Melanie and Aaron’s music filled wedding in Brooklyn New York, had a completely unique time-line and structure, but it fit them to a T! They celebrated their differences and honored their respective passions with an intimate and sacred wedding ceremony, followed by a family focused brunch, and later a full blown live-music concert reception, all within blocks of their beloved Brooklyn home. Brilliant!
The Goals: Aaron and I had been together for a little over 7 years when we decided it was finally time to make things official, and our wedding (like our lives) ended up an awesome clash of cultures! Although we had already built an incredible life together in Brooklyn and knew we wanted to get married in Brooklyn, from there, our expectations and desires could not have been more different. Aaron is a jazz pianist from suburban New York City and comes from a very traditional religious background, so he knew he wanted a traditional ceremony and couldn’t really visualize anything beyond that. I’m an only child (now lawyer) with an incredibly supportive Midwest-based family who definitely all know how to have a good time. All I wanted was a BIG party where everyone would feel comfortable and included. Given that I have no musical ability whatsoever, I also wanted to show off all of our super, super-talented musician friends!
The Design: We started the day with a smaller intimate ceremony, accompanied by brunch, that was meant to be a tribute to tradition and family. We chose the Prospect Park Picnic House because we live two blocks from the park and it’s been a really important part of our lives together (we went to a concert in the park the day we met in 2004!). I incorporated my family in the day by using family heirloom lace under all of our gorgeous centerpieces and framed photos from past family weddings, and both of our families mingled and danced to our friends playing traditional Jewish/klezmer music. That night we hosted a much larger party at the Bell House, a music venue we love and which also happens to be within walking distance from our apartment. The party had very few traditional wedding characteristics — basically, delicious appetizers, small plates and desserts were passed continuously throughout the night to the backdrop of a showcase of our amazing friends’ bands. For decorations, our floral designer reused the centerpieces from earlier in the day, embellishing them with candles to add to the mood, and we covered the bulletin boards at the Bell House with printed photos of our friends and family (which turned out to be amazing conversation pieces throughout the night!). I also incorporated our friends’ talents in not just the day’s music, but also in all of our paper design (escort cards, table numbers, programs and donation/favor cards) which was done by a sorority sister of mine, the fabulous “concert” posters which were designed by a good friend of both Aaron and myself and lighting consultation from my best friend from high school who happens to be an electrician on a touring Broadway show!
All in all, we’re thrilled because everyone came away from that day understanding us, but also fully understanding our love and appreciation for one another, our friends and our families.
The Look: I stumbled upon BHLDN when it was still very new and just loved its style, so I ended up buying my shoes on the website on clearance during the spring before our wedding.They seemed perfect for a winter park wedding and they were. For my dress, after visiting a few standard dress stores, I went to BHLDNs store in Houston (the only one open at that time) when I was visiting my dad and stepmom who happened to live there. My dress was maybe the third one I tried on there and I just loved the flow of it. As corny as it is, it just felt right, and everyone in the room said I looked different in it. I ended up altering the base of the dress to be more park-friendly, but otherwise, it was perfect. The other accessories (sweater, sash and hair piece) just sort of fell into place.
For Aaron, I actually did have a few ideas for his style, but he completely styled himself. He wanted a traditional black suit and the one he got worked beautifully.
The Moments: The double event day made us all nervous. It was unusual and seemed to be confusing for people – what would they do for 5 hours between brunch and the evening party? Whatever reservations people had, however, melted away that day! First of all, it gave Aaron and me the ability to show off our personalities in such a personal and special way through the two events, but it was particularly awesome what ended up happening in between. Our families completely bonded at the bar (a.k.a., my cousins hotel room!) while Aaron and I had plenty of time to take couple pictures, go home, put on jeans and order sushi!! Were pretty sure were the only couple we know who enjoyed a full meal together on their wedding day. I wouldnt recommend structuring your day like ours just so you can eat, but the lesson truly was: Do whatever you want to make the day yours – everything will work out and (as my father-in-law reminded us during the planning stages) in the end youll be married!
The Pros: To learn about all of the talented wedding professionals who were part of Melanie and Aaron’s wedding day, be sure to check out their page in our Real Wedding Library!