You don't have to travel to Europe to find a grand setting: This designer duo hosted a sophisticated soiree in a historic home just a few miles north of New York City.
Bride Annie Sullivan, in a silk-tulle, French lace, and ostrich-feather dress of her own design, and groom Oliver Cobb, in a Ralph Lauren Black Label tuxedo, pose at the entrance of Alder Manor in Yonkers, New York.
Alder Manor, a 1912 Italian Renaissance Revival-style home in Yonkers, New York, is a semi-restored 72-room estate, with coffered ceilings, a marble staircase, and peeling paint that epitomizes the kind of worn European grandeur that appeals to the couple (he designs interiors and installations; she specializes in wedding gowns). "Olly was born in London, and though I'm from San Francisco, I launched my first dress line in Paris," says Annie. "We both have a very antique-y, Old World sensibility, so we loved the feel of it. Neither of us could believe that it was in a town only five miles north of Manhattan!"
The couple's signature cocktail, similar to one served at an adored haunt, Mary Queen of Scots on Manhattan's Lower East Side, is made with rye, Champagne, bitters, blood orange, and maple syrup; the cocktail napkins were printed with an excerpt from a love letter Napoleon sent to Josephine.
Tables are set with a variety of candlesticks, flowers, and fruit. "It looked like it all came straight from the house's cabinets," Annie says. "Since this was the first time we got to meet many of each other's relatives, it was really important to us that everyone get a sense of our relationship," says Annie. So, after the personal ceremony, all 120 guests sat down to a family-style dinner that spanned the manor's library and opulent ballroom, and shared many dishes the couple has savored at the Modern, the restaurant in the Museum of Modern Art.
The bride and groom steal a candlelit moment. "I was so impressed by every little detail that Annie attended to -- she's got such a good eye," says Olly of his wife's hand in planning their big day. Martha Stewart Weddings' real-weddings editor, Shira Savada, also ensured that Annie's vision was executed and that everything went smoothly.
At the end of the night, each guest went away with a thoughtfully prepared package of miniature scones, clotted cream, and homemade orange-bergamot marmalade courtesy of Annie's pastry-chef sister-in-law. "We've had so many amazing dinners at restaurants that ended with a gift of jam and morning buns," Annie explains. "We decided it would be nice to wake up to that in a hotel room, and our friends and families loved the gesture." The sweets were flagged with a beautifully calligraphed note (meant to be read, of course, with a dapper British accent): "English breakfast with love, Annie and Olly."
Location: Alder Manor
Catering: Danny Meyer's Union Square Events
Stationery & Calligraphy: Bell'occhio
Wedding Photography: Weddings By Two
Gown and Dresses: Annie Sullivan Couture Bridal