This Couple Tied the Knot on the Rooftop Terrace of an Iconic New York City Hotel
Kirsten ended an epic trip to Europe with her best college girlfriends in her favorite city in the world: Paris, France. "I had been begging my boyfriend, Kevin, to go with me for years, but he always said there were other places he wanted to go first," she says. "I later found out that was because he had bigger plans." Under the guise of attending one of her friend's work events, Kirsten arrived at the penthouse suite of a hotel in St. Germaine. "I opened the door and immediately knew what was happening," she says. A table decorated with sentimental items from her relationship with Kevin stood next to a staircase that was decorated with string lights, cards, and Polaroids depicting moments from the pair's eight years together. "When I walked up the stairs, Kevin was waiting there on a balcony overlooking all of Paris, which is where he proposed."
The romantic surprise proposal led to the couple scheduling a May 2020 wedding, to which they invited approximately 115 loved ones. "By early March we realized this wasn't realistic due to the pandemic, so we quickly postponed and let all of our guests know that we would be moving the wedding to August," says Kirsten. However, the rescheduled nuptials went off track as well—so the pair decided to cancel their event altogether. "We just sat on having no plans for a few weeks, taking that time to prioritize what was important to us and what we were willing to give up," says the bride. Realizing they were fine with paring down their guest list, Kirsten and Kevin decided to host an intimate, detail-oriented event that would reflect them beautifully and still take place in 2020. "We'd been together for so long that we didn't see the point in waiting to get married, especially with so much uncertainty," Kirsten shares.
With their hearts set on having their nuptials in New York City, Kirsten contacted multiple venue options and was thrilled to find that the iconic Gramercy Park Hotel was booking weddings on their gorgeous rooftop terrace in the fall. "We lucked out and were able to set a Saturday for late September," she says. The pair did have to change some vendors due to lack of availability. "Once we finalized our new vendor team, we started planning for the third time," says Kirsten, who wrangled the majority of the logistics herself, sans the help of a planner.
The end result was better than they could have expected. "Our vision was a romantic, classic, and formal dinner party," says the bride. "Even though the wedding was small, we looked at it as an opportunity to invest in giving an amazing experience to the people that were nearest and dearest to us." Anticipating that everyone in their lives would be excited about an opportunity to celebrate again, the pair prioritized a formal and lavish ambience, and made everyone in attendance feel special and appreciated.
Dress to Impress
Kirsten's strapless mermaid wedding dress with intricate embroidery was meant to be. "I had actually seen a slightly different version of the dress online prior to even going shopping, and I was obsessed with it," she says. "When I went to Monique Lhuillier, my fifth boutique, I was so excited to finally try on the gown I'd been eyeing." After she sampled it, the staff showed her a slightly different version that was strapless and featured a sweetheart neckline, a style exclusive to the designer's flagship boutiques. "It was the same dress I had fallen in love with online, but with a bit of a unique twist," Kirsten says. "It was the perfect mix of romantic, feminine, and bridal while still being fitted and very 'me.'"
For her "something old" and "something borrowed," the bride slipped on diamond earrings that belonged to her mother. "My shoes were Prada white patent-leather heels," she adds. "I'm only five-feet tall so I knew I wanted shoes with a lot of height that were still comfortable, and these were the perfect fit."
Timeless White Blooms
The bride's bouquet was composed of white ranunculus, garden roses, and anemones, accented with delicate greenery. "I wanted it to be full without looking too overgrown," she shares, a wedding wish that was beautifully fulfilled by her florist, Designs by Ahn.
Kirsten's bridesmaids wore the black gowns of their choosing, a decision she made early on. "It was important to me that they had the opportunity to choose gowns they would feel their best in, and I truly didn't care as long as they felt confident and comfortable," she says.
The groom opted to don Dior for the big day, resulting in a refined tuxedo that was utterly timeless. Kevin's choice of accessories included black YSL boots that were "sleek, formal, and fitting for an early fall wedding," says the bride. Rose gold Brooks Brothers cuff links and a classic black bow tie rounded out his look.
Kirsten and Kevin shared their first look right outside the gates of Gramercy Park. "Kevin had no idea what my dress looked like and we tried really hard to keep it very secretive, so I was so excited to finally have him see it," says Kirsten. "After, we were just excited to finally be husband and wife, for the celebrations to begin, and to see so many of our family and friends that we hadn't seen in months due to the pandemic."
The ceremony site was transformed with candles and two large flower arrangements, which stood sentry over the aisle. A rectangular floral arch at the altar was filled with white flowers and greenery. "It felt like a magical rooftop garden," says Kirsten of the space.
Find Your Seat
Black lattice-back chairs brought a bit of edge to the terrace.
In Good Company
The bride was accompanied down the aisle by both of her parents to the song "Good Woman" by Maren Morris. "Kevin and I have been fans for a long time and loved that this was such a pure love song," she says. "It's from a woman's perspective, and it felt really fitting and encompassing of my feelings as I was walking down the aisle towards him."
Kirsten and Kevin's custom vows gave loved ones a glimpse into their nine-year relationship—as well as their hopes and dreams as a couple moving forward.
The section of the rooftop reserved for the reception was transformed with lights and greenery, which were strung across the ceiling. "The room truly sparkled," recalls the bride. "It felt enchanting—like we were dining under the stars."
"We used two long tables for our reception and lined them with tons of tapered candles," says Kirsten. White floral arrangements of garden roses, ranunculus, anemones, and other seasonal flowers took center stage and set the scene for a memorable dinner.
The Meal Ahead
Menu cards by Minted featured the couple's initials and outlined a fabulous four-course meal that included a Caesar salad of baby kale, a pasta course of arugula pesto cavatelli, a choice of branzino or braised short ribs, and a dessert of rich chocolate mousse cake.
During dinner, guests listened to speeches, mingled, and lifted their Champagne-filled flutes in honor of the couple.
A Profound First Dance
Kirsten and Kevin chose "10,000 Hours" by Dan + Shay for their first dance for a couple of reasons. "It came out on the day we got engaged, so it was special to us," confides the bride. "Also, I'm a huge country-music fan and Kevin loves Justin Bieber, so we thought this was the perfect compromise of both artists."
For the remainder of the evening, the bride changed into a white silk CAMI NYC gown and sparkly Jeffrey Campbell heels. "This was really comfortable and easy to move around in—and I felt like it tapped into the more modern and fun side of my style," Kirsten says.
Ultimately, Kirsten and Kevin agree that their intimate event was more beautiful than any wedding they could have imagined. "If you do decide to go the micro route, that does not mean it cannot be just as amazing as a larger event," says the bride. "Whether it turns out to be the original wedding you had planned or something very different from that, so long as you are marrying the person you love, it will be incredible."
Photography, Sophie Kaye Photography
Venue, Gramercy Park Hotel
Videography, Shutter and Sound
Flowers, Designs by Ahn
Invitations and Stationery, Minted
Officiant, Larissa Martell
Bride's Gowns, Monique Lhuillier (ceremony), CAMI NYC (reception)
Veil, Monique Lhuillier
Shoes, Prada (ceremony), Jeffrey Campbell (reception)
Bride's/Bridesmaids' Pajamas, Eberjey
Engagement Ring, Designs by Kamni
Wedding Bands, Tiffany & Co.
Hair, Facetime Beauty
Makeup, Stacie Ford Beauty Co.
Groom's Attire, Dior
Groom's Shoes, Saint Laurent
Groom's Cuff Links, Brooks Brothers
Guest Book, Arco Album
Music, 74 Events
Catering, Union Square Hospitality Group
Favors, Gramercy Park Hotel