So, I married my sweetheart and it was pretty amazing. Read on for more photos and the story behind our wedding.
Jeff and I got married on October 13, 2012 at the Montauk Club in brownstone Brooklyn; this historic mansion began as a private social club in the 1880s — a country club in the city, basically — and its dark, woody, slightly ramshackle vibe was the perfect setting for our intimate wedding party. On a tiny stage in front of our immediate family and friends, we pledged our lives to one another, and my hand-written vows still echo in my ears three months later; in fact, I spoke them out loud for the first time during the ceremony, and I very nearly lost it in the process — the tears on this day, the tears! It’s a wonder I had any makeup left after the ceremony.
We were joined in marriage by our charismatic friend Pete (he really should be a professional officiant) and the “power invested in him by the state of New York…and the Internet.” It seemed apropos.
Walking the neighborhood before the ceremony, taking photos on the sidewalks and in the street, I was struck by the love emanating from passerby; people leaned from car windows, stopped mid-cell phone conversation or mid-stride to say “congratulations!”, “you look great,” and “best of luck.” New York doesn’t always feel like a city where people acknowledge one another, much less congratulating them, and it really set the tone for the day: love. Just love in every direction.
We were lucky to work with amazing vendors. Amy Merrick made my flower fantasies come true — lots of ferns, lots of red and orange, and very wild. Walking into the reception and seeing the arrangements for the first time, lit by hundreds of candles: incredible. We were also serious about a documentary feel for our wedding photos, and our awesome photographer Michael Simon created rich, sumptuous images that paid homage to the narrative of the day.
Tons of friends came through for us along the way; my friend Danielle created an Odd Fellows-inspired banner based upon our Quill and Fox wedding invitations, and ceramicist Robin Edgerton created an amazing wedding topper based upon a one-of-a-kind folk art piece I’d only seen online. Talk about dream weavers! And in addition to being my best friend and maid-of-honor, my friend Jaime also made our three-tiered wedding cake (chocolate with butter cream frosting). She also did my makeup. Needless to say, I owe her big time!
And the little details: after much searching for a golden laurel leaf crown, I wore a vintage German wedding tiara (Etsy!) and Victorian coral earrings to complete my ensemble. I purchased my dress at Lovely Bridal in the West Village — I love that place. It’s by Ivy and Aster, based out of Portland; I added a lace bolero and black velvet sash to create my ideal vintage look, which was loosely based on my Grandma Louise’s wedding look from 1936. Our rings are both vintage, Jeff’s from the 1950s and mine from the 1920s; my ring was originally set with coral, but I had it customized with three rose cut diamonds. Our guestbook was actually an old ship’s log, to guide us as we undertake this new voyage together. (It also had whales and ships inside, so. That too.)
Three months later, the day still seems magical and not quite real. The closest thing I can compare it to is an episode of This Is Your Life, with every person who’s played an important part in our lives coming together to celebrate us. While standing in front of all of them to declare our love initially seemed like a terrifying prospect — neither Jeff or myself are people who relish the spotlight — in the end, it just felt comfortable, personal, and so right.
P.S. There was also lots of Ginuwine, Ludacris, and Jock Jams at the reception, but you can’t see those photos!