I love a restaurant wedding. For one, the food is being made on premise which is a huge plus, and unlike catering halls, you’re paying for the food, not the space. Given my love of these more intimate, food-prioritized weddings you can imagine how much I enjoyed this Brooklyn wedding at Bubby’s. I’ve never been to Bubby’s but reading their menus I now want to go. And in addition to what looks like amazing food (including some dazzling pies) it’s a very pretty space, with views of the Brooklyn Bridge. Above all else, these photographs by Daniel Krieger remind me why I love city weddings: in each photo, Krieger manages to contrast urban grit with pure romance. From an editorial perspective this visual juxtaposition of the bitter and the sweet seems like an honest entre to marriage: not perfect, not a fairytale, but rather a glimmer of beauty among all that is ordinary and real. You can view more photos from this beautiful wedding here.
Before Dave got down on one knee, my mom had already begun planning us an engagement party. As soon as we got engaged, she hounded us to register, pick a date and pull together a guestlist for this party. We decided upon a dinner party. Since the party was being held at my parents’ house, Dave and I limited the guestlist to family and a small group of friends. I have a big family, so even without inviting most of our friends, the guestlist included close to 100 people. Creating the guestlist was a great learning experience as it is impossible to please everyone; however, in the end, we were surrounded by so much love and support. It was so wonderful to see our families all together for the first time. (It was also a great surprise when our friend, Stephanie, offered to pull together an engagement party for all of our friends later that month in NYC).
Pulling together the engagement party was no easy feat. My mom and I selected the invitations, hired the caterer, rented the tables and chairs and created the floral arrangements. Dave’s mom spent the entire week slaving over the stove and her famous meatballs, sausages and icing cookies were a huge hit. My Aunt Marci as well as some friends arrived early to help us set up the tables and chairs. And last but not least my Dad provided the surprise photo booth that kept the crowd smiling all night long. It all came together beautifully.
The photo booth was not my Dad’s only surprise gesture that night. Known for his video presentations, we all anticipated a lovely slide show of videos and photographs; however, he decided to surprise us all with a video roast instead! I could barely watch the screen as he teased Dave and I through a video montage and presentation which included embarrassing photographs and inappropriate jokes. It was all in good fun and crowd didn’t seem too offended when it was all said and done; however, I was disappointed that we didn’t get to enjoy the classic, tear jerker video presentation of our baby pictures set to “Through the Years.” One thing is for sure – I have learned the hard way and there will be no opportunity for surprises on our big day.
If planning this engagement party is any indication of what wedding planning will be like … I have quite a year ahead of me.
Your mom worked in fashion and you inherited a great eye. Tell me about your dress shopping adventures. How did you know that this was the one? Any shopping tips?
I have a few great memories of shopping for a bridal gown, including my mom providing audible commentary on the other girls’ choices while she waited outside the dressing room where I was re-positioning my chest in a sea of tulle and dupione silk. We went to two stores in NYC – RK Bridal (whose motto is something like “we will match AND beat the lowest price of any authorized bridal gown dealer”) and Kleinfeld’s (whose motto is something like “we have a TV show… period.”). At RK, we dragged plastic-wrapped dresses across the warehouse floor to my dressing room. After much sweat, blood and tears, we found the perfect dress. I wouldn’t use the word perfect, but as soon as I put it on, both me and my mom sighed, looked at each other, and said “yes, this is it!” simultaneously. Then, we looked at the price tag. And there introduces my first tip: when trying dresses on, stay within your price range! But then my second tip would be: when you find the dress that you love that is out of your price range, figure out a way to get it because you’re not going to like anything else (have you seen “Say Yes to the Dress“?). This began the real fun for me because I hate to buy anything full price, let alone a dress I will only wear once… on the most important day of my life. After leaving RK, in the cab on the way to lunch, I called around to a few stores in Chicago and asked if they had samples in stock of the dress I had chosen. We went to Kleinfeld’s next, and, while I didn’t find anything that compared to the “a-ha!” dress from RK, I’m happy that I tried on more dresses in order to cement my decision. I’m not sure that the staff at Kleinfeld was so happy, but thanks to my mother, I think that they all learned that I was a doctor and that I would be marrying a Jewish lawyer. In the end, I found a sample of the dress in perfect condition at a store that was a few weeks away from it’s “sample sale” and arranged a deal to pre-buy it at 50% off the ticketed price. It was 2 sizes too big, but the store’s tailor altered it to fit perfectly.
So given that experience would you recommend RK Bridal?
RK was great…the people who worked there were O.K. but their selection was extensive and it was no frills. They were ready to bargain a bit, but I didn’t even want to buy their sample (which they weren’t even willing to sell). It wasn’t in great condition. I ended up buying the sample from a very nice place in Chicago. I’d rather not mention the name of where I actually got it because they were like sort of annoyed with me that I got the dress for that little – well, I paid enough for alterations so they can suck it!
Ha! Any words of wisdom on veil-bargain-hunting?
One savvy strategy for veil shopping is using the internet, and as my mom calls it, getting a “veil in the mail.” At the dress boutiques, veils can cost upwards of $300. If you’re interested in something ornate, you might want to buy it in the store, but a simple veil can be purchased online at a great price. I would recommend trying on several veils, getting the measurements of what you want, and then looking online at “made to measure” types of websites. I used www.kissbridalveils.com and received a beautiful custom-made extra-wide double-layer chapel length tulle veil within 10 days for $36.00. There are many similar sites, but the customer service response time at Kiss was exceptional and much appreciated by a nervous bride.
Perhaps you’re not a sweet eater. Maybe you’re on a carb-free diet. Then again, maybe you just really like cheese. If so, consider a cheese tower in leiu of a cake.
From The Cheese Shed:
Using black and white cheeses creates a striking, dramatic and much more designed look. Finding cheeses to make this was quite a challenge, and to do it we’ve had to venture a little outside our usual Westcountry selection. But the seven-layer result is one that we’re delighted with, and if you want to amaze your guests this might be one way to do it!
The black cheeses are waxed, and two of them (the biggest and smallest) are the Snowdonia Cheese Company’s ‘Black Bomber’. Now take note: this is a properly strong cheddar. The middle-sized black cheese, however, is a great contrast – Devon’s own Curworthy, a lovely mild, easy-going thing.
As for the whites, down at the base is a Cambazola – the very popular German blue brie. Next one up is a Duckett’s Caerphilly – a classic which, again, will contrast nicely with the cheddar. A small Somerset Camembert and a very small Gevrik complete the picture.
Bonus: most cheese towers are less expensive than a cake of equal measure.
(h/t to Wedding Window)
Who wouldn’t love Lin-Manuel Miranda to perform at her wedding? In the interim, here he is performing at his own:
You can read all about the performance here and the wedding here. My favorite part is where Miranda says of his bride, “She knows she’s dope…She’s beautiful but not vain. She’s smart but not arrogant. It’s like, all killer, no filler.” Truth.