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Randy and Mayo
It's not every couple that takes 28 years to get from first kiss to wedding day. But designer Randy Hagans and ballroom dancer Mayo Alanen aren't just any couple. In 1987, after planting one on Mayo in their kindergarten class in El Paso, Texas, "I told my mom I was going to marry him," says Randy. At that point, no one was setting a date for anything other than snack time, and it seemed as if Randy's prediction had little chance of coming true, especially after she and her family moved to Australia.
Fast forward to 2008: Randy had moved back to El Paso, and the pair met again when Mayo, who now lived on the East Coast, was visiting family. She wasn't interested in a long-distance relationship, but he changed her mind over the course of an all-night chat as they sat on park swings. After four years of flying between Texas and New York, the two moved in together in Brooklyn, where, Randy says, "we fell in love with New York City as much as with each other." A year after Randy arrived, Mayo gave her a handmade book that told their life stories, ending in a proposal.
Wanting to show guests their beloved city, Randy and Mayo planned a daylong, multistop party full of urban adventures on May 9, 2015. They scheduled their big day for spring in the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, envisioning a ceremony beneath flowering cherry blossom trees. "We knew it was a long shot, because they only bloom two weeks a year," says Mayo. But their timing was impeccable—during their self-penned vows before 68 loved ones, petals floated down in what the Japanese call hanafubuki, or "flower snowstorm." Then everyone boarded trolleys to the NoMad Hotel in Manhattan for a rooftop brunch with views of the city, before walking across the street to a photo studio-turned-1930s dance club with a five-piece jazz band. After cocktails and plenty of swing dancing, partygoers were back on the trolleys, which took them downtown to Cienfuegos, a Hemingway-style bar with a Cuba-meets-Texas vibe. The entire day was a nod to the couple's past and a celebration of their future—and absolute proof that everything Randy needed to know, she learned in kindergarten.
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A Unique Invitation
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Trinkets and Stories
The bulbs held little scraps of paper with an anecdote about the couple ("Randy + Mayo met in the kindergarten sandbox") next to a trinket that commemorated the moment (a tiny vial of sand from the school's sandbox). Other elements referenced Randy's move to Australia (kangaroo), their kindergarten photos (locket), their mutual love of New York City (pin), and their long-distance relationship (mini globe).
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The couple placed a lucky bet on exactly when the cherry blossoms would hit their peak at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden.
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Bridesmaids wore dresses in blue, cranberry, and teal to echo the colored stones at the neckline and waist of Randy's Reem Acra gown.
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New York State of Mind
On the day of, Randy used this vintage New York–themed compact and wore the engagement ring Mayo had custom made.
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Randy, accompanied by her father Don Hagans, walked through an archway of cherry blossoms at their peak bloom at the gardens on the way to meet her groom for the wedding ceremony.
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Vows for All
Randy designed books calligraphed with the vows she and Mayo recited. Every guest was invited to sign as a witness.
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Attendants included two junior bridesmaids—one carried the rings, the other the vow books.
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As the newlyweds crossed 28th Street between Broadway and 5th Avenue to reach their dancing venue after brunch, Mayo, a professional ballroom dancer, swept his bride off her feet in an impressive twirl.
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A Brunch to Celebrate
The NoMad Hotel's rooftop brunch tent offered views of the New York skyline, including the Empire State Building.
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In honor of the couple's schoolyard meeting, they turned framed childhood photos of each guest into escort cards.
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The Place Settings
Centerpieces included peonies, garden roses, and andromeda. Each place was set with a menu letterpressed on deckle-edge paper and a napkin rolled up and tied with a piece of velvet ribbon with small bronze numbers denoting where guests should sit.
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Brunch finished with a scrumptious selection of mignardises (mini French desserts) served with coffee.
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Ceremony location, Brooklyn Botanic Garden
Reception locations and catering, The NoMad Hotel; Cienfuegos
Dancing location, Studio 1315
Day-of coordination, Gabriela Ardaki; Colette Dazé
Flowers, Ariel Dearie
Photography, Heather Waraksa
Videography, NewYork Film Works
Stationery, Silk and Willow (paper); Boxcar Press (invite letterpressing and foil-edging); The Arm (menus and thank-you note letterpressing)
Ceremony music, Kendra MacDevitt
Brunch music, Najah Lewis
Brunch reception and after-party music, Sly5thAve
Dancing music, Sweet Megg & The Wayfarers
Bride's gown, Reem Acra
Bride's earrings, Catbird
Bride's engagement ring, Sarah Perlis
Bride's wedding band, Satomi Kawakita Jewelry
Bride's shoes, Ted Baker
Bride's right-hand ring, Arik Kasta
Hair, Brittany Romney
Bridesmaids' dresses, Raoul; Amsale; Dessy
Bridesmaids' jewelry, Rent the Runway
Junior bridesmaids' dresses, ModCloth; Abercrombie & Fitch
Flower-girl dresses, J.Crew; Nellystella
Groom's and groomsmen's suit and shirt, My.Suit
Groom's shoes, Prada
Groom's wedding band, Alex Monroe
Transportation, New York Trolley Company
Frames for escort-card photos, Weddingstar
Dance instruction, Wedding Dance
Dress alterations, AMadden Tailoring & Embroidery
Wedding certificate, Artseed