A Nature-Inspired Intimate Vintage Wedding in New York

Photo: Christian Oth of Christian Oth Studio
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Matthew and Jack's Heart-Felt Wedding

Christian Oth of Christian Oth Studio

For some couples, it's love at first sight. For Matthew Robbins (our long-time contributor) and Jack Myers, who met as art students in Memphis in 1992, it was love at first illustration. After noticing each other on campus, a mutual friend arranged a date at a local diner, where sparks began to fly. Before long, the two were serious, and when New York State passed the marriage-equality bill on June 24, 2011, the partners of 20 years decided right then and there to make it official. On October 27, 2012 in Cold Spring, New York (where they now live) Matthew and Jack wed in front of 80 loved ones before celebrating at their Southern-inspired reception.

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Antique-Inspired Invitations

Christian Oth of Christian Oth Studio

The stationery suite featured botanical prints, vintage maps, and historical photos from the couple's collection of antique ephemera. "We loved the mix of exotic foliage with industrial details," says Matthew. "It felt unique and romantic and not too feminine or traditional."

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Portraits With the Pups

Christian Oth of Christian Oth Studio

The J.Crew-clad couple posed with their pooches, Bruno and Ollie, before their I do's. "I was a bit nervous that Bruno might start barking," says Jack, "but they were amazingly calm and sweet during the ceremony—likely due to the fact that they were exhausted after the photo shoot!"

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Stylish Flower Girls

Glen Allsop

The flower girls, wearing top knots and J.Crew frocks, carried clutches of chrysanthemums and ferns.

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A Walk to Remember

Christian Oth of Christian Oth Studio

Matthew and Jack strolled to the ceremony with their dogs. "The chapel is on a hilltop, so our guests could see us making our way up, and we could hear music from the xylophonist drifting down," recalls Matthew. "It's a moment I'll always remember."

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For the Ceremony

Shawn Connell

In lieu of programs, guests were given linen handkerchiefs printed with lyrics from the grooms' favorite song, "Sabali" by Malian duo Amadou & Mariam.

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Leafy Decor

Shawn Connell

Wreaths of umbrella ferns, asparagus ferns, passion vine, tillandsia, and succulents graced the church's doors. "We both love greenery," says Matthew, who made them. "It suited us more than the usual flowers."

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An Emotional Moment

Shawn Connell

"I don't think people realized what it was like for Matthew to work in an industry he loves but couldn't actively participate in," said Jack. "That notion struck me right before the ceremony, and the tears just started flowing." Here, the happy twosome left the chapel as husbands. "Seeing all this love directed at us was tremendously powerful," Jack added.

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A Unique Reception Venue

Christian Oth of Christian Oth Studio

After the service, everyone headed to a former drugstore (now an event space) for a reception inspired by the men's southern roots. Candles clustered in galvanized-metal lanterns marked the celebration spot. "During cocktail hour, guests spilled out of the storefront onto the street, which I loved," says Matthew.

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Light Bites

Christian Oth of Christian Oth Studio

Silver trays of hors d'oeuvres were topped off with moss and apothecary-inspired signage.

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Signature Drinks

Shawn Connell

A bourbon bar kept the drinks flowing for partygoers. "Everyone especially loved the Porch Swing Swizzle, a delicious (and dangerous!) whisky, mint, and ginger beer concoction," said Matthew.

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Handy Seating Cards

Christian Oth of Christian Oth Studio

Paper lantern escort cards, illuminated by mini LED lights, led partygoers to woodland-animal-themed tables at the reception.

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Lush Dining

Christian Oth of Christian Oth Studio

Terrariums and apothecary beakers showcased ferns and passion vines clipped from the couple's garden, and flickering votive candles lent warmth. Arak Kanofsky Studios printed the menu directly onto graphic linen napkins, which, thanks to attached tabs, also served as place cards.

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Southern Comfort

Christian Oth of Christian Oth Studio

Grits, served in individual casserole dishes, were garnished with the guest's choice of topping: stewed spicy shrimp (pictured), pulled pork, or roasted mushrooms.

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A Trio of Cakes

Christian Oth of Christian Oth Studio

Three of Matthew's favorite Graham & Brown wallpapers were layered to form the backdrop for a trio of gluten-free and vegan Madagascar vanilla cakes.

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Aromatic Favors

Christian Oth of Christian Oth Studio

Each attendee left with a twine-tied goodie box stocked with a bamboo-jasmine candle, rosemary-fig soap, and cypress-fig room spray from the local Cold Spring Apothecary.

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Unexpected Guest Book

Christian Oth of Christian Oth Studio

The grooms opted for a vintage ticket-collection box instead of the traditional guest book.

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Christian Oth of Christian Oth Studio

Locations: The Chapel Restoration; The Living Room

Wedding Coordination: Francesca Events

Catering: Julie Taras Wallach of Tipsy Parson New York; Cobblestone Catering

Flowers and Design: Matthew Robbins Design

Wedding Photography: Christian Oth Studio

Officiant: Rev. Jim Rooney

Invitations and Printed Accessories: Arak Kanofsky Studios

Cakes: Lael Cakes

Music: Vali Entertainment LLC.

DJ: Juanita More!

Rentals: Party Rental Ltd.

Hair: Kate Hanley of Takamichi Hair NYC

Grooms' Attire: Hermes cufflinks; Barneys New York shoes; Prada shoes

Votives: Glassybaby

Vases and Terrariums: Accent Decor

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