Hands up who loves flowers! For the record, we had both our hands in the air, but we had to put them down to type. The sentiment, however, remains. Danielle and Joshua’s gorgeous Jewish wedding was packed full of fabulous florals, and was submitted by genius florist, Fleurs NYC. Appropriate, given that it took place at The New York Botanical Gardens.
From the table arrangements (gasp) to the chuppah, which looked like something out of an enchanted woodland, flowers played an integral role in the day. In fact, the considerate couple took care to provide a flower-wrapping station for their guests, so none of the beautiful blooms went to waste.
Gorgeous bride, Danielle, wore a stunning Vera Wang gown and embellished veil, and, as she is Director of Public Relations for the Kenneth Cole, she was lucky enough to work directly with the designer to create a bespoke pair of luxurious heels. We’re not jealous, you’re jealous!
Of course a wedding this luxe and gorgeous could only be photographed by the best of the best. Andrew Kelly of the world-renowned Christian Oth Photography, provided the divine spread of images below.
The stunning wedding film by Hart Pictures is also a must-view – click below to take it all in! We’ll now hand you over to bride, Danielle, for even more details – take it away, Danielle!
How we met
Danielle, the bride: It all began one night out in NYC in March, 2011. There was lots of dancing and some face paint involved, the rest was history. We share a mutual friend – my friend since kindergarten, and Josh’s friend from the University of Wisconsin – which made it easy for Josh to get my number. We began talking, became good friends, and fell in love.
We got engaged on November 20, 2015. I thought that I was going to a Soulcycle class at the TriBeCa studio. I was invited by the PR agency that I work with, and thought that it was a work-related event.
There were industry names on the sign-in sheet and all. I walked into Studio B for class, and Josh was there surrounded by lots of candles and playing My Girl through the sound system. He danced around and unzipped his sweatshirt to reveal a t-shirt that said “Will you be my soulmate?” Then, he got down on one knee and popped the question!
A perfect ‘wedding bubble’ venue
Our venue search started out in The Hamptons and up in Hudson Valley, but none of the places that we looked at ended up working for our wedding. So we continued our search closer to Manhattan, looking at everything from old banks to raw loft spaces.
I had always had the The New York Botanical Gardens in the back of my mind because both of our respective sets of grandparents had lived in The Bronx, and it seemed like a good happy medium for guests from my side traveling from New Jersey, and guests from his side traveling from Westchester. We went to tour the venue and I loved it.
STARR Events had recently taken over the venue, and were doing some renovations to the event spaces. They had already renovated The Hudson Grill, which is the restaurant that we used for our indoor/outdoor cocktail hour. At the time that we signed the contract, we only saw renderings of the ballroom, but based on the work that they had done so far, we were optimistic that everything would turn out perfectly.
The venue had the best of all worlds for us – we would be able to have the ceremony outside (weather permitting) and then move into the ballroom for dinner, dancing, and celebrations. We were such a close ride away from Manhattan, but it felt like we were transported to our own little dream wedding bubble.
It ended up being really special for our families, because they both have deep roots in the Bronx. All of our grandparents and parents had lived in The Bronx or Washington Heights at some point in their lives.
A modern, romantic theme
I wanted a very modern and clean look for the wedding, but I didn’t want to lose sight of the romance and beauty that the day represented. With the help of an amazing florist, I think we really achieved that balance.
I knew that I wanted to color scheme to be white, white, and more white! Then we tied in accent colors of black and silver.
We opted for mono-botanical arrangements of all white flowers to create a structured aesthetic, tall crystal candelabras with white candle sticks, black plexiglass on top of the table clothes to create a reflective surface for all of the candles.
Another vision was simply having all of our family and friends in one room to help us celebrate our marriage. We accomplished that 100%, and we will never forget how it felt to be surrounded by so much love.
We would have been lost without a planner, and were very lucky to have used Angie Navarez, of Baton Events NYC. She offers full planning, partial planning, and day-of coordination. We chose the partial planning package and created a schedule that was perfect for our needs. We were able to have a planner on board at the beginning stages of planning, in the middle for some vendor meetings, then for the six weeks leading up to the wedding, and of course on the day of.
A Vera Wang gown
My dress was silk crepe. It was a very simple silhouette, with a low back. It also had a detachable bow on the shoulder that I added to my dress for the reception.
It will sound clichéd, but it just felt right. I had tried on so many dresses with poofy tulle skirts, lace, sequins, and pearls and every time I just didn’t feel like myself. I felt almost too dressed up to be comfortable.
The simplicity of the Vera Wang Micaela dress felt so special to me. Then, knowing I could add the detachable bow for the reception was what helped confirm my decision!
A dramatic veil
My veil was from Vera Wang as well. It was a long veil with dogwood rose appliques. I wanted a dramatic veil, because my dress was really simple.
Very special wedding shoes
I work for Kenneth Cole, and I was honored to have him custom design my wedding shoes. We worked together on the design, heel height, and fabric – it was such a fun experience!
The shoes were white satin with 4.5 inch heels. Mr. Cole also surprised me and had the bottoms engraved with our names and wedding date, Danielle & Josh 10.15.16, which was such a special touch.
The handsome groom
Joshua wore an Armani Collezioni tuxedo and tuxedo shirt.
He wore Brooks Brothers smoking slippers for photos and the ceremony, then he changed into Kenneth Cole sneakers to be more comfortable for the reception.
Bridesmaids in black
I let my bridesmaids choose any black dress, my only requirement was that it was to the floor. What was most important to me was that they were comfortable in their outfit for the whole wedding day and night.
My two sisters were my maids of honor, and I wanted them to be in something a little different. They wore gunmetal dresses and looked beautiful! One wore a Nili Lotan slip dress and the other a Two Birds dress.
A fabulously floral chuppah
Our chuppah was breathtaking – it had green leaf branches and vines with white wisteria hanging down. The roof was made using our fathers’ and my grandfathers’ tallit (a Jewish prayer shawl).
We had two beautiful white flower arrangements at the entrance to the aisle. The arrangements included hydrangeas, roses, dahlia, orchids, and other seasonal blooms. And there were candles in glass votives that varied in height flanking the chuppah and down the aisle. It was magical!
Our florist, Jessy from Fleurs NYC, really brought my vision to life. I showed her one photo, and she knew exactly how to make my dream chuppah a reality. It was above and beyond what I was expecting, it really blew me away.
A magical ceremony
The ceremony is usually my favorite part of a wedding, it is always so special. I really wanted our guests to have that magical feeling when they were sitting there watching us get married.
The spot that our ceremony took place was right next to a part of The Botanical Gardens called the Home Gardening Center, but we adopted our own name for it – The Secret Garden. This was our holding area for guests as they arrived.
We had passed champagne and whiskey for them as they walked around and enjoyed the beautiful grounds. Then right before the processional, they made their way through garden gates to the ceremony.
Walking down the aisle was probably my favorite part. It was such a surreal moment, walking in between both of my parents and looking out towards Josh. It was really special. I felt like I was floating.
A modern design ketubah
Live music covers
We had live musicians and they executed instrumental versions of our chosen songs so perfectly. The music selection for the ceremony was something that was very easy for us to decide. Josh knew that he wanted to walk down the aisle to Young Forever by Jay-Z and I knew that I wanted to walk down to Sky Full of Stars by Coldplay.
For the recessional, we wanted something fun and upbeat that would get everyone excited for the dinner and dancing that followed the ceremony so we chose Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I’m Yours by Stevie Wonder. Our bridal party walked down the aisle to In My Life by The Beatles.
Josh and I wanted a really fun song to walk into, so we chose Feel So Close by Calvin Harris. We worked with the band to play it fast when we walked in, then slowed it down so that we could have our first dance to that same song. We messed up our first dance a bit (so much pressure!) so we tried again later in the night after we cut the cake. That time, we danced to Four Five Seconds by Paul McCartney, Rihanna, and Kanye West.
As I mentioned above, Jessy from Fleurs NYC was an absolute floral genius. The flowers were breathtaking. The cocktail hour was in an indoor/outdoor restaurant with the Botanical Gardens and the Conservatory in the background.
We kept the décor simple with tall cylinders filled with calla lilies on the open kitchen and groupings of vases with floating candles on the bar and vases with floating dahlia were on the cocktail tables.
The escort card arrangement was an assortment of tall and short vases with mono-botanical groups of flowers – orchids, hydrangeas, roses, dahlias, and other seasonal blooms. Some arrangements were placed and some were leaning over to give a structured feel.
We wanted to make the room feel a little bit different than the typical wedding reception layout. We used long tables, seating 24, and round tables, seating 10-12.
The long tables had black plexiglass on top of the table clothes to help reflect all of the candlelight. On top of the long tables were 15 vases, in varying heights, filled with a single type of bloom in each vase (calla lilies, roses, hydrangeas, dendrobium orchids, and dahlias). Each long table also had three 42” crystal candelabras with while candle sticks, six crystal candlesticks, six floating votive holders, and sixteen clear votives.
The twenty round tables had alternating arrangements. Half of the rounds had a 21” crystal candelabra, surrounded by three short white arrangements with one of each type of bloom – rose, hydrangea, and calla lily, with twelve clear votives and three floating votive holders. The other half of the rounds had three tall vases, one filled with white roses, one with white calla lilies, and one with white hydrangeas surrounded by three crystal candlesticks and twelve votives.
Each place setting had a dendrobium orchid on top of a black menu with white calligraphy.
I carried a white mini calla lily bouquet, and the bridesmaids had white anemone bouquets.
Our fabulous photographer and videographer
We used Christian Oth Photography, and our specific photographer was Andrew Kelly. We were so impressed by their studio and their staff. Andrew was so personable and we really loved working with him. The photos turned out beautiful, it will be hard to choose only a few for our album!
Our videographer was Hart Pictures.
A five-tier buttercream cake
The caterers used Everything Lulu for our cake. We had a five-tier cake with simple buttercream frosting, decorated with real flowers.
We had an amazing band, Radio Underground. They are part of Element Music. We definitely had a few song requests, and the band made it happen. They did a great job of keeping all of the guests up on their feet. The whole room was up and dancing with us for most of the night – it was a really fun party!
A flower-wrapping station
We did not do favors, but we set up a flower wrapping station so that all of the guests could take home a bouquet of flowers at the end of the evening. It would have been wasteful to throw out all of the flowers so we wanted to make sure everyone could enjoy them in their own homes.
We also had a food truck outside as people were leaving, so you could take a milkshake, a burger, or french fries for the road.
Paying homage to family
Family is so important to both of us and we wanted to do something to pay homage to our special connections at our wedding. We did two nice things at The Botanical Gardens to pay homage to our families.
At the cocktail hour, we set up wedding photos of our parents, our grandparents, and our great-grandparents with a sign that said “our most cherished roots are from our family.” Also, because we both have strong ties to The Bronx, we worked with a chalk artist to create a 60” X 60” map of The Bronx with highlights for areas that are important to our family. Some examples include, the place my grandparents’ were married and where Josh’s mom went to school
Some of my favorite moments from the wedding:
- My mom had the great idea of doing a “first look” for my dad and I – after I was dressed and ready, and before Josh and I had our first look. My mom and my sisters had been along for the dress search and all of the fittings so seeing me in the dress was old news to them but my dad had never seen me in my wedding gown. It was really special to have that moment with him.
- After the ceremony, Josh and I were whisked away to the bridal suite to spend our first few minutes as husband and wife together. The ceremony was so emotional and so magical that we just kept looking at each other and crying, then laughing, then crying. We were both at a loss of words but our faces and emotions said it all – we felt like the luckiest people in the whole world.
- At one point during the party, I was on the dance floor with my friends. I looked up to the stage and saw Josh up there with a microphone flanked by my dad and his dad, all singing (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction. By the time I made my way up to the stage to take part in the karaoke moment, both of our moms and all of our sisters were up there as well. We all sang and danced together on the stage while everyone cheered for us from the dance floor. There are a few videos circulating but we are yet to become the next YouTube sensation.
Advice to couples currently planning their wedding
During the planning process, don’t lose sight of the reason that you are planning this wedding! Remember the end goal: to wake up that next morning and be married to your soul mate.
Try to spend some time just the two of you that night.
Danielle & Joshua’s little white book
Photographer – Andrew Kelly of Christian Oth Photography
Videographer – Hart Pictures
Wedding planner – Baton Events NYC
Flowers – Fleurs NYC
Venue – The New York Botanical Gardens
Bride’s dress and veil – Vera Wang
Bride’s shoes – Kenneth Cole
Groom’s attire – Armani, Kenneth Cole, Tiffany & Co., Tom Ford and Happy Socks
Jewelry – Cartier and A. Jacoby and Company
Bridesmaids – Nili Lotan and Two Birds
Hair – Mania Hair Studio
Stationery – Lion in the Sun
Band – Radio Underground
Catering – STARR Events
Cake – Everything Lulu
Rentals – Party Rental LTD
Rabbi – Rabbi Matthew Berkowitz
Ketubah – Ruth Mergi
Transportation – Leros Point To Point
Accommodations – Andaz 5th Avenue