Sarit and Ari managed to pull off their NYC wedding on a modest budget, and what an *awesome* job they did. Often I find that the more restrictive the funds, the more creative and resourceful a wedding turns out to be. This one is a very handmade affair filled with friends and family and a true sense of community.
I particularly love the handmade fabric corsages and boutonnieres, and the wedding programs printed onto brown kraft paper bags filled with coloured dots and paper hearts cut from books! (The couple had a book theme running through their day).
There are lots of stylish, crafty details to cherish – these two are a ridiculous talented and thrifty pair – and they definitely achieved their aim of creating the greatest party on the smallest budget.
A WAREHOUSE VENUE WITH LOVELY WARM TOUCHES
Sarit, The Bride: Our wedding was at The Green Building in Brooklyn, New York. We’re both from New York and since most of our friends and family live in or near the city we wanted to keep it local and accessible by car or public transportation.
We were engaged in April and planned a wedding for October of that year – six months to plan a wedding in NYC isn’t much time! We knew we wanted a space that was both unique and affordable but I’d be calling these gorgeous spaces I found online only to hear they’d been booked for over a year. The other issue in NYC is capacity. Many of the more reasonably priced spots are smaller and we already knew we’d have at least 150 guests. I found The Green Building on the blog Brokelyn and made an appointment to see the space.
As soon as we saw it we fell in love! The building was a brass foundry in its past life and has a warehouse feel to it but with super lovely touches. Once we knew we could have creative control in the space, move furniture around, and have it for the whole day we were certain we that we had found our venue.
A ‘BOOK’ THEME + AN AUTUMN COLOUR SCHEME
We crafted bookmarks that as escort cards and had a sort of book theme running through the wedding because we’re both really into books, reading, and writing. Corey, our photographer, took engagement photos of us at the New York Public Library and we incorporated books into the wedding in the confetti, seating cards, and table centres.
As we we got married right in the middle of October, we wanted the colours to reflect the beautiful Autumn weather. We used lots of navy blues, leafy greens, and dark purples.
Friends of ours had got married that Spring and I had met the bride’s friend, Jennie, at several of the events leading up to the wedding. She had designed our friend’s invitation and it felt so special and personal so I reached out to her for our wedding. Jennie incorporated our love of unique, local, and fun into the invitation. My favourite part is the blind embossed map of the area we got married in with a star over the (literally) green building.
A UNIQUE DRESS AND VEIL
Wedding dress shopping was the part I dreaded the most. It’s not that I don’t love shopping but I think I had been scared by stories from friends and too many episodes of “Say Yes to the Dress”. I didn’t want to go the traditional American bridal route; I knew I wanted simple and had a very small budget dedicated to the dress.
Through endless internet searches of variations on “unique wedding dress nyc” I came across Yvonne Chu’s store Kimera. It was such an easy and fun process building the dress with her at the shop in Brooklyn. She works primarily in silk shantung which I loved for its texture and comfortable feel. It was made to order and when I tried it on for the first time I knew it was totally the right dress for me.
I needed to have a veil for the ceremony which was traditional orthodox but when I started looking for veils I just didn’t get it. They were expensive (especially considering I would only wear it for about 40 minutes) and no one seemed to have the simple style I wanted. I was sharing my frustration with a co-worker who was also getting married that Autumn and she completely agreed with me. We decided to try to look for a veil together and share it. We ended up finding a woman named Basia who makes really beautiful headpieces and veils out of her apartment in NYC. She was able to make exactly what we were looking for!
A STATEMENT NECKLACE
I love colour and wanted to wear a statement piece necklace especially since I wouldn’t be carrying flowers. I’m a huge fan of Etsy.com and spent hours looking for the perfect necklace – or someone who could make it for me. I came across Rosy Posy Designs and loved the combination of pretty and whimsy. Her designs were definitely statement pieces and we worked together to create the perfect necklace for the wedding that blended all the colours we were using and had a bridal feel to it.
I’m on the taller side and like staying my height. I’m also a huge fan of comfort. We were planning serious dancing and I wanted to be able to rock out without having to worry about my feet. I found beautiful navy blue flats that remained mostly hidden under the dress but made me really happy to look at and to wear.
NATURAL HAIR + MAKE-UP
For my hair I wanted to go with something very different than how I usually wear my hair and something that would be off my back and neck. I found this beautiful twisted up-do that I really liked that was perfect. I had it done by our apartment early in the morning on my wedding day by the woman who was cutting my hair at the time. A friend helped me with my makeup at the venue – the look I wanted (and achieved) was really natural and soft.
THE HANDSOME GROOM
Ari wore a smashing dark blue suit and matched his tie to my necklace. He went to the woman who designed my dress for the tie and pocket square so not only did they match in colour but also in fabric! He also wore a boutonniere that I helped design with the woman who made my necklace and it helped bring everything together…not that he needs much help in looking amazing!
A WONDERFULLY INCLUSIVE CEREMONY
We walked down the aisle to the song Bubbly by Colbie Caillat. It was a song that we had fallen in love with years earlier and there’s such a great goofy romantic vibe that really matches us.
Ari’s a capella group from college, Kaskesset, sang us down the aisle. We hadn’t heard what they were going to do beforehand but we completely trusted them to be amazing..and they were! They transformed the song into the most romantic and lovely version of itself. Such an incredible way to meet under our chuppah!
One thing we did during our ceremony that was very special was we circled each other three and a half times instead of me circling Ari seven. It turned out circling is totally optional in an Orthodox ceremony but we loved the symbolism of seven circles for seven days and starting your “new world” together. We also each gave a ring to the other which we were able to include as an “extra” since women don’t usually give the men a ring. I gave it to Ari and said “ani l’dodi v’dodi li”, I am for my beloved and my beloved is for me.
Other than the actual getting married part one of my favourite elements was the beautiful music under the chuppah. Ari was in an a capella group, ‘Kaskesset’, in college and wanted to incorporate his friends talents into our wedding. They not only sang us down the aisle but under the chuppah three of the guys sang the most incredibly beautiful “Im Eshkacheich” a capella.
The Sheva Brachot were said by our fathers and combined five brothers- it was so special to be surrounded by our closest friends and family in that moment.
The chuppah was tough since I wanted it to have meaning but we didn’t have any family traditions or fabrics that would translate well to a chuppah. We both love being outdoors and especially trees! (In NYC trees and nature are often hard to come by!) Trees are also really great symbols for family, friends, and new beginnings. Once I came to that place I began scouring the internet for the right fabric and I found it in an Urban Outfitters tapestry! It was a beautiful piece that complimented the space so well. To bring it all together I used bamboo wood poles and tied the chuppah to it with twine.
For the programs we wanted to do something fun and different. We ended up printing names and relations on brown kraft paper bags and including confetti in them that our guests showered us in as we danced up the aisle!
OUR WONDERFUL PHOTOGRAPHER
Our photographer was my very good friend Corey Torpie. At the time we weren’t as close friends but I knew her now-husband from high school and had seen him posting links to her photographs. I immediately loved her style and the way she told stories through her photos. I connected with Corey, we met up, and we knew it was going to work. I was looking for a unique and chilled photographer who could capture the spirit and story of the day and she was looking for brides who were into that. She absolutely loved the Green Building for all its character – it just felt completely right!
‘FAMILY STYLE’ MEALS
We opted to do family style meals to bring everyone together. That means that the main course was served on several large platters to each table and then passed around. We kept the menu super-seasonal and autumn-like – everyone seemed to really love that part of the evening.
We decided against a traditional cake since we aren’t too much into sweets. Instead we brought in Ari’s favourite – mini black and white cookies (even though he only likes the icing) and individual apple cobblers made from local apples.
TWO BANDS: ‘NEW’ KLEZMER + AMERICAN ROCK!
We had two different bands. The first was a young klezmer group led by the amazing Joey Weisenberg who roamed the space and lent an incredible energy to the day. I really wanted new klezmer because of the way the connection to past and present. I love the sounds and joy that come from such simple music. The trio played through to dinner and then afterwards we had our friends band The The Ramblers play.
Our friend, and Ari’s former roommate, Scott Stein plays in the band and they have such a great sound. Very American rock, easy to dance to and music we love. They played us well into the night! It was so great having people we know and love helping to create our wedding into the amazing experience it was.
A FUN PHOTO BOOTH
For our guests to have fun and get goofy we created a photo booth where folks could take their photo on a Polaroid-like camera using silly props. We then asked our friends and family to paste one of their photos in a book and write us a message to go along with it. It’s really one of the best things we have from the wedding! So many amazing moments captured!
ADVICE TO OTHER BRIDES
People won’t always remember every detail that made you crazy in the weeks and months leading up to the wedding. Instead they’ll walk away with the energy and how they felt when they were there celebrating with you. Focus on how everything in planning is making you feel, take the things that make you feel the best, and then amplify that so your day echoes you at your best.
Also, make sure you get the right photographer. Out of all your vendors this one matters most because, yes, the day flies by and when it’s all over you’ll turn to the photos to remind you of the amazingness and you’ll want those photos to be the best possible. Take your time, ask a million questions, look far and wide, and compare!
Finally, take conscious moments on your wedding day to step back and make memories. I often joke about doing it again so we could be more present the second time around. It’s really hard when you’re the centre of it all, but when you try those moments remain sacred memories.
SARIT + ARI’S LITTLE WHITE BOOK
Venue — The Green Building
Photography — Corey Torpie
Catering — 4StarPC
Invitations — Nane Press
Bride’s dress — Kimera
Bride’s veil — Basia
Bride’s jewellery — Rosy Posy Designs
Klezmer band — Joey Weisenberg
Music — The Ramblers
Photo Booth Props — Maro Designs
This wedding definitely has the feel-good factor and I love Sarit’s advice and words of wisdom at the end.
The smiles on everyones faces as they’re dancing in that intimate, beautiful space just sums up the whole day really. *LOVE*
Thank you to the wonderful Sarit and Ari for sharing your very special wedding.
> VIEW MORE REAL JEWISH WEDDINGS ON SMASHING THE GLASS
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Love and Brooklyn (@LoveandBrooklyn) says
I really love the programs filled with confetti, super cute, DIY idea.
I was doing some internet searching for inspiration for my brother’s chuppah and yours popped up. I noticed how pretty it was before realizing that I knew the people standing under it! Looks like it was a beautiful wedding!
What a wonderful thing to hear! If you’re looking for inspiration for your brother’s chuppah, this page has 100’s of ideas (and is one of my favourite pages on the site: https://www.smashingtheglass.com/chuppah/). If there is something specific you are on the hunt for, let me know and I’ll try and help 🙂