Gabriela and Sam met in 2019 when they both worked together at an advertising agency. After months of hardly ever interacting in the office, they joined coworkers for Friday night karaoke. The next morning, Gabriela woke up to a text from Sam asking her to go to the Central Park Zoo later that day. Remembering the effortless unfolding of their relationship, Gabriela says, “Sam and I knew immediately that we wanted to continue to see each other. There was no ‘what are we?’ stage. One day we were single and the next day we were together. It felt right and we just went for it. As they say, ‘when you know, you know.’”
While Gabriela knew that an engagement was in the future (the couple had picked out a ring together), Sam still managed to catch her by complete surprise when he proposed in March 2022. They had envisioned the moment to be intimate with no extravagant gestures or big audiences (that would come later). Gabriela recalls, “Sam was very careful to ensure it was just the two of us when he asked. After celebrating privately, we met up with friends from the company that we had worked at together. They saw our relationship progress over the years, many of them were there on the day it all began. They were so happy for us!”
Only two days after getting engaged, the couple began checking out wedding venues with the Brooklyn Botanic Garden at the top of their list. Established in 1911, Brooklyn Botanic Garden is comprised of 52-acres filled with trees, flowers, and plants in the middle of New York City. The natural landscape changes by season, offering an escape from the busy urban environment to a lush oasis. “It was the only venue we looked at,” Gabriela says. “With the stunning outdoor green spaces and glass Palm House, we knew it would provide a beautiful and unique setting for our wedding.”
With the venue locked down, Gabriela could start thinking about her dress. She looks back and says, “Since we were planning to get married in summer, I knew that I didn’t want anything too heavy or traditional. I had always imagined wearing either fitted lace or silk. There were so many beautiful options at Mark Ingram Atelier when I went in for my appointment. Once I tried on the Ines Di Santo gown, I knew instantly it was perfect for me.” Gabriela’s breathtaking choice took shape in a strapless sweetheart wrap bodice with a slit skirt. The allover silk design featured a low-cut back and sweeping train, which she paired with a lace trimmed cathedral-length veil for the ceremony, adding a sense of drama to her modern glam look.
Effortless beauty and timeless jewelry and accessories defined Gabriela’s bridal style. She wore her hair down in loose waves complemented by a natural makeup look by Pre-Dame Beauty. Using the special occasion to buy new jewelry, Gabriela says, “I chose pieces that I would be able to keep forever and wore a diamond tennis necklace with small diamond hoop earrings.” She finished her ensemble by stepping into a pair of Manolo Blahnik Hangisi heels, and carrying a classic white floral bouquet featuring roses, ranunculuses, dahlias, lisianthus, sweet peas and freesias with light touches of seeded eucalyptus and olive foliage. Sam looked sharp, sporting a black tux by Grey Custom Clothiers trimmed with a white ranunculus boutonniere. Their wedding party dressed the formal part – bridesmaids wore champagne silk gowns while the groomsmen also wore black tuxes.
Gabriela and Sam married on a seasonably warm day in early July 2023. Weather is always a factor when planning an outdoor ceremony. “Rain was in the forecast,” Gabriela remembers. “We were honestly a little stressed about it and made the decision to move everything inside. The hours leading up to the ceremony were beautiful and sunny, so we made a last-minute call to move it back outside. Of course, as soon as I started walking down the aisle, it began to rain. At that point, our biggest worry was that our guests were going to get soaked. Thankfully, our planner ran out umbrellas to give to everyone.” Décor was laid out with a walkway lined with ‘living’ florals that led to freestanding arrangements composed of gardenesque white and blue florals with greenery, which provided a picturesque backdrop for the couple to exchange vows. “My father officiated, which was really special for me. Our ceremony ended up being beautiful despite the rain. We just went with the situation and stayed in the moment, which made all the difference,” Gabriela says.
From day one, the couple had a clear idea of their desired wedding aesthetic – meetings with their vendors rarely lasted longer than fifteen minutes. “We knew that we wanted mostly white flowers with lots of greenery and pops of blue in a relaxed black-tie atmosphere. Our planner, Kim of Chère Rosalie, perfectly described our theme as ‘sophisticated garden soirée.’ I’m very detail-oriented and wanted certain types of flowers – blue hydrangeas since it was summer and anemones, which added a nice hint of black to the palette.”
After sharing toasts during cocktail hour, guests headed to dinner where they were welcomed by a long tablescape topped with a mix of low centerpieces and bud vase arrangements. Encapsulating natural refinement, floral décor featured crisp white ranunculuses, lisianthus, roses, stock, astilbe, and anemones with pale blue hydrangeas complemented by rich greenery. “A main reason that we looked at Brooklyn Botanic Garden first was because we had seen hanging installations used there for other events. Ours was so beautiful, we loved how Bride & Blossom was able to elevate the organic feel of the space,” Gabriela says.
The couple made sure to incorporate personal touches throughout the day. “We loved how the flower bed holding our escort cards turned out,” Gabriela says. “They were made of seed paper, which guests could take home and plant later. Our cake topper was custom made and featured our dog and cat – we also had signature cocktails for each of them.” There was no problem getting everyone up and on the dance floor. “We knew our band. Sam roomed with members in a shared summer house on the Jersey Shore years back. They were some of his first friends that I met when we started dating. It was really special to have them play at our wedding. And they killed it!”
In a day filled with one meaningful moment after another, we asked Gabriela if she remembers any with fondness. “The pictures of us kissing in the rain after saying ‘I do’ are my favorite ones of the day. It felt so romantic and magical and imperfect in the best way.”
Congratulations, Gabriela & Sam! Thank you for sharing your Real BB Wedding Story with us!
Couple’s Vendor List
Venue: Brooklyn Botanic Garden
Photographer: Kate Edwards Weddings
Planner: Chère Rosalie
Bride’s Dress: Ines Di Santo from Mark Ingram Atelier
Bride’s Shoes: Manolo Blahnik
Groom’s Tux: Grey Custom Clothiers
Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Show Me Your Mumu and Revelry
Hair & Makeup: Pre-Dame Beauty
Rings: The Clear Cut (engagement ring), Ring Concierge (bride’s band), and David Yurman (groom’s band)
Caterer & Cake: Union Square Events
Invitations & Table Stationery: Amber LeBlanc Studio
Seed Paper Escort Cards: Lumaca Paper
Ceremony Music: SPN Events
Band: Good Noise Band