A month into planning the backyard wedding at the home of the bride’s parents was all it took for our couple to realize their special day needed to be at an established venue. With less than six months of time, we worked with Sarah and Jan to scout a new wedding location, design the details and book all of the vendors. Moving quickly, our NYC based bride and groom decided to host their wedding at The New York Botanical Gardens.
A New Jersey native, our bride fell in love with her groom while living in New York City. With his family based overseas and a complicated schedule, the best time to host their wedding would give us only 7 total months to plan. The first month was spent planning a backyard wedding at the home of the bride’s parents. After catering interviews, rental discussions and a site visit, the couple opted to look for a wedding venue instead, leaving only 6 months to start all over.
After countless venue tours, The New York Botanical Gardens was selected for the wedding day. The couple would set up multiple room blocks in Manhattan as well as shuttle service for their 150 guests. With over half the guests traveling from outside of the country, we planned events leading up to the wedding day as well as the day after for a true destination wedding experience.
The Pierre Hotel was the hotel where our bride and groom, along with their parents and wedding party got ready for the big day. The close proximity to Central Park made it an ideal location as first look photos would take place in the city. Once hair and make up was completed, the stage was set at several incredible landmarks for amazing photographs taken by our friends Gabelli Studio.
From Bow Bridge to Bethesda Terrace, our bride showed off her diamond white lacy wedding gown, while her groom stunned in a fitted and formal black tuxedo. Despite the extreme heat of the day, the couple didn’t seem to mind at all as they snapped over 2 hours worth of photos!
Once photos of our bride and groom were completed in Central Park, they grabbed their wedding party and parents and headed off to the venue. Set-up had already begun at The New York Botanical Gardens and the ceremony design was coming together with lush white roses, flowing greenery and draping at the alter. Once our couple arrived, photos continued with their wedding party, parents and immediate family. The gorgeous grounds provided plenty of places for photos prior to the ceremony and the gardens were in full bloom and filled with butterflies.
As guests arrived and photos were completed, the outdoor ceremony was ready. The groomsmen dressed in formal black tuxedos, lined up with the bridesmaids who wore pale blue gowns. The bouquets were shades of white and complimented the overall decor and garden backdrop.
After the outdoor ceremony concluded, guests walked through the gardens to the Terrace Room for the cocktail hour. Guests enjoyed flutes of champagne and incredible catering by Starr Events. As cocktail hour concluded, the doors opened to the beautiful ballroom that was decorated with tall centerpieces full of white roses and greenery. Place cards were at each setting and incorporated the garden theme with green fern details.
Our bride and groom danced the night away with their guests as one of our preferred bands from EBE played everyone’s favorites. When guests weren’t shaking it on the dance floor, they were playing with props in the photobooth and mingling in the greenhouse space. An elegant all white wedding cake adorned with fresh flowers took center stage before dessert was served. After carefully feeding each other, the bride and groom shared cake and coffee with their guests before ending the reception and kicking off the after party.
Even if your initial wedding plans completely change, and you are left with limited time to plan the details, your engagement should be the happiest time of your relationship. It’s important to roll with the punches and be flexible and drink plenty of champagne when you’re stressed out. Of course, having a great wedding planner by your side doesn’t hurt either…
Congratulations to Sarah and Jan!
I am always searching for the newest “off the beaten path” venue. You know the ones: the barns, the farms, the estates, and the vineyards. Those beautiful locations that no one ever thought to have weddings at…until recently.
I was born and raised in New Jersey and to many people that means that I must wear lots of animal prints and sequins. Truth be told, I own one or two pairs of leopard print heels and only break them out every once in awhile.
Being a non-traditional bride myself, I wasn’t “typical Jersey” when I was planning my own wedding. New Jersey has countless ballrooms to choose from and they all have the bling everyone sees on the Jersey based reality shows. The menus are standard Italian and there is always way too much food. Not knocking what some brides and grooms want, but it was never what I was looking for.
My style has been described to me (because I don’t really know what to call it myself) as very “California”. I love boho chic, but I’d hang a chandelier in a tree in a heartbeat. I’ve done the barns and farms before they were what everyone suddenly wanted and thus, I am over the burlap, lace and mason jars filled with “wildflowers”. What can I say? I’m just not basic ballroom bling.
I love vintage furniture and have a pretty sweet collection that includes dressers, couches and plenty of china. I rent the pieces out when I can, but not many couples realize what the expense will be (hint: a lot). Therefore, anytime I can use the pieces, I jump at the chance.
Over the summer I designed a styled shoot in New York State. For those of you that don’t know what a styled shoot is, it’s basically a bunch of creatives in the wedding industry getting together and showing off their talents. This shoot incorporated plenty of vintage pieces from my collection as well as a horse or two.
It wasn’t my intention, but while designing the colors and theme for the shoot, I kept going back to Pantone’s “color of the year”. 2016 was all about the watercolors of rose quartz and some light blue color. Honestly, I was never crazy about the colors or the combination for wedding inspiration, but I loved (seriously L-O-V-E-D) using them for this shoot.
We were fortunate enough to have not just photography but a videography team in place too. In fact, you can check out their amazing video right here: Video Coverage
The location was the highest point in Duchess County, New York, which made dealing with the light a little difficult. It was basically full on sun for the entire day. There were a good amount of reflectors and flashes being used to battle the summer sun and zero clouds.
For any farm or barn wedding, if there are animals around, I always want to incorporate them. I mean…come. on. How gorgeous does this model look draped over this stunning horse? This wedding dress was an airy ballgown with a crystal bodice and we designed a eucalyptus wreath for the horse.
As a designer, I fully believe in complimenting your surroundings and not competing with them. It would’ve looked ridiculous to have used bold and dark colors and over the top tall centerpieces.
In order to keep the natural feel without being too nature, nature, nature, we worked with long gray-brown farmhouse tables and a simple deep blue runner. I wanted to keep the rest of the table exposed to showcase the vintage china. Place settings are a huge deal to me and if you can work it into your budget, I highly recommend a floral and/or custom menu on each plate. It really is that extra touch and it “finishes” the look of the table, much in the way a charger would.
The runner was scrunched to give that “I woke up like this” look and the flowers were placed in a vintage silver holder. In keeping with that natural but beautiful wedding vibe I was going for, figs and artichokes were included in the design. Remember, if you’re on a farm, a great way to work with what you have is to use what they have.
We luckily had the entire day to shoot and were able to use the barn on site as well as the entire grounds. Even though the sun never hid from us, the light changed enough to give some serious contrast to the photos. You can also see some behind the scenes fun over on our YouTube Channel here: Behind The Scenes
Styled shoots are a crazy amount of work, but the end result is always amazing. When you’re looking for wedding inspiration, you’re most likely going to be pinning pictures from more styled shoots than actual weddings. It’s a great chance to see what vendors can really do and just how creative they can be. For more wedding inspiration from this shoot, make sure to visit our Pinterest page: Romantic Wedding Inspiration