This Emerald-and-Mustard Wedding Was as Modern as Its Venue—the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, Massachusetts
Mutual friends introduced Brianna Cormier and Drew Vrolyk at the Beanpot hockey tournament when both were students at Boston University in 2013. Brianna says Drew was "not very smooth" when he asked for her number. But a little more than five years later, he made up for any first-impression awkwardness with a romantic proposal in Boston Common, followed by a surprise engagement party that included guests who had flown in from California. "He also had saved his hockey ticket from the night we met, which I did not know, and had it with him that day," says Brianna. "It was pretty amazing."
Since the couple met and currently lives in Boston, they wanted to find a local venue that would show off the best of the city to their guests. They chose the Institute of Contemporary Art, which offered indoor and outdoor areas for different parts of the day and a sleek backdrop for the abundant florals they wanted to incorporate as a nod to their love of nature and Drew's passion for gardening. "The modern-yet-fresh contemporary design of this art museum was what first attracted Drew and I to the property," says Brianna. "We wanted our loved ones to enjoy the beauty of Boston Harbor as the sun set and the stars could be seen through the stunning glass walls of the ICA."
With the help of planners from Whim Events, Brianna and Drew organized their 107-person wedding for September 28, 2019, making most of their decisions in just 10 months. "The hardest part of the process was the stress of how quickly vendors were booking up," says Brianna. "Some vendors were booked out two years in advance. Although, at the end of the day, we couldn't have been happier or more impressed with all of ours." A color palette of dark green, mustard, and gray created an autumn garden atmosphere, while thoughtful details—pashminas and flats for the women, extra-plush cushions for the outdoor ceremony, and a GIF booth in the elevator—satisfied the couple's other key request: "We wanted our guests to feel thought of," says Brianna.
The invitation suite from Fete Collection previewed several of the wedding day's design details, including a delicate branch silhouette that the couple used in their reception lighting design; a vellum overlay meant to mimic the large glass windows at the ICA, and mustard-colored accents that hinted at the green-and-gold color scheme of the florals. The couple also included their custom monogram on personalized stamps.
The bride tried on just five wedding dresses at a Boston boutique before deciding on her silk Alexandra Grecco gown with a hand-embroidered floral overlay. "I had a silhouette in mind, and I knew I loved that designer," she says. "It was an easy choice." She kept her jewelry understated, adding only two pairs of earrings. "My mom gifted me her diamond stud earrings that I had been admiring for years," she says. "My mother-in-law also gifted me gold and diamond earrings that Drew's dad had gifted her when he was born. I wore both sets and they complemented each other perfectly."
Brianna and her bridesmaids carried bouquets of green, gold, and cream-colored blooms, including Gold Strike leucadendron, Japanese smilax, variegated pittosporum, orchids, ranunculus, Honey Dijon roses, and Citrine Gem spray roses; Brianna's arrangement also included chocolate cosmos for a rich contrast.
Drew and Brianna gave the flower girl and ring bearer the freedom to choose their outfits on the big day. "They both looked so adorable, and our flower girl stole the show," says Brianna. "She held my train up all day and really knows how to work the camera! Before walking down the aisle, she told her brother, the ring bearer, that if he didn't behave he wouldn't be allowed to party all night!"
So in Love
Unwilling to wait longer than necessary to see each other on the morning of the celebration, Brianna and Drew planned their first look in a small park next to their hotel. "I was so anxious leading up to the first look. Getting ready that morning, I just could not believe it was our wedding day, and not being able to see or talk to Drew was hard. He's usually the one to keep me calm!" says Brianna. "Walking up to him was so surreal and my favorite moment of the day. It was really private and emotional for both of us. Afterward, my nerves were immediately soothed."
Drew wore a bespoke charcoal gray suit from Alan Rouleau Couture, and the couple let their groomsmen each source their own black suit. "We wanted to keep it simple since they were coming from all over," says Brianna. "We gifted them custom ties, pocket squares in emerald, and fun socks to pull it all together." The bridesmaids also had their choice of gowns in emerald green from Shona Joy, but, says Brianna, "they all chose the same one!"
On the Bench
Brianna and Drew chose to hold their ceremony outside, where their friends and family could take in the full views of the harbor. Soft cushions on the wooden benches kept guests comfortable while the couple exchanged vows, and low flower arrangements defined the seating area.
An acrylic sign greeted attendees to the service—and didn't interrupt the harbor view.
Modern square planters in varying heights held gravity-defying floral arrangements from Whim Events; the blooms anchored the altar. "When we saw the venue space for the first time," says Brianna, "we both knew immediately we wanted to get married there."
Saying "I Do"
Brianna's father escorted her to the altar to an instrumental version of Keane's "Somewhere Only We Know;" Brianna's mother met them at the end of the aisle. The couple wrote their own vows and Brianna's godfather officiated the ceremony. "My vows were on a crumpled piece of paper and Drew had written his out in a beautiful card addressed to 'Mrs. Vrolyk,' says Brianna. "I felt a little guilty about that!"
The couple let their color palette shine all throughout ICA's outdoor space; emerald green loveseats and accent pillows, gold-and-mustard-hued accents, and textural furniture were arranged into vibrant lounge vignettes.
Letterpress napkins with the couple's monogram complemented other cocktail hour accessories—including coasters and drink stirrers—that featured a sketch of the couple's dog, Bean, named in honor of the hockey tournament where the couple met.
The New Mr. and Mrs.
Following the ceremony, the newlyweds and their photographer took a brief walk through the museum to see the reception space and view the exhibits. "The ceremony itself was such a blur, but we really got to take it all in together after it ended," says Brianna.
After a few minutes alone in the museum, the couple rejoined their guests at the cocktail hour, where the menu included tuna tartare cones, short rib tacos, and clam chowder. "We entered by pouring a Champagne tower, which made it feel a little more special," says Brianna.
Find Your Seats
The seating chart echoed the welcome sign—assignments were etched onto Lucite and backed by a greenery wall.
Brianna and Drew opted for acrylic chairs in the dining room to minimize obstructions of the stunning harbor views. Centerpiece arrangements of roses, orchids, and croton plants brought in touches of fall color, while a custom lighting design (matching the leaf sketch from the invitation) was projected onto the walls and windows.
On the Menu
Black glass chargers and black glassware added a twilight-inspired, modern element to the tables, while geometric plates and vellum menus sat on top of amber-colored napkins. For dinner, guests chose from roasted chicken, filet mignon and halibut, or saffron risotto, and the chefs followed up with late-night snacks of cheeseburger sliders and buffalo chicken skewers. "I don't think anyone left hungry!" says Brianna.
Piece of Cake
Their four-tier wedding cake from Mayflour Confections was composed of three different flavor combinations: Drew chose carrot cake with cream cheese frosting, Brianna opted for lemon-blueberry cake with buttercream, and the couple agreed together on pistachio cake with honey buttercream. "The cake tasting was definitely one of the best parts of the planning process!" says Brianna.
A sentimental display at the reception included a photo of Brianna's grandparents, a 105-year-old sugar cake topper the bride's family has passed down for more than a century, and a selection of "Gram's Cannolis." "It was a nod to my grandmother, because cannolis were her favorite," says Brianna. "It was important for me to feel like my grandparents were part of the day."
On the Waterfront
Brianna, Drew, and their guests took advantage of the ICA's waterfront location throughout the evening; the duo strung the outdoor terrace with lights so guests could appreciate the harbor views and autumn weather, even after the sun went down.
Seeds of Love
A circle-shaped wood and metal shelf held several thoughtful perks for guests, including pashminas that helped the women enjoy the outdoor space even after sunset, and packs of seeds in modern gray envelopes printed with a set of Eric Clapton lyrics: "Love is lovely so let it grow."
Their First Dance
Brianna and Drew took the floor for their first dance as husband and wife, asking the band to play "Out Loud" by Dispatch. "It was an unconventional choice, but we've always considered it 'our song' and couldn't imagine our first dance being to anything else," says the bride.
The bride and groom also included parent dances at their reception; Drew and his mother chose Lee Ann Womack's "I Hope You Dance" and Brianna and her father took a spin to "Butterfly Kisses" by Bob Carlisle. "My dad had this song on cassette when I was growing up and told my mom we would dance to it on my wedding day," says Brianna. "We went to the father-daughter dance every year and would listen to it to and from the dance. It was such a special moment to actually hear it on my wedding day."
A Toast to the Couple
"Drew's favorite part of the wedding was the speeches from our family and friends, and of course the dance party," says Brianna. "It was amazing to have our family and friends come together. We got to look around and see everyone having the best time. There was so much love, and we felt so thankful."
Photography, Elizabeth LaDuca
Location, Institute of Contemporary Art
Event Planning and Flowers, Whim Events
Catering, The Catered Affair
Videography, Two Skull
Stationery, Fete Collection
Calligraphy, AMR Calligraphy and Design
Cake, Mayflour Confections
Rentals, Kadeema (lounge furniture); Party Rental LTD (tabletop); PEAK Event Services (furniture)
Bride's Gown and Veil, Alexandra Grecco
Bride's Shoes, Christian Louboutin
Hair, Jennifer Tawa
Bridesmaids' Dresses, Shona Joy
Groom's Attire, Alan Roleau Couture
Groomsmen's Accessories, Alan Roleau Couture
Transportation, McGinn Bus Trolley; The Original Party Trolley of Boston
Hedge Wall, Art of the Event
Photo Booth, Boston GIF
Rings, DeScenza Diamonds
Welcome Boxes, Lux Box Company