married Ariel and Patrick, and "had a nice little spiel about growing old together," the bride says. "Short but sweet."

Polaroid Pictures At Wedding Reception

Photo: Jenna Wakani

On a clothesline strung up in the ceremony tent, two friends hung photos of guests throughout the ceremony and into the evening. "It made a nice little arrangements of guest photos in real time," Ariel says.

DIY Wedding Bouquet Ideas

Photo: Jenna Wakani

The bride, with the help of her sister and mother, designed all the couple's floral decor, including matching bouquets. Ariel ordered flowers from a local grocery store and picked them up "Friday morning before the wedding and kept them on the porch of our cabin until we arranged them Saturday morning," she says. The blooms were a pastel-hued mix of freesia, peonies and ranunculus.

Pink Peony Nosegay Bouquet.jpg Stylish Mismatched Bridal Party Outfits

Photo: Jenna Wakani

The bride's sister, Emma, "and I carried matching bouquets we arranged ourselves with sprigs of mint, yellow and peach ranunculus, white freesia and pink peonies," Ariel says.

Emma wore a calico print dress, while Patrick's brother and best man, Silas, sported a blue gingham tie.

Wedding Blues Band For Cocktail hour

Photo: Jenna Wakani

A local bluegrass band, Old Fogey Mountain Boys, crooned to guests during the couple's cocktail hour and into dinner. Guests sipped on craft and domestic beers and wine, and lemonade from a "jar from Pottery Barn, full of Pimms, but it fell off a table during set-up and shattered all over the dance floor. Oops!" says the bride.

Gray Striped Straws Checkered Napkins Wedding Decor DIY Escort Card Ideas

Photo: Jenna Wakani

Guests sat at two rows of 12 burlap and lace-covered picnic tables as they ate bar-b-cue buffet fare. "Bonus: picnic tables come with free bench seating," the bride says. The bride purchased bamboo cutlery that she tied with grey and white twine and placed atop red gingham napkins. "We also put rolls of brown paper towels on the tables, since we were serving ribs," she says.

Purple and Green Wedding Centerpiece

Photo: Jenna Wakani

"My mom put out sap buckets filled with flowers, flea market-sourced whiskey crates and wooden fruit crates filled with annuals, and a few potted white shrubs," for floral reception decor, the bride says. On the tables sat a "combination of teeny bud vases and some birch-bark-wrapped vases I bought on Etsy."

Unique Favors For Wedding Guests

Photo: Jenna Wakani

"We also had lots of picnic blankets and wool Pendleton blankets—all second-hand-store finds, or borrowed—for extra seating, but because it was pouring, people ended up using them as throws and wraps, huddled under the tent!" Ariel recalls.

Strawberry Pie For Wedding Dessert

Photo: Jenna Wakani

The couple didn't have a wedding cake. Instead, they offered guests strawberry shortcake and apple pie on palm leaf plates for dessert.

Bridal Portrait by Jenna Wakani

Photo: Jenna Wakani

Ariel, Patrick and their guests danced until "the music had to be turned off," the brides says. But the party "reconvened around the campfire," with beer, Jim Beam and marshmallows making the rounds around the fire pit in true (adult) camp style. "The next morning, the campfire was littered with empties and soggy hot dog buns!" Ariel says. "Tres chic."

—Jillian Kramer

Venue: Loch Lyme Lodge || Bride's dress: The English Department || Bride's Shoes: Lands' End || Hair Piece: Pemberly Collection || Suit: Tom's Place || Bridesmaid's Dress: ModCloth || Catering: Blood's Catering || Band: Old Fogey Mountain Boys || Photography: Jenna Wakani

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