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501 Union Weddings
Winter weddings don't get enough credit. The icy winds only give us all the more reason to find ways to create warmth, and is there really anything more romantic than snuggling up with your honey over a spiked hot chocolate and candlelit dinner? Kristin and Erik sure kept warm surrounded by the love of friends and family as they said 'I do' in our covered courtyard on a chilly January evening. We love that they didn't have to venture far to take portraits at Grand Army Plaza by Prospect Park before the ceremony!
A week after Pablo and I got engaged, we went on an amazing trip around the world, or what we call our “engagementmoon,” visiting eight countries in three weeks. Once we arrived in Paris, it only felt natural for us to check the first thing off our wedding to-do list and buy matching wedding shoes with those iconic red Louboutin heels. Looking back on it now, I realize that matching one element to another in our wedding became a consistent theme of planning. Doing so made wedding planning that much more fun and effortless, much like finding connecting pieces to a puzzle.
Pablo and I both knew we wanted to keep our wedding close to our home, friends, and family in New York City. After some brief web surfing, I came across 501 Union in Brooklyn, and immediately upon viewing pictures, I knew in my heart that this was the perfect place for us. A week later, we signed for the venue at first sight. Having a background in art, in my eyes, the modern feel of the venue, the black and white walls, and the chic art deco wallpapers provided the ultimate canvas to host any type of wedding.
We set our date for late September, and while fall in New York is beautiful, our summers seemingly feel shorter every year. Trying to extend summer a little longer, we decided on a romantic theme with pink and metallic colors, dreamy tulle, and plenty of pink flowers to lighten up and contrast the venue. The weather on our wedding day ended up amazing, so it actually felt like a perfect summer day.
My family owns a bakery called the Runcible Spoon Bakery, and after receiving a degree in art, I decided to take my artistic talents and apply them to the family business. Over the years, while learning to manage the business and to bake, I also taught myself how to decorate cakes. It quickly became obvious that I would make my own wedding cake. Eventually, I also decided to cater all of the desserts for our wedding by creating an entire dessert bar. I must admit, baking hundreds of macarons, cake pops, and hand decorated cookies, on top of making a wedding cake and planning a wedding, was truly a labor of love.
Our entire day was magical – everything went exactly the way we had envisioned and hoped for the year leading up to it. The saddest part of the day was when it was all over. All of the planning, stressing, and, in my case, baking was so worth it in the end. After the day just flew by and our guests were leaving, I remember turning to Pablo and saying, “Aw – let’s do that again.” It was a good thing we planned an after party!
When it came to picking vendors, we were blessed to have found a team with a creative vision that we could place all our trust in to capture our day. Pablo and I still constantly find ourselves looking through our wedding photos or re-watching our video, because even though the day has gone, those pictures and video still live on and remind us of the best day of our lives – the end of our beginning.
Venue: 501 Union | Photography: Koman Photography | Cinematography: Atomic Tangerine Film Co. | Floral Design:Edelweiss Floral Atelier | Wedding Dress: Monique Lhuillier | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Watters | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Alfred Angelo | Catering: Creative Foods Catering | Makeup: Renee Lee | Hair:VickyC5 | DJ: DJ Charles Young | Groom's Attire: Men's Wearhouse | Groomsmen's Attire: Men's Wearhouse | Officiant: One Heart Ceremonies | Bridesmaids' Earrings: Chanel | Bride’s Shoes: Christian Louboutin | Cake + Desserts: Runcible Spoon Bakery | Flower Girl Dress: Alora Safari | Flower Girl Shoes: PurseSue Your Dream | Groom's Shoes: Christian Louboutin | Invitations + Stationery: Minted | Photo Booth: Lumi8
March 21, 2016
Rusty and I had been a couple for 16 years when we decided to get hitched. We met in Dallas, where we both went to college, and moved to New York together. Nine apartments, seven jobs, and one major piece of legislation later, I turned to him in an eleator and said, "Now that gay marriage is legal, should we do it?" He said, "Yeah, that would be good." We already felt married, so there was no grand gesture. But we knew we had a lot to celebrate; while the proposal was low-key, we made sure that the wedding was not.
During my 10-plus years as the special projects editor at Martha Stewart Weddings, I'd developed a few ideas of how I envisioned our big day. I pictured a dark, masculine color palette that would feel like a black-and-white movie. And Rusty, who's a global director at an auditing firm, is a huge Broadway fan, so I knew that would play a major role. Together (and with more than a little help from our wedding-expert friends), we planned a dance- and music-filled day that would live up to our goal: We wanted our guests to be wowed.
On September 21, 2013, a New York City double-decker bus picked up out-of-towners and gave them a quick tour of the city before bringing them to our venue, an old body shop turned event space in Brooklyn. Guests stepped off onto a red carpet and were handed playbills by an usher who invited them to "please enjoy the show." During our nondenominational ceremony (or "opening act"), a pal sang a personalized rendition of "Over the Rainbow" and we exchanged our self-penned vows, with Rusty promising not to leave his gym clothes on the floor, and me swearing that no matter how late I'd been out the night before, I will get up, put a smile on my face, and with Jesus in my heart, go to brunch with his buddies. Afterward, a choir sang Madonna's "Like a Prayer" as we exited.
Everyone enjoyed an intermission with cocktail hour and passed hors d'oeuvres - until the waiters dropped their trays and kicked off a flash mob to "Let's Have a Kiki" that led us all grooving into the reception room. We wanted people to keep dancing and mingling all night, so we served small plates instead of a sit-down dinner. After everyone had had a chance to eat, drink, and be merry on the dance floor, all 220 guests headed outside to watch us attack a giant silver diamond-shaped piñata full of glow jewelry, sunglasses, and party hats. The boogying continued until the grand finale: a screening of a music video version of the party. We'd hired a videographer to film the party and live-edit it through the night. It captured the feeling of the entire affair, which was amazing and completely over the top - everything we wanted our big gay Martha Stewart wedding to be.
Venue: 501 Union
Event Coordination: Debi Lilly of A Perfect Event
Catering: Betty Brooklyn
Photography: Thayer Allyson Gowdy
Stationery: Cheree Berry Paper
Calligraphy: Barbara Callow (invitations);Deborah Nadel Design (illustrated cards)
Desserts: Jacques Torres Chocolates (chocolates), One Girl Cookies (cookies), Sylvia Weinstock Cakes(cakes)
Music: DJ Neza for Troy Curtis Group
Rentals: Patina Vintage Rentals; BBJ Linen;Broadway Party Rentals
Menswear: J. Hilburn
Photo Booth: Love Life Images