These New York City Brides Married on a Pier Overlooking the Hudson River
On a beautiful September day, Anandah Carter and Karen Potter got engaged in New York City, on the lawn along the Hudson River at 24th Street. Karen had planned a surprise catered picnic, and when she proposed, was completely surprised by Anandah's reaction. "I carried Karen's engagement ring around with me that entire weekend in case she popped the question," Anandah says. "And when Karen did, I was ready and pulled out her ring to propose at the same time." The double proposal reflected, she says, how the pair approaches their relationship—with mutual love and care.
The lawn on the pier had held meaning to the duo long before they become engaged there—it's also where they say they fell in love, on their second date, they say. Ultimately, they knew it would it only be fitting for the scenic spot to mark another milestone: Their vow exchange. That wasn't, however, always the vision. "Our original plan was to have a 90-person wedding at a restaurant in the Meatpacking District on October 17," says Karen. "However, as COVID-19 overwhelmed the city, we reached out to the restaurant to consider a backup plan. Sadly, they informed us that they would probably be shutting down and very kindly offered to return our security deposit."
The pair brainstormed ideas and decided that they would marry in 2020, regardless. They shifted the wedding date and location, limited the guest list to very close family and friends, and planned an intimate reception at their home overlooking the Hudson. "We had all of our vendors in place by January 2020, so we worked with them when we re-organized for a smaller celebration," explains Anandah. The pair had a planning session via Zoom with their day-of coordinator, Guerdy Abraira of Guerdy Design. "Guerdy was instrumental in coordinating between all of the vendors one month prior and up to the big day," says Anandah. They also implemented strategies to keep their guests safe. "We supplied custom masks in handmade pouches from Guatemala," says Karen, "spaced out the ceremony, and had single-serving food catered." Overall, the couple kept their event simple and personal. "People ask us if we regret not waiting to have the big party we had planned, and we say no," says Anandah. "We will have a big party at home in Connecticut when COVID is truly in the rearview mirror. We are alright waiting for that."
Karen got some help buttoning up her sophisticated jumpsuit from Adrienne's at the start of the day. "This was the only outfit I tried on," she says of her shopping experience. "I knew immediately that it would work, and once we brainstormed how to customize it, there was no turning back." A removable train, which raised the level of the garment's formality, was added for the ceremony and removed for the reception.
Lush in Lace
Anandah's strapless Monique Lhuillier wedding dress was handmade from embroidered organza fabric.
White on White
By Yena Designs tied together snow-white dahlias and ranunculus with ivory ribbon to create Anandah's bouquet.
Sparkle and Shine
While Anandah's gown served as her "something new," her "something old" was a pair of pearl-and-diamond earrings given to her by her mother more than 20 years prior. A sapphire ring—on loan from Mom—ticked the boxes of "something borrowed" and "something blue."
A Family Affair
Anandah posed with her mother and son prior to the service.
To honor Karen's heritage, a flamenco dancer kicked off the ceremony with a "simple and romantic" routine.
Hand in Hand
Karen's mom joyfully escorted her to the altar.
Anandah took the walk down the stone passageway to Pier 64 at Hudson River Park on her own, while a live violinist played "My Favorite Things"—a song cherished by the bride and her late father.
Words from the Heart
The ceremony included an exchange of personal vows that chronicled parts of the couple's relationship; at the conclusion of the service, the couple smashed a glass, as a nod to Anandah's Jewish faith. "We found the cutest 'Smashed It' bag on Etsy," they say.
The pair were overwhelmed with feelings of love and pride during their post-ceremony walk to the strains of "Amor de Mis Amores."
The couple bestowed a double kiss on their officiant Michael, a cherished friend who tailored the service specifically to the two of them.
Up in the Air
Balloons lazed overhead at the reception in the pair's apartment, where Karen merrily mingled with loved ones.
Bottles of Veuve Clicquot were uncorked for the occasion in lieu of a full bar. "Due to COVID, we really wanted to keep it simple," they say.
The brides basked in the love and warmth that was shared when friends made their toasts. Though they didn't share a formal first dance, they did have a "moment" to Drake's "Signs," "which has been one of our favorite songs as a couple," they say.
Photography, Kate Ignatowski
Ceremony site, Pier 64 at Hudson River Park
Day-of Coordination, Guerdy Design
Videography, Hello Super Studios
Flowers, By Yena Designs
Officiant, Michael Ford
Anandah's Dress, Monique Lhuillier
Anandah's Shoes, Christian Louboutin
Karen's Jumpsuit, Adrienne's Bridal NYC
Karen's Shoes, Jimmy Choo
Makeup, Oscar Daniel Caballero
Engagement Ring, Lloyd Pesach
Wedding Bands, Tiffany & Co.
Catering, Butterfield Market
Cupcakes, Georgetown Cupcake
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