You don’t get much more cosmopolitan than today’s couple. Hayley, from New York, and Emmanuel, from Paris, met while living in London, and chose to hold their Jewish wedding (well, one of them…) in the bride’s super-cool hometown, whilst including so many gorgeous creative details!
Their wedding at The Lighthouse at Chelsea Piers celebrated their international backgrounds through details like bilingual French-English invitations and a custom designed map displaying all of the places both Hayley and Emmanuel have lived, and that have been important in their relationship.
You know how we said in the intro that one of the duo’s weddings took place in NYC? Well, that’s because these two had already gotten legally married in a civil wedding in France, the groom’s home country, which let them let loose and enjoy the celebration and religious ceremony at wedding part 2.
With guests from all over the world, making sure everyone felt included was paramount. One lovely way Hayley and Emmanuel made all of their guests feel part of the day was by having a group reading of the Seven Blessings. They found some modern interpretations of the Seven Blessings they liked, printed out copies for all the guests, and asked everyone to join in during the ceremony — isn’t that beautiful?
Hayley, who looked stunning in her modern, almost sculptural Carol Hannah gown, will fill you in on the rest…
How we met
Hayley, the bride: Emmanuel and I met a few years ago when we were both living in London. Ironically, I had lived in Paris – where Emmanuel is from – for a few years before moving to London, and Emmanuel had lived in New York (my hometown) before moving to London. We had lived in the exact same places but at different times, so we connected right away.
An NYC Wedding
We got married at The Lighthouse at Chelsea Piers. We were looking for an “industrial chic” type venue to really serve as a blank canvas for whatever we wanted to put in the room. Since we were having both the ceremony and reception in the same location, we also wanted a space that would effortlessly convert and work with the multiple parts of the night. When we visited The Lighthouse – and saw the view! – we were sold.
To The Lighthouse
We had no theme or color scheme and did not use a wedding planner. Christina from Elegant Affairs really helped us create the ambiance and style we were aiming to create in the space, and the whole staff at The Lighthouse were extremely helpful in helping us come up with a “day of” flow.
A Bilingual Invitation
The biggest challenge we had designing our invitation was creating bilingual text and having a layout that worked in two languages. As I’m American and Emmanuel is French, having both languages represented on the invitation was very important to us.
Hair + Makeup
There was no doubt in my mind that I wanted to keep my hair curly. I haven’t straightened my hair in almost 10 years, so it didn’t seem right to change my hair for my wedding either! Devachan are curly hair gurus, so I gave them a call right away.
A Carol Hannah Dress
I bought my Poplar dress by Carol Hannah at Lovely Bride. Ironically, I really didn’t like the dress when I first tried it on! I was about to take the dress off and discard it as an option, but I took another look at myself in the mirror and all of a sudden realized that the dress looked great and matched the modern and unique style I was looking for.
A Custom Hairpiece
I decided not to wear a veil, but had a custom hairpiece made by Suzanne Couture Millinery.
Metallic Blue Mary Janes from Repetto
I have always loved high heels, but given experience from friends’ weddings, I knew I needed a pair of shoes I could be in for up to 12 hours – no easy task! I immediately thought of Repetto, which is a French brand that was originally created to make dance shoes. I loved the pair of metallic blue mary janes that I ended up finding!
The handsome groom
Emmanuel went for a very deep midnight blue suit with a silver-blue hued tie. I think he wanted a modern take on a tuxedo so kept everything dark and clean-cut – he looked very handsome!
I did not have any bridesmaids, but my sister, sister-in-law, and best friends from college all got ready with me on the big day. They were such a help on the day, from troubleshooting last-minute issues to making me take deep breaths to take in the moment, I couldn’t have done it without them!
An Asymmetrical Chuppah
We wanted a chuppah that mirrored the white and green floral tones of our centerpieces. We were looking for a unique chuppah, and when Christina from Elegant Affairs showed us a picture of an asymmetrical design, we thought it was great!
A Participatory Ceremony
We decided to have a group reading of the Seven Blessings. We wanted all of our guests to feel welcome and like they had a part in our ceremony. We went online to find some modern interpretations of the Seven Blessings, and printed-out copies were on each chair when the guests arrived.
Make You Feel My Love
Our first dance was Make You Feel My Love by Adele. Emmanuel and I listened to Adele together on one of our first dates, so having one of her songs seemed only fitting. The only other special request we had was the song Night 52 by Christine and the Queens, whose concert we went to the day after we got engaged.
Flowers in White and Green
When we started looking for inspiration for our flowers, we were drawn to the clean aesthetic of white and green. Christina from Elegant Affairs brought our vision to life; it was amazing! She also created the perfect bouquet for me, which took some inspiration from the bouquet I had at our civil ceremony a month earlier. It was a nice, subtle way for the two ceremonies to be tied together, even though very few people realized the connection.
Our fabulous photographer
Corey Torpie was our photographer. We loved her photojournalistic style that we had seen online, and she really did create a memory book for us with all of her photos. Most of the photos we have are candids, which is exactly what we wanted. She also managed to get snapshots of almost all of our wedding guests!
A Live Band
Our band, Kinky Spigot and the Welders, played such an amazing selection of songs I felt like I was at a Friday night gig! They did a wonderful job reading the room and playing songs that spoke to the wide range of guests we had – and we’ve had a number of compliments on their music!
Honey Jar Favors
We gave out honey jars from Blue Hill Farm. We wanted a favor that was portable for our out-of-town guests, but that our local guests would enjoy as well. We had dinner at Blue Hill in Greenwich Village the night we got engaged – so having Blue Hill be a part of our reception seemed perfect.
A Map of Significant places
We worked with a design firm in London – Smartup Visuals – to create a map that displayed all of the places that both of us had lived and were significant in our relationship. We sent our designer photos of each location to give her an idea of the “icon” we wanted displayed, and also explained why each location was important to us.
We had actually already gotten married in a civil wedding in France, so our religious ceremony and party in New York was all about the celebration. Given that we had guests coming from all parts of the world, having two occasions to celebrate with friends and family was incredibly special. It also made it easy for our friends and family to come to whatever parts of the celebration were easiest for them.
I loved having the opportunity to have a more low-key civil celebration and then a full bash in conjunction with our religious ceremony – it was a great way to split up all of our wedding events so that everyone was able to share in our special moment.
Advice to couples currently planning their wedding
With regards to advice, I would say that things will definitely go wrong on your wedding day, but it really doesn’t matter. It was so special seeing so many of our loved ones from all parts of our lives in one room. So, if your dress rips (mine did) or you forget a special glass (we did), that’s not the most important part of the day.
Hayley & Emmanuel’s little white book
Photography – Corey Torpie Photography
Venue – The Lighthouse at Chelsea Piers
Bride’s dress – Carol Hannah purchased at Lovely Bride
Bride’s leather jacket – IRO
Bride’s shoes – Repetto
Bride’s headpiece – Suzanne Couture Millinery
Groom’s attire – Ermenegildo Zegna
Hair + Makeup – Devachan Salon and Cheek to Chic
Flowers – Elegant Affairs
Band – Kinky Spigot and the Welders
Stationery – Minted
Seating map – Smartup Visuals
Favours – Blue Hill Farm
Officiant – Rabbi Ari Rosenberg