A Colorful Overhead Art Installation Set the Tone for the Bold and Modern Wedding in Long Island City
Kristen and Jonathan met through mutual friends in 2007—and began their relationship in reverse. They moved in together before they started dating. "After graduating, Jonathan found himself with an extra room in his Harlem apartment for the summer and I was in need of one," says the bride. When they realized that it was serious three months later, they—wait for it—moved out: "We decided to find our own apartments and officially start dating."
A little more than a decade later, Jonathan organized a surprise proposal that incorporated some of the couple's favorite New York City spots. He popped the question in the Greenpoint neighborhood where they had lived, made a brunch reservation (complete with flowers and a serenade) at their favorite restaurant, and planned dinner at the café where they shared their first date. Kristen accepted, and the couple began planning a wedding that they hoped would "reflect their relationship—thoughtful, bright, and fun." They booked Sound River Studios in Long Island City for the ceremony and reception, using the space—and invaluable insight from wedding planner and event designer Jove Meyer—as a "blank slate" to add their own personality and thoughtful touches.
Instead of committing to a single-color theme, they used shades of blue, green, aqua, yellow, and pink throughout the décor, adding plenty of brilliant hues to the white studio space. "We like things to be thoughtful, clean, and joyful," says the couple. Kristen, a television executive, and Jonathan, a graphic designer, called on their own event design backgrounds to "hand-pick every element that came into the space"—with help from Brooklyn-based wedding planner and event designer Jove Meyer—which was more intense than they expected: "It was our second full-time job for about a year," says the couple.
But when they saw it all come together for 100 guests at their June 8, 2019, party, they were ready to relax and enjoy every moment—including the sunset on the water, which they both agree was one of the most beautiful they'd ever seen.
Jonathan used his graphic design background to create the stationery suite, giving formal white stationary a modern twist with playful all-caps block text. He and Kristen selected four bright colors—yellow, aqua, blue, and pale coral—for accent text, and had each edge of the invites and save-the-dates painted in one of the shades. Each suite was sent with a different combination of envelope colors; the couple hand-picked stamps for each guest.
Mother Knows Best
Kristen's Margaux Tardits wedding dress, with an embroidered, long-sleeve top; cut-out detail at the waist; and satin-lined tulle skirt, was an obvious choice: "It made my mom yell, 'KRISTEN!'" recalls the bride, "which generally means she's impressed."
The bride kept the rest of her accessories elegant and classic, choosing gold and pearl earrings from Catbird and Fitzgerald Jewelry, a bold red lip color, and pearl-topped hairpins from Jennifer Behr to add "fun flair" to her low-key waves, courtesy of hair and makeup artist Avery-Christine Golson.
Since the couple wanted the event's bright colors to stand out, Jonathan also wore white, opting for a crisp shawl lapel dinner jacket from Jack Victor and a spread collar shirt from Proper Cloth. Black Hugo Boss tuxedo pants, patent leather shoes from To Boot New York, and a Theory bow tie finished his timeless look.
Their First Look
The duo celebrated their New York history with a first look at The William Vale in Brooklyn, which is located across the street from a home they shared for six years. "It was a really fun moment and capped off a long year-and-half of planning," says the couple. "It really hit us at that moment that it was time to start enjoying everything and stop planning."
Kristen's medium-sized round bouquet from Buds of Brooklyn mimicked the bright pops of color in the rest of the event's décor, including plenty of yellow—her favorite—mixed with pale pink, blue, and green.
Sleek, contemporary white chairs played into the party's minimalist vibe.
Buds of Brooklyn created two large asymmetrical "growing garden" arrangements for the altar; these surrounded the gate door at Sound River Studios, which opened up to the East River and gorgeous Manhattan skyline views.
Kristen's parents, Brenda and Joe, escorted her down the aisle to meet Jonathan, who had walked in with his parents—and an extra participant: "Our nephews were proud ring bearers," says the couple. "The youngest had his heart set on walking down the aisle with his grandmother—the mother of the groom—and since Jonathan's parents both walked him down the aisle, our nephew did, too!"
Love and Joy
In a ceremony officiated by Lisa Traina, Kristen and Jonathan exchanged personalized vows in front of a large open door that offered full-scale views of the city. "We had a lot of fun writing them and reading them to each other," says the couple. "A fun surprise was our nephews running around us, playing behind the altar as we were trying to read, adding some extra joy."
After the ceremony, guests moved outside for appetizers that included fig and goat cheese crostini and mini lobster rolls, plus signature bourbon cocktails—a "Four Roses" bourbon boulevardier and a "Jasmine" paloma—in honor of Kristen's Kentucky roots.
With Flying Colors
The high ceilings and minimalist vibe of the room provided the perfect backdrop for a large-scale installation of suspended fabric runners by Josana Blue. The statement piece added color and drama, and drew guests' eyes toward the stunning city views at the end of the room. "We're still pretty in love with New York after living here for 15 years, so we wanted to make sure we dressed her up and gave her a prominent role, too," says the duo.
The Bold and the Beautiful
The fabric runners also offered a vivid backdrop for the newlyweds' portraits. "We like color more than your average New Yorker," they say. "Though we more frequently sport black in our day-to-day attire, we wanted the event to be bright and joyful, but balanced out of respect for traditional elements."
Jonathan created the large-scale seating chart, mirroring the color scheme and fonts the couple chose for their invitations.
Clean and Bright
Slim chairs and modern white tables were arranged in the center of the space for dinner. Planner and event designer Jove Meyer translated the colors seen overhead onto the reception tables: Linen-wise, tables were left bare to allow colorful groups of tonal candles and flowers to shine.
Buds of Brooklyn arranged clusters of flowers in petite monochromatic bunches, and placed them in delicate white and glass vessels. Glass-enclosed taper candles in the same palette and coordinating napkins created a colorful rainbow effect on the tablescapes.
On the Menu
The family-style meal from Fig & Pig Catering included grilled endive and stone fruit salad; smoked chicken with caramelized onion puree and salsa verde; roasted Arctic char; cavatelli with pumpkin oil and microgreens; and charred Brussels sprouts. "Our caterer was phenomenal and nailed our preference for delicious, comforting dishes," says the couple.
The four-tier white fondant confection from Nine Cakes, decorated with sleek ruffles and too-pretty-to-eat sugar flowers, offered guests their choice of two flavor combinations: Chocolate cake with mocha buttercream or lemon cake with lavender buttercream and raspberries.
On the Dance Floor
For their first dance, Kristen and Jonathan chose a tune that reminded them of a 2009 trip to Berlin, during which they got lost searching for a restaurant and eventually ended up at a fondue spot where the sole waiter also provided the music. The first song he played that night—"Only You" by Yazoo—became the soundtrack to their first spin as husband and wife.
Kristen's brother, Brandon, and Jonathan's brother, Eric, toasted the couple with speeches that the newlyweds remember as two of the best moments of the evening.
In and Out
DJ James Mulry took his cues from the couple's favorite tunes to create a playlist that kept the dance floor full—but Kristen and Jonathan encouraged guests to take full advantage of the nighttime view of the skyline and the flawless June weather. "We wanted guests to feel free to divide their time between dancing indoors and chatting outside by the water and outdoor bar," says the pair.
Photography, Forged in the North
Event planning, Jove Meyer
Venue, Sound River Studios
Catering, Fig & Pig Catering
Flowers, Buds of Brooklyn
Officiant, Lisa Traina
Stationery, Jonathan Correira (design); Dolce Press (printing)
Calligraphy, Julia Bez
Cake, Nine Cakes
Music, James Mulry (reception); Sterling Strings (ceremony and cocktail hour)
Rentals, Big Dawg Party Rentals (hedge); Broadway Party Rentals (tabletop); Most Recklessly Ceramics (vases); Patina Rentals (lounge); Taylor Creative (furniture)
Bride's Gown, Margaux Tardits
Bride's Accessories, Jennifer Behr (hairpins); Catbird (earrings); Fitzgerald Jewelry (earrings); Paul Andrew (shoes)
Hair and Makeup, Avery-Christine Golson
Groom's Attire, Jack Victor (jacket); Proper Cloth (shirt); Hugo Boss (pants)
Groom's Accessories, Theory (bow tie); To Boot New York (shoes); Dufa (watch)
Fabric Installation, Josana Blue