City Winery Wedding
Our goal for our wedding was, apart from actually getting married, to have a relaxed and easy day for us and for our guests. We accepted early on that there could be no such thing as a 'perfect day;' instead we focused on having an event that would be memorable and meaningful for us and our guests. To that end, we aimed to keep things simple, or at least straightforward, and put our time and money towards things that we would appreciate the most, regardless of tradition or custom. Our priorities were great food, a unique venue, and lots of time for dancing. We also knew that we wanted to get married at a non-traditional the New York City area, both for its iconic appeal and because it would be convenient for most of our friends and family. We looked at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, the Brooklyn Historical Society Museum, Brooklyn Winery, and several wineries on the east end of Long Island. Ultimately, we chose City Winery in Manhattan. It was both a unique event event space, with an almost 'barn wedding' vibe in middle of the city. Also, as a winery, restaurant, and concert venue, many of the vendor-related details would be automatically taken care of by the decision of venue, helping to keep things simple.
One of the traditions we knew we wanted to avoid was overly formal and frilly flower displays. In order to accentuate, rather than compete with, the architectural interest of City Winery, we wanted simple and masculine decorations. Rock Paper Scissors Events suggested a understated displays of driftwood, succulents, and candles for the dinner tables. The decorators were also able to supply a chuppah adorned with willow branches that was simple and evocative of nature. We used matching tallitot as the covering of chuppah.
After being introduced to the company at the Toasted Brooklyn wedding expo, we decided to go with Scratch Weddings for the music. Our wedding was to be a blending of two cultures, Reform Jewish and Puerto Rican, and among the large number of DJs affiliated with Scratch were several who had experience spinning both at Jewish and Latin weddings. We selected DJ Center and could not have been happier. Scratch Weddings has an online system to select specific music for different elements of the overall wedding and DJ Center was able to fill in the rest of the night with music we and our guests loved.
One of the ways we prioritized the experience of the day was to forego complicated invitations and RSVP cards. Instead we opted to print and send our save-the-dates and invitations ourselves through Postable. Wedding details and RSVPs were handled through a free wedding website offered by The Knot wedding website. Hoping that good memories would be more meaningful and last longer than traditional favors.
Something that we kept coming back to guide our decisions throughout the planning process was to focus on what will contribute to having fun that evening and create great memories for the future. That ethic led to an investment in a very experienced photographer, Jacqueline Schlossman from READYLUCK, whose portfolio captured other same-sex weddings in a way that we wanted ours to be remembered.
Having that priority, fun and memories, to guide our decision-making was very important. We would advise any couples undertaking wedding-planning, particularly without professional help, to identify the one or two most important things they hope to get out of the wedding experience. The foundation that agreed-upon priority helped us identify what was worth worrying about or spending money on, as well as what just was not that important.
One of our favorite anecdotes of the night was when one of the servers told us, "This is the best party we've ever had here." That is exactly what we were hoping for. We specifically wanted to spend money and time on having a party that we would want to attend. And it turned out to be more fun than we could have imagined.