There’s nothing like an NYC wedding. The views. The awesome streetscape photo ops. The cobblestones. And did we mention the views?!
Alie and Mike’s downtown Manhattan wedding at Tribeca 360 does not disappoint — they really did get views of the city from every angle, and we can’t stop swooning over the NYC-perfect portraits Kathleen Fox Photography shot of the couple in the beyond picturesque neighborhood surrounding the venue.
The views inside were pretty fantastic too, especially with that lovely floral chuppah — we love the bright playful colors, and it just goes to show that you don’t need an unlimited floral budget to craft a memorable floral design for your canopy.
They also had a gorgeous papercut ketubah from Smashing The Glass Recommended Vendor Ruth Mergi, and rather than the traditional text Alie and Mike went for a modern version that focused on marriage as entering into a partnership — we love that they were able to incorporate their own values this way!
We also love that Alie emphasizes a topic we feel pretty strongly about: day-of coordinators. Even if you’re a Type A DIY-er like Alie, a day-of coordinator can give you that extra reassurance to enjoy the big day worry-free. From dealing with the venue to making sure the day ran to schedule to saving some of the (delicious) wedding food for the coupe in their bridal suite afterward, these two can’t stop singing the praises of their coordinator, and they say hiring her was some of the best money they spent in planning the wedding.
Now over to Alie, who looked beautiful in her dress by Alexandra Grecco…
A Manhattan Venue
We loved the views of the city from every angle, and liked how the space was set up to flow easily from ceremony to cocktail hour to reception. We also liked that food and tables, settings, etc. came with the venue, so that we didn’t also have to find a caterer. (And people are still telling us how good the food was!)
We knew we wanted a really good, uninterrupted dance party, so when we came up with the timeline for the day, we worked to condense all the dances/speeches/courses/etc. toward the beginning of the main reception.
We like hip hop and R&B and made sure we found a DJ, DJ Taiga, that was into that too; we knew we found the right person when he asked us what years we were in college, so he played all songs that we knew would get our friends to stay on the dance floor. We put out flip flops to keep them there.
We also had little touches throughout the night that were “us,” like getting a custom Harry Potter-themed cake topper (and refusing to taste any cake that wasn’t chocolate) and trading out the included caviar bar for a ravioli station at cocktail hour.
We didn’t use a planner but we did hire a day-of coordinator, Ashley Chamblin, who helped save our sanity in the month leading up to the wedding and made our wedding day flawless and seamless.
An Alexandra Grecco Dress
My dress was designed by Alexandra Grecco and I bought it at Lovely Bride in NYC. My best friend got engaged about a month after me so we went dress shopping together with my mom, and my friend ended up also picking an Alexandra Grecco dress!
We also went to our fittings together at Sew Elegant and are kind of sad not to be going back there again, because they are so nice. (For her wedding gift, I got a sketch of both dresses together from the designer.)
I knew I wanted something with straps or sleeves so I wouldn’t have to worry about pulling the dress up all night, and the material felt absolutely amazing; it’s probably the most comfortable thing I’ve worn.
We went to three different dress shops the day I tried it, and at our last appointment I found a completely different dress I also liked. The AG dress was at Lovely Bride as part of a trunk show, so I called them after the last appointment and got them to squeeze me in the next day to try it one more time. Once I put it back on, I knew it was the right dress.
I mostly left the chuppah design to our amazing florist, Michelle of Wild Floral Designs. We had a lot of trouble finding a florist–we got quotes way over our budget, we talked to people who demanded we provide the specific names of flowers we liked, we met people who said my direction of “colorful and non-traditional” was too vague, we liked people and then got ghosted by them and never got a proposal, it was awful.
I ended up finding Michelle on Wedding Bee. I loved the vibe of her arrangements; so much color and texture and shapes that weren’t tight balls of all the same flower. She explained to me the cost of all the elements and worked with us to find ways to bring the cost down to a number we were comfortable with, and she was excited to work with an expansive, bright color palette and pretty open guidelines. Before we got married I hadn’t really cared about flowers, but they ended up being one of my favorite elements of the wedding.
Since we were keeping our bridal party small, I asked one of our good friends to do a reading at our wedding. She found a really lovely modern interpretation of the Seven Blessings.
A Papercut Ketubah
I am friends with Kathleen of Kathleen Fox Photography from a previous job; we worked at cosmopolitan.com together, where she was the photo editor. Mike and I had a favorite picture of us, which was a candid shot she’d taken at a different wedding, so when we got engaged, we knew we wanted no one but her. She encouraged us to talk to other vendors, but we weren’t interested.
We wanted our portraits in more interesting, NYC-y backgrounds and we wanted a lot of good candids, and that’s exactly what she does. She is also a master at lighting. She and her assistant Karl brought such an amazing energy to our wedding day and we felt so comfortable with them, and they made our friends and family comfortable too.
We are obsessed with all the photos; it’s taking us forever to make an album (sorry Kathleen) or put photos in frames because we can’t narrow down favorites. (Plus, with all the money you spend on a wedding, it was nice to know some of it was going to a friend!)
In lieu of giving out some tchotchke as a favor, we had a photo booth that provided unlimited prints and downloads. We got a digital copy of every photo taken in it, and they’re so funny and really ensure that all our guests got captured in some way. The photo booth company also printed out one extra and put them in a guestbook for us that our guests also signed; so much more fun than a traditional guestbook!
Remembering the Bride’s Grandmother
My maternal grandmother passed away about two months after we got engaged. We were very close and I knew I wanted her memory incorporated into our wedding with more than just a mention from the rabbi. I wore a pair of her earrings, and our florist used a blue scarf of hers to wrap my flowers, which was also my something old and my something blue. It meant a lot to me to hold that as I walked down the aisle with my parents.
My maid of honor was my best friend of 25 years and Mike’s best man was his best friend of 20 years; it was so special to get to celebrate those relationships too. They gave great speeches, but it was my dad who brought down the house, as we knew he would–it’s why we had him go last.
Advice to couples currently planning their wedding
I am very type A and like to do things myself, but hiring a day-of coordinator was some of the best money we spent. I can’t stress enough how much it helped keep us from having to worry on our wedding day, and she thought of so many things that we didn’t (when we did our final walkthrough, she basically handled everything with the venue and I just had to answer questions occasionally).
She came up with an incredibly detailed timeline and kept everything on schedule; if anything went wrong, we didn’t know about it. She also made sure we ate enough during the day, and helped coordinate to have a plate of some of every passed hors d’oeuvre and food station waiting for us in the bridal suite after our ceremony.
We hadn’t gotten to experience that food during the tasting, and it ended up being the only time we really ate all night, so make sure you do that too! (We also recommend cutting two slices of your top cake tier off when you get home and eating them before you freeze the rest of it, since you might not get to eat cake beyond the cutting.)
Alie & Mike’s little white book
Photography – Kathleen Fox Photography
Ketubah – Ruth Mergi
Venue – Tribeca 360
Day-of Coordinator – Ashley M Chamblin Events
Dress – Alexandra Grecco found at Lovely Bride and fitted at Sew Elegant
Bride’s veil – Etsy
Bride’s shoes – Badgley Mischka
Flowers – Wild Floral Designs
DJ – DJ Taiga
Photo booth – Fun Booth
Rabbi – Roger Ross
Cake topper – Little Vows