A DIY Wedding Outdoors in Brooklyn, New York
The Happy Couple
Sarah, a gastroenterology fellow at Mt. Sinai Medical Center in New York City, met Peter, the founder of book-recommendation website Flashlight Worthy Book Recommendations, on the online dating site jdate.com in March 2009. After three dates they knew it was meant to be and after just 45 days, they were engaged. And after only 55 days of wedding planning, they said "I do" in Grace Court Alley in the Brooklyn Heights neighborhood the groom had been calling home for several years. The house had undergone a 20-month renovation that ended just before the June 12 nuptials; the couple moved into the house that night.
With the weeklong rain ending just hours before the wedding, the couple could host their 150 guests happily in the street-like alley outside the carriage house. Thanks to kind neighbors who all consented to the outdoor fete, and the rain that ceased a few hours earlier, the ceremony began amid the early evening's setting sun. Here, the alley, in the early stages of setup, starts to take form. The lights were hung by Peter and his good friend Tim.
The Flower Girls
Over a dozen children attended the wedding, most of whom took part in a flower-children parade preceding Sarah's walk down the aisle. A trip to the flower district in Manhattan for fake flowers and wicker baskets -- plus some help from friends -- gave Sarah all she needed to make the headdresses and baskets the young ones carried. She also set up babysitting arrangements for all of the parents to utilize as the festivities went later on into the evening. Here, sisters Maya and Eva toss rose petals down the aisle.
The traditional Jewish ceremony, led by Rabbi Andre Ungar, included the customary blessing over the wine, the bride circling the groom seven times, and the groom breaking the glass with his foot. The bride and groom exchanged rings purchased at Brooklyn shop the Clay Pot. The ceremony under the chuppah was sprinkled with laughter, as the groom kissed his bride-to-be prematurely on a few occasions.
Laughter ensued as flower girl Eva made silly faces at the groom and then wandered in front of photographer Kelly Guenther to mug for the camera.
Seaport Flowers created the lush floral arrangements in orange (Sarah's favorite color) and a green (fitting for early summer).
The Walk Together
In traditional Jewish weddings, the couple spends a few minutes just after the ceremony's conclusion alone together. So Sarah and Peter walked down the street to the Brooklyn Heights Promenade, which overlooks the New York City skyline.
Portraits were shot on the roof of their home, overlooking the courtyard below. Here, Sarah is flanked by her mother, Audrey Adams Doppelt, and her stepfather, Neil Doppelt.
Peter's father and stepmother, Hal and Lana Steinberg, also posed for photos. They also fit right in with the wedding's color palette.
Two clotheslines of escort cards were hung inside the house along the main staircase -- on the off chance of rain. Sarah and Peter rubber-stamped each guest's table number onto the cards, then added a stamped "S & P" on each clothes pin.
Guests sat at two long tables for an alfresco dinner. As the sun set, they dined on a four-course meal from Food in Motion Special Events. The evening's menu included a tasting plate of appetizers, rack of lamb with lemon parsley crust and toasted cumin yogurt sauce, a salad topped with his-and-her cheeses, and a selection of desserts.
A three-flavored cake from Lulu Cake Boutique in Scarsdale, New York, was decorated with flowers and featured a mini model of Sarah's beloved 12-year-old Scottish terrier, Henry.
The Photo Booth
Inside the house, guests jumped for joy on a small trampoline set up for a photo session. The mobile photo studio was rented from Studio Booth. Here, Sarah's sister Rachel and another guest have a go. Photos from the evening -- including the one snapped of these two in midair -- were loaded online for the couple and their wedding revelers to enjoy.
As the evening continued, guests took the dancing to the street. Everyone also gathered for the traditional Jewish wedding dance, the hora. Luckily, the courtyard was large enough to accommodate the spinning circles created by all of the guests. Even later in the evening, remaining guests joined the newlyweds in the basement of their home for dancing under two disco balls and an array of votive candles tucked into the nooks of the walls.
After all the guests had left in the early hours of the morning, and the tables and chairs had been cleared away the couple stepped back out into the now-bare courtyard. The lovely moment let the couple quietly reflect on their perfect wedding evening.
Photography: Kelly Guenther
Bride's Dress: J. Crew Bridal
Bride's Shoes: Cole Haan
Bride's Necklace: J. J. Marco
Groom's Attire: Ralph Lauren
Engagement Ring: Solovey Jewelers in McLean, Virginia
Rentals: Broadway Party Rentals
Catering: Food in Motion Special Events
Ceremony Music: Earl Maneein
Floral Design: Seaport Flowers
Cake: Lulu Cake Boutique in Scarsdale, New York
Table Numbers: designed by the groom and printed by Arthur's Invitations
Hair: Terry Foster of Studio At 5 E 19, 212-929-2938
Makeup: Birgitte Philippides