Get ready to gasp! I genuinely struggled to keep my chin off the floor whilst putting this post together as Sabrina and Nick’s Jewish wedding just exudes SO much style and originality.
For starters their choice of venue is 632 on Hudson – a private home in the West Village and an artful renovation of an 1847 townhouse. By combining the best of several eras, the venue literally sparkles with style and imagination and makes for an astonishing ceremony backdrop – certainly one of the most original I’ve ever seen. The ceremony took place in the 40-foot Atrium (topped with an Italian Renaissance ceiling) with their guests lining the spiral staircase, looking down through the cleverly designed chuppah by Chuppah Studio.
There is so much to swoon over and take in, including of course our utterly adorable bride and groom who look super stylish in their attire (Sabrina in breathtaking Reem Acra, Nick in bespoke Doyle Mueser).
There are some genius (but brilliantly simple) favours, fabulous jewel-coloured flowers, and the sleekest letterpress stationery with a wonderful melding of elegance and pizzazz.
There’s also a generous helping of advice by French-American Sabrina in her brilliant wedding report, in particular where she talks about the importance of finding chemistry with your vendors. On another note I just have to single out this line of Sabrina describing how she wanted her make up to look: ‘I just wanted to look like myself, but slightly Photoshopped!”. Love it!
Mademoiselle Fiona has captured each and every moment to sheer perfection and she just may have taken the best group shot in the history of Smashing The Glass. This wedding is definitely one to be bookmarked so you can enjoy swooning over it time and time again. I know I will be!
how we met
Sabrina, the Bride: Nick and I met in college when we were 18 but didn’t start dating until after graduation when we moved to Bangkok together to teach English for a year. He was certainly more gifted than I was as a teacher but you get to know someone really well when you’re living in a country 5000miles away and don’t speak the language.
A super cool venue called 632 on Hudson in the West Village
We got married at 632 on Hudson, a private home in the West Village. We knew we didn’t want a ballroom and I also knew that I didn’t want to be responsible for decorating a raw loft space as I would be in school full time at the time of the wedding. 632 on Hudson felt like walking into someone’s home and I loved how every room was different, giving guests a surprise and delight experience each time they turned a corner.
As 632 was fully decorated there was very little we needed to do in terms of décor. I also didn’t want a match-y match wedding where everything felt coordinated. In terms of wedding planner, I hired someone for the ‘week of’ as I had started classes full time and wanted to ensure that every vendor knew where they needed to be and when on the day.
Letterpress wedding stationery
I knew the type of printing I wanted before thinking about the design. I loved letterpress-ing so I found a local vendor called Sesame Letterpress that did amazing letterpress invitations. Formal design with lots of components was not what I wanted and so we worked with the printer to find a simple layout and add personal touches like coloured edges and an icon that was featured across all our stationary pieces. I have to say that my invitations and thank you cards were some of my favourite wedding elements!
hair + make up
Sticking with my desire for simplicity, I opted for a ponytail and glammed it up with extensions. My makeup was also simple, I asked the makeup artist to focus on my skin rather than a bold lip or dramatic eyes. I just wanted to look like myself, but slightly Photoshopped! I went through two NYC salons that I love and had the hair and makeup stylists come over to my apartment the day of the wedding: Drybar for hair, and Rouge for makeup.
A Reem Acra wedding dress
My dress was from Reem Acra who is a French Lebanese designer that I have loved for a long time. Having watched Say Yes to the Dress marathons I was very aware of what I didn’t want and after visiting 3 bridal salons, I had a clear picture of what would work for me. I tried my dress on both the designer’s show room and at Kleinfeld and it really blew every other dress out of the water. While I didn’t have a super emotional response to trying on and purchasing the dress (tears, dry heaves etc…), it didn’t make it any less special.
I didn’t have any jewellery but because I didn’t wear a veil, I wore a head piece which I’ve since re-used for black tie events, so at least part of my bridal outfit is getting some air time post wedding.
the handsome groom
Nick wore a custom suit from Doyle Mueser, a small boutique on Christopher Street. It was deep blue and he wore a pink tie my mother had given him for his birthday. His best friend helped him pick out the lining of his suit which was bright pink! I loved it because he looked like himself with a bit more confidence!
Choosing not to have a bridal party
I didn’t have any bridesmaids. I grew up in Paris and in French weddings there are no wedding parties so I kept that custom.
music for the ceremony
Quite aptly, I walked down to Ceremony by New Order which is one of my favourite songs and felt very apropos. Classical music wasn’t in my consideration set as it felt too formal for me; everyone clapped to the song when I came down which let me know that I had made the right musical choice. At the end of the ceremony once I had smashed the glass, the DJ played Just Like Heaven by The Cure.
I wanted to stay away from traditional flower chuppahs and I loved Andrea Cohen’s modern and clean designs at Chuppah Studio. The ceremony took place in the atrium with our guests lining the spiral staircase and looking down onto the chuppah. After visiting the space, Andrea designed a custom top for the chuppah that was open in order for our guests to be able to see us from above. I thought the chuppah was perfect and worked so well with the décor of the space, I couldn’t have found a better one.
Our families basically ran the ceremony which was wonderful, both by leading it and then coming up with a blessing for us rather than using the traditional twelve Jewish blessings.
My husband’s father officiated the wedding and that was incredibly personal and moving for us. We also had each of our family members write their own blessings for part of the ceremony based on their own personality and lives. Nick’s 4 year old cousin wrote one and it was the cutest thing I’ve ever seen!
Because the space itself was so ornate I wasn’t looking for over the top floral arrangements. More important than specific blooms to me were colours and style. I wanted deep jewel colours (no pastels) and I wanted them to look loose and organic, i.e. spilling over the vases rather than very tight and manicured. I had a lot of visual inspiration that I had clipped and our florist was great at mimicking those and making them fit inside the venue. Our florist was Cary who runs the The Little Glass Slipper in Greenpoint Brooklyn which is a darling shop.
our incredible photographer
From the moment I saw Fiona Conrad (Mademoiselle Fiona)’s photos I knew I needn’t look at anyone else. I literally looked at no other websites, did not comparison shop, probably did all the things you are not supposed to do when looking for a photographer!
I adored working with Fiona. Culturally she and I got along great as she is also half French and half American. Aesthetically her pictures are magically dreamy and she captures small moments in the space which I know I will never remember but thanks to her, will have forever. Her website has amazing past work and so my only direction to her was simply pointing out the shots that really touched me and trying to make those happen on my day.
a croquembouche instead of a traditional wedding cake!
Traditional wedding cakes didn’t appeal to us, and I had proposed early on a croquembouche which is a traditional French dessert. It’s a tower of puff pastries filled with cream and held together by caramelized sugar. It looks awesome and tastes amazing (at least that’s what my guests told me). So there was no real discussion or deliberation as only two bakeries in Manhattan make such a cake, we tested them both and chose the best – Bouchon Bakery! There was also no cake cutting fanfare, I really just wanted to eat the damn thing.
The space was too small for a band so it made our decision easy… Same as with the photographer decision, I met DJ Matty and didn’t look any further. My girlfriend had been catering a party in the The Hamptons and got the DJ’s card for her wedding, but wasn’t engaged at the time so she let me use him and he was terrific!
wonderfully creative favours
We didn’t have traditional favours with our monogram or wedding date on it. Originally we weren’t going to do anything of that nature because again it’s not part of my culture’s tradition and I always feel that people end up throwing those Jordan almonds away the second they get home. What we did do which was my husband’s idea, was to print photos of all the people who were there, our friends and families, from different points in our lives and framed them all in 4×6’s. We then scattered the picture frames around the venue so it looked perfectly natural to have them there since we were in a townhouse, and people took them home as a keepsake.
a special surprise from all of our friends
Our friends knocked it out of the park and wrote a song which they coordinated with the DJ and during the speeches; all of a sudden we started hearing music and all 85 of our guests had a piece of paper with the lyrics printed and were serenading us. It was incredible and such an amazing surprise. I still have the lyrics.
advice to couples currently planning their wedding
Set expectations early. I think this helped me the most when I was very clear about what I needed help with and what I didn’t. That means on the day of, I didn’t have my mum running around getting in my hair. Everyone knew what they were supposed to do (which was literally just show up for pictures) and so no one’s feelings were hurt because they thought they would be in the room when I got my makeup done, signed the chuppah etc…As long as people are informed and don’t feel out of the loop, one should be safe from drama.
Finally, I know there is so much material out in the universe about weddings, it’s such a massive industry that it’s easy to go down the Pinterest rabbit-hole and never come out to see light of day. If you find something you like, be it a vendor, a dress, a cake, anything, go for it. Trust your instinct because you will drive yourself crazy thinking there is something better out there and you need to do more research, speak to more people, get more advice etc…I think that is what kept me the sanest, making decisions quickly and being able to say “Yes I love this, I believe this is for me, and I’m going to go for it. End of chapter.”
Sabrina & Nick’s Little White Book
Photography – Mademoiselle Fiona
Wedding Planner – Jose Rolon
Venue – 632 on Hudson
Chuppah – Chuppah Studio
Flowers – The Little Glass Slipper
Groom – Doyle Mueser
Bride’s Dress – Reem Acra from Kleinfeld Bridal
Hair – Drybar At Home
Make Up – Rouge At Home
Croquembouche – Bouchon Bakery
Stationery – Sesame Letterpress
DJ – Jarrell Entertainment