Our wedding was on June 6, 2015 - which also happens to be the day that American Pharoah Won Belmont Stakes and Triple Crown - a lucky day!
Our Wedding Planning Formula = Avoid traditional wedding protocol, pick a small, intimate space, good food, close company, music that makes you dance, keep the bubbly coming...
Márcio and I had sort of been dreading wedding planning, mainly because we know how expensive it can be to pull it off in NYC and his family had to make a trip here all the way from Brazil. We decided to keep it simple and local (in our neighborhood – Ditmas Park, Brooklyn), and it turned out to be one of the most amazing nights ever!
Lea Brooklyn – a restaurant I mentioned in a previous blog post – Brooklyn Eats.
This cozy Italian restaurant, located on Cortelyou Road, has delicious brick oven pizza among many other tasty dishes! The brick walls and antique chandeliers make for the perfect ambiance. The restaurant is indoor/outdoor and it’s quite small, which we actually preferred! It made our wedding that much more intimate. As you read on you'll see more photos of the interior.
The staff at Lea is also super fun and accommodating. Dana Perry was our wedding planner at Lea. She's pictured with the rest of the staff below (in the orange dress).
Words cannot explain how it felt to walk into Lea Brooklyn and see the faces of all of the most important people in our lives. It was overwhelming!
Márcio’s good friend James officiated our marriage ceremony. Why? He speaks English and Portuguese. We had a bilingual group of guests, so it was only natural that we had a bilingual ceremony! When I realized I would have to say my vows in Portuguese I was getting a little bit nervous, but James did a great job of walking me through it (and I figured, only half of our guests know Portuguese, so only half of the people listening would hear my mistakes!). Our guests enjoyed how James alternated between languages – it made things fun and interesting! We don’t think anyone fell asleep! ;)
Márcio and I had practiced our kiss, we didn’t want it to get too juicy in front of some of the older folks. BUT, once our lips locked and everyone started screaming I couldn’t help but go for it – I think I actually put my arm around Márcio’s neck and pulled him in for a juicy kiss! Yep, I did... Sorry Dad!
OK, we hugged, we kissed, moving on! :) We served a family style supper – no one left hungry! And there were left overs which we dug into at the end of the night after we danced our asses off.
Immediately following the ceremony we served small pizza bites as passed hors d'oeuvres. Nothing fancy, but totally delicious. We didn't want to serve pizza as the main course, but we wanted to make sure everyone had the opportunity to try Lea's delicious brick oven pizza. We're so glad the Chef at Lea (Daniel Soskolne) found a way to make that happen!
We also had delicious passed fritti and antipasti.
Our family style supper started with a variety of salad starters, Beet Carpaccio, Warm Chick Pea Salad, and Greens. Our favorite starter is the Warm Chick Pea Salad - radishes, onions, fresh herbs & sheep's yogurt - yum yum yum! (Sorry no pictures!) What kind of bride would I be if I was taking food porn pictures during my wedding dinner? You'll just have to go to Lea to taste for yourself!
Next came amazing pasta! It was quite simple, a red sauce, but the pasta was broad and cooked to Al dente perfection, so delicious! If it weren't my wedding, I definitely would have eaten more of the pasta at dinner. I knew I would be getting some serious dancing on later, so I had to make sure I wasn't going to be in a food coma (all of the food definitely was food coma worthy). We also had a fish dish and a delicious steak dish that was prepared Brazilian Picanha style - everyone seemed to be anxiously awaiting this one!
As you have read, we had quite a bit of food - one of my friends actually told me, "You don't have to worry about anyone leaving this wedding hungry." Phew!
|Who doesn't love a tower of freshly made Cannoli's?|
We wanted to keep the party going, so we decided to serve desert a little bit later in the night, we thought we should give our guests some time to digest. After dinner, the tables were cleared, deserts were lined up on the bar, and the dancing began!
We didn't have a traditional first dance or a father daughter dance, but my Dad surprised me and swooped in after a few songs. He's got some serious moves! Who knew??
This shot was taken right outside of our apartment building, just a few minutes before the ceremony!
If you're in the market for a wedding dress, check out BHLDN. The price was right and it fit like a glove, I didn't even have to alter it!
Rawan Rihani, Owner of Aurora Botanica was the Artist/Designer behind our floral arrangements.
Rawan Rihani is an artist and designer, who works with flowers, textiles and painting. Aurora Botanica was founded as a company to bring these elements together and as a brand that embodies the dreamworld of Rawan Rihani.
I didn't really have dream flower arrangements in mind, but when Dana suggested working with Rawan, I instantly liked her style and aesthetic so it was an easy task! She's also super friendly and helpful in making decisions. She did a beautiful job!
We had a bouquet and boutonnière, small jars on the tables, large branches at the altar, and two more large floral arrangements - one was placed on the bar and one was placed on our dinner table. It was perfect! I loved the mix of blue/purple, white and greens in the arrangements. And the branches/flowers that were used to frame the altar, privet and fiori d'arancio are actually symbolic Italian wedding flowers - I had no idea! :)
The Wedding Photographer:
Alberto Lama of Alberto Lama Photography is absolutely wonderful! This was our Google Review: Alberto is super friendly and has great ideas for photos! We loved how our wedding photos turned out! To top it off, his customer service is impeccable! He was flexible with meeting times and came to meet us in our neighborhood in Brooklyn. He also came to hand deliver the USB stick with all of our photos after the wedding. He's the complete package. His demeanor and fun personality make for a great time!
Enough said! :)
We highly recommend him as a wedding photographer!
*All photos in this blog post were taken by Alberto*
The Music & Dancing:
Our playlist was provided by one of my best friends, Jessica Nagel. We met when we studied together at FIT and we've remained friends ever since. She’s a PR/Marketing professional by day, and a DJ by night! Just kidding, she's not really a DJ - but she did an amazing AMAZING job with our playlist! The reason we picked her as the DJ is because she always knows how to get the party started. We didn’t want traditional wedding music and we wanted to make sure people got up and started grooving.
Beautiful Jessica with her fiancé Victor at the wedding
Just to show you how good Jessica is at getting the party started - see her
here as well with my sister-in-law, Ana. They danced for us on the bar. ;)
Oh, and Jessica and Márcio breaking it down. Love this girl!
A few more great party shots are below!
Alberto (our photographer) was actually laying on the floor in this one and
we were all looking down at him - super creative!
All in all, our wedding experience was amazing (as I'm sure it is for most people!). Next up, we're planning our honeymoon to Asia! We're hoping to visit Singapore, Thailand, and possibly Cambodia, but nothing is confirmed yet. Any Asia travel tips? Please send them our way!