We love it when a couple lets the location of their Jewish wedding inspire their choices for the big day. And today’s wonderful couple, Jessica and Jonathan, did just that. First off, they chose NYC’s iconic The Pierre Hotel as their venue, and let the city chic vibes set the stage for their aesthetic.
Then there’s the swoon-worthy portrait session in Central Park with Nate from The Day capturing the glorious scenery (not to mention the glam couple!) photographically and Reuben Hernandez from The Day on video.
Jessica and Jonathan even made “best of NYC” welcome picnic baskets for their out-of-town guests, filled with favorites like Le Colombe coffee, rosé wine, Murray’s cheese snacks, and black and white cookies.
And while this has nothing to do with NYC, we love how they had their orchestra arrange customized music for each person walking down the aisle, to evoke their meaning to the couple, or a special memory. So special!
We’ll let Jessica, who looked stunning in her soft, romantic Monique Lhullier gown, fill you in on
Jessica, the bride: We got married at The Pierre Hotel in New York City. We are both originally east coasters with the majority of our family living in New York and Connecticut so figured NYC was not only logistically easiest but we also loved the idea of getting married in the city we call home.
We chose The Pierre as the venue because Jessica’s grandfather always said it’s the best and papa knows best! Also, we love the French flair of the hotel and even though it is an iconic New York City hotel, it very much felt like a private, intimate venue.
Best of NYC
We added lots of details to make the wedding about us with the help of dream team Alimay Events. First off, we wanted our guests from the moment they arrived to feel at home and taken care of. For those guests staying on our hotel blocks, they received a picnic basket filled with our favorite ‘best of NYC’ treats. There were items like Le Colombe coffee, his and her favorite candies, rose wine, Murray’s cheese snacks, black and white cookies etc. The idea was that they could literally walk from the hotel and have a picnic in Central Park on a beautiful summer day.
Food and wine lovers
Before the ceremony, each guest was greeted with a seasonal cocktail. The bride is a personal chef and both bride and groom are food and wine lovers so the cocktail was a fresh pineapple juice tequila cocktail served in a pineapple tumbler to set the festive mood from the very beginning. At the dinner, we had fruit displays in addition to flowers to showcase a “farm to table” concept which spoke to our love of food and nature.
There were a few birthdays so each person who allowed us to share in their day got a personal birthday cake. And finally, for the afterparty, we had New Orleans mardi gras props as an homage to Jessica’s Alma Matter Tulane and also a few signature Zingerman sandwiches to celebrate the groom’s University of Michigan Alma Matter. There was an Eddie’s pizza food truck when you exited so you could have something on the road. It was great fun.
A Monique Lhuillier dress
My dress was from Monique Lhullier and it was the second store I looked at on my first day of dress shopping. I loved a dress before my appointment at Monique and was almost tempted to cancel this second appointment. But I thought it would be smart to see other options just in case. When I got to Monique and tried this dress on, I knew it was “the one.” It just felt like me, romantic, soft and not too over the top. I had my mom, sister and grandmother there with me for reassurance and moral support ☺. I am really happy I kept the appointment!
A Simple Chuppah
Our chuppah was very simple, by design. We had beautiful flowers and candles behind the chuppah creating a backdrop. But the chuppah itself was dressed in a simple white silk cloth which was backlit to create a “moment” which felt traditional and sacred. We liked that the chuppah made the ceremony the focus. We didn’t want to “gild the lily” too much as we felt there was beauty in the simplicity of exchanging lifelong vows.
For the ceremony, we had a special orchestra arrange customized music for each person walking down the aisle to evoke a flavor or memory which symbolizes what they mean to us. For example, Jessica’s sister and matron of honor grew up with the song ‘Free Falling’ and would always listen to it in the car on the way to school. We played that as she walked down the aisle. Each person got their special entrance.
Our music choice
Jonathan chose the band and had the guitarist from the Allman Brothers play a special rendition of ‘Jessica’ for his bride after his toast which was done as a giant champagne tower with a glass for each guest.
Nate from The Day was our photographer and we love him dearly. He was the photographer for the bride’s sister’s wedding which was epic so that was a no brainer decision for us. We met with him before the big day over a glass of wine so he could get both a personal feel for us as individuals as well as a couple. The day was seamless and we loved him being there capturing these lifelong memories.
For videographer, we chose Reuben Hernandez from The Day, who also did the bride’s sister’s wedding video. From the music he chose to the special moments he selected to be shown, it felt like us throughout the video and we feel the love all over again each time we watch it.
Advice to couples currently planning their wedding
My best advice is to be in the moment. Enjoy the getting ready, take a moment before the party to asses the room, people around you because it will go by too quickly and you may forget stretches of the night (until you see your wedding pictures).
As much as you are “throwing a party,” the day is really about your love and you should enjoy it. All the stress leading up to it melts when you are on the dance floor so there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Also, drink lots of water and EAT during the day because you hardly ever get a moment to until the late night food arrives. ☺
Jessica & Jonathan’s little white book
Photographer – The Day by Nathan Smith
Second Photographer – Alexis Silver
Videography – Reuben Hernandez for The Day
Wedding planner – Alimay Events
Venue – The Pierre Hotel
Bride’s dress – Monique Lhullier
Flowers – Lewis Miller Design
Stationery – Invite Me
Hair + Makeup – Allen Thomas Wood and Stephanie Perez
Cake – Ron Ben-Israel
Lighting – Frost Productions
Music – Starlight Orchestras