January 31, 2017

Winter Wedding Venues in NYC

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Jamie & John / The Liberty Warehouse / Ben Lau Photography

Jamie & John / The Liberty Warehouse / Ben Lau Photography

 

As the winter months come and go, color changes in the sky, and the smell of pine and fireplaces capture our hearts. It is easy to fall in love with the winter season for its magic, its charm, and its warmth despite the cold. We know this is why so many couples choose to get married in wintertime.

Choosing to get married in the winter opens up many options for venues and vendors.  Since summer is the busiest wedding season, it can be much easier to secure the venue and vendors you want in the winter season. Today we look at a few New York venues that truly shine in the winter months, and  bring out the festivity and wonder of every winter bride’s dreams.  Winter in New York is cherished around the world, and there’s no denying a certain magic in the air when walking through the city in the coldest months of the year. And not only is New York beautiful on the outside, but also on the inside.  These venues welcome you in from the cold and into the perfect space to build your winter wonderland.

 

The Liberty Warehouse

The Liberty Warehouse is a hidden gem on Pier 41 in historic Red Hook, Brooklyn.. The 15,000 square foot space was built in the 1850’s, and was recently renovated to host a variety of stunning events. The Liberty Warehouse features spectacular panoramic views of the New York Harbor and the Statue of Liberty, with a waterside promenade perfect for a photo shoot. Inside, the Liberty Warehouse offers three different spaces; The Governors Room, The Harbor Room and The Bridge Room, each with its own charm and color palette. Every room offers sweeping high ceilings, tall windows, and rustic details like exposed brick and wood ceilings. This large-scale venue offers a very cozy feeling due to its warm color scheme, traditional wood accents and hardware.

 

This makes it a great venue for brides leaning towards a rustic, vintage theme, and an excellent choice for a holiday wedding.  Fireplaces, brick mantles, and dramatic pillars make an elegant, natural backdrop for holiday-themed décor. One of the best features this venue offers is the floor to celing windows looking out over the water.  At night, the moonlight reflecting off the waves is simply unforgettable, and brings an intimate, warm ambiance to the Warehouse.

An outdoor balcony allows for amazing photos with the harbor in the background.  At our most recent wedding at the Liberty Warehouse, there was a beautiful snowfall that made for some stuning photos and looked incredible from the reception windows.

 

Brooklyn Winery

This venue offers a very different and distant feel compared to other New York venues. While it’s in the middle of Williamsburg with taxis and tourist walking around right outside, once you step through the front doors, you’re in a whole new world.

The Brooklyn Winery offers a rustic cabin feel in the big city. From the moment you  walk through two big oak doors you feel you’ve been transported to another place. The space is intimate and romantic, immersive and completely unique, with wood paneled walls, resorted shiplap tables, a garden atrium, and of course a functioning winery.

With wooden wall panels, wine barrels, stools and picnic tables, the Brooklyn Wintery almost feels like it could be in the middle of the forest.  This makes it a great candidate for a winter wedding venue if brides are looking for a rustic, woodland feel. With cozy booths and old-fashioned lighting, the Brooklyn Wintery begs for cozy candlelight and holiday décor and is ready to host a one-of-a-kind winter celebration.

 

Gotham Hall

Located in Midtown Manhattan, this former New York Savings Bank is known for its unique space and timeless elegance.  The large ballroom offers towering 70-foot ceilings and a round frame that still houses the old bank teller windows.  A stained glass window lights the impressive 17,500 foot ballroom space, in neutral colors that offer a romantic atmosphere that’s a flexible backdrop for your color scheme and décor style.

That said, Gotham Hall is so striking in its height and size that it requires very little to  create the look of an enchanted castle. The grand ballroom is perfect for accentuating winter whites in flowers, drapery and décor.

 

 

There are so many wonderful options for fulfilling your winter wedding dreams here in New York City.  We hope these venues offer inspiration to brides-to-be looking forward to another beautiful New York winter.

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January 27, 2017

Flower Feature: Lavender

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Lavender Flowers via Gardenia

Lavender Flowers via Gardenia

 

Adored for centuries for their unforgettable color and luminous beauty, the Lavender Flower is easy to recognize and easy to love.  Not only is lavender beautiful, its  also used worldwide for its medicinal properties and calming fragrance. Symbolically, lavender has traditionally been used in weddings to represent love, devotion, and tranquility.

The word lavdnder is believed to come from the Latin term lividus, which implies association with the French word lavande meaning “to wash,” as lavender was often used to bathe and wash clothing.

 

The color of lavender is spiritually symbolic, as purple represents the crown chakra ,  the highest vibration in the spiritual body. It is said that by increasing our body’s vibrations, we can relieve pain, and hasten recovery Lavender is commonly used in aromatherapy and has been known to help heal minor injuries, headaches, cuts, and burns. Placing lavender under your pillow at night has been known to help with stress and insomnia.

Lavender was first documented over 2,500 years ago and is believed to have originated in the Mediterranean, Middle East, and India. The Ancient Greeks refer to lavender as nardus after the Syrian city of Nard, and it is referred to in the Bible several times under  the term “spikenard.”  Lavender is believed to have been taken from the Garden of Eden and used to wash the clothing of the baby Jesus. Lavender grows abundantly across Europe, northern Africa, and Southwest Asia, and peeks from the early spring to late summer. Lavender is a hardy plant with a long stem and a cluster of small purple buds. Lavender keeps and dries easily, and its durability makes it an especially good option for floral décor.

 

Lavender Flowers via Better Home & Garden

Lavender Flowers via Better Home & Garden

 

In décor, lavender is often found in bouquets, centerpieces, flower crowns and altar arrangements. It offers a rustic natural look, and adds a touch of color without overpowering other aspects of your décor.  Lavender is a great filler flower and works beautifully when paired with greens, larger flowers, and succulents. Though they stand strong on their own, pairing Lavender with other purple flowers creates a stunning natural color wheel.  Not only does lavender add beautiful color and texture to bouquets and arrangements,  incorporating Lavender into your wedding décoe is great way to ease wedding day nerves and promote a sense of zen.

 

 

Whether its accentuating a bouquet, filling our a centerpiece, or even garnishing a cocktail, lavender’s vibrant color, rich history, and therapeutic properties make it a perfect addition to any wedding day.

 

 

 

 

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January 24, 2017

Floral Hairpieces for Brides

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Wedding Party / Cammie & Peter / Brooklyn Botanical Garden / Nicki Sebastian Photography

Wedding Party / Cammie & Peter / Brooklyn Botanical Garden / Nicki Sebastian Photography

 

Flowers bring the romance, beauty and whimsy to a wedding day, and I am sure most of us can agree the more the merrier.There are so many different ways to include flowers in your special day beyond bouquets and centerpieces. Today we’ll be looking at a few different ways of incorporating flowers into your hair, a fun and creative way to enhance your hairstyle and overall bridal look.

For all of you flower children out there, a flower crown is a great way to channel your bohemian spirit. When designing a flower crown for your wedding day, there are a few different routes you can take.

A simple wreath of greens is always an elegant choice, and many types of greenery lend themselves well to crown making including Lemon Grass, Eucalyptus, Pine, and Rosemary.  Rustic and ‘outdoorsy,’ these crowns are perfect for a forest wedding.  Vibrant greens offer a great contrast to your white gown, while keeping your overall look modest and natural. Small-scale blooms like Baby’s Breath or micro Daisies are a great option if you want to add a light touch of florals to your otherwise all-green crown.

If you’re designing a full flower crown, playing with the crown’s symettry will help you decide what type of look you want.  A crown that has flowers around the full perimeter means the crown will be fully symmetrical and have the same amount of flowers in the front and back. Some brides choose to have a crown that is all flowers in the front and just greens or ribbon in the back.  Another modern look is to create a crown that has a large floral focal point and is heavily structured to one side. For example, the right side of the crown could host a cluster of flowers while the left is scarce.

While creating a crown it is important to pick flowers that go with your other arrangements and align with the season.  It is also key that the flowers compliment your dress style.  For example, if you’re wearing a silk low back dress, adding in White Tibet Roses or a single Orchid will flatter the sleekness, while a lacey Boho-inspired dress will respond beautifully to brightly colored Garden Roses or Daisies.

Flowers in the Rose family, especially Garden Roses and Spray Roses work very well for headpieces, as well as Mums, Sunflowers, Ranunculus, and Tropical Orchids.  If you want to have multiple people in the wedding party wearing crowns, a great way to find that balance is to have your bridesmaids wear crowns of that same greenery that serves as the base for a more elaborate floral bridal crown.

Have fun with it and don’t be scared to experiment with wild and free and clean and simple.

 

If you’re looking for something a little more subtle,  floral hair placements are a great option with limitless possibility.  This can include a flower cluster on one side accentuating your profile, a flower barette placed in a low bun or one or two flowers highlighting a side ponytail.

When designing a floral hairpiece, you often want to pick a floral focal point and then play around the the space around it. A large garden rose, for exmaple, can be placed in the center, while smaller spray roses and greenery fill in the surrounding space. Attaching a cluster of blooms to a clip,comb, or barette ensures they will stay secure as you dance the night away.

Another popular bridal hairstyle is a low bun that rests right above your neck. Adding a floral piece right above the low bun (as seen below) can imitate a flower crown without covering your entire head. Starting with greens, and adding in a few special flowers really dresses up this simple and elegant look and adds a touch of romance.

Finally, there’s a new popular trend of attaching a cluster of flowers to the comb that holds your veil in place. Baby’s Breath, Greenery and even smaller flowers like  Spray Roses serve this purpose well.  This  simple touch allows you to have the best of both worlds: the coveted classic veil with a festive touch of stylish florals.

 

Depending on your bridal style, sometimes the best way to incorporate flowers into your hair is by avoiding structure entirely. After you’ve chosen your hairstyle, be it a French twist, a Dutch braid, or a messy low bun, you can simply add flowers whereever you see fit! This works well with smaller clusters of blooms like micro Daisies, Lavender, Baby’s Breah, and Spray Berries.  Braids lend themselves well to this because there are so many nooks and crannies to house the flowers, and creates a long sough after Rapunzel look.  Adding flowers to a messy braid or bun is a great way to polish it up and keep it looking intentional.

 

Enhancing your wedding hair with flowers is a great way to incorporate romance and elegance no matter what style  you choose.

 

 

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January 18, 2017

Alyson + Gary – Bohemian Bliss on Long Island’s North Shore

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Alyson & Gary / The Estate at East Wind / Kate Neal Photography

Alyson & Gary / The Estate at East Wind / Kate Neal Photography

 

Cancun, Mexico. Spring Break, 2008.  It was Alyson’s senior year of college, and this was her last hurrah before graduation.  One night, she and her girlfriends were out at the hotel bar when Gary and his friends approached and asked if they could sit together. Alyson offered to share her seat with Gary, who was celebrating being in preseason for Major League Soccer with the rest of the team.  The gang shared in a wild night of partying, and Alyson and Gary said goodbye assuming they’d never see each other again.

But all week, they continued to run into each other again and again, soon discovering their rooms were side by side!  After a few more days of heavy partying, Alyson and Gary decided to take a night off and go on a date. Gary slipped a note under her door to verify their plans, and she did the same to confirm.  The two saw “Juno” with subtitles and spent a lovely evening together.

The dreamy days of Cancun were coming to an end all too soon. Alyson and her friends, and Gary and his team all went out for a final night of celebration, and the next morning said their goodbyes, thinking for sure this time they’d reached the end of their correspondence.  “After he left, I was down by the pool and my girlfriend came running over telling me I had to go up to our room,” Alyson recalls,  “When I opened the door, there were rose petals on the bed and a note on my pillow. It said that he didn’t expect to meet anyone in Cancun of all places, but would like to see where this could go and asked that we get in touch once I was back in NY.”

Gary called Alyson the next day while she was waiting for her layover, and asked if he could come visit her in Syracuse on Sunday (The next day!) Alyson’s girlfriends urged her to say yes, and Gary drove from Boston, MA to Syracuse, NY the next morning after a huge snowstorm, just so they could spend one day together.

“I knew by the end of that summer he was going to be the man I married,” says Alyson, “The definition of serendipity is finding something good when you’re not looking for it and that is our story and why I love it so.”

Alyson & Gary / The Estate at East Wind / Kate Neal Photography

Alyson & Gary / The Estate at East Wind / Kate Neal Photography

 

Alyson and Gary were married this past October, in a magical ceremony and celebration at the stunning Estate at East Wind on the North Shore of Long Island.

The couple said their vows before a beautiful floral archway accented with curly willow branches, ivory and cream roses, Italian ruscus and silver dollar eucalyptus.  A whimsical walkway lined with roses led up to the altar with additional branches and greenery.

Ceremony / Alyson and Gary / The Estate at Eastwind / Kate Neal Photography

Ceremony / Alyson and Gary / The Estate at Eastwind / Kate Neal Photography

 

The bountiful garden setting was perfect for what Alyson envisioned for her floral design.  “What I really wanted for our wedding was to have this dreamy, bohemian, garden-y look rather than a more traditional ‘put together’ type of floral design,” explains Alyson, “I wanted the floral design to be airy, but lush with cascading flowers and lots of greenery.”

Alyson carried a rounded bouquet of dusty rose amnesia roses, ivory garden roses, cream vendela roses and ivory spray roses, with accents of dusty miller and silver dollar eucalyptus arranged with texture and dimension, and gathered with an ivory satin ribbon.  She wore a beautiful long-sleeved gown by Lihi Hod, from the designer’s amazing 2016 collection of Boho-inspired gowns and two-pieces.  “Gary said he envisioned me wearing a dress similar to the one I wore, but what totally threw him off was the way I wore my hair – he loved it!” remembers Alyson, who wore a fantastic fishtail braid.

 

Walking down the aisle and exchanging vows were some of Alyson’s most cherished memories of the whole day. “I just remember locking eyes with Gary and never letting go,” she says, “And our vow exchange.  I absolutely loved the personal touch it added to our wedding; he is quite the poet and had me and a few others in tears!”

The wedding party looked dashing, with Gary’s groomsmen in dapper charcoal suits from Robbie & Co and a single Amnesia rose in each lapel.  Alyson’s best girlfriends wore ethereal Rose Water gowns by Two Birds and carried gorgeous, pastel bouquets to complement the bride’s.

Groomsmen / Alyson & Gary / The Estate at East Wind / Kate Neal Photography

Groomsmen / Alyson & Gary / The Estate at East Wind / Kate Neal Photography

 

Bridesmaids / Alyson & Gary / The Estate at East Wind / Kate Neal Photography

Bridesmaids / Alyson & Gary / The Estate at East Wind / Kate Neal Photography

 

Dusty rose was at the core of Alyson’s dreamy, elegant color palette. “I was going to go with a trendier color scheme – heather grey and a deep purple. However, after I got to playing around on Pinterest and looking at floral arrangements and color schemes, I realized how classic and romantic pink hues looked, but I still wanted something different from the often used (but pretty!) blush color.”

 

“I stumbled across this antique, dusty rose color that reminded me of rose gold, which I’ve always been a fan of, and just fell in love with it! The color would pair perfectly with neutrals and it was a done deal.”

The reception was held at East Wind’s Estate, a breathtaking, modern hall with skylights, exposed brick, and brass chandeliers. Guests were greeted by two sandblasted manzanita trees rooted in a bed of fresh blooms and illuminated by floating glass votive candles.

 

Creating a magical, Bohemian vibe in alignment with their serendipitous meeting , Alyson and Gary’s décor struck the perfect balance between wild and polished, subtle and bold.  Tables were decked out in both high and low arrangements of roses, hydrangeas, dahlias, and tulips, with gold glass-stemmed candle holders bringing a romantic glow to the room. A floral garland was strewn across the couple’s sweetheart table, and adorable signs accented with fresh blooms and greens hung on the newlywed’s chairs.

 

 

Who knew spring break in Cancun would kickstart such an amazing, timeless, romantic union?  Congratulations, Alyson & Gary!

 

Wedding Cake / Alyson & Gary / The Estate at East Wind / Kate Neal Photography

Wedding Cake / Alyson & Gary / The Estate at East Wind / Kate Neal Photography

 

Venue: The Estate at East Wind
Photography: Kate Neal Photo
Videography: Mackler Studios
Cake: Francesco’s
Bride’s Gown: Lihi Hod
Bride’s Shoes: Valentino
Groom’s / Groomsmen Tuxedo: Robbie & Co
Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Two Birds
Beauty: The Spa at East Wind
Music: Hank Lane Band
Invitations / Place Cards / Table Cards : Ceci New York
Officiant: David Conway

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January 17, 2017

Winter is the New White

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Alexandra & Edmond / Tribeca Rooftop / Natural Expressions NY

Alexandra & Edmond / Tribeca Rooftop / Natural Expressions NY

 

As a bride-to-be, you’ve spent your life dreaming of the perfect gown for your special day.  Some of us have known forever exactly what we want to walk down the aisle in. But when the time comes to find that dream dress, it can be overwhelming to take in just how many options are out there. So many details go into picking the right dress for your style, body, season and theme, to find the one that  will bring your whole wedding day look together.

For many brides, the first step is choosing the right white.  From snow-white to ivory to champagne, the tone you choose can reflect undertones that align with your color scheme to bring your dress and décor together.

Imagining what their train looks like from the back as they walk to the altar is what brings many brides’ visions to life, so finding the precise silhouette you’ve always fantasized of is an important next step. Winter bridal gowns and summer gowns have a very different feel to them. Winter gowns tend to be grand and elaborate, while summer gowns tend towards a sleek and airy feel. Take the time to browse through fabrics to see what best suits your aesthetic. While fibrous fabrics like silk, organza, and cotton breathe better than blends and finishes like satin, tulle and lace, they also wrinkle more easily, so take this into consideration as you explore.

As we know, the dress steals the show, but as a winter bride, you have many options to accessorize your overall look to complete your fabulous winter theme.  Even with an elaborate dress, incorporating these modest additions won’t overpower the look, but rather accent it seamlessly.

 

 

Bridal gloves are a classic accessory for winter brides, and there are a wide range of styles you can wear to accentuate your dress and embrace the season.

If your ceremony is outdoors, you might consider delicate wool gloves or even a chic fur muff to protect you from the cold.

 

 

If braving the elements isn’t your style, evening gloves never fail to portray elegance and romance.  Evening gloves come in a wide range of lengths and fabrics, though typically fall just past the elbow and are made of satin, silk, or lace. Famously worn by the likes of Jackie Kennedy and Audrey Hepburn on their wedding days, evening gloves are a great way to channel timeless class and old Hollywood glamour. Vintage evening gloves are not difficult to find, and can make a wonderful “something borrowed” if you happen to have a pair in the family.

 

Bridal fur is another fabulous option for winter brides. Not only will fur bring your winter wedding flair to the next level, it will keep you glowing and warm no matter the temperature.  There are many things to consider when choosing a fur but the good news is, unlike your dress, you can wear this accessory again and again!

 

Winter Bride / Alexandra & Edmond / Tribeca Rooftop / Natural Expressions NY

Winter Bride / Alexandra & Edmond / Tribeca Rooftop / Natural Expressions NY

 

When one thinks of bridal fur, the first image that comes to mind is typically a traditional white stole.  Stoles are an ideal way to cover up your shoulders without hiding your gown and make a stunning statement piece. But in recent years, bridal fur has expanded to capes, shawls, hairpieces, shoe and dress accents, so you’re free to incorporate fur as subtly or boldly as you please.

 

 

The color of fur you choose presents a wide range of styles, from all-white modern to rustic brown, to adventurous greys, blues, and burgundies.  If you’re taking pictures outdoors, introducing natural fur is a beautiful way to contrast a snowy backdrop and bring out surrounding earth tones. If fur is just not your thing, cashmere or wool shawls are also a lovely way to provide you with light warmth and punctuate your seasonal style.

 

 

Winter white may come in and out of fashion over the years, but in the wedding world, it has always been a well-embraced statement. With these tips and trends, we are excited to offer a new twist on an old classic.

 

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January 11, 2017

Getting Married in a Winter Wonderland

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The holidays have passed, the new year has arrived, and all of our winter brides are wishing for one thing: a snowfall on their wedding day to create a magical scene. We can’t control the weather, but we can control our wedding décor, ideas and accents to produce a perfect winter wedding. Inspiring winter color schemes, décor, flowers, and accents can help bring your theme to life. Using our winter wisdoms will help you and your guests remember why you chose to get married at the most wonderful time of the year.

 

Couple Kissing / Melanie Gotlin / Tribeca Rooftop / Brett Matthews Photography

Reception / Melanie and Graig / Tribeca Rooftop / Brett Matthews Photography

 

While creating a winter wonderland atmosphere, there are two big aspects that can change the entire feel of a room: venue décor and color scheme. Picking a color scheme for linens, displays, lighting and florals is the first step to bringing your vision to life. For winter weddings, it is easy to forget that you can still find vibrant and rich colors in winter-appropriate tones. Using creams and ivories is the perfect way to create a sultry, rich feeling. Adding in other mediums like greens, neutrals and even red and blue accents can create a festive feeling to play up your theme. Adding in small touches of winter theme fabrics can also bring out a very seasonal feel.

 

 

I think a base of neutrals is a great beginning to your décor. Neutral linens, including tablecloths, napkins, curtains and drapery, help to create a warm and rich winter feel without overpowering the room. Next, adding in vibrant and colorful tones to your other décor, accent pieces and florals is a great way to liven up the room. While creating tablescapes, centerpieces and other focal design points, it is important to keep your theme alive with inspired pieces. You can add in classic winter themes like snowflakes, garland and even fake snow effect on rustic branches. My favorite way to accomplish flawless winter wedding décor is using extra greenery like pine and rosemary to give a forest feel to your centerpieces, or pine cones to carry out the theme. I love using excess neutral flowers, including white tibet roses, peonies and hydrangea, to complement the room. A great floral statement for your ceremony is a floral altar. Standing under a natural branch-built altar covered in beautiful flowers that exude winter is a great and simple way of dressing up the room.  Red pops of flowers like garden roses, spray berries and burgundy ranunculus can help bring the room to life.

 

 

For winter weddings, lighting can make a huge difference in the ambiance. Dimmed lights and uplighting create an enchanted feel, and candles can be used to light up the room. Floating candles with winter greens or displays created with ornate candlesticks in colors like gold and silver offer a festive, rich feel to the room. Another fun trick with candles is to create holders out of natural wood in order to achieve a tree-stump effect (as seen below). This allows for a forest feel and brings the theme to life.

 

 

Another creative route to take while completing décor for a winter wedding is to incorporate rustics. Rustic can be achieved in many different ways, but in regards to winter weddings, we are referring to natural accents. These include branches and wooden materials, pine cone and fruit accents like apples and berries. You can even add a bit of nature to the mix by incorporating antlers (fake, of course!) into centerpieces or even your wedding cake for one special wow factor. There are a lot of fun and funky ideas that can create a classic winter vision, and we recommend them all!

 

White Winter Wedding Cakes - via EC Invites

White Winter Wedding Cakes – via EC Invites

 

‘A Winter Wonderland’ can be the wedding of your dreams, the wedding you have always imagined and one that will leave your guests in awe. Using our simple tricks and steps is a perfect way to creating a ceremony and reception space that is vibrant, inviting, magical and inspiring. Winter brides are the new trend, and with these inspiring ideas, they will be forever the new classic.

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Bride & Blossom

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