A Formal Navy-Blue-and-White Wedding in New York City
Rae and Noah fell in love with the otherworldly Metropolitan Building, with its chateau-inspired architecture and antique furniture; their choice was fitting given Rae's profession (she's an art historian), and her mother's (she's an antique dealer). The venue also felt a little less traditional, a little more magical, and a bit eclectic -- which were details the couple searched for in their potential wedding locations.
The Metropolitan Building also boasts several bird cages, which spawned a dove theme for the wedding; also fitting given the groom's name and its Biblical origins.
Together with designer and planner Xochitl Gonzalez of Always a Bridesmaid, they relied on the venue's unique charm to create the perfect vision of their wedding.
When Rae began researching stationery options, she looked for more of a scrawl than a traditional script, in the end turning to the calligraphy of Betsy Dunlap. The elegant serifs at once feel timeless with a vintage influence.
Sarah Parrott of Parrott Design Studio incorporated Betsy's work into the letterpressed white and navy invitation suite. To add a bit of pattern, she backed the card stock with printed paper that felt like old wallpaper.
Sarah also created the couple's save-the-date, a gocco-printed bookmark that read "You're booked," and included the couple's wedding website as well.
The wallpaper-like printed paper also appeared at the wedding, as a band wrapped around the programs.
Rae and Noah opted to take their portraits together prior to the ceremony to maximize the time they could spend with their guests during the cocktail hour.
The traditional Jewish ceremony took place under a huppa made of two prayer shawls belonging to Noah's great-grandfathers, held up by first cousins of the couple. Led by Rabbi Phil Lieberman, the ceremony included readings by both the bride and groom.
The day's rainy weather interfered with the original plans for an outdoor wedding. Instead, the 140 guests filled a room on the top floor of the venue as Rae and Noah wed under a large skylight, where light poured through and cast a dreamy feeling over the room.
The Klez Dispensers, the American-style klezmer band that played during the ceremony, went right into playing the hora after the couple walked back up the aisle. This dance officially (and spontaneously) kicked off the cocktail hour.
As is tradition at Jewish marriages, the couple took some time alone immediately after the ceremony. Here, they return from a neighboring room after the few minutes of solitude.
Rae borrowed her mother's vintage fur wrap to keep her bare shoulders warm against the chilly fall weather.
Her earrings and bracelet came from jewelry dealer Matisse Trading, in New York City. The earrings were given a matte surface to make them feel older.
Rae worked with Brooklyn florist Saipua to create the whimsical, romantic, and traditional aesthetic she was looking for. Her tonal white bouquet included three types of dahlias -- cafe au lait, snowbound, and pom pom -- plus clematis, ranunculus, snowberry, dusty miller leaves, silver leucadendron, olive branches, and some majolica spray roses.
The Second Hora
Another hora was played to kick off the reception.
The Klez Dispensers played for the first half of the reception and were followed by a former coworker of Rae's, who served as the deejay for the second half.
The Escort Cards
Rae and Noah made the escort card tags using their old typewriter and tied them to olive branches -- an extension of the dove theme that was already in play. The cards actually were inspired by an idea Rae spotted on the Martha Stewart Weddings website.
From the beginning, Rae and Noah knew they wanted their wedding to feel more like one of the great dinner parties they host in their apartment. The food lovers (who opened their own restaurant just a few months after their wedding) chose long farm tables with bistro chairs and a family-style menu.
The mercury-glass votive candleholders cast a soft glow across the room as guests dined and conversed throughout the evening.
The decoration was meant to feel seasonal while staying in the couple's white-and-navy palette. The muted tones of the flowers and tablescapes were inspired by some of the fine art Rae has studied, including the muted palettes of Puvis de Chavannes.
Small white gourds were scattered along the tables, which featured vintage mercury-glass vessels and blue glassware. The patinaed touches were meant to parallel the aging antiques present in the rooms.
The bride and groom's table featured a large floral arrangement similar to Rae's bouquet, but other tables were adorned with olive branches in mercury bottles atop decorative kale.
For a seasonal dinner that hinted at their shared European heritage, the couple developed a menu with Chef Rossi of The Raging Skillet. Two nights before the wedding, Rae and Noah were up until 3 o'clock in the morning finishing up the menus, which they typed on their vintage typewriter, attached to the same patterned paper they had used in the invitation, and wrapped around bare wine bottles.
The three-course meal was paired with wines and served family-style. Guests dined on roasted seasonal vegetables; couscous with saltannas, apricots, roasted almonds, and fresh herbs; Chilean sea bass in lemon herb peppercorn crust with red pepper sauce; and grilled flank steak in port wine sauce.
The couple danced to Otis Redding's "That's How Strong My Love Is" for their first dance.
Made with Love
A former claymation artist friend created the three-tiered wedding cake adorned with lovebirds as part of a multi-cake display. Because of the cake's sentiment, it was the cake Rae and Noah chose to cut.
Cheryl Kleinman of Cheryl Kleinman Cakes created six single-tier cakes, using autumnal flavors and incorporating all things rustic yet refined.
One was a red velvet cake draped in a textured rolled fondant and decorated with a sugar-paste nest and marzipan quail eggs.
Two other cakes included a gold-pleated Valrhona chocolate cake filled with mocha buttercream and raspberry jam with "pleats" of white chocolate and dusted with edible gold; and a 1950s-inspired design of light vanilla cake filled with strawberry preserves and vanilla bean buttercream, covered in the same buttercream swirled with a spoon to appear more home-style, and topped with fresh strawberries.
Kleinman also prepared a pumpkin-spice cake filled with honey buttercream icing and covered with white rolled fondant. A touch of silver luster dust was added to the fondant to give it a magical look, like Cinderella's pumpkin as it transformed into the coach.
Patterned to Perfection
The blue and white Toile de Jouy print was a nod to the bride's art history background and love for antiques. The patterned fondant was wrapped around an old-fashioned banana cake, filled with dark chocolate ganache and toasted walnuts.
A Tasty Treat
A carrot cake filled with vanilla buttercream and glazed with apricot jam featured figs.
A Quick Change
A few days prior to the wedding Rae bought a short Fendi dress to which she added a navy velvet belt and velvet Miu Miu shoes to complete her second look, which she changed into partway through the reception.
Here, the newlyweds share a kiss with some very special wedding guests nearby -- a pair of doves. Borrowed from a local breeder, they continued the day's bird and peace theme, and certainly added a focal point and conversation starter.
Photography: Dave Robbins Photography
Bride's Earrings and Bracelet: Matisse Trading, 212-869-7021
Engagement Ring: Doyle & Doyle
Rentals: Classic Party Rentals; Party Rental Ltd.
Hair and Makeup: My Hair and Makeup
Bridesmaid Dresses: Badgley Mischka
Lighting and Sound: Luminous Designs
Videography: Well Spun Weddings
Transportation: Dav El Transportation
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